Who or what do you worship?

Whether we realize it or not, we all worship or at least give priority to certain things in our lives. Sometimes we are very intentional in how we use our time. At others, we get to the end of the day and wonder where all our time went.

I choose to worship the God of the Bible. Who or what do you worship?


Put your armour on!

In the physical realm, gravity is at work, whether we acknowledge it or not. In the spiritual realm, we are in a battle, whether we realize it or not. As a child I witnessed the power of witch doctors and their spells, the evil power that allows people to walk on coals with bare feet and not get burned, and the fear people have of angering a spirit or god. These are sample evidences of the reality of the great cosmic battle which is described in Scripture. Lucifer is described as the most beautiful of angels, and the most powerful. We are told he was not content with the role he was created for. He wanted to be God. So he rebelled, and God banished him and his followers from Heaven.

Throughout Scripture we see further evidence of the battle:

  • Satan telling Eve that God didn’t really mean what He said. Adam and Eve choosing to disobey. Sin entering the world (Genesis 3)
  • The story of Job which gives us a glimpse into discussions between God and Satan. God gives Satan permission to prove Job’s character. (Job 1)
  • Daniel, who prayed and fasted for three weeks and didn’t see results. He is informed that his prayers were heard on the first day, but the answer was delayed because, “the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days.” (Daniel 10)
  • Paul’s instruction to the Ephesians to put on “the whole armour of God.” (Ephesians 6:10-15)

In North America, I find that most people do not take spiritual warfare seriously. We are in a battle. It’s time to put our armour on and stand against Satan and his angels. Our weapons are truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the Word of God, and prayer.

Are you armed and ready?


When our schedules are full and we are pushed from one thing to another, we can still choose peace. Philippains 4:6,7 explains how.

Peace in a troubled world – Philippians 4:6,7

Yesterday I talked about learning to be still and listen. But what happens when our schedules are full and we are pushed from one thing to another? (Sometimes this is an indication our schedules are over full and we need to plan some “white space” on our calendars. Other times life just happens, and we are not able to change our schedules.) We can still choose peace!

Here are some thoughts that encouraged me this morning:

  • Nothing is ever a surprise to God
  • When I’m weak, it gives God a chance to really shine. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
  • Others are going through much tougher times than I am. Especially my brothers and sisters who are suffering for their faith. Instead of complaining or getting discouraged, I can choose to pray for them. This does two things: it gets my focus off myself and it gets me praying.

Philippians 4:6,7 is a passage I’m choosing to put into action today. I’m talking to God about the things that are heavy on my mind and thanking Him for taking care of them. That frees me up to use my energy for the day ahead.

Will you join me in praying with thanksgiving and allowing God’s peace to rule?


Psalm 46:10 – Be still

Every night we have a story time and prayer with our children before bed. For the past few years, we’ve been reading missionary biographies together, mostly from the Christian Heroes Then & Now series. Currently we are reading Brother Andrew: God’s Secret Agent by Janet & Geoff Benge. A description of a particular prayer meeting Brother Andrew attended caught my attention. Instead of sharing prayer requests and praying out loud together, this group was silent. Each person spent time “listening” instead. No one prayed out loud until they felt God impressing them to pray specifically about something or for someone.

Too often I find myself rushing through a list of requests. Instead, I want to learn to listen. This takes discipline in our noisy, fast-paced world. I need to be still. I think it’s going to take time for me to learn to be still and listen, but I’m excited about what God is going to show me.

What has God been teaching you lately?


Lessons Learned at When Words Collide – Overview

 

Last week I enjoyed the opportunity to attend When Words Collide with other members of the executive from InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship. The conference took place in Calgary with over 600 people attending. My purpose for attending was two-fold:

  1. To see how a conference is run by a different organization and see if I could pick up ideas to apply to the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship Fall Conference.
  2. To learn skills to apply to my own writing.

When Words Collide is run very differently from the InScribe Conference in some ways:

  • Registration is only $50. No meals or coffee breaks are included, accommodation is more costly, people who want to attend the banquet pay $50 more.
  • Grants and sponsorship are very important to running this conference.
  • Sessions start at 10 am and run until 9 or 10 at night, with no breaks for meals. Sessions start on the hour and run for 50 minutes. Attendees are free to come and go as they please.
  • Speakers and workshop leaders introduce themselves. There is no audio-visual equipment and no microphones.

What I learned about conference organization:

  • Some costs are absolutely necessary. It’s very frustrating to attend a session and not be able to hear much. I will choose to pay for audio-visual equipment and microphones.
  • Marketing makes a difference. Although up front I only paid $50 to attend the conference, I paid just as much, if not more, than I will pay to attend the InScribe conference where the registration fee is $225.
  • Networking is important to me. The variety of workshops offered at When Words Collide is amazing. However, people are so busy rushing from one workshop to another that little networking took place. Now that I’m aware, I would probably plan my own schedule differently if I attend again. As it was, I skipped many sessions to make time to spend with people.

Sessions I attended:

  • Audio, Audibles, and Voice Over
  • Back Cover Blurbs
  • Building Your Readership
  • Does Editing Make You a Better Writer?
  • Fiction Writing with Nina Munteanu
  • Publisher’s Panel for Novels
  • Write for Hire
  • Writing as Community

In future posts I will share some of the lessons I learned from the sessions. For now I’m off to put a few more details together for the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship Fall Conference, which is taking place in Edmonton from September 24-26, 2015. Register before September 21st and I’ll see you there!

 


Sneak Peek into what I’m teaching at a Writing Camp for Kids

This week I’m combining my love of writing and teaching through play to facilitate a writing camp for kids in St. Paul, Alberta. The St. Paul & District Arts Foundation is offering Compose Your Summer, four days of literature and dance. Miss Heather is facilitating the dance and I’ll facilitate the writing portion.

Here are some of the ideas we’ll be trying:

DAY 1 – FOCUS ON SETTING

Ice-breaker idea from She’s Crafty

 

Challenge: Draw a giant map or picture of your story world using crayons, markers, paint, or whatever else you choose. Think about what your world is like, who lives there, and how your characters work together or against each other.

DAY 2 – FOCUS ON CHARACTER

Challenge: Explore costumes and figure out what your main character looks like. Draw a picture of your character and/or fill out a character questionnaire. Then interview a fellow camper and find out about his or her character. If you’d like, you can act out your character and we’ll capture him or her on video.

DAY 3 – FOCUS ON STORY STRUCTURE

Challenge: Brainstorm a beginning (including hook), middle, and end to a story with the group. As a group, act out the group story, which will be videoed. Decide on the main points of your own story and either write out or act out your story. (Discussions of genre and dialogue as time permits)

DAY 4 – FOCUS ON PULLING THE PIECES TOGETHER

Challenge: Explore the senses and create a sensory dictionary as a group. Go through your story and highlight each sense with a different colour. Discuss self-editing tips as a group. Exchange stories and give feedback. Work on revisions.

RESOURCES:

20 Three Minute Brain Breaks

I’ve found an amazing array of resources on writing and teaching writing to children to include as handouts for each participant.

Stay tuned for a report back on how the writing camp went and lessons I learned 🙂