Tag Archives: Vonda Skelton

Parting Words From The WORD…His Kingdom Will Never End

Girl baby feetHis reign was foretold 700 years before His birth.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And we still proclaim Him 2000 years after His death.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33

His kingdom will never end.

I pray God’s blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

(Photo courtesy of ChristianPhotos.net)

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Sending a Little Christmas Fun & Who Won Marie Senter’s Book?

nativityMerry Christmas, writing friends! What a joy to hear Christmas music during this special season, reminding me that yes, an innocent, helpless Baby came, but He grew to be our Sacrifice, and was raised from the dead to be our Savior! And oh, what a Savior!

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First of all, I don’t want to miss the giving a shout-out to Marlene Bagnull and let her know she’s the winner of Marie Senter’s book, Trestle Over No Name CreekCongratulations, Marlene! Simply contact me with your snail mail address and Marie will get it right out to you!

And for those of you who didn’t win, I know you’re going to want to get your own copy, so here’s a direct Amazon link to Trestle Over No Name Creek. Thanks, Marie, for your delightful interview. I pray God blesses the socks off these and all your new book projects!

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And since I know everyone’s running around trying to get everything done (and NOBODY is interested in studying writing opps!), I thought I’d share another of my Christmas favorites with you today. Here’s a video I’ve shared the past several years, and I never grow tired of it.

I hope you enjoy North Point Community Church’s iBand Christmas. It was a gift to their friends, and I love sharing the gift with you!

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Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver!

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Marie Senter and Kudos & MoGo7000 Results

Marie Senter headshotToday is the 2nd Tuesday, and I’m looking forward to talking with author Marie Senter and celebrating your successes!

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Interview with Marie Senter

Marie and I first met at the Glorieta Christian Writers’ Conference where I was her writing coach as part of the Get Published Now seminar. She brought a rough copy of the true story of the time she, as an industrial nurse, saved the life of a severely injured worker. She worked hard on the piece and turned it into a print-worthy article.

Be sure to leave a comment for Marie and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book! Don’t forget to return next week to see if you’re the winner!

Welcome to the Christian Writer’s Den, Marie! I’ll never forget how thrilled I was to meet another RN who’s also a writer.

Thank you for having me. As a nurse, I’m still asking myself Cec Murphey’s question: Am I a nurse who writes, or am I a writer who nurses? My answer is, “YES!” I love nursing, and it gives me the economic base to support my writing. Both are God-given passions.

I know what those passions feel like and agree that they’re both God-given! So how long have you been writing?

Mom and Dad would read to us six kids and encouraged us to write our own plays. I believe reading is essential to writing. The combination of memory, wild imagination and the ability to correlate the unrelated defines my style. For instance, one of my high school English assignments turned into a story read over the local 50,000 watt radio station every Christmas Eve for many years.

A high school writing assignment at Christmas time?

Yes, I used a well-known story about a baby born in a stable and placed in a manger. The difference is that my story is told by the straw in the manger with appropriate hay-seed phrases. It has been printed in two different church advent booklets. I’m told it is still part of many Christmas Eve family gatherings.

The Christmas story told by the straw? Now that’s a unique POV! Is your writing confined to short stories?TRESTLE Book One Classroom Edition

The 3-by-5 spiral notebook with my first childhood adaptations still exists. The poems I’ve written have rhyme, rhythm, and a storyline, such as “Suicide” (a college friend), and “A Woman Is…” (ideals plus reality). Twice, newspapers printed my reviews of locally produced musicals, and twice, obituaries: My first husband, diagnosed with leukemia, went heavenward 22 months after our marriage. Our story of life and his death is the lead story in I Believe in Heaven, the recent Cec Murphey/Twila Belk book. Five years later, I wrote a second obituary when a blood clot broke loose, and I became a widow again. Chicken Soup for the Soul printed the story I adapted when my sister encountered breast cancer.

What writing projects have you written and what are you working on now?

Following the example of a petite, gifted author from South Carolina who mentored me at my first big writers’ conference, and with encouragement to “write what you know,” I am polishing Book Three of a mystery trilogy for kids. My mentor wrote of a girl from a loving family who managed to get into and out of situations that skirted disaster. My adaptation is the Trestle over No Name Creek series set in any small town, l960. Junior high kids form a gang and survive “normal for l960” society, culture, and grown-up attitudes. Once chapter one is absorbed, the next chapters build until the very last pages answer the mystery: In Book One, was old man Frank’s death an accident, or was their dark-skinned old friend’s death a murder?  Book Two combines a reclusive old man and a l960’s delinquent with the Meanderthallers in the middle. Book Three―read it and “go figure.” Written for school kids of all ages, the series has no test questions. Instead, the back of each book has an insert with chapter-by-chapter Research Projects. Example: “What’s a trestle?”

This sounds like an interesting series for kids. You must have had a wise mentor! (Hahahaha!) I’m thrilled to see Trestle Over No Name Creek: Book Two has just been released in Kindle version. Congrats!

And our last question: Would you tell us the quick version of your road to publication of your novels?

three books illusAll the writers’ conferences I attended, the publishers, agents, and interviews resulted in zero interest. So once again, d.D.i.–direct Divine intervention–stepped in. It came in the form of a local man who had survived a heart attack, had his books rejected, who then studied Publishing101, and formed his own publishing house. He walked up to me at a local writers’ group and said he wanted to publish my book. After prayer and research, I accepted. My editor is a lifetime Bible teacher friend who has “caught my voice” and shares her gifts of placing punctuation where I do dot-dot-dot.

Yes, I’m very familiar with your dot-dot-dot form of punctuation. :-) We writers are thankful for our editors, aren’t we? Thank you again for being with us today, Marie. Blessings as you continue Book Three of your series!

And readers, be sure to leave a comment for Marie and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book, but don’t forget to check back next week to see if you win!

Bio: Writing since grade school, Marie has produced stories, poems, books, and has been published in school and local newspapers. In college, five of her class writing assignments ended up in print. As a professional nurse, she has written, done art work, and designed curriculum for health topics, aiding fellow nurses and other staff, prn. In addition, she has taught child development seminars for child care workers’ accreditation. Adding medical worker in clinics and hospice to speaker, artist, and teacher, Marie continues to serve with God-given abilities.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Our Kudos are Short and Sweet This Month, but It’s a BIG One!

Edie Melson has just signed a contract with Worthy Publishing for her newest book for military families: While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those With a Loved One in the Military. The publication launch date is July 4, 2015.

Congratulations to my long-time writing buddy, Edie!

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Who Qualified for a November Entry in the 2014 MoGo7000 Challenge?

Congrats to these four hard-writing writers who wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in the mogo7000 logomonth of November:

#23: Tim Suddeth – 8,483 words
#24: Glenda Mills – 7,200 words
#25: Susan Baganz – 64,746 words
#26: Joan Hall – 20,000 words

Would you believe these four writers wrote 100,429 words in one month! Congratulations, writers!

And readers, if you want to learn how to enter the challenge, simply check out the MoGo7000 Challenge page. You have 1 more opportunity to reach a monthly goal and win an entry before the $100 drawing in January!

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Well, that does it for another December Tuesday. I hope today’s post encouraged you to do what it takes to reach your goals in 2015.

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver!

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD . . . A Baby Changed Everything

During the Christmas season, it has become my Christian Writer’s Den tradition to post this beautiful video and the life-giving words it proclaims. I’ve done it now for several years, and each time I hear it, I still get chills and my eyes fill with tears.

When Jesus was born, everything was changed.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the beautiful images from the film, The Nativity, and listen to the words of this powerful song sung by Faith Hill.

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For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)

During this blessed Christmas season, I’m especially thankful a Baby changed everything for me. And He wants to change everything for you, too.

I was lost but now I’m found! Hallelujah!

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Laury Davis

Laury Davis headshotWelcome to the Christian Writer’s Den! Today I’m thrilled to introduce author Laury Davis to you as she shares her writing journey and her Bible study, In Pursuit of Happiness.

Be sure to leave a comment for Laury and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book! Don’t forget to come back next week to see if you’re the winner.

Okay, let’s get started. Welcome, Laury. I can’t wait to share your story with my friends. First of all, I’d love to know if you always want to be a writer.

No. It never occurred to me until I was about thirty. I was working as a substitute teacher in a local public high school. Most often a teacher would leave an assignment, and I just needed to monitor the class. My goal was to stay alert and look busy, so I began to jot down short stories. I love mysteries, so mostly I was aiming to write something of a cross between Agatha Christie and Edgar Allen Poe.

Writing publishable mysteries was my original writing goal as well! But obviously we both moved beyond being Agatha Christie and Edgar Allen Poe wannabes. Most of your published writing is nonfiction, right? How did you make that transition?’

I had a friend who was going through a hard time. I decided to put some short stories together for her with a theme. She was moving, so I rushed and gave her a very rough draft on the day she moved. After that I put it away for years. Eventually, I moved to Tennessee and joined a writer’s group at my church. Most of the ladies were writing Christian material, so I decided to give it a try. I got out my stories, polished them up and put a Bible study with it. This particular book I just gave away to friends.

After that I began to have some magazine articles published, so I stuck with what paid. Someday, Lord enabling, I’m going back to fiction though.

That’s interesting–magazine articles were a huge part of my initial writing success as well. And the good news was, it paid real money! So, how did the Bible study In Pursuit of Happiness come about?Laury Davis book cover

I had been on a mission trip, and when I returned I realized how much we take for granted in our culture. Just the freedom to choose how to live our lives is a luxury many around the world and through the ages have never known. I wrote In Pursuit of Happiness as a challenge to Christian women to evaluate their pursuits in light of God’s purposes.

What type of vehicle did you use to deliver the truths of this study?

I wanted to study people in the Bible who chose to thrive in tough situations. Not a hero’s story, like when the big miracle happens, but a background story of perseverance in difficult, unchanging circumstances. I chose three familiar characters, but I hope they are covered in a fresh, de-romanticized light. My book focuses on Abigail after she married David, the servant girl before Naaman had leprosy, and Onesimus as a slave instead of a redeemed brother. These were people with few choices in life, but what they did choose was to be faithful and brave.  I think their stories are noteworthy and inspiring.

And just because I enjoy it, I threw in several short stories that I hope convey relevance and context.

Wow–I love that thought process! What a unique way to present these characters and learn from their experience. What’s your next writing project?

I always have a lot of projects in progress–a novel, a church drama, a teen Bible study–these are all things I’m working on right now. I would like to focus more on writing fiction because I think it’s fun, but I will probably always be writing something  nonfiction because I think it’s useful for ministry.

And for our last question, what advice or encouragement would you give to another writer?

I’d tell them to find a local writer’s group. A group can hold you accountable, give you ideas, and keep you motivated. I’d also suggest you do one thing every day to advance your writing. It could be as small as sending a query e-mail, researching a publisher, or editing a poem. Just something to keep you moving forward.

Great suggestions, Laury. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your book with us today. And readers, I know you’re going to want your own copy of Laury’s book, so here’s a direct Amazon link to In Pursuit of Happiness.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for Laury and then return next week to see if you’re the winner of Laury’s book!

Bio: Laury Davis grew up by the shores of Lake Erie in Madison, Ohio. She graduated with honors from Cedarville University in southern Ohio with degrees in Business/Marketing and Bible. She has served in church as a Sunday school teacher, women’s Bible study leader, choir member, event coordinator, and drama director. Laury is married and busily rearing three teenagers. Her family currently lives in the Memphis, Tennessee area.

Laury has been published in Focus on the Family’s “Thriving Family,” Standard Publishing’s “The Lookout,” “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” thebrinkonline, centralchurch.com, princessdotkmag.com, and various ministry oriented publications. She also has two books translated and distributed to Christian women in other countries.

Her Bible study entitled In Pursuit of Happiness: Stewarding Freedom as a Modern Christian Woman, was recently released with a small, indie publisher. To learn more about Laury and her writing, you can check out LauryDavis.com.

Blessings, my friends…

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

The words, “Be strong and courageous” are seen over and over in the Old Testament. God said it to Moses. Moses said it to Joshua. God said it to Joshua. Those are the stories we know and recognize about being strong and courageous.

But did you know that David said those very same words–and more–to his son, Solomon?

David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.
I Chronicles 28:20

In this situation, David was giving encouragement to Solomon about building the temple. He told him to be strong and courageous, just like God had told Moses and Joshua. But did you see what else David said?

David added the words, “…and do the work.”

He then goes on to say that God will not fail or forsake him until all the work is done on the temple. In other words, God will give him everything he needs to get the job done.

God has done that for you and me as well. He has given us the talent and the passion to be writers and speakers, and He will see it through until we complete our jobs.

Just as David said to Solomon, I believe God is saying to us today: Be strong…be courageous…and yes, do the work.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opps & Conferences for You & Who Won Cheryl Ricker’s Book?

newspapersIt’s our 3rd Tuesday, so it’s time to look at writing opportunities. This could be your door to publication!

 

1.  Better Homes and Gardens writers guidelines

2.  ADDitude Magazine writers guidelines

3.  Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine writers guidelines

4.  Alive Now writers guidelines and theme list – Scroll down on right side for theme list and due dates

5.  American Girl writers guidelines

6.  Chicken Soup for the Soul possible book titles – Check out the latest story needs

7.  Asimov’s Science Fiction writers guidelines

8.  CampSite writers guidelines

9.  The Christian Century writers guidelines

10. Enrichment Journal writers guidelines

11. Parents Magazine writer’s guidelines

12. The Lutheran writers guidelines

13. Short Stories for a Fiction-Lover’s Devotional by Kathy Ide – Fiction-Lover’s Devotional Guidelines here

14. Reach Out, Columbia magazine, a regional print publication dedicated to proclaiming the life and work of Jesus Christ in and through ordinary people, is open to article submissions. We publish teaching pieces (800- 1,250 words), reflection pieces (500-800 words), and informational pieces on subjects related to the Christian life (health, sports, family, marriage, singleness, church membership, nutrition, etc., 800-1,250 words). We’re especially interested in subjects of interest to men. We are also open to 2-3 part series of articles if the subject can support it. ROC is not a paying market, but a print publishing credit looks great on your resume. Keep in mind that seasonal pieces must be submitted a minimum of three months prior to the month of publication. Please visit Reach Out Columbia for article submission guidelines (www.ReachOutColumbia.com)

15. Shine Brightly Magazine for Girls writers guidelines

Okay, writing friends, what are you waiting for? I can’t wait to hear of your successes!

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Courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you serious about writing and speaking? If so, you’ll be serious about attending conferences. 

Here’s a list of upcoming writing and/or speaking conferences. Make your plans now to attend at least one conference a year. You wouldn’t expect to get a job without being prepared and qualified, would you? You can be sure your chances of publication increase with your training and experience in writing as well.

1.  Writers ADVANCE Boot Camp: February 20-22, 2015, Asheville, NC

2.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 25-March 1, 2015, Leesburg, FL

3.  American Christian Writers Mentoring Retreats begin in March: Various locations and dates

4.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 7, 2015, Memphis, TN (I’ll see you there!)

5.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 13-14, 2015, Spartanburg, SC

6.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 25-31, 2015, Felton, CA

7.  Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC (I’ll see you there!)

8.  Orange County Christian Writers ConferenceApril 24-25, 2015, Santa Ana, CA

9.  Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 13-16, 2015, Estes Park, CO (watch for details coming soon)

10. Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 15-16, 2015, Redmond, WA

11. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there!)

12. Write To Publish: June 3-6, 2015, Wheaton, IL

13. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 12-14, 2015, Ripley, WV

14. Christian Communicators Conference: Hold the date! August 26-30, 2015, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open late February. (I’ll see you there!)

15. American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cheryl Ricker cover Rush of Heaven

And who won Cheryl Ricker’s book, Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus?

According to Random.org, this week’s winner is Lynn A. Davidson! Congratulations, Lynn. To receive your free copy of Rush of Heaven, simply contact me with your mailing address and we’ll get it right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s your direct Amazon link to Rush of Heaven. You know you don’t want to miss this one!

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Thank you, dear friends, for another great Opps Tuesday at the Christian Writer’s Den. Be sure to come back next week for a learning experience from another great author!

Write on!

Vonda

 

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Parting Words From The WORD…Our Words or His Power?

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

The message of Jesus is simple–so simple that even a child can understand. And yet, we so often wrestle with finding words that will elevate us in the eyes of our listeners.

Of course, I’m not saying we shouldn’t speak clearly and visually, but we certainly don’t need to make the Gospel and our words to describe it more complicated than it is.

Jesus is God’s Son.
We are sinners.
We can’t be good enough to get to heaven on our own.

We need a Savior.
That Savior is Jesus.

He is the sacrifice for our sin.
He took the punishment we deserve.
We believe it.
We accept the gift He offers.
And we are clean.
End of story.

Simple words, clearly spoken, and powerfully demonstrated, just as Paul described.

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5

May we always rest in the power of His words.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Interview and Book Give-Away with Cheryl Ricker & Who Earned Another MoGo7000 Entry?

Cheryl Ricker in white

(I hope y’all don’t mind, but since there was a problem with the server and several wrote to tell me that they couldn’t see the great interview with Cheryl Ricker, I’m reposting it again. I don’t want you to miss this powerful post about an amazing miracle! I hope you understand.)

It’s the 2nd Tuesday, time to learn about another book from author Cheryl Ricker, have a chance to win a free book, and celebrate our Christian Writer’s Den family success!

 

First of all, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Cheryl Ricker and share her incredibly amazing book, Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus, co-written with Ema McKinley, and published by Zondervan. If you’ve ever doubted, this interview and book will assure you that God is still in the miracle business!

Don’t miss Cheryl’s bio below, but I’ll just say here that Cheryl and I met years ago, I believe it was at an Advanced Writers and Speakers Association conference in Denver, CO. She is a beautiful young woman, inside and out, and I’m blessed to call her my friend!

Let’s get started, but don’t forget to leave a comment for Cheryl and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book!

Welcome, Cheryl. Thanks for joining us today. First of all, would you tell us about what it’s like to be a collaborator?

I’d be happy to. First of, it was a huge answer to prayer that God even chose me. I asked him to put it on Ema’s heart and that’s exactly what he did. He spoke to Ema in the middle of the night and told her, “Pick Cheryl Ricker to write your book.” And I’ll never stop thanking him for that.Cheryl Ricker cover Rush of Heaven

A collaborator is a lot like being an actor, screenwriter, director, and producer all rolled up into one. As the producer, you need to pull together all your resources, your research, and all the different people you need to interview. As the director, you need to figure out all the people you’d like to have in the story. Then you need to plan how you’d like to include them. As a screenwriter, you need to map out the all the scenes, conversations, and dialogue. And finally, as the actor, you need to become your main character. You need to need to think like her, feel like her, and act like her—so you can pull it off to write like her.

Great analogy. Speaking of scenes, can you tell me your favorite scene in Rush of Heaven?

I love all the scenes, I really do. But I think my favorite scene, besides the big miracle scene itself, is when Ema surprises her sons and grandsons after her miracle healing on Christmas Eve. For some reason, that one makes my husband cry a little more than the other scenes, and I love making my husband cry—about good things.

Cheryl and Ema with their book, Rush of Heaven

Cheryl and Ema with their book, Rush of Heaven

But think of it: You have this crooked woman who has been confined to a wheelchair for more than sixteen years. She has never been able to really give her grandchildren a decent hug. All of sudden, she’s standing in front of them with her arms wide open. Okay, go grab me some more tissues.

Me, too, Cheryl! I’m curious, are you anything like Ema McKinley? And was it difficult to get inside her head and write her story?

We have our similarities, but when it comes right down to it, Ema and I are quite different in the way we think, act, and speak.

Because of this, I just needed to “learn” how to get into her mind. And that came from listening to her voice in my ears umpteen hours a day. As I listened to the MP3s of my interviews, it didn’t take long before I found myself catching her phrases in everyday speech. I said “oh my goodness” more, and “absolutely.”  And “I just thank my Jesus.”

I became a little Ema impersonator.

By the time I finished writing Rush of Heaven, Ema told me, “It’s like we’re one voice.” And I couldn’t agree with her more.

What do you want your readers to take away from this book?

I want readers to know that our loving Creator is right there, smack in the middle of their ashes, ready to piece them back together and give them a smokin’ wild story for his glory.

And I want people to know that you can’t put God in a box.  If he truly never changes, he can truly heal people today.

Amen, Cheryl, amen! Friends, here’s Ema McKinley’s interview with CBN.com. A great way to end this interview. You won’t believe what you see!

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Thank you for joining us here today, Cheryl. And readers, if you’d like to win a copy of Rush of Cheryl Ricker in whiteHeaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus, simply leave a comment for Cheryl or Ema, and you’ll be in the drawing. Be sure to return next week to see if you’re the winner!

You can get your own copy of Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus here!

Bio: Cheryl Ricker has an honors degree in creative writing from York University in Toronto, Ontario. She studied theology at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, where she participated in drama outreach, street evangelism, and prison ministry. She is the author of three books, including Rush of Heaven, A Friend in the Storm, and Kernels of Hope. She’s also published news stories, poetry, articles, and devotionals, and speaks to audiences of all ages on trusting God’s love, expecting the impossible, and growing in intimacy with Jesus. To learn more about Cheryl, feel free to sign up for her Fresh Air Blog at http://www.CherylRicker.com

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mogo7000 logoSusan Baganz has another new MoGo7000 entry!

That’s right–Susan has earned another entry for the $100 in cold, hard cash! (Well, it’ll actually be a check, but hey, she can take it to the bank and have it turn into cold, hard cash, right?)

So, #22 is Susan Baganz with 15,719 words

Friends, don’t forget–NaNoWriMo totals also work for MoGo7000 totals, so you could have a double blessing just by working on your book this month!

Don’t know what we’re talking about? Check out the MoGo7000 Challenge page and you could be in the drawing for November and December…and maybe you’ll be $100 richer in January!

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Well, that does it for another Writer’s Headline Tuesday. Be sure to return next week to see who won Cheryl’s book and to see a new list of writing opportunities compiled just for you!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…He Delights in Me

Image courtesy of Steve White/ChristianPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Steve White/ChristianPhotos.net

Last weekend, I had the joy of getting away on a Dash-Away weekend with 11 other sisters (most of whom I didn’t know) to focus on our relationship with and worship of the Lord. What a powerful weekend it was! Many received breakthroughs and whispers from God’s heart, and I was one of them.

As we were sent out to spend time with the Lord and seek His face, I had one issue on my mind: With balancing so many plates at once, what am I supposed to give up in order to please Him and honor Him with my time and energy? There was nothing I wanted to give up, I wanted to do it all! But was I taking on too much simply in an effort to perform and earn my salvation?

I made a list of all the things I have going on right now and then asked the Lord to show me what I should let go of, what didn’t please Him, even though it was a good thing. I asked Him to show me if anything I was doing was simply out of a drive to perform rather than His guidance. I was shocked by the answer.

I won’t go into all the details, but after directing my mind to a safe, loving memory of my daddy and me floating on inner tubes at Tybee Island, I received a precious, new impression of how my sweet Daddy’s love for me pales in comparison to my heavenly Daddy’s love.

I remembered how often I would “perform” for my daddy . . . and how he loved it when I did. It didn’t matter if I was singing or playing the piano or acting or being goofy or dashing across the goal line as a PowderPuff half back, my daddy would always delight in my performance and often wanted to share it with family and friends.

And the more he delighted in me, the more I wanted to perform. It wasn’t that I had to, but that I wanted to. I didn’t do it to earn his favor, I did it because of his favor. I delighted in seeing his delight.

As I reviewed those scenes from my memory, I clearly heard my heavenly Father say, “I delight over you when you serve out of my love.” What? He delights over me, even in all my busyness? Could He possibly be like my daddy and delight in my “performance” of these specific good things? I felt Him say yes.

What a weight was lifted off my shoulder. I didn’t have to give up anything! And although that doesn’t remove the stress and pressure that sometimes comes with ministry and good works, it did free me to know that–at least for now–I was working within His will for my life.

I was delighted to think of my heavenly Father sitting in the stands or the audience or on the den sofa, smiling at me, filled with delight at my “performance” for Him. And now I know He wants me to continue to share with others.

It’s a great place to be.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

 I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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