Dipping Your Toe Into the Pond of Writing

rippling water

Is there a story in you, thrashing around to get out? Is your glass half full or half empty—or is the substance in your glass dancing and whirlpooling?

You could be a writer-in-waiting.

Check out Edie Melson’s post. It offers seven tips on how to be ready when inspiration hits.

Be ready. Offer your impressions to life. Tell your story. There are others who are waiting to read what you have to write.

5 of My Favorite Writing Tools

writers-toolsHaving the right tools for writing always helps the process go smoothly. Tools can be anything. Did you start with your favorite pen when you began jotting down your thoughts? Or what about reference books–I thoroughly enjoy thumbing through them even when I’m between projects, just to get the feel of what’s out there. Do you have your favorite software? Do you support Microsoft Word person or Google docs?

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How Do You Treat Your Darlings?

Oscar-Wilde (2)Writing is wonderful. And there, you will find darlings–those phrases and word pictures that you dearly love. But we need to watch our relationship with these darlings.

Variations on the “murder your darlings” saying, including “kill your darlings” and “kill your babies,” have been handed down in writing workshops and guides for decades, and almost every major 20th century English author has been cited at one time or another. In addition to the common attribution to Faulkner—“In writing, you must kill all your darlings”—which seems to have been popularized in guides to screenwriting in the 1990s, the advice has also been attributed to Oscar Wilde, Eudora Welty, G.K. Chesterton, “the great master Chekov,” and Stephen King, who wrote, “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

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God Loves Broken People, A Review

God Loves Broken PeopleIn God Loves Broken People, Sheila Walsh explores the feeling of brokenness in a world where we are expected to have lives that fit in neat little packages. She offers story after story and example after example of how pain has been internalized or when we believe the lie that we are useless to God as we are. Sheila challenges the reader to allow—and even promote—these circumstances to assist in growing closer to God. And as is Sheila’s style, personal examples are shared as she dealt with her own brokenness.

God Loves Broken People offers hope for those who deal with emotional wounds from either past or present relationships. It shares stories as well as scriptures from some of the most broken people found in the Bible. As a bonus, it even includes a Bible study guide for a more in-depth coverage for individuals or even small groups.

This is another great book from Sheila Walsh. I would recommend it for any who is hurting and looking for a fresh new perspective; on the beauty of brokenness. Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

I Am Second: A Review

A single nondescript white chair graces the cover of I am Second by Dave Sterrett and Doug Bender. Within the pages of this book, a variety of people will sit in that chair as they take their turn telling their story of how they strived to put themselves first, only to discover that that position already belonged to someone else. You will find no fluff, no justification, and no excuse when each presenter shares their journey of discovery.  What you will find, however, are stories from broken people—young and old, men and women, conservative and outspoken—who realized that all their efforts to control life around them were to no avail, but that God was waiting for them. They discovered that he loved them in their state of brokenness and had a specific purpose for each of them.

I Am Second offers example after example as to who God loves and how he wants to restore his relationship with them. Simply put, there isn’t anyone outside the reach of God’s mercy and grace. Different life stories illustrate this point; a rocker who promoted the abuse of sex and drugs, a young man who was controlled by anger, and a woman who turned to the street to survive all describe how life became sweeter when God became their focal point.

I Am Second reminds us that God doesn’t love us because we’ve become good enough to be loved. He loves us … because he always has. I highly recommend this book for its potential to change lives and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I Am Second has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through Booksneeze.com, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

Clarity is Andy Stanley’s Forte

“When we’re on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing.” Ouch.

In The Grace of God, Andy Stanley once again shares the word of God in a highly accurate fashion while keeping it easy to understand. This is a wonderful book for Christians who have been walking with Christ for many years as well as the young Christian just learning about God’s love for His children. It brings to light how God demonstrated grace throughout the Bible—Old as well as New Testament—and how God shows grace as only a perfect God can do.

We’ve all been on our knees asking for God’s grace sometime in our lives. We’ve all made mistakes. But in addition to asking for grace, Stanley shows us account after account through many familiar stories of the Bible—stories of Rahab, King David, the Apostle Matthew, Jonah and the Ninevites to name a few—that there is no possible way to be worthy of receiving it. It also shows very clearly that God’s grace is not found in the absence of consequence to sin (or The Law in Old Testament examples) but in conjunction with that consequence. It’s a packaged deal. He shows, through scripture, that grace was a critical part of his relationship with Adam and Eve when they sinned and were banished from Eden, and again, showed how because of grace he chose a man named Abraham to begin the process of giving us a way to set things right again through Jesus Christ.

Before reading this book, I thought I understood grace. I know realize I only understood what it was to be given grace. I understand more clearly how incredible a gift it really is and how awesome God is to offer it to everyone. All that we need to do is accept it. I give The Grace of God a rating of five stars and highly recommend it

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”