January 31, 2020

January Guest post by Janice Mansell

My desire to write more widely has been encouraged by the InScribe writer's blogs this past year. As with stored up prayers and unshed tears, God's call on my life the past two years has been to seek Him for Himself, not asking or expecting rewards in return.

It seems its time for the ever jostling thoughts and experiences of life to be set free to help, challenge or encourage others. When I considered the challenge for this month to seek a word or Scripture to build on, I started praying for God's guidance in it. Almost immediately, the words ' Jesus wept' came to mind. I continued asking what to do with the idea.
The related thoughts kept coming and I trust my heart and mind are attuned to the message I received.

Jesus wept in John 11:35 at the tomb of Lazarus who had died.  Jesus was weeping because he felt the weight of death and grieved with the people. Those who witnessed this still didn't get the message Jesus is the resurrection and life when he subsequently brought Lazarus out of the tomb.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem in Matthew 23: 37 - 39 and the hardness of the hearts of the citizens of Jerusalem to His coming to dwell among them as Savior and Redeemer.
I have done my share of weeping over time, tears of loneliness, disappointment, discouragement and rejection of who  and what God very patiently is molding and refining me to be in His plan.

In the words of the song, He Washed My With Tears, that I might see ... the glory of Himself revealed to me.  I have learned that those tears could also be a sacrifice of Praise to Him, whatever the circumstance.

Over the years as I have learned to pray for others, God has graced me with measures of compassion, empathy, and letting the Love of Christ flow through me to bring relief, strength, safekeeping healing, deliverance and guidance to them in their lives.
So often when I look at others struggling to make sense of life the words of another song come to me . Jesus offers that we all can come ‘to the waters, stand by My side, I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied.' * This is the way of healing for their anguish and hopelessness.

I came across this verse in PsalmS 119:136 KJV the other day. "Streams of tears flow from my eyes for your law is not obeyed "

Time spent in intercessory prayer  can be exhausting, mentally, emotionally and physically when we intercede for others  with our whole heart. The spiritual Joy and Refreshment that remains when the burden is lifted and you know God hears and answers prayer in that person's life or situation is comforting  and eternally rewarding.  Revelation 5:8  KJV.
When our stored up prayers will be released into the lives of those we pray for, so that God continues to work in their lives, long after we are gone.

We then have assurance that God will continue to weave, behind the scenes, the tapestry of His will and provision in that person's life. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus wept again, as He interceded on His own behalf, He ended by praying 'Not My will, but Yours be done.'  Matthew 26: 36 - 46  KJV. So we must pray for each other, ourselves and our writing.
In Heaven, God promises to 'wipe away all the tears of our earthly travail and sorrows.  Revelation 21 : 4 - 6   Until that day, I pray I will strive to be worthy of continuing to seek God's intervention in others lives.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus and find us faithful to your calling on our lives.

*For Those Tears I Died by Marsha Steven

Janice Mansell has been writing for fifty years. She has come and gone from Inscribe since it originally started. A one time community correspondent she has spent the vast majority of her writing life chronicling the day to day, and memories.

January 30, 2020

My Word for 2020: Joy - by Ruth Ann Adams

Shortly after our youngest child was born, my dad called me in the labour/delivery room and said, “She will always be a joy to you.” Susanna was only two when her grandpa died, but I have often told her that his words are his blessing, his legacy to her. Our baby girl is now 25. Her friendly nature, funny antics, devotion to her family, and passion for her career as an Early Childhood Educator all bring joy to me and many others.

Joy is the word that God has impressed on my heart for 2020. We all struggle with times of sadness, loss and anxiety-producing situations. It can be all too easy to focus on our difficulties, rather than on the good things in our lives. 

When we say, “It has just been one thing after another,” we are generally referring to negative situations. What if we were to turn our emphasis around and focus on the positives? What would it look like to purposely walk in joy?

Paul lists joy as one of the fruits of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22).

How do we acquire the fruits of the Spirit?

Fruit takes time to grow. On this cold, snow-laden Canadian winter day, there is no sign of life on the trees or bushes. In the months to come, weather conditions will change, warmth will return and fruit will appear in its season.

For fruit to grow in our lives, we need the right conditions. The Holy Spirit is always in the process of softening our hearts and whispering words of guidance and love. We learn to trust and worship him, and to convey his love to others. Fruit grows as the Holy Spirit does his work.

Specifically, how do we nurture the fruit of joy?

Focus on Jesus

Our Sunday School Christmas concert in December focused on the joy that accompanied the birth of Jesus. The children’s natural exuberance reflected that joy as they sang and performed the actions to their songs. God calls us to have child-like faith. We can rejoice all year long in the assurance that Jesus was born on this earth in order that he could pay the price for our sins, and offer us new life through faith.
As the season of Easter approaches, we can also focus on how Jesus handled adversity. Hebrews 12:2 gives us a clear example. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, Berean Study Bible). Jesus felt emotions. He rejoiced,  grieved, even wept. He also knew that the end result of his suffering would bring great joy as he accomplished his purpose on earth and defeated death and sin on the cross. Our trials can’t compare with his, but Jesus understands our pain and offers us a joy that comes through our relationship with him.

Focus on the Positive

In 2020, the year of 20/20 vision, bookend your weeks and days with the positives. We can change the focus of our vision from one negative situation after another to one answered prayer after another. Each day brings blessings. My father left a legacy of joy to my youngest daughter. Our heavenly father gives us joy as our legacy, a gift that will change our lives if we allow it to.
Joy! My word for 2020! I am excited to see the joy this year will bring for us all!

Ruth Ann Adams is a high school English teacher, mother of five and pastor's wife. She has been published in anthologies and magazines. Ruth Ann has a passion to bring God's encouragement to others. She loves cats and British history. Her blog, 5 X Mama, can be found at ruthannadams.com.

January 29, 2020

Winter Contest 2020!


Members Only ● Works Published in 2019

Deadline: Midnight March 1st, 2020

The InScribe Winter Contest is now open for submissions by InScribe members who had writing published in 2019.

Professional writers/judges will follow the rubrics posted on the InScribe website to mark and provide commentary on each piece. (If fewer than 4 submissions are received in a category, the category will be closed and fees will be returned). One prize of $100 will be awarded to the winning submission in each category. Prizes will be awarded by April 30, 2020, or sooner. Please check the publicly posted rubrics for your Winter Contest submissions.


·      Members in good standing (membership must be paid up)
·      All entries must have been published between January 1 and December 31 of 2019
·      Publication sources include magazines, anthologies, newspapers, online publications, etc.
·      Not accepted: online pieces that you self-published on your own online site. They must be published on a 3rd party site. 
·      Deadline March 1st, midnight, 2020.
·      Fee: $30 per entry by cheque (includes commentary by a professional writer/judge).
·      Email two copies of each piece to contests@inscribe.org by midnight March 1st, 2020
·      1) The first copy should be a scan of your published piece (or a link). It must clearly show your name as author, the date of publication, and name of publication (magazine etc.)
2). The second copy will be exactly the same piece but without your name, and without any photos, advertising, name of the publication source or any other distraction. Please block these out of the scanned piece. If that is not possible, then please re-type it into a Word or PDF Document. Do not put your name on it. This copy will be sent on to the judge. The goal is to make all pieces consistent in appearance, without advertising or pictures, and without the author’s name, to eliminate bias and distractions for the judges.  
·      Simultaneous submissions are acceptable
·      Multiple submissions welcomed—fees must accompany each entry
·      Mail entry fee cheque to InScribe, PO Box 68025, Edmonton ABT6C 4N6
·      Make cheques out to full name of InScribe Christian Writers’Fellowship
·      Subject field of your email: InScribe Winter Contest
·      Body of your email – two copies of your published piece, your name and all your contact info, and confirmation that your cheque will be mailed by March 1st at the latest.


·      Non-fiction
·      Poetry – free verse or rhymed
·      Fiction – Short Story or Drama Script
·      Devotional

Watch for more information and details to come on our website http://inscribe.org/contests/
Questions? Please direct them to contests@inscribe.org

January 28, 2020

Diligence: My 2020 Vision - Bruce Atchison

I'm not usually one who chooses mottos or listens for a word for each year but 2020 is different. I feel that "diligence" should be my watchword. The Bible certainly has plenty to say about the subject.

The Proverbs of Solomon are a rich source for gleaning wisdom. Proverbs 10:4 (BBE) reminds us, "He who is slow in his work becomes poor, but the hand of the ready worker gets in wealth."

I need to remind myself of that whenever I feel like checking my e-mail or watching YouTube videos. Practically none of that activity results in inspiring blog post ideas. It doesn't help me write my next book either.

Neither do I want to be under the economic thumb of any one but I'd rather earn money for the work I love doing. As Proverbs 12:24 (BBE) advises, "The hand of the ready worker will have authority, but he who is slow in his work will be put to forced work."

Likewise, I don't want opportunities to go to waste. Using a hunting metaphor, Solomon advises in Proverbs 12:27 (BBE) that, "He who is slow in his work does not go in search of food; but the ready worker gets much wealth."

I especially must master my wandering mind. It usually veers into the proverbial weeds instead of keeping focused on the path of creativity. Proverbs 21:5 (BBE) is a good reminder of this. "The purposes of the man of industry have their outcome only in wealth; but one who is over-quick in acting will only come to be in need."

Of course some apparent sloth is due to illness. I suffer from sleep apnea and using the CPAP machine gave me the horrors. Consequently, I feel groggy for the first part of my day and I sleep longer at night.

What I've decided to do is to use the groggy times for goofing off and the alert times for productivity. Much of what I do during the early part of my day is unimportant so it doesn't matter if I waste time then.

And since I can gain knowledge at any hour of the day or night through the Internet, I'll use those times of alertness for research. As Proverbs 18:15 (BBE) says, "The heart of the man of good sense gets knowledge; the ear of the wise is searching for knowledge."

I thank the Lord that he gave me the gift of writing and the even better gift of solitude. Both will certainly help me be creative but only if I use the opportunity of wakefulness to the maximum possible effect.