Categories
Encouragement

A Creative Challenge

Jeanne Dennis
Jeanne Dennis, host of Heritage of Truth TV

A Creative Challenge: Try Something New

By Jeanne Dennis

Life for me has been changing rapidly. After 11 years of part-time caregiving and the deaths of several family members and friends, I’m finally coming up for air. I’m able to enjoy writing, art, cooking, and music again.

One writing project especially challenges and excites me. My dad used to journal often and made me promise to do something with his musings. He died three years ago, but his journals and notes had been missing for five years, ever since my sister died. We thought they had been discarded accidentally with some of her papers.

What joy it gave us to find them in an old file cabinet a few months ago! Now I plan to sort through his writings and “do something” with them, probably in the form of a memoir about Dad’s and Mom’s lives. When Mom told others their story, people always said, “You should write a book.” So perhaps I’ll do it in her stead.

In the past month, I’ve also tried my hand at urban sketching. Drawing buildings and bustling street life has never appealed to me before, but I’ve found it enjoyable. Scribbles done the right way can look amazingly similar to people, cars, and architecture.

Though I’ve always enjoyed cooking, I’ve recently faced new challenges in the kitchen. Last fall I discovered I have gluten and other food sensitivities. Tragically, my favorite homemade whole-wheat sourdough bread had to go. Now I’m learning to cook with vegetables, fruits, and proteins with little to no grains. It has stretched my creativity and our food budget, but we’re feeling healthier and I was able to lose weight for the first time in many years. I also make my own dark chocolate–yum!

Finally, I’m writing music again and working on a Christmas album, which will be my third album.

Can I challenge you to make the most of your summer and try something new, fun, and creative? Don’t get frustrated if you don’t succeed at first. Half the joy in accomplishment comes from the journey it takes to get there. So enjoy the creative journey!

Jeanne Gowen Dennis hosts Heritage of Truth TV http://heritageoftruth.com, is a commissioned Colson Fellow and Centurion, and is a multi-award winning author of a dozen books. For over twenty years, she has been helping families understand, live out, and pass on biblical heritage through her writing, speaking, teaching, original music, and online ministries. She and her husband of over 40 years serve actively in their local church and enjoy spending time with their family, including three amazing grandchildren.

Categories
Devotional

Advent Family Project You’ll Love

Kathy Collard Miller
Kathy Collard Miller

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs where it’s finally cooling down. I’m looking forward to our “winter” that is never a winter wonderland, but still wonderful.

Years ago I created an Advent family activity I called, “Box of Blessings.” It helped our family’s thoughts focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Here are the directions to create it.

Wrap a large box with Christmas paper, wrapping the lid separate. Gather 24 visual aids, wrap each one individually, write out tags for each with an object lesson, Scripture and discussion question. (On each tag, write a number indicating the order it should be opened). Place the gifts in the box.

On December 1, open the large gift-wrapped box containing 24 small wrapped gifts, and read the enclosed tag: “Today we are beginning a Christmas project. We will open a different present for the next 24 days to help remind us of God’s most precious gift His Son Jesus.”

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing for your own “Box of Blessings.” If you’d like to receive a full list of the 24 visual aids along with the object lesson, Scripture, and discussion question, reply to this email or email KathyCollardMiller@gmail.com and write “Box of Blessings” in the subject line. I’d love to send it to you.

Gift: Several pieces of any kind of food. READ: Does food always stay the same even after a long time? No, it changes when it gets old, doesn’t it? But Jesus never changes; He is always the same. (Hebrews 13:8) Why do you think it is important that Jesus never changes?

Gift: A heartshaped object. READ: Hearts remind us of love. We love others, but did you know that God loves us even more? (I Corinthians 13:47) How many things about love can we find in these verses?

Categories
Writing Business

Transform

Bob Hostetler
Bob Hostetler

Bob Hostetler here, offering another prayer for writers:

Lord Jesus,
you turned a meager lunch into a banquet for thousands,
a common lake trout into an ATM,
a brash fisherman into a water-walker,
a skeptical Thomas into a staunch devotee,
and a grisly death into death’s defeat.

Please turn my faulty thoughts and flailing words into something worth reading.
Amen.

Categories
Inspiration for Writers Writing craft

Are You a Scribe of the Kingdom?

"DEFessenden_Headshot"Hi, writers! Dave Fessenden here to ask you a question: Are you a scribe of the Kingdom?

Tucked away in the last chapter of Romans is a seemingly obscure verse: “I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord” (16:22).

Tertius was a scribe, and the ministry he performed was an important one. Though his function was little more than that of a secretary, Tertius stands as an example to Christian writers: he faithfully committed to paper the things he heard from the Apostle Paul.

Categories
Encouragement Speaking

ANYTHING BUT THAT, LORD—By Christine Lindsay

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not
commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be
discouraged, for the
Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


"Christine
FACT
—According to The Book of Lists, the
fear of public speaking ranks number one in the minds of the majority of
people. Far above the fear of death and disease, comes the fear of standing in
front of a crowd.

Categories
Encouragement

LOOKING FOR LOST DONKEYS–By Christine Lindsay

"Donkey2"You’ve heard the old adage, ‘cast your bread upon the waters and wait for it to come back to you’.

Well how about the adage, ‘looking for lost donkeys’?

Nope? Never heard of that one?

Lately I’ve been testing the waters to see what direction I should take with my career. Not being independently wealthy I need to bring in an income. I know, I know, who of us does not have financial difficulties? We all have our crosses to bear. Ooops, there’s another well-worn adage.

Thing is, we all have our stresses. And we all reach crossroads at frequent intervals where we have to make decisions—-will I go in that direction . . . or in this direction?

You may be looking for a job. Deciding on what college to attend. Deciding what direction God wants you to take in the writing of your next book, or speaking engagements. Perhaps your issue is health related. 

There’s an incident in the life of Saul that each time I read it, gives me comfort. The young Saul had no idea that God had chosen him to be the first king of Israel. He just figured he was an ordinary guy whose father was a farmer and owned a string of donkeys. One day those donkeys went missing, and Saul’s father sent him out to look for them.

Saul travelled through various areas, the hill country of Ephraim, passed through the land of Shalishah, etc., etc., etc. He looked for ages and all over the place. Saul could not find those donkeys.""

I can connect with Saul’s long and unfruitful search for those financially strategic donkeys.

Funny thing is, God used that long and winding search to bring Saul to the prophet Samuel. The Lord had already revealed to Samuel that He had chosen Saul to be that first king. As Samuel unveiled this to Saul, he also told him that the donkeys he was searching for had been found and were already at home, and that God had a totally new direction for his life.

""So, when you’re unclear about what direction to take in your life, or it seems that every iron you place in the fire doesn't get hot enough to provide for you, or you’re not sure which direction to cast your bread on the water, remember that God knows exactly where your lost donkeys are. He’ll bring them safely home in the right time.

The story of Saul and the lost donkeys is found in I Samuel 9

Be encouraged.

Christine Lindsay, www.christinelindsay.com

Author of the Award-winning, Shadowed in Silk

"Chris

Categories
Inspiration for Writers Writing Business

A Season for Trust


JeanneBeach3vvvvsmJeanne Dennis here. Since June, I’ve been a member of the CAN Board. Even though you haven't heard from me personally for several months, I post the CAN book releases on this blog every Tuesday and help keep the CAN website up to date. 

During this holy season, I wanted to touch base with you again and express what’s in my heart. We live in a time of personal, political, and financial uncertainty. Countless people now struggle with poor health or finances; suffer the loss of loved ones, jobs, or homes; or deal with other crises. Pain and loss often feel more acute during this traditional time of joy, hope, and peace.

People need our words as writers and speakers now more than ever. So even if the paragraph above describes our lives, let’s make this Christmastime a season of trust – trust in the One who knows all things perfectly, does all things well, and makes all things beautiful in His time.