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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Unfruitfulness exposed

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Mark 4:7 NIV

 The thistle seed caught by the wind on our land has no problem finding a bare spot where it can sprout and bear fruit.  I watch the fluff that bears the seed winging its way in the wind over the meadow and am reminded of my so called "thistles" that land on my bare ground choking out what God is calling me to do me.
Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Mark 4:19 NKJV
Bare ground distractions when writing:
  •  my anxieties about writing
  •  the cares and concerns of the day.  
  •  trips to the refrigerator looking for something to munch on.  
  •  phone calls or knocks on the door.
  •  my own mind caught up in unfocused thought.
           Solutions:
  • Don't leave any bare ground. Have a place, time and purpose to write
  • Someone else can help me remove the thistles. Ask people to hold me accountable.
  • Pray for God's wisdom and direction to slow down obligations, set schedules, and pray for daily wisdom and stamina.
  • Ask people to help pray for guidance, wisdom and protection to write the book. God help me  remove the "thistles" so there may be  fruit to this endeavor.
Where are the 'thistles' in your life and the bare ground where they take root?
What will you plant in that bare ground to keep the 'thistles' out?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Keep Pressing On



I stopped blogging, writing, and gave up hope of ever publishing a book that I thought God called me to write.  He had been encouraging me for over 40 years. Did He give up on me because of my disobedience?  So I asked Him if He was willing, would He help me again. The next week our Pastor encouraged us to follow up on what God has been saying to each of us, " Go the next step."

So the following weekend I learned of and attended the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal Conference in Bellevue Washington, at Westminster Chapel, a book proposal in hand to find some encouragement once again.

"We don't do devotionals," was the answer from major publishers.  It seemed that everywhere I went there was a block. My mind stopped working even though I was asking God for guidance. I drove home discouraged. What are you trying to show me Lord?
Sulking Tree Peony in the Rain the Day after I Returned

The next day, while walking in the garden, I thought I heard the LORD say to me:
  • Look up at the clematis' glory instead of the wilted peony
  • I encourage you to engage more with those around you.
  • I, God, put people beside you so you can have My compassion not your agenda.
  • I put the blocks there to steer you in a different direction. 

A day later, the Lord woke me up at 3:00 am and encouraged me to open the folder from the conference. and read again my notes from the main speaker was Bill Meyers : 

In dark moments of the soul, some get stuck on the wrong side of the cross where Jesus sees them powerful and He paid for it. Stop beating yourself for what Jesus paid for....Get over yourself!...God thinks as highly of failure as success. Keep abiding, and leaning into what He calls. ...Let God drive. You stay in the car!...Excuses are lies rapped in reason.  When God calls, always say 'Yes'... to believe and obey is our responsibility.
                       
           The next day of encouragement
Early that morning I went through the flyers from the conference packet and found a publishing company, Redemption Press, Athena Dean Holtz, publisher.  That same morning a friend who was praying for me called to see how the conference went. She then mentioned Athena on KCIS AM 630 Fridays 1 pm, and that I might contact her. I followed through and she said "send me your stuff".  It is amazing how you work Lord. I am preparing my proposal again to hopefully ship out tomorrow.

No matter what, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

When obstacles get in the way, press on, pray, open your eyes, reach out.
Tell me your obstacles so I can pray for you?