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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Verdict is in... for real

At long last I have finally spoken to the publisher. For those of you who have kept up with my ongoing saga, I'm sure you are waiting in suspense I have been for so many months.So, I won't keep you waiting anymore. Bottom line:
It's a no.
However, I came away very encouraged.
She began the conversation apologizing for the long wait, which I graciously accepted. Then, she proceeded to go page by page critiquing my work. She told my about my wording on some things that were confusing to her or needed to be rephrased. She also asked me to define my audience more clearly, and that would help with some of the words that I used. She also told me some ideas and paragraphs that she thought were stellar. After a half hour long conversation, I asked her the question burning in my mind: Where do we stand now?
She said 5 years ago she could take new authors like myself and take them under her wing and give them the start in the publishing business. She said they don't do that anymore. Therefore, there was nothing more her and I could talk about because I don't have the large platform they look for (authors like Francis Chan speak to hundreds of thousands of people and I don't have the same exposure). But she said, if I would like, she could take a look at my revisions and give her opinion on them. She also asked me if I had sent it to anyone else and when I replied no, she said make sure I keep pursuing it. She said I have something to say and that if I frame it in a tighter way, I could have something that could be published.
She also gave me a list of freelance editors that she knows that I could use. She encouraged me to return to the same conference I attended when I saw her (She Speaks)and re-pitch the second draft to another publisher. She became so engaged with my testimony about my parents that she actually asked me how my relationship was with them. So, I guess I left her wanting more, which is the goal of any author.
Overall, I walked away more encouraged. When she sent the list of editors in an e-mail, she thanked me for my listening ear and said it bodes well for my writing, and said I had a lot of good ideas and passion about my topic and hoped I was willing and able to pursue my manuscript.
Please keep praying as I consider what to do next: self- publish, return to a conference or give it to Zondervan publishing, who invited me to send a proposal when I met with them last year.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I need your help!

I need your help!
Please pray- I just received an e-mail from the publisher who said she reviewed my proposal. she said she would rather speak to me over the phone about it than write an e-mail. She is calling me at some point tomorrow. Please pray:
1) That the idea is still workable even if she is returning it to me to make changes
2) If this isn't the best idea, that I could pitch her my original idea" Becoming the disciple Whom Jesus Loved"
3) That god would keep the door open in some way if this is returned to me
Thanks to all who have prayed fro me thus far and cared enough to follow up- it means a lot.
I could use your support one more time....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Still Small Voice

Don't you wish God would just tell us what he wanted for our lives?
Don't you wish He just used a megaphone?
Or write it in hieroglyphics on the wall?
Why does He instead choose to use a still, small voice instead?
Does He choose to use the quiet because they don't normally get the attention for being so loud?
Does it take more faith to meander about, clinging onto God to help navigate through the darkness?
Does it take less faith to simply follow a shout?
Which are you following, the shout of the crowd, or the still small voice of the Holy Spirit?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Drunk Monkeys

I was just watching on TV a study that they have done on monkeys and they have observed that monkeys have the same drinking patterns as humans. But not just any drink, I mean alcohol. they said 20% of the monkeys they studied drank too much and after investigating their brain, saw that they were losing their mind ( or brain mass) after excessive drinking. Although I initially questioned why we have this much time on our hands to be studying drunk monkeys, I further questioned what this tells us as humans who live in a society where drinking is not just accepted, but in some cases abused, particularly those who are too young to drink it. Does this mean we need to craft new laws to prevent people from abusing this, or merely educate students from a young ages about alcohol's potentially hazardous effects? Either way, I guess it shouldn't shock us as a nation anymore when we flip on the news and see people under the influence acting like "animals"...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Snow

As we approach the possibility of yet another snowstorm, I could think about the inconvenience of poor driving conditions, another day off for the kids or the mounds of black ice I have to ship off the front stoop. Or, I can think about the beautiful way God provides again for His creation. I hope you will reflect on these lyrics by Audrey Assad's song " Winter Snow" the next time snow falls on your windowpane.

Could've come like a mighty storm
With all the strength of a hurricane
You could've come like a forest fire
With the power of Heaven in Your flame

But You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

You could've swept in like a tidal wave
Or an ocean to ravish our hearts
You could have come through like a roaring flood
To wipe away the things we've scarred

But You came like a winter snow, yes, You did
You were quiet, You were soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

Ooh no, Your voice wasn't in a bush burning
No, Your voice wasn't in a rushing wind
It was still, it was small, it was hidden

Oh, You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

Falling, oh yeah, to the earth below
You came falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Quality of Discipleship

I was reading Matthew the other day and I came across this passage in Matthew 4:12-17:
When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
  “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
   the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
   Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people living in darkness
   have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
   a light has dawned.”
  From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

This made me stop and take notice. I really see Christ's humility yet again in this verse. He was willing to lower himself to value John's example so much that he continued on the tradition of preaching his message.
It also speaks to John's example that his faithfulness in preaching made even the son of God sit up and take notice.
This made me think "Are there people in my life whose example is so exemplary that I would want to take over their ministry after they are gone?"
Can you think of anyone?
What does this say about the quality of our commitment to discipleship?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Verdict is In

Well, the verdict is in on my book proposal.
I finally got the courage to contact the publisher that has my book proposal. She got back to me and said...
She never looked at it! Apparently it "got by her" and she printed it off and is going to look at it in the next few weeks.....
So, I guess it is back to waiting......

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Even Something Quiet Can Do a Lot of Damage

How is it that something so quiet can cause so much damage? I woke up this morning to find close to a foot of snow on the ground and my family and I snowed in for the day. It could have been worse, but we enjoyed the day watching movies and playing games. At best for me it was a much enjoyed day off.
But, isn't it the same in our spiritual lives too? The visible or things we do to others do damage to our relationships with God, but doesn't it seem like those that are unspoken of and unseen do just as much harm? The self deprecating thoughts and beliefs that exist in our minds and hearts do just as much to alienate us from God's unending and unfailing love. "For out of the heart the mouth speaks..."
What unspoken and unseen sins keep you from basking in God's love?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Don't confuse Cliques for Community

If you feel included while others are excluded, you don't have true community.
If you hang out with the same people, and never venture out to meet new ones, you don't have community.
If you haven't met an immediate need in among the members of your congregation, you don't have community.
If you are more concerned with the hobbies and life circumstances that bond you as opposed to your love for Christ, you don't have community.
If your church has cliques, it doesn't have community.
If you and the others in your fellowship would give your lives for a saving knowledge of Christ, then there is community.
If you can't NOT be among other believers, you have experienced true community.
If you can't figure out who among the people you having out with the most loves God more, then you have community.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved" ( Acts 2:42-47).
This is true community. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

All the World is an Act

I just heard a quote on a television show that said "all the world is an act." It made me think How many of us try to be someone we are not?
Do we allow the perceptions of others to affect how we think and act or are we true to ourselves and who God has made us to be?
I am reminded of the verse that says "Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming." (Ephesians 4:14)
I think part of spiritual maturity means trading in the preoccupation with what others think for the assurance that God loves you just the way you are. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Prepare for the Rain

I was watching the movie Facing the Giants and my favorite scene is when one of the teachers at the school comes to the football coach and tells him this parable:
"Two farmers desperately needed rain for their fields, and both prayed for it. But only one prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think expected God to send rain? Which one are you?"
I love it because it just shows me how beautiful the body of Christ can be when He is willing to be used by God. 

But, ask yourself this question: how often do i hear from God? If I do, how often have I been willing to do or say whatever you think God is telling you to?  Do I prepare myself to hear from Him?
What is God saying to you today?