Faithful Fridays 11-8-19

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Share Your World 11-4-2019

Here I am once again SHARING MY WORLD  with Melanie from Sparksfromacombustiblemind.com

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Here are Melanie’s weekly questions and my answers.

When you have finished reading my responses hop on over to Melanie’s site and read her other contributors.

  1. What is the meaning of true love?                                                                                         The true meaning? I am not sure about that but I am sure of the definition.         “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Love never fails” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8                                                                                    I suppose what that means is that love is nigh unto impossible without God’s help. Maybe the meaning of love is to drive us to God so that we can really find out what it means.

  2. Do acts of kindness have a motive?                                                                                        Yes. The benefit of the recipient is the motive.
  3. If we live in a civilized world why do we see so many distinctions between rich and poor?                                                                                                                                       Because even the civilized world is fallen and can’t get itself up.
  4. Do we love ourselves more in the virtual world than in the real world?                  Wow! I don’t even know what that means. Am I different in the virtual world than in the real world? I try not to be so the me I love in the real world is the me I love in the virtual world. I think anything else would be unhealthy.

Gratitude Question:

Are you grateful?

I am so grateful for many things in my life. I have had my trials but over all I am blessed beyond measure!

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Morning Direction from Scripture 11-7-19

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Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
    ruthless people are trying to kill me—
    they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
    show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
    just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
    that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
    for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me. Psalm 86:14-17

What builds regard for God?

Deliverance & the NaNoWriMo 2019

Deliverance- The act of being set free
NaNoWriMo 2019 is a part of my plan to finish the year strong and to launch into a new success in 2020, to whit I need to use this month a little differently than it was originally intended by its creators.
The goal of 5,000 words a day is not the point of this work for me. I have lots and lots of words written on literally thousands of pages of manuscript. I do not need to make more words. I need to make sense of the words I have written and figure out how to use them in communicating to an audience which I believe God is in the process of creating.
One of the items on my to do list is to work through the philosophy of Pork Chops With the Sentinels of Azatan and to understand how that plays into the greater message of the story I am telling.
Yesterday I said my mentor challenged me to learn to love all of my characters, to give them grace. As I come to understand how the characters in my book think about life’s topics I believe it will help me to know and to love them.
Last night I began dealing with the topic of deliverance which comes up in the book. What is deliverance? How does it work? Even more important, what keeps people from experiencing deliverance in their personal lives?
As I was contemplating this on a writer’s walk last night I was reminded of a story from the Gospels about two women named Mary and Martha

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38-40 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” Luke 10:38-42

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A lot has been written about Jesus and these two women, their differing reactions to having Jesus in their home and Jesus estimation of which reaction was the best. The story is pretty plain in its explanation. Some like to make it a tale about prayer. Others like to use it to focus on the import of the spiritual over the carnal. I think it is a story about deliverance and a story about focus.
I think Mary was set free and I think Martha was chained up. Mary was delivered and Martha was held captive. I don’t think it had anything to do with the fact that Mary sat down with Jesus while Martha did the dishes. I think it was about focus. Mary focused on Jesus and made his visit her purpose. He was the important thing that night and she focused on what was important. Martha focused on cleaning the house. Jesus was Mary’s focus and the house was Martha’s focus.
Now this isn’t a dissertation on whether or not we should clean our houses. It is a chat about why we do the things we do. If Martha had been cleaning the house in order to show her love for Jesus then maybe she would have been content and set free as much as Mary was. Maybe the story would have ended with Jesus and Martha sharing a cup of tea in the kitchen after everyone else had been dismissed. Maybe the story would have ended in a moment where Jesus praised Martha for her diligence instead of rebuking her for her insecurity.
I don’t think Martha’s problem was a work problem. I think it was a focus problem. Something in her life made her dirty supper dishes more important than Jesus. Something in Mary’s life made her willing to do whatever she had to do to focus on Jesus rather than the housework, not because housework was unimportant but because Jesus was more important.
This plain little story gives me fodder for NaNoWriMo 2019 and my contemplation about the philosophy of deliverance in my characters. What or who causes a person to be delivered or not delivered from anything? Is it really as simple as where we put our focus? Who we focus on? If so what keeps us from simply shifting our focus? I see in my characters the truth that the only thing holding them back is their own thought processes. It is what they choose to focus on that keeps them distracted from what the Message Bible calls “the main course.”
I find that very sad indeed!

NaNoWriMo 2019 Post 4 on Day 5

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I have three core values which God has been trying to massage into my life over the last 20 years or so. Those values involve becoming SLOW, CONSTANT, AND INTENTIONAL.

This morning in prayer I was reminded of these values and I had opportunity to take stock of where I stand in my personal growth track concerning them. Over all, I am much improved  from where I was even a year ago. That said I still let people, felt expectations and life circumstances  rush me right past my goals. Of the three values I struggle with “slowing down” the most.

My mentor told me that one of the things I was going to have to do to complete my novel was to learn to love all of my characters (even the villains). She told me I was going to need to sit with each one until I had learned how to see them each as real people and figure out how to give them the grace which real people may not deserve but desperately need.

Here is the problem. I cannot do that fast and I seem to have become addicted to instantaneous living. I like my coffee that brews in less than 30 seconds. I love my microwave that cooks my food in under 3 minutes. I like my meetings that last less than an hour and I love to pack my day with as many quick things as I can possibly push into it. So one of the things I need to practice during this NaNoWriMo is slowing down where it concerns my writing. Once again this seems almost counter-intuitive when it comes to the purpose of the month, but I think that it is one of the things I have to use this month for if I am to be a success.

SLOW AND STEADY WILL WIN THIS RACE!

How do you slow yourself down in a racing world?

NaNoWriMo 2019 Day 3 on Day 4

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So far so good! It is day 4 and I am posting about my writing journey this month for the third time! I feel pretty good about that record and my first goal of going beyond November 4th has now been achieved! That of course is a little tongue in cheek, but honestly, I feel like this year is going to be different where NaNoWriMo is concerned. I am actually heading towards the achievement of my writing goal which is to finish. Pork Chops With the Sentinels of Azatan. 

I feel confident because I have prepared for the journey and I have laid out a course to follow.

Preparation for NaNoWriMo started in September by rereading the manuscript for the book, which I had hidden away for almost two years. It continued with a second third and fourth reading. Each time I read it I notated: changes I needed to make, scenes I needed to delete and scenes I needed to add. Then I compiled a list of all those things and I created a writing schedule for myself which includes a monthly writing sabbatical which is to be three days long. That work led me to a restructuring of my daily schedule to give myself even more time to write. I bathed the whole thing in lots of prayer and now….. LAUNCH!!!!

 

NaNoWriMo 2019 Day 2 On Day 3

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Life sometimes feels like a dance competition to me. If that is so, then NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)  is a quick step in the middle of a much longer bit of movement.

I have come to this challenge in years past unprepared and extremely unintentional. Usually I  have given up by about Nov. 4th. So getting past tomorrow is goal number 1 this year.

In years past I said, “Let’s just try this and see what happens”. Of course the old addage held true: “If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it.”

This year I am approaching the work with a plan. It actually started exactly a year ago, with a word from the Lord about some changes that I had to make with how I spend my time. The changes seemed a little extreme to me, but with a year of prayer and consideration under my belt I know they are worth making.

The confirmations about this restructuring have been many, but a fellow blogger, John Eli helped me see that the time is now for this work to be done.

This is the month I will launch into the finish of my book Pork Chops With the Sentinels of Azatan. I know…I know… this month is supposed to be about writing a new work, The truth is I already have two new books in draft form and the outlines of four more in the hopper. I don’t need new material right now. What I need to do is finish something. So that is what I am going to do. Maybe it is not the traditional path that NaNoWriMo prescribes, but it is the plan that God has ordained and confirmed at least five ways from Sunday!

So the writing goes on! Updates soon.