Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 A Year of Momentum and Acceleration!


 

            Greetings to all of you my fabulous people!  I pray that you all had an awesome Christmas season.  My family and I just returned from Canada and I am excited to share with you the word that I feel the Lord gave me for 2016. 

            I want to take a moment to preface this word though with the admission that if any of y’all know me well you know that I’m not quick to try to come up with a catchy word from the Lord.  This is something that I always pray about and seek the Lord regarding, and it’s a great privilege to get to share what I believe the Lord is saying to His people.  I want to hear what God is saying to us  as a corporate message and not just jump on the prophetic bandwagon.  It’s always been really cool in the years past to see how these words have come to pass throughout the years even if they weren’t always exactly like I thought they would.

            During the summer months I felt the Lord speak to me that 2016 was going to be a year marked with “Momentum and Acceleration.”  In praying about this I feel this is likened to a bullet,  speeding train, or even a snowball going down a mountain.  Simply put what has started on a path is now speeding up.  By definition ‘momentum’ means "force or speed of movement; impetus, as of a physical object or course of events".  Acceleration means “is the act of accelerating; increase of speed or velocity.

            As I’ve been praying about this word over the course of the last few months, last week I felt the Lord give me these scriptures regarding the year. Psalms 23:5b “My cup runs over.” And Isaiah 54:4 “You will forget the shame of your youth.”  I don’t know about you but that makes me want to jump up and down a bit.

            As I was thinking about the scripture of ‘my cup runs over’ I began to think of what I’ve been through in the last year.  This last year on a professional level has been one of awesomeness.  I’ve signed three contracts for books releases with publishing houses.  I now have an agent.  “Confessions of a Ninja Mom” (an awesome 40 day devo for moms) came out!  However, on a personal level I’ve had to face many things and there have been a lot of situations that have brought me to my knees.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because God is using it all for His glory, but it’s been a challenge.  There have been some situations that have made me reevaluate my relationship with the Lord, and have forced me to draw closer to Him.  I think that this is a good thing because I do believe God has to prepare us all to walk in the place He is sending us.  To me, 2015 has been preparation for 2016.  Simply put, the bow string on a bow has to be pulled back before it can shoot forward.

            For God to fill us up, so much that our cup runs over then you have to be full of Him on the inside.  This reminded me yet again how important it is for all of us to take this time as 2015 draws to a close, and allow God to fill us up with Him.  Let us move aside anything that could be hindering our relationship with Him, and allow Him to fill us to the top.  I believe 2016 is coming and we will be running over, but let us begin the year by making sure we are filled.

            So in short what do I think God is up to?  I wish I could tell you specifically but we all know that His ways are never our own.  But I do believe that God is up to something.  I believe this is a year that is going to be marked with God putting his people in situations that are going to propel them forward.  There will be many that will find that this is a year that it’s as if God has them in a sling shot and they find themselves going further and faster than they ever have before now.  In short I want to say to you, stay full of Him and Hold on. The bow string is being released!  Things are getting exciting! 

            God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Hello my super fabulous awesome readers!

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  May you have an amazing season! He is the reason! My family and I will be traveling in the next week, but I will be back late in the week to deliver what I feel God is telling me for 2016.  

Remember, God has awesome plans for your life.  So get excited! 

Super Smiles!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

When I was younger/the legacy of today


 

I was thinking this morning how much our society has changed in the last twenty years.  I sit here in my late thirties and I feel as if I stand on the bridge of being able to see both the past and the future and I’m concerned.  The younger generation needs to see what morality is, and raise a standard for the next generations.  We are living now in a world that has gone beyond an “I’m okay, you’re okay” world.  It’s become “I’m okay, and if you don’t think I’m okay then I’ll pester you or sue you until either I gag you, silence you or change your mind” mentality.  I find this beyond concerning.  People have a right to have a difference of opinion.  If you don’t agree with me, then that’s your choice.  Jesus NEVER threatened to cut someone’s head off, sue them for ridiculous amounts of money, or forced people to follow him.  He loves people.  Getting offended because someone doesn’t believe like you do is immature and the definition of someone ruled by their flesh.

I remember my grandfather (age 86) telling me once that he remembered when a woman who showed her ankles was considered one of lacking immorality.  While that sentiment seems comical to me in today’s culture somewhere there needs to be a balance here.  One should be able to turn on the TV with their children and hope that they don’t see some woman’s breasts across the screen.  I am not suggesting that woman need to walk around in turtlenecks and skirts, but I am saying that “modest is hottest.” When did it become the more flesh you showed would suddenly be seen as making one more “sexy”?  Why is our culture so obsessed with sex?

When I was in school I remember Ellen came out of the closet on her show.  Her show wasn’t on much longer than that.  The ratings couldn’t handle the dip.  However today she is one of the most famous women alive.  I grow tired of the “Christians” that like to talk about her show and continue to herald her as some kind of “Wonder Woman.”  It doesn’t matter that she’s funny.  She desperately needs Jesus.  God is very clear about his feelings on homosexuality.  I don’t think I need to rehash all of this or start quoting scripture.  God doesn’t change.  You can’t force the Bible to fit your own flesh.  God loves people no matter what they’ve done, but when the woman caught in adultery was caught Jesus didn’t tell her “Go ahead I love you now keep sinning.”  He said, “Go and sin no more.”.   He has a better plan for them than this choice.

Sex is not just a physical act.  I am shocked how the younger generation has gradually begun to view sex (both homosexual and heterosexual) to become a recreational sport.  People have forgotten that sex is also a spiritual act.  It is two people becoming one.  People forget that God is very vocal that sex is between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN…who are married. This is not to condemn people who have done things outside of this.  But sex has ramifications.  Sex is awesome within a marriage.  When God instructed people the boundaries of sex it wasn’t to be mean, but to stop people from getting hurt.  It’s like playing with fire.  Fire is great, but if it burns down a house it can be deadly. 

When I was in high school it was a joke that every year a student that had already graduated the year before would call in a bomb threat toward the end of the school year.  I know that in today’s mind this seems crazy.  If anyone tried this today I realize it would be a felony.  But it wasn’t twenty years ago.  I understand that was before Columbine and 9/11.  But the police would show up to comb the school and we’d play Red Rover and Duck Duck Goose on the football field.  I’m not suggesting people do this again.  I bring this up to just show the shift at how our society has changed. 

When I was in high school we had a very brief teaching on Christianity, really we just went over the 10 Commandments, and then plowed through a week on Islam.  Looking back do I think that the teacher spent more time on Islam than he probably should have, yes I do.  Do I think it is odd that if we were going to talk about other religions why we didn’t discuss some of the other major ones, yes I do.  However I remember in this Islam talk the teacher tried to compare several things to Christianity and it didn’t sit right with me.  I at 16 told him that it didn’t and explained to him why.  When I was in high school I was part of a Bible Study that caused a bunch of waves.  In today’s world I probably would have had grounds to call in the media and it was a time of real training for me. 

I was raised with the mentality of loving God first and loving my country second.  I can remember sitting and watching the fireworks during a July 4th display when Clinton was president.  I remember listening to the song ‘God Bless America’ and weeping.  As young as I was it was like I could feel the weight of the fabric of our nation unraveling.  I remember thinking that our country could be great again.  I’d like to think it still can be great again, but sadly in the last seven years I’ve watched that fabric unravel more and more.

I was raised around guns.  My father had them, collected them, and one was loaded under the bed.  It wasn’t that big of a deal.  We knew they were there.  He took us shooting on occasion.  The issue in this nation isn’t a gun issue.  Cain killed Able with a rock.  If we outlaw guns, then crazy people will just use knives.  The last I checked, the 9/11 terrorists used box cutters.  Our founding fathers in this nation thought guns were important and sadly the agenda to take those seem to be attempted to be forced on the American people.  (Which I find even more concerning when certain individuals are trying to weaken our military and take the personal guns.) The issue isn’t about a firearm.  This issue is in the moral decline of our society, and the people that need some serious mental healing.

I watch the younger generation and I want to weep.  Most of them see nothing wrong with recreational sex, nudity is the normal, foul language is integrated into them, they go to school and see few standing up for righteousness, and they don’t even realize how blessed we still are in this nation.  They get angry and their solution is to bring a gun and kill the people that they believe are wrong.  We can no longer bury our heads in the sand.  Our culture is slipping quickly.

But as I write this, I want to talk a moment to the older and middle generations, how will the younger know if we won’t teach them?  We’ve been silent for way too long.  I know that I am not alone in feeling the way that I do.  I know I can’t be the only one who sees our culture sliding into a mud pit, but yet feels powerless to stop it.  Many of you know that I am not a person that likes to complain about a situation and not offer a solution.  My solution is simply this; start using the mouth the Lord gave you.  Start preaching from the pulpits He gave you, and I am well aware that sometimes those pulpits are kitchens, offices, street corners, coffee shops, and social media platforms.  Start praying for the younger generation and our nation.  Be active in the voting process both locally and nationally to put people of righteousness in power.  We have to start saying something.  I realize that what I’m saying isn’t popular, but I believe it’s worth it to take a stand.  I am a voice that refuses to be silent.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” ~Aked

I’ve written various books on Hitler and the 3rd Reich.  I know that there are many that will cringe at my drawing of parallels between the pit our society seems to be falling into and Germany pre and during WW2.  However I will say this, the reason why the Third Reich prospered for the time it did was many fold.  I do want to bring out a couple points though:  the younger generation was targeted so that they wouldn’t know any better, and the older generation was forced into silence or killed.  I think that it’s quite obvious there are similar tactics being used today.

So what is my point in my random musings here?  Is just to offend everyone?  No.  But it’s to say that in all the darkness, light can shine brightly.  May we rise up and find our voices.  May we teach the younger so that they will know God, and not depart from Him.  May we set our faces like flint to the things of the world.  May we not be conformed to the world but to God’s kingdom by renewing our minds.  May we keep our feet firmly planted on the rock of Christ Jesus.  May we stop bickering among ourselves but find the commanded blessing in unity.  May we stand in LOVE.  So many times the church has been seen as some entity that isn’t walking in love, but Jesus taught us to love the Hell out of people.  It’s okay to disagree with people’s opinions, but may we make sure we say the truth in love.  Love does not need to be wishy washy, but it doesn’t need to be bitter either.  It’s time for the Church to shine in this hour.  It’s time for us to take a stand so that Jesus can be seen. May the standard be raised, and in heaven I believe there are a cloud of witnesses cheering us on.

God has awesome plans for your life.  So get excited.

 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

To My Fellow Christian Writers


 

            I was contemplating today about some of the things I’ve learned through my years writing.  After the holidays I will begin a new YA trilogy, and my brain has finally started to step into brainstorming mode.  Since these books will be #24, #25, and #26 in my list of manuscripts I think that in writing this blog I may have been around this mountain a few times.  I hope my random lessons can help some of you write the visions that God has put in your head.

1)      Write!  My dear late spiritual mentor used to always say, “It’s harder for God to move a parked car than it is for Him to move a moving one.”  Was he belittling the power of God by saying this?  No.  What his point was, is that often you have to just move forward in what you sense God is leading you, and allow God to steer things the way He is guiding you.  People ask me all the time how one writes books.  You do it by WRITING them!  It’s just like how you eat an elephant.  You eat it one bite at a time.  You write a book by writing one page, one paragraph, and one word at a time.  So many people sit on the rear ends with regrets.  They know that God has called them to write but they never do it.  They see it as such an enormous issue, they never make the first step.  Don’t worry about the publishing side at first, but just take the steps to move forward!  Put yourself on a schedule and unless there is some earth shattering event, that time is your time.  I wrote MANY books from the hours of 10pm-midnight, and between nap times because that was the time I had.  Just start WRITING!

2)      I have never written a book either fiction or nonfiction that I knew ALL the twists and turns the project was going to take.  For me, books come to me often like a prophetic word or a dream.  I might be able to see a few things and ultimately where the story will go, but the full picture isn’t in front of me.  The typical school system teaches writers that they MUST have an outline before writing.  This just isn’t the way I write.  I know that some writers do, but I don’t.  I will start working on the project and THEN slowly, bit by bit the rest of the story becomes clear.  I’ve often thought about this, and thought how similar this is for most things in life.  You may not have the full picture at first, but one faith step at a time, and then you can look back and see how God led you in that place.  TOO many people think they need to wait until they get a FULL picture on a book or project before they begin it.  When God is putting a project on your heart, take that step out on the water, he WILL meet you there!

3)      Get it out on the page, you can always edit later!  You have to have something to work with.  Too many writers stop writing trying to get each think perfect at first.  You can always fix a project later, but if you have nothing to fix and it’s still in your head you have nothing to work with!

4)      Do your best to silent the inner dialogue.  With every book I’ve ever written, I’ve had MANY moments that I’ve had all sorts of inner dialogue that if I would have listened too I would have never finished the project.  Oh yes, I’ve heard, “No one will ever read this”, “This is the worst thing you’ve ever written”, “I’m not sure that is even a sentence”, “This is too preachy”, or “This isn’t preachy enough.”  Various inner monologues have played in my head as I’ve worked.  But you have to push past all of that and stay true to the project.  Write what God has shown you, and what you see.

5)      Sometimes you need to make yourself write.  I know that doesn’t sound too artsy fartsy, but it’s true.  I have some scenes I’ve written that I thought were moments of genius and some I wasn’t a huge fan of, but you have to write some of those ok scenes to get to the moments of genius. 

6)      Be true to the project you know God is giving you. Sometimes people get so caught up in what is marketable and what are the current trends that they mold their stories around this.  Pioneers must learn to blaze a trail.  In my “In Time” series, (An Ember In  Time the first book in this series releases April 2016) I was so worried as I wrote it because it is very much outside of the typical Christian Fiction mold.  I knew it was an awesome idea, but I kept thinking how I was ever going to get it published.  Currently Book 1 and 2 in this series are set to be published.  You have to trust the visions God is giving you.  He will show you how to go about the publishing world, but you have to stop trying to be a copy of another writer.  Be the best you God created you to be.     

7)      Be flexible enough to change things that need to be changed.  There are some things that aren’t critical to the vision God gave you, and you can’t be so hung up on what you think you see.  Sometimes things made sense in your head, that won’t make sense in anyone else’s.  I wrote a short story once about a person contemplating taking a gun into a heated argument.  This person sat at the steering wheel and the small holes in the wheel came to life and were arguing with my character whether they should bring a gun into the argument.  I had thought at the time the scene was a moment of genius.  HOWEVER, no one else understood it.  Ultimately I had to let the scene go.  It’s important for writers to stay true to who they are, but also be willing let go when they need to let go.  Writers have to learn to take criticism. They have to learn to take in the comments that may have a point, and let go of the ones that don’t.

8)      I do not believe in Writers Block!  I think it’s often an excuse for laziness. Do NOT profess this over your work.  There is power in your words.  I could preach on this and have!  In Genesis 1, God spoke and the earth was formed.  There is power to shape your world in your words.  I have told the following story so many times and I will continue to tell it because it changed my life.  When God called me to write my first book, I thought that idea was super crazy.  I was never one of those kiddos in school that was known for writing.  The idea was so far outside what I had planned.  I spent years being frustrated.  I knew God called me to do this but I kept saying, “God, I know this is what you’re saying but I can’t do this.” Until I heard a woman preach on the power of your words.  I still remember her saying prophetically that “some people in the church were cursing their very destinies because God was telling them to do something and they were saying they couldn’t.”  That hit me hard.  I repented that night.  I said to the Lord, “I don’t see how I can do this, but if you think I can, then I can.”  That night God showed me how to start my first book, and I guess you can say the rest is history.  Stop saying you can’t do the things you know you called to do.

9)      Often I will write with my favorite Pandora stations playing and I just sit down and focus on what I’m doing.  I know that for me my rhythm is 10 pages for fiction in one setting or a chapter for nonfiction.  Sometimes I get more done and sometimes less, but for me after that is when I hit my “I’m done point”.  If I’ve hit my mark for the day, I don’t usually push myself harder.  You have to learn to listen to your own creative juices, and know when to push something and know when to get up and have a break.

10)  Take a step back when you’re stumped.  I have gotten fresh revelation for stories so many times while I was jogging or speed walking.  God has shown me things in prayer.  I have even had prophetic dreams and visions about projects.  I believe in working and writing, but sometimes you need to get alone with the Lord. 

11)  You have to remember that you are God’s mouthpiece.  It’s an honor and a privilege to get to put your name on a manuscript, but ultimately you have to remember that it’s all about God.  It’s not about you.  You are writing projects that are helping people point to God.  It is always my prayer when I work on a project that through my writing, whether its fiction or nonfiction, people are ministered too and draw closer to God.  I am just a vessel.  Some years ago I used to get the opportunity to go into classrooms and talk to secular kids about writing and vision for their lives.  I remember a girl asked me once about how cool it was I had the honor to have newspaper articles written about me, or be on TV or radio.  She was like wow that is so cool, and my response to her surprised me.  I told her that as a writer you do have those days and their great.  But you also have the days where no one will pay attention to you, everyone seems against you, and you have to remember why it is you do what you’re doing.  I told her that one has to learn to live in the middle or their emotions would be like a roller coaster. One has to learn to stay stable through all situations. My dear writers, you have to learn to remember you are God’s vessel.  You can’t let the good days or bad days get to your head.  You have to trust God, and know that He is the one that set this whole thing in motion and He opens the doors He wants opened. 

‘I pray for all of you that read my random thoughts on writing.  If you have projects in your mind that you know God has called you to write, may you be so bold to walk out the process and begin by telling your story.  Do not get discouraged.  I believe God is birthing some fresh things in the publishing and entertainment world that will rattle the way things have been done in the past.  May you run the race God has sit before you and blaze your trail.  God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving


God has awesome plans for your life.  Be Thankful for what is behind, and get excited for what is ahead! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Avalanche Of Favor


 

            Most of you know my story.  God called me into ministry at the age of 12, and to write my first book at the age of 16.   I was a kid that no one would have expected this out of: I wasn’t the greatest writer, I always just wanted to fit in, and would have NEVER dreamed that I would be doing the things I am doing today.  I had this crazy notion that it would be an easy adventure, and that the hard part would be writing the books.  It hasn’t been the easiest journey, and honestly the easy part is writing.  The part that has felt like it was the wall of Jericho has been the publishing side. It took me a few years to really start working towards this goal, and I really started this journey in 2000. God broke through that in 2012 when Cursing the church or Helping it? was released and then earlier this year a publisher picked up Confessions of a Ninja Mom.

            Many of you know that this year, an awesome door opened for me.  An Ember In Time found its publishing home. I’m happy to announce my publisher has agreed to publish the second book in the ‘In Time’ Trilogy.  This is a super big exciting announcement because the first one isn’t even out yet.  I’m not sure yet when that release date with be, but stay tuned.  This is a super fun series of books that will take the reader on a huge adventure through Biblical history.  Please pray for this, and agree with me that God will reveal to me how to market these books.  I know God is faithful!  I know He is making a way! 

‘An Ember In Time’ is set to release April 2016

‘A Marriage In Time’ release date TBA

            I am beyond thrilled that the first book is going forward.  I’m super excited that the second book already has a home.  I kind of feel after all these years of waiting, praying and believing for a miracle I’ve stepped into this ‘Avalanche of Favor’.  I will so take it and run with it!  I have gone from having one book published, to this year getting to sign 3 different contracts.  Of course the year isn't over yet, anything is possible. . grin.  It takes a lot to write a manuscript.  I’m now working on book #24.  .

I want my story to encourage all of you today.  If it seems like those things that God has called you to do take forever, keep being diligent and trust Him.  You have to keep putting your hand to the plow of what God is calling you to, despite of what it may look like.  Circumstances can’t be louder in your life, then God’s voice.

 

James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

            Trust God for what He has spoken over your life. It may seem as if the promises of God aren’t coming, but God is no respector of persons.  The Kingdom of God always works.  He is faithful to complete the work He has started in you, so keep plowing ahead and trusting Him!  I appreciate your prayers, and I am praying an ‘Avalanche of Favor’ in your life too!

            God has awesome plans in your life!  Get excited!

           

Saturday, October 31, 2015

TBN interview

Hello Fabulous People!

Very excited to get to send this video out to y'all.  Here's my latest TBN interview!


God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Crazy Bathroom Rivalries


            This weekend I had the awesome opportunity to attend my church’s woman’s conference in Johnstown, OH.  The New Vintage Conference at Faith Life Church was everything one could expect.  As always, my church knows how to put on an event.  I was blessed to be there and people came from other states, cities and countries. 
I was in a workshop about using the creativity God gave you for the kingdom and I noticed that one of the attendees mentioned she was from my hometown.  I made a mental note of it, and enjoyed the workshop. Later in the day I ran into the woman in the bathroom and in a moment of trying to make small talk, I introduced myself.
          “Hello, I grew up in Marion.”  The woman looked at me like I was crazy.  It was an awkward moment and standing at the sink I was trying to keep the conversation light.  “I heard you say you lived in Marion.  I grew up there.”  She smiled finally understanding what I was saying.  I continued, “I went to School A (Not the name of my High School, but to save confusion I’ll call hers School B)” Suddenly I saw her face turn and stare at me. It was as if she’d swallowed something bitter.
          “Hey,” she nodded toward someone else she was there with.  “She graduated from School A” This was beyond being an awkward conversation.  I had just been trying to be sociable.  The other girl looked at me as if she’d swallowed poison.  In girl talk code I could tell that I’d just been labeled as the one that was wearing a scarlet letter according to them.
          “Well I went to School B.”  She responded.  It was obvious from her body language she felt the B school was superior. I was trying to smile.  The schools have been rivals in the town for as long as I could remember.  “I have to say I get very excited whenever we beat you in football, and I laughed a little too hard that School A is having a horrible football season.”  The look on my face probably resembled one of a train wreck.  I was shocked I was having this conversation.  I’ve been out of high school for 20 years this year.  Why was this girl so hung up on petty rivalries? I looked at her again, she didn't look like she was that much younger than me.  
       “Oh well I don’t really pay much attention to all of that.”  I responded trying to force a smile, yet also trying to figure out how to get out of the bathroom quickly.  This girl had just heard my pastor preach on letting go of your past and I’m encountering some crazy small town rivalry in the bathroom.  Which, this was one of those moments that reminded me that I wasn’t in living in Florida anymore.
       “Well, I still live in Marion so I am involved in it all the time.”  Her response to me was as if I was the crazy one.  I quickly tried to turn the conversation to some old friends I knew that went to School B and politely exited the bathroom trying not to laugh hysterically at myself.  Truly I am not trying to judge this woman.  I am praying for her.  It was obvious she was passionate about her alumni. 
         I mention this today in the blog, because we all carry things from our past whether we mean to or not.  Sometimes we don’t even think about these things.  These petty things can affect our futures if we don’t let them go.  In my odd scenario before think about how this woman automatically put walls up to me just because I went to a rivalry school system.  Truthfully I was not offended and laughed about it.  Too many people go through their lives carrying baggage that we’ve taken on from our lives.  Too many people are carrying these bags like extra weights.  They are wearing out themselves trying to carry these bags through every little thing.  There is freedom in letting putting those bags down.  There is freedom in walking toward your future without all these little things.
Philippians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
        I know it can be hard to let go of mindsets and strongholds, but as silly as the conversation was with me in the bathroom some of those crazy things we hold onto are just as wacky.  Let go of your past.  Push forward to your destiny.  Life is just too short to spend any more time in your life holding onto these things. 

God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Barnes & Noble Book Signing!

I'm pretty excited about this!  I hope to see some of y'all there!



And check it out!  I made the B&N website!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Exciting News! God Is Faithful!


            Most of my readers have heard my story dozens of times.  I should have died in a car accident at 2 ½.  God called me into ministry when I was in the 6th grade.  At the time to me in my Lutheran raised mind I thought that meant I’d go be a Lutheran Pastor, but God had other plans. 
            When I sat in the movie Forrest Gump the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I had no idea that the movie would change the course of my life.  I know saying God used a movie changed your life may sound a little overly dramatic to some, but it did to me.  There were so many scenes with Forrest in Vietnam; something deep on the inside of me struck a chord.  I’d grown up with my father’s Vietnam stories and I wanted to tell his story.  In fact I knew it was God’s mandate on my life that I would do so.  I went to college and got married.  All the while knowing I was being called to write my dad’s story.
            Many of you have heard me tell the tale of how I was so frustrated some years later because I knew I was supposed to write but it seemed I just couldn’t do it.  Until I heard a woman preach about watching your words.  I knew I couldn’t do it because I kept saying I couldn’t.  I repented and as they say the rest is history.  That book was done within a few months.  While that book is based on my father’s story, it is within my mind, so I do term that book fiction.
            However, I had this naive thinking that somehow I’d write a book and it would get picked up right away and my family and I would go skipping toward the sunset.  That didn’t happen.  That book got turned down, by anyone and everyone.  I found myself in a place where I didn’t know what to do, but then I got another idea for a book.  So I wrote it, and then another, and another.  Many more would follow.
            While I knew that I had a call and an anointing to preach and God began to download revelations and messages to me, for years I swore that I only wrote fiction.  The turn to nonfiction happened when again I was getting a turn down and a particular acquisitions editor and I became friends.  After the publishing house turned down my fiction books, I felt led to go back to them and ask them if I’d put a couple of revelations I had in books would that publisher be interested.  They were, and I finally braved that turn into nonfiction publishing Cursing the Church or Helping it? was written and published.  Making the turn to nonfiction, I believe was a God ordained thing. Last spring I released Confessions of a Ninja Mom which I believe is a great tool to empower mothers. I’m working on my 23rd book now and its nonfiction, however in all those books probably only 6 of them are nonfiction.  Writing fiction has always been a very solid part of my calling.
            So here I am 15 years after I started writing and over 20 since I saw Forrest Gump.  Funny how when God calls us to do something we think it’ll be easy.  I have received more turn down letters and emails than I choose to count.  I’d like to tell you it’s just because I’m so stubborn I wouldn’t quit, but truthfully there were so many times I wanted to.  God was always with me.  I knew that someday, some way, he would make a way.  There were so many times that I could have chosen to self-publish, or go with some crazy vanity house, but I refused to.  I knew God would open those doors even if I felt as if my forehead would always be bruised from banging on the closed doors out of frustration.
            I am very excited to announce that eLectio Publishing, my agent, and I have all signed a contract this morning.  They will be publishing my first fiction book to ever be released.  An Ember In Time is book one in a trilogy.  It’s about a pastor, Jon Stevens, who has been stuck in a nasty rut.  God sends him an angel to allow him to go back in time and view a scene out of the Bible.  Jon chooses to view David kill Goliath. The problem happens while he is there he has a chance encounter with a young Bathsheba and messes up Biblical History.  He has to go fix it before he unravels history.  This book is Quantum Leap meets Back to the Future in Biblical proportions.  The series is a super fun one, and I’m so excited to finally be breaking into the fiction side of publishing.  I am believing for many more to follow.
            I want to be a testimony to everyone that reads this, that God is faithful.  If you are endeavoring to do what you know God has told you to do, keep going through it.  Trust in God.  He will make a way where it seems there is no way.  He knows that the trails aren’t easy, but He knows what He is doing.  Trust in Him.  There is a door on the other side of the obstacles that you face.  Do not ever ever ever quit!

            God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Embrace the Journey

Hello Super Fabulous People!

Just wanted to encourage y'all to check out this article that I wrote for Inspire Me Today!

http://inspiremetoday.com/brilliance/embrace-the-journey-of-life/

Love y'all,

Anna


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Just Do What He Says!


            Hello my dear readers.  I know it’s been way too long since I’ve blogged and I find there are moments I really miss it.  The TBN taping went awesome, and I am still waiting to get my hands on the DVD so I can upload it.  When I get it, my media team (Dan) and I will work on getting it on YouTube.
            Anyway, as many of you know if you follow me on social media, that I finished my 22nd book a few weeks ago.  This week I finished the first read through.  It’s funny that with every book I’ve ever written there has been an internal monologue as I’ve written it.  Voices that are always telling me that “This book is the worst I’ve written.”  “No one will read this.” or “You don’t have enough for a whole manuscript.”  All through the writing process I fight these thoughts and fears.  I often spend entire books like this.  Though I only wrote this book because I’d had a vision God download in a museum last year, I fought through this book particularly hard.  There were many times I just didn’t want to finish it.  The funny thing is, after I finished and took a few days off and went back through it; I found that I think it’s one of my better books. It could easily go in either a Christian or Secular market, and the threads of God’s plan for my characters’ lives are all through it.  There are smaller seeds in this book, but very apparent to the reader.  I kept thinking as I read through the project, how much if I would have listened to my doubts I would never have finished it.  I realize that at the moment the book doesn’t have a publishing home, however one day it will.  One day I believe many will get touched by the story.
            Many people ask me why it is I still write.  While I have seen some success, I haven’t seen the level in which I know I will one day.  I still do this because deep down I know that this is what I was put on this earth to do.  One day more people will see that, but in the meantime any life that is touched for the Kingdom of God is worth the sacrifice.  Jesus saw the value of one.  May we all realize that the one is important to God, and therefore it is important to us.  Multitudes are never reached until we care about the individual.  To inquiring minds, yes I already have plans for book number 23.
            Whatever it is that God called you to do, I want to encourage you today to push through the internal moments of self-doubt and just do it.  Silence the voices and keep your eyes on Jesus.  What you do will prosper because it’s what God wants you to do.  Trust in Him.

            God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Monday, August 31, 2015

My thoughts on the whole Ashley Madison Debacle


                Perhaps you aren’t a person that pays any attention to what is going on in the media.  Doing so isn’t always a bad thing, but the Ashley Madison hack is trending right now and I wanted to take a moment to share my two cents.
                If you aren’t aware there is a website called Ashley Madison.  Their slogan is “Life is Short. Have an Affair.”  The whole thing is a twisted odd “dating” website for married people.  That is so beyond unbelievable to me.  God believes in marriage, and he ordains it between a man and a woman. This is not something  that is okay in His eyes.  I only found out about it a few months ago when the hacking became news.  There aren’t enough times that I could “facepalm” the fact it is in existence. 
                What is causing all the drama is that someone hacked into the Ashley Madison website and has been exposing who were the users, and blackmailing others.  There have been some notable people that have been exposed.  It’s been said that the whole ordeal is a divorce lawyers Christmas morning, and I believe that. 
                I am not a perfect individual, and as I keep shaking my head at this story I have tried not to be too judgmental.  What amazes me is how people often believe their sin will not find them out.  The Bible is clear that this is not the case.  What is done in darkness will be brought to light.  While yes people fall and make mistakes, what is clearly different about some of these examples is they weren’t just one time things, but habitual things that went on for years.  What has shocked me is the attitude of people rejoicing over some of the ones that were exposed.  A certain public individual’s sexual preferences are splashed all over the internet.  That is appalling! It was wrong that he did what he did, but we can’t rejoice when it’s exposed.  That man’s family is falling apart.  We should be praying for him, his wife, and children.  To him who is without sin should cast the first stone. (John 8:7)
                As of writing this I learned that over 400 pastors in the US and Canada were on the Ashley Madison list.  I think it’s time the church wakes up and realizes that pornography is an issue in the church.  We have to stay accountable to each other.  I am beyond saddened at the ripples this will have in congregations and those families.  Porn destroys lives.  It is not innocent. 
                I can’t figure out this culture.  We are a culture that celebrates the idea of marriage, but yet has a 50% divorce rate.  We will sit for hours and watch “Say Yes to the Dress,” but yet we turn on “Divorce Court” and think nothing of it. Somehow covenant in marriage has become like a cheap single ply toilet paper, that when it breaks down we’ll just get more.  We are a culture that has lost what it means to be accountable to people.  We are too busy on our cell phones to look up and live our own lives, yet wonder why relationships are crashing around us.
                Let’s be real, marriage is hard work.  Not committing adultery is the in those 10 commandments that our society keeps getting in fights about whether they should be in a government building.  Perhaps if they were posted in those judicial buildings more, then more people would realize that God believes in marriages.   Temptation is real, but we can’t give into it.  We have to do what the Bible says and flee from it. 
                What I see, what is really happening in our culture isn’t just about some pornographic website.  It’s about the breakdown of the family in our society.  Families are splitting, lives are being shattered, fathers are leaving, mothers are spread too thin, and it’s all in the name of selfishness.  When are we as a people going to wake up and realize that life isn’t all about us?  We have to learn the delicate dance of living our lives in such a way that the needs of others are before our own.  We have to realize that as that is done our needs will be met too.  We have to realize that we are all in this boat of life together, and failure or quitting isn’t an option.  We have to get back to the fact that our word is our bond and commitments are more important than a moment of sinful desire.   We cannot continue to raise our culture bowing down to the “Fifty Shades of Gray.”  But we must rise up as a family, a society and as a team.  Just because something “feels good” does not mean one should do it.  Sin may seem okay for a moment but in the end a lives are ruined and hopes are downtrodden.
                It is time for us as a culture to raise a standard.  It’s time for us to put down our cell phones for a moment and have family dinners.  It is time for us to fall in love again with our spouses.  It is time for us to order our priorities and get our lives together.  It is time for us to put God back in the center and focus of our lives.  I don’t believe it’s too late for our society to change.  It can change if we all take a stand for righteousness sake.
                God has awesome plans in your life.  Get excited!