Thursday, January 1, 2009

Think on These Things

Virtually every newscast speaks to the downward spiral of the nation’s economy. The close of 2008 saw our nation in an economic decline many equate with the Great Depression.

The end of the year, in the eyes of many brings the opportunity to refresh. In many cases the results of our national condition has placed the necessity before us. Do not dispair, that forced choice, refreshing, may be the blessing we did not know we needed.

As authors we may be concerned about the possible decline in contract offers, grim forecasts for future sales, offers for and/or extension of invitations for public and private events. The list of concerns can become extensive.

Today’s post comes to encourage you.

I am reminded of the story of Abram and Lot. God told Abram to leave his home; to separate from that he was familiar with. But, Abram took Lot, his nephew. Although Abram was blessed, he also had to deal with controversy. One such challenge was having too much property and having to decide to separate from Lot in order to maintain without strife between them. Given the choice, Lot, seeking self-preservation, chose the most fertile land, leaving Abram, the Uncle who provided his wealth, with the lesser of the land.

Often we believe that the situation we’re in is our source and apart from it we cannot survive. Lot believed that by selecting the preferable land he would have all he needed to continue to maintain the lifestyle he had grown accustomed to. In his haste, he neglected to understand that often, less is more.

After the separation, God spoke to Abram (Genesis 13:14-15) “And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.”

By today’s standards Abram would be considered a fool. That view comes from not understanding that, sometimes, in order to grow, to be further blessed, you may have to let go of what has become familiar; what you thought was the maximum blessing.

The unfamiliar brings with it a measure of uncertainty and for some, a bit of fear. Fear of the unknown is not uncommon. What is far too common is allowing it to stunt your growth.

Some of us may lose contracts, opportunities to speak, friendships we thought had been forged in the fire and maybe even that job that allowed us to support our writing career. The fear of this is natural, but we cannot allow it to cause us to spend more time lamenting about it than taking advantage of the time, the blessing, that may be placed in your hand.

If you find yourself in any of the aforementioned situations I encourage you to revisit your most current written vision and then think on these things:

*How do you see yourself going forth despite the stumble in the plan?
*Is there necessity to upgrade/tweak the process?
*What ideas do you have that you have wanted to develop, but haven’t had the time to do so?
*What continuing education can you now take advantage of in order to hone your writing,
oratory and/or marking skills?
*Who do you know who needs mentoring and could benefit from your generosity and expertise?
*Are you willing to mentor for free?
*Have you considered cross-promoting with others?

I encourage you to go forth looking at the half-full glass rather than the one that is half-empty. In your trying times be mindful that: “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.”


Anonymous said...

I WAS GREATLY ENCOURAGED by your blog today. Amen!!!! God bless you for a healthy, peaceful and PROSPEROUS New Year. Love, Sis. Patti Oliver Bailey & Family

Kendra Norman-Bellamy said...

This is powerful, Linda...and so true. Thanks for sharing.

Valerie said...

Thanks for this encouraging word Linda! You never cease to amaze me with your knowledge and willingness to share it with others! God bless you!

Anonymous said...

I'm new in the writing business. I worry about what I will do if my manuscript doesn't get accepted.

Thank you for reminding me that I need to be thankful for the things I can do until my book is published.

Carol Marshall

Adrienna Turner said...

Moreover, I am glad to be reminded with the story of Lot and Abram. Two years prior, God has told me to get up and go...did I listen, no! Now my father has relocated due to job opportunties and I am still back where I was. I am praying for a bold spirit and courage, if I have the opportunity again, I will be ready to move forward on God's calling. I also have the story about Lot in my book: Day Begins with Christ!

ragamuffin diva said...

Wonderful thoughts, Linda. I had a stellar financail year in 2007. Not so much, in 2008. Of course, I grew up and spent much of my adult life with a very low income. One thing I have learned in the lean times is to trust God for His provision, and He hasn't failed me yet.

I did have to take a spiritual inventory, however. I've asked myself if I have believed God wants more for me than constantly merely surviving, and rarely living. I've found some flawed thinking, and am learning to trust in my good God to be as generous. My priest told me to reflect on the fact that I am worthy of the gifts that people have showered on me. How much more should I believe that God, who inspired them, wants to give me gifts, too.

I also had to leave some past thinking behind. I am very much delivered from a lifestyle that kept me mired in struggle, but I have to fight a mind that doesn't want to believe in my personal promised land. Right now I feel as if I need balance, and that is what I'm seeking.

As the year ended, I applied for an MFA in creative writing program. I've been successfully published, but don't feel like I've taken my own work seriously enough. I know what God writing is, and despite the kindness of my readers, I know I should and could do better for them. I'm going to do so, for love, and unto the Lord.

I'm also applying to a seminary. I believe I should be equipped to communicate the gospel effectively. Either way, I'm seeking God and asking Him to allow me to finish a Master's degree. I believe it will help me to be a better provider. That's my part.

Ultimately, He is my Provider. If I've missed that, I've missed it all. It's a lot on my plate, but change is good.

Thanks for the chance to share, Linda.


Jeanette Hill said...

This is not only encouraging but powerful! A great way to start 2009!

Linda Beed said...

Hi Patti. It's been a long time. My desire is to encourage others as Christ has encouraged us.

Happy New Year. Love, joy, peace and the favor of God to you and your family. Tell Fletcher that I still pray for him.


Linda Beed said...

Thanks for stopping by Kendra.


Linda Beed said...

Valerie you are being modest. Your gift has blessed me and others so often.


Linda Beed said...

Carol I'm glad to hear that you have finished your manuscript. If if traditional publishing is your goal I encourage you to pursue that avenue. If it isn't picked up now, it is not the end of the world. Believe in yourself and do what has been set before you until the timing is right.


Linda Beed said...

Adrienna it takes a strong prson to admit their fears. I applaud you for that.

God is the God of second chances. Place yourself before Him and seek His will for where you are to go from here. Wherever He directs you He has already made provision. You just have to have faith to obey.


Linda Beed said...

Claudia Christian writing is a gift that comes with an awesome responsibility. I am blessed by your words and your desire to be in right position, for only what we do (wholeheartedly) for God will last.

God is indeed our provider and if He can't take care of us us, we can't be cared for. I'm reminded of the scriptures from Luke 12 27&28 -- Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

He cares for us. We need to strive to increase our faith in order to do what we have been called to.


Linda Beed said...

Thank you Mrs. Hill.


Timothy Stelly Sr said...

Well said, logically laid out. Great analogy (Abraham-Lot). I definitely took somethig away from this.