This Christmas season, my wife and I went to the beach, a post-Christmas, Merry-Christmas-to-us present. We arrived on Friday afternoon and talked about what we could do and where we could go for our fortieth anniversary in 2021. We continued the discussion the next morning until we received a series of text messages. They came from our middle daughter, whose family was staying with us. A tree had fallen and wiped out our power line.

Pictures depicted how the line had bent the mast pole, yanked the lines out of the meter box, and fried the inside to the point the metal leads had burned all the way through and separated. I called our daughter, and she said somehow there was still partial power to the back of the house. I then instructed her on how to shut down the main breaker. And hurry!

We spent the majority of Saturday—from our hotel room—calling the power company, calling electricians, calling family members who could help get all the food out of our two fridges and find a home for the stuff, and make sure nothing else needed to be done (Hurricane prep in action!). Needless to say, it wasn’t how we planned our weekend, and it did put a damper on things.

However, we were thankful the house did not burn down. Had our daughter not been there, it probably would have.

Later that Saturday evening, feeling bummed, I watched the LSU/Oklahoma game from our hotel room. When I heard the heartbreaking news about Steve Ensminger’s daughter-in-law and the plane crash, I felt horrible for them and a little ashamed that I thought our circumstances were so bad.

God has a way of crashing your pity party and allowing life to reorient your perspective, doesn’t He (cf. Matt. 6:25-34)?

C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson is an ordained minister, and his published works include two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge – A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1, the first in a continuing series. His latest novel, The Letters, will be released Feb. 18, 2020.

Website:                                  www.ckevinthompson.com/

Kevin’s Writer’s Blog:            www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/

Facebook:                                C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page

Twitter:                                   @CKevinThompson

Instagram:                               ckevinthompson

Pinterest:                                 ckevinthompsonauthor

Goodreads:                             C. Kevin Thompson

BookBub:                                C. Kevin Thompson

 

 

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LIGHTWEIGHT PROBLEMS IN PERSPECTIVE by Jeanne Gowen Dennis

Lightweight Problems

Lightweight Problems

Losing Weight at Last

For thirty years, I complained that I couldn’t lose weight. “Eat less. Exercise more,” people said. It never worked.

Then suddenly last fall, the inches started coming off. I can only attribute it to cutting out gluten and other foods that disagree with me. Getting more sleep. Drinking more water.

And possibly spending a month in Southeast Asia. There I fell in love with fresh vegetables. Vegetables with small amounts of meat for breakfast. And for lunch. And for dinner. I walked almost everywhere I went.

Keeping It Off

Here at home I cook more variety of foods, but I’m still losing weight. I don’t walk nearly as much as I did in Asia, but I exercise several times a week. Because I don’t want to gain the weight back. But now I’ve developed some new problems.

Lightweight Problems

For so many years, I looked in the mirror and dreamed of wearing a smaller size again. I never believed I would. I never realized how many more wrinkles would appear on my face when I did.

In March, I needed a smaller size in jeans. By June, I had to buy the next size down. The March jeans didn’t even show wear. Then because none of my better clothes fit, I purchased new ones for a convention. It was beginning to get expensive!

Now I’m altering my favorite clothes so I won’t have to replace them all. And that requires a huge expense of time.

Who would have thought losing weight could cause so many “lightweight” problems?

Real Problems

All of these small issues come into proper perspective when I observe the real problems happening all around us:

  • Hurricane Harvey and the incredible heartache and devastation it has caused.
  • The plight of persecuted Christians all over the world.
  • And those precious children whose bellies bulge like a woman eight months pregnant. Because they’re starving or filled with parasites.

How dare I complain about anything? Anything! All of my problems are lightweight compared to those.

The Solution

So I’m going to do what Scripture teaches. “By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” (Phil. 4:6), I’m going to make my requests known to God. I’m going to thank Him for His faithfulness and for my small problems. And I’m going to:

  • Plead for those who bear the heavy burdens of grief and suffering.
  • Intercede for those who feel too hopeless to pray for themselves.
  • Pray for the lost who need the sure hope of salvation found only in Jesus.

I’m turning over my lightweight problems – and their heavy ones – to the only One who can truly help.

Would you like to join me?

“Live your faith. Pass it on.”

Author Jeanne Dennis

Author Jeanne Dennis

About Jeanne: An award-winning author of a dozen books, Jeanne Dennis hosts Heritage of Truth TV at https://jeannedennis.com. She is a commissioned Colson Fellow and Centurion. Through her writing, speaking, original music, and online ministry, she encourages families to live biblically in our spiritually confused culture.

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JanetPerezEckles-Typepada“Over a hundred years? Who in the world wants to live that long!” my friend said as she read the story of the man who has been documented as living the longest in modern times—a Bolivian man, reported to be 123 years old.

His story perked my interest because this toothless man and I have two things in common: we’re both from Bolivia and we both eat Quinoa.

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Maureen pic from booksigningI’m a hang-gliding fashion model who moonlights as a rodeo rookie whose brood of 10 adopted children are perfect angels…

Not!

But in my dreams…

Maureen Pratt, here, with my CAN blog for July. And, in keeping with themes of summer fun and expanding our horizons, I thought I’d pen a few ideas about how to use our alter egos in crafting more active, compelling characters.

We authors hear much about “writing what you know,” and “putting ourselves” into our books, stories, and non-fiction work. There is great truth about doing this – we can strike very real chords of character, place, and time when we incorporate our selves and our contexts in our work.

But if what we write is all about us, well, we’re putting up significant boundaries around what our stories could be capable of. Moreover, we run the risk of writing the same book over and over.

We need not go far afield to find ways to take down the boundaries of “just us” and create different perspectives, characters, and situations to inhabit our books. We have only to go to our “other” selves – our alter egos.

What is it that you do not do, but would love to do if you had the courage/resources/pluck/imagination to do? Who would you like to become?

Have you ever wished you’d been born in a different place or time? Is there a historical event that you wish you had taken part in, witnessed, or even changed?

Perhaps there’s something you’d like to try to do, but are afraid to even begin. There’s conflict for you – and possibilities for character exploration, fun, and perhaps growth.

Reality and ringing true are critical to work that can resonate with our readers. So, too, is an imagination that is not afraid to dare and craft something fresh and full. Explore your alter ego, and see how far you can go when you discover elements of you that can come alive in your next book.

Blessings for the day!

Maureen

www.maureenpratt.com

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

 

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Jen headshot denver 09       Hey, friends! Jennifer Devlin here. I’m so proud of the volunteers who are helping make the Christian Authors Network such a success. From the board who spends many hours each month working tirelessly behind the scenes to members who are helping with various tasks, to member blog posts, we are growing and thriving, and encouraging one another in this writing life. Thank you for all you do!

As I think about our network of writers and readers, I’m reminded how quickly thinks change over time. Writers are constantly learning new techniques to make their words come to life, and implementing the newest marketing tips to help get their books into the hands and hearts of readers. The market, ever so changing, keeps us on our toes too, as we adapt to new contract details and bookstore needs. Adapting to change is a necessary skill we need to cultivate. Why? Change happens fast; especially when time seems to be flying at the speed of sound!

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