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!