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Marlene Bagnull:

Friends, it is critical that we stand with Israel. I encourage you to subscribe to Joel Rosenberg’s blog.

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

Elie Wisel, the heroic survivor of Auschwitz, is calling on Democrats to attend the Israeli Prime Minister's speech to Congress. Elie Wisel, the heroic survivor of Auschwitz, is calling on Democrats to attend the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech to Congress.

(Nashville, Tennessee) — The train wreck in U.S.-Israel relations I have been warning about for several years has, tragically, arrived.

The President of the United States and his administration refuse to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week when he addresses a Joint Session of Congress. Rather, even as they negotiate a disastrous nuclear deal with Iran, administration officials are trying to persuade Congressional Democrats to boycott the speech. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama’s political strategists are currently in Israel actively working for the defeat Netanyahu and his party in the March 17th elections.

Without question, this is the worst crisis in U.S.-Israel relations in 67 years. Yet I thank God that some courageous voices on the Left — including Elie Wisel, the heroic survivor of Auschwitz, brilliant author and Nobel Prize Winner — are speaking out and calling…

View original 604 more words

Faith rockDo you put off doing things because you don’t believe you can do them? Do you have half-written manuscripts waiting to be finished? What about ideas that you’ve tucked away – somewhere?

Yes, procrastination is a very real foe, but I am convinced the real reason we procrastinate is because we don’t believe we can do something. And actually, that’s true! We need God’s enabling to do the work He calls us to do. The key is knowing what He is calling us to do. The Living Bible paraphrase of Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.”

It comes down to faith – to believing in the One who calls us and choosing to say “yes, Lord, here am I.”

I wantDream%20With%20Me_album%20cover to encourage you to read aloud the “Writer’s Statement of Faith” below. You may need to read it aloud several times a day. I know I do! I also want to encourage you to watch this video of pre-teen Jackie Evancho singing “To Believe.” Yes, Father, help us to believe that we really can make a difference and bring peace – Your peace – to our troubled world.

A Writer’s Statement of Faith

I have strength for all things in Christ Who Empowers me – I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength in me, [that is, I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. Phil. 4:13 AMP

Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies, so that God will be glorified. 1 Pet. 4:11 TLB

[Not in my own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in me – energizing and creating in me the power and desire – both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. Phil. 2:13 AMP

My strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power at work within me. Eph. 6:10 TLB

In Him in every respect I am enriched, in full power and readiness of speech (to speak of my faith), and complete knowledge and illumination (to give me full insight into its meaning). 1 Cor. 1:5 AMP

Now I have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing His will are mine during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 1:7 TLB

I actually do have within me a portion of the very thoughts and mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:16 TLB

I can be a mirror that brightly reflects the glory of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18 TLB

I will commit everything I do to the Lord. I will trust Him to help me do it and He will. Ps. 37:5 TLB

I will lean on, trust and be confident in the Lord with all my heart and mind, and choose not to rely on my own insight or understanding. Prov. 3:5 AMP

I will commit my work to the Lord, then it will succeed. Prov. 16:3 TLB

Sharing Christ is my work, and I can do it only because Christ’s mighty energy is at work within me. Col. 1:29 TLB

I will be strong and courageous and get to work. I will not be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord my God is with me; He will not forsake me. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly. 1 Chron. 28:20 TLB

I need to keep on patiently doing God’s will if I want Him to do for me all He promised. Heb. 10:36 TLB

I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in me will continue until the day of Jesus Christ – right up to the time of His return – developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in me. Phil. 1:6 AMP

His mighty power at work within me is able to do far more than I would every dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond my highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes. Eph. 3:20 TLB

From Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers. For more excerpts, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Write His Answer is not just a book to read and put down . . . I keep my copy close to my manuscript and journals, dog-eared and tattered from use. I purchased the original version years ago at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference when I had no idea how to begin a writing ministry. Although I’m excited about getting the new edition, my first copy filled with personal notes is simply irreplaceable. More than a devotional or a “how-to-and-continue-on” manual, Write His Answer is written by a woman who knows the heart of God and the heart of a writer. This has been a rich resource to encourage and challenge me to respond and remain faithful to God’s call and use His Word as my guidance for every page. This is a classic . . . for keeps.    ~ Verna Bowman

pen & inkwellGuest Blogger
Barbara Haley

I was ten years old when I asked God to show me if He was real. The next day my sixteen-year-old sister was killed in an automobile accident. God was real. I shouldn’t have asked.

Of course, I didn’t tell anyone. Instead, I stuffed the guilt and the excruciating pain when my parents said things to me like, “You may look like her, but you’ll never be as good as her.” Or, “Comb your hair a different way; I can’t stand to look at you.”

Thirty-five years later, I finally opened up to a therapist. He sent me home to write a letter to my big sister from the point of view of a ten-year-old child.

After just a few sentences, my heart connected with the hurting little girl inside, and she began to voice her pain. Begging forgiveness from her precious older sister for causing her death. Suggesting that everyone would have been better off if only she could have died in her sister’s place that day. And finally, admitting how very much she hated God for what He’d done.

My next letter was to that sweet child—explaining to her that she didn’t cause her sister’s death and that God was not angry with her for her honest feelings and reactions. I released that child to be exactly that. A broken and confused child who desperately needed to know she was loved by God and family.

That writing changed my life and instilled in me a desire to learn how to use my life experiences to minister to others through the written word.

But I needed to learn how to write tight. To eliminate wordiness. To organize my thoughts. To connect emotionally with the reader. To stick to one point of view. To create a setting that captures the reader’s imagination and transfers them from their everyday life to an exciting new story world.

Writing conferences. This is where I’m learning the craft. Where I connect with other writers to encourage and be encouraged. Where I receive one-on-one feedback with paid critiques. And where God speaks clearly to my heart through inspiring worship and keynote speakers, informative workshops and continuing sessions, life-changing editor appointments, and most of all—the day to day rapport with fellow writers while sharing meals, waiting in line at the book table, or joining together for intimate prayer and Bible study.

Sure, you can buy books about the craft of writing. My shelves are loaded with them. But only when I began to consistently attend conferences did I really improve as a writer. I needed the immediate feedback and the hands-on practice provided in small groups led by experienced teachers. I grew in leaps and bounds as I jotted down strategies mentioned by other writers and began implementing them in my own writing. And, as I stood amazed, listening to big-name authors share their overwhelmingly deep love for God and His people, I realized just how sacred the ministry of writing is.

Let me encourage you to come and grow in your ministry as a writer at the May 13-16 Colorado or July 29-August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers’ Conference. The friendships you’ll form will develop into a network of love and support in all areas of your life, and your writing friends will truly become your family. I promise.

______________

Thanks, Barbie, for sharing your heart and for scheduling the appointments and managing the book table at the Colorado (CCWC) and Greater Philly (GPCWC) conference. You are a blessing!

CCWC banner with lodge 2015

CCWC Update - We now have 39 registered from 10 states. If you’re among the next 36 to register, you’ll receive an additional free one-on-one appointment with the agent, editor, or author of your choice based, of course, on their availability. Remember, the earlier you register the  better opportunity you have to get your top choices. If you’re among the first 75 to register for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday you’ll receive a total of FIVE appointments. For more info on our appointment procedures click here and on how best to prepare click here. During the coming week I’ll be adding faculty bios and editorial needs to the conference website to help you make the best choices. The appointment request form will not be available until then, but appointments requests received through April 10 will be booked in the order you register.

Banner 2015 GPCWC

Ted & DanGPCWC Update - I’m grateful that Dr. Ted Baehr (on the left), Founder and Chairman of The Christian Film & Television Commission™ and Publisher of MOVIEGUIDE®, will keynote and teach a continuing session on “Breakthrough Scriptwriting” at this year’s Philly conference.  Ted hosted the 23rd annual Movieguide Awards February 7. To find out who won, click here. Better still, you can watch the Movieguide® Awards this coming Saturday on the REELZChannel, 7 p.m. Eastern time and 4 p.m. Pacific. www.movieguide.org

I’ll be posting info on our July 29 – August 1 conference to the website soon.

Yes, I really did learn to type on a manual typewriter!

Yes, I really did learn to type on a manual typewriter!

Remember the Good Old Days?

I’ve been writing for publication for over 40 years. There have been many changes since my first devotional was accepted by The Secret Place in 1972. That was back in the days of the electric typewriter. I remember the L O N G query letters I used to write to editors. When I’d get near the bottom of a sheet of paper, I’d tape it to the platen so it would not slip and cause my last sentences to go downhill.

Remember changing ribbons and untangling keys?

Remember changing ribbons and untangling keys?

Well, truth be known, lots of my query and cover letters did go downhill! Maybe someday I’ll share my “how-not-to” examples or you can listen to me read some of them on my CD, Put Your Best Foot Forward. They really are hilarious. I even told an editor that I was willing to pay the postage. Would he be willing to read my article? (He wasn’t!)

Selectric type ballWhen the Selectric typewriter was introduced, I was ecstatic and fascinated by the little type ball that spun around. My speed doubled but probably not my accuracy. :( Never did I imagine how far technology would take us and bless us. Truly these are exciting days filled with opportunities for writers.

 

How to Create Ebooks Webinar – February 19

mouse & books

You don’t want to miss out on the growing ebook trend, do you? Perhaps you haven’t joined in because you didn’t know where to start? This webinar will put an end to your lack of know-how and will make it possible for you to create ebooks, too! In our class, How to Create Ebooks, you will discover how you can convert your manuscripts, reports, speeches or out-of-print works into ebooks. Learn how you can create ebooks to instantly reach new audiences waiting to read your words.  After all, technology is changing the way people read books and it’s time you learned how you can join the bandwagon and capitalize on and influence this growing market.

Join CCWC keynoter Linda Evans Shepherd from the Advanced Writers’s and Speaker’s Association’s Instant Writers Conference and Cheri Cowell, the owner of EAbooks, February 19 – 9:00 pm Eastern, 8:00 pm Central, 7:00 pm Mountain, 6:00 pm Pacific. Sign up and you’ll be able to watch the replay even if you miss the class! Click here to register.

 

Rupert Conference-2015

How One Day Can Change Your Life as a Writer
February 28 Writers on the Rock Conference

If you are a Colorado or Wyoming writer who wants your words to make a difference, you won’t want to miss this one-day conference. Join more than 100 others from all along the Front Range.

www.writersontherock.com

 

Lancaster Christian Writers Fellowship LCW 2 Super Saturday 2015 Flyer
Super Saturday, April 11, 8:30 – 4:30
Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster, PA

Super Saturday is a one-day conference for writers of all genres, from beginning writers to published authors. This conference includes both fiction and non-fiction workshops.

Click here for more info.

 

CCWC brochure coverColorado Christian Writers Conference
May 13-16

Email mbagnull@aol.com for our 16-page brochure if you’ve not yet received it.
colorado.writehisanswer.com

 

Banner 2015 GPCWC
Presently in planning stage.
Registration opens April 1.
philadelphia.writehisanswer.com

 

Father, help us to believe and act on  Your promise.
 “Now you have every grace and blessing;
every spiritual gift and power for doing his will are yours
during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 
1 Corinthians 1:7 TLB

Tempted to Give Up?

Faith rock
I will commit everything I do to the Lord.
I will trust Him to help me do it and He will.
(See Psalm 37:5)

 

Have you ever been ready to give up? Have you tried everything you know but feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall?   What do you do when the accuser tells you that your best isn’t good enough – that it never has been and never will be?

Perhaps it’s a manuscript you’ve been working on for years. You’ve rewritten it not just once or twice but many times. Still you’ve been unsuccessful in finding anyone interested in publishing it. And it makes no sense because you know it’s something God has called you to write. You’ve studied the craft. You’ve gone to critique groups and conferences trying to find that missing something.  And now . . . now you’re not sure you can keep on keeping on.

That was my experience with my first book that some of you know was rejected by 42 publishers over a six-year period. If I had given up (and believe me, there were many times I wanted to), it and the eight books that followed would never have been published. I would not have founded the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference in 1983 or said yes in 1997 to directing the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

Yes, there have been many times when I’ve doubted and when, as my friend and writing mentor Lee Roddy admonished me years ago, I’ve “listened to the wrong voices.” The accuser still taunts me. “You’re not smart enough. You can’t do this.” And that’s true. What the Lord asks me to do is so far beyond my abilities. I can easily become overwhelmed and stressed. Like dangling my little toe in quicksand, I can get sucked down into that dark place of doubt and fear. It happened again just yesterday.

“Worship Me,” I felt the Lord say. “Put on a CD and worship Me.” To be honest, it would have been easier to continue wallowing in the quicksand. But I obeyed. The darkness began to lift. And then a friend called. I confessed how I was struggling and she prayed for me. And Father answered and reminded me of lessons I thought I’d learned and even written about in my book,  Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers).

I need, we need to …

Keep our eyes on the Lord, on how far we’ve come, and on the prize. It’s easy to allow problems and challenges to consume us and to blind us to the Lord’s presence, to how far we’ve come, and to the prize. “I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us” (Philippians 3:14 TLB) Paul wrote from prison in Rome. Paul had reason to be greatly frustrated and discouraged by the loss of his freedom. He could have questioned the Lord and concluded that his ministry was over. Instead he focused on the needs of the churches and wrote letters that continue to encourage Christ-followers almost 2,000 years later.

Cut the tapes from our past. Although Paul never forgot the person he was before he encountered the Lord on the Damascus Road, he did not wallow in the past or dwell on what others thought or said about him. Instead he embraced the truth of Zephaniah 3:17: “He is a mighty Savior. He will give you victory. He will rejoice over you with great gladness; he will love you and not accuse you” (TLB). Paul was able to preach and write about the message of salvation because of his firsthand experience of God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness.

Don’t grieve the Lord by our lack of faith. Although sometimes it may seem that He’s not listening, we need to trust that He will equip us with all we need for doing his will (see Hebrews 13:20). It’s not easy to wait on the Lord and to have Hebrews 11:1 faith in what we can’t yet see, but “God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn; he will never go back on his promises” (Romans 11:29 TLB).

Do our best and trust God for the rest. The fear of failure can paralyze us if we let it, and that’s exactly what our adversary wants. I grieve for the books that have not been published and for ministries that have been abandoned because of the evil one’s accusations. I pray for those who are frustrated and discouraged by the need to build their platform and questioning their call to “write His answer.” Friends, we must not leave God out of the equation. Instead we need to affirm His promise that He is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV).

Father, help us to believe You and not the accuser. Thank You for loving us and for being bigger than our fears. Thank You for encouraging us not to give up. We will keep on expecting you to help us. We will praise you more and more. We will walk in the strength of the Lord our God (Psalm 71:14, 16 TLB).

What promise do you claim when you are tempted to give up?


I keep an excerpt from Write His Answer
taped to the cabinet next to my desk.
When discouragement sets in,
when the loneliness of writing and the
enormity of the task threatens to overwhelm me,
Write His Answer spurs me on. I can think
of no better resource for helping a writer
maintain a biblical perspective than this book. 

Linda J. White
Christian Author & Speaker
www.lindajwhite.com

 

For 24 years Write His Answer has encouraged writers.
This new edition of 176 pages includes updated resources.
Autographed copy available for only $10.
Click here for excerpts and to order.
E-book available through Amazon.com.

Spring Is Coming!

Springtime

Spring Is Coming!

Snow is still covering the ground (with more on its way), and it was 10 degrees when I got up this morning. Brrrr. It’s a good day to stay indoors and to remember that spring really is coming. It’s only 7 weeks away – 49 days!

I want to encourage you to take a couple of minutes to listen to Steven Curtis Chapman sing “Spring Is Coming” and to reflect on what the Master Gardener wants to do your life.

The Master Gardener

He planted the seed in the ground.
Ever so slowly it changed—seeds sprouting
actually it died—
that it might be reborn into something new.
It began to push through the soil.
First one, then another leaf appeared.
From a spindly little seedling
it kept growing—and changing—
until it became a sturdy, bushy plant.
Buds formed, and then beautiful flowers unfolded.

pink tulipsIn our Christian walk,
we too must first die to ourselves,
surrendering our wills to that of our Maker.
The newness of his life within us
begins to germinate and take root.
We begin to push through problems
and obstacles.
As we continue to draw up
nourishment from him—
to become strong and vigorous in his truth—
fruit that we could never produce by ourselves
begins to first bud, and then bloom.
And it is all the work of the Master Gardener.


Click here
 for a Bible study on “Bearing Fruit.”

 

The May 13-16 Colorado Christian Writers Conference is also coming! Fifteen boxes of brochures are sitting in my hallway. Hopefully you’ll have yours by this time next week if you’re on our mailing list. If I don’t have your current USPS address, please email it to me. Meanwhile, you can access the brochure on the website. Online registration is open. Remember, the first 75 to register receive an additional one-on-one appointment with the faculty of their choice based on availability. The sooner you register, the better opportunity you have to get your top picks.

The July 29-August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference is presently in the planning stage. We’ve got 38 on faculty with 12-15 more to be added. Online registration opens April 1.

Every Christian writer should have a copy!
I love the emphasis on Scripture in each reading,
since it points us to the One who has called us to
Write His Answer. I found this book soon after
the 1st edition came out, and I have read and
studied and gone through it several times since then.
It has been the means God has used to encourage,
challenge, and enable me to write the books
He has planned for me to write.

Marjorie Vawter
Author, Freelance Editor

For 24 years
Write His Answer has encouraged writers.
This new edition of 176 pages includes updated resources.
Autographed copy available for only $10.
Click here for excerpts and to order.
E-book available through Amazon.com.

  

0036_Miller

Make Your Words Hit the Heart!

Guest post by
Kathy Collard Miller and Larry Miller

How can words, which are read with the mind, touch the heart? That’s the challenge for any author: both fiction and non-fiction. And that was certainly the challenge for my husband and I as we wrote our book Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today (Leafwood Publishers).

The reason? Our non-fiction book is about encouraging and equipping Christians to become more holy! But we wanted to encourage holiness at the heart, not only in behavior. Because of counseling and being open to God revealing the hidden—and often sinful—motives of our hearts, we were having a heart change. And we wanted that for others.

But how to touch our readers’ hearts with words?

We found the answer in sharing stories. Yes, we included Bible instruction and practical ideas but we knew we needed “story” to impact the heart. And so we shared our own stories—and those of others—in powerful, fiction kind of techniques. We remembered how to do that using a DEA acrostic:

D: description and dialogue: Give descriptive details of the setting and people. Write out the dialogue.

E: emotion: how are you and other characters feeling?

A: action: include body movements, setting changes, character reactions.

Let me give you an example from our book.

I, Larry, was taking a walk with Kathy recently and she asked me, “Honey, remember how you mentioned that you rarely prayed before a potentially dangerous situation that you faced as a police officer? Why do you think you didn’t pray?”

I paused and stroked my beard. “Well, I would pray for the safety of other officers but frankly I never gave a thought about praying for myself. I was so confident in my training and decision making skills that I believed I was prepared for anything.”

Kathy looked curious. “That seems a little presumptuous. Could your prayerlessness be tied to your first acting role?”

(For the sake of word count, I won’t give all of the interaction but Larry recalled how as a junior higher he had all-consuming stage fright in a play and stood mute on the stage stopping the play. As a result, he vowed to never be out of control again so that his weakness wouldn’t be exposed.)

Then we pick up the story:

I turned to Kathy and my voice raised because I knew an “ah-ha” moment was coming. “I was presumptuous because I was terrified. I falsely believed there was no room for God in those crisis situations. My training, skill, and mastery over my job just took charge. I spent my entire life honing that strategy of depending upon myself to prevent any weakness from being exposed.”

We continued chatting and the puzzle pieces fell into place. “I realize now that anything that threatened my image must be handled by the only one I really trusted: me! I left God out of the equation so that I could maintain control. Of course I would gladly pray for the protection of my peers. That cost me nothing. It didn’t make me look weak—only them!”

As we walked, headed for home, I felt a sense of sadness and repentance that my prayerlessness was rooted in a rebellious spirit that instinctively rejected anything that a sovereign God might place in my path. I exclaimed, “Oh honey, it’s a good thing I am redeemed!”

Never Ever Be the Same

Kathy Collard Miller is the author of 50 books and has spoken in 31 states and 8 foreign countries. Kathy and her husband, Larry, have been married 44 years and he is a retired police lieutenant who also speaks and writes. Larry and Kathy speak often together and individually on a variety of topics. They live in Southern California, and have two grown children and one grandson. Visit them at www.LarryAndKathy.com and www.KathyCollardMiller.com.

Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today (Leafwood Publishers) offers Christians hope that they can change their destructive patterns of behavior through identifying their sinful self-protective strategies and then being empowered to trust God instead. Their book includes biblical principles, insightful stories, and helpful instruction. It also provides discussion questions that can be used by individuals or groups.

Never Ever Be the Same is available at your local Christian bookstore and in both print and digital versions at:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1ITmLfy
CBD: http://bit.ly/1AuJZSX
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1BJz3lC

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