Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Be Not Afraid - Guest Blog Host Angela E. Arndt

How many of you have heard the old story about the bumblebee? Supposedly, a scientist compared the weight and measurements of its body to its wingspan and judged that bumblebees cannot fly. However, the bumblebee just keeps vibrating its wings and buzzing away from flower to flower.

Lately I've been getting little love notes from God. No, I'm not hearing voices, but do you ever find yourself seeing things with a common theme over and over? Lately, my theme has been, "Don't be afraid."

"Don't be afraid," you ask? Am I climbing a mountain, taming lions or fighting a war? No. I'm just writing a little novel and sometimes it terrifies me. The What-If-Asaurus hovers over me as I type, his stinging stinky breath settling over me like a cloak, telling me I'm going to fail or I'll never finish or even, I'll finish and be published (which in some ways is even more terrifying).

But these little love notes keep popping up for me. Scriptures such as Deut. 31:6 -

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."

Or I may "happen" to read blog posts or inspiring articles while waiting in the doctor's office on conquering fear. Over and over again, I find this topic keeps popping up and you know what it tells me (besides the obvious)? It's telling me that Someone loves me enough to make sure I hear His message. It also tells me to keep on going, even when the little voice inside me says I can't do it. I'm supposed to keep on writing even if what I wrote last night sounds ridiculous the next morning.

Did you know there are at least 11 references in the Bible that say, "Be strong and courageous?" From Deuteronomy to the Psalms and through the New Testament to Ephesians, we are admonished to go forth with courage and strength.

In addition, we're also reminded that we should:

• Not be frightened (Joshua 1:9)
• Obey the Lord's commands (Joshua 1:7)
• Remember the Lord will defeat our enemies (Joshua 10: 25)
• Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-11)
• Obey the Lord's commands and don't be sad (1 Chronicles 22:13)
• Remember the Lord will be with you until our work is finished (2 Chronicles 15:7)
• Wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14)
• Remember the Lord will not leave us (Deuteronomy 31:6)
• Remember the Lord will be with us (Deuteronomy 31:23)
And I have to do more than just show up. Remember the bumblebee can't fly unless it vibrates its wings. I've got to move my fingers and try, at least. And I've got to trust Him to do the rest.

What a wonderful testimony to God's love for us and His commitment to His plans for us! If God is for us, who can be against us? As long as obey His commands and do His will, we have no reason to be afraid. God is in control!

Angela Arndt is a writer living in "smalltown" South Carolina. She has her master's from the University of South Carolina in Education and currently writing a series of mystery novels. Check out Angela's site at:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Overcoming the Writing Overwhelm

Life does have a way of happening. As much as I make the effort to control the things around me the truth is, I’m not in control at all. Publishers and professionals tell me, “You must blog. Facebook is an asset to your writing career. And oh, chirp, warble…uh no, it’s tweet, tweet, TWEET .”

When I gazed across my to-do list and see its length, my stomach churned. Worse yet, none of the work is my personal writing. It’s writing for others, reading submissions and editing. In the back of my head my own novel flailed, bobbing up and down through the river of “stuff” that called my hand of attention. My work was floating but I am personally drowning.

How do we manage to write when we’re overwhelmed? It begins when we re-examine the reason we write. The reason we write is from a love, a passion that burns deep inside us—that gift God has placed within us to nurture and develop so He is able to use our talent. When we allow the world to overwhelm us with earthly junk, God won’t work through us. We shove God to the bottom of the slush pile when it’s His calling that has ignited the desire to write.

I sat in front of my computer screen in a fog. Tweets popped up in the corner of the screen and instant messages lined the bottom. Who do I answer first? I slowly inched the cursor over the x and closed out Tweetdeck. One by one, I closed the instant messages and marked myself…off-line in Gmail. My heart knew I needed quiet.

I turned my Bible Isaiah and his words of encouragement…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Just reading these words gave me a renewed strength.

Mental and physical overload is a worldly thing that sends me into a frenzy where the unimportant cloud the words God speaks to me to write.

It seems cliché to say “Pray,” but God wants us to bring every need, every thought to Him. When we offer up our plate filled with “things,” it’s His pleasure to scrap it clean.

Fighting overload begins at the feet of Christ—here we release the unnecessary and regain the necessary.
The work is too much to handle alone. Be quiet. Lift your weariness to the one who can manage it. Give the work to God. Renew your strength. Then, will you find the strength to fight the overwhelming junk of the world.

I get it God, I thought. So I slammed my Bible closed and grinned as a Twitter feather floated to the floor.

You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Exodus 18:18

Thursday, November 03, 2011

God's Emancipation Proclamation

Below you will find a very unique piece sent to me recently. It didn't fit the criteria for our devotional site but at the same time, what is written was a message that needs to be shared. A special thank you to Sheree Whitby for allowing me to reprint her work on my blog. Read through. Think on this.

(used by permission by Sheree Whitby)

By the Lord God Almighty
A Proclamation

Whereas on eleventh day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, a proclamation was issued by the Sheree Whitby, inspired by the Lord Jesus Christ, containing among other things the following, to wit:

Today, all persons held as slaves (me, my family, my bloodline, my friends, my associates and all who come in contact with me), within any State or designated part of a State and especially in our bloodline, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and or financially, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the Lord God Almighty, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the devil of hell and all his minion, legions, authorities, followers and powers will recognize and maintain the freedom of God’s people and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

And by virtue of the power and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the purpose aforesaid, we do order and declare that all persons held as slaves (me, my family, my bloodline, my friends, my associates and all who come in contact with me) within any designated States, and parts of States, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and or financially, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the High authority of our Heavenly Father, including Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And we hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless necessary self-defense; and we recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed by God, they labor faithfully for more than reasonable wages.
And we further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into God’s armed service to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places and to man vessels of all sorts in said service. And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Bible, upon God’s military necessity, we invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God. We shall be free and free indeed!

In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hand and caused the seal of the Lord God Almighty to be affixed.

Done in the city of Heaven and on Earth, this eleventh day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the people of the Lord God Almighty.

By (insert your name here):

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

But If Only for a Minute - She Said

Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman…Jeremiah 15:19 NIV 

If but only for a minute, I thought. Only a minute, can I speak with grace. I waited my turn to do a 5-minute tape recorded presentation
God knows me and my mouth. He also knows my naivety and I have to wonder, since He does know these things…why He doesn’t always open my eyes. I’d sat and listened quietly at the stories of 23 amazing women. I could see where their stories came from and how they could make motivational and inspired talks. What I didn’t know …was my story.

I’d planned something humorous. A true story from an eldercare visit but in my naivety I didn’t see it might not be the right presentation for that particular moment and when I found out from loving friends it wasn’t…I was not only embarrassed but at a loss.

I guess I’ll close myself into the closet upstairs and work through the night, I thought. So I did. I closed myself inside a small closet away from everyone with my Bible and a blank sheet of paper that lay, untouched, all night. My mind was blank. Fear closed in around me. Failure seemed imminent.

The women at this speakers conference were amazing. My life had been somewhat mundane compared to theirs. I felt so undeserving…unworthy to stand in their presence. God had worked wonders in their lives and though I knew He’d done great things for me, nothing seemed to “top” what I’d heard.

“God do you want me to be a speaker?” I asked. “Cuz’ I’m not doin’ so hot.”

The minutes turned in to hours and before long morning had come. There I still sat without a presentation.
“God,” I said. “I need to do this presentation. I got nothing. Nadda. I’m up second to speak. The words I had were wrong. I’m sorry. All I can do is trust when I stand in front of this group, You will speak.” I folded my paper in half and tore it into four pieces. They were blank…waiting for God to print on the page.
If but only for a minute, I prayed, can I speak with grace. My name was called and I laid the four blank papers on the small table. “But if only for a minute,” I whispered. “Grace.”

That’s the amazing thing about God. Sometimes He makes us wait to the ultimate last moment. But He promised He’d restore us…me… so I could serve Him and if I uttered worthy words, I could be His spokesman. My pages were blank but as the cue to speak came, my heart was filled.

Graceful words slipped from my mouth, gentle gestures, strong phrases and articulate sentences. I, me…Cindy…just opened my mouth and God allowed me to be His spokesman.

I learned this week, we’re all His spokesmen. He’s given us all a story to tell. Some amazing while others are steadfast, but until we utter them as worthy words, they cannot be heard and others cannot be touched.
Look for your story. Find it and then “Oh, but if only for a minute, speak with grace.” God will bless.

P.S. I AM A SPEAKER. Do you need one for an event?