writing a book

Help! I’m Writing a Book!

Yes! You read that right. I’m writing a book. I have decidedly to follow the wooing of the spirit and sit down to get my devotions published. It’s going to be a big process, so don’t expect to find my devotional in bookstores any time soon! I’m at the very beginning of this process and after attending a writer’s conference, I realize that I have much more work to do than I thought. 🙂

If you are with me on this same journey, I thought I would share the resources I have already gathered on my shelf. As soon as I made this decision, I received an offer to review a new book about platforms. I saw that as a sign that I am on the right track and accepted the offer. Becky’s book, Reach – Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause is all about platforms.

Create the Biggest Possible Audience

Becky Robinson is in the business of helping people sell books and this book confirms it. Becky has laid out the first steps toward finding your audience, creating your brand, finding resources, and focusing on service which will attract readers. These are things you need to do before you even start to write.

Have You Found Peace With Your Past?

Before writing your book, you need to have dealt with your demons. If you haven’t found peace with the events in your life that have caused trauma, you will not be able to tell your story without spilling your anger out on not only those who have hurt you but every reader along the way. You really do not want to air your dirty laundry when you write. You want to gently tell your story and how you found peace.

Allen will walk you through it with this beautifully written, easy-to-read, insightful allegory. It reminded me much of Hind’s Feet in High Places by Hannah Hubbard. However, between the pages, he includes chapters that discuss the story and help you apply the lessons to your own life.
Regardless of whether you want to tell your story or not, this one is a must-read.

The Chunky Method

Are you trying to “find the time to write”? You will never find time to write. You must make it. Treat it like a job. Tell your family they cannot disturb you during that time and then you will make progress. Allie Plieter will give you some guidance in her book, The Chunky Method.

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Writing With Community

Most of us likely do not have friends that also write books. It is important to find a community that encourages and shares information with you. There are several out there that I am aware of:

Hope Writers – This group attracts me the most. It is a Christian group and they have tons of online resources. They offer coaching, online courses, and a large community of writers and editors. Once you have taken a course, it will be in your library forever. I have taken a few courses with this group but have never been able to find them in my budget. They do offer some products to the public but of course, the greatest advantage comes with subscribing.

Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild – author of the Left Behind Series has a great online resource with everything you need to write your novel. He is very interactive with his writers. I believe he may only let so many in at a time. His offer is much like the Hope Writers.

Flourish Writers – Much like the above with many courses offered and two levels of intensity at a subscription or yearly fee. This is the one that I joined this year. I like it, but still learning my way around the website.

Greater Writing Communities

Writers’ conferences are the place to find agents, professional editors, and tons of information about the publishing world. It’s an intensive few days of workshops and speakers who will inform and inspire. In addition, you will meet the most amazing writing friends. Conferences have been prohibitive for me with my disabilities. They cost a bundle and if you are like me and need a caregiver, some will charge them for attendance as well.

The pandemic changed a lot of things and conferences were one of them. Many are now offered online at discounted prices and there is no travel cost. Watch from your favorite recliner. Different levels are offered. You may watch live. Add a bit and you get limited time to re-watch workshops. Add a little more access is forever. You really can’t beat that. This was never available before.

I recently attended the She Writes For Him Conference. Amazing! Cool Thing – They were giving away books and one of them was written by my friend Cam Mulineaux. How exciting is that? She writes American historical fiction based on her ancestors.

Writing Clubs

At the conference, I met editors, coaches, and other writers. One of them started her own free weekly writing group. They sometimes have a zoom class and just silently write together. Other times, she brings in informational speakers. Recently, she brought in a podcaster who talked about the importance of authors having a podcast. Then he gave a few tips on getting started.

Did you know: If you write 540 words a day, in a year you will have a 50,000-word novel? This group is based on that fact. The 540 is a free community for writers. We educate, encourage, and equip writers to clearly communicate. I know you’ll love it! Sign up at 540Club.org.

That’s it for now

I may be adding to this list as time goes by. But I’ve got to go apply what I am learning and get busy writing a book! Sign up for the newsletter so you know when my book is ready! Go here for a taste: Devotions For Seasons

Bye For Now;

Mandy

P.S. If you have other suggestions, feel free to add them in the comments!

Broken into beautiful

How God Restores a Broken Heart

So many of us find ourselves BROKEN. But God can make all things BEAUTIFUL if you will let Him. Don’t hold on to your broken heart.

broken to beautiful

I picked up Gwen Smith’s book because I am writing a series of devotionals on emotional trauma.* I wanted to find out how others dealt with their own broken hearts and other traumatic events and how God helped them recover.

*My series can be received weekly in your email box! Click here!

We have all found ourselves broken and unable to fix it. Only God can restore our broken hearts and make us whole again. Gwen brings to mind how this life can beat us up and break our tender hearts. Each chapter tells of someone she knows personally and links her together with a Biblical woman. She then shows us that “God can use each and every person who surrenders her brokenness into His hands…no matter what.” It doesn’t matter if we are broken from past sin. Sometimes, we ourselves have sinned. Other times, those around us have sinned and we became the object of the sin. Either way, God CAN use the brokenness and turn it into something beautiful. The key is our own surrender of the heart. We must allow God to do the work in our hearts and lives. Then and only then will the beauty shine through.

Gwen reminds us that Satan would like to take us down for the last time. He wants to defeat us and convince us that God does not care. These crafty lies of the evil one can hold us back and keep us struggling in the hurt. We must let the lies go. Stop believing the lies and begin believing in the God who created us. Gwen tells us that “when we invite God into our circumstances, He will faithfully respond to our needs”. And then we will experience His peace, his presence, His power!

At the end of each chapter, Gwen leaves us with lyrics to one of her songs

From one beautiful heart to another!

-Mandy

Connect With Gwen’s Broken but Beautiful Heart

Gwen blogs here HOME – Gwen Smith

Get Your Copy

Enjoy Gwen Smith’s Music

Corrie ten Boom

God is my Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

40 Devotions for Refuge and Strength

I never got to hear Corrie ten Boom in person but I’ve heard many of her stories. When I saw this devotional, I quickly grabbed it up to read. True to my expectations, Corrie used stories from her life to inspire us to live the Christian life. No matter how dark the situation, we can hold on to God and find something to be grateful for. Sometimes, these things are surprising, like having flies in the room. What could possibly be good about that? Well, you’ll need to read God is my Hiding Place for yourself.

These devotions are quick reads (only two or three pages) will definitely leave you with the thought, “If she can get through that, I can get through this!”

images from her book on Amazon

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Lori Hatcher endorsement

Refresh Your Prayers: UNcommon Devotions on Prayer

We all know Bible reading and prayer are vital parts of our faith, but what happens when our prayer lives become stagnant and our quiet times grow stale? We need something more than just familiar verses and the command to pray. In Refresh Your Prayers, Uncommon Devotions to Unlock Power and Praise, Lori Hatcher shares five-minute story-driven devotions that spotlight unusual prayer verses in the Bible.

Refresh Your Prayers Book
Book Cover

WIN YOUR OWN COPY!

This book will certainly Refresh Your Prayers. No more childhood memorized prayers or habitually spoken-in-rote prayers with no meaning. Get this book and keep it on your shelves to occasionally refresh your prayer time. This is my honest review after reading a complimentary copy. I will draw one name for a free copy from those who comment on this page. by March 15, 2020

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Legatto for Women

Legatto For Women Great for Massage

“I have been given this product, Legatto as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. “ [Originally posted on 12-14-2017]

Fibro Pain vs. Passion

I recently wrote about the effects of fibromyalgia pain on our personal love lives. 

 Fatigue, brain fog, muscle pain and soreness, weight gain, and depression are just a few of the “friends” of fibromyalgia pain that make passion seem like a word forever gone from our vocabulary.

I can’t blame all the problem on fibromyalgia pain, though that is certainly enough of an issue. I think that age and menopause have something to do with the problem as well. And due to a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), I am not able to use hormone therapy to improve the situation.

My husband and I had become quite frustrated because of my lack of libido and the pain I was experiencing. The times that we did try to make love ended up being more like work than pleasure. There didn’t really seem to be much pleasure in it for either of us; though we desired greatly to show our affection to one another.

Legatto For Women

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Romance CHallenge

Reignite Your Marriage this Valentine’s Day

Is your marriage getting a little dull in the romance department?

Have you lost the passion you once had for each other? Looking for a way to challenge your romance?

Sharon Jaynes has written a little book that I’m sure will help you ignite the fires again. In 14 days she can help you spark that fire. She will take you step-by-step, offering little things you can do to reignite the fires.

Add a spark a day for 14 days

In just a page or two a day, Sharon talks about the things that will get the passion ignited for your guy. She explains what’s going on in his head and what you need to do to get his fires going. Each day she offers 3 or 4 little things you can do for your husband each day. It could be as simple as sending a sweet text or something a bit hot and sexy. She offers testimonials from women who tried them and from the men who received them. These will certainly, be an encouragement to you to try them out.

One Act of Romance a Day

Each day she challenges you to do one small act of love. She offers 3 or 4 little things you can do for your husband each day. It could be as simple as sending a sweet text or something a bit more hot and sexy. She offers testimonials from women who have tried them and from the men who received them. These will certainly, be an encouragement to you to try them out.

The Best Little Romance Reference Book

In the last third of the book, Sharon includes some great addendums.

  • 150 additional Ways to Romance Your Husband
  • 10 Ways to Romance Your Husband According to His Love Language
  • 14 Tips for a More Romantic Bedroom
  • 10 Easy steps to Writing a Love Letter

Even if you don’t complete an act every day, you will find the passion in your marriage escalating. This is a book you will want to keep in your bedstand as a reference for whenever you need to add a spark to your relationship. Go out and buy yours today!

-Mandy

Habits of a Joy-Filled Marriage

How to Make Your Marriage Last Forever

Sacred Marriage – For a Better Marriage Relationship And More


How Great Our Joy

Advent Hymn #3 ~ How Great Our Joy

Advent Hymn #3 – How Great Our Joy! Traditional German Carol

v. 1-2 by Theodore Baker

Theme: JOY

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Christmas Icons provided by Creative Market

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!

    For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation

    and draped me in a robe of righteousness.

I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding

    or a bride with her jewels.

Isaiah 61:10

Perhaps you are not feeling it this Christmas.

Maybe you are more like Cindy Lou Who, saying, “Where are you Christmas?” Somehow the JOY has been lost. For many, it has been a dismal year. I hear of tragedy every week. Every day, my Open Doors app goes off with yet another person being persecuted. So how can there be joy?

Let’s take a closer look at this advent hymn, How Great our Joy!

Hymn of the Week How Great Our Joy

Maybe there is a clue here. This hymn speaks of the shepherds’ response to the Good News. Perhaps they can teach us about finding joy when all seems hopeless.

Verse 1

While by the sheep we watched at night,

Glad tidings brought an angel bright.

It was a quiet night. The shepherd-priests we learned of last week were settling down for another night. It had been over 400 years since they had even a word from God and the prophets. When would the Messiah come? Surely they had feelings of despair. “It’s never going to happen. We are stuck under the control of the Romans. At least they were allowing us to worship God and offer sacrifices in the temple. But When, When would the Messiah appear?

Emotions can turn on a dime. Imagine at one moment you are feeling hopeless; thinking it’s never going to happen. Nothing will ever change. I am stuck here in this trial forever. Then in a moment, everything changes. Imagine the excitement that came over the shepherds when they saw the angels and heard the Good News.

“Glory to God in highest heaven,

    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Luke 2:14

The shepherd-priests didn’t stay stuck in their despair. They were filled with joy. They immediately said, “Let’s go see this thing…” After they saw Jesus, they were  “glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

How Great was their Joy!

Verse 2

There shall be born, so he did say,

In Bethlehem a Child today.

A Child in Bethlehem! These were keywords from the prophets. They were words of HOPE.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,

    are only a small village among all the people of Judah.

Yet a ruler of Israel,

    whose origins are in the distant past,

    will come from you on my behalf.

Micah 5:2

They remembered the prophecy of Micah that a great ruler would come out of Bethlehem. Was it finally true? Had a child finally been born who would save them from tyranny? Hope was beginning to burst forth from the hearts. They just had to believe that it was so. After all, angels had come to tell them the news.

And again, Jeremiah had spoken of a Righteous King…

I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, [that is, someone in David’s line] a King who will reign wisely.

Jeremiah 23:5

This is another indication that salvation would come from the lowly town of Bethlehem; the City of David.

There was indeed HOPE RISING!

Verse 3

There shall the Child lie in a stall,

This Child who shall redeem us all.

A Promised Redeemer

Ah! Redemption! Whether you realize it or not, the thing your heart desires most is redemption. Just as God’s heart breaks because of the separation sin has caused, so our own hearts ache for restoration. Oh! How we need to be restored to God. From the beginning, at the Fall of Man in Genesis 3, God had promised a Redeemer. One who would restore man from the fall.

Then the Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, you are cursed
    more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
    groveling in the dust as long as you live.
15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:14-15

Revelation 12:9 confirms that God was speaking not just to the serpent but to Satan, himself.

This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.

And believers grasp on to the Apostle Paul’s statement to the Romans

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” (Romans 16:20)

God promised Moses that He would redeem Israel for Himself. (Exodus 6:6-7 ) There was the short-term promise of redemption from Egypt. This promise was also the promise through Christ for all who would believe. (John 1:12, Galatians 4:4-5 ) And finally, the complete fulfillment will come when He returns to restore the world and set up His Kingdom. (Revelation 21 )

Now that GIFT will be JOY indeed!

Verse 4

This gift of God we’ll cherish well,
that ever joy our hearts shall fill.

This is the joy that doesn’t depend on happiness or circumstance. Things may be hard right now. But we can still have JOY in our hearts. Great Joy! We can be “overwhelmed with joy” as Isaiah was because we know that we know that God has done a great work in us.

I conclude with this from Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope”

Mandy

P.S. I came across this poem by Annie Johnson Flint recently. Had to share it.

For All the Morrows

Has the year brought sadness?
Joy is yet in store.
Has it given gladness?
Next year giveth more.
Let your Father measure
All your pain and care,
Let Him weigh the burden
That your heart must bear,
Sending light or shadow
As He deemeth best,
For in His sure wisdom
You can safely rest.
Peace for all the morrows,
Strength for all the days,
These shall be your portion
Through the New Year’s ways.

Annie Flint Johnson

RESOURCES

The Four-fold Promise of Redemption – The nationhood of Israel is tied together with connection to G‑d. – Contemporary Kabbalists (chabad.org)

How Great Our Joy | Hymnary.org

The First Promise of a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15) | Sharon Bible Presbyterian Church (wordpress.com)

22 Bible Verses about Joy – Uplifting Scripture Quotes (biblestudytools.com)

The Age of Innocence and Promise of a Redeemer – SLJ Institute

For All the Morrows by Annie Johnson Flint (homemakerscorner.com)

Book Review: Wounded By God’s People

Originally posted on GGMANDY dot com 10-27-16

We tend to think that God’s servants are protected against being wounded, but that is just not true.

As a matter of fact, most ministers of the Word are hurt at least once in their ministry. I so appreciate Anne for being vulnerable and opening up to us about her own life while she teaches us through the life of Hagar how to deal with the hurt.

It is in the story of Hagar, that we find the name of God, El Roi, The God Who Sees Me. He cares so much about each one of us and the plight in which we find ourselves. AND he is watching over us.

What I learned was the God Who Sees Me cares deeply for His own. He sees each and every one of us. The love that He has for us is unfathomable. He has a plan for us but He also allows us to make our own decisions. So He waits for us to call out to Him to rescue Him.

Wounded by the church

Studying the plight of Hagar has helped me face my own situation.

  1. It has taught me to look at where I may have failed.
  2. Anne warns against wounding others in our hurt.
  3. It has taught me that I must forgive regardless of what the other party may or may not do towards repentance and reconciliation.

This book helps anyone who has been hurt not only by the church but by anyone.

In this age where we seem to think everyone is bullying everyone else. I think we need to start looking at how Jesus handled those who bullied Him. “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Have You Been Wounded by Someone? Read this Book.

Expecting Great things;

Mandy Farmer

Below you will find an affiliate link to purchase this book and Nan Jones’ book Perils of a Pastor’s wife. Nan wrote from her experience about being rejected by congregations. Thank you.

One More Thing, PASTORS AND SPOUSES

Have you felt abandoned by God in the lonely fires of ministry? 

This Group is expressly for men and women trying to find Joy in the Wilderness after losing

their pastorate. Please share this with others you know who are struggling with the transition.

This is a place for support and encouragement. No judgment, just a shoulder to lean on.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO JOIN.

joy in the wilderness; for wounded pastors
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