Spiritual Disciplines for Today’s Writer

Spiritual Disciplines for Today’s Writer

So excited to invite DiAnn Mills to By His Grace this week to share about Spiritual Disciplines for the writer. DiAnn is a popular Christian Fiction author, and a personal friend and mentor. Be sure to listen to the podcast with DiAnn where we discussed Spiritual Warfare for the Christian Author. Please welcome DiAnn Mills to the blog today!


Spiritual Disciplines for Today’s Writer

By DiAnn Mills

Writers share a special gift. We’ve been blessed with the creative ability to release words to the world. I’ve heard writers say, I’m going to invite Jesus into my story. When in truth, God is/has written the story, and He’s inviting us to join Him. Writing is a sacred adventure.

Let’s examine the acrostic adventure and explore ways we can grow spiritually closer to God.

A – Accept the Call

The letter A is to accept the call from God as a personal invitation to follow Him. A writer cannot create for God unless he/she first establishes Him as priority One. 

We embrace God’s gift of eternal life through faith in His Son Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, and we believe Jesus is the only way to heaven.

This isn’t a get-out-of-the-other-place-free card. Accepting the call to trust

our Lord and Savior forever is a commitment and a responsibility that carries us into eternity.

Our writing isn’t easy, but we’re not alone. The Creator and Author of the Bible is with us, the same Creator and Author of life who has commissioned us to write His story whether in fiction or nonfiction.

Writing is a sacred adventure. Click To Tweet

D – Dedicate our Life to Prayer

The letter D of adventure is a reminder to dedicate our lives to prayer. Isn’t it grand to know our God desires to hear from us? He’s not concerned about our words, physical posture, the amount of money we’ve given, the number of publications, or a specific time of day. He already knows what’s on our hearts. The posture that pleases God is humility.

Our prayers are not a grocery list for wants or even needs. Dear God, please take care of all my desires, provide a six figure contract, keep me on the bestseller list, etc. Our prayers are a constant conversation with God, ones in which we have access to our sovereign Lord. We need His guidance and wisdom every moment of the day.

Remember Him first thing in the morning and the last moment of consciousness at night. In between our waking and sleeping hours are plenty of opportunities to thank and praise Him for His provision.

Prayer is better than any wifi connection.

V – Vertical 

The letter V is a reminder to write with a vertical heart and mind. 

We writers are in the business of learning the craft, using our imaginations, writing, editing, rewriting, and the process repeats. That’s horizontal writing. We’re depending on people and earth’s resources to help us reach our publishing goals. While we are to prayerfully consider wise counsel and seek knowledge, too often we forget we’re called to live vertical lives. Our heads are bent over the keyboard instead of lifted in communication with God.

When we consider our God is with us and wants the best for us, vertical writing is the only way to embrace our calling. Click To Tweet

E – Enter His gates with praise

The letter E stands for enter in the verse, enter His gates with praise. (Psalm 100:4)

When we open our eyes each morning, God wants us to welcome Him into our day. When we enter his presence before our feet touch the floor, He is pleased. 

I encourage you to whisper these words:

Psalm 118:24 ESV

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

N – New life

The letter N stands for New Life. We hear the phrase from the pulpit, in devotions, commentaries, and books designed to enrich our spiritual lives. But do we fully understand what it means?

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Man is born without the knowledge of God being all we need. When God created man, He put within us a need for relationship, security, and significance. God intended for those innate needs to be met in Him. Unfortunately sin eliminates God from the picture.

T – Time

We approach life the same way we embrace time. Our faith, culture, background, ideals, experiences, and personalities form how we view this priceless commodity.

Writers fit into at least one of these views:

  • Some accept responsibility for how they spend time. They are filled with purpose.
  • Some envision an opportunity to make the world a better place.
  • Some fear time hammering away at their lives and struggle to stay young.
  • Some grasp time and can’t do enough for others, while others can’t do enough for themselves.
  • Some ignore time and believe it’s a state of mind.
  • Some perceive time as a math problem, an infinite calculation.
  • Some plan their time as if their happiness depends on tomorrow’s circumstances. We’ve met writers who thrive on one achievement after another, and when a contract or award doesn’t happen, they are in a well of depression.
  • Some prioritize time by the events of their lives.
  • Some risk all they have to run a step ahead of time.
  • Some strive to be good stewards of the minutes, days, and hours given to them. They are mindful with what they do and how they do it. Balance is healthy and they work hard at it.
  • Some view others who take a break as wasting time while others view it as a necessary part of their day. 

No matter how we grasp life, time marches ahead. If we aren’t careful, it will leave us behind.

U – Understand

The letter U stands for understand. This word is filled with the promises of God woven in and around our relationship with Him. Too often we fail to perceive how very important we are to our Heavenly Father.

When life threatens to drown our resolve and we abandon our trust, God is still with us through adversity. Rejections, fighting jealousy, facing those who ridicule us because of our commitment to writing, lack of funds – all of it.

  • Understand we are unconditionally loved.
  • Understand we belong to God.
  • Understand nothing can snatch us away from Him.
  • Understand His love will always surpass ours.
  • Understand He gave His one and only Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
  • Understand He rose again from the dead that we might one day live with Him.
  • Understand neither our good deeds nor mistakes will ever make Him love us any more or any less.
  • Understand He is always working for our good.
  • Understand He forgives us when we don’t deserve it – that’s mercy.
  • Understand His grace is for everyone who believes.
  • Understand we are a beautiful, big thing in God’s eyes.
  • Understand He will never leave us nor forsake us.
  • Understand the Holy Spirit is our counselor and our guide through the journey called life.
  • Understand His love and acceptance has nothing to do with our publishing credits.
  • Understand He is the one true God.

R – Rest

The letter R stands for rest. While technology makes our lives easier, it also provides more ways for us to spend time. 

The disturbances and heartaches that rob us of rest and peace are as old as time. 

  • Families break up and the values we treasure are seemingly destroyed.
  • Jobs are eliminated and we face financial ruin. 
  • Health issues stop us in our tracks.
  • Our writing fails to satisfy our inner longings.
  • Our children are rebellious.
  • Instant news from around the world gives us real-time happenings, and unfortunately the evil and the ugly grab our attention.
  • Our world’s woes appear overwhelming.
  • Nature deals us incredible devastation.

Jesus says in Mark 6:31 ESV

“And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’”

E – Eternal

The last letter E stands for eternal. Everything we do has an eternal impact on us and others. 

Jesus died for our sins so that by accepting His sacrifice on the cross, we are seen through the eyes of God as washed clean. Those who choose to live their lives per selfish desires and greed will live forever without the joy of knowing God in a deep loving relationship.

Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are eager to follow Him in obedience.

As writers, our creativity is about our Lord. He gave us the gift of writing, and we in turn give the gift back to Him. Glory to God!

Philippians 1:6 ESV

“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

How do you live an adventure with God?

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a storyteller and creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. 

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. 

Connect with DiAnn here: www.diannmills.com

Fatal Strike

Be sure to check out DiAnn’s latest book Fatal Strike that launches September 3, 2019.

There’s a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. Authorities have reasons to believe the Veneno gang is behind the hits, and FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down those responsible. Their best lead is an eyewitness who identifies a young man dumping the third body on a church doorstep. But their suspect has gone into hiding, and those closest to him are reluctant to reveal anything that might help investigators find him.

As Leah and Jon check connections among the victims and dig deeper into motives, they discover appearances may be deceiving. Someone is desperate to keep their secrets hidden, and Leah and Jon must face their greatest fears in order to stop the next fatal strike.


Thank you so much for visiting By His Grace today. Thank you to DiAnn Mills for giving away one copy of her new book Fatal Strike. To be eligible to win share this post on social media and tag both Misty Phillip and DiAnn Mills in the post for a chance to win a copy of Fatal Strike.

Much Love,

 

Misty Phillip

DiAnn Mills: Christian Authors and Spiritual Warfare

DiAnn Mills: Christian Authors and Spiritual Warfare

By His Grace podcast- Empowering YOU to live By His Grace through the struggles of life with host Misty Phillip.

This week my guest is DiAnn Mills. DiAnn shares wisdom for Christian writers facing Spiritual warfare and offers practical ways to be equipped. Prayerful awareness, and expecting the unexpected is key when launching a book. She also shares the Spiritual disciplines of a writer and gives us a glimpse into her writing routine. We discuss the importance of honing your craft and attending writing conferences. DiAnn shares a synopsis of her latest book, Fatal Strike that launches September 3, 2019.

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a storyteller and creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. 

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. 

Connect with DiAnn here: www.diannmills.com

Blue Ridge Conference Information: www.blueridgeconference.com

Please feel free to share, tag, or tweet this episode with friends and family. Tag me @MistyPhillip

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Also, please head over to By His Grace Podcast on I-Tunes and leave us a review. Thank you!

Who’s Your Daddy?

Who’s Your Daddy?

This week I am delighted to welcome Author, Speaker, and Radio Show Host Lisa Burkhardt Worley to By His Grace. On the Podcast, we talk about healing from a father wound. Lisa shares what it is was like to grow up without a Father and how God became the only Father she ever knew. Please welcome Lisa Burkhardt Worley.


Who’s Your Daddy?

By Lisa Burkhardt Worley

What kind of father do you have? 

If he passed away, what was he like?

For some of us who did not grow up with a father figure in our lives, there is an inexplicable void we attempt to fill. The void also exists if a father figure was absent or harsh—maybe he was distant and you didn’t have a vibrant relationship with him.

During my college years and early twenties, I tried to satisfy a need for love through the various dating relationships I entered into. Although I didn’t verbalize it, I think the cry of my heart was, “Maybe he will love me.” Most of these relationships involved promiscuity, and one romance in college ended up with an aborted, unplanned pregnancy, something I deeply regret.

But a traumatic job loss led me to rededicate my life to Christ after a seventeen-year estrangement. I began to study God’s Word for the first time. I discovered that He wanted an intimate Father/daughter bond with me.

2 Corinthians 6:17–18 says: “Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.”

God wants to be my daddy?

Because my father died before I was born, my image of God had always been of Him in a lofty throne, watching over the world from afar—issuing judgment as needed. I had never thought He had the time, nor did I think He cared that much about me individually. However, now I know different and don’t know where I’d be without the counsel, the teaching and the love of my Father in Heaven.

The beauty of God’s Father love for us is that He has more than enough to go around. Click To Tweet

All we have to do is recognize Him as Father, and accept His Son as the perfect sacrifice for all our wrongdoing. 

I have also realized that even as a married woman with two sons, no human can completely satisfy our need for love. Only our heavenly Daddy can top off our love tank. Are you feeling a little empty? He desires to fill your tank to overflowing today.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)

Lisa Burkhardt Worley – Author, Speaker, Radio Show Host

Lisa Burkhardt Worley is the founder of Pearls of Promise Ministries, a ministry that helps women overcome past and current dysfunction. Just as a pearl is formed after years of irritation and distress in an oyster shell, God can take our life trials and make something beautiful as well. Pearls of Promise Ministry Lisa is a popular speaker and an award-winning author of eight books and a Bible study including her most recent book to help the fatherless, The Only Father I Ever Knew: How a Fatherless Child Finally Found True Love.

Lisa is an international radio show co-host and spent nineteen years as a national television sports reporter (HBO Sports and ESPN), regional anchor on the Madison Square Garden Network in New York City, and local sportscaster. Her radio show with co-host Donna Skell, “A Time to Dream” can be heard on four different platforms throughout the week. In addition to her work with Pearls of Promise, Lisa is also the Director of Special Projects for Roaring Lambs Ministries, and is an Advisory Board member and Vice-President of Marketing for Christian Women in Media. She serves at her church, Gateway, as Intercessory Prayer Leader for Jewish Ministries. Lisa earned a Masters of Theological Studies degree from SMU Perkins School of Theology, graduating Magna Cum Laude.


Thanks for visiting By His Grace today! it is our goal to provide content to help empower you to live BY HIS GRACE!  You may also enjoy Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith: REST or Niki Hardy: Abundant Living After A Dreaded Diagnosis

 

Misty Phillip

Lisa Burkhardt Worley: Father to the Fatherless

Lisa Burkhardt Worley: Father to the Fatherless

By His Grace podcast- Empowering YOU to live By His Grace through the struggles of life with host Misty Phillip.

Author, Speaker, and Radio Show Host Lisa Burkhardt Worley shares inspiration about God being a father to the fatherless.

Lisa is the founder of Pearls of Promise Ministries, a ministry that helps women overcome past and current dysfunction. She is a popular speaker and an award-winning author of eight books and a Bible study including her most recent book to help the fatherless, The Only Father I Ever Knew: How a Fatherless Child Finally Found True Love. 

An international radio show co-host, Lisa spent nineteen years as a national television sports reporter (HBO Sports and ESPN), a regional anchor on the Madison Square Garden Network in New York City, and local sportscaster. Her radio show with co-host Donna Skell, “A Time to Dream” can be heard on four different platforms throughout the week.

www.pearlsofpromiseministries.com

www.atimetodream.org

Facebook: /pearlsofpromiseministries

Twitter@pearlsofpromise

Please feel free to share, tag, or tweet this episode with friends and family. Make sure to tag me @MistyPhillip.

facebook.com/misty.phillip/

instagram.com/mistyphillip/

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twitter.com/mistyphillip

Also, please head over to By His Grace Podcast on I-Tunes and leave us a review. Thank you!

A Call to Return and Rest

A Call to Return and Rest

Being a busy momma and wife is exhausting especially when you add work, serving, social activities and ALL THE THINGS! Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith has a better way of doing things. Please welcome Saundra to the blog today!


A Call to Return and Rest

By Saundra Dalton-Smith

Pictures don’t always tell the whole story. I’ve spent hours looking at the smiling faces of my social media friends, wondering what secret they know that I don’t. How do they do it all and do it well, while I feel like I’m struggling to keep it all together. It didn’t take long before my comparisons lead me down an unhappy and unfulfilling path. One that brought me to the end of myself and propelled me into a new relationship with God.

It began with a post from a woman I’d never met. She too had been looking at all the pretty pictures, feeling less than and left out. Her question was simple.

When do I get to be happy?

She went on to describe her role as a wife, mom, daughter, prayer partner, Sunday school teacher, chauffeur, cook, tutor, and cheerleader. She elaborated on her to-do list. She commented on how everyone else had the perfect life.

I, for one, was not judging her rant. Rather, I secretly applauded her braveness and vulnerability.

God used her post as an invitation for me to go deeper into evaluating out my own feeling on busyness, rest, and living fully. Click To Tweet

My life was full of activity, but activity is only productive if it’s taking you to a place you desire. My activity was moving me closer to my career goals and further away from the people I love and the moments I treasure. Something had to give. Either I could stay fixated in my bitterness or I could be transformed by the beauty of His Word.

The Bible challenged me to exchange my daily hustle to daily hush in the presence of God.

It offered rest for my weariness and promised in the process I would see His goodness.

In Isaiah 30:15 (ESV), God says “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” This verse came to me like an outstretched hand, willing me to grab hold. The final words of this verse, however, stood before me declaring the truth about my current situation. “But you were unwilling…” 

I was unwilling. Unwilling to be still and know. Unwilling to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Unwilling to trust God to carry the load while I rested in Him. I needed to remember that rest is not optional. Rest is a necessity for living well and loving well. Rest is required to fully give of myself and my talents. Rest is needed for creativity to bloom and purpose to be realized. Rest is sacred. It’s a gift from a holy God to a fallen people. It’s His strength poured out in small portions. It’s a gift.

As God worked in my spirit, He also whispered to my mind to redefine how I see rest. Rest was no longer an afterthought in my day. It became a part of my day. I began to see the connection between my cluttered mind and my unsettled spirit. My to-do list was no longer my master. I learned the freedom of saying a heart-felt no over a yes out of a sense of obligation. I started listening to my tense body and found the time to prayer walk. I started noticing the flowers, trees, birds, and laughter around me. In it all, I could see the love of God and I was strengthened.

Are you tired, weary, broken, or lonely?

Take a moment and evaluate the thoughts filling your mental space. What emotions are you feeling? Do you feel any tension in your neck and back muscles? Do you feel alone in your busyness, surrounded by activity but unseen and misunderstood? 

Every day you use you used physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, and creative energy to accomplish much. With each type of energy used, you make a withdrawal from personal account. For every depleting activity in your day, there is a counter reviving activity to restore balance.  Failure to replenish your supple will result in burn-out. If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are already feeling the effects of a burned-out life. It’s time to return and rest.

Just as work is valuable, rest has great value. It is by definition restorative. What needs restoring in your life? If you are unsure of the area of your life most in need of restoration, visit RestQuiz.com to find your personal rest deficit.  Once you know what type of rest you are missing in your life, begin purposefully including that type of rest. If you are lonely, you will benefit from the social rest of sharing authentically with others in small groups or with a trusted friend. If you are tired, you will benefit from the physical rest of muscular stress relief and the mental rest of de-cluttering your mind. If you are broken, you will benefit from the spiritual and creative rest of spending time with the Healer.

Matthew 11:28 invites, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (New King James Version). It is an open invitation to all to receive whatever type of rest is required. It includes rest to your mind, your body, your emotions, and your relationships.  It is an invitation without restriction; an offer for rest in every area.

What type of rest do you need today?

As a busy physician, author, and mom, I understand that life’s demands can leave you feeling mentally overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and physically tired. Daily I help the overstressed deal with their work-rest imbalance and find actionable answers to the thriving lifestyle they desire.

Author of Sacred Rest, Come Empty and Set Free to Live Free

Website:IChooseMyBestLife.com


For more on rest check out By His Grace Podcast with Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith.

Thanks for joining us today. If you liked this post I would appreciate your shares on social media. Sharing is caring.

Much Love,

 

Misty Phillip

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