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Doll
I found her today at a country fair and couldn’t resist buying her. She’s just the kind of doll I would have loved to have when I was a child. And she was only ONE dollar!

Yep, I’m entering my second childhood!

And on Friday I would have plopped down on the grass to play with five adorable puppies, but my knees said that’s NOT a good idea! Still it was such fun to watch my three grandkids cuddle the pups and help us choose little Emmy to become part of our family.

Erin & Emmie 2
Yes, we purchased an adorable
six-week-old labradoodle.

Yes, I know puppies are a lot of work. We’ve been there; done that. But with our son and daughter-in-law moving into a home of their own in two weeks (and taking their two dogs with them), our nine-year-old Golden Retriever would be as lonely as us.

Yes, I know I already have more to do each day than I can accomplish. But someone has said “All work and no play makes Jack [and me] dull” [and no fun to be around].

I think Jesus taught His disciples to play as well as to pray. I’ve often imagined Him and the disciples in the Jordan River splashing and dunking each other. I’m sure He had a wonderful sense of humor and a contagious laugh. And His arms always opened wide for the little ones who scrambled onto His lap.

I’m reminded of His words:

“Truly I tell you,
anyone who will not receive
the kingdom of God like a little child
will never enter it.”
Mark 10:15 (NIV)

Father, help me to recapture a childlike spirit that delights in the amazing world You have created. Thank You for grandkids and puppies and reminding me to take time to play.

What did you do this week just for fun?

Emmie 1

I’ve often said, “Some of you haven’t suffered enough to be a  really good writer.” Ouch! I know that’s not what they, or you, want to hear, but I also know that it’s out of the crucible of suffering that our writing impacts our readers in ways that writing out of head knowledge, but not heart (and hard) experiences, is unable to do.

I’ve been writing since 1972. (Yikes, that’s 45 years!) Most all of my 1,000 plus sales to Christian periodicals and eight books have been based on personal experience. As my mentor, Anne Sirna, used to tell me, I’ve got great grist for my writing mill because of all the problems I’ve faced. I’d sigh and tell her I didn’t need more problems to write about – that I hadn’t yet written about the last set of problems. (Problems are groupies – yes? It seems we never are confronted with just one problem at a time.)

Romans 5:3-4 (TLB) says,

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.

I don’t welcome problems, and I don’t pray for patience knowing it will be tested! But I am grateful for all the ways God has proved He is faithful and for the opportunities He has given me to encourage others through writing about what He has taught me in the hard places. It is a joy and a privilege to “pass on to [others] this same help and comfort God has given [me]” (2 Cor. 1:4 TLB).

Stay focused title

I want to encourage you to make the September 21-23 Stay Focused Christian Writers Retreat in Cherry Hill, NJ, a priority. On Saturday I will teach the following workshops:

Go & Grow, Write & Speak through the Hurts
Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow Him, but He has promised always to be with us. Biblical principles for those times that test and stretch our faith and later become the focus of our writing and speaking ministry. Hands-on Q & A.

Discover God’s Plan for Your Ministry
Is God calling you to write an article, story, or book? Who is your audience? What are their needs? How will you reach them? Should you look for a publisher or go indie? What are the advantages and disadvantages of traditional and indie publishing? Hands-on Q & A.

You Can Do It!
How to indie publish affordably yet professionally. Learn why thousands of authors are choosing independent publishing, or indie publishing, to publish books of all genres. And more importantly learn how you can join them and do it too. Hands-on Q & A.

Think Big Because You Serve a Big God
How to cut the old tapes, stop listening to the wrong voices, and accomplish what God is calling you to do.

I hope to see you there!

stay Focused retreat

 

When Storms Come

hurricane

The devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey and the fear of the havoc Irma will cause in Florida is overwhelming.

But hurricanes are not the only things that have the power to destroy lives. Are you in the midst of a storm? You can be an overcomer.

  1. Keep a balanced perspective. Do not allow yourself to be swallowed up by nurturing negative thinking patterns, but look for the positive (Phil. 4:8).
  1. Turn your eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2-4), knowing as you come to Him that He really does understand all that you are feeling (Heb. 2:18; 4:15-16; 5:7-8).
  1. Tell the Lord your honest feelings (Ps. 13:1-3; 69:1-3) and your needs (Ps. 62:8; Phil. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:7).
  1. Look for the “silver lining”—for the good things God can work through what you are enduring (Rom. 8:28). Ask, Lord, what are You trying to teach me?
  • To depend on Him power and not myself (2 Cor. 12:8-10).
  • To be a sensitive and credible witness (2 Cor. 1:3-7).
  • To build my faith and character (Rom. 5:3-5).
  1. Be still (Ps. 46:10). Listen to and claim God’s promises.
  • He is with me (Isa. 41:10,13; 43:2-3; Rom. 8:35-37).
  • Nothing can separate me from His love—feelings are not facts (Rom. 8:38-39).
  • His help is not dependent upon my faith but His faithfulness (2 Tim. 2:13).
  • He will meet all my needs (Phil. 4:19; Rom. 8:32).
  • Peace and the fruit of His Spirit, regardless of circumstances, are His gift to me (John 14:27; Isa. 26:3; Gal. 5:22-23).
  • His power is available to me (Isa. 40:28-31; Eph. 1:19).
  1. Choose to use problems as opportunities to experience and display God’s power  (2 Cor. 4:8-11).
  1. Develop an expectant faith-filled attitude as you learn to wait on Him (Ps. 37:7) and praise Him before, as well as after, He answers (Ps. 42:11; 71:14, 16).

 

Terry Brynan RN - CopyIf you were at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference and attended the Wednesday evening general session, you heard my dear friend, Terry Bryan, share her burden about the upcoming elections in Kenya. Terry has spent a number of years sharing the Gospel and caring for the physical needs of “her people in the Far Places.” (Terry is a nurse and one of the most dynamic Christians I know.)

Please read Terry’s prayer request below and join us in asking Father to cover the elections in Kenya with His presence and peace.

 

Hi all, it’s Terry,

It has been quite some time since I have written.  I love you all, but since I have been waiting on the Lord, I have been quiet.  It has been a time of reflection and restoration of which I am grateful for. I am in US, however I have an urgent request for prayer for Kenya.

Please pray for peace before, during, and after the elections in Kenya. Although Tuesday, Aug 8 is their elections, the time difference makes it our Monday night that people will be lining up to vote. These are our brothers and sisters, and they need our fervent prayers in love.

Please pray for peace in every part of Kenya, among every tribe and every people group.

Even when the ballots are cast, there are petitions to the court contesting the results and that time can be volatile also so please continue to pray for peace.

Remember we do not fight against flesh and blood (people) but against principalities and powers of darkness (the enemy).

“In the name of Jesus, the enemy is bound, the angels are there. There will be peace on all sides.  Pour the blood of Jesus on it, the entire area and the people.  There would be no attacks on the police or people or by the police, army, home guard, terrorists, or people.  Send in your angels Lord to take care of the enemy.  There would be no trouble, no vengeance lived out.  Bind up the enemy. Release the Holy Spirit. Open the flood gates of heaven.  Let there be peace.  Let it spread like a consuming fire.  Let it bring life.  Rise up and live. Let there be no more deaths.  No more injuries.  No more crimes.”

Thank you for your continued prayer, praying for you too.

Love you,

Terry Brynan

earth-map-summer-july-87652

July 26-29 I directed the 34th and last Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. It was exhausting yet energizing to be with over 250 conferees and faculty who are seeking to “write, edit, and publish His answer.”

As I opened my online Bible this morning, I was drawn to this verse:

I will praise you everywhere around the world,
in every nation. ~ Psalm 108:3 TLB

Wow! Today it really is possible for the words God calls us to write to reach around the world.

Friends, I want to challenge and encourage you not to miss the opportunities Father is giving us.

  • Are you writing a nonfiction book? You don’t need to wait until your manuscript is finished and published to blog excerpts from it. In fact, a blog can become the foundation for what later becomes a book.
  • Are you writing a novel? Stretch your writing skills by writing short stories for magazines or to serialize on your blog.
  • Are you journaling? Share what Father is teaching you in a blog.

Yes, even though I don’t blog as frequently as I’d like to, I am excited about the opportunities a blog provides for our words to literally reach around the world.

If what you have written is longer than the 300-500 words that is best for a blog, then I encourage you to ask Father if He wants you to go indie with a print-on-demand book and eBook. You do not need to invest thousands of dollars. A wealth of how-to information is available, and Father will provide a team of people to help you if you’ll ask Him.

Traditional publishing is, of course, an option for some. But realize that many publishers work only with literary agents. It takes time to land an agent and for the agent to land a publisher. And then it’s likely to be two years before your book is in print.

I’m not certain we have time to wait. We dare not assume that the doors to print and distribute Christian literature or to freely share our faith on the Internet will always be open.

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

Friends, let’s work while it is yet day, for the night comes when no one can work (John 9:4).
___________________

Check out my “Growing Your Writing Ministry” seminar on CD or MP3. And be watching for “Write His Answer” events in the Philly area and beyond as Father transforms the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference into more frequent and affordable learning opportunities. If you missed our last conference, CDs are available or the entire conference of over 100 sessions can be ordered as MP3 files for only $77. Click here for order form.

 

I know I am. Do I hear an “Amen”?

I am so hoping I’ll be able to slip in to at least some of Al Janssen’s continuing session at the July 26-29 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference.

Al JanssenRevive Your Spirit;
Revive Your Message

Al Janssen
Author, Speaker, Pastor
www.aljanssen.com

Al has authored or co-authored more than 30 books that have been published around the world in more than 20 languages. For ten years he served as Director of Book Publishing for Focus on the Family. Since 2002 he has traveled the world ministering to Christians who suffer the most severe persecution because of their faith. Al and his wife Jo teach a marriage course in Muslim countries, based on his best-selling book Your Marriage Masterpiece. He is co-author with Brother Andrew of Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ. When not traveling the world, Al enjoys watching the Colorado Rockies play baseball at Coors Field in Denver.

Are you tired? Worn out? Has writing become a burden? Speaking a chore? Jesus invites you to come and rest. He wants us to walk with Him and learn from Him. In our five sessions together, we will explore various spiritual disciplines to help you draw nearer to God and hear what is on His heart for your next writing or speaking project. Al is certified in spiritual formation and leadership. He teaches weary pastors and Christian leaders around the world how to slow down and rekindle their joy of relationship with Jesus. In the process they find their ministry revitalized. This will be an interactive seminar in which we learn and practice several spiritual disciplines in community.

It’s not too late to register! Meals and some lodging is still available but do not delay.  If you bring a copy of this blog with you, I’ll give you book table credit for the $15 “Procrastinator’s Fee.” 🙂

For more info and register securely online go to http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com. And if you need time payments, just ask.

2017 GP Banner for FB 2

After 34 years, the last Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference (GPCWC) is July 26-29. The conference format is ending this year (a good reason not to miss coming), but the ministry is NOT ending. I believe the more affordable and focused events throughout the year (with much smaller faculties) that Father is leading me to plan will continue to encourage you to “write His answer.” The bottom line –

I’m NOT quitting or retiring!

I’m praying you will come to be encouraged and equipped to “write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives.”

  • You will be inspired to “write His answer” by our 8 keynotes.
  • You will sharpen your writing and marketing skills from your choice of 8 continuing sessions and an exciting line-up of 20 early bird workshops on Wednesday.
  • You will receive practical and valuable information in your choice of  workshops from the 42 offered in these tracks:

Writer’s Life
Craft
Fiction
Nonfiction
Get published
Marketing
Other

  • You will have the opportunity to make appointments with the faculty of your choice (based on their availability) when you arrive.
  • You will form deep friendships with others who share your passion for the Lord and for words.

As I consider the critical days we are living in, I cannot think of a more important assignment than to “write His answer” through screenplays, novels, nonfiction books and articles, poetry, devotionals, and more. I’m praying you will accept His assignment and make plans now to join us July 26-29 at Cairn University in Langhorne, PA, for our 34th and last GPCWC.

Can’t make the entire conference? One and two-day registrations are accepted. Meals and lodging on campus are still available. Time payments can be arranged if needed. To find out more and register online go to:

http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com


“The Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference
is among the premier writing conferences in the USA.
The conference brings together people from all walks of life
to interact with some of the finest minds in Christian publishing,
and every year bears rich fruit in the education and publication
of articles, poems, drama, books, and more.”
Bob Hostetler, Int’l speaker & author of 48 books

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

“Though I was only able to be at the GPCWC for one day,
it was action- and helps-packed. 
Measuring it by that day alone I’d give it an A+!”
Nils Ohman ~ Texas