"For skillful and godly Wisdom is better than rubies or pearls,
and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared with it." Proverbs 8:11 Amplified

Saturday, October 31, 2009


As we begin NaNoWriMo, at midnight tonight, each of us looks within ourselves for inspiration. We are not just writing to write, we are writing with a purpose.

“Winning” is not the only goal. Chariots of Fire is my inspiration for this race. There were so many incredible lines in this movie, and for your encouragement I am quoting some here.

“You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe your dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.” Eric Liddell

One of my favorite lines, spoken by Eric Liddell, at a critical point in his life. “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

I rewrite this for all you writers who are writing for God: “I believe God made us for a purpose, but he also made us writers. And when we write we feel His pleasure.”

 May this year’s NaNo be more than a challenge to produce 50,000 words in 30 days but may you grow closer to God as He speaks through you, onto the screens of your computer, the words that would give Him pleasure, knowing that the world will someday read them.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Countdown to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Over 100,000 people around the world commit to spend the month of November tied to their chair, fingers on their keyboard, snacks and drinks close by, to put out the incredible number of 50,000 words, that’s 1667 words per day. Why you may ask? Because it is there; not, that is just a clique, something we don’t want in our writings.

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1st. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.” This means no editing as you go along; just get the words on paper or computer, depending on your material of choice.

I had a desire to write and had written some stories but a whole novel was something different. Could I do it? Could my mind come up with a story idea that could last for 50,000 words? Would I dump everything in my brain and find I could only come up with 10,000 words? NaNoWriMo 2008 provided me with the perfect set up to find out if I could do it. I didn’t finish my novel, but I did crank out over 80,000 words in 30 days. Of course an awful lot of it is pure junk, but there is some treasure in there too. During those 30 days I was in a world of my creation. It was hard to come out of that world to do laundry, cleaning, preparing meals, errands, etc, so it did not get done as frequently as usual.

The main reason I was able to stick with it and produce was because of the support that NaNoWriMo provides for those who sign up. They have a web page with constant updates, emails of encouragement from authors are sent on a regular basis, you have your own page for your personal data and a wonderful graph that shows your word count, which you enter daily. Most cities have support groups headed by Municipal Liaisons. These wonderful people set up “write-in” meetings. Imagine a room full of people and all you hear is a soft click, click all over the room, this is what a write in sounds like.

It’s 2009 and I am going back to my cave. So my friends, if you don’t see much of me or hear from me, know that I am in my room, locked away from civilization to create. If you want to know if there is anything you can do to help I have a couple of suggestions: come over and clean my house (but please do not disturb me), bring over meals for Bob and me, bring me candy (sugar free hard candies and chocolate).

I will try to post updates of my progress on my blog, so check back once November 1 arrives.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fragrant Seasons

Step outside, take a deep breath, that’s fall in the air.

I am amazed that dead leaves can have a pleasurable fragrance that defies description.

Just as God has promised, the seasons come and go.

For as long as Earth lasts,
planting and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night will never stop.
Genesis 8:22

For me, each season has a fragrance of memories.

Spring: rain, hyacinths, new grass

Summer: flowers, fresh mown grass, chlorinated water

Fall: pumpkins, dead leaves, turkey

Winter: snow, smoke from chimneys, Christmas trees

What are some fragrances that you associate with each of the seasons?

Image: Morguefile

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Will You Wait?

Itarsi, a city in Madhya Pradesh, India is host to a pastors conference that is taking place right now.  This conference will minister to almost 1,000 rural pastors. Our pastor, a team of teachers and group of young people from our church are a major part of this conference. The team of young people are a praise team and a camera crew who are capturing footage of this holy time.

The rural pastors who are attending this conference are not going for a pick me up, like we would do when we go to a Joyce Meyer conference or other religious gatherings. These pastors will take what they learn to their little churches and turn the country of India inside out for Christ. They daily risk their lives to preach the gospel that we take for granted.

Our church has a web site set up and updates are posted daily by the team in India. I love technology. This website enables us to know how to pray for the conference and the pastors.
One of the young people on the team put up a post that is so impactful that I am copying it here.

Don’t forget to wait
Post by: Justin Hale (video editor)

As I sit here in the air-conditioning, capturing footage and listening to iTunes, there are hundreds of pastors and students gathered less than a block down the street learning how to be better husbands and wives. This is their seventh session of the day, each session’s topic ranging from “Encountering God Through Praise” (way to go PR) to “The Life of John the Baptist”. Each attendee sits eagerly, notebook in hand, soaking in every word, ready to write that next bullet point down, ready to ingest this sermon and deliver it in his own church. This scene could be any pastoral conference arena or bible college classroom. Except this is no ordinary theological dissertation. This sermon might be the one that causes the sky to rain with ashes made of what used to be his church. That next bullet point might cause the streets to run red with his own blood. This isn’t America, with a church on every corner. This is Madhya Pradesh.

A few hours ago, while I was eagerly anticipating lunch being served, I commiserated with a fellow teammate who was saying that he usually had difficulty making it through one sermon, let alone six. You see, in America, we live in a “streak o‘ lightning” world, constantly being bombarded with distraction after distraction, moving from one stimulation to the next like we change songs on our iPods. The only thing that is constant is that we are constantly moving, marching to the insane beat of some drummer who moves so fast he might have eight arms and a Red Bull addiction. Our days are suitcases packed so full you couldn’t zip it if an entire offensive line sat on it. All of this noise serves to do one thing: it reduces our attention spans to zero. And good things only come to those who wait.

Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God;” but how often are we really still? How often do we wait on Him? Are we willing to sit in the sweltering heat for hours at the clip just to hear what His word has to say? Regrettably, I usually can’t sit in the comfort of my air-conditioned home for less than an hour to wait on Him. The God of the universe paid the most precious price He could pay to have a relationship with us. Think about it. God sent a part of HIMSELF down to earth to be tortured and murdered, then sat three days in HELL, just so that He could have the opportunity to hang out with us. And we act as though our time is so precious. “Hey God, I think maybe I can pencil you in at 3, but we’re going to have to make it a quick one. Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory is coming on and it’s the one where he buys the tennis ball gun from American Gladiators. I know I’ve seen it three times already, but it’s hilarious!”

These pastors represent 2.6 % of the population of India and the anti-christians are scared to death that they will de-stabilize the country. The majority of America is christian and everyone thinks we’re a joke. These pastors are willing to sit through heat, tribulation, persecution and the threat of martyrdom for the chance to have an encounter with God. I want to challenge each one of you, starting with myself, to take a few moments out of the proverbial rat race, and simply wait. Wait until God shows up. And then let’s see what happens from there. I don’t think we’ll be disappointed.

Will you take the challenge to "simply wait" on God?