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Archive for the ‘Praying for our nation’ Category

It used to be the biggest challenge writers faced was getting words down on paper and finding someone willing to publish them. That still is a challenge, but today it’s just the beginning of what a writer is expected to do.

 

Writing not facebookingNow we daily face the overwhelming task of building a platform. The time needed to write words worth reading is infringed upon by the need to have a growing presence on social media. We are driven to develop our “brand” along with a memorable tagline that will resonate with our “audience.”

I confess it’s all too easy for me to get caught up in this not so merry, merry-go-round.

 

Last week I spent a day and a half preparing a new flyer for the August 3-6 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. One side is an overview of the conference and highlights the concert my friend, Marty Goetz, is giving on Wednesday night.

Marty poster for web

 

The other side describes our exciting Teens Write on Thursday and Pastors Write on Friday.

 

TW & PW flyer GP 2016 for web

 

I am excited about all this year’s conference offers. And I do work really hard to present the opportunities in the most professional and best way possible. I even added a new Spread the Word page to the conference website. But sadly, in my effort to “market” the conference, I am convicted that I forgot the most important thing.

 

The 3-1/2 day conference in August does provide many opportunities to learn about the craft of writing and marketing, but it is the message – “His answer” – that is the most important Word that needs to be spread.

 

As Michael Gantt said in his keynote at last year’s conference and this year’s  Colorado Christian Writers Conference, “The Cross is the Main Thing.” I urge you to watch the video of his keynote and/or read the transcript.  I also urge you to subscribe to his blog at http://growinggodlyseed.com.

 

Yes, I’d really appreciate your help spreading the word about the August 3-6 conference, but the most important thing each one of us can and must do is to spread His Word, His answer.

 

Again, quoting Michael Gantt from the blog he posted today:

We are called to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven. We are called to magnify and glorify the matchless Name of Jesus. We are called to declare deliverance to the captives, healing to the broken, and to declare that forgiveness of sin is found in none other than Jesus Christ. We are called to bring the light of the gospel to our cities; to bind up the broken, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and to declare even in the face of Caesar the eternal decrees of God – That’s what we are called to do!

Yes, indeed, that is the Word we are called to spread. God help us to be found faithful.

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eagle (2)Many Christians believe this is a pivotal year for the United States of America, and it is not just because it is an election year.

As Franklin Graham proclaimed in his Decision America Tour, America has a sickness and that sickness is sin. Has idolized reason led to despair? Has despair evolved into apathy, and has apathy produced hopelessness? Have foundations for lawlessness been laid? Do we live in a culture where illegal acts go unpunished and evildoers prosper? Is institutionalized sin – personal and national – the new normal even for believers?

During the May 11-14, 2016, Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference (CCWC) held at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center, seven faculty members will collaborate to present a 5-3/4 hour continuing session on “Addressing the Issues.” Their objective is to prepare Christians to write biblical solutions to the many problems surrounding us. It is not enough to complain about issues; it is time to present His answer with clarity, conviction, and courage. Topics they will cover include:

  • America at the Crossroads – Advance the American Dream or the Kingdom of God?
  • Stand for Truth – Even with Often-Controversial Subjects
  • Answering Christianity’s Critics – Face Antagonism & Win Respect
  • Grace, Race & Forgiveness – Remedies are First Spiritual: Prayer, Forgiveness, Love, Hope & Mercy
  • Know What You Believe – Write Based on Well-Grounded Faith
  • Write His Question – So people will know Jesus as the Answer
  • How Then Should We Live? – Part 1, What Can I Do?
    Part 2, Trust in God Alone

Go to http://colorado.writehisanswer.com/continuingsessions2016 for information on the presenters and times. There is no charge for any of the above sessions or the conference closing session and keynote, “Live and Write Dangerously,” Saturday, May 14, 4:00 – 5:30pm.

Other continuing sessions will provide encouragement and practical help for wannabe writers (there are some in every congregation) and those who are already published.

Allen Arnold, founding fiction publisher for one of the world’s largest Christian publishing houses, will teach “From Overwhelmed to Creative Breakthrough.” Other continuing sessions at this year’s CCWC include:

  • Indie Publishing Boot Camp
  • Write a Winning Book Proposal
  • Christian Speculative Fiction
  • Reaching Youth through Fiction
  • Thriving in Today’s Publishing World
  • First Chapter Boot Camp (nonfiction)

CCWC also offers 8 inspiring keynotes, 18 early bird workshops on Wednesday and 42 workshops Thursday through Saturday; panels; one-on-one appointments with the faculty of 57 authors, editors, and literary agents; and the popular Teens Write program Saturday, May 14, from 9:30am – 3:45pm.

Pastors, seniors 65 and over, full-time students, and alumni receive a 10% discount. Teens are welcome to attend the entire conference at a 60% discount. Partial scholarships and time payments are still available as is lodging on the YMCA Estes Park Center campus.

For those unable to come CDs can be ordered through CCWC’s website after the conference – http://colorado.writehisanswer.com.

 

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On February 1, a week from today God willing, online registration for the May 11-14 Colorado Christian Writers Conference will open. And plans are well underway for the August 3-6 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference.

It’s my 20th year directing the Colorado conference, my 33rd year for Philly. And it’s not gotten any easier. Instead the spiritual battles have become more intense.

The urgency I feel to challenge you to live and write His answer compells me to keep on keeping on despite the weariness, fear, and discouragement I often face. Michael Gantt, who will keynote at both conferences, expresses my heart burden far more powerfully than I can. As a watchman on the wall, he urges prayer “day in and day out for a move of God that will shake the nation out of its spiritual coma.”

Michael’s words about 15 years ago when he keynoted at the Colorado conference keep ringing in my ears: “Do you believe, do you really believe, that God can use you?”

Yes, I do!

Father, please help us to surrender our hopes and dreams for our writing – for our lives – to You. Use us, Lord.
_______________

Michael Gantt’s blog – www.growinggodlyseed.com

Too Little Too Late? Anglican Church Tries To Reverse Apostate Trend – Church attendance in Great Britain is now only 1.4 percent of the population! Is this where the church in America is headed?

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Banner GPCWC 2016


Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear,
so anyone can read it at a glance
and rush to tell the others.
Habakkuk 2:2 TLB

Thank You, Father, for the opportunities this new year will bring us to live and to write Your answer. Draw us closer to You and by Your Spirit enable us to do what we could never do in our own strength.

Conference Preview – Continuing Sessions

Ted BaehrDr. Ted  Baehr
Author
Founder and Chairman
The Christian Film and Television Commission™
Publisher of MOVIEGUIDE®
www.movieguide.org

 

Ted is the founder and Chairman of The Christian Film and Television Commission™ and Publisher of MOVIEGUIDE® Magazine, a family guide to entertainment. An award-winning media authority often on television, radio, and in print, his purpose is to be used by God to redeem the values of the mass media and to encourage families to use wisdom in selecting their entertainment. His books include How to Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul), The Media-Wise Family, Narnia Beckons, Faith in God & Generals, as well as The Amazing Grace of Freedom and The Culture-Wise Family, among many others.

Learn how to write a script that is structurally sound, entertaining, morally responsible, and very marketable. Ted will show you how to go from treatment to theatrical release so that you can get the Word out through the mass media of entertainment. He also includes valuable information about the key principles of communicating through movies and television from a Christian perspective.

Dr. Baehr knows the ins and outs of both Hollywood and visual storytelling. This is a rare and valuable combination, allowing him to impart wisdom on the craft of screenwriting as well as the equally important craft of infiltrating an industry often hostile to the Church and Christian morals. To me he is an embodiment of Matthew 10:16 “…therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves.” Students will take away an incredibly solid foundation for writing screenplays, and an insider’s insight into how “The Industry” works. Film and television are the most influential mediums for influencing our culture, and Dr. Baehr is on mission to equip Christians with the skills and wisdom to take Hollywood for Christ.     ~ Eric Cameron

Bob Hostetler Jan 11
Write Your BEST Nonfiction Book Now!
Bob Hostetler
Author, Editor, Pastor, Speaker

 

Bob is an award-winning author, editor, pastor and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His thirty books, which include The Bone Box and American Idols (The Worship of the American Dream), have sold millions of copies. He has co-authored eleven books with Josh McDowell, including the best-selling Right from Wrong What You Need to Know to Help Youth Make Right Choices) and the award-winning Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door. He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award, among others. Bob is a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats.
Bob was ordained to the ministry in 1980 by The Salvation Army. He and his wife, the lovely Robin, served in The Salvation Army from 1980-1992. In 2000, Bob (with his wife) helped to co-found Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio. He has served that church in leadership and teaching pastor roles.

Bob has been a disc jockey, pastor, magazine editor, freelance book editor, and (with his wife Robin) a foster parent to ten boys (though not all at once)! Bob and Robin have two adult children, Aubrey and Aaron, son-in-law Kevin and daughter-in-law Nina, and grandchildren Miles, Mia, Calleigh, and Ryder. They live in Hamilton, Ohio.

Conceive, craft, complete, and sell the best nonfiction book(s) you have in you. No matter where you are in the writing or publishing process these sessions will be the best investment you can make in your writing future.

 

Tim Shoemaker color

 

How to Get Published
Tim Shoemaker
Author, Speaker
www.timshoemakersmashedtomatoes.com

Tim is a full-time speaker and author of 11 books. He is passionate about writing and has worked with youth for over twenty years. Code of Silence, book one of his contemporary suspense series with Zonderkidz, was included in the Booklist Online “Top Ten Crime Novels for Youth” list. Tim was selected by School Library Journal to serve on a four-member “Mysteries and Thrillers” panel for their Summer Teen Event.

Tim speaks at churches and parachurch organizations such as Focus on the Family, Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conferences, and Moody Pastors Conference. He speaks at homeschool conventions as well as retreats for men and couples. He speaks at public and Christian schools across the country–so if you know a librarian, principal, or English teacher–talk to Tim about that. Tim has a passionate style of teaching that makes his workshops enjoyable and helps make even difficult topics clear. Happily married for over thirty-five years, Tim has three grown sons and still loves doing volunteer youth work.

Both fiction and nonfiction writers will learn how to focus their ideas, structure articles and stories, handle rejection, and write query letters. Five essentials for publishing success including one thing you may have never considered before, but it’s a biggee. Five essentials for learning the craft of writing, and five ways to improve your fiction writing. Whew! Sounds like we’ll be busy. And we will-in a good way. Very detailed handout (without blanks) provided. 

Five more continuing sesions
plus workshops and clinics!

NOTE: The website still has 2015 info.

 More News

  • Michael Gantt’s blog

Michael’s keynote at this year’s conference was, I believe, the most important and powerful keynote in GPCWC’s thirty-two years of ministry. You can view it at http://bit.ly/1JkE8m9. For a complete transcript go to http://growinggodlyseed.com/stand. I strongly encourage you to subscribe to his Growing Godly Seed blog and to take seriously the counsel he offers in his December 21 post, “No Longer Good,” on how we need to prepare for the days ahead. Click here. Michael will keynote again at our 2016 conference.

 

·       PREPRAYER for the New Year with Anne Graham Lotz

Anne writes: “As I look ahead into 2016, I believe our national and global situation will get worse.  A good friend has focused my attention on Isaiah 60:1-2 as a word from the Lord for the New Year:  Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.  I can feel the encroaching darkness of evil that is like a heavy moral and spiritual fog.  It’s permeating our nation at every level. At the very same time that our nation is enveloped in thick darkness, God commands us to arise, let our Light shine, and the distinctive glory of our Lord will be obvious to all.” Click here for more info and to join Anne and me on January 1 in an hour of prayer.

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CCWC 2016 banner

Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear,
so anyone can read it at a glance
and rush to tell the others.
Habakkuk 2:2 TLB

Thank You, Father, for the opportunities this new year will bring us to live and to write Your answer. By Your Spirit enable us to do what we could never do in our own strength. Thank You for Jonathan and Bruce Shank who are redesigning the conference websites to display on mobile devices. And thank You for everyone who has said yes to serving on the faculty.

Conference Preview
Some of the Continuing Sessions

Allen Arnold Nov 2013   
The Heart of the Storyteller
Allen Arnold
Director of Content
& Resources
Ransomed Heart Ministries

 

From the mountains of Colorado, Allen oversees Content & Resources for Ransomed Heart Ministries (led by John Eldredge, NY Times bestselling author of Wild at Heart). Prior to that, he spent 20 years in Christian publishing-overseeing the development of more than 500 novels as Founder and Publisher of Thomas Nelson Fiction. He was awarded the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Allen savors time with his family, craves the beach, drinks salsa by the glass, and is passionate about helping writers tell better stories from an awakened heart.

The heart of a story always begins with the heart of the storyteller. . . yet the heart of the writer is often neglected. It’s easy to see why. The life of a novelist is filled with isolation, pressure to find an agent or publisher, writing and rewriting, hyper-focus on performance, worry, fear, and trying to navigate the ever-changing world of social media – all while holding down a day job. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We will pursue the heart of the writer through conversations about identity and calling, story as offering, presence versus productivity, savoring the “land in-between,” and the importance of living your story before telling your stories. It’s time to breathe deeply, recover your heart, and savor story as you discover how to live free, write free.

 

Jeff Gerke


Christian Speculative Fiction
 Jeff Gerke
 Author, Editor, Mentor 

When you’re truly ready to make your fiction publishable, it’s time to call Jeff Gerke. Jeff trains novelists how to better do what it is they’re trying to do. He trains through his books for Writers Digest: The Irresistible Novel, Plot Versus Character, The First 50 Pages, Write Your Novel in a Month, and The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction. He trains through the many writers’ conferences he teaches at all over the country every year. He trained his authors when he ran Marcher Lord Press, the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction, which he sold after an award-winning 5-year run. And he trains through the freelance editing he does for his clients at www.jeffgerke.com. Jeff is known for his canny book doctoring skills and his encouraging manner, which leaves writers feeling empowered and like they really can do this thing after all. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and three children.

Some of us are just weird. We don’t like Amish fiction-unless it’s Amish vampires in space. Then, maybe. We would rather write about a sword in a stone than a mail-order bride. Warp drives and nanotech beat out Jane Austen any day, in our book. Come hear the man who has been called the de facto gatekeeper of Christian speculative fiction talk about the joys of writing Christian science fiction and fantasy, the distinctives of our beloved genre, and the prospects for publishing it today.

Andy Scheer


First-Chapter Bootcamp
Andy Scheer
Writer & Editor

Andy has worked in publishing since 1984. Now a writer and editor, he’s served as editor-in-chief for the Christian Writers Guild and Editorial Director for Believers Press. He’s also been an agent with Hartline and an editor with Moody magazine. As a freelance book editor since 2010, he’s edited fiction and nonfiction projects for Moody Publishers, WinePress, and Kregal, as well as individual clients including Dirk Cussler, McNair Wilson, DiAnn Mills, and Sammy Tippit. A journalism graduate of Colorado State University, he also studied at Denver Seminary. Visit him at AndyScheer.com.

In this hands-on class, learn what your first chapter and especially your opening page must accomplish so potential readers will want to buy your book. You’ll learn to align your content and approach for maximum effect with your target audience. (Intermediate to advanced)

 Five more to come!
NOTE: The website still has 2015 info. 

More News

  • Living Set Apart Blog

One of the primary goals of Kayla Woodhouse’s Living Set Apart blog is to spread awareness of current, world-wide, and regional issues with the aim of spreading the gospel and spurring people into action. There will be eight posts each month, in four different categories: A two-part devotional, two short stories/poems (submitted by your peer tweens, teens, and young adults!), a two-part Awareness article, and two applicable “Goals” posts. Click here to see the list of topics the blog will address monthly. I hope you will help Kayla reach her goal of 500 subscribers by the end of 2015.

  • Paula Moldenhauer releases first eBook in The Soul Scents devotional series

Awaken to a more intimate, peaceful relationship with God. The Soul Scents devotional series invites readers into an ever-deepening discovery of Who God is and how He interacts with us. Bathed in grace, this collection of thirteen week devotionals is down-to-earth, offering spiritual insight gained from Scripture and the author’s journey into spiritual freedom. Soul Scents: Awaken, the first in the series, features week-day readings which include Scriptures and prayers. Rest in the Son’s embrace as you enter the beautiful heart of the Freedom Giver Himself. Available on Amazon as a free eBook January 1 and 2.

  • PREPRAYER for the New Year with Anne Graham Lotz

Anne writes: “As I look ahead into 2016, I believe our national and global situation will get worse.  A good friend has focused my attention on Isaiah 60:1-2 as a word from the Lord for the New Year:  Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.  I can feel the encroaching darkness of evil that is like a heavy moral and spiritual fog.  It’s permeating our nation at every level. At the very same time that our nation is enveloped in thick darkness, God commands us to arise, let our Light shine, and the distinctive glory of our Lord will be obvious to all.” Click here for more info and to join Anne and me on January 1 in an hour of prayer.

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Give thanks

We Thank You, O Lord

To the tune “We Gather Together”

 

We thank You, O Lord, for Your mercy and blessings,

Your love that we never can merit or earn.

And so this Thanksgiving on bended knee we’re coming

To worship You, O Lord, our hearts for You yearn.

 

We need You, O Lord, in our lives, in our nation.

Forgive us for failing to follow Your way.

Give us wisdom and courage to never deny You

To hold fast to our faith in these difficult days.

 

We cling to Your promise, we know You are faithful.

Our land You will heal if Your people will pray.

If humbly we’ll seek You and turn away from evil,

We’ll again be the home of the free and the brave.

 

And so, Lord, we give You our praise and thanksgiving,

Our worries and fears we surrender to You.

We choose to rejoice in Your faithful provision.

We will trust You, O Lord, for Your Word is true.

 

Marlene Bagnull

Thanksgiving 2015

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What I’m reading and hearing from people I respect underscores what I have been feeling in my spirit for a long time. Difficult days are ahead for our nation. They will be days of intense testing for Christians, but they also will be days filled with opportunities to strengthen our faith muscles and to live and to write His answer.

Will we witness God’s judgment of our nation in the coming weeks and months? I don’t know. I’m praying we will turn back to God and that He will have mercy. Whatever happens, I want to be a contagious Christian whose words and actions draw people to the Lord – our only hope for today, tomorrow, and eternity.

  • Contagious Christians love. – John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:7-10; Matthew 5:44
  • Contagious Christians are passionate. – Luke 10:27; Revelation 2:4-5; 3:15-16
  • Contagious Christians pray. – Colossians 4:2; Philippians 4:6
  • Contagious Christians live their faith. – James 2:14; Ecclesiastes 5:7; Ephesians 5:17
  • Contagious Christians boldly share their faith. – 2 Corinthians 4:13; Colossians 4:5
  • Contagious Christians are gentle, respectful, and gracious. – 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:25; James 3:17
  • Contagious Christians avoid senseless arguments. – Titus 3:9; John 14:6
  • Contagious Christians avoid pat answers. – Ezekiel 3:10-11; Habakkuk 2:1-2
  • Contagious Christians are authentic. – 1 Corinthians 4:20; Colossians 2:6-7
  • Contagious Christians are joy-filled and expectant. – Psalm 71:14,16; 9:1

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eagle and flag

“If my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV2011)

History, at least the history of our nation, is swiftly moving to a climax.

The sad fact for America is that
our sin has made God our enemy.
If there is no national confession of sin|
and if we cannot find a heart of repentance,
a Holy God will complete his judgment;
either by the complete annihilation
or subjugation of what was once a great
and godly people or by rendering it
completely irrelevant on the world stage. 

Michael Gantt
http://growinggodlyseed.com/stand

We have stepped over a line
   from which there is no turning back.
We have taken a paradigm leap
   from mere disobedience
      to open rebellion against God,
   thereby crossing the line
      from blessing to judgment
         and from God’s prior favor
   to His impending wrath. . . .

Mike Wolff
http://thereconnectedchurch.org

There is no doubt—
the TRUE hope for this world is Jesus Christ!
Our struggling nation and a lost world
need a fresh introduction to the message of Jesus!
This generation urgently needs to learn
of the new birth that comes through faith in Jesus!
A church that is committed to obeying Christ
and sharing the Gospel could … save this nation!

Focus on the Family, 9/3/15 email

frog-in-the-kettle

Friends, please do not allow a spirit of complacency to cause you to suffer the fate of this frog in the kettle. I can’t urge you strongly enough to watch the video of Michael Gantt’s keynote address, “The Cross Is the Main Thing,” that he gave July 31 at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Or read the transcript at
http://growinggodlyseed.com/stand and subscribe to his blog. Mike Wolff’s September 3 blog post, “Sounding the Trumpet,” is also critically important to read.

I believe the days ahead are going to be very difficult for our nation. I don’t know if she will survive God’s judgment. As for Christians, persecution is coming. Indeed, it is already here, and God will allow it to intensify for it is the only way His church will again become strong.

Am I fearful? Yes! I long to be strong in His strength and to live and to write His answer.

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eagle (2)The Cross
is
the Main Thing

Last night I watched Michael Gantt’s 30 minute keynote, “The Cross is the Main Thing,” from this year’s Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. You’ll find it on YouTube at http://bit.ly/1JkE8m9.

In 32 years of ministry I believe this is the most powerful message that has ever been presented at the conference.

The sad fact for America is that because of our sin
we have made God our enemy,” Michael said.
“The only thing that holds any hope for our nation
is the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Friends, I urge you to watch it and to share the URL on your social networks, web page, blog, and with your family and friends and church family who you spend time with in person.

Father, please cause each one who reads this to make time to watch this video. Save us from the spirit of apathy and complacency. Help us to hear and to speak and to write Your truth – Your answer.

Difficult days our ahead that will test our faith as never before. Father, please help us to

Stand united, singular in vision,
contending for people’s trust
in the Message, the good news,
not flinching or dodging
in the slightest
before the opposition.”
(Phil. 1:27-28 MSG)

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file1981260652892 (1)Put on the full armor of God
so that you can take your stand
against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against
flesh and blood.
Ephesians 6:11-12 NIV

My hands tied behind my back, I was dragged before a tribunal of cloaked men. They accused me of subversion against the government because of my faith in Jesus Christ. I could not deny the charges, for spread across the table were books and articles I had written.

The congregation’s singing brought me back to reality. Had I dozed off or seen a vision? I’ll never know for sure. But I do know the Lord spoke to me. “Do you realize, Child,” I felt Him say, “that the things you are writing may one day convict you? Are you willing to follow Me despite the cost?”

It was a sobering moment. I didn’t ask Him to give me a closer look at the titles of my published works. And I didn’t answer quickly or feel very brave when I finally said, “Yes, Lord.”

That was fifteen years ago. Societally, things were bad and getting worse; but Christians generally were seen as part of the answer—not the problem. We were not the frequent brunt of jokes on TV sitcoms and talk shows. Media coverage was not openly biased. Gays were not militant. People did not worry about being politically correct. The New Age was beginning to infiltrate some churches, but few discerned its danger.

Things are changing—rapidly. We can no longer ignore all the signs that point to the return of Christ. They challenge us to be actively involved in spreading the Gospel while the doors remain open to produce and distribute Christian literature. But we do need to count the cost. In a very real way, writing for the Lord puts us on the front lines where “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12 NIV). To go into battle without the “full armor of God” (Eph. 6:11 NIV) is dangerous.

“This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels,” The Message says. “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued” (Eph. 6:12-13). Having been defeated too often, I’m learning to pray on the armor every morning that I might “resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over . . . still be standing up” (Eph. 6:13 TLB).

“Lord,” I pray, “help me to gird myself with your belt of truth’” (Eph. 6:14 NIV). “Give me discernment that I might immediately recognize the enemy’s lies and half-truths. Help me to refuse to receive or believe them.” When a manuscript is returned and those insistent inner whispers threaten to defeat me, I buckle the belt of God’s truth more tightly around me. I affirm, often out loud, that the return of one manuscript (or dozens of manuscripts) does not mean I should quit writing. I know God has called me to write, but that is not a guarantee of accepted manuscripts. I must keep developing the gifts of writing and marketing and persevere.

The breastplate of righteousness (Eph. 6:14 NIV) protects my most vulnerable area—my heart, the home of my feelings and emotions. It is so easy for me to be wounded by others, to allow myself to be influenced by fear of what they might say or think. I need to be constantly vigilant against the temptation to compromise because “everyone else is doing it.” I cannot pad my writing expenses on my Schedule C. I cannot be careless attributing quotes or use copyrighted material without permission. Instead, I must handle every aspect of the business side of my writing in a way that honors the Lord. My first priority must be to bring glory to Him and not to myself. “Lord,” I pray, “help me today to consistently choose to do what is right in Your eyes.”

Putting on the shoes of readiness to share the Gospel (Eph. 6:15) protects me from the temptation to get sidetracked. There are often other things I can do and write that would require less time and effort, but if I am to be a soldier of the King, I must take my orders from Him. I need to follow His marching orders instead of asking Him to bless mine. When I walk in obedience, I find that my feet do not become bruised and weary from going places He never intended me to go. I also find that when I say yes to what He wants me to do, rather than yes to what others tell me I should do or what I feel they expect me to do, I am filled with peace instead of tension.

I prayerfully pick up the shield of faith to “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16 NIV). I ask God to make me mighty in spirit—to help me to walk by faith, not by sight. I also ask Him to help me not to lower my shield by nurturing doubts. A soldier can be fatally wounded if he lowers his shield for only a moment.

The helmet of salvation (Eph. 6:17 NIV) protects my thought life. Each morning I thank God that I do not have to be bound by old habits and thinking  patterns. I ask Him to continue His work of transforming me by renewing my mind (Rom. 12:2) and giving me the “thoughts and mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16 TLB).

Finally, there is the one offensive piece of armor. It is with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17 NIV) that we go forth into battle to confront the evil of our day. Doing so doesn’t mean we are supposed to hit our readers over the head with the Bible. Instead, I pray that God’s Word will so permeate my life that the principles of Scripture will be evident in all I do, say, and write.

“The enemy is within the gates,” Chuck Colson wrote in Against the Night (Servant Publications, 1989, p. 19). “I believe that we do face a crisis in Western culture, and that it presents the greatest threat to civilization since the barbarians invaded Rome” (p. 23). But God commands us to trust Him. Even when facing the spirit of the antichrist, we need not fear because “the one who is in [us] is greater than the one who is in the world” (l John 4:4 NIV). We need to “pray all the time” (Eph. 6:18 TLB) and to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Eph. 6:10 NIV) knowing that Jesus has already won the battle.

Responding to God’s Call to Write

Study Ephesians 6:10-18 in several translations or paraphrases. Ask the Lord to show you what each piece of the armor can mean in your life. List those insights below and begin to daily pray on the armor.

Belt of truth

Breastplate of righteousness

Shoes of readiness

Shield of faith

Helmet of salvation

Sword of the Spirit

From Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers by Marlene Bagnull. ACW Press. © 1990, 1999 Marlene Bagnull.

Banner 2015 GPCWCIf God is calling you to “write His answer,” you need to come to the July 29 – August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. It’s not too late to register.

I feel such a sense of urgency. “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work” (John 9:4 NLT).

Our Friday morning keynoter, Pastor Michael Gantt, said in a blog post “Found Standing” in May:

Because of our terrible national sins; because as a nation we have essentially given God the middle finger of disdain for His Person, His character, and His laws there is no defense to be made. I made the point in a recent post, “The Hedge is Gone,” that we must realize that Islam is not our enemy, the militant LGBT bloc is not our .”enemy, nor is Planned Parenthood (the chief purveyor of the murder of our children) our enemy. Our sin has made God our enemy.

Because of the rejection of God and His Word and because we have exchanged the God of Life for the gods of death and perversion, God is already judging the nation and if there is no national confession of sin and repentance He will complete his judgment; either by the complete annihilation of what was once a great and Godly people or by rendering it completely irrelevant on the world stage.”

Oh Father, have mercy and bring our nation back to You! Thank You for the message Michael will bring Friday morning. Indeed, “The Cross is the Main Thing.”

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