Monday, July 24, 2006

Great is Thy Faithfulness Again and Again

I am sitting here laughing hysterically. This morning when I tried to post to the blog, blogger seemed to hiccup every time. I finally gave up until now. I went in and clicked on "Post" and it went successfully. Then I checked the blog. There was my post four times! I felt like Phil in Groundhog Day.

But isn't it so true. Just like the hymn says. Morning by morning, new mercies we see. Only in this case it was more like minute by minute.

Enjoy the day readers. God is sure to bless before it's over.

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Last week God showed His faithfulness to me...sort of an atta girl thing to say "You're on the right track. Don't give up now!" I received notice that a story I submitted to a compilation book called. "His Forever: Real People Coming to Jesus," was accepted for publication! It's a retelling of a wonderful story told me by a member of my church. One that when I heard it years ago, I knew it had to be published so others would read it and know we serve a God of Wonders. I wrote it up and submitted it to places like Guideposts and Decision Magazine. I was soundly rejected. Needless to say I was stunned. I had believed that the recounted event would sell the story on its own merits. It didn't because the writing was lacking. I eventually saved the file to my computer and all but forgot about it.

Last November when I read a call for submissions to "His Forever," I remembered the story and pulled it up on my computer screen. Several years and many writing workshops later, I saw what needed fixing and went to work. This time I didn't get a rejection. **SMILE**. The book will be out at Christmas time. You can guess what my Christmas gift will be to my friends.

Although I'm excited about this, I'm even more excited for Frank, whose story it really is. I'm not going to tell you anymore about this wonderful witness of God's almighty power in Frank's life. You'll have to read it for yourself.

Lamentations 3:22-23 says that God's compassions for us never fail and that they are new every morning. His faithfulness is great! Amen!

Monday, July 17, 2006

At the Feeding Trough

Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
Ps. 37:4-5
The words of this psalm mean so much to me today. For the past several weeks, and last week in particular, I have been unable to focus on much. My church has been experiencing a crisis that ultimately came to a head last night. Without going into details I can say that this circumstance drove most of us to our knees in humbleness. Ultimately, God heard our prayers and the situation was resolved. There are still many fences that need mending, and I doubt most of us will be the same. But, as Joseph said to his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done..."
What this situation has taught me far exceeds the pain of the difficulty. I've learned I don't pray enough; that I'm not humble enough; that I'm too proud; and that God requires much of me if I am to be blessed with writing success. This isn't about me. It's all about Him.
I thought this morning with the crisis behind me, I would wake up and, after time in prayer and thanksgiving, I would bound to my writing desk (which doubles as my dining room table) and the words would poor forth from my fingertips. So far that hasn't happened. It's taking a while to get my writing legs (or fingers) back. I've needed to sit here and resonate, enjoy the sweet blessing of answered prayer, and work myself toward the effort of getting back in the story again. I know what I need to do to make this story start the right way and I've worked up new plot twists that need to be added, but still I can't seem to get myself in gear toward that end.
Ps. 37 says just before the words written above, "Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness." That's where I am right now. Feeding on His faithfulness. Ps. 81:10 says, "I am the LORD your God....Open your mouth wide and I will fill it." Once filled I will be able to spew forth words once more. For now I'm sitting right here at the feeding trough of God's faithfulness.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Don't Miss the Unexpected!

What's that saying about the best laid plans? Well, my best laid plans for this week, other than the holiday on Tuesday, were to write, write, write. God seems to have been saying not, not, not. Each and every day I've been walloped with interruptions and other things that took precedent over the writing. Yet, in spite of this, God has blessed me with ideas for characterization and plot changes that will only make Murder for Breakfast better for pitching in September at the ACFW conference. Will these changes require more work? You bet. But in the end I will be able to present a better and more complete project.

That's what I find so awesome about God. At the most unexpected times He gives me an idea. For example, I spent last weekend at a family get together in Indiana. During a conversation with one of my cousins, I said it was time to fold my tent and go to bed. My cousin tossed me a curious look then nicely pointed out that I'd used the idiom in the wrong context. I cracked up once I realized if I were going to bed, the last thing I'd want to do is fold my tent. Then it hit me. Misquoting idioms, or using them in the wrong context would be a great way to add a little quirkiness to my heroine's aunt, whom I want to be a little off beat. The trick will be to not make her out to be a buffoon, but have her even laugh at herself when she does this. Much like I did. Hmmmm. Maybe Aunt Kitty is my alter-ego. I'll have to think on that one.

So it's off to drop in those idioms and make those plot changes. After all, the early worm gets the bird.