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BLOGWORD – 20 February – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – JOY DEKOK

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – JOY DEKOK

 

A Sleeping Sparrow

 

Not far from our house, I have a place I feed and watch the birds. Off to the side, near a tree, sits my photo fort. It’s really a hunting blind Jon bought me at Cabela’s, but the only shooting that gets done there is with my camera.

Once I’m settled inside, even before I get the windows unzipped and sit in my chair, the birds start to come in a flutter of wings, flashes of color, and a chorus of cheeps, peeps, and calls.

 

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I watch them head in from deep in the woods and across the wildflower field and out of the pine trees nearby.

 

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They’re getting used to me talking to them, praying out loud, singing, and even my breath vapor on the cold Minnesota air doesn’t scare them like it used to.

Not long ago, a friend asked me if I had a favorite bird. I couldn’t name one because they’re all my favorites.

But it’s the sparrows that get me singing.

 

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When I was a teenager and had just placed my faith in Jesus, Mama told me that my great-grandmother’s favorite hymn was His Eye is on the Sparrow.

One day when I was home alone, I got one of the old hymnals out of the piano bench and played the melody with my right hand while singing along. I recognized the words right away because Grandma Joy and Mama sang the same song quietly while cleaning the house or playing that same piano.

I took those lyrics straight into my heart, and to me, it was our song, and even though they are in heaven, it still is.

Back when I was a teenager, I liked the words. Now, I love them. Especially on the days when doubts and discouragement yank at my spirit.

The other day, I was feeling low – there had been a terrible hurt and tears. And my heart was broken and lonely.

Then, this sparrow decided to snuggle in close to me. He listened to me talk to him for a moment, they snuggled down on the branch and went to sleep! When four juncos joined him and also went to sleep, I stayed very still not wanting to wake them up.

Where chaos had ruled, peace now reigned.

 

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I watched them rest and pondered Matthew 10:29-31 (ESV)

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

And I smiled. When I needed a blessing, God gave me a few peace-filled moments with a sleeping sparrow. What a sweet gift.

Don’t get me wrong – the circumstances hadn’t changed, but in that shadowy place, I was helped by God and reminded I am valuable.

And so are you! God said so, and we can take Him at His Word!

Doesn’t that truth do something to your heart?

Here are the words to this old favorite – if you don’t know the tune, just read the words out loud and let them encourage you.

 

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Joy started reading when she was four and learned to write soon after. Words on the page fascinated and delighted her. By the time she was five, she was writing stories and dreaming about writing books for other kids.

One day while vacuuming, an idea for a novel came to mind. She resisted diligently, but the characters in Rain Dance wouldn’t leave her alone. Finally, the only way to get past their nagging, she wrote the book.

Joy married the love of her life almost forty years ago. She and Jon love their dog kids, Sophie & Tucker – a brother and sister team who stole their hearts. There’s a story behind their names, but that’s a blog post.

Joy loves Jesus and came to faith in Him when she was fifteen years old. When she’s not working she’s riding her John Deere Gator taking pictures on the 15 or so acres of wildflowers on the land she and Jon live on. Joy relaxes by taking pictures of the beauty that surrounds her. If the Oak Ridge Boys, Chris Tomlin, Johnny Cash, Donny Osmond, Toby Mac, or Nicole C. Mullen sings, she listens to it. Dragonflies, flowers, raccoons, fog, frogs, bugs (outside), and the wind fascinate her.

 

 You can find Joy at:

http://joydekok.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Joy-DeKok/e/B0049RU8HU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1471635270&sr=1-2-ent

https://www.facebook.com/joy.dekok

https://twitter.com/JoyEDeKok

https://plus.google.com/+JoyDeKok/posts

https://www.instagram.com/joydekok57/

https://www.pinterest.com/joydekokauthor/

 

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#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Joy DeKok, A Sleeping Sparrow, His Eye is on the Sparrow

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BLOGWORD – 13 February 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – C. KEVIN THOMPSON

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – C. KEVIN THOMPSON

 

This is For the Birds

 

I’m a phrase guy. I like to know how we as humans come up with certain phrases that permeate our conversations. Where did they originate? Why were they coined the way they were?

 

One such phrase is: “This is for the birds!” Ever heard it before? Ever used it? Ever added specifics to it, like “This whole day is for the birds!” or “Politicians are for the birds!” In each case, the phrase connotes a uselessness or worthlessness to whatever is “for the birds.” So, how did a reference to giving or leaving something to birds ever become a negative statement?

 

Although no one can pinpoint a specific reference, general belief links the phrase back to the days of horse and buggies. When that mode of transportation lined the streets on notable cities like London or New York, it was a common need for pedestrians to “look before you step.” The “calling cards” of the equine conveyance made crossing the street a lively affair, no doubt. As an added bonus to the hustle and bustle of city life, apparently, in the droppings, undigested food—namely oats—became the draw for many an English sparrow. It does make me wonder why nary a raven could have been found and interviewed (maybe even quoted).

 

This concept of “leaving behind worthless things for the birds” is not a recent or modern phrase, however. It actually finds its roots in scripture. In Isaiah 18:4-6 (NIV), the prophet wrote, “This is what the Lord says to me: ‘I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.’ For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away the spreading branches. They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey and to the wild animals; the birds will feed on them all summer, the wild animals all winter.” Notice how the fruit—which is normally harvested BEFORE the pruning takes place—will be left on the vine as the spreading branches and shoots are cut off, left for birds and wild animals to consume.

 

In Jeremiah 16:4 (NIV), the Lord says, “They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried but will be like dung lying on the ground. They will perish by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.” In this reference—which is a reference to judgement—those accursed by God will be left “like dung” (Hmmm…where have we heard that before?) for the birds and wild animals to consume.

 

It seems this concept of leaving behind something worthless, unworthy of consumption or use by man or God, even accursed of God, to rot and be eaten by birds is a very old saying. Much older than the pre-industrial revolution. Yet, this concept of leaving things “for the birds” is also rooted in love, believe it or not.

 

Jesus said in Matthew 6:26-33 (NKJV), Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

 

When you are a bird, you can’t sow. I’ve heard of turkey farmers, and chicken farmers, but I’ve never met a turkey or chicken that farmed. They only “get farmed.”

 

When you are a bird, you can’t reap or store anything, either. Oh, you can build a nest and “store” some eggs until they hatch, but that’s different. When it comes to food, you’re dependent on what falls to the ground from a tree or bush, what teems in a river, lake, or ocean, or what may slither or crawl on the earth. But at no time did you ever have a hand in producing those food sources. God did.

 

So, it begs the question. If God had not designed His creation like He did, what would have become of the English sparrow, the raven, and the mountain birds of prey since they can’t sow, reap, or store away in barns? I think you know the answer. The trees would be a lot quieter. The skies would be less populated. And the love of God would have been questioned infinitely more than it already is by a world stained by sin.

 

Yet, even though these creatures seem to be less in stature than Man (Are you not of more value than they?), God doesn’t abandon them. He cares about everything. Everyone. And even though Man was His crowning creation (cf. Gen. 1:26-27), it doesn’t mean every other thing He did create is “on its own” like the theists believe. He loves the lowest of the low, the highest of the high, and everything and everyone in between. That’s how it is when you so loved the world, that you gave your one and only son, that whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life (cf. John 3:16).

 

 

 

 

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  1. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister with a B.A. In Bible (Houghton College, Houghton, NY), an M.A. in Christian Studies (Wesley Biblical Seminary, Jackson, MS), and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (National-Louis University, Wheeling, IL). His book, 30 Days Hath Revenge – A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1, is now available! Book 2 of the Blake Meyer Series, Triple Time, will be available for pre-order in late February 2017. The Serpent’s Grasp, a standalone, is coming May 2017. Book 3 of the Blake Meyer Series, The Tide of Times, is coming August 2017.

 

 

www.ckevinthompson.com

www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/CKevinThompson.AuthorPage/

https://twitter.com/CKevinThompson

Goodreads: C. Kevin Thompson

 

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#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, C. Kevin Thompson, This is for the Birds, 30 Days Hath Revenge

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BLOGWORD – 6 February2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – MERRILLEE WHREN

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – MERRILLEE WHREN

 

Genesis 1:20 says this about God’s creation. I love how this passage describes where the birds fly. And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.”

 

God’s creation is remarkable, and birds are amazing. There are so many different kinds. I’ve lived in eleven different states in the USA, and each place has its own unique birds. I’m going to share just a few with you.

 

This is a photo that I took of a raven in the Petrified Forest National Park, located in northern Arizona. Ravens are one of the most common birds seen in the stark landscape of the Petrified Forest.

 

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Here’s just a sample of the landscape in the Petrified Forest.

 

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The picture below was taken after a tropical storm in Florida. The flooded area is part of a golf course, and the birds are great egrets.

 

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Sometimes the best way to see different birds is at the zoo. Here are two parrots with magnificent coloring.

 

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I think hummingbirds are my favorite bird, and I see them often where I live in the Arizona desert.

 

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Sea gulls are a common scene on most beaches, and I saw them on my daily walks when we lived in Florida.

 

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Have you ever encountered a wild turkey? I snapped this photo while we were visiting friends in Ohio.

 

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Quail are a common site in this area of Arizona.

 

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There are all kinds of fascinating birds in the world, many of which, I can’t identify, but they a fun to watch. I have a bird feeder in my yard, and surprisingly, the birds are very polite as they take their turn at the feeder.

 

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And maybe, when it comes to birds, all you need is a stuffed pink flamingo, like my granddaughter when she was three.

 

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What is your favorite kind of bird?


 

 

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Merrillee Whren is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author who writes inspirational romance. She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Florida but now makes her home in the Arizona desert. When she’s not writing, she spends her free time playing tennis or walking while she does the plotting for her novels. Please visit her Web site at http://www.merrilleewhren.com or connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MerrilleeWhren.Author. You can also sign up for her newsletter here.

 

 

 

 

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#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNG, Guest Post, Merrillee Whren, Front Porch Promises, A place to Call Home, A Love to Call Mine, A Family to Call Ours, A song to Call Ours

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BLOGWORD – 30 January 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – LORI GRANNISS

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – LORI GRANNISS

 

Broken Wings

 

This is a year of new beginnings and divine reset.

 

“Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.” Isaiah 42:9

 

It hurts sometimes when our wings are broken by those we love. A friend sent me a picture of a church sign that read “ Don’t break a bird’s wings and then tell it to fly.”

 

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The Lord declared to me that this is the season where He will place His loving balm on those who are broken. Even God’s own children have been wounded. Some were wounded by the church. It cuts deep when you are wounded by someone that you are supposed to be able to trust. You may have had someone hurt you. You may have lost a loved one. You may be numb from the life events that have come your way. God longs to heal your pain. God has taught me that He will gently lead me back to the painful events from my life in His timing to heal me, allow me to release forgiveness, and set me free! This season you will begin to feel new freedom in your situations. Where you were once numb, you will slowly start to feel again!

 

There is something interesting about those who have had broken wings. They feel deep compassion for others. They feel compassion that they might not have felt, had they not gone through their trial. God is going to use what you have been through so you can help others who have to walk in your shoes. You can turn the hard times into something beautiful as you help someone else.

 

I had a vision that I was fishing and the fish I caught were very slimy. The Lord told me, “the people you are about to share my love with are going to look messy but do not throw them back.” The Lord is doing a new thing. It will look different. We can’t have an old wineskin for what God is about to do. We have to be open to the new thing He is doing. I think sometimes we get comfortable with what we are familiar with, especially in the church. God is looking for people who will step out of their familiar comfort zone. He’s looking for “good samaritan” hearts, people who will stop and help someone in need and not pass them by. He’s looking for those who will do these things without the need for praise from others. He’s giving those who are willing a divine reset to learn to walk in the Spirit. One of the things that has truly helped me walk in the Spirit right now is to block negative media voices. I only read and listen to things that will uplift my spirit. With social media there are so many sources of information trying to bombard us. We can take what is available to us and use positive resources to encourage us. This has been a huge key to victory for me. I personally enjoy Charisma Magazine and Elijah List. I pray you have an amazing year!

 

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lori-grannissLori Granniss is the author of Now is the Time to Walk in the Spirit and a freelance religious and math curriculum writer. She is also a small business owner of  Blitz Card Fundraising. She writes on the blog Inspire Hope Magazine. She lives in Shelby, North Carolina with her husband and two sons.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/inspirehopemagazine/
https://www.facebook.com/blitzcardfundraising/

Instagram is @bargainshopperlady

 

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNG, Guest Post, Lori Granniss, Broken Wings

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BLOGWORD – 16 January 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – HEATHER BLANTON

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – HEATHER BLANTON

 

Freedom. A true lady in Defiance cries out for it. Refuses to live without it. Pursues it at any cost. Society, propriety—even commonsense won’t stop her from wrapping her slender fingers around it. In the end, she may only have her memories of it, but at least she tasted it. For a time, she lived free.

 

And it is that refusal to live without living that draws me to writing strong female leads in my books. Now, I write Christian fiction, but I study history with passion and have stumbled upon some fearless women. Though I have pity that they did not in most cases know the Lord, I have to admit to a scandalous admiration for their lust for life.

 

One of my favorite ladies was one they called Queen of the Klondike.

 

Kathleen Eloise Rockwell (1873, give or take, to1957) came from an unstable home, growing up in at least four different states. Perhaps the shifting sand beneath her feet contributed to her headstrong ways and desire for adventure. Dubbed a tomboy by the neighborhood kids, Katie played better with the boys than with the frilly little girls. She was a bit sassy and, arguably, incorrigible—at least according to the boarding school that kicked her out.

 

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In the early1890’s, Kate’s mother divorced her father and the two girls wound up in New York City. The young girl got involved with the theater scene and learned to sing and dance, but eventually even the Big Apple wasn’t big enough for the free spirit. The siren call of the Alaska Gold Rush reached her ears and Kate headed off for Alaska.

 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, however, denied her entry. Because she was a woman. Alone. On the frontier. Think, McFly. Think.

 

Can’t you hear the wheels turning in her head? Kate lived to circumvent rules and create her life on her terms.

 

So she dressed up like a boy and waltzed right into the Klondike. (Well, actually she took a boat.) I can see her waving at the RCMP as she sailed by.

 

Now, it’s one thing to try to make it on the Great White Way. Lots of competition and all that. Kate had a suspicion that in Alaska she could be a big fish in a little pond. I mean, really, how many pretty girls could there be willing to face the wild frontier? Sub-zero temperatures, knee-deep spring mud, lawless towns. Sounded like her kind of party. Kate just wanted to sing and dance. It didn’t matter if the audience was comprised of desperately hungry, cold, mud-encrusted miners who hadn’t seen a woman, much less a pretty one, in months.

 

She intended to mesmerize them and had a grand plan. For her “Flame Dance” she came on stage wearing an elaborate gown covered in red sequins and trailing an enormous cape. She took off the cape to reveal a cane that was attached to more than 200 yards of red chiffon. Kate leaped and twirled with the shimmering, floating fabric, spellbinding the hapless men. At the end she would dramatically drop to the floor, as did the men’s jaws.

 

Yeah. She was a big hit. For three years, she was the belle of the ball. Parisian gowns, gold jewelry, men falling at her feet. They called her Klondike Kate and Queen of the Yukon.

 

But the gold eventually petered out and Kate drifted around, with a few different husbands. She owned some theaters in the Pacific Northwest, swindled some miners, got swindled by a husband. She made some special appearances in the 1930’s, and even coached starlets in the 40’s. She homesteaded in Oregon and kept the place till her death. Early on, she was often spotted working the place in her sparkling evening gowns. I suspect that was because she didn’t own any work clothes, not because she was showy. She was also recovering from a broken relationship so maybe the glitz and glam had worn off and she didn’t give a fig about her designer-dresses-straight from-Paris.

 

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Either way, in the little town of Bend, Oregon Kate became a valued, appreciated member of the community due to her generous, civic-minded heart and undying audacious spirit. In her later years, she earned the nickname Aunt Kate. Doesn’t quite have the ring of Klondike Kate, but I don’t think she minded.

 

Time and age catch us all, though. Kate slowed down then finally finished the ride in Oregon in 1957.

 

By no means an angel, Kate was a woman who defied conventionality, shook her fist at the lack of social mobility for women, and cut her own path through life. You have to kind of admire that. She didn’t let life happen to her. She happened to it! With a vengeance.

 

While she was a tad over the top, I appreciate her character arc. She went from young and hungry for success at any cost to redefining her idea of success. I know it reads like a sweet romance, but she found happiness in a small town. Even better, she married a miner who had fallen in love with her back when she was still Klondike Kate. It took her a long time to come round to him. But better late than never.

 

 

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A former journalist, Heather is an avid researcher and skillfully weaves truth in among fictional story lines. She loves exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. She has walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw’s note in her hand. You can learn more about her and her work at https://ladiesindefiance.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/heatherfreyblanton. Sign up for Heather’s email newsletter to receive the latest book release updates, as well as info about contests and giveaways

http://eepurl.com/crDmv5

She writes Westerns because she grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne movies. Her most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to her father, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester!

She can be reached several different ways:

http://ladiesindefiance.com/

https://www.facebook.com/authorheatherblanton/?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/heatherfreyblanton

https://twitter.com/heatherfblanton

https://www.pinterest.com/heatherfblanton/

 

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#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNG, Guest Post, Heather Blanton, Klondike Kate, Queen of the Klondike

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BLOGWORD – 9 January 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – DAVID ALDERMAN

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – DAVID ALDERMAN

 

New Beginnings

There’s something about winter that calms me, refreshes my spirit, rejuvenates my will. It’s probably the cold weather, something I am particular towards. It’s probably the fact that winter is the fourth month, marking the end of another year – and the subsequent start of a new one. During the winter, I tend to wind down, take stock of the year prior and get ready for the year ahead. It’s usually a season of rest and preparation.

 

For many, 2016 seemed to be a year of frustration and fear. Between the volatile political atmosphere, the number of celebrity deaths, and the horrific international terrorism, it was a year many of us would like to forget.

 

For me though, 2016 was challenging on a different level, as it brought a lot of life adjustments for me in the form of my wife’s new job, my son starting Kindergarten, and the publishing business ramping up. I came to the end of 2016 a bit out of breath. Not defeated, but tired and worn.

 

And so we’re here in winter, and I have already felt the calmness that comes with the Christmas season and a fresh, brand new year full of opportunity and hope.

 

But I don’t just sense calm or rejuvenation this season. I sense newness. Beginning. A reset, if you will.

 

We all need a reset from time to time. Something – or someone – to shake our branches and wake us from our slumbering and complacency. On our way to greatness, we inevitably fall upon detours that take us to places we never meant to go. We get comfortable in the dead-end job, we continually flirt with the toxic relationship, we constantly refuse to push ourselves to the next level because we’re comfortable where we’re at.

 

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We create resolutions to help counter this, thinking that if we add another task to accomplish in the New Year that we’ll feel better about the New Year. But the source of our issue isn’t task accomplishment.

 

No – we must recognize that at some point, we settled for less.

 

Settling isn’t always bad. What really matters is how long you settle. Are you settling to take a break, or are you settling because you don’t want to move to the next step? Did you settle years ago, or are you just taking a breather before the next big climb?

 

We all need something to shake us from our settlements every now and then. Sometimes it can come in the form of a person who speaks truth into our life. Sometimes, it can come in the form of a circumstance or situation that pushes us so hard that we have no choice but to move or change. Other times, God pushes us out of our nest and calls us to fly – even though the flying may be what we fear the most.

 

Sometimes it can come in the form of a New Year, a new beginning.

 

When a computer’s operating system is stuck – when the programming gets hung up on something – we restart the computer. Most times that solves the problem. And I think it’s the same in life. We all need a reset, a new beginning.

 

New beginnings should not be confused with starting over completely. New beginnings are simply new chapters, new seasons, the start of something new, something fresh, something fulfilling. [rem: I really like this.]

 

But also something challenging, something tough, something rewarding. Some of those things tend to scare us away from moving forward, but we shouldn’t let them. They are proof we are making progress, moving forward, stepping out.

 

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2017 is here. I am glad for this. This New Year is a new beginning. A fresh restart, a recalibration of the path I am called to journey upon. The publishing company is ramping up with a slew of new projects. My writing pen has been seeking new stories for years now. And I sense 2017 has some great things in store for all of us.

 

Let’s embrace the new beginnings together. Let’s make 2017 the best we can!

 


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DAVID N. ALDERMAN is the founder of The Crossover Alliance. He is author of more than a half dozen books, and participates in National Novel Writing Month each year. When he’s not writing or spending time with family, you can find David racking up his achievement score on his Xbox One or killing opponents in a game of Half Life 2: Deathmatch on Steam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://davidnalderman.com/

https://www.facebook.com/davidnalderman/

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https://twitter.com/davidnalderman

www.thecrossoveralliance.com

Link to Black Earth: End of the Innocencewww.thecrossoveralliance.com/black-earth-end-of-the-innocence

 

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#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, David Alderman, New Beginnings, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Black Earth, Endangered Memories, Lost Birth, Of Dreams and Faith

 

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – LYNN DEAN

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reposted from 22 February 2016

 

Why Writers Write

…or why this writer writes, anyway. 😉

 

I applied for a job after my last child graduated from high school. Since we homeschooled I hadn’t worked outside the home in quite a while, so putting together a resumé was something of an ordeal. How could I explain the twists and turns of my life?

 

As I wrote I began to see a sure direction in the seemingly random path of my life. In college I studied architecture but married after graduation instead of completing my masters and certification. I could design homes without the certification, and that’s where my heart was. Through many relocations and child-raising years, I drew custom house plans from a home office—a situation that gave my life balance. When our homeschool co-op needed a drafting teacher, I volunteered. They approached me about a high school writing course, and I accepted that position as well. I’d always loved writing and had written a state history course, Discover Texas, for my own children.

 

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That experience was more or less like writing ten separate-but-related research papers, turning out one per month for each chronological era. I’d learned a lot of shortcuts between the first chapter and the last, so I knew I could teach high school students to write a research paper efficiently and make it interesting. While researching Discover Texas I’d also discovered many inspiring human interest stories. After my first child graduated, I tried my hand at historical fiction. The result was More Precious Than Gold, the first novel in an inspirational series. I was hooked…but life was busy. Discover Texas had become a cottage industry in its own right. Children graduated high school, then college…then marriage proposals and wedding plans and more moves. I got to put my architectural talents to work remodeling the house we left and the one we moved into, juggling time to help aging parents with moves of their own. Frustrated, I made time during one quiet month to enjoy combining my love of architecture and writing in a project just for fun—Home Sweet Hole: A Folio of Feasible Fantasy Floor Plans. I told myself I was just “keeping one foot in the water,” but the little book came out about the same time as the Lord of the Rings movies and surprised me by becoming a very good seller. Encouraged, I waded cautiously back into writing—this time returning to non-fiction to produce a series based on my most popular homeschool convention presentations. How to Teach the Way Your Child Learns and How to Make Learning Meaningful, Memorable, and Fun are published, and the final two books in the Homeschool How-To series will release by summer.

 

slide 2

 

In the end I didn’t get the job I applied for, but I commented to a family member that I was glad I wrote the resumé. It helped me see how everything I did fit together—even if it sometimes didn’t seem to while I was doing it.

 

She responded, “Oh. Well, I’m glad. You never really decided what you wanted to do when you grew up.”

 

Gotta admit—that stung. I wanted to snap back a protest. “Oh yes, I did! I wanted to do it all…and I did!”

 

Instead I bit my tongue, but as usual I’m putting down in writing all the things I wanted to say but couldn’t.

 

You’re welcome. 😉

 

Writers write down the things they can’t say out loud. Most of us are introverts. It isn’t easy to speak publicly until we’ve had time to organize our thoughts. Writing gives us that time. Besides, the largest group I’ve ever spoken to at a convention was about 200 people. My books have been read by thousands of people—not enough to be called best sellers, but still a larger audience than I could have reached any other way.

 

Writers have something to say. Because I spend a lot of time quietly observing and “living inside my head,” I have many perspectives to share. Writing is a comfortable way to do that. It’s not “pushy” or confrontational. No one is obligated to buy or read what I write, so it’s almost as if readers are inviting me to share with them personally.

 

Writers write to help others. I like doing that! I wrote Discover Texas because I didn’t want my children to be bored with history, and there was no hands-on history course available at the time. Other homeschool parents liked it and asked if I’d publish it for their children. I’m writing the Homeschool How-To series to explain how and why hands-on learning works. I wrote More Precious Than Gold to show how God take difficult circumstances and turn them into a blessing, and I wrote Home Sweet Hole because…well, sometimes we just need a “happy place” to dream a little, even if it’s imaginary.

 

Often, writers want to help without hurting your feelings. We can say things through our characters that we wouldn’t and couldn’t tell you to your face. Instead we tell you a story like the one Nathan the prophet told King David. For example in the beginning of More Precious Than Gold the heroine, Eliza, is having a pity party—and she has every reason. Both her mother and her fiancé died in a war that she had no part in. She heads west to New Mexico Territory to escape her grief and runs headlong into the man who caused it. At this point she has to decide whether her faith in God is just lip service or if she really trusts Him in both good times and bad.

 

Writers get a rush out of creating. Lest you think that writers are motivated solely by noble causes, I must admit that telling stories is just plain fun! There’s something about creating characters who will come to life in readers’ imaginations that gives me the same satisfaction as creating plans for a home that will envelope a family. Besides, I rather enjoy telling people what to do…but only in the kindest possible way. 😉

 

So that’s my story. All of our lives are a story, really, just as history is a story—the story of God working out His plans and reconciling the world to Himself, one life at a time.

 

Whatever direction your life and work take you, if God called you to it, He can use it even if the path is not always direct.

 

 slide 3

 

Growing up in Texas, I dictated my first stories to my mom before I was old enough to write them down myself. She humored me, for which I am grateful, and I’ve been telling stories in one form or another ever since.

I write about the things I know. The things I love. God, family, history, and how those things fit together.

 

slide 4

 

You can find Lynn at:

http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Dean/e/B008520VOA/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1454871821&sr=1-2-ent

www.discovertexasonline.com

 

http://www.handsonhomeschoolresources.com

 

 

New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, Lynn Dean, Discover Texas, More Precious than Gold, Home Sweet HoleSave

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