We are a group of writers who belong to CAN, the Christian Authors Network, who are passionate about writing. As published authors, we long to share our victories and struggles with regards to marketing and promotion. No one really ever told us about this part of the business of writing, so, like you, we are learners. Won't you learn alongside us?
"Room service," a voice said.
I hurried to let her in. “Only need fresh towels,” I said. “I’ll be fine.”
She brought them in and I smiled at her. “Thank you. What’s your name?”
We chatted about mundane stuff. But when I told her why I had visited her city, she was open to hear about my ministry.
I reached for my suitcase. “Got something for you,” I said.
I put a CD in her hands.
“This is for me?” she asked, her voice gasping a bit.
“Sure it is,” I said. “Hope you like it and it inspires you.”
Two days passed, and I had delivered a message to 500 women on three different occasions during the weekend.
On the last day, as I entered my room, a voice got closer. “This is Rachel.”
“I want to tell you that I heard your CD. It was so wonderful. And I gave it to my friend who really needed to be encouraged. She loved it too. Thank you.”
Her words filled with emotion made my heart leap with gratitude.
I had traveled to address an audience, but he Lord had me minister to her.
What a sweet thing. Every opportunity, every moment, every person we meet on the way is planted by the Lord.
I had developed a sort of crazy habit. Before I leave hotel rooms, I steal the already used soap, place it in a plastic bag and bring it home. I place it on my soap dish in my bathroom. Each time I use it, I say a prayer for the person I met that touched my heart.
This time it’s Rachel, the housekeeping lady who helped me clean my perception. She changed my view of why the Lord sends us speakers to faraway places. It’s not always for the crowd but for the person who knocks at our heart unexpectedly, deliberately and so timely.
Heavenly Father, keep me humble, keep me open to the people you put before me. Keep me mindful of your lead and your prompting to reach those that brush our lives even for a moment.
Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.
The word weary has captured my interest. This is likely because I recently spent hours preparing a retreat package based on Isaiah 40:28-31. Beautiful verses, they are:
“Have you never heard or understood? Don’t you know that the LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (NLT)
I travel across Canada and oversea for ministry purposes. Everywhere I go, women tell me their stories. Some accounts thrill me; others break my heart. I especially feel for those who are weary from the inside out due to difficult circumstances, major changes, criticism, or interpersonal conflict at home, church, or in the workplace. These gals are tired—bone tired—and hoping for reprieve to show up soon.
I can relate to their feelings. I recall the days spent raising three preschoolers. Life was busy and loud at any given time, but it included the additional stress of one child having special needs that required weekly occupational therapy and frequent hospitalizations. Weary seemed tattooed on my forehead.
My kids are grown and gone now, but I still experience weary from time to time. As a writer, speaker, and missionary, I travel across time zones frequently. This means sleeping in many different beds, eating at odd times, being flexible with schedules, and trying to communicate with people whose first language differs from mine. It also means sitting for hours at my desk pecking on my computer keyboard, researching, and revising.
When weary sets in, I recall Isaiah 40:28-31 and find encouragement in its words. God—the one who never grows weary—knows our limitations. He also knows that our source of strength is found not in our own efforts, but in Him.
“Wait on Me,” He says. “Commune with Me. Be entwined with Me. And as you do, you’ll find your strength renewed. Your energy restored. Your weary diminished.”
I’ve found this to be true. When weary sets in, I seek silence with God. I bask in His presence. I thank Him for the strength He provides. And I praise Him for the depths of His understanding and His immeasurable power. My soul is renewed and my strength restored.
Are you feeling weary today? God knows. He cares. Spend some time in His presence, draw from His strength, and you’ll find restoration.
Jeanne Gowen Dennis here again after an interesting trip to the CBA International Christian Retail Show in Denver. Attendance by bookstores was way down, probably due to the economy, but it was still a good show. Publishers are still bringing out new print books, and though I saw some creative titles and ideas, it was evident that there is still "nothing new under the sun."
With publishers cutting back and bookstores closing, It certainly appears that authors need to be thinking in terms of new and future forms of publication for their books. But more than that, we need to seek the Lord's will for the ministry He has for each of us.
While in Denver I heard one theme repeated often by fellow authors . . .