Friday, April 29, 2016

WORRY VS. FAITH | 10 WAYS TO BEAT THE WORRY BUG

                                 
 
"Who of you by 
worrying can add
a single hour
to your life?"
 
(Luke 12:25)





Have you ever noticed when you pray for something like patience or faith, instead of just giving us those virtues, God puts us in situations that require us to use them?

Our sermon Sunday at church dealt with worry. After half an hour of being inspired to entrust everything into God's capable hands, I thought, I can do this! From now on, I'll give all my cares and concerns to the Lord.

Two days later, the threat of severe weather hit our area. I was a half-hour away from home shopping at the time. Several in town were talking about the bad storm headed our way. One look at the radar confirmed it, as did the darkening sky to the west.

Instantly my thoughts turned to my husband who was alone in the middle of nowhere on a cab-less tractor, without a cell phone. So did I trust God with this? No. I rushed and worried--about getting home ahead of the storm to warn my husband, about safety on the roads, and safety for my sons at school and work.

As it turned out, my worries--as usual--were for nothing. The storm split around us and wasn't as bad as expected. Once again, I realized how small my faith really is. So, I decided to make a list of things I could do instead of worry. Here's my top 10 picks.

Read Scripture
Pray
Sing praise songs
Call a friend
Listen to Christian music
Visit a shut-in
Ask someone to pray for the situation
Do something nice for someone
Exercise
Get out and enjoy God's creation

When you're tempted to worry, remember this Scripture:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."    (Romans 8:28)

What about you? What situations cause you to worry? I'd love to hear your feedback.

Read more of Cynthia's work at: http://puttingonthenew.com/
Or, view her full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/



Friday, April 22, 2016

GOD'S FOOTPRINTS | LEARNING TO TRUST GOD IN TROUBLED TIMES




"Your path led
through the sea,
your way through
the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen."
 
(Psalm 77:19) NIV




It's amazing how the Lord speaks into our hearts through Scripture. I must have read Psalm 77 dozens of times over the years, yet never did it strike me so vividly as it did this week.

When God led the Israelites out of Egypt, they became trapped between the Red Sea and the pursuing Egyptians. Seeing the onslaught of charioteers at their  backs, they must have feared they were goners. Yet, God, in His glory, parted the water like a curtain and made a dry path for them to cross. They couldn't see Him, but He was there, guiding them safely through.

We've all experienced times in our lives when God seems silent or distant. When we find ourselves at an impasse, or going through an extremely difficult challenge and don't know what to do. We pray and pray, but don't get clear direction or help. 

It's then we wonder, Does God even care what I'm going through? Has He left me to fend for myself? Why won't He answer?

Job once asked these questions, wondering why God seemed to abandon him when he needed Him most. In the end, God responded by declaring His wisdom and insight far outweigh our own. He sees the whole picture, not the one-dimensional view we have. Job saw only the pain he was undergoing; God knew the double portion of blessings that were soon to come his way. Times of testing are sure to come. Our part is to pray and trust God will bring us through.

In last week's blog, I referred to writers coming to a Surrender Stage, when we decide to submit our future, our ambitions, and everything we write into God's hands, allowing Him to direct and redirect our purpose and ministry. Yet, as Christians, this surrender stage should apply to every aspect of our lives. We have to strive to reach a point where we trust He is with us, working in our lives, no matter how far off He seems.

A clock in our home bares the poem, Footprints in the Sand, which speaks of how at some points in our lives, we can't see God's footprints alongside ours, when we feel alone and forgotten. But the poem goes on to say that it's during these especially troubled times He carries us. What a beautiful picture of His great love for us!

Are you facing some trial in your life where you can't see God's footprints? What gives you the strength to endure? I'd love to hear your story!

Read more of Cynthia's work at: http://puttingonthenew.com/
Or, view her full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/


Friday, April 8, 2016

THE TRANSPARENCY OF WRITERS By Guest Blogger Christine Lindsay

Today, inspirational author, Christine Lindsay, shares about the importance of drawing from one's own life experiences when writing.

Even before developing the moral premise of your book, the nitty gritty of being a writer is being willing to bare your soul.

This fact has been reiterated to me lately as I tried to interest a few friends in sharing elements of their life story on my blog. They glance at me shyly and say they are honored to be asked, but they are simply too shy to make their story public.

I remember when I used to feel that way. Since I started writing in 1999, I gradually feel as though I've grown more and more transparent because so much of who I am goes into everything I write.

When I first started out I understood that any non-fiction I hoped to write, especially the account of my birth mother experience would be autobiographical. But later when it seemed that particular true-life account might never be published, I felt the Lord urge me to put the spiritual and emotional truths I’d learned into Christian Fiction.
Whew! I thought. This means I don’t have to bare my soul. I can hide behind my “untrue” historical epics that God-willing might help readers think about the Lord while they’re being entertained.
Here’s the full story:
When I wrote my debut novel Shadowed in Silk I don’t think readers had a clue that I was plastering my heart and soul into my heroine Abby Fraser, even into my bad-guy Russian spy, and especially into Abby’s enemy the Muslim woman, Tikah, who kidnaps Abby’s child.
The reason I could write that story was because I knew what if felt like to be invisible, as a woman hurting over the relinquishment of my firstborn to adoption. I was the invisible one in that particular adoption triad. This enabled me to feel like invisible Abby. 
But I also felt like my Russian spy who chooses to be invisible on purpose. 
I also felt like Tikah, Abby's personal enemy, because part of my heart longed to turn the clock back so that I’d never relinquished my baby in the first place. I took the bare truth of my soul and painted that longing into my character Tikah as she does the reprehensible by stealing another woman's child.
Shocking, I know. I’m not saying my emotions were right or honorable. Emotions are emotions, but that’s what books are, a baring of the soul. Of course I didn’t take back my true-life child, and the Lord helped me through my heartache. But that transparency is what we writers need in our books. 
You need "You" in your heroes and heroines.
"You" in your villain (very important if you don't want a stereotypical mustache twirling bad guy)."
“You" in your complex secondary characters.
The ideas and premise for your book must come right from the corners of your soul. Every memory you’ve had, sensory, intellectual, emotional, affects how you see the world. That’s what a book is, sharing your world view in one story at a time.
In every book I’ve written since then, there is me somewhere in all my characters.
I like this verse from I. Cor. 1 Indeed, this is our boast, the testimony of our conscience: we have behaved in the world with frankness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God—and all the more toward you.” 
 


 

Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. Born in N. Ireland, it was tales of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her historical trilogy, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and the explosive finale Veiled at Midnight. Her Irish wit and joy in the use of setting as a character is evident in her contemporary romance Londonderry Dreaming and in Sofi’s Bridge coming May 2016.  

Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine is the happy wife of David of 35 years, a mom and a grandma. She makes her home on the west coast of Canada, and in Aug. 2016 she will see her long-awaited non-fiction book released, Finding Sarah, Finding Me: A Birth Mother’s Story.

Drop by Christine’s website www.ChristineLindsay.org follow her on Amazon on Twitter. Subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook, and  Goodreads

 

 Click HERE to read the chapter 1 of Sofi’s Bridge.

Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener, continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.

 
AMAZON.com (Paper and Ebook)

Pelican Book Group (Paper and Ebook)