Categories
Encouragement Inspiration for Writers

Why I Wrote the Book I Never Wanted to Write

Ginny Dent Brant, Author
Ginny Dent Brant

Today we welcome CAN member and author Ginny Dent Brant as she shares the story behind her inspirational book detailing her healing journey.

Hearing the words, “You have cancer,” was a shock to this health nut. When I saw my real life MRI flashed up on a screen, it looked like a tornado had invaded my body. Bewildered with disbelief, I asked to meet with a chaplain.

The first words from my mouth, “How could a health nut like me end up with an aggressive and deadly cancer like this?”

“Ginny, consider it a gift from God,” encouraged Pastor Sewell.  “Sometimes God allows things in your life for you to help others. As an author and speaker. your experience in this journey can be a guiding light to others.”

“Never.” I insisted. “I’d never write about cancer. It’s the gift I never wanted.” I was praying desperately this cancerous thorn (tornado) would be taken from me.

“Yes, I can see it now, your next book with this inscription—‘It was the book I never wanted to write.’” He chuckled. “In time you will see the hand of God. I promise.”

My diagnosis and that tornado sent me on a quest to discover what caused my cancer and what I could do to help my doctors to beat it. As I began to connect the dots between nutrition, the immune system, conventional and integrative medicine, medical research, and the Word of God, I was able to pull back the curtain on cancer for me. The more I learned, the more I felt led to share my findings with others to help them prevent and survive cancer.

Unleash Your God-Given Healing by Ginny Dent Brant
Unleash Your God-Given Healing by Ginny Dent Brant

Pastor Sewell was right. These words appear on the first page of Unleash Your God-Given Healing: “This is the book I never wanted to write.”

And that tornado that invaded my body became my book’s analogy to The Wizard of Oz.

 

Ginny Dent Brant is a counselor, educator, speaker, and wellness advocate. Her recent book, “Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer,” contains commentary from an oncologist. It won a Golden Scrolls Award and was featured on CBN News. Cancer prevention and wellness blog at www.ginnybrant.com  https://www.facebook.com/ginny.d.brant/

 

Categories
Encouragement Inspiration for Writers Writing craft

Why I Wrote Love Stays True

Letter to SallieWhen my dad began going through papers and documents in his files, He found three letters he gave to me because he knew I was writing a historical novel series. One of the letters was dated 1857 and was addressed to my great-grandmother Sallie from her father. Another one was dated November, 1864 and was written by my great-grandfather to Sallie before he went into the battle at Nashville and was captured. The third was to Sallie from a friend talking about the war.

I treasured those letters and tucked the away to a safe place because I knew I would be using the information in my writing someway. After my father’s death, I found more information written by my great-grandfather telling about parts of his trip home after the surrender by Lee. The story burned in my heart and a series set at the end of the war and forward was born.

I did a tremendous amount of research to match what I had in my possession with history and ended up with a five book series, The Homeward Journey, based on what I found. My husband and I even traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi to visit the places mentioned in the letters and checked dates and times in the records there.

The first book was Love Stays True, a love story based on my great-grandparents love in the 1860’s. It’s a combination of truth and fiction based on the letters and stories I heard from my grandfather. It begins at the time of the Armistice and follows my great-grandfather’s journey from prison at Point Lookout, Maryland back to Louisiana where he married his sweetheart, Sally. That book led to three others to complete the four book series.

 

Martha Rogers
Martha Rogers

Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and multi-published best-selling author.  She is a member of ACFW and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. She is a retired English and Home Ec. teacher and lives in Houston with her husband of 61 years, Rex.

 

Categories
Encouragement Inspiration for Writers Writing craft

Why I Write Happily Ever After Endings

Anne Greene, Author
Anne Greene

I’ve experienced God’s happily-ever-afters in my life many times since I became a Christian at age twenty-one. I suffered a difficult childhood. When the Lord made me a new creation in Christ Jesus, He began my emotional healing that transformed me into the happy, content person I am today.

Again, when my first husband died early in our marriage leaving me with almost no money and two young children, I learned first-hand the Lord does take care of His children. When the first love of my life died, I felt physically torn in half. I often looked down at my body to see if I was bleeding. But God became my constant companion and took my torn halves and knit them back together. He gave me the verse, Deuteronomy 31:6—The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you: He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. He kept His promise. At the right time He brought a new forever love, a new husband into my life. Through that experience I know without a single doubt that I have complete freedom to trust God. He loves to make His children happy.

Now, when God takes me out of my comfort zone and walks with me through difficulties, I can look back on His faithfulness and set my trust in Him.

Knowing God is in charge and He truly cares allows me to write happy-ever-after endings to all my books.

ANNE GREENE delights in writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer, and about gutsy heroines.  Anne hopes her books transport the reader to awesome new worlds and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Read More about Anne at www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com.

 

 

Categories
Encouragement

Yes Isn’t Always the Best Answer

In my early working career, I liked my job in administration at a new hospital, but a big brand new company moved to town. They had an opening for a human resources director, and I interviewed. The vice president said his boss’s daughter applied, and it was between the two of us. In the meantime, other jobs came available, and I applied for those. The interviews were positive, and I was sure I would be hired for one of them.

I had prayed about this change, and I didn’t understand when I wasn’t chosen for any of them. Why had I been called back for second interviews and not one of them panned out? What was God trying to teach me?

A prominent doctor came to my office, and he told me his neighbor was the vice president who had interviewed me. He said the man wanted to hire me, but his boss made him hire his daughter. This doctor asked me not to leave. I was upset the doctor found out.

Then the chief operating officer told me he was the other neighbor to this vice president. He asked why I was leaving. He also wanted me to stay. I did stay, and the raises and opportunities were good. A year later, the big company I’d been to for interviews didn’t succeed, and a large number of employees were let go, including the vice president of human resources!

The lesson I learned was that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side, and I should appreciate the plans the Lord had for me right where I was working. He already knew this would happen. I thanked the Lord for taking care of me—and telling me no.

Are you struggling to understand why the Lord has told you no? We may not know right away why God says no to a request, but we can rest assured God has our best interest at heart.

Molly Jebber writes Amish historical romance. Her award-winning books have made Publisher’s Weekly Best Ten List, live interviews on news sites, and received near excellent ratings from RT, and featured in USA HEA. She’s a national speaker for Women’s Christian Connection and guest lecturer at Ohio State University, libraries and conferences on writing, publishing, and marketing. She loves God, her family, and friends.

 

 

Categories
Encouragement

As Seasons Change

Watching the summer season come to an end, and autumn follow, reminded me once again that God is in control. He is the one who sends the rain, the snow, and the sunshine. He directs the clouds and the wind and determines the temperature. Though people may try to predict the weather based on meteorological patterns, they cannot control it. Only God can.

God is a God of order. Since the beginning of time, God established day and night and seasons. He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down (Psalm 104:19).   Every day, every week, every month, every year the order of nature is consistent. Just as nature is consistent, so is our God. His love and care for us remain the same.

God is faithful. Just as we can depend on daylight and darkness, we can depend on God. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is always with us to guide and protect us. We can trust that He will do what He says in His Word.

Knowing this gives us peace and frees us from worry and fear that exist in an ever-changing chaotic world. As we savor the days of autumn, let’s give thanks to a faithful God whose love for us will last forever.

I am the LORD, and I do not change (Malachi 3:6 NLT).

 

Author, Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is a best-selling, award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and adults. She is a lyricist for children’s piano music, contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and presenter at writers’ conferences. Her latest picture book addresses the topic of dementia: I Love You to the Stars—When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers.

Crystal’s Facebook Page

Crystal’s LinkedIn Profile

 

Categories
Encouragement

A Wheel Secret

 

The secret things belong to the Lord our God… (Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV).

The oddly-fashioned wheel bug is a type of assassin bug. An assassin bug preys upon and attacks a wide variety of insects and other arthropods in a rather gruesome manner, using its front legs and proboscis. The bug injects the critter-turned-lunch with enzymes that not only paralyze it but also dissolve the life-giving organs. The wheel bug then slurps up the liquefied insides. Yum, right? Uh, not hardly! Kinda icky, actually! Yet, the true bug is considered beneficial because it preys on pest insects.

The wheel bug gets its name from the crest on top of the thorax, shaped like a wheel. Interestingly, though, biologists don’t seem to know just exactly why the cog-shape is part of the bug’s anatomy. The wheel bug is the only insect in the United States with such a crest, but no consensus on the crest’s purpose exists.

That aspect of the wheel bug makes me smile and appreciate God’s creativity even more. Did God give it a wheel just to make us ponder? Does it have a purpose that God’s kept secret all this time? Did He like the idea of pointed, teeth-like knobs protruding from the top of the bug?

I love the lessons God teaches me through His creations, but I’m also okay with not knowing things. I think there’s much He wants us to know, but I believe there are some things we won’t know this side of heaven.

And maybe a wheel-shaped crest on top of a bug happens to be one of those unknowns!

Julie Lavender used to be afraid of most insects and creepy-crawly things until she fell for that cute high-school boy who loved all of God’s creations, the one who eventually became an entomologist for the US Navy. Most bugs and critters still terrify her, but now she appreciates their beauty and purposes in the natural world and is quite fascinated by them! She is the author of the newly-released 365 Ways To Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories.

 

Categories
Encouragement Ministry

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion Fatigue By Janet Holm McHenry

compassion fatigue is real
Compassion fatigue is real.

The Lord is a refuge to his people. –Joel 3:16 (ESV)

From a recent training for local teachers on social-emotional learning I learned a new term: compassion fatigue.
As teachers have doubled up duties to teach both in an in-person setting and in a distance learning model, they have also encountered countless cases of students and parents and peers in emotional distress, while also trying to manage their own families’ needs and their own.

Compassion fatigue is real. I have experienced this often over the last 22 years as I’ve prayer-walked the streets of my community and been a pivot point for various prayer groups. Their burdens become mine—and sometimes I simply feel overwhelmed.

When tremendous needs from many I love recently came from several directions, I found myself on the couch, exhausted one day. “What’s wrong with me?” I asked my husband.

“You’re taking on too much,” he quickly answered. And my husband is almost never quick to answer.

I imagine the prophets felt this compassion fatigue. God called them to speak his words to the people, who had strayed from following the Lord and who would not listen to the warnings God spoke through the prophets.
What must have kept them going was God’s call on their lives, as well as his words to them.

Reading the Bible daily is also what keeps me going during this challenging season. It also keeps me praying for many right now suffering from loss of loved ones, fires, floods, illness, straying children, unemployment, and depression.
Daily I run to the place where my compassion fatigue is always lifted: God’s Word. He never disappoints.

About the author: Janet McHenry is a speaker and author of 24 books—six of those on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She would love to connect with you: https://www.janetmchenry.com.

Categories
Encouragement

Who Are We?

 

On the first day of a class I was teaching on how gender is expressed in the home, church, and society, I thought through the material I planned to cover. And honestly, I feared that some of what I’d prepared was too elementary for seminary students. Did they really need to hear again that both male and female were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27)?

Yet despite my doubts, I determined to cover even the basics. So, as I taught, I repeated what I assumed they all knew. But sure enough, a woman sitting on the front row sat stunned.

“Are you saying I myself am made in the image of God—without having to be married?” she asked.

I’m not saying that. Genesis says so.”

She turned to face all her classmates. “Did you know that?” she exclaimed.

They all nodded.

She looked back at me and burst into the tears of joy. She did not have to marry to fully image God. Nor did she have to bear children to ultimately image Him.

In the days that followed, this student changed her focus from seeking a husband to equipping herself for ministry.   

 At the time of our creation in the Garden, humans bore God’s image perfectly—simply by being. Today that image is marred but not erased (see James 3:9). We bear God’s image by virtue of being His creations. But we are also called and predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. And what is that image like? It’s embodying love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).

Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World, by Sandra Glahn & Gary Barnes
Sanctified Sexuality

Dr. Sandra Glahn is professor of Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary. Her most recent book is a collaboration with 25 experts on marriage, divorce, same-sex attraction, gender dysphoria, and more, titled Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World. Excerpt adapted from Sanctified Sexuality.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Encouragement

Discerning the Times

 

Sometimes it’s so hard to discern what’s going on in your life emotionally, psychologically, or spiritually. Something is off-kilter, but you just can’t put your hands on it. You’re not quite yourself. You’re edgy. You’re frustrated. You’re tense. Or your relationships aren’t quite right. You’re distant. Distracted. Touchy.

And then it hits you.

It’s been days since you’ve prayed or spent quality time with God. Or maybe you’ve gotten hooked on a television show or a novel that’s not good for your soul. Or perhaps you’ve been hanging out with a friend who loves to gossip or spew negativity or fear. Now what?

In today’s hyper politicized, fear-mongering, propaganda-driven world, Godly discernment is more important than ever! But how?

Learning to discern such things is a spiritual gift, and a discipline, that you can cultivate in your life. First Corinthians 2:10-14 talks about this gift. It’s the ability to judge between good and evil, and then it’s choosing to live in the light of God’s truth. That’s what makes the difference.

Discernment comes when you understand what God wants for you personally and for your relationships. But wisdom comes when you choose to obey His truth. Sometimes it’s choosing to spend more time in prayer or the word, more time together as a couple or family, and less time with unhealthy friends or listening to media. Sometimes it’s simply applying common sense to something. Other times it’s stepping back, observing a situation and praying, reading God’s word, and finding the truth in the matter.

“Do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion” (Proverbs 3:21).

In our personal lives, we need wisdom and understanding more than ever. Our culture has become so tainted with the “wisdom of this world” that it can become difficult to make daily decisions and choose well if we don’t have the plumb line of God’s truth to anchor us well.

In my latest novel, Devyn’s Dilemma, Devyn couldn’t discern who she was and how God loved her. Her past and her fears blinded her to the truth. She struggled to know God’s truth. She believed the lie.

Discerning between God’s truth and worldly wisdom isn’t always easy, but learning to discern wisely is the best way to strengthen your personal life and your marriage relationship spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. It’s a good way to go.

How have you learned to discern through the years? I’d love to know!

Susan G Mathis
Susan G Mathis
Devyn's Dilemma by Susan G Mathis
Devyn’s Dilemma by Susan G Mathis

Susan G. Mathis is vice-president of Christian Authors Network and an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate New York. Her first two published books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series are Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice. She’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Susan’s books have won numerous awards, including the Illumination Book Award, the American Fiction Award and the Indie Excellence Book Award. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Encouragement

God’s Hands…Our Safe Place

 

Today’s world is full of evil manifesting itself in violence around our nation and even the world. Paul tells Timothy that we are to flee from evil and everything Satan sets before us from his world of darkness. Satan’s words can fill our minds and hearts with such negative energy that we begin to believe the lies we tell ourselves.

How then can we be encouraged to stand for what is right and flee evil? When our hearts and minds are set on anything other than what God has planned for us, we cannot reach the full potential God has set out for us. He loves us so much and wants only the best for us. The best is not always easy to come by. When we seek the best and pursue righteousness and godliness, we will find difficulties and obstacles because Satan loves to see us stumble.

We keep our eyes focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. His hand will guide us down the right path. With faith and love, we can endure whatever it takes to help us reach our goals in life and fulfill His will for our lives. We will draw closer to Him and absorb His goodness. The harder we pursue Him, the closer we come to the goal.

Setbacks do come. That’s a part of life. We must have some failure along the way to truly appreciate the success when it comes.

Remember, we’ve placed ourselves in God’s hands, and there’s no safer place to be.

Martha Rogers
Martha Rogers
A Gift of Love by Martha Rogers
A Gift of Love 

Martha Rogers, a free-lance writer, was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband Rex live in Houston where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren.  A former English and Home Economics teacher, Martha loves to cook and experiment with recipes and scrapbooking when she has time. She has written three series, Winds Across the Prairie, Seasons of the Heart, and The Homeward Journey. Book three in that series, Love Never Fails, released in November, 2014. Find Martha at:  www.marthawrogers.com