“The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life and power come after we ‘get up and get going.’ God does not give us overcoming life—He gives us life as we overcome” (Oswald Chambers).

Chambers wrote these words a long time ago. How did he know I’d be so tired today I couldn’t think straight?

How am I supposed to inspire others when I can’t get inspired about what to make for supper?

There are days I think inspiration has permanently left the building.  

I’m a cancer survivor. Chemo and radiation treatments left me with permanent side effects of fatigue and memory loss. I count myself fortunate because I am 100 percent in remission. The side effects pale when I think of the alternative.

However, these drawbacks do impact my daily life. I tend to limit my to-do list according to how I feel when I wake up. That’s not what God wants.

But I don’t feel inspired today, Lord!”

I fail to remember the body eventually falls into sync with the mind. Inspiration is not a prerequisite to productivity.

The get-up-and-go mentality comes after we get up and go.  

This is true in the spiritual realm as well. There are days I don’t really feel inspired to read my Bible. Yet, God inspires me within a few verses after I start. Sometimes I don’t know what to pray. When I begin, God reminds me of what I need to pray about and for whom I need to pray.

God inspires most when I feel the least motivated. All I need to do is trust and start.

Award winning author Linda Wood Rondeau writes to demonstrate our worst past, surrendered to God, becomes our best future. A veteran social worker, Linda resides in Hagerstown, Maryland. Visit her web site www.lindarondeau.com or contact the author on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Goodreads. 

 

 

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They say it’s your birthday. It’s my birthday, too, yeah.

I’m glad it’s your birthday. We’re gonna have a good time.

–Lennon/McCartney

Today is my birthday. Now that my feet are firmly planted in my sixth decade, I have questions that must be answered.

What happened to my nice, thick eyebrows, and why are they now growing on my upper lip?

When did I become my mother?

Will I ever remember all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody?

When will I stop acting like a spoiled child?

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things (I Corinthians 13:11).

When I read Paul’s words to the Corinthians, I think about the ways I am still a child. Remember when your kids were little, and they’d put their hands over their ears so they wouldn’t have to hear your rebuke? Sometimes I still do that when I hear the Lord’s voice through His word, through a sermon, or from the gentle chastening from a friend.

My pastor’s sermon two weeks ago was on evangelism. The word strikes trepidation deep in the soul of every introverted Christian. I picture the guy in our city who stands on various freeway overpasses with a bright pink sign with the words “John 3:16.” No way, God. (Hands over my ears.)

A few months ago, my ninety-three-year-old mother’s health declined to the point where she was afraid to be home alone at night in case she fell. My husband, Mike, suggested we move in with her. No way, God. (Hands over my ears.)

Paul encourages us to put away childish things – thoughts, actions, and attitudes. I feel Jesus’ gentle touch, prying my hands off my ears so I can hear his voice. At sixty-two, I may have finally grown up.

Jane Daly is the author of two books, Because of Grace, A Mother’s Journey from Grief to Hope, and The Caregiving Season, Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parent. She makes her home in Northern California. When she’s not working at the bank or hunched over her computer, she enjoys riding her bike and scrapbooking.

www.janeSdaly.com

www.facebook.com/janedalyspeakerandauthor

@queenjanedaly

Photo courtesy: https://www.123rf.com/profile_vgstudio’>vgstudio / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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To celebrate my 25th book release I held a party at a boutique that showcases local artists and authors. I created a special scavenger hunt to get everyone checking out the store.

I hid small signs of my book covers all around the store. Each one included a number of the release order. As people arrived, they received an alphabetical list of the titles so they could fill in the corresponding numbers as they spotted the signs and turn them in to win pries. The newest titles included a devotional cookbook The Gift of Bread: Recipes for the Heart and the Table and a teen book on communication Girl Talk Guy Talk. Prizes included little recipe books and fun items.

I also demonstrated how to make bread centerpieces such as

muffin bouquets and provided a variety of breads for everyone to taste. My oldest daughter snapped photos. We can design anything to celebrate milestones.

I recently attended a show where singer Jimmy Wayne spoke and signed his new book. To celebrate, he had a video made of signing the first copy as he signed his name and circled the number one on the book. I received the first copy.

 

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In this three-book novella collection, each story is based during a different calendar season, as well as, a different season of life, which makes this collection entertaining and something for every reader.

In An Apple a Day (1st Novella), a summertime romance kindles when Doctor Brian Coridan spends time away from his practice at Blossom Lake, Wisconsin, and he meets Talia Fountain, a health food store owner with her own non-medical license remedies.  At first the two don’t see eye-to-eye, but the charm of small town living, “mom’s apple pie”, and church-goer get togethers bring them together for an unforgettable romance.  I found this story fun and entertaining.  The summertime experiences living in a small town felt real.  I especially liked the banter between the main characters.

September Sonata (2nd Novella) tells the story of newly empty-nesters Krissy and Blaine finding love again.  After a work-related injury, firefighter, Blaine is in pain and frustrated with his homebound recovery.  He has no idea that his marriage has lost its spark.  Krissy is a school teacher who is struggling with her new season in life.  Her daughters are away at college and she’s suddenly aware she’s been taken for granted too many years.   When a new principal at school shows interest in getting to know her, she struggles with what ifs.  I found these character’s struggles realistic in every way and was drawn into this story from the first page.  This story was well-written and touched on a topic that isn’t seen in many Christian books.

Let It Snow (3rd Novella) takes place on a snowy Christmas Eve.  Widow Shari Flannering plans to spend her first Christmas without her deceased husband in her hometown of Forest Ridge, Wisconsin, but a blizzard changes those plans.  She finds herself stranded at the bed-and breakfast inn of her ex-fiancée’s mother.  Doctor Brenan Sheppard never got over Shari ending their engagement in a letter and running off to marry someone she’d just met.  Now a missionary in Brazil and home for the holidays, he’s ready to take the plunge and propose to a woman he met on the mission field.  Seeing Shari again stirs old feelings, but can he get past her betrayal and trust his feelings again?

Andrea Boeshaar is a great story teller.  Her characters are well developed and relatable.  Although I eagerly turned the page with each story – totally captivated- my favorite was Let It Snow.  I liked Shari’s determined cheerfulness despite the painful loss of her husband.  And of course, Christmas themed stories are always fun to read anytime of the year.  If you like sweet inspirational romances, you’ll fall in love with this novella collection!  I look forward to reading more of Andrea Boeshaar’s books in the future.

Seasons Of Love, Published by Prism Book Group (Dec., 2015); 200 pages

Reviewer:  Ruth Reid

 

 

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In every premise, it is conflict that drives the communication forward. To prove your premise you must disprove the negation of your premise. The disproving of the negation of your premise is what actually propels your communication. If there is no negation and no conflict possible in your premise, then your communication will be stillborn, with no direction or goal. Many Christian movies fail from a lack of conflict. They should keep in mind that the world is caught in a spiritual battle; thus, conflict is both necessary and inevitable.

Drama means, “to do” or “to perform.” In performance, for every action, there must be a reaction. To illustrate this, have two friends stand five feet apart, facing each other, and ask them to tell each other in as many ways as they so desire, “ I love you” for no less than two minutes. After a very short period of time, this dialogue without conflict will become very boring. However, if you ask one to convince the other of his or her love for the other, and you ask the other to resist this advance, the dialogue will be very entertaining, and one, or the other, will have to relent, thereby establishing the premise for that brief scene as either “love triumphs over rejection” or “resistance destroys love.”

Some Christian radio and television interview programs are boring to all but a few loyal supporters, because the host avoids conflict or loses sight of the value of loving conflict. In these boring programs, the host and the guest spend all their time affirming each other so that the program remains static and uninteresting. If the host defines what he wants to discover in the interview, which is his premise, in such a way as to probe who his guest is and why the guest is there by asking the tough questions which the audience needs and wants to know, then there will be real dialogue. The interview will be interesting because there is conflict built into the program, even if only on the level of a premise such as “curiosity discovers important information.”

This conflict does not have to be mean, petty, or angry, as so much conflict is on non–religious television. The conflict can and will be loving if the tough questions which prove the host’s premise are asked in love. A thoughtful, loving host can ask tough questions in a loving way to reveal the interesting story that every guest has to tell. The conflict in the interview is merely the vehicle by which the guest proves his or her story to the host and the audience. Without a clear –cut premise, there will be no conflict, and neither the host nor the audience will have any idea what the host is trying to communicate.

There are four basic plots that categorize the primary types of conflict inherent dramatic stories: 1) Man against man, 2) Man against nature, 3) Man against himself, and 4) Man against the supernatural or sub–natural, including aliens.

These categories help us to evaluate the premise or main proposition in a story, but they may not help us determine whether the story fits the Christian worldview. Another traditional literary approach proposed by Northrop Frye[1] divides stories into five different kinds:

Mythic: The triumph of the hero/protagonist(s) by an act of God or god(s).

Heroic: The triumph of the hero/protagonist(s) by his or her own means.

High Ironic: The triumph of the hero/protagonist(s) by a quirk of fate.

Low Ironic: The failure of the hero/protagonist(s) by a quirk of fate.

Demonic: The defeat of the hero/protagonist(s) by evil, demons, et cetera.

A story that fits the Christian version of the traditional mythic story, where the God of the Bible or Jesus Christ helps the hero or protagonist overcome his or her antagonist, is a story that fits the Christian worldview. A story, however, where the hero or protagonist—especially a Christian one—is defeated by demons is probably not a story that Christians should want to see because it contradicts the biblical worldview.

Beyond the basic story types, there are various themes.
The eight basic themes are: Survival, Redemption, Revenge, Betrayal, Coming of Age, Love and Romance, Mistaken Identity, and “Fish Out of Water.”

To be continued…

Please read HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL) for a complete guide to filmmaking.

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