Posts by Janet

Maximizing Your Influence

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in Blog, Commentary, Devotions, Journal, Uncategorized | 6 comments

I have to admit it, creating and maintaining my own website was not on my bucket list. My preference would be to spend my “computer time” catching up on news, communicating with friends and family, or working on writing projects. However, successful writers, agents, and publishers stress the importance of having a web presence, a platform, where we can maximize our influence.

So, almost two years ago when I was invited to become a regular contributor to a group blog, Colonial Quills http://colonialquills.blogspot.com/ I was thrilled. Most of the other writers who contribute to this site were multi-published authors and all share a common interest in our colonial past. This would give me a chance to write about topics dear to me, our incredible history and the Christian faith.  Terrific! Now I had a web presence.

In 2012, Michael S. Hyatt, the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, one of the largest trade book publishing companies in the U.S. produced a bestseller on just this topic. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Wanting to be current, I read this excellent book about getting our message out, and getting Platform 1noticed. http://michaelhyatt.com/platform

Perusing the web and checking out many author’s blog and websites was fascinating with so much talent, creativity, and my goodness, so many published books on display. Hmm, I would certainly need to get a website as soon as my manuscript was picked up by a publisher. It didn’t take long to notice that almost all the writers that I knew, published or not, already were on the web. I needed to take the plunge and not put it off any longer

Now, two weeks after launching my website, I’ve learned so much, and like so many other things in my life, I’ve learned some important lessons the hard way. My first lesson was; after you post, ALWAYS review it again to be sure it is ALL there, no missing paragraphs, words, or letters.

In addition to reading Jesus Calling every morning, I also receive a wonderful devotional from Nicky Gumbel, the Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, the largest Anglican Church in Britain. He pioneered the Alpha Course, an evangelism ministry that I was involved with for many years. http://www.alphausa.org/Groups/1000065342/Alt_Home_page.aspx

On August 14th, the very day my website went live Nicky’s devotional was waiting for me in my inbox. Now, why would I be surprised at the timing of his message?

“Maximizing Your Influence”

(used with Nicky’s permission)

1.  Use your influence for the good of everyone   Psalm 96:1-13

2.  Use your influence to spread the good news 1 Corinthians 9:1-18

3.  Use your influence to plant good seeds Ecclesiastes 9:13-12:14

          •        Watch your words

          •        Take risks

          •        Spread your efforts

          •        Take your opportunities

I particularly appreciated his closing prayer.

“Lord, help me and help our community to make the most of every opportunity that you have given us.  Help us to fear you and keep your commandments.  Help us to use our influence for good and not for evil.  Help us to make the most of every opportunity that you have put before us.”

‘Of the making of books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.’ 

Ecclesiastes 12:12  NIV – UK

http://www.htb.org.uk/bioy

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Summer Days By The Sea ~ Part Two

Posted by on Aug 22, 2013 in Blog, Devotions, Uncategorized | 8 comments

Summer Days By The Sea

Many years ago during a very difficult season in my life, some kind friends offered their condo at the beach to my sons and me for a mini vacation. It was a generous gift that I’ve never forgotten, a few days that allowed us to forget our troubles for a time. What I thought would only be a change of scene, and a brief escape from the stress that had come our way, became so much more for me. Twice, under very different circumstances, I was reminded of the Lord’s presence, provision, and love for us.

 

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3: 20,21

 

~   Part Two

When we returned to the condo after our stroll on the boardwalk we settled in. Later, after the boys had finally quieted down for the night, I took a cup of tea and settled on the sofa and noticed a little book on the coffee table, Parables by the Sea by Pamela Reeve. It was a thin paperback book with layered pages and lovely pictures and parables of shells, tide-pools, and waves. The message in this remarkable book touched all the hurting places in my heart. Since Parables by the Seathe book belonged to my friends who owned the condo, I couldn’t remove it. But what if the book was out of print? I searched for my notebook and pen and proceeded to copy it word for word. This little treasure was like a love note from God, acknowledging my pain, while reminding me that He was in control and still had a plan for our lives. It was an assurance that He would guide us through that journey. Months later I was able to find a copy of Parables by the Sea, that I still treasure to this day.

The Lord used our friend’s generous gift of those days at the beach to bless me in ways that they, or I, could have never imagined. He knows just what we need, and often uses faithful friends to bring it to pass. Thank You, Lord.

 

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Summer Days By The Sea

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 in Blog, Devotions, Uncategorized | 10 comments

Summer Days By The Sea

Many years ago during a very difficult season in my life, some kind friends offered their condo at the beach to my sons and me for a mini vacation. It was a generous gift that I’ve never forgotten, a few days that allowed us to forget our troubles for a time. What I thought would only be a change of scene, and a brief escape from the stress that had come our way, became so much more. Twice, under very different circumstances, I was reminded of the Lord’s presence, provision, and love for us.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

  

~   Part One

We arrived on a warm summer afternoon and immediately made our way to walk on the beach boardwalk. On one side were the typical, some might say tacky, beach shops and the fast food establishments selling funnel cakes, salt water taffy and other equally unhealthy, but delicious fare. The beach side was an entirely different scene, God’s glorious creation of blue sky and sea, with the rhythmic and seemingly eternal waves washing up on the shore.

As we walked back to the condo we came across a sculptor working on the beach with the simplest of tools, a plastic knife and a spray bottle of water and sand, huge mounds of sand. We stood entranced by the artist, a pastor, silently demonstrating his God-given skill for a long time. His designs were the most incredible biblical scenes on several sand hills with etched Sand sculpturesScripture verses beneath. These scenes were dramatic and rather incongruous across the boardwalk from shops with racks of bikinis and boogie boards for sale. It was a stunning reminder for me that even when we are wandering through a difficult period, with all its worldly distractions, God’s plans won’t be thwarted. One can experience the powerful provision and presence of the Lord in the most unexpected places.

Come back on Thursday and learn of the second gift the Lord provided.

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Welcome to my new website

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Blog, Book Reviews, Devotions | 6 comments

July 26, 2013

Welcome to my new website.

In the days and months to come I hope to use this platform to:

~ showcase fiction and non-fiction authors and their books

~ offer commentary on subjects near to my heart

~ relay stories and thoughts on the Christian life

~ address some of my own writing journey

~ share media that inspires, and hopefully pleases

 

Book Review

Each morning, my husband and I read a daily lesson from the 365 day devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

This treasure was first published in 2004 and it has done very well for the world’s largest Christian publisher, Thomas Nelson, Inc,.  By June of 2012 more than five million Jesus Calling® products had been sold worldwide.

This 365-day devotional, available in a variety of formats, is written from the perspective of Jesus speaking directly to the reader with several Scripture verses noted. The author has recorded what she believed Jesus was saying to her through the Scriptures.

Millions of people have found that these daily devotions speak directly to them, and to whatever circumstances they are experiencing at the time. I no sooner had bought this little book, when I had the occasion to give it to a friend who was in need of encouragement. So, then I purchased two more copies, one for me and one to give away the next time I thought someone would be blessed by it. I should have bought them in bulk since to date I’ve given away nearly a dozen.

jesus-callingJesus Calling comes in a variety of formats. Our current copy is leather bound and includes the actual Scripture verses that are referenced. It’s a time-saver since it doesn’t require a Bible to look up the verses. There is also an adaptation of the book that allows space for journaling each day, and there’s even a version for kids.Jesus Calling Leather

So this morning, while it was still dark, I pondered, what should I write in my first blogpost for my new website? I needed guidance. An hour or so later, when we opened our devotional to July 26th  ―  there it was.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

 I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”  — Psalm 32:8

“Direct me in the path of your commands,

for there I find delight.” — Psalm 119:35

 

Have you read Jesus Calling? If not, I recommend it highly.

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What Devotionals Are You Reading?

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Blog, Devotions | 2 comments

Do you have a favorite on-line or hard copy devotional?

I have quite a few favorites, but one devotion writer that has lasted the test of time is Roy Lessin. Over the years, he has written a wealth of books, but he may be even more widely known for his association with DaySpring Cards. His cards cover a variety of topics and can be found in most stores that carry a selection of Christian cards.

At Christmastime in particular, I like to peruse the card aisle looking for just the right cards to send friends and family. His messages inevitably bring me to tears. Whether on his cards or in his books, his devotions are thought provoking, insightful, heartfelt and always tied to the Scriptures.

I receive his online devotionals which I often print so I can enjoy them repeatedly. http://www.meetmeinthemeadow.com/

A recent post of Roy’s provides an excellent roadmap for traveling through life when your destination is heaven.

Traveling The Highway to Heaven

One of the ways you can think about your journey from earth to heaven is to imagine it as a road trip you are taking in a car. Here are a few things to remember as you travel along the highway…

1.      Obey the signs.   

“With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments.” Psalm 119:10

2.      Keep the tank full. 

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,” Ephesians 5:18

3.      Clean the windows. 

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

4.      It’s okay to give someone a lift. 

“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,  not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25

5.      Take advantage of all the rest stops.

“And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)” Mark 6:31

6.      Check the cell phone for updated messages.

“Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

7.      Know how to get a hold of roadside assistance.

“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”  Psalm 91:15

8.      Welcome the miles you spend with a passenger.                                                                                            “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;” Romans 12:10

9.      Don’t be surprised if the road makes an unexpected turn.  Acts 10:13-20

10.    Always remember the purpose of the trip and your final destination.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Used with Roy Lessin’s permission  http://www.meetmeinthemeadow.com/2013/07/traveling-the-highway-to-heaven/

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