Jul 21

FOR WRITERS: Marketing for the Humble-Hearted

 

What’s the hardest part of writing: Getting our work into the hands of readers.

Today I’m guest-posting over at JonStolpeStretched.com about Marketing for the Humble Hearted. Here’s the link

Jul 18

FOCUS WORD: FIRM

More than half of 2014 over.  I had hoped my focus word “firm” for 2014 would have taken effect physically as well as spiritually and relation-ally.

faith

 

Been doing Shaun T’s exercise video “T25” for 3 months; lifted weights and walked 3 miles a day before that. But alas, this girl’s old bod isn’t getting much firmer.

But my resolve remains firm. And that’s a big part of the equation. So like Lone Watie in The Outlaw Josey Wales, “I shall endeavor to persevere.”

…through 2014 and beyond. Because the alternative to firm is less than attractive in so many ways.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you still plugging along toward improvement or at least upkeep?

Jul 14

FOR READERS: Day Day

Don’t you just love free stuff? And bargains? Me, too!

Over the past year I’ve been thrilled to receive hundreds (yes, really) of free books for my Kindle. Some have been better than others; most I haven’t gotten to yet.

But one of the cool things about some of the free books is that they’re the first in a series. The series author offers the first book for free. If the reader likes it, she’s more likely to buy the rest of the series.

Chop Chop by L.N. Cronk

My hat is off to that great marketing tool! I’ve purchased more than one set of books after reading the first free one in the series. And I’ve recommended those books to my friends. And my book club. So those brilliant authors did good—both on our behalf and theirs. It’s a win all around.

The latest series I’m reading that started free is the Chop, Chop series by L.N. Cronk. Chop, Chop introduces us to the characters we’ll get to know in the rest of the books. It starts with the main characters as kids and ends at high school. The first three-quarters of the book is light and funny and engaging. Then suddenly—if you’re like me—you’ll be sobbing.

 

 

Day Day

That first book was free. Our book club read it, loved it and we all bought the second one, Day-Day. We’re meeting today to discuss it. Funny in parts, heart wrenching in others. Great writing and storytelling throughout.

I went through nearly an entire box of Kleenex reading this one. That’s a good thing.

When I swiped my last Kindle page, I saw that there are a total of eight books in the Chop, Chop series. I have a feeling I’ll need to invest heavily in Kleenex.

Jul 11

FOR FAITH: Stirring the Saints

OZ AND I image copy

I’m still smarting from the head whacking Oswald Chambers gave me yesterday. He said:

“We want to stay off the rough roads of life, and our primary objective is to secure a peaceful retreat from the world.”

Well, yes, that is a lovely thought, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, a peaceful retreat from the world isn’t what Jesus had in mind for us. Jesus only occasionally retreated to the desert or the garden to commune with the Father. Then He was back in the world, turning over Temple tables, healing diseases and loving on the unlovely.

Oz would say, Jesus was in the business of stirring up the world. And He wants to stir us up, too for His purpose and to accomplish His plans. When we resist being stirred up, says Oz, we become lazy saints. Ouch.

As I rub my aching head from yesterday’s head whacking, I remember something important: I’ll get that peaceful retreat from the world when God decides I’ve had enough time here on planet Earth.

So…we might as well enjoy the stirring up while we’re here.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you resist being stirred up and on fire for what God has in mind? How can you live in excited expectation for the stirring?

 

NOTE: based on Oswald Chambers’ devotional for July 10, My Utmost for His Highest

Jul 07

FOR WRITERS: Q2 Goal Review

Last week I nagged you that it was time to review your 2014 goals. Did you do it? (nag, nag, nag)

Goals

Once again I discovered that priorities have shifted. Here are my writing goals through 2014. I’m posting them here to give you permission to switch up your own goals. The important thing is having a focus and working toward it.

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  1. At end of March, my goal was to publish 4 Bible studies by the end of 2014. I’ve switched that up to launch the With Faith Like Hers SERIES in September with three books, I am Eve, I am Esther and I am Ruth. I’m working on my launch now, writing articles for a blog tour, creating freebies for the week and cooking up a “cyber book launch lunch” for you all. I’m also preparing to lead a group Bible study on Eve to garner helpful ideas to share with others about leading a group Bible study.
  2. I asked my daughter to develop a line of beauty products to accompany my women’s Bible studies. We hope to launch the body scrub in September, with a different scent for each of the woman from Scripture in the series.
  3. Release I am Mary (Mother Mary) in November for the Christmas gift/study markets along with a frankincense body scrub. I am Mary is in its third revision; the cover is completed.
  4. November I plan to join Nanowrimo and draft two books for revision in 2015: a children’s book about money: Kids and Cash and the first book of a new Bible study series Atop the Mountain: The Beatitudes.
  5. I enrolled in a class on website design. I will work on my author site and the Honor Bound Books website on a continuing basis for the remainder of the year.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What have you been up to? What do the next three months look like?

Jul 04

FOR FAITH: Independence Day

Americana 11

 

Today is the day we celebrate our nation’s independence. That reminds me of Jesus…

…because every day is a day to celebrate the freedom we have because of Jesus.

Jun 30

Q2 NAGGING

Today is a reminder: 2014 is half over.

What did you start out the year wanting to accomplish?

How are you doing?

How might you need to reorganize and head in a new direction?

What one thing can you do today to reach toward your goals?

Will you do it?

Thank you for your attention. My nagging for the day is complete.

Jun 27

FOR WRITERS: Joining the 21st Century

I am SOOOO last century.

600px-Eternal_clock

Image from Wikimedia Commons

OK, maybe not all the way into last century. But definitely last decade—technologically speaking.

In the past couple of years, I’ve started a blog and developed three websites on my own—with no help and only a few teardrops. They’re not fabulous but they’re up and working. Mostly.

I can email; I can Skype. I’m on Facebook and just joined Linked-in. I have a twitter account I never use and on occasion, I even know which remote control corresponds to which device next to the TV.

I also have figured out the whole indie publishing thing and can format my books, create a cover, and get them uploaded and available for print and electronic publishing.

But here’s the thing. Most recently I have set about creating leader’s guides for my women’s Bible study series, With Faith Like Hers. Although the studies were written for women to read each day on their own, we gals love to get together and talk. Therefore, we also love doing group Bible studies.

So here’s where I’m still stuck in the last decade. I’m writing this first set of leader’s guides as a downloadable Power Point.

Really? you ask.

…uh, yes…she replied sheepishly.

I know! Video is the thing. But that means researching software and hardware; learning how to use both. It means having to get dressed at least for the day of shooting with makeup and lipstick. It means trying to be enthusiastic, real and encouraging while worrying whether the camera is giving me fish face.

So, yes, one day I will move into this decade. But let me cling to my Power Point a bit longer. Get the content before focusing on the how-to-present-it part. That sounds good, right? And it’ll be free so that’s a plus, right?

Sigh. By the time I’m ready to shoot my first video, there’ll probably be something new to learn and master. Will I ever join the modern world?

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Is there a technology skill you need to learn? What is holding you back from learning it?

Jun 23

FOR FAITH: I’m no Angel

angel statue Today I’m thanking God I’m not an angel.

Sometimes when a person dies, their loved ones say that she has become an angel and has received her wings.

My heart breaks for their loss. But I wince, knowing there are no wings involved. Because angels are not people who have died.

Scripture tells us that angels—like humans—are beings God created. And—just as God loves us humans—He probably also loves angels.

But we are different creations. We have different roles in God’s universe. We have different parts to play in His plan.

There are various types of angels listed in Scripture. The first sphere of angels are the ones identified in Scripture. They include: seraphim, cherubim, and thrones (also called Orphanim or Erelim).

  • Seraphim have six wings. (Isaiah 6:1-7)
  • Cherubim have 4 faces (man, ox, lion and eagle). They also have 4 wings covered with eyes, have a lion’s body and an ox’s feet. (Genesis 3:24; Exodus 25:17–22; 2 Chronicles 3:7–14; Ezekiel 10:12–14,  28:14–16; 1 Kings 6:23–28; Revelation 4:6–8.)
  • As if having 4 faces isn’t strange enough, there are also the Thrones. They are wheels within wheels. The rims of the wheels are covered with eyes. (Colossians 1:16).

“But what about Cherubs?” you ask—those winged human babies seen in art. Cherubs are mythical creatures artists dreamed up to adorn their paintings. Cherubs are not angels. They are not biblical. When children die, they do not become naked babies with wings, as cute and comforting as that image might be.

There are evidently other classes of angels, more or less strange looking to our human eyes. But none of them are human beings who have died.

When I get to heaven I won’t receive six wings or even two. I won’t get a lion’s body. Nor will I become a wheel, covered with eyeballs.

Jesus tells me I will receive a spotless white robe though and I will get to join along with the seraphim as they spend eternity singing, “Holy, holy, holy is God Almighty!”

Even if I’m off-key and out of sync, that’s pretty cool.

Here’s the crux of the matter. God created us and set us down here upon planet Earth. God created the angels and sent them flittering throughout heaven—the most perfect place in the universe. And then God created a way for me and you to join Him up there in heaven with those angels.

We humans get to live a whole, entire life here on Earth and then we get to spend eternity in heaven with Him and the angels. It’s a two-fer; a blue-light special; a deal too good to pass up. Jesus’ deal that He offers, when He says, “Come. Follow me.”

Yup.  Today, I’m thanking God that I’m no angel. I was made in Jesus’ image. Not the angels’.

So, friend, what are you doing with your one and only human life here on Earth?

Jun 20

FOR FAITH: More Praying Names

I love praying that people will live the meaning of their names. Here are two more for you.

Don’t forget: if you want to pray for someone in this way, leave me a comment below or head over to Honor Bound Books to learn how I can put a name and a prayer on a plaque for you.

Name

 

DEREK; DERRICK: gifted ruler

Heavenly Father, we pray that Derek will live the meaning of his name. We pray that Derek will remember that you are the true ruler of the universe and that everything he has is because of you. We pray also that he will take on positions of leadership with an eye to focusing on how he can best encourage the gifts and talents in those he leads. Amen.

TONYA; TONJA: worthy of praise

Heavenly Father, we pray that Tonya will live the meaning of her name. We pray she will recognize that only you are worthy of praise. But we pray also that she will live her life so as to keep her reputation spotless in your eyes and also in the eyes of people around her so that they can see you shining through her. Amen.

 

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