Welcome to "Showers of Blessings" which is a blog for writers and their readers! It is my prayer you will find many blessings in these humble words as you open your heart to hear about my best friend, Jesus Christ. He has called me to write for Him and though I remain stunned by this, wondering how He could use someone like me in this competitive industry, I know He has equipped me to do the job or He would never have opened all the doors He has to a career in writing. He gets all the glory for such an awesome plan, believe me!

Below each post there is an indication of the number of comments for that post. If you click on that it will bring up the comments for you to read and allow you to leave a comment for me if you would like to do so. I look forward to hearing what you have to say and thank you for taking the time to step with me into the showers of blessings He shares with all of us through His Word!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Far Above Ordinary

Are you just “ordinary”? I never have liked that word, frankly. It indicates to me someone who never really tries, who never puts forth any real effort much less extra effort, who settles for mediocre when excellence is the point! So please don’t ever call me ordinary!

My prayer is that my writing for the Lord will be considered far and above the normal that is out there for others to read. Above the average. Above the usual. Above the—well, ordinary! How to make it shine and sparkle is the goal to which I aspire. Whether or not I make that is up to my readers, of course, but I believe that with God’s inspiration behind every word He is the One who will make that difference clear. So I continue to hone my craft and practice it continually, editing and shaping it until I am satisfied it is the best I can produce with His help. Results are not up to me, they are in His hands. As my husband likes to say regarding our homebuilding business, “Production is my job. Marketing and sales belong to God alone.”

Recently I read an awesome quote written by a friend of mine, Nick Adams, who kindly gave his permission for me to use it here and which speaks to this same thing from a faith standpoint. “God never created you to be ordinary. He created you to leave your mark on this generation. God wants you to do something big. Do it!”

What can I do that is “big”? Anything that the Father has planned! When should I do it? Now! How do I do it? Obedience and perseverance! Where do I do it? Wherever God has planted me! Why should I do this big thing? Because He has ordained it and commanded me and guides my every step!

Are you ready to join me in this exciting venture? Throw away ordinary and add that extra effort to become what He has planned all along—extraordinary! Your readers will thank you and those whose lives you touch outside your writing will also be grateful. And most important of all, God will be glorified when you do rather than just talk about it. Remember, the goal is excellence in everything, just as He displays that same quality in all His works here on earth. How can we do any less?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Knowledge or Understanding?

The world clamors at us from every side to learn all sorts of things and much of this is good. We do have to be cautious, however, to consider the source and consider the purpose or we might be spinning our wheels or even going backwards.

As writers, we are encouraged to always be stretching our limits in the craft whether it’s by attending conferences and workshops, reading books on any one of various topics related to our particular area of interest in writing, meeting with other writers in groups to hear a speaker or for discussion, honing our skills at critiquing by aiding other writers, or always by sitting at the computer and actually writing. All of these will help us grow to do our chosen tasks better and more efficiently. Otherwise, we are just doing “busy work” without purpose.

As Christians we know from the Scriptures that we will never remain stagnant. That is, we will either be growing in our faith or sliding backwards. There is no middle ground. Try as we might, we cannot stay where we are! The expansion of our beliefs might be through baby steps or might be through giant leaps—and this goes for both directions, for that matter. Have you ever hit a low point and felt that every day you were taking ten steps back? Yes, so have I. Not fun. Sometimes the slippery slope is a huge mountain; other times it is subtle and gentle and not so obvious. Perhaps you have awakened, as have I, and realized with a start that it has been quite some time since you felt God’s presence filling your soul and you wonder where He went. He didn’t go anywhere, though, since He wasn’t the one who moved. Good lesson to be more discerning about sliding back down that hill!

Mine is a dynamic faith and I pray my writing will be equally as “on fire” so that my messages will encourage hearts, inform minds, and inspire the spirits of people who read my books. The worst remark someone could make about one of my novels is to ask later “what message?” because it just didn’t make that great of an impact for her to remember. And I pray that no one I meet or know will have to wonder whether or not I am a Christian, that just by meeting and knowing me even briefly they can tell. At least, that is my goal. Which is also a scary prospect, in that perhaps I will have a negative impact on someone because of that fact. Ouch!

The world assails us with the demand to gain more knowledge but God’s desire is for us to have understanding of the facts we already know before we attempt to learn new ones. As stated recently in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, “Understanding will never bring you Peace. That’s why I have instructed you to trust in Me, not in your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) emphasizes this by reminding us that God is the source of our understanding, not our own intellect, ability, or persistence. For Christ alone is the Prince of Peace.

Psalms 20:7 (NIV) says it another way: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Not in might or power or wealth or education or prestige or success—just in HIM! And then we are admonished that once we make this decision to pursue understanding and wisdom through His Spirit, we are not to be filled with second thoughts or questions. As Elizabeth Elliot said it: “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.” Amen and amen again!

Keep writing and keep striving for understanding of Him and His values, keeping your eyes off the world while being in it and writing about it. Tough assignment but possible through His strength alone!