June 30, 2021

To Thine Own Self Be True - Guest post by Brenda Wood

 If I Write Just to Please You…What Does That say About Me

I scratched my way through a myriad of information about how to get readers and I used some of that advice, but in the process, I may have sold out a bit of my soul. 

I may have slanted my opinions to the popular view. Or lengthened or shortened my pieces to get in line with the current day’s advice feed.

Some days I swarm my readers with words. Occasionally I starve them to death. And I ask myself, what did any of that do in the cause of righting my writing?

Perhaps it made some readers happy; but perhaps others were not struck dumb by my magnificent words.

I must ask my own deep self what did any of that do in the cause of righting my writing?

I answer truthfully. For me, not always very much, because I am the type of person who can write or speak on any given topic on any given day and not run out of words. In my family it is called the Cook gift of gab and I gratefully inherited it. I won lots of debates over the years because I could switch sides in a heartbeat.

But are my words always true to myself or instead, true to the current writing advice? So here I linger, folks, determined to speak only in the clear and true words of my own inner self. 

To my own self I shall be true…You can count on it.

Brenda Wood - Author, speaker and Hopestreamradio.com contributor, Brenda J Wood has been an author and motivational speaker for more years than she cares to admit. She is known for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments. She calls herself the ‘ABC girl’ because she’s survived and written about the ‘ABC’s of abuse, bulimia, cancer, death, entertainment, food, gluttony and humour. Since she’s written books on each of these topics, she hopes the ‘E’ word of her next book stands for something like Energy or Entertainment, but definitely not Exams or Epsom salts!

A few of her favourite things include grandchildren, guest speaking, writing, sewing, a warm fire, a good book, and pounding the pavement on early morning walks. Brenda has authored many books but is very excited about the upcoming - My Affair with Cancer, a fundraiser for the Georgian Bay Cancer Centre in Penetanguishene. Her other books include:
The Food Lover’s Devotional, food for both body and soul
Gentle Humour with Jesus, devotions for the light-hearted
The Pregnant Pause of Grief, the first trimester of widowhood
Meeting Myself, snippets from a binging and bulging mind.
Heartfelt Devotionals, 366 devotions for common sense living.
God, Gluttony & You
Brenda’s Children’s books include:
The Big Red Chair –a book for grieving children
Mother Peebles Problem Pebbles
The Plate Family Dishes Up

June 29, 2021

Fall Conference 2021!

Registration For Inscribe's Fall Conference is now open!

We are excited to announce that Fall Conference will be an IN-PERSON event again this year! Save the dates: Thursday, September 30 to Saturday, October 2, 2021, at the Providence Renewal Centre in Edmonton Alberta.

God’s Word Never Changes - Certainty in an uncertain time

Lamentations 3: 22- 23 
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. (NKJ) 

Keynote: DS Martin - Canadian Poet

The event includes our annual Thursday evening Author's mixer, a variety of workshops, plus "open space" options. Join us on Saturday for our AGM. 

To get the entire scoop, AND TO REGISTER, visit our website: https://inscribe.org/events/fall-conference/

June 27, 2021

John Lennon: "Hold On" - Bruce Atchison

In this song from his debut solo album, John reassures himself, his wife, and us all to hold on. Listen to this encouraging song here:

I certainly needed to "hold on" when I was two weeks away from graduating high school. A friend convinced me not to quit math class. Because I held on and finished the course, my teacher gave me five extra points.

The Apostle Paul certainly held on to his ultimate hope, as he wrote in Philippians 3:13 and 14 (Bible in Basic English). "Brothers, it is clear to me that I have not come to that knowledge; but one thing I do, letting go those things which are past, and stretching out to the things which are before, I go forward to the mark, even the reward of the high purpose of God in Christ Jesus."

Peter also wrote about persistence in the faith, as we read in 2 Peter 1:10 and 11 (BBE). "For this reason, my brothers, take all the more care to make your selection and approval certain; for if you do these things you will never have a fall: For so the way will be open to you into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

Our persistence in righteousness, through the Holy Spirit's power, is a mighty force. As Romans 12:21 (BBE) states, "Do not let evil overcome you, but overcome evil by good."

We also see how our spiritual fortitude inevitably pays off in James 1:12 (BBE). "There is a blessing on the man who undergoes testing; because, if he has God's approval, he will be given the crown of life, which the Lord has said he will give to those who have love for him." This applies equally to faithful women.

Though I gave up on God for nine years because he didn't heal my eyes, he never gave up on me. Consequently I'm back in the fold. By his grace, I'll never leave him now that I know him properly.

June 25, 2021

Passion and Potholes by Sharon Heagy


            Looking around the world today, I am concerned. There are many who are hurting, many without hope, and many who need compassion and encouragement.  As a member of the human race and as a writer I am compelled to reach out and grasp another’s wrist and try to lift them out of life’s pits. My hope is that someone might reciprocate should I fall into a hole.

            The road of life is filled with potholes, varying in shapes and sizes, and we can be the asphalt that smooths the way and helps to bear the load. In Matthew 15, Jesus tells us about ‘blind guides” and “if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit.” (Matt 15:14) As Christian writers we have received the gift of having our eyes opened to the truth. To the compassion, grace and heart of God, not just for ourselves but to share with others. We are not blind guides but guides with sight who can walk with someone towards the light, around the pits and potholes.  If need be, we can lay across the gap and cover it, while those who need a hand wobble safely across.  We will lay there yoked together with Christ for that is where our strength lies.

Many of us can express ourselves better with the written word than our audible voice. That is where our God given talent resides. It is how we try to make our corner of the world a better place, a safe place, full of light and hope.

            To ignite our passion and purpose and to keep the flame burning, our greatest need is to spend time with our fuel Source, to spend time with the Lord. To practice His presence and to know as we write that He is in the hand that holds the pen, in the inner spirit that spurs us on and in the soft small voice that encourages us and says, ‘Yes, you can.’ Ultimately it is for Him that we write “for whatever we do, [we should] do it all for the Glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31)

            Second to that, in that same passage, we should seek to write for the “good of others.” (1Cor 10:24)

            Lastly, we write for ourselves because if we don’t write we may burst like a piñata and rain down a colourful cloud of words like confetti.

            My hope is that each of us may have our embers fanned into a burning flame by the Lord and that we may be a blessing to others in His name today.

June 23, 2021

What Is That In Your Hand? ~ Valerie Ronald

God is the master of re-purposing. In His hands, everyday objects become tools to bring about miracles.

~ a jar of flour and a jug of oil never depleted, keep a poor widow of Zarephath and her son from starvation. (1 Kings 17)

~ a scarlet cord hung in a window spares the life of a woman of Jericho, who turns up in the lineage of Jesus. (Joshua 2)

~ when He sends Moses to lead his people out of captivity, God turns his simple shepherd’s staff into a snake, as a miraculous sign for the Israelites of the authenticity of His message of deliverance. (Ex. 4)

But before Moses witnesses this miracle, God asks him a crucial question.   

“What is that in your hand?”

This simple yet profound question is an essential determiner of my purpose as a writer. Through meditating on the story of Moses’ staff, I continue to learn how God wants to use the gifts and talents He has given me to fulfill His purposes.

God never asks a question that He does not know the answer to already. He asks questions for our benefit, or in this case, for the benefit of Moses. Moses had a staff in his hand, his most essential tool for herding and protecting the sheep in his care. It was an extension of his own arm, used in multiple ways in his duties as a shepherd, and for his own support and comfort during long desert treks. God’s question was meant to help Moses see the simple tool of his shepherd’s work as instrumental in realizing God’s ultimate purpose of freeing His chosen people. In God’s hands, the simplest of things can become useful beyond what we can think or imagine.

My “staff”, the tool I have in my hand, is writing. God stirred my desire to write in my early childhood. Through all the twists and turns of my life, it has never left. At first I wrote for my own enjoyment, then I pursued education to become a professional writer. It wasn’t until I became a believer in Jesus Christ that I realized my writing was a tool, a gift from God to be used to glorify Him.

In the Exodus story, God tells Moses to throw his staff to the ground. What was once a dead piece of wood miraculously becomes a live snake. Until Moses released the staff from his grasp, he would not realize God’s power to use him in the task ahead.

I don’t think I’m alone in being rather obsessive about my own writing. Every page is like a child, labored over and birthed from my own creative core. If I keep it clasped close to my chest, trying to steer it to where I think it should go, it will only go as far as human limitations can take it. I may want to hold onto it, control it, claim it as my own, but when released, it comes alive by the power of God and can be instrumental in changing lives.

Knowing my writing is for God to use as He sees fit does not excuse me from applying consistent effort in diligently practicing and improving my craft. As a co-creator with God in developing my talents, I still need to do the research, develop my vocabulary, read more experienced writers, and write as much as I can. Just as Moses’ staff was just a piece of wood without his skills as a shepherd to put it to use, I need to bring as much ability and training to my writing as I can, so God has good material to work with. Then I need to release it to God to use it the way He wants, taking it places I can never imagine.  

Over time God has spoken to my heart about the purpose of my writing. I find I am not so much seeking after recognition or readership, although those can be positive bi-products of my writing life. Now my purpose is to take delight in God, who gives me joy when I write, thus His desire in now the desire of my own heart. Because I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according His purpose.   

If God can use a shepherd in the back of the desert, equipped with only a simple wood staff, to bring His chosen people out of bondage into the Promised Land, then He can use me and what I have in my hand as well. Simple words.

For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36 NIV)

A WRITER'S MORNING PRAYER - by Joylene M. Bailey


Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of you, let my first impulse be to worship you, let my first word be your Name,
let my first action be to kneel before you in prayer.
(John Baillie)

Father, I give back into Your hands all that You have given me:

My gifts and talents. 
I rededicate them to Your service, they are Yours to use as You want, Father. They are Yours, Christ Jesus. All these are Yours, Holy Spirit. 
May they bring You glory.

My passion.  
Use my passion for words to keep me searching out the right words for the right moment, that they may be like apples of gold in settings of silver. Let them be faithful and arrive true at their destination. 

My purpose.  
O Lord, speak through my words today. Thank You for making use of me to fulfill Your mighty purpose for the world and for my neighbour. Let me be a channel of Your love and compassion to those within reach of my words. Fold Your purpose for my writing into Your ultimate purpose, that my words might bring You glory.

My perseverance. 
Help me to persevere when the writing is hard, when the trials and urgencies of the day keep me from the page. And when I have to be away from the writing, may the thoughts and ideas keep percolating so that when I return, Your voice is the ink flowing onto the page.

Keep me mindful that writing is a gift and a privilege. May I never take it for granted or make it an idol.

You alone are worthy.

O God my Creator, accompany me into this day with Your blessing, and may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.



Joy writes from Edmonton where she lives with The Cowboy and very-soon-to-be-married Babe. She is appreciating the prayers of John Baillie, which can be found in the classic, A Diary of Private Prayer
Find more of Joy's writing at Scraps of Joy.

Photo by Tom Henell on Unsplash

June 22, 2021

Their Words Are Poetry by Alan Anderson


A caveat: I trust no one will misinterpret this post to be a shameful self-serving one.


Please allow me to summarize “passion and purpose,” as a writer in a few humble sentences. The terms passion and purpose mean to live. To live means a way to express oneself. To express oneself shows a passion to write. A passion to write is a measure of God’s call on one’s life. This measure of God’s call is a vital part of life. This vital part spurs one on to completion. This completion is a mark of one’s passion and purpose.


A vital part of my life as a writer is the grief of grandparents who mourn the death of their grandchildren. These days they are a focus of my writing. The February 2021 post introduced this focus as a book I am writing called, Plant Them a Garden: A Reflective Work of Grief, Faith, and Poetry. This project has challenges, but I will persevere.


People often misunderstand the role of poetry in life. When people ask what genre of writing I am involved in, I tell them my current genre is poetry. Most often I see their eyes glaze over. They may reply with noncommittal comments like, “Oh, really? That’s nice.” These responses no longer discourage me.


From what I understand, poetry is not marketable. Does it have to be? Poets do not make a living from their poetry. Must we make a living from writing poetry? Even other writers warn me there is no money in poetry. There may be no hope of earning a living, for instance, but I write poetry from a passion. Anything else is but a bonus.

My primary focus of poetry right now is for a particular audience prone to allow other voices than their own to be heard. Grief poetry is not something people seem to be drawn to, yet those I write for say they need a voice. This need for a voice also implies the need for those who will listen to their voice.

My current primary project focuses on grandparents who grieve the death of their grandchildren. They often suffer their grief in silence. This is not a fact in life people flock to know about. This is also not a reason to put one’s passion aside.


Many grieving grandparents convince themselves to “be strong” for their families in times of grief. I hear this from almost every grieving grandparent I communicate with. Few people listen to their grief. My approach is to listen to their stories, then write poems to capture their grief and hope. Most grieving grandparents keep their grief hidden. They are our forgotten mourners. They do not speak a lot about their grief. They use few words when they do. Their words are poetry.


My passion is to write for those who need a listening heart. This includes the grief of grandparents as they live life without their grandchildren. In all humbleness a hope is, “Plant Them a Garden: A Reflective Work of Grief, Faith, and Poetry,” will be a voice for those who mourn in silence.


Note: A photo included in this post shows the garden I planted in memory of my five grandbabies in heaven.



Alan lives in Deroche, B.C. with his wife, Terry. He contributed stories to Good Grief People by Angel Hope Publishing, 2017 and Story by Story: The Power of a Writer, Unstoppable Writers Publishing, 2018. Alan has also written articles for FellowScript Magazine. Blog: https://scarredjoy.ca. Alan is the Provincial Rep. Liaison and BC Rep for InScribe.

June 18, 2021

Finding Passion and Purpose By Vickie Stam

 What is it about finding our purpose in life that is so important? A friend of mine once said, "I don't understand why people say they need to find themselves. Find their purpose. Were they lost?"  

Somewhere along the way I think most people feel lost or simply lose sight of their goals, not knowing which way to turn or even how to get there.

If you have ever been hurt before you might even feel as if your passion and purpose are driven by your pain and sorrow - the very things that carved their way into your life are now the conversations you have with God and the stories that fill the pages of your journal. 

Like many people, I write to heal from the broken road that got to me to where I am today. Yes, it's been hard! There are days when I sit with my pen in hand while the words only echo inside my head. The wounded part of me can't move. My pen is still. The memories are piercing. Every part of me hurts. I stare at the blank page in front of me and will myself to write. Just let it out. The last thing I want is to allow the memories to overtake me - turn a good day into a dreadful one.

I need to write about my past, the things that should be over and done with really are a part of who I am. Each word in my head represents a broken piece of me - pain that continues to heal. 

Here I am now years later still putting the fragments of my fractured self back together, paving a new road that doesn't need to bury the old wounds or store them away like they never happened. 

In the moments when I feel the old hurts trying to crush me, I know if I can write about it, the pain will have a purpose and so will I.  

June 15, 2021

The Three-Legged Writing Stool - Tracy Krauss

                                  PASSION - PURPOSE - PERSEVERANCE 

I love a good alliteration, don't you? These three P's are like a three-legged stool. Now, sit down and write!


I think most writers love to write, or they wouldn't be doing it. There has to be something that motivates us beyond fame and fortune, cause let's face it--those two are unreliable! Ever since I was a child I've needed an outlet for the stories in my head. Until my young adulthood, that outlet was art, but once I started writing as a young mom, I never looked back. I LOVE to write. There is no other way to say it. So, even if I feel ill-equipped, get stuck or just tired of a story, or suffer from "imposter syndrome" (as many authors do) I will never stop writing. 


In my experience, this leg of the stool develops over time. At first, my purpose was simply for my own gratification. My passion was my purpose. But when I started submitting my work for publication, I soon realized I needed to examine my motivation. Who was I writing for? Was I simply trying to entertain or was there a deeper message in my fiction? Even after answering these questions, one size doesn't fit all, especially when one writes in multiple genres as I do. 

I learned a technique from Nancy Rue at an InScribe conference which I still implement today. I try to distill each individual piece of writing into one word--one main theme. What is the essence of this novel/play/devotional book? I've come up with GRACE, REDEMPTION, MERCY, FRIENDSHIP, and others, depending on the piece. Sometimes it is just to entertain, and that's okay. But knowing my purpose has helped me stay focused on what's important, in both the writing stages and the marketing stages.


I think this last leg is one that needs special attention once one steps into the 'publishing' arena. I really appreciated Bob Jones' post this month about tenacity, and I think I have a bit of that same gene, or I would have given up a long time ago. 

I wasn't prepared, at first, for the fact that my first novel--my baby--wasn't as good as I thought it was! I wasn't prepared for rejection after rejection even after I had revised and edited. Then, once I'd "made it" with my first book deal, I wasn't prepared for the hard work and effort that goes into marketing. And after that, I wasn't prepared for negative reviews or criticism from other Christians because my book wasn't as squeaky clean as they wanted it to be. 

Trust me, I've had ample opportunities to just give up, already! 

Then I realized I need this leg of my writing stool. My passion for writing isn't going away and I believe in the purposes I've identified for each piece, so perseverance is the only logical choice since I can't teeter on two legs for long. 

These three go together. Without one, you will eventually fall (or fail) as a writer, but when you're sitting squarely on your three-legged writing stool, there is a sense of security no matter the outcome of any individual piece. 


After thirty-some years of writing, Tracy Krauss continues relentlessly on, writing in a variety of genres from devotional books to romantic suspense novels to stage-plays. She is also currently serving as president of Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship. Visit her website for all the low-down: "fiction o the edge without crossing the line" https://tracykrauss.com

June 14, 2021

June Mid-Month Moments by Connie inglis

 Mid-Month Moments

I am FULL of inspiration after returning from a trip, so please excuse me if I make references to the landscape or the art/architecture of Florence, Italy area or The Netherlands. I simply can't help myself!

Have you ever wanted to be a tronie? I'd never heard the word "tronie" (literally meaning "face" in Old Dutch) until visiting the Netherlands - a term specifically referenced in connection with art of the Dutch Golden Age. Wikipedia states that the term "tronie" is, "typically restricted to figures not intended to depict an identifiable person, so it is a form of genre painting in a portrait format. Typically a painted head or bust only, if concentrating on the facial expression, but often half-length when featured in an exotic costume, tronies might be based on studies from life or use the features of actual sitters."

I saw many tronies while visiting the museums in Amsterdam--by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Lievens. Perhaps one of the most famous tronies is Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring (if you're interested in further study). Typically characteristic of a tronie is the anonymity of the subject. The piece of artwork showcases the ability of the artist to depict emotion or personality, while leaving the subject anonymous. The focus is on the artist's handiwork and ability to portray something deeper.

So, while walking the halls of the Rijksmuseum, I began pondering the spiritual application of tronies. Firstly, if a famous artist like Rembrandt painted me today, or if he painted you, what character trait would be revealed? Would it be a general emotion like surprise or laughter or puzzlement? Or would it reveal something deeper like joy or sorrow, peace or angst, inward beauty or bitterness? For me, I'd hope it would be a positive trait, not a negative one. Wouldn't we all?

That got me thinking about how the world sees us as believers as we touch lives every day. Do they see the character of Jesus in us? If they could paint us, what character trait would come through? Not only that, and more importantly, do they see the handiwork of God in our lives? So that we become anonymous "tronies", and God, the Creator of us as His handiwork, is exalted and glorified in us as His creation?

God's guiding Word offers us further insight (NIV):

John the Baptist's words in John 3:29,30 reveal his desire (his JOYFUL desire) to become an anonymous servant of Jesus: "The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”

And the familiar verses of Eph. 2:8-10 reveal God's intent for our lives:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s HANDIWORK [emphasis mine], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

My prayer for us this week, is that Jesus becomes greater in our lives and that we humble ourselves and strive to reveal only Him in all we say and do. And, as well, that we become "tronies," revealing all and only God's beauty and wonder and glory. For He alone is worthy!

All for Him,


May 31, 2017

Mid-Month Moments are past devotionals written by Connie Inglis that she shared each week when she was InScribe's spiritual advisor. (Originally called 'Mid-Week Moments') They are shared from her archives with permission in the middle of each month. 

June 13, 2021

Pursuing Our Passion & Purpose as Inspirational Writers - Wendy L. Macdonald


The challenges I need to overcome in order to pursue my passion and purpose for writing and creativity are the ones between my ears.

I recently got shortlisted in a hook-for-a-book contest. My nonfiction project is regarding a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. But my brain has been badgering me while I attempt to complete a book proposal for the final part of the contest.

I realized it’s a huge blessing to be shortlisted. I don’t want to waste this opportunity to have some publishing professionals I deeply respect give me advice on my work. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the grand prize. Yes, there’s a bigger prize for the winner. My goal is to get my proposal done and follow the suggestions that get sent back to me. I know I’m a student. I crave to improve my craft.

But my brain is battering me with unhelpful critiques regarding my dreams. It’s telling me I’m too little to aspire to big things.

I can’t argue about being little. What I can say is God delights in using small things to confound the largeness in the world. If God calls us to a project, He’ll help us complete it. What happens after that isn’t our business to bother with. 

Our duty is to obey. 

The inspirational writing life isn’t about the writer. 

It’s about what God wants to say and do through those who are ready to write for Him.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27 NIV

Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

P.S. I covet a prayer or two as I attempt to complete my proposal on time. I’m almost done. Thank you from the bottom of this writer’s heart. 


June 11, 2021

What's My Purpose and Passion? by Carol Harrison

 The question about what my purpose and passion happens to be, can be a loaded question that makes me want to shut down and not bother answering - or at least it has on many occasions. Have I known it for a long time or recently discovered it? Has it changed over time or just grown in depth? 

Recently, I heard someone say that to discover, rediscover, or develop your present day passion and purpose, you need to revisit your younger self and see what captured your interest, made you want to spend endless hours in its pursuit, and enjoy the journey. As a teen, reading, studying, research, and writing school reports, essays, and stories captured my attention to the exclusion of many other pursuits. Some might say I exhibited many nerd-like qualities. Yet my main purpose continued to be finishing school and becoming a teacher. How would this passion for academic type pursuits serve me in the "real-world" of everyday life? 

I observed female role models in my life. All of them demonstrated their love for God and family through serving others. They managed households, could grow much in a small garden plot, sewed with ease, quilted, cooked delicious meals, and baked from scratch. Domestic activities in which they excelled and found their passion - or so it seemed to me- helped them serve others with compassion. How did study, reading, and writing fit into a purpose that would help others? I didn't know and felt it must mean I needed to discover another purpose for my life and pray my passions and interests changed. 

If someone asked me this question of purpose and passion in my twenties, thirties, and even into my forties, I would shake my head because I still struggled to figure out that answer. Or I might have thrown out the answer about raising my children, teaching Sunday School, or helping in our business. Yet throughout these decades of uncertainty and busyness, deep down the passion for more creative endeavors round its way into my life through crafts or jotting down ideas but never really pursuing anything. 

As a young girl, I understood that each one is uniquely created by God and we all, as believers, have to share the good news of the gospel. Later, I learned how God gives gifts and abilities for us to use to build others up and bring glory to God. Somewhere along the way I lost sight of this truth as it related to me. 

It took years of floundering, trying various activities, being busy with everyday aspects of life before I discovered the gifts God intended me to use didn't have to look like anyone else's gifts. I didn't have to be my mother or grandmothers, or aunts with their domestic abilities. I needed to be willing for God to use what he had given me, then pursue them, practice them, and persevere in the journey even when I didn't always understand the direction or the reasons. It is more than okay to be who God made me to be. So what is my passion and purpose? 

I am a storyteller. It means being willing to tell the story of what God has and is doing in whatever format that takes - written or oral. It also means participating in the journey with God and taking the next step when I can't see the one beyond that. 

God brought several scripture passages to mind, multiple times until they embedded deep into my heart and mind. 

Psalm 78:1-4, "O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old- what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done."

Psalm 105:1-5, "Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgements he pronounced."

God used those years of fear, of uncertainty, the busyness of raising a family, and working in our own businesses at times, to teach me many things. He showed me through a variety of experiences that he is still the same God as the God of the Bible. He led people into my life who spoke into my heart with compassion, with affirmations, and sometimes with a kick in the seat of the pants as I needed to be nudged from a comfort zone I was never intended to remain in.

Those passions for creativity, study, and research, as well as the desire to teach or help others never changed. It simply developed as I came to terms with the directions God might lead me and how they might not look the same as I imagined or what others may have expected. That is okay. 

Some days are difficult to keep going. The path ahead remains in the shadows and I long to give up, hide out, and forget about sharing stories and God's love with others. Yet persistence or perseverance means I need to keep going one step at a time, allowing God to guide and direct. I don't have to understand all the complexities but rather be available and obedient. 

As I worked through all those thoughts on purpose and passion and how it showed up in my life, I wrote this mission statement a few years ago that sums it up. "As a speaker, published author and storyteller, Carol Harrison is passionate about mentoring people of all ages and abilities to help them find their voice and reach their fullest potential, helping them find a glimmer of hope in every circumstance of life."

In doing this, I can say with the psalmist in Psalm 71:1-4, "But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O Go, till I declare you power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come."  

Carol Harrison keeps plodding on the journey one step at a time as she tells stories for her family and others. She hangs out for hours at a time in front of her computer from her home in Saskatoon, longing that others will be encouraged, entertained, or educated. Most of all that God will have all the glory.

June 06, 2021

A Writer's Best Friend by Bob Jones

Reputations are funny things. What do people know you for? The world’s best baked beans and bacon? Crafts? Creativity? Inspiring writing? Most people know me for one thing.


It’s not hard to imagine how that reputation came about. Eighteen years ago, our church was the subject of conversation from coast to coast and for all the wrong reasons. We set off in an unpopular direction, fraught with failure. It was painful at times. But we made it through a six-year quest to a remarkable new beginning. Invitations to tell my story came from across Canada. Seems as though the two things church leaders have in common are pain and a need for hope. “Tell me it’s going to be OK.”



Requests come my way to write for magazines or speak to groups and there is usually one subject requested. But that’s OK. It’s nice to be asked. Not surprisingly, while crafting this post, an invitation came to speak at a Christian camp this summer. The organizers are looking for someone to speak on the topic “How Not to Give Up.” Some people have a reputation for passion or perseverance; mine is a passion for perseverance.  

Stamina is my forte. An International Marathon medal reminds me that I am a finisher. So is my wife. Give us a task, point us in the right direction and we'll make it to the finish line. Our maxim is, "It's always too soon to quit."



This week, our staff took Patrick Lencioni’s, Working Genius assessment. Lencioni says everyone has two of six working geniuses. The six are summarized in an acrostic - WIDGET. The “T” stands for Tenacity. Yes, you guessed my working genius.

Tenacity gets me through writing books. Do you ever get sick of your books as you write them? Multiple times in the writing process,  the finish line disappears from sight. Grit gets me there. By the first edit all my head wants is to be done. Will puts me in front of the keypad. Finish.

Writing is not all inspiration. In fact, if you wait for inspiration, you’ll do a lot of waiting and little writing. Writing is a long devotion in the same direction. Writing is more perspiration than inspiration. Writers have to do the work. And do it most everyday. 

My granddaughter and I collaborated on a book two summers ago. Quinn was seven years old. She provided the story and illustrations. I edited. Last summer we added a bit more. This is summer number three and she is losing interest. I hear myself say,"We always finish what we start." By September, the story will have an ending. All it takes is one rainy afternoon.


Angela Duckworth is spot on in her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Talent isn't the only indicator of success. Tenacity ranks right up at the top. Consistent and persistent effort, following through on your commitments, and dedicated practice are every writer's best friend. 

An interest in writing will get you to the start line. Tenacity will get you to the finish line.

Tenacity is one of the characteristics that can tip the scales for you. Cultivating tenacity will help you add one more chapter, write just 500 more words, or pitch just one more magazine before your work is done. Growing and developing tenacity is an active undertaking. But the return value is worth it.

Write on!

My running partner and wife, Jocelyn.

I write to grow hope, inspire people to be real, forge an authentic faith in Jesus, and discover their life purpose.

Please follow my writing at REVwords.com

I would love to hear from you.


June 05, 2021

InScriber Review Day - Terrie Todd

 As you may know, the 5th of each month is set aside to review an InScriber's book. (Or a book on writing or faith.)

Today we are thrilled to feature our own Terrie Todd, an author with some acclaim, to be sure, and if you've read any of her books, you'll know why! Her latest novel ROSE AMONG THORNES is releasing in July, so look for it! However, here is a review of another of her books called BLEAK LANDING:

"I literally read this book all the way through from start to finish. Set in the dirty thirties and on into world war two, the historical facts, as well as location, seem very authentic to the time period. Bridget, a poor immigrant girl, suffers humiliation and abuse, so finally runs away to the big city of Winnipeg where she reinvents herself and learns to make her way in the world. But circumstances force her to return to Bleak Landing, the place she swore she would never go again. Through her many trials and triumphs, she learns to forgive and also comes to a personal knowledge of God's love. Oh - and she also finds romantic love in another unexpected person, too! All in all, this is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it." *Five Stars*

review by Tracy Krauss

If you've read a great book by an Inscribe member or a book about writing or faith that you'd like to share, please contact the moderator. We are always looking for reviews to share on the 5th of each month. 

June 01, 2021

How Do You Write with Passion, Purpose, and Persistence? by Sandi Somers

Now that's persistence! 
Image by Pixabay

Last summer I enjoyed the book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Psychologist and author Angela Duckworth interviewed hundreds of people who were successful in their fields. She discovered that talent wasn’t the only indicator of success—sometimes a lesser talented person achieves more through what she called Grit. With effort, talent becomes skill. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than your unmet potential.

Duckworth said we begin by exploring our interests. From this exploration, we’ll discover what we’re really passionate about: something that will hold our interest over the long haul. Something that expresses our deepest desires.  

 … About ten years ago, I began giving more attention to writing. Every idea could be a book. However, gradually I dropped several ideas—some were too undeveloped or didn’t hold my attention for long. My passions lie in devotionals, my experiences working with different immigrant and refugee groups, and InScribe Writers Online.

But we must have a purpose, a calling, that will benefit others, says Duckworth. Something to connect to a larger picture. She gave an example of two bricklayers: one bricklayer says he’s laying bricks. The other bricklayer says he is building the house of God.

 ...For a time I wondered if God was really in my writing—should I even continue? I kept getting hamstrung by my short attention span of two or three months on one project. And my mental energy kept wearing down – I needed to take down time after major projects.


However, through prayer God confirmed that writing was one of my ministries. My purpose is to tell part of God's greater story of redemption, a story only I can tell—to point people to Jesus’ victory, his deliverance over sin and death, and his empowerment in our lives.


Then Duckworth discovered we foster our passion and purpose through practice. Thousands of hours of deliberate practice–taking a specific area that needs improving and deciding on a “stretch goal”. With great effort, we practice until we reach that stretch goal. When we’ve mastered that skill, we choose a new stretch goal.

 In each piece of writing, I practice such things as scenes, anecdotes, and sensory detail.This winter and spring I took two writing courses in personal essays to practice new strategies and receive professional feedback.

Further, Duckworth said that growth mindset leads to perseverance. Rather than reacting to setbacks and mistakes as though they're harmful, step back, analyze them, and learn from them. Keep working hard. Stay optimistic.

 …As I persevered, I learned that my shorter attention span has benefits. Like gardening and yard work that require different tasks throughout the year, and like my teaching career that focused on different units each term, I came to the conclusion that writing on seasonal topics and even two or more projects at a time facilitates my growth and keeps ideas flowing.  


However, I knew Duckworth missed out a vital component. God provided it for me this weekend as our church’s sermon this weekend was Our Number One Priority: Jesus. Sunday evening, a sermon from Charles Stanley emphasized this same theme. As we spend quality time with Him in the Word and in prayer, the Lord is actively working in, through, and for us. Stanley’s points are worth repeating: The Lord quietens our spirits so we’ll be calm for what might blow others off course. He refreshes our emotions. He purifies our hearts to face anxieties, frustrations, and sin. He gives us insight and instruction. And finally He gives us deep, abiding joy.

 More and more I’m experiencing how God gives me specific writing directions. Just last week, two specific ideas came to mind for my writing course, and God outlined several points. He even told me where to find an earlier draft in all my hundreds of computer entries. And many mornings in my quiet time, a thought that God brings to my attention becomes an insert into an article—or even a whole article. Now that’s co-creating with God.   


How have you demonstrated the above qualities in your faith and writing?

What challenges have you faced in keeping true to your vision of writing and creativity?

In what ways have you been a co-creator with God in developing your talents?


Thanks to the following InScribers for initiating this blog topic:

Sharon Heagy encapsulated many of the elements of passion and purpose when she advised us: “to never give up, to push through the writer’s block and blank pages until words appear that pierce or comfort a heart, all to the glory of God…Keep going…Never give up. For someone out there needs to read your words.” l

SusanBarclay illustrated another component of passion and purpose: centering different areas of her life around the Lord in a way that pleases Him.