Category Archives: Christian living

Feeling Discouraged?

seal on coverFeeling discouraged? Maybe these stories will give you the courage to keep going one more day.

You probably remember the movie The King’s Speech? What you might not know is the 73-year-old screenwriter, David Seidler, who won an Oscar for his screenplay, had only one other script produced–twenty years earlier.  

Kathryn Stockett’s first novel took her five years to write and was rejected by 60 agents. It went on to sell more than five million copies and became the award-winning motion picture The Help.

Bob Nelson wrote a screenplay while working on a odd late-night comedy show in Seattle called Almost Live. He was delighted when he sold his ms to a Hollywood producer, but then it sat for ten years. Occasionally he’d call and this semi-famous person would promise him he had forgotten him. Ten years is a long time to wait and I’m sure there were times when he felt discouraged. But finally that Hollywood genius put his words into film. And now Nebraska has been nominated for an Oscar as best movies of the year.  

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13 NLT).

Help Your Friend Become a Best Selling Author

My friend Kate Lloyd has a book coming out soon, Pennsylvania Patchwork. She’s an amazing writer and I want to help promote her novel. I’m a busy writer, editor, volunteer, and grandmother. I can’t do everything I want to do, but here are 7 things I can do in the limited time I have:

1. Buy her book. I can pre-order her book through or, or both. Publishers notice how many people are preordering a book and this helps the author. And by buying her book new, she gets a royalty.

2. Buy her book as a gift. I already know of friends and relatives who will enjoy Kate’s novel. I plan to buy it for them as either a birthday or Christmas gift. I’ll have Kate sign her book, which makes my gift even more special.

3. Face her book out at bookstores. Whenever I stop in at my local Christian book store or Barnes & Noble, I check to see if her book (and other friends’ books) is on the shelf. Then I face her cover out, helping the next shopper notice her novel.

4. Order her book. If I can’t find her book, I ask the employees where it is. This draws their attention to her name, and title. If they don’t have it on the shelf, I will ask them to order it. I’ll also inform them she’s a local author. I’ll tell them how much I loved her last book, Leaving Lancaster, and tell them how much I’m looking forward to reading her new book. Bookstore employees can’t know all the books they carry, and this will help them find a new author they will appreciate recommending to other readers.

5. Review it. After I’ve read the book, I will leave a review on,,, and I will be fair and honest. Five star reviews sell books. Someone said I should also “Like” her books on This will help with linking her book to others similar to it. This helps other readers find her Amish fiction.

6. Reserve a copy at the library. As a former employee at the public library, I know that if someone requests a book, the library buyer pays attention. The more a book is checked out, the more likely they are to purchase more of that book. One of the best things I can do for my friend is to request her book from my local library and tell the staff that works there that she’s a local author.

7. Talk about her book on Facebook. When Kate’s book comes out, I’ll mention it on my Facebook page. I’ll link to her Website and also to places where people can buy it. Pictures help sell, and so I’ll make sure I have the cover in my picture file. If she does giveaways, I’ll pass the word along to my friends.

None of these things take a lot of time, but they will help my friend sell her book. You can do the same for your friends and in return when your book is published they might do the same for you. Maybe you have ideas of your own. What would you add to my list? Please comment below.


Walk Down Main Street

“I’m sorry the news isn’t good,” said the doctor on the other end of the phone. She had called to tell me the results of an ultra sound biopsy I had undergone two days before on my left breast. When you hear news like this, your senses sharpen, but you also go into shock. I remember where I was sitting, that the day was sunny, but I cannot recollect calling my husband. I do remember trying to get the word across my tongue the first time I had to tell my son. It stuck and I had a hard time saying, cancer. I needed to tell the people I loved, but saying this scary word was the most difficult task I’d ever undertaken.

The next few days were a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments and more tests. I needed to listen and ask questions; yet, all I wanted to do was curl up in my chair and do nothing. I couldn’t hide from the diagnosis. I had a job to do and it wasn’t just getting through the surgery and radiation treatments.

As a writer, I knew God might use my experience to help someone else someday. Encouraging words people said, how others prayed for me, the notes, the phone calls were all possible ideas for articles and devotions. Other women shared their stories. My cancer journey was a walk down Main Street compared to others who had to go through the wilderness. Maybe I could use these in a novel. Through it all, I listened carefully to what God wanted to teach me. I’m reminded again that when we take up the calling of author, nothing we go through is ever wasted in God’s economy.

A Salty Life

My husband took me out to breakfast. I ordered something I don’t have every day, eggs and home fried potatoes. Unfortunately, the potatoes were too salty, which ruined them for me. This made me think about how Jesus called us to be salt in the world. Salt is a seasoning. If sprinkled on our favorite dish, it can bring out the flavor of food. In fact, some foods, like eggs, are tasteless without salt. However, too much and we spoil the dish.

Can we do the same thing with our witness? Can we spoil the effect when we are overbearing and a know-it-all? Did I overdo it the time I was at my sister’s and a man came on spouting new age junk, and I stated in no uncertain terms, “What a lot of bunk”? Or how about the time I tried to argue with my other sister about baby baptism vs. adult baptism and we ended up hurting one another’s feelings? What kind of “salt” was I that day? These are just two examples of times I should have used less salt.

Check your stories and articles to see if you’ve sprinkled the love of Christ throughout your manuscript. Signs that you might have overused the saltshaker are excessive use of the word you, telling the reader how they must live, Christianese, phrases and words that have lost their meaning, and preaching, long stretches when you tell the reader about what the Bible says instead of showing them through interesting anecdotes and stories.