Connecting the Dots

Rhyner Adoption Book


Connecting the Dots
From Wannabe to Published Author

by Christine Rhyner

How many of us remember as children taking our yellow wooden pencils to paper and playing “Connect the Dots?”

We began with a single line, then another that might take us in a different direction, then a third that could be quite long, and a fourth, just a tiny inch. We would zig-zag our way across the page until we found ourselves staring at a kite or a butterfly and think, “Cool.”

I have discovered that a walk with the Lord is much like this. In Ecclesiastes 3:11 it is written, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Though we cannot see the bigger picture God does when we set out on a journey, we must take that first step of faith, that first pencil stroke to move along a path that we believe will lead us to something “cool.”

In print & ebook

In print and ebook

I never realized that finding a blurb about the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference in a trade magazine would lead me to becoming a published author. That ad led me to Founder, Marlene Bagnull’s website where I found “Write His Answer.” What a treasure! While publishing magazine and website articles as a fairly new Christian I had struggled to understand the passion God had placed within me to write, how to approach this calling on my life and how to move forward in my desire to do so for Him and from Him. I immediately bought the book and found just what I needed—a Bible study for Christian writers. I never knew such a resource existed!

Right away I registered for the next GPCWC. There I found the blessing of hundreds of others just like me, with the same focus, passion and calling–to connect with and learn from. I had never felt such a sense of belonging, acceptance and encouragement. I was at home!

I knew that I wanted to write a book sharing my testimony about my
God who had determined to make me a mother through international Adoptedadoption. It was during perhaps the third summer I attended the conference that God decided the timing for such a book was right. I had learned a lot, grown as a writer and explored various ways of communicating my story. Then, it just happened. While on the ride home back to NY, my entire book outline just poured out of me onto paper while my husband drove. I saw the dots starting to connect!

After returning home, I set to work sharpening my book’s theme and message. As I wrote chapters I also worked on a proposal. After I sent off this proposal to an editor who had taught at the conference and graciously offered to review it for me (an amazing benefit of the GPCWC in that professionals will actually offer to follow up with you on projects), it was clear that my proposal was a mess. But I had already purchased W. Terry Whalin’s “Book Proposals That Sell” at the conference. Why wasn’t I using it?

After carefully following Terry’s direction and advice, my pencil took a detour and I re-wrote a proposal that garnered three positive responses and a contract within a few months!

But the picture, as any author will tell you, wasn’t quite complete. I now needed an editor to help me polish my first manuscript submission to a publisher. Back to Marlene’s website I went. What I thought was a random pick of an editor to hire was actually God’s way of connecting another dot. This editor was a staff member of my publisher’s, able to give me insight into their expectations and navigate my way through the process! Additionally, she is a godly, professional, faithful woman, always quick to respond to my many questions and concerns.

After a few more months of hard work and re-writes the dots were finally connected! In fact, I saw a butterfly. One that had finally emerged from its long night captive in a cocoon, now beautiful and free to fly forth with a message of a mighty God’s blessing, grace and forgiveness before and after an adoption journey.

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 goes on to say, I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.”

As authors, we need that sense of purpose God has intended for our work. We can delight in it if we remember that God has called us to do it, that the fruit of our labor is a gift from Him and that this is how we serve Him. Understanding and focusing our purpose and calling is what Marlene brings to authors with “Write His Answer” and her tireless efforts at running the GPCWC for decades. The dedicated, godly and professional people I’ve mentioned above are the kind she offers year after year for our benefit and instruction.

Were it not for a blurb in a writing magazine for the GPCWC I may not have seen How much did you pay for her? Forgiving the Words That Hurt Adoptive Families come to fruition.

How is God connecting your dots on your journey?

For more about my book, view my trailer at:


Available now through www.clcpublications.com, www.amazon.com, www.christianbookdistributors.com and soon to be available in Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Interested in adoption? Check out my website at www.christinerhyner.com, or drop by my Facebook author page at www.Facebook.com/ChristineRhynerauthor

I’m back!

I’m back! Well, I’ve not really been gone although it feels that way. For the past month I’ve spent more time in my garden than in my office except for the week when I had to work on our 2013 taxes. PTL I got them done several hours before the October 15 deadline.

It’s been a good month of catching up on stuff I can’t do during conference season. I still have more catching up to do (will any of us ever really be caught up?), but it’s time to get to work planning next year’s conferences. There’s a book to be written that Father is placing on my heart, and there is the ongoing need to prayerfully address the issues and to “write His answer.”

For now, let me encourage you to do several things.

  • Go to the polls tomorrow having studied where the candidates stand on the issues. A helpful non-partisan tool is  http://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm. Join me in praying for the election of godly men and women.


  • With Christmas fast-approaching (it’s only 7-1/2 weeks away!) ask Father how you can keep Christ in Christmas through His gift of words. Perhaps He will lead you to post Scriptures on Facebook throughout Advent or to do as my friend, Cindy Watkins, is doing in November with a daily “thank You” post. Or perhaps Father will lead you to compile a booklet of poems and short stories as a gift for loved ones. And do be aware of what’s happening in the world around you especially as it pertains to man’s attempt to remove Christ from Christmas. Ask Father for wise words to present biblical truth.

God bless you as you seek to write and to live His answer.

Marlene Bagnull:

Frances Schaeffer asked this question that we need to daily ask ourselves. Do you feel the urgency of the days we are living in. How should we than live? Father, raise up Your army of believers. Help us to be bold and uncompromising as we share that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.”

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the international Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse and son of world-renowned preacher Billy Graham, said that given all the ‘bad news’ about the killing of Christians by Muslims in some countries, and attacks on Christians by the media and the government even in America, he cannot ‘help but wonder if we are in the last hours before our Lord Jesus Christ returns,’” reports CNS News.

“As I read the news, I can’t help but wonder if we are in the last hours before our Lord Jesus Christ returns to rescue His church and God pours out His wrath on the world for the rejection of His Son,” said Rev. Graham in a post on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) website.

“I don’t know if we have hours, days, months, or years—but as Christians, God calls us to take the truth of…

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My friend, Rick Marschall, posted today, August 15, on Facebook:

The mainstream media — and certainly, sadly, the US government — has been ignoring the horrendous, growing, treatment of Christians around the world. In recent months it has been transformed from prejudice to persecution to slaughter. It is concerted, it is widespread… and it is prophesied in scripture. Greta van Susteren’s team has been working on a comprehensive report, which will air tonight, and will be repeated throughout the weekend. It will be troubling. It is essential viewing.

Don’t miss Fox’s live OTR special “CHRISTIANS UNDER ATTACK” this Friday, August 15 at 7pm/ET…set your DVR now and share this video to help spread the word about the horrific genocide in Iraq.

Lord Jesus, please help believers worldwide not to close our eyes and hearts to the horror of what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Iraq – and to the children. Move us to pray and to speak on behalf of the 100,000 Christians and 50,000 Yazidis who have been forced to flee for their lives. Help us to believe that we can make a difference through our prayers, through sharing the need with others, through urging our government to help, and through our gifts of financial assistance.

And friends, please also make time to visit Joel Rosenberg’s blog, to listen to his interview with an Iraqi pastor, and to pray with this pastor for “courage and wisdom.”

Marlene Bagnull:

Lord Jesus, please help believers worldwide not to close our eyes and hearts to the horror of what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Iraq – and to the children. Move us to pray and to speak on behalf of the 100,000 Christians and 50,000 Yazidis who have been forced to flee for their lives. Help us to believe that we can make a difference through our prayers, through sharing the need with others, through urging our government to help, and through our gifts of financial assistance.

Friends, please make time to read the article below by Joel Rosenberg, to listen to his interview with an Iraqi pastor, and to pray with this pastor for “courage and wisdom.”

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:


(Washington, D.C.) – Right now, we are witnessing horrific war and bloodshed and lawlessness in the epicenter. We are seeing some of the worst persecution in the modern history of the Middle East unfold before our eyes. Radical Islamic extremists are crucifying and beheading Christians, forcing followers of Christ to convert or die, driving Christians from their homes and looting all their possessions. This is particularly true in Iraq and Syria, where genocidal conditions are emerging.

Much of the world is silent, but the Church must not be. We must stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ — pray for them, love them, stand with them, encourage them, and help them in every practical way we can. We also need to love and care for Muslims and others who are being mercilessly attacked by the Radicals. They are sheep without a shepherd, harassed and helpless.

We must urge world leaders to take decisive actions to…

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Marlene Bagnull:

Father, please bring peace.

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

(HolyBibleWashington, D.C.) — On July 31st, I first published this column. The response has been very encouraging, but I believe many more Christians need to hear this message, so I’m publishing it again. Please share it with others, and encourage each other to love Israelis and Palestinians, not just one side or the other. Thanks, and may the Lord bless you as you love both in the name of Jesus.


As the war in Gaza continues, here’s an important question for Christians: Is the Church doing enough to love the people who are suffering in the epicenter, in obedience to the Scriptures?

Now more than ever, is it vital for Christian leaders and lay people to speak out in solidarity with Israel — and even go visit Israel soon — as Jews and Arabs defend themselves against Radical Islam. Day after day, Israel is facing not only an onslaught of terrorism but an evil…

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Marlene Bagnull:

Father, please open eyes and hearts to the plight of Your people. Help us not to allow another Holocaust.

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

Newsweek cover story for July 29, 2014: "Exodus: Why Europe's Jews Are Fleeing Once Again."

Newsweek cover story for July 29, 2014: “Exodus: Why Europe’s Jews Are Fleeing Once Again.”

>> You can watch The Family Leadership Summit live online on Saturday, August 9th. My talk is scheduled to begin at 10:55am central time/11:55am eastern.

(Ames, Iowa) — In a few hours, I will address The 2014 Family Leadership Summithere in Ames.

Most of the speakers are Governors, Senators, Congressmen and potential presidential contenders for 2016. They will focus on vital issues ranging from how best to defend the sanctity of innocent human life and the sanctity of traditional marriage, to how best to revive our struggling economy and improve education for our children and get America back on track morally, spiritually and economically.

My topic is a bit different – “The Future of America, Israel & The Middle East In The Light of Scripture.” I will be discussing how America’s future and those of Jews…

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