In 1776 our country was founded by men who believed in God. Nearly two centuries later, “In God We Trust” was written on our currency, and The Pledge of Allegiance added the phrase “one nation under God.”

Though these statements represent a variety of faiths, belief in God is the common denominator.

As we all know, our nation is becoming more and more secular and many people are turning away from God. But there will always be a remnant who remain strong in their faith and in their commitment to God.

We will always have a voice, although it may be more difficult to be heard. Whether we put words on the printed page, blog posts, or Facebook, we can share our faith and commitment to God and our nation.

We can proudly fly the American flag. We can support veterans. We can volunteer at local schools, shelters, and food banks. There are many ways we can remain patriotic while letting our words and actions reflect our love for God and our country.

Most of all, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world. May our lives be a testimony that God is our Creator and we still trust in him.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance” (Psalm 33:12 NIV).

 

Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. She’s a speaker and mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at several writers’ conferences throughout the U.S. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

 

 

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What are your secret talents?

“And the special gift of ministry you received…keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible” (2 Timothy 1:6-7 MSG).

Peggy Cunningham working with children

I think my secret talent is related to my hair––blonde with streaks of white. Can hair be a secret talent? Maybe. But…maybe it’s not my hair that’s a secret talent. Perhaps it’s what my hair can do––attract little girls like a magic magnet.

Living in a country where blondes are not seen often, little girls stared and smiled at me. I accredited all the little girls’ attraction to my hair––and being a tall blonde––a sight rarely seen in Bolivia. When I first noticed this secret talent, it opened doors to ministry with little girls, especially during Sunday School hours.

When my daughter was a small child, her hair attracted attention on the streets of Bolivia. Whenever we walked around the city where we lived, people constantly touched her long, curly blonde hair. Since my aging brought with it bottled blonde hair with white streaks, I, too, became a rarely seen sight. But then, something else entered into my secret talent.

On furloughs, I also noticed this happening in the States where blonde hair is not unusual. Being a children’s writer, I’ve always connected with children—but not in such a magical way as I do with little girls. When I meet or talk with little girls, I automatically talk on their level and so love being with them. I truly believe God has given me a special gift of ministry with children—a secret talent—especially working with little girls. It’s so much fun!

God gives us all special talents and gifts and uses them for His Kingdom. They can be fun, too. What’s your special gift of ministry—your secret talent?

Peggy Cunningham and her husband are missionaries in Bolivia, South America. They work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is the author of several children’s books and devotionals. Her latest book is Shape Your Soul—31 Exercises of Faith that Move Mountains, a women’s devotional. Visit  www.PeggyCunningham.com.

 

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Want to get to know an author near you? Linda W. Yezak will be in person at the Galveston Island Book Festival.

ALT="The Bucket List Dare"

Linda W. Yezak

Linda W. Yezak of Nacogdoches, Texas will be participating in the upcoming Galveston Island Book Festival, an opportunity for Texas authors to meet and greet their readers and hopefully gain some new ones. The event will take place Saturday, March 24, 2018, in the Ball High School Cafeteria (its new location, since Hurricane Harvey destroyed the originally planned site), 4501 Avenue O, Galveston, Texas, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Linda W. Yezak
Author/Editor/Speaker
http://lindawyezak.com

~~~

Looking for great parenting tips, Sarah Hamaker has a new parenting blog!

Sarah Hamaker

Sarah Hamaker has a new blog on Patheos called,

Some Assembly Required: Raising Self-Reliant and Confident Childrenhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/someassemblyrequired

Sarah Hamaker
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach/Freelance Writer
Author of Ending Sibling Rivalry, available now
2015 ACFW Genesis Winner, Romantic Suspense category
www.parentcoachnova.com
www.patheos.com/blogs/someassemblyrequired

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Being a Digital Missionary  by Julie Cosgrove

Digital Missions

Digital Missions

Before I began writing fiction, I became a freelance writer. My late husband’s job required us to move a lot (28 times in 35 years.) The best way I could bring in income was to click away at the keyboard. Wherever there was an internet connection, my customers could find me!

I immediately landed bids. In thanksgiving, I tithed my work day to God, writing for Him first. I came across a devotional blog site through Truth Media, Christian Women Today. I queried them in 2008, and from then on wrote two devos a months—pro bono. The leader of our writer’s critique group chided me, stating I should charge. But I felt God firmly saying, “No.”

After my husband died, I prayed for a steady income which would allow me to pursue my fiction writing. I landed a job as a church secretary. Most days, I was the only one there, available to answer the door and phones, and open rooms for various groups. It gave me plenty of time to write. The priest was fine with that. He told me, “I’d rather you write Christian fiction than play Angry Birds.” I still wrote devos for four sites, pro bono, as my ministry.

Truth Media became Power to Change. Two years later, the church laid me off. I knew God had plans for this widow who now had no income. Within two weeks, the editor in chief of The Life Project, one of the divisions of Power to Change, asked if I would consider coming on staff. As a branch of Campus Crusades, the position required me to raise my salary through partnerships. A huge leap of faith!

Now I am a writer and editor for their digital ministry. Our free articles and devos average half a million clicks a month, and encourage both Christian and secular readers to seek spiritual mentors in one of three, soon to be six, languages. Never did I imagine that what I write, and help others write, woul

Julie Costrove

Julie Cosgrove

d have such a global impact.

The world is on the internet. We help them know Jesus. Right now, donations will be matched by an anonymous donor through 2017. If God has stirred your heart to learn more about this amazing mission field, contact me at julie.cosgrove@p2c.com.

 

 

 

 

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Maureen Pratt Author PicHello! Maureen Pratt here with my monthly CAN blog. This time, some thoughts on writing the devotional.

The devotional is intensely personal, but can also provide tremendous support for many. I've experienced this first-hand. When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I suffered from a number of life-threatening symptoms. None, however, was as confounding as the non-life-threatening phenomenon of lupus brain fog, which is much like looking at the world through a pea-soup fog on a chilly day. It isn't permanent, much like those clouds of fog, and it doesn't cause changes in the brain, per se. But it does make memories slippery at times, and frustration quick to rise.

Faced with a horrible diagnosis, I turned to prayer, Scripture, and reflective meditation on what I had read and prayed about. Only, I would forget what I had read and prayed about. Frequently. I finally bought a spiral-bound notebook and started writing down what I read and prayed about. A year later, I looked back at the now-full notebook and wondered, "Could someone else benefit from what's in here?" Then, I prayed. And then, I called my agent. A few years later, my book "Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness" was published and has been reaching readers like myself, patients of chronic pain & illness, ever since. Such a blessing!

Writing the devotional is a highly personal pursuit, fueled by insight and inspiration born from experience. Not all experience needs to be that of the writer, but ideally each devotion should be linked to a "ripped from real life" instance in someone's life. I liken writing a devotional to being a "spiritual reporter," combining life's events with the place God takes within it all.

As they are extensions of our faith, devotionals spring from Scriptural reflections. Reading Scripture regularly and listening to the passages resonate gives the right context for the meditations you craft for each topic. I also spent much time in an empty church, sitting quietly, reading passages, then sitting quietly again. The waters of the Word can refresh us whenever we partake of them, but they truly nourish us when we let them soak into us completely.

Devotional structure will be unique to each project, but ideally each project does have a structure, an arc, a way in which it builds and carries the reader through to greater insight, comfort, or encouragement. At the same time, devotionals are often read in pieces, and not linearly, so the author needs to keep this in mind (avoid referring to a previous devotion, for example).

Writing "Peace in the Storm…" was exhausting for me, but what motivated me to keep going was the thought of my audience. Each day, I prayed for and thought of someone who would read what I was writing, someone who was suffering with or from the particular problem, or asking the particular question, that I addressed in the devotion I wrote that day. Keeping the reader close to mind and heart enables the words to flow as from a friend to a friend, a very effective and empathetic voice.

Blessings to you!

Maureen

www.maureenpratt.com

http://blog.beliefnet.com/gooddaysbaddays/

 

 

 

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