Saturday, June 15, 2019

Hide It in Your Heart




Tips for Memorizing Scripture
 
Most of us don’t read the Bible when we’re looking for something to do in our leisure time.There are many other things we’d rather do with our time—read a good book, watch TV, play sports, walk on the beach, and on the list goes. Don’t we care about what God has to say to us personally? Don’t we want the intimacy with God that comes when we pray and study His word? What’s our excuse? Each of us needs to ask that question because internalizing God’s word is the most significant way God speaks to us and teaches us His precepts. 

In Psalm 119:11, the psalmist says “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you” (NIV). In verse 16b he says, “I will not forget your Word.” and then he says, “Your Word has given me life” (vs. 50b). In verse 105 we read “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” These verses assure us of the importance of having God’s word in our hearts, but knowing is not enough. 
   
Memorizing scripture is not an easy task and there needs to be  real motivation in order to be successful at it. We must have a driving desire to know Him better, to walk closer to Him, to serve Him faithfully and to feel His presence with us in our daily walk. How can we hide His Word in our hearts? 

The Bible is a big book with some 783,137 words. We cannot hope to memorize all of it, though a few have memorized all of it. Dr. Bill Bennett, founder of Mentoring Men for the Master, says, “It’s hard by the yard, a cinch by the inch.” In other words, it’s much harder to memorize long passages than to learn one or two verses at a time. Therefore, we need to begin with an “inch” and later we might master a “yard.”

Specifically, there are four rules for memorizing scripture:
 
       (1) Study diligently. You must know it in your head before you can hide it in your heart. 
             Pray and ask God to direct your thoughts to the things He wants you to learn.

      (2) Consider which verses you want to memorize during the week. Write the verses for the week
            on a piece of paper; carry it with you every day.
Keep the verses in your heart by
            memorization and meditation. Ask Him questions about things you don’t understand.
            Don’t rush; take all the time you need to listen to the still small voice of God. 

      (3) Show it in your life as you live by it and obey its teachings. Having the scripture hidden in
           your heart will give you power to live by it. Have an accountability partner who will ask you
           about your verses and listen to you say them.   

  
      (4) Finally, use the verses in your daily routine. Quote scriptures  that offer hope and
           encouragement
for co-workers and friends. Let them see that it’s an important part of your life.
           
           At the end of each week, put the paper with your verses in a notebook; review your notebook
           at least once a week.       
                   (a) Write the verses for the week on a sheet of paper; carry it with you every day.
                        Read   the verses when you have a minute---break-time, waiting for appointments,
                        waiting in traffic, etc.
                  ( b) Have an accountability partner who will ask you about your verses and listen to you
                        say them.
                  (c) At the end of the week, put the paper in a notebook; review it at least once a week Add
                       new verses. You’ll be surprised at how God will bring these Scriptures to mind just
                       when you need them most.
Our goal is to be saturated with His Word. When His word is hidden in our hearts, it becomes visible to us and to others in our daily walk.




Friday, May 3, 2019

Writing Contemporary Psalms




                                                                                               
                                by Ann Knowles

I was presenting at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. As an editor, it was my turn to meet with writers about their books and articles and to offer encouragement and suggestions for improvement. 

One author sat across the table from me as I read several pages of her manuscript. It was amazing! I felt like I was reading the book of Psalms; only it was not about David or the other writers of Psalms. It was about her life experiences. God had given her a special gift:  She had written contemporary psalms about her life and was completely unaware of what she had done. Truly, God had led her to do this for Him.
 

Has He given you this special creative genius? Would you like to find out?

Wait! Before you sit down to write psalms about your life, let me make a suggestion

Discover how to write psalms of joy, praise, worship, prayer, and woe. Enrich your life by doing what God has called you to do for Him. In doing so, you will also bless those who read your contemporary psalms.


Using the Bible as our textbook, I teach a course “Writing Contemporary Psalms.” The cost is $40. It’s taught in four classes and begins the first Monday of every month.  If you’d like to know more about the class or sign up to take the class, email me at annknowles03@aol.com and I’ll send you all the details. 


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Advice for Aspiring Writers


Study to Show Thyself Approved 


The best advice I can give an aspiring writer or editor is to begin immediately to prepare for the task God has called you to do. Regardless of your career choice, being an approved workman should be the goal of all of God’s children. Study to show thyself approved, a workman that need not be ashamed. . . (2 Timothy 2:15).

Doctors, lawyers, teachers, ministers, welders, electricians, mechanics, graphic designers, technology gurus—every career choice requires extensive training in order to achieve success. Why should it be any different in the field of writing or editing? Yet many people attempt to write or edit without ever having any professional training. Without training, most of them will fail.

When my husband felt called by God to become a pastor, we had just moved into our new home. He had recently been promoted to supervisor at GE and I was teaching first grade. We had four children (ages 3-14).

His first reaction was: “I don’t know anything about being in the ministry. I have to go back to school and prepare for this task God has called me to do. This will change our lives dramatically. We’ll have to quit our jobs and move to the seminary.”

What was God thinking? It seemed impossible! Four months later we were at seminary, and the whole family was enrolled in school.

When I decided to become an author and editor, I had an MA Ed in education and had recently retired from teaching, but I realized I needed specialized training before I could move to a new career. I knew I had to invest time and money to make this dream come true. I took many online and community college courses and attended several writers’conferences to prepare for the ministry of writing and editing.

Do you dream of becoming a writer or editor? What kind of sacrifices are you willing to make? Do it now! Enroll in your first course today and begin the journey. Check out the "Classes Taught by Ann" on this blog. You can make that dream come true.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Write Pathway Welcomes Jo Huddleston back!





Ann: Hello Jo, and welcome to Write Pathway where writers and editors meet. We are thrilled to have you back with us today.

Let’s begin today with a little information about you; then we’ll merge into thoughts about your book. Tell us about Jo Huddleston.

Jo: I like to laugh with people but not at people. The beach is my favorite vacation spot. I don’t like to see or hear about people or animals being abused. I’m a spectator fan of several sports, my favorite being tennis. I don’t like being in the dark and am fearful of snakes!

I’m is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. My debut novels in the Caney Creek Series are sweet Southern historical romances. My forthcoming novel, Wait for Me, is another sweet Southern historical romance and is book 1 in the West Virginia Mountains Series. I’m a member of ACFW, the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and hold a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University. I live in the U.S. Southeast with my husband and close to our two grown children and four grandchildren. Visit me at www.johuddleston.com where you can sign up for my newsletter and read my blogs.

Ann: Jo, you are not the only one who is afraid of snakes. And I switch the channel when those ads come on about abused animals. Love my dog!

What would you do with your life if you didn't write?

Jo: I’d have more time to read!

Ann: If you were a style of music, what style would you be?

Jo: Soft instrumental jazz.

Ann: Who or what inspired in you a love for books? What are some of your favorites from the classics?

Jo: My seventh grade homeroom teacher. She arranged for me to work in the school library where my exposure to all those books took root as a love to read.

Ann: What was your favorite book as a child?

Jo: As a child, our house didn’t have books to read. The only books I had were coloring books. In college I minored in English. When I took the course, Children’s Literature, I first met Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh.

Ann: How many books have you published? Do you also write other things—articles? short stories? Etc.

Jo: I’ve traditionally published 3 nonfiction books and 3 novels. I’ve self-published 2 nonfiction books, one coauthored with Vickie Phelps. Yes, I write devotions, short stories, magazine articles, and wrote a regular inspirational newspaper column for seven years.

Ann: We all know that publishing is an arduous process and often takes many rejections before we get published. How many rejections did you get before you published a book?

Jo: Oh, my! I didn’t record a count of my rejections. I’ve had plenty.

Ann: Which character in your present release, Wait for Me, do you find most interesting?

Jo: The heroine, Julie. She’s spunky, determined, and won’t stop at anything to reach her goal.

Ann: Tell us a little about your book.





Jo: I’ll share the book’s back blurb here:

Can Julie, an only child raised with privilege and groomed for high society, and Robby, a coal miner’s son, escape the binds of their socioeconomic backgrounds? Set in a coal mining community in West Virginia in the 1950s, can their love survive their cultural boundaries?

This is a tragically beautiful love story of a simple yet deep love between two soul mates, Robby and Julie. The American South’s rigid caste system and her mother demand that Julie chooses to marry an ambitious young man from a prominent and suitable family. Julie counters her mother’s stringent social rules with deception and secrets in order to keep Robby in her life. Can the couple break the shackles of polite society and spend their lives together? Will Julie’s mother ever accept Robby?

Ann: Wait for Me sounds like my kind of book. You know I loved you Caney Creek series. I look forward to reading this book.

Would you share a favorite Scripture verse or passage of Scripture that means a lot to you?

Jo: Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Ann: Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Jo: Ann, thank you so much for having me visit with you and your readers. One of the commenters will win an eBook copy for Kindle of Wait for Me. Good luck to all in the book drawing.

Ann: Where can we find you online, Jo?

Jo: You can find me at:


Website www.johuddleston.com


Blog http://www.johuddleston.com


Blog http://lifelinesnow.blogspot.com


Facebook https://www.facebook.com/joshuddleston


Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1615694.Jo_Huddleston


You can purchase eBook for Kindle and print copies of Wait for Me at: http://tiny.cc/xndfwx


Ann: Thanks again, Jo, for sharing with us about yourself and your book. I look forward to the new series.

You're going to love Jo's Sweet Southern Historical Romance. Leave a comment for a chance to win an eBook of Wait for Me to read on your Kindle. Be sure to note if you are a follower of this blog and your name will be included three times in the drawing. Leave your email address written like this: ann (at) yahoo (dot) com . The contest will end June 14 at midnight EST. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Welcome Sandy Ardoin!





 WRITE PATHWAY WELCOMES SANDY ARDOIN







Ann:  Hello Sandy, and welcome to Write Pathway where writers and editors meet. We are thrilled to have you with us today.

Let’s begin today with a little information about you; then we’ll merge into thoughts about your book. Are you a native Carolina girl?

Sandy:  Ah, Carolina Girls … love that song. No, I was born in Indiana and moved to Texas when I was sixteen. I’ve been in North Carolina for the past (almost) 19 years.

Ann:  What would you do with your life if you didn't write?

Sandy:  Clean house. J I’d probably also roam the streets looking for antique shops to prowl through. I’d do more gardening.

Ann:  If you were a style of music, what style would you be?

Sandy:  Country. More specifically, Country-Pop—a little bit country and a little bit rock ’n roll. Not too wild, but definitely not citified.

Ann:  Who inspired in you a love for books?

Sandy:  Dick and Jane. I still remember reading those and getting caught up in the stories of Spot and the pony (maybe because I wanted a pony so badly myself).

After that, it was Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House books (my historical side). Then I graduated to gothic mysteries—Jane Eyre, Rebecca—and then more contemporary romantic mysteries from people like Phyllis Whitney and Mary Higgins Clark.

I don’t come from a family of big readers, so I’m not sure where I picked up my love for reading.

Ann:  How many books have you published? Do you also write other things—articles? short stories? Etc.

Sandy:  The Yuletide Angel is my first published book—a Christmas novella. My first novel (a follow-up to the novella) releases in January of 2016. It’s working title is A Reluctant Melody.

I’ve been publishing since 1986—short pieces like cards, posters, devotions, short stories. In June, my short story “Ellie’s Escape” appeared in Splickety Prime. It was exciting to be in the same issue as Jerry Jenkins.

Ann:  Well, congratulations on getting in Splickety Prime with Jerry Jenkins.  

We all know that publishing is an arduous process and often takes many rejections before we get published. How many rejections did you get before you published a book?

Sandy:  Book rejections? More than I care to remember. Before The Yuletide Angel, my agent submitted three other books—two of them multiple times. Between those three, I’d say I’ve racked up at least twenty rejections.

Ann:  Which character in your present release, The Yuletide Angel, do you find most interesting?

Sandy:  That’s a tough one. I love my hero’s character. Hugh is really sweet and protective. He looks beneath the surface. My heroine, Violet, starts out shy and withdrawn, but she has an inner grit that I like in a female character.

Ann:  Tell us a little about your book.

Sandy: The Yuletide Angel is Christian historical romance set in 1890. Here’s the back cover blurb:

It's Christmastime in 1890s Meadowmead, and someone is venturing out at night to leave packages at the homes of the needy. Dubbed The Yuletide Angel, no one knows the identity of this mysterious benefactor. 

No one, except Hugh Barnes, a confirmed bachelor who finds himself drawn to the outwardly shy but inwardly bold Violet Madison, a young woman who risks her safety to help others. 

When Violet confesses her fear of eviction from her childhood home, Hugh longs to rescue her. His good intentions are thwarted, however, when Hugh's estranged brother shows up in town ... and in Violet's company. 

But Violet faces an even bigger threat. A phantom figure lurks in the shadows, prepared to clip the wings of The Yuletide Angel.

Ann:  The Yuletide Angel sounds like my kind of book. I look forward to reading it. Got it on my Christmas list.

Would you share a favorite Scripture verse or passage of Scripture that means a lot to you?

Sandy:  I have several, including Jeremiah 29:11, but I really like Isaiah 55:8-9.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Those words remind me of the awesomeness of God and that He is in control. I can’t do anything, think anything, plan anything that equals what He can do or who He is.

Ann:  Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Sandy:  Thanks so much for having me here, Ann. I’ve enjoyed answering your questions and introducing your readers to Hugh Barnes and Violet Madison, the main characters of The Yuletide Angel

Ann:  Thank you for sharing your debut novella with us, Sandy. We hope when the next book comes out, you'll revisit us here at Write Pathway.