June 17, 2018

Journey Food by Lynn Dove

I love this month's theme about which Scripture verses keep me nourished as a writer...

As with all Scripture that feeds my spirit as well as my writer's heart, it's hard to pinpoint just one verse that encapsulates the journey.  My blog, "Journey Thoughts" is all about my journeying with God through the mountain top and valley experiences of life.  A writer faces those same peaks and lows: the first time an article/book is published, or the first (of many) rejection letters.  My writing career has seen its share of highs and lows but through it all the Word of God is constant and unchanging!  It encourages me throughout my writing process and transforms my heart to not give up when I'm faced with those discouraging moments.

There are two passages of Scripture that I have displayed prominently as I write:

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.  Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11

The first passage my husband and I chose as our life verse when we got married 39 years ago on June 2nd.  Over those many years, there have been so many numerous twists and turns on life's journey together they are too numerous to recount.  Whatever road we walked, whether in plenty or in want, joy or in sorrow, sickness and in health, we learned to lean on and trust in God.  Sometimes we tried to navigate on our own strength, and that's when we had to reclaim Proverbs 16:9 and submit to God again to chart our course, because His way was (is) always the best way!

That verse has also guided my writing through these many years.  I did not ever intend to be a published author, but God had a different plan!  With three books published, and numerous articles and stories published in anthologies and magazines, I still am humbled and amazed by where God has taken me with my writing.  All Glory goes to Him!

The second verse in 1 Peter, is actually a call to minister, and the responsibility that involves.  To those of us who have been called by God to write, we are ministers of our words.  It is a privilege but also an awesome responsibility to write so others may be kingdom-affected.  I purposely changed the verse to make it even more applicable to me as a writer. 

"“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks (writes), they should do so as one who speaks (writes) the very words of God. If anyone serves (writes), they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things (writings) God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.  Amen.” 

This keeps me very mindful that to write is a gift from God.  Writing should bring Him Glory, and I must write thoughtfully and carefully so that my words do not bring dishonour to Him.

Amen.

Lynn Dove is the award-winning author, of the YA “Wounded Trilogy”- a contemporary Christian fiction series with coming-of-age themes.  A wife, mom, grandmother, and free-lance writer with articles published in several magazines and anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul books, her blog, “Journey Thoughts” is a Canadian Christian Writing Award winner.  Readers may connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and at lynndove.com 

June 16, 2018

The Writer’s Bread of Life by Nina Faye Morey




Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never go hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
~ John 6:35 NIV



The Word of God nourishes and supports me so that I am able to remain faithful, focused, and fruitful on my writing journey. I look to God’s Word for:



Inspiration



My heart is stirred by a noble theme
as I recite my verses for the king;
my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
~ Psalm 45:1



Scripture is a great source of inspiration for my writing—both fiction and nonfiction. I often draw on Jesus’s parables for short story ideas, and I regularly employ His technique of using everyday experiences to illustrate my messages. The themes and plots Jesus employed in His parables could certainly form the heart of many insightful, present-day novels. For instance, the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11-32) provides the essential plot for a coming-of-age story. The Book of Revelation formed the foundation of possibly the best-selling Christian fiction of all time, the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. The Saviour’s Second Coming, the Pretribulation Rapture, and the End Times all served as the backbone on which they built their plots. Many of the themes, ideas, and characters contained in the Bible provide wonderful sources of inspiration for powerful and profound stories.




Guidance



Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
~ Psalm 119:105



There are times in the middle of a piece when I’ve lost my sense of direction and feel uncertain about the path I’m taking. No matter how lost I feel, God’s Word always points me in the right direction. It shines a light before me, so I don’t stumble down a treacherous path and fall in the darkness. There are also times when Scripture counsels me on how to deal with those cynical critics who make disparaging comments about the references to Christian faith in my writing (1 Peter 3:15).




Reassurance



Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible.”
~ Matthew 19:26



Whenever I’m plagued by self-doubts, this verse bolsters my spirits. My attempts to write may be going nowhere and success might seem beyond my reach, but I know I can rely on God’s help to do what appears impossible. I may be an imperfect vessel, but His Light will shine through the cracks (2 Corinthians 4:7). Another Bible verse that helps me persevere when I encounter those inevitable potholes on my writing path is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”



Affirmation



Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.
Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to
the work of the Lord, because you know that
your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
~ 1Corinthians 15:58



It is easy to get discouraged when I experience rejection after rejection. But if I wish to serve the Lord and truly believe in what I’m doing, it’s much easier to maintain my resolve. As a Christian writer, I believe that God has blessed me with this gift and called me to create (Ephesians 2:10). He plans for me to prosper, giving me both hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). While those who consider themselves worldly give me cold shoulder, I must remain firmly committed to my purpose (Proverbs 16:3). Since the Lord desires that I serve Him through my writing, I must put on His armour of light so that it may shine within me—and through me light the darkness of the world (Romans 13:12).




These are just a few of the Scriptures that sustain me as I pursue my writing path. What verses provide nourishment for your writing journey?





Photo Credits: Pixabay

June 15, 2018

My All Time Favourite Writing Verses - Tracy Krauss

Many of the verses shared so far are also ones that I have found inspiring, encouraging or motivational over my years of writing.

Karma Pratt shared Galatians 6: 4- 5 with me a few years ago and I keep it on my bulletin board because it reminds me to write what God wants me to write - not what someone else says I should - and to do it with all my heart, soul and strength. (Check Karma's post this month for more.) 
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. (The Message)

I have long appreciated Habakkuk 2: 1 - 3 for its admonition to write what God gives, committing the result to Him, and Sandi Somers mentioned this in her first post this month.
I will stand on my guard post
            And station myself on the rampart;
            And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
            And how I may reply when I am reproved.
  Then the LORD answered me and said,
            “Record the vision
            And inscribe it on tablets,
            That the one who reads it may run.
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
            It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
            Though it tarries, wait for it;
            For it will certainly come, it will not delay. (NIV)

InScribe's key verse for the year of 2018 fits really well here, too: Isaiah 54:2 says, "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes." (NIV)
For me, this speaks about stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to my writing. It also speaks to us as an organization - to expand our metaphorical territory, possessing the good inheritance God has given us as writers of Christian faith.

Our theme verse for this year's Fall Conference is also a wonderful encouragement to write for God's glory. Psalm 45:1 says, My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. (NIV) May we all be inspired this year to be 'skillful writers' as we present our 'verses' to the King of Kings!

Finally, I end with perhaps my all time personal favourite verses which I try to apply to my writing life, and often use as a prayer. They are actually two separate verses from Psalm 90 - (verse 12 and verse 17) which when taken together, motivate me to give the best of my time to what I believe God has called me to do and ask for God's blessing on my endeavours.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (v12)
May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. (NIV)


Tracy Krauss writes from her home in northern BC. For better or worse, she relentlessly writes what she believes God is calling her to write. Visit her website for more: tracykrauss.com  - fiction on the edge without crossing the line - 

June 14, 2018

My Scripture Verses for Writers - Ruth L. Snyder

This month we have been asked to share some verses that keep us fuelled for our writing journey. Most of these memes were created using the Wordswag app. A couple of the memes I created by hand.


Although writing is a calling, and often a gift, it takes work to become a skillful writer. I want to continue to fan my gift of writing into a flame that provides the warmth of encouragement, the light of truth, and even the heat of correction. I need to be sensitive to God's leading to know what He wants me to share with my readers.


Last year during our InScribe Fall Conference, Connie Inglis urged us to not only be aware of the spiritual element of writing, but to also start our writing times with prayer. This is an example of what I often pray.



Not all writing days go well. I will choose to give thanks when the words just don't flow. I will choose to give thanks when the needs of my family crowd out my writing time. I will choose to give thanks when my computer crashes.


As I write, I need to ask God for wisdom in discerning the truth. Sharing God's truth in a way that draws the reader in and makes them hungry for more is a challenge. 


I'm grateful that I don't need to live or write in my own strength. God wants me to rely on Him and is ready to help. Often my biggest struggle is giving up control and resting in my Heavenly Father.


It is natural to get discouraged when I don't see success in my writing journey. We all benefit when we help others by giving feedback, writing reviews, and celebrating book launches. When I focus on helping others, I often find that God blesses my writing as well.


Every day I need to make the choice to abide in Jesus. I need to talk with Him throughout the day. When His will becomes my will, I will want what He wants and it will be done.

How do these verses speak to you? Feel free to share in the comments.



Ruth L. Snyder squeezes writing in between caring for her husband and children, and teaching piano lessons. She is also enjoying sharing adventures with her first grandson.

June 13, 2018

Nourishing Scripture Verses - Wendy L. Macdonald




Which Scripture Verses Nourish You Best?

The question of which Scripture verses keep me nourished as I travel the writer's path stumped me at first because I’m nourished by a new one each morning. Now, before I explain how that happens, I need to warn you not to be impressed I’m one of those people who gets up early and reads her Bible every day.You see, I read the Word each morning while holding a hot mug of coffee (with the works) and while leaning against a hot water bottle (to keep my osteoarthritis quiet while I read to my heart’s content).

It’s not a good work’s thing—it’s a joy thing because I—capital LLove my alone time in the Word—with the Word.

Drinking deeply from the Scriptures is one of the ways God healed me of eating disorders many years ago. I used to live a pretty crazy life before I understood:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
 but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 
2 Timothy 1:7 KJV   

That was the first nourishing verse I made note of during my recovery journey. And since then, I’ve feasted on a hearty fare of His words for most of the last thirty-five years. I’ve also continued to journal and jot down any verses the Holy Spirit nudged me to pay attention to.

A couple of years ago, I decided to share my verse of the day on my Social Media sites. Every day from Monday to Saturday, I schedule a post on my author Facebook page. Each post has a nature picture I’ve taken, a Scripture of the day I’ve chosen, and a short poem I’ve written that ties the photograph and Bible verse together.



Even if I think a post won’t be popular, I still share it because my words are from-the-heart-honest. I share out of obedience rather than for the pursuit of more followers. I wouldn’t enjoy pretending; but I do enjoy sharing how God is tending to my heart.

Now I’d like to share what my nourishing verse of the day was at the time I wrote the first draft of this post:

You are my refuge and my shield;
 I have put my hope in your word.
 Psalm 119:114 NIV

And here’s the tanka poem I wrote to go with it:

raindrops on roses
my garden drinks morning rain
I savour God’s Word
as I read pages of hope
finding refuge in each line.
~ wlm 

I’m nosey-to-know if you enjoy a daily dose of God’s Word.

Word Blessings ~ Wendy Mac 

Wendy L. Macdonald is an inspirational blogger and podcaster who loves to photograph nature on Vancouver Island. Her byline is: “My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep.” Her main website is wendylmacdonald.com where she enjoys interacting with readers.