Friday, July 29, 2016

TRUSTING GOD WHEN TROUBLES RAIN DOWN






"I will send down
showers in season;
there will be
showers of blessing."

(Ezekiel 34:26)









A farmer’s life has its definite challenges. As August nears, there’s still mowing around fields to be done, repairs to make, a combine to ready, and harvest is fast approaching. Generous amounts of rain this summer have forced us from the fields periodically. And yet, we count ourselves blessed, considering the drought out west and the floods in other areas of the country.


As farmers, we continually watch the sky and keep tabs on chances of rain and rainfall amounts. Too little moisture in the soil causes young plants to shrivel and die. But too much rain will stunt the crops and turn them yellow.


It seems rain can come as both a blessing and a curse. If it falls gently and at the right time, it nurtures growth and vitality. Yet, if it pours down heavy and harsh when it isn't needed, it brings destruction and ruin.


We all have rain that pours into our lives in the form of trials and troubles. At times these difficulties spur growth in our lives and cause us to deepen our relationship with Christ. Other times, adverse circumstances threaten to pull us away from God. It’s up to us how we respond. 


Our troubles vary. Some struggle with relationships, others finances, illness, or tragedy. But we all have them. The important thing is what we do with them. Do we allow them to get the better of us, or do we rise above them by depending on the Lord to help us through?


Scripture says our lives are like a mist or vapor, here today, gone tomorrow. (James 4:14) That being the case, we need to make each day count for Christ by letting the rain that falls produce blessing in our lives. When the storms of life blow harsh, call out to Jesus, the anchor of our souls. He’ll always be there to lift us up and pull us through.


What struggles have drawn you closer to the Lord? I'd love to hear your story.




Read more of Cynthia’s writing at: http://puttingonthenew.com/author/cynthiaroemer/
View Cynthia's full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/
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https://twitter.com/cynthiaroemer







Friday, July 22, 2016

FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS | SETTING GOALS AS A WRITER



"And whatever you do,
whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name
of the Lord Jesus,
  giving thanks to God

the Father through Him."

(Colossians 3:17)

                                                                                                              

We all have dreams...those driving pulses that spur us to action and set our souls afire. Whether small or great, each of us have deep seeded wishes we'd like to fulfill.

For me, it's writing. Nothing ignites my creative energies like sitting down at my computer and pouring out words that prayerfully will encourage and strengthen others in their faith.

Though my
dream is to one day be a published novelist, my goal is to touch lives through my writing. And, while I wait for my dream to hopefully come to fruition, I can enjoy seeing my goal fulfilled each time the Lord enables me to write an article, short-story, or devotional that sows seeds of hope and encouragement into reader's lives.

What about you? What goals and dreams do you long to achieve? While you're searching, here are some questions to keep in mind.

Is This a God-Honoring Pursuit?
Is your dream something the Lord can be a part of? As Christians, God should be involved in everything we do. If we find ourselves veering away from God in pursuit of a dream, it's time to reel ourselves in and reassess our priorities.

Is It Reachable?
Is your dream attainable? Do you have the resources or skills to achieve your ambitions? It's one thing to work toward a challenging goal, but quite another to pursue the undoable. Be certain what you hope for is in line with your abilities.

Is My Motivation Right?
What is the driving force behind your dream? Is it for God's glory, or your own? I truly believe God gives each of us individual goals to strive toward. It's up to us if we honor Him in our achievements, or ourselves. In whatever we do, we should be certain He receives the praise and that we point others to Him.

What are your goals and dreams? I'd love to hear what the Lord has accomplished through you.

Read more of Cynthia’s writing at:
http://puttingonthenew.com/author/cynthiaroemer/

View Cynthia's full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/


                             https://twitter.com/cynthiaroemer

Friday, July 15, 2016

CREATING INSPIRATIONAL STORIES | CHARACTERS THAT INSPIRE


"May these words of my

mouth and this meditation

of my heart

be pleasing in your

sight, Lord, my

Rock and my Redeemer."
                                                
(Psalm 19:14)

What inspires you? A beautiful flower? The laughter of a child? A brilliant sunset? A compelling message? Inspiration stirs our hearts, urging us to be better people, to want to make a difference in our corner of the world.

But what about inspiration in writing? What makes a novel inspirational? Is simply having a character utter a prayer for help, or mentioning God enough to qualify? Or does it involve something much deeper?

People are often inspired by Olympic champions, or movies that portray an individual who, when faced with insurmountable odds, has the grit, determination, and faith to overcome.

How can writers convey such depth of inspiration within the written page? What does it take to touch the very heart of a reader? To be truly inspiring, a story must embody the following 4 elements:


Realistic Characters: Readers must identify deeply with characters and be able to feel what they experience.True-to-life characters resonate with readers in ways flawless characters never could. If you want to create a story that inspires, give your characters qualities readers can relate to. 


Internal Faith Issue: Main characters need to grapple with a deep, personal issue that challenges their inner beliefs or morals. Give your characters a tough choice, one that tests their faith and bares their souls.

Spiritual Awakening/Growth: A character's internal struggle must stir them to a renewed faith or understanding of God's purpose for his/her life. Take your characters through trials and troubles that implore them to deepen their faith and draw closer to God.


Uplifting Resolution: Finally, an inspirational novel needs to end leaving readers with a sense of fulfillment that validates their commitment to God. Be certain readers are left with a deep sense of satisfaction, knowing faith is central to, not only your story, but life itself.

Have you been inspired by something lately? A person? A book? I'd love to have you share your thoughts.



Read more of Cynthia's work at: Putting on the New Blog
View Cynthia's full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/

Friday, July 8, 2016

THE TRUE MEANING OF SUCCESS




"May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your
plans succeed."
(Psalm 20:4)



The world likes to define success by the measure of fame and fortune a person achieves. But in my devotions this morning, I came across a definition of success that really gave me something to ponder.

In my Bible footnotes, it defined success in God's eyes as, "faithfully doing the work God gives you." Wow! That really put things into perspective.

While the world claims popularity and having it all makes you successful, God says true success comes through simple obedience to Him.

The Lord has placed a deep desire in my life to write, and though I'm yet to be published as a novelist, I've had the privilege of having numerous articles and short-stories printed in Christian magazines. Every now and then, I've received feedback from readers, expressing how they were touched by what I'd written. I can think of no truer blessing than knowing God has used what I write to bring honor to Him. It's my constant prayer the Lord will continue to sow seeds of hope into the lives of others through what He leads me to write.

Writers are often tempted to gage their success by the number of books they sell or the amount of hits their sites receive. Yet, as Christian authors, is that truly what writing is about? Instead, isn't it about touching lives and being a voice for God? Whether we write non-fiction or fiction, the message should be the same--one of God's redemption, healing, and grace. If even one life is touched by what we write, then our writing is a success in God's eyes.


The same is true in all walks of life. Whether you're a stay at home mom, a teacher, a nurse, or a volunteer worker, God can use you right where you are--if you're faithful to do what He calls you to.
  
What has God placed on your heart to accomplish? I'd love to hear your story. 

Read more of Cynthia's work at: Putting on the New Blog
Visit Cynthia's full website at:
http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/