The pruning process


I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit and he prunes the branches that bear fruit so they will produce more. John 15:1-2, NLT

Did you know that one of the benefits of pruning a fruit tree is so that it can produce more fruit? Not only are the dead limbs cut off when they aren’t producing fruit to promote better health, but the Gardner also prunes those branches that are producing fruit so they can produce more. 

Like a good gardener, our heavenly father will also look at the branches on the “trees”  of our lives to see what type of fruit we are producing. And if he sees a branch in our life that is producing fruit, he may prune it to ultimately produce more.  

Such was the case with my career. For just when I was at the apex of doing the good work God had called me to do in my chosen career, one day I heard God whisper in my ear that it was time to let it go. Although I initially resisted, in time I came to realize it was because God was pruning me. He wanted to cut back this particular “branch” in my life that was producing good fruit because he wanted to prepare me to produce more fruit in another career – the career of  Christian writing. 

Is God asking you to cut back a particular area in your life today so you can prepare to write for publication? Then consider it part of your pruning process.

Sharing the journey,


 Responding to God’s call to write: What area of your life is God wanting you to cut back so you produce more “fruit” as a  Christian writer? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you about your journey. 



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How do you see the land?


Caleb tried to encourage the people as they stood before Moses:  “Let’s go at once to take the land. We can certainly conquer it.”  But the other men who had explored the land with him answered: “The land we explored will swallow up any who go to live there, for all the people are giants.”  Numbers 13: 30-32, NLT

The time had arrived. I had studied my craft, attended numerous writing conferences to learn how to write and publish professionally, and I had self-published three books. I felt I was ready to take the next step – to pitch my next book idea to a Christian agent to see if he or she would be interested in marketing my manuscript to a traditional Christian publisher.

But knowing the difficulty that lied ahead securing an agent, I wondered: Was I being realistic? Would I find an agent who would be interested in representing me as a Christian author, or should I just continue the route of self-publishing my next manuscript?

Before the people of Israel entered their Promised land, twelve spies were sent to explore it. Although all of the spies saw the same land, only two of them returned with a positive report.

What made the difference? It was about how they saw the land. For while ten of them saw a land filled with giants they did not believe they could conquer,  two of them saw giants they believed they could conquer.

When you enter the land of writing for publication, expect to see some giants there. You may find a giant of doubt that will cause you to question your writing skills and whether they are good enough to submit your work for publication. You may find a giant of fear waiting to scare the confidence right out of you to publish your book. You may find the giant of rejection waiting to stamp out every effort you make when you submit your work for publication, and you may encounter the giant of discouragement waiting to invade your psyche when it takes longer than expected to find a publisher. These “giants”, are not to be discounted, for they are very real challenges you will face daily as you seek to write for publication. How can you conquer the giants you may encounter? By viewing them the same way the two spies did – able to conquer with the help of the Lord.

Sharing the journey,


Responding to God’s call to write:  What giants do you expect to see when you enter the land of writing for publication? How are you planning right now to conquer your giants?











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Writing to make disciples




Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19, 20, NLT

I’m always excited to hear when my Pastor puts emphasis on our congregation going outside of the walls of our church to share the good news of Jesus Christ, for it’s just a reminder of our primary purpose as Christians – to go and make disciples.

Did you know that your primary purpose as a Christian writer is also to go and make disciples? For you are called to write words to help others know about the good news of Jesus Christ. You are called to write words to let others know about his compassion, love and concern for others. You are called to write words to let others know of the wonderful plan God has for their lives when they choose to place their faith and trust in him. You are called to write to let others know of his desire to heal them from their deepest hurts and their deepest wounds.

Christian author Marlene Bagnull states: “While we may never never go more than a few hundred miles from our homes, our written words can go around the world and make a difference for all eternity”.

Are you ready to use your written words today to make a difference for eternity? Then go, write and make disciples!

Sharing the journey,


Responding to God’s call to write:

As you reflect on the great commission found in Matthew 28:19-20, in what ways is God wanting to use you today to write to make disciples? Post your answer on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you!

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No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it is painful! But afterward, there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:1, NLT

I was so excited.  After spending hours combing through pictures for my cover, choosing the right devotions for my manuscript and uploading my content to my self-publisher,  I was finally ready to publish another manuscript to sell the general public.

Until I showed it my writing mentor.  After she shared her feedback and offered a list of recommendations for improvement, all the joy I felt inside about my new manuscript quickly turned into pain.

Like the painful feedback I received about my new manuscript, receiving negative feedback about your manuscript can also be painful, especially when you’ve spent hours writing what you thought was a great one.  Although painful, remember the intent of the feedback is never to hurt you but to help you improve your writings. Go ahead and cry if you need to, but after you’ve dried your eyes, get to work incorporating the changes recommended to improve your manuscript, then submit it again until you finally hear your editor say:  “____, your manuscript is ready for publication!”

Sharing the journey,


Responding to God’s call to write:  If you haven’t already done so, locate and join a writing critique group in your local area, based on your genre, to help you hone your writing craft and get you ready to submit your work for Christian publication.

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He won’t forget!

God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward his name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.  Hebrews 6:20, NLT

I plan to return to the workforce soon because my finances require me to do so. But I can’t help but wonder as I prepare to return:  “Has God forgotten all of the time, energy and work I’ve invested into my writing ministry since I’ve been home, and the time I’ve invested in ministering to other writers?

The Bible says that God never forgets his faithful ones. For example, God didn’t forget Noah after he faithfully built the ark. God didn’t forget Abraham after he was told to leave his homeland for another.  And God didn’t forget Rahab when she was told to hang a scarlet rope over a wall when the Israelites destroyed Canaan.

It seems counterintuitive to return to work when my desire for so long has been to write on a full-time basis. But I believe God will not forget the work I’ve done while home and how I’ve sought to help others through my writing ministry. For He is a just God and in his own time and way, I know he’ll bring me home again.

Responding to God’s call to write:

How are you dealing with those times when you think God has forgotten the time and labor you’ve invested in your writing ministry, especially when you feel like you”re moving backward rather than forward on your journey to write for Christian publication?


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Is it time to change your name?


What’ s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram; now you will be known as Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. Genesis 17: 5, NLT

Did you know that when  God changed a person’s name, it was usually to establish a new identity? According to:, God changed Abram’s “high father” name to “Abraham,” “father of a multitude” (Genesis 17:5) and his wife’s name from “Sarai,” “my princess,” to “Sarah,” “mother of nations” (Genesis 17:15).  God changed Jacob’s “supplanter” name to “Israel,” “having power with God” (Genesis 32:28). He changed Simon’s “God has heard” name to “Peter,” “rock” (John 1:42).

Did you know God also wants to change your name? For after he calls you to write for ministry and Christian publication, he immediately begins to form a new identity within you. An identity which includes writing to share the nuggets of biblical truth found only in his holy Word. An identity which includes writing to inform, instruct, comfort, encourage, and to help heal the hurts of mankind. An identity which includes writing to spread the gospel of hope and salvation found only through his son, Jesus Christ.

Are you preparing today to embrace the new identity God is forming within you? Then get ready for your name to change from aspiring writer to Christian author!

Sharing the journey,


Responding to God’s call to write:  How are you preparing yourself today for your new identity as a Christian author? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you!



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The Comeback kid

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus Philippians 3:13, 14

A story is told about a football player who received the Comeback Player Of The Year Award. The outstanding football player made a mistake in his past that cost him jail time, but after being released from prison, he was given another chance to play football. Because of his efforts to forget his past and move forward with his life again, he was voted by his peers as the comeback player of the year.

The apostle Paul also had some mistakes in his past. He tormented the early Christians and held the coats of those who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr. But instead of focusing on his past, he made a decision to put it behind him and move forward with the new plan and purpose God had for his life. After focusing his energies on his future instead of his past, Paul became one of the greatest missionaries of all time.

As an aspiring writer, are you beating yourself up because you didn’t accomplish all that you set out to accomplish in 2017? Now that 2018 is here, it’s time to forgive yourself and put your past behind you. How? By remembering the plans God has for you as his Christan writer and striving to reach them by setting the writing goals you’d like to accomplish this year. In spite of your past, it’s not too late to recover and make 2018 your best writing year yet!

Sharing the journey,


Responding to God’s call to write:  If you haven’t already done so, take time to write out your goals for how you plan to make 2018 your best writing year yet!




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Did you finish what you started?

I suggest you finish what you started a year ago, for you were the first to propose the idea, and you were the first to begin doing something about it. Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it.  II Corinthians 8:10, 11, NLT.
Did you know I am terrible at finishing what I’ve started? Whether it’s the completion of a room I’m redecorating, a work assignment I have been given to complete, or a manuscript I’ve begun, I struggle with bringing a project to completion.
The Corinthian Christians also struggled with bringing a project to completion. A year after proposing an idea to collect money for their brothers and sisters in the church at Jerusalem,  the project was still not completed. To encourage them to complete the project they started, Paul wrote them a letter.
Did you begin a writing project at the beginning of 2017 that has yet to be completed as the year draws to a close?  If your answer is yes, I encourage you to finish what you’ve started. Determine first what has prevented you from finishing your project (e.g., procrastination, lack of time, work, social media). Then create a plan for how you will finish your writing project before the year ends. For as Paul told the Corinthian believers: since you were the first one to propose the idea for your manuscript, you are the only one who can bring it to completion.
Sharing the journey,
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Are you guarding your writing time?


With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you. II Tim 2:14

I’m fascinated by the soldiers assigned to stand guard at Buckingham Palace to protect the queen and her family.  For in spite of the many distractions and other annoyances they encounter from tourists, sightseers, pests, and the weather they never allow their distractions to deter them from their assignment to protect the queen.

Like the guards at Buckingham Palace, you also have been given an important assignment – to stand guard of your writing time. For if you have been called to write, the time spent writing is work God has assigned you to do for his kingdom. The time spent writing is the time when God wants you to write to help heal the hurts in a dying world. The time spent writing is the time where you’ll write to offer inspiration, hope, encouragement, comfort, and healing.

But watch out! For just as the guards at Buckingham Palace are bombarded with distractions to keep them from their duty to protect the queen,  you’ll be bombarded with distractions designed to keep you from your writing duties. How can you overcome these distractions?

By tapping into your power within. For as the soldier taps into the inner discipline he has acquired through his soldier training, you have an inner power that was given to you when you became a Christian called the Holy Spirit.  As you draw strength from your power within, it will help you overcome your distractions.

Are you ready to stand guard of your writing time?

Sharing the journey,


Responding to God’s call to write: What strategies will you put in place as your new year of writnig begins to guard your writing time? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you!



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You can get back up again



The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. Proverbs 24:15

I am a huge admirer of tennis star Venus Williams. For in spite of the many times she falls short in her quest to win a major tennis championship, she always finds a way to get back up again.

In 1994, after bursting on the professional tennis scene, she became the world’s No. 1 tennis player, the first African American woman to do so, after winning seven Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal in singles play.

But in 1998, an expected foe arrived for Venus on the tennis circuit in the form of her sister, Serena Williams. Initially winning most of the Grand Slam tournaments during the early years when they played against each other, Serena began to overpower and outplay her older sister, causing Venus to lose every Grand Slam final she played against Serena between the years of 2002-2009.

To add insult to injury, in 2011, Venus was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that left her fatigued and experiencing joint and muscle pain, and she made the difficult decision to stop playing professional tennis. But two years later, after a change in diet and her training schedule,she returned to the tennis circuit and won another woman’s singles title.

Venus continued to play professionally until she powered her way back to Wimbledon’s Center Court this past July, and then advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open in early September. Falling short again of winning the coveted Grand Slam title at both events, when asked if she would retire after her losses, Venus graciously replied: ” It’s nothing complicated. I will continue to play tennis.”

Sometimes you’ll find yourself knocked down by the sting of rejection when submitting your work as an aspiring writer. But no matter how many times your work is rejected, like the tenacious Venus Williams, get back up again.

Sharing the journey,


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