Debbie Wilson, (NC) Speaking Topics: Biblical Life Skills * Unshakable Faith * Personal Freedom*
Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn Spencer

Hello from Colorado’s Front Range. Davalynn Spencer, here, hanging on to my hat in these blustery, wintry days and welcoming author Debbie W. Wilson for an insider’s look at life in authorland.

Debbie, I’m intrigued by your title, Little Women, Big God: It’s not the size of your problems but the size of your God. Can you tell me who I’ll meet between the covers of this book?

You’ll meet the surprising women in Jesus’ family tree as they journey through impossible circumstances and see it doesn’t matter how big of a mess we’ve made in our lives or how much we’ve lost. Little faith in a big God changes destinies.

 

Debbie Wilson, (NC) Speaking Topics: Biblical Life Skills * Unshakable Faith * Personal Freedom*

Debbie Wilson

That sounds hopeful and reminds me of lyrics in a song by MercyMe: “A little faith is all I have, right now.”

While researching these women and their unique backgrounds, did you discover anything surprising?

Reading the biblical account from the point of view of these women opened my eyes to how hard life was for them. Bathsheba surprised me most. I was thrilled to see how God exonerated and honored her. Read More →

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Discouragement can stop us from accomplishing the tasks God has, in His infinite wisdom, given us to do. As a freelance author, editor, and writers’ conference speaker and director, I’ve learned that staying motivated can sometimes be a struggle.

You see, most people think writing a book is easy … until they actually try to write for publication. It’s such a long process, filled with discouragements and distractions, setbacks and rejections. Sometimes it would be a lot easier to quit writing than to keep at it. But when God has called you to do something, you can’t quit. His gentle nudging keeps bringing you back to the path He designed for you.

On days when I’m not feeling very motivated, I think about the long-range effects of the tasks God has called me to do. Whether I’m writing something myself, helping a client edit a manuscript, working with writers at a conference, or helping freelance editors develop their own businesses, I’m a small part of a big team of people that God put together to get what He wanted to be written into the hands of the people He knew would need to read it, at precisely the right moment.

What if Jesus’ followers hadn’t written the Gospels? You know, Luke opened his book by saying that many others had already written narratives about Jesus’ life, and they were eyewitnesses. Surely Luke must have wondered whether he should bother writing yet another account of the same story. But if he hadn’t, we would not have Luke 2, that beautifully written account of Jesus’ virgin birth.

The only other gospel that even mentions Jesus’ birth is Matthew. And he doesn’t say anything about Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem and finding no room in the inn. Nothing about a manger. Or shepherds. Or heavenly hosts. Without Luke’s writing, most of our favorite Christmas traditions wouldn’t exist.

God touches hearts and changes lives through the written word. I love being part of the behind-the-scenes work that brings about that miracle.

Wherever the Lord has placed you, He has you there for a divine purpose. Keeping that purpose at the forefront of your mind can give you the motivation you need to overcome discouragement.

Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors and the editor/compiler for the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. She is a professional freelance editor, director of the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and co-owner of the Christian Editor Network. You can read her blog on her website.

 

 

 

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“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving…” (Psalm 116:17).

From this verse I get the impression we offer thanksgiving with difficulty or under hardship—because we should do it, not necessarily because we want to do it.

Early in my walk with the Lord, my expression of thanks depended on my circumstances. When favorable, my heart overflowed with gratitude and praise. I found it easy to rejoice and thank the Lord.

I offered thanksgiving as a reward for his being good to me and withheld it if I thought he hadn’t treated me fairly. Then I read “in every thing give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

In everything? That’s expecting a lot. So I gave thanks as a formality, with great effort, begrudgingly.

Reading those beautiful hymns of praise, the Psalms, I saw how others handled this.

Those writers offered thanks and praise to God in spite of circumstances, with gratitude for his marvelous works in the past and confidence in his promises for the future. They praised him for his very nature—he is good, gracious, righteous, merciful, slow to anger, rich in compassion and forgiveness.

If that weren’t enough, they praised him simply because he deserved it. The Lord God is worthy of honor and exaltation.

Regardless of my circumstances, he is still good, gracious, righteous, merciful, slow to anger, rich in compassion and forgiveness–and so worthy of honor and exaltation.

Giving thanks is a decision. And sometimes it’s a sacrifice. Even so…

“My heart, is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Psalm 57:7).

(Adapted from Cabbages and Kings—Reflections on Living Abundantly in Christ)

Dianne Barker, Topics: Marriage * Parenting * Living in joy *

Dianne Barker

Cabbages and Kings by Dianne Barker

Cabbages and Kings by Dianne Barker

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

 

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Grace Fox
Marti Pieper

Marti Pieper

Greetings from Marti Pieper in Florida, where fall comes without colored leaves and only sometimes with cooler temperatures! We’re presently grateful for nights when we can open windows and leave the air conditioning off, even though temperatures still climb into the ’80s during the day.

Where today’s featured author lives, however, the temperatures are considerably cooler year-round. I got to know Grace Fox through CAN and through another author’s group to which we both belong. I’ve long admired her ability to use her words to touch hearts and change lives. Let’s take time to catch up with her now.

Grace Fox

Grace Fox

Welcome, Grace, to the CAN blog. Can you please tell us about your latest book?

It’s an 11-week Bible study titled Forever Changed. It’s based on the premise that our thoughts shape our beliefs, beliefs influence behavior, and behavior determines our destiny. Aligning our thoughts with truth, then, is vital for life transformation. I wrote it for “First Place 4 Health”—for people wanting to improve their well-being specifically through weight loss—but anyone can use it whether or not they’re involved in a FP4H small group. Available at First Place 4 Health. Read More →

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Excerpt from Christmas Charity by Susan G. Mathis:

Mabel opened the door and noticed the darkening sky. “Come in, Susan. Looks like a Nor’easters a building. Might have snow by nightfall.”

Susan entered the elderly woman’s abode. Neat and tidy with lots of memorabilia, just as Susan had imagined. Mabel led her into the kitchen. “I was just making tea. Care for some?”

“Yes, please. How are you, Mabel?”

“I’m just fine. Been praying for you and that girl of yours a fair bit. How’s it going?” Mabel stopped pouring the tea and stared into Susan’s eyes. “Tell me truthful-like, ya hear?” She tilted her head to accentuate her command.

Susan dropped her eyes to the oilcloth-covered table. “Not good. She won’t let me in. Patrick says to give her time, but…”

Mabel sat down next to her and rubbed her braid like her mama always did. Susan turned to make sure she wasn’t dreaming that Mabel was her mama just then.

“But what? Her father let’s her get away with too much? She has free rein to be prickly?” Mabel grunted. “My brother did the same thing when his wife died, and now my niece is unbearable. I know the signs.”

Susan nodded. “So what do I do? I love Patrick. He’s a kind man but he’s too kind sometimes.”

“Pray, dear girl, and pour on the charity.” Mabel sipped her tea before continuing. “Thomas Aquinas said that only God gives us power to show charitable love to another. He says that it’s the most perfect way to love. It’s love that’s given by choice, by your will, not expecting anything in return. True charity not only touches the heart of another but once you pour it out, joy and peace will also fill you up.”

“But…if I can’t even talk to her or touch her or interact with her in any way, how can I show her charity? I don’t understand.”

Mabel gazed at the wall for several moments before answering. “God has to show you the specifics, dearie. The love chapter in Corinthians gives us some ideas. Part of it is having faith and hope that God will give you the answer. It has nothing to do with her accepting you or even liking you. You can talk to her all you want, but if you don’t show her charity, it’ll sound like a noisy, irritating gong. You have to choose to pour on the charity expecting nothing in return.”

Susan felt her brow furrow. She bit her lip until it hurt, trying to understand Mabel’s words. Mabel patiently sipped her tea and let the sounds of silence fill the room. Susan heard the wind howl and the clock tick, until the quiet comforted her. But she still had questions.

“So, it has nothing to do with her? I have to choose it, no matter what she says or does?”

Mabel smiled, patting Susan’s hand. “Exactly. But you can’t do it in your own strength. You have to let God fill you with charity and then you pour it out. Like this pitcher.” Mabel took the little, white creamer and demonstrated as she poured a little cream into her tea. “Just like that. You don’t make the cream. You just pour it out. You’re a vessel, girl.”

Susan G. Mathis is vice-president of Christian Authors Network. She’s a multi-published author of stories set in her childhood stomping ground, the beautiful Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River in upstate NY. Her newest novella, Christmas Charity, her first novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, her Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, and her novellas will take you to a time and place few have gone. Susan is also author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale; two children’s picture books, seven stories in compilation books, and hundreds of articles. Visit her at www.SusanGMathis.com.

 

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