Writing Update—First Chapter Critique

Just a quick update because I’m excited about something that happened recently. I also hope it might help other writers out there.

I’ve been working on staying focused on my writing lately and after deciding I’m not much of an outliner, I skipped the rest of the character biographies and detailed scene planning, and just started writing. I wrote six chapters, then decided I’d bite the bullet and send my first chapter in to my Facebook writing group for critique.

I’m a member of the Your Novel Blueprint group headed by Christian author Jerry Jenkins, most well-known for his Left Behind series, although he’s had over 190 books traditionally published in his 40 year career. Since there’s over 300 members in that group, there’s no guarantee he’ll see every post, but he does manage to catch most chapter or page submissions and he does a personal edit of them for us, with suggestions on how to make it better. Such a blessing!

A couple of other group members saw my submission and made comments that they liked it and were hooked or would read more, so that in itself was pleasing, but then Jerry also looked at it, so I was really happy about that (since he’s the expert😉).

When he reposted his edited version of my chapter, he apologized in advance for being so severe with his editing. Eek! 😬 Uh oh, that didn’t sound so good.

I prayed for a thick skin and a teachable spirit. 🙏🏼

But then he went on to say it’s “only because I see potential here.” (Happy dance! 😀) That’s promising! Another positive comment he made was “this is a big concept, futuristic, maybe even dystopian premise.” Coming up with a “big concept” is what every writer aims for when brainstorming story ideas, so I was tickled.

My chapter was only 582 words to begin with, but he chopped it down to 268! I left all his comments in so you can see them (in green).

Below, I’ve pasted my first chapter before editing, followed by the chapter with Jerry’s editing suggestions (just read the black and red to know what it would sound like without his comments). Remember when you read his revised version that he’s working with what I already wrote, not what he would’ve written himself.

Tell me what you think.

~~~~~

Original:

The Asylum Country of New Zealand, 2025

Fuming over the injustice of being excluded from the Deliverance Day roster, I scowled at Mum in the rearview mirror as she prattled on, but my vengeful thoughts focused on the mayor, the President, the secretive One World Order—whoever stamped my name ineligible.
“Give me a break! If I’m so special, why was my name the only one not on the list?” The fireworks from the stadium we’d just left tinted her blonde hair shades of pink and gold and blue.
“Indianna Grace Fletcher, how many times have I told you that everything happens for a reason? Your purpose will reveal itself when the time is right.” She only used my full name when she scolded me, but I didn’t care.
“Well, I’m tired of waiting! I’m going to make things happen the way I want for a change!”
T.J. covered his ears with his hands, bumping his forehead on the glass as he rocked back and forth, no doubt trying to escape the mounting tension the only way he knew how. Mum reached forward and touched his shoulder.
My twin brother, younger by the thirty minutes he got stuck in the birth canal, got the short end of the stick. Within the first few months of his life, specialists diagnosed him with a mild case of cerebral palsy, but by his third birthday, they changed the label to autistic. I squeezed his slender leg in apology.
“How on earth am I supposed to do anything great stuck in this little country the rest of the world’s forgotten about?” I said through gritted teeth.
Ruining our run of green lights, the signal at the last intersection out of town turned red, forcing the car to stop. I pouted. Big raindrops spattered across the windshield distorting the view. I knew I could override the autopilot if I wanted to. It couldn’t be that hard to drive manually—after all, people did it all the time years ago.
Tired of peering through smeared splatters as we sat at the empty intersection, I slapped the steering wheel with the heels of both hands, and gripped it till my knuckles turned white. “Come on!”
“Calm down, Indie. Everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. It always does.”
My rebellious streak kicked in. Maybe I can stow away. Or maybe I’ll just marry Hayden! He’s already got a scholarship to Stanford. Surely the stupid authorities can’t stop a wife from leaving with her husband.
“Don’t get any wild ideas now!”
I frowned. I hated when Mum read my mind.
“Destiny has a way of showing up when you least expect it. You’ll see.”
For some reason, her usual calming tone grated on my nerves tonight. It was the same spiel she’d been spoon-feeding me my whole life. I rolled my eyes. Give it a rest, woman!
Finally, the light turned green and the car accelerated forward.
Stop!
I jumped, surprised to hear my brother’s thought loud and clear in my head for the first time in several years, but he echoed my sentiments exactly. Yeah, buddy, Mum needs to stop, doesn’t she?
I jumped again as T.J. smacked both hands flat against the window. Two huge headlights barreled towards us. I jerked the wheel to the right. The truck slammed into the left side, throwing us into a roll. The din of crumpling metal and shattering glass wasn’t enough to drown out our screams.

~~~~~

With Jerry’s editorial suggestions:

The Asylum Country of New Zealand, 2025

Fuming over [resist the urge to explain; if she’s fuming, we know she considers it an injustice] being excluded from the Deliverance Day roster, I [confusing; I would have assumed Mum was driving and the main character was seeing her from the back seat] [already established] vowed revenge on whoever in the One World Order deemed me ineligible. 

[sorry, but this is a big concept, futuristic, maybe even dystopian premise that is diminished by this whole whining to Mum car scene; makes it sound like a typical coming of age tale—and it can be much bigger than that] Why was mine the only name not on the list? [not sure what this means; she’s literally the only one who won’t be delivered, or the only one in her family—including her CP brother?]  [if this is that big a deal, it shouldn’t be rehearsed off stage after it’s over; maybe start there] [this has become one of the most overused clichés of this genre; editors see it as a lazy way to work in someone’s whole name, and it’s always in this context, an exasperated parent addressing an irrepressible son or daughter]  [that quote may be realistic, but it’s so vapid it just slows the story].

I was tired of waiting, determined to make things happen the way I wanted for a change.

T.J. covered his ears, [what else would he cover his ears with? 🙂] bumping his forehead on the glass as he rocked[redundant; that’s what rocking is], no doubt trying to escape the mounting tension the only way he knew how.  [your best bet is to leave Mum out of this; main character should be on the run with her brother; maybe even stole the family car]

My twin brother, younger by thirty minutes had been diagnosed with  mild cerebral palsy, but by age three, he had been labeled autistic. I squeezed his slender leg in apology. 

“How on earth am I supposed to do anything great stuck in this little country the rest of the world’s forgotten about?” I said.[let your choice of dialogue words do the work so you can resist the urge to explain] 

Ruining our run of green lights, the signal at the last intersection out of town turned red,[we know 😉 ]. I pouted. Big raindrops spattered across the windshield. [ditto] [omit needless words] I could override the autopilot. [omit needless words]  People drove manually all the time years ago. 

[cliché] “Come on!” 

Maybe I can stow away. Or maybe I’ll marry Hayden and follow him to Stanford. Surely the authorities couldn’t stop a wife from leaving with her husband.

[yes, please; this is the reason most editors want adults excised from YA books]

Finally, the light turned green and the car accelerated[assumed; give the reader credit] . 

Stop! 

I jumped, surprised to hear my brother’s thought loud and clear for the first time in years.  T.J. slammed both hands against the window. Two huge headlights barreled towards us. I jerked the wheel to the right. The truck slammed into our left side, throwing us into a roll. Crumpling metal, shattering glass, screams

 

~~~~~

It clicked after I thanked him for saying I had potential that he wasn’t talking about my writing as much as he was the story, but that’s okay. I realized I still have a lot to learn and as Jerry says, “All writing is rewriting.”

And because of his comments, I started the story over beginning with my protagonist at the stadium during the big announcement. I’ve also decided to change it up so that my protagonist is not excluded from the list, but that the car accident will happen after a celebratory drink or two and her boyfriend or best friend will die, and so she has to live with survivor’s guilt. Then she finds out her mum and brother are missing…

 

©️ 2018, Mia Manumit, https://calledtobeawriter.wordpress.com

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Blogging Break

Hi guys, hope your day, week, and summer (for those in the Northern Hemisphere🌞) is going well. I don’t know about you but my summer feels busy so far.

Maybe it’s because of extra time spent with the grandkids while they’re out of school.

books-1841116__480Maybe it’s because I’m falling further and further behind on my reading list (including everyone’s blogs). 😔

Maybe it’s because of our upcoming vacation in 3 months, for which we still need to arrange flights to and from Rome, book a hotel for the night before our cruise leaves and for a few nights afterwards in colosseum-3456772__480Rome, pick out and pay for our shore excursions for each day the ship is docked in a different port, check on travel insurance, and secure boarding for our diabetic cat at the vet’s (for an exorbitant fee) while we’re gone.

Maybe it’s because I know I really need to get my remaining ovary surgically removed before vacation and before I end up regretting it (because of my increased chance for cancer with a positive MSH6 gene for Lynch Syndrome). I’ve been putting it off because I don’t want to go through those first few days of recovery.

girl-3041375__480Maybe it’s because I want to finish my book by November 1st but haven’t even got a rough draft anywhere near completed yet.

If I’m honest, that last reason is the clincher for why I’ve decided to take a break from blogging for at least 3 months.

Is it only me or does blogging take a lot of time—not only the writing, but the reading of other people’s blogs, then liking and commenting on the posts, and replying to comments when people return the favor by visiting my blog?

I’ve allowed blogging to take precedence over my novel writing time and the more time I stay away, the less confident I feel in my ability to write a book.

For a long time now, the devil’s been working hard, distracting me and feeding me lies (and I’ve been listening). Trouble is, I started to believe them and assimilate them into my own thinking. Thoughts like, “It’s too hard!” or “I can’t do this,” or “I don’t even know where to start,” or “What if I spend all that time, and go to all that trouble, and it’s terrible?” Obviously, the main reason I wrote the “Self-Talk—The Battlefield of Our Mind” post was because I needed it.

I’m disgusted with myself for listening to those lies and procrastinating myself into inertia, so it’s way past time to do something about it.

Making an announcement to take a break from blogging to work on my novel makes me very nervous, though. It terrifies me, actually. It means I’ll no longer have any excuses as to why I’m not making any progress. Now I’m going to have to follow through and get my book written. Now people are going to be expecting something at the end of my absence, a rough draft to show it was worth it.

To be quite honest, I’m afraid of failing. Failing myself, failing my future readers, failing God. Maybe this is where my faith is being tested. Please pray for me!

I apologize in advance for not reading your posts for the next few months—I really will miss them! 😢 (Although, I may reward myself after I’ve reached my writing goals for the day and sneak a few in😉)

Also, I want to let all my faithful readers know how very much I appreciate you! I hope all of you will stick around and anxiously wait for not only my next post but for my “I’ve finished the rough draft of my book!” announcement.

Until then:

  • May all your posts be inspired and inspiring.
  • May you be filled with the joy of using your writing gift and gift others by writing from that joy.
  • May you live out your purpose in life, on purpose.
  • May you live life fearlessly and wondrously, remembering you are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ by your loving Creator.
  • May you love life, live knowing you are loved, and share the love.

 

©️ 2018, Mia Manumit, https://calledtobeawriter.wordpress.com

Self-Talk—The Battlefield of Our Mind

What have you been thinking about lately? Has it been positive or negative? Have you been putting yourself down in your own mind? Are your thoughts self-defeating or do your thoughts agree with what Scripture says about you?

Sometimes I think we’re not even aware of the self-talk we have going on inside our heads, but it’s important that we become aware of it and change anything that doesn’t align with what God says about us.

pexels-photo-935944
Reading the Bible

As believers, there are some basic truths we need to mull over on a regular basis, until they sink into the very core of our belief system. We need to be sure of our new identity in Christ, given to us when we accepted Him as our Savior.

*If you haven’t yet asked Jesus into your heart and life, but would like to, follow the simple prayer at the end, then study God’s Word (you can start with the Scriptures listed in this post) to learn about who you have now become as a child of the Most High God.

There is power in the spoken word (think about how God created the heavens and the earth) and saying the following phrases out loud to yourself can help combat negative thoughts that may be going through your mind.

James 3:4-6 (MSG)
‘A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.’

We don’t need to let the devil win in the battleground of our minds.

1 Peter 5:8 (CEV)
Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.

 

lion-predator-big-cat-safari-46522

 

If you suffer with self-doubt, shame issues, and poor self-esteem, it is especially important to practice saying the following out loud to yourself on a daily basis (or many times a day, if necessary).

 

Repeat after me:

  • I was known by my Creator before He formed me, 
  • I was skillfully woven together in my mother’s womb,
  • I was planned by God, to be in this place at this time,
  • I am a child of the living God, I was chosen by God to be adopted into His family,
  • I was created with purpose,
  • I am extravagantly loved by God,
  • God knows everything I think, say, and do before I think, say, or do it, and He still loves me! 
  • I am a special, unique, one of a kind creation; there is no one else exactly like me,
  • I am wanted by God,
  • I am no accident—nothing about me is a mistake!
  • I am valuable; I am God’s treasure and of great worth in His sight,
  • I am acceptable and accepted just as I am,
  • I am significant in God’s sight,
  • I have been made right with God and now suffer no condemnation from God,
  • my past has been forgiven completely, therefore I’m no longer defined by my past mistakes,
  • I have been given a fresh start as a new creation with a new identity in Christ,
  • I have the mind of Christ,
  • I belong to God and my body is His temple for the indwelling Holy Spirit,
  • I have unique talents and abilities that are gifts from God. I will not bury them, but I will use them to benefit others and bring glory to God,
  • I am needed—I have my own place and function in the body of Christ and the body is incomplete without me,
  • I am important because the gifts I have been given complement the gifts in others,
  • I have everything I need to fulfill God’s purpose for my life,
  • I am guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit. 

 

 

Here’s some of the Scriptures to back up what you’ve just read:

Psalms 139:1-6  (NLT)
¹O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
²You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
³You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
⁴You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
⁵You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
⁶Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

 

 

Psalms 139:13-17 (NLT)
13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!

pregnant-518793__480

 

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us to do long ago.’

 

Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
‘For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. ‘

 

1 Corinthians 12:7,12,25,27 (NLT)
‘⁷A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.’
‘¹²The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.’
‘²⁵This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. ‘
‘²⁷All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.’

 

Matthew 13:44-46 (NLT)
“⁴⁴The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.
⁴⁵Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. ⁴⁶When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”

shell-1972980__480

 

In this parable, the man and the merchant represent God and we are the treasure, the pearl of great value! He gave everything—even His own Son—so that we could spend eternity in heaven with Him!

 

 

1 John 4:9-10 (NCV)
‘⁹This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. ¹⁰This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins.’

 

Ephesians 1:4-5,11 (NLT)
‘⁴Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. ⁵God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
¹¹Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.’

 

Titus 3:4-7 (NLT)
‘⁴But— When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, ⁵he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. ⁶He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. ⁷Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.’

 

Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
‘³⁸And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. ³⁹No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ERV)
‘¹⁹You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit that you received from God and that lives in you. You don’t own yourselves. ²⁰God paid a very high price to make you his. So honor God with your body.’

 

Romans 5:9 (NLT)
‘And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.’

 

1 John 2:27 (NIRV)
But you have received the Holy Spirit from God. He continues to live in you. So you don’t need anyone to teach you. God’s Spirit teaches you about everything. What he says is true. He doesn’t lie. Remain joined to Christ, just as you have been taught by the Spirit.

 

1 Corinthians 2:10,12,14 (NLT)
10But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. ¹²And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. ¹⁴But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.’

 

1 Corinthians 2:16 (NET)
For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to advise him? But we have the mind of Christ.

 

*If you would like to receive Jesus as your Savior, pray something like this:

Lord Jesus, I believe You are God’s One True Son. I believe You came to earth, died on the cross to pay for my sins, and after the third day you rose again, and are now seated at the right hand of God. Please forgive me for everything I’ve done wrong. Come into my heart and take over my life through the power of your Holy Spirit. Help me to love You and live for You above everything else. Thank you Jesus!

 

©️ 2018, Mia Manumit, https://calledtobeawriter.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Being the Hands and Feet of Jesus

“Also do good things for the city where I sent you as captives. Pray to the Lord for the city where you are living, because if good things happen in the city, good things will happen to you also.”
Jeremiah 29:7 (NCV)

alley-690899__480Two years ago, God laid this Bible verse on the heart of a local pastor. He met with other pastors and together they birthed a city-wide, cross-denominational mission, an annual event where volunteers offer their skills, talents, time, and money to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

picket-fences-349713__480From Wednesday through Saturday last week, over 350 volunteers from 24 churches took on projects such as painting, light construction (e.g. wheelchair ramps) and minor repairs, yard work, visiting the sick and elderly, general clean up, a food drive, and random acts of kindness including delivering thank you cards and goodie bags to first responders.

Due to our work schedule, this was the first year my husband and I have been able to participate. We were just two of fifty volunteers from our church, a pretty good turnout for a congregation of under 200 members.

cans-3225861__480We helped one day by driving around neighborhoods collecting donated food for the food drive. It worked out that we could take our grandsons, 7 & 5, with us. Even in the 90+º heat, the oldest enjoyed gathering the bags of groceries from the doorsteps as we drove around, loading them in the trunk of our car. When the trunk was full and we took all the bags back to the warehouse area, both boys got a kick out of sorting cans and boxed food and helping divvy them out fairly evenly between the four different ministries needing them—a woman’s shelter, the Salvation Army, and two local food banks.

“For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God’s people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:12 (GNT)

It was great to be a part of that mission and see the boys participate, giving their time and energy. Although, we’ve done other things with them before on occasion, like shopping for Christmas gifts to fill the Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes and buying gifts for a child off the Angel Tree, my husband and I decided we’re going to find something every month to participate in that they can help with. I’m not saying we’re very good at this yet, but we are trying to be more intentional about it and it’s never too early to teach the young ones about the value of giving and doing for others😉.

As we dropped off a load of donated food, a lady voiced a truth I had been thinking about all morning: “Shouldn’t Christians be doing these acts of service on a regular basis, not just once a year?”

As T. R. Noble mentioned in her recent post “to be a Christian means to be Christ-like. To be Christ-like means we follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ.” When we are being like Jesus, we will have compassion on others, minister to the needs of others, love others (even those who don’t love us), and put the needs of others above our own comfort.

“³Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves. ⁴Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others. ⁵Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
Philippians 2:3-5 (GWT)

The closer we are to God, the more these Christ-like behaviors will flow out of us. As we pursue a relationship with Jesus and spend time in His Word and His presence, our love for Him grows, and out of that love comes obedience, and part of that obedience is being the hands and feet of Christ in the world.hands-407388_1280

“If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”
John 14:15 (NET)

As a member of the body of Christ, this obedience shown in our thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions, and should be a daily way of life. It’s great to have an annual event to get believers from different churches together, but ministering to the needs of others should be a regular part of life, not just a special once-a-year occurrence in the lives of Christians. Don’t you agree?

“¹Does your life in Christ give you strength? Does his love comfort you? Do we share together in the spirit? Do you have mercy and kindness? ²If so, make me very happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and having one mind and purpose.”
Philippians 2:1-2 (NCV)

How have you shown the love of Christ to those around you lately?

 

 

©️ 2018, Mia Manumit, https://calledtobeawriter.wordpress.com

 

Trial by Fire

Do you ever feel like God’s preparing the soil of your heart for an upcoming trial or test? seeds-1302793__480I’ve had that feeling lately and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a test of my faith.

Am I going to lean on and look to Him for help and comfort or am I going to focus on my problems and spiral downwards into depression? If the past is anything to go on, it’s not going to be pretty.

When my faith was tested a little over eight years ago, I failed miserably. When my oldest daughter, then a senior in high school, got pregnant, I found out how shallow my faith was. I grieved over all the carefully made plans for her future that, overnight, had gone down the drain. I was overwhelmed by how much of a failure I felt as a Christian parent to have not instilled in my daughters the Lord’s design to save sex for the marriage bed only. I was focused on what people might think of me instead of on the strength of my God to get me through this trial and His ability to bring good out of what seemed like the end of life as we had planned.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course. I can see now how flawed my thinking was. My focus wasn’t on God at all, but on others—what they did, what they might be thinking—and myself—what were we going to do now? I’ve grown a lot in my relationship with the Lord since then, but I still don’t relish the idea of having the strength of my root system tested. Having a storm rage all around you, even while you’re clinging desperately to Jesus, is never fun.

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)

Failing the faith test back then isn’t the only reason I think I’m going to be tested in that area again soon. Faith seems to have been a theme in my life lately.

My husband and I just finished a Rick Warren study on faith called “Everything Is Possible With God.” We liked it so much, we started working our way through his “Daring Faith” workbook.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, we found out the founding pastor of our church was dying (See the WFAA news story here). Some years ago, he passed on the reins to our current pastor so he could fulfill the Lord’s prompting to train other pastors all round the world. He had recently returned from Nigeria, where he must have been bitten by a malaria-infected mosquito. None the wiser, though, and not one to let feeling a little under the weather stop him, he and his wife headed to Siberia for a pastor’s conference.

traffic-lights-49698__480Their first night there, he had to be rushed to a nearby hospital in a make-shift ambulance. Apparently the malaria had found its way to his brain. Cerebral malaria is usually fatal, and extremely uncommon in Siberia, for obvious reasons, which meant his wife had a hard time chasing down the only two doses of medicine available in the city.

He quickly lapsed into a coma and his health rapidly went downhill, but to cut a long story short, pleas from his wife for prayer went out over the internet. Within hours, hundreds were praying for him. Within days, thousands all round the globe were praying for him. What can I say?—he and his wife have a big circle of influence and a lot of people who love and respect them.

His story should have ended within that first couple of days, but God is good and heard the petitions of His people. Despite repeated attacks from the enemy through delays, communication breakdowns, and various difficulties, he was finally transported to Paris where he could get better medical care.

He regained consciousness and was able to come off the ventilator, his organs began functioning again, and he received powerful antibiotics to fight off multiple drug-resistant organisms in his blood. Tests showed there was no residual neurological damage, which meant he recognized his family when he woke up, was able to speak once the tube was removed from his trachea, and he’s slowly getting a little of his strength back. Praise God!

Yesterday—two and a half weeks after this nightmare began—he flew home with his wife, a doctor, and a nurse by his side to a local Dallas hospital to complete his recovery. From the very beginning, I had no doubt he would live to tell his story as part of an amazing testimony of the goodness and power of God through prayer. Already thousands have witnessed that power and their faith has been strengthened—including me.

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.”
Matthew 18:19 (NLT)

I hate that this family had to go through this terrifying ordeal, but so many believers have a renewed belief in prayer, and faith in the love and miraculous works of the Lord, after seeing the amazing example his wife and family portrayed through it all. I believe he would probably go through it again if it meant more people would come to know the Lord’s salvation.

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Matthew 28:19 (NLT)

These are good, God-fearing people fulfilling the Lord’s calling of leading others to Him and yet this happened to them. That just doesn’t seem right, does it?

Don’t you wish that when we accepted Christ as our Savior that our life would be all rosy and we wouldn’t have any problems any more? That’d be great, wouldn’t it?

No, not really.

pastedImageIf that were the case, people would be flocking to Jesus for all the wrong reasons. Sure, they might be thankful that He died on the cross, if that was what made it possible for them to get a trouble-free life, but once they’d received their ‘golden’ ticket, there wouldn’t be another thought or thanks for Him.

How could sinful people continue to live a trouble-free, pain-free life when they’re continuing in their sin anyway? I’ve heard Rick Warren say before, “Hurting people hurt people”—there’s just no way around that, without the Lord’s help—and being fallen people, many times our pain and trouble is a result of our own selfish ways and poor choices.

“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”
Titus 2:14 (NLT)

Here’s the thing about trials, tribulations, and crises, too—they don’t discriminate. Everyone is subject to them. I think it was Rick Warren who also said that in life, you’re either in the middle of a trial, just coming out of one, or just about to go into one.

If there were no rough seas, how could we appreciate the times when it was smooth sailing?

rough-sea-2624054__480The difference, though, is in how the storm is weathered. Those who have a close walk with Christ will call out to Him for help, comfort, peace, and provision, and seek prayer support from fellow believers. Those whose faith is strong will understand that God still loves them in the midst of the trial, that He hasn’t abandoned them, and that He can work all things out for good.

Those who don’t have that close walk with Christ—the kind of relationship that gives them the assurance He is on their side and the faith to believe He will fight their battles for them—will blame Him, get angry, and distance themselves even further. I know. I’ve been there. And it’s not pretty.

“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
1 Peter 1:7 (NLT)

“After all, you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”
James 1:3 (NIRV)

balance-3356549__480Trials not only strengthen our faith and endurance, but they are a way for our lives to provide a witness to those around us of how, even though Jesus may not calm the storm, He can calm us in the middle of the storm if we’ll cling to Him. You might find, too, a few rough edges may be smoothed by enduring some rough waters.

Not only that, but the trials and tribulations of this world provide an avenue for believers to be the hands and feet of Christ by ministering to those who are going through a rough time. Whether it’s through prayer, cooking them a meal, paying a bill, giving someone a ride to a doctor’s appointment or loaning them an extra car, being a listening ear, or sharing a kind word and a smile, we can comfort those who are struggling as Jesus would want us to.

“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.”
Matthew 25:35-36 (NLT)

How strong is your faith? Has it been tested lately?
How have you been a witness for the Lord in someone else’s life?

 

© 2018, Mia Manumit, https://calledtobeawriter.wordpress.com

 

“Light of the World” Award

Wow! I am humbled and blown away by two gracious nominations by T.R. Noble at Inside Cup and the beautiful soul at TeenMeetGod for the “Light of the World” award.

This award was created by Joe at Lighthouse Devotions “to honor authors (bloggers) whose presence on the web serve as a shining light for Christ and His Gospel of salvation.” The reason behind this award is what makes being nominated for it all that much sweeter.

My whole reason for blogging is to point others to the saving love of Jesus, no matter where they are in life, what they’ve done, or what’s been done to them—God is love (see 1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16), which is why Jesus died for us, even though we’re sinners (See Romans 5:8). It’s not because of anything we have done or can do, so that no one can boast, but because that’s who He is—He is full of love, grace, and mercy (see Ephesians 2:4-9) . God wanted us to be able to come into His presence and spend eternity with Him in heaven when we die (see Romans 5:21 and Romans 6:23). 

What three words would you use to describe your blog?

This was difficult, and I thought, at first, it should be: calling, redemption, and grace. But then I thought maybe it should be: Jesus, heart, salvation… I don’t know—what three words do you think best describe my blog? 

In what way(s) can a Christian shine for Christ?

By living a life worthy of our calling, loving and serving others, and pointing others to Christ by being a daily example of the life-changing effect God’s saving grace can have on each of us.

What bible verse (quote it) talks about being a light in a dark and lost world?

14Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world.”

Philippians 2:14-15

What Christian song do you know that has the word “light” in it? Provide a link if available. 

I had a hard time deciding on just one, so you get two 😉

This is “We Are” by Kari Jobe, a local (Dallas) celebrity: 

This one’s “Into The Light” by Matthew West: 

 

Here are my nominees, in no particular order:

1. Joni at https://grieftolife.com/home/  — a young mother of two who lost her husband in a fatal car accident, shares her story of pain and loss as she holds onto Jesus’ hand for strength and direction. She is truly inspiring.

2. Karen at https://possesshispromises.com — as one miraculously healed by the Lord from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, her mission is to point others to Jesus, which she does by sharing Scripture, insights, and her experiences.

3. Ron at https://ronwhited.wordpress.com — his thought-provoking and informative posts are a great source of “encouragement, instruction, and information about all things related to the Church” and it is certainly true.

4. Anna at https://avoicereclaimed.com and https://alawyersprayers.com — is a lawyer whose well-written and well-researched posts address some sensitive topics (child abuse, social issues, etc) in such touching, inspirational, and eye-opening ways that always point back to the Lord.

5. Matthew at https://jesusluvsall.wordpress.com — shares his insights as he interacts with and befriends people from all over the world (and shares Jesus with them) as an ESL teacher. He also writes some great short stories using characters from the Bible on his https://encounterswiththeancients.com website.

6. Stu at https://stubaby777.wordpress.com —as a recovering addict, Stu shares his struggles and encourages others to give it all to Jesus, highlighting the Lord’s love, grace, forgiveness, and ability to help us start over as new creatures in Christ, all the while warning the unsuspecting of the dangerous effects of porn.

7. Tosin at https://aletheasmind.wordpress.com — helps us focus on things “true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious” through her uplifting posts as she searches for answers and wisdom, all the time pointing back to the ultimate Truth of Scripture.

8. Hannah at https://barefootinaholler.com — in her own words, her blog is “a combination of a prayer journal, my walk with Jesus as a wife, mother, and friend with honesty straight from the heart” and has some really beautiful and heartfelt devotions. 

9. Cynthia at https://tearsinabottle.wordpress.com — her beautifully penned and vulnerable posts about her recovery and healing from her husband’s porn addiction speak volumes of the power of Christ in a person’s life and minister encouragement and hope to anyone recovering from any type of betrayal or trauma.

10. Jonathan at https://jonathancamac.wordpress.com — has some really powerful and in-depth posts on the Bible and every day applications from the topics he’s discussing.

11. Savannah at https://rejoicinginhope1212.wordpress.com — has some really upbeat, encouraging messages that just shine with her joy and love for Jesus.

12. Brenda at https://becominghistapestry.com — lives life to the full in the joy of the Lord and her upbeat posts strengthen others in their walk with Christ so they too can live and enjoy the abundant life.

13. Efua at https://graceoverpain.com  — has such a heart for Christ and she challenges us so gracefully and clearly in her thought-provoking posts to put Christ first and foremost in our lives.

There are so many great blogs out there that deserve highlighting and honoring with this award, but of course, some of them have already received it and have nominated others who are worthy too, so I didn’t want to double-up if I could help it.

 

Should You Accept, Here Are The Rules:

  1. Save and add one of the award images on your blog. (Here is the link for the award post with images and rules of award.)
  2. Create a page/post to mention the award nomination and thank the person/blog that nominated you. Make sure you provide a link to their site.
  3. Give credit to the creator of the award (Lighthouse Devotions) and provide a link to the site as well.  (http://www.Lighthousedevotions.blog)
  4. List the rules.
  5. Answer the next four questions on the same post:
    1. What three words would you use to describe your blog?
    2. In what way(s) can a Christian shine for Christ?
    3. What bible verse (quote it) talks about being a light in a dark and lost world?
    4. What Christian song do you know that has the word “light” in it? Provide a link if available.
  1. Nominate 7 or more people/blogs to receive the award. Briefly explain why you think they should receive it and provide a link to their sites.
  2. Contact them and let them know that you nominated them.
  3. Provide them with a link to the Rules page.
  4. Say a prayer thanking God for His light and ask that He continue to shine it through you and your blog.
  5. Keep shining the light of Christ wherever you go and in whatever you do!

 

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© 2018, Mia Manumit, https://calledtobeawriter.wordpress.com

200 followers! 💗

200 followers! Wow, thanks so much guys! Without you, my faithful readers who like my posts and leave comments, there just wouldn’t be any point, so thank you! I’m very grateful to have connected with all of you! I pray the Lord speaks through me to whoever needs to hear Him.

The following poem was inspired by Anna’s 2-part post on the sad state of our educational system. Check it out at https://alawyersprayers.com/2018/05/13/education-part-2-acceptable-violence/ —it’s definitely worth a read!

 

No Wonder

Life is the hardest test
No doubt, we do our best
When childhood wounds leave deep scars on our heart
No wonder it seems rigged from the start
And we’re left feeling like we’ve failed

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We’re not taught in our schools
Nor given the right tools
To wisely navigate life’s tough choices
No wonder we learn the loudest voices
Are the ones that get attention

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Since the Bible’s been banned
Children’s welfare is damned
Prayer in school’s not part of equal rights
No wonder gun violence, racial fights,
And bullying are so rampant

Schools funding is denied
Leaving teachers’ hands tied
No wonder they’re all taught to “Stop the Bleed”
As politicians subsidize their greed
A lesson in priorities

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“Money buys happiness”
Just promotes selfishness
No wonder people seem expendable
Integrity’s skin deep, just a label
Each man thinks only of himself

Social custom dictates
Sinful lifestyles God hates
No wonder modest views are ridiculed
When individual freedom is ‘me’-fueled
By the rich and power-hungry

Our days are filled with strife
Mental illness runs rife
No wonder there’s so many suicides
When people try to follow public tides
Yet we’re all fumbling in darkness

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An unseen dimension
Creates inner tension
Spiritual forces battle for our soul
No wonder daily struggles take their toll
Free will determines our future

Come, children of the night!
Leave the dark, choose the Light!
No wonder we crave true love and self-worth
God speaks to our hearts, He calls us forth
He longs to save us from the pit

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©️ 2018, Mia Manumit, https://calledtobeawriter.wordpress.com

May is Mental Health Month

The prevalence of mental illness is astounding in today’s world—not surprising, but staggering in how widespread it is. In 2015, an estimated 16.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the previous twelve months¹. Take a look at Sharon’s blog at https://beatdepression776.wordpress.com for a lot of good mental health information and statistics.

Another great website to check out for info and support for depression, mental illness, and substance abuse is that of Kay Warren (Rick Warren’s wife) at http://kaywarren.com. They had a son who suffered with mental illness for 27 years, until he committed suicide.

There are many people in this world who’ve had to endure some pretty horrific things growing up or they’re going through “the valley of the shadow of death” right now. Those kinds of things affect us deeply. How could they not?

I have suffered from depression on and off for forty years, but I hesitate to mention that because there’s still a stigma around mental illness, one that labels sufferers as “crazy.” For Christians, it may be just as bad or worse. Other believers may point fingers saying those with depression should have a closer relationship with the Lord, should have more faith, should be reading the Word more, or should be praying more.

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What’s true is that none of those “shoulds” is guaranteed to cure depression or any mental illness, just the same as there’s no guarantee the Lord will cure a physical illness because you did those things. I have to take medication to prevent me from spiraling down, but I see it just the same as the pill I have to take for my fibromyalgia or the pill I take to relieve pain from arthritis. It’s no different from the person who has to have an insulin shot or take a pill for their thyroid to work properly.

Even Paul was given “a thorn in his side,” an illness or handicap of some kind, that he prayed the Lord would take from him, but the Lord didn’t. Instead he allowed it to remind him of how much he needed and depended on the Lord.

⁷I could have become proud of myself because of the amazing and wonderful things God has shown me. So I was given a problem that caused pain in my body. It is a messenger from Satan to make me suffer. ⁸Three times I begged the Lord to take it away from me. ⁹But he said to me, “My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.”
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NIRV)

Each person’s root cause for depression is different and usually extremely personal. By that I mean, even though we may have things in common that we’re going through or that happened to us in our childhood, such as abuse or alcoholic parents or abandonment, that could be determined to be the root cause or trigger for our depression, each person’s experiences, environment, and learned behaviors, are unique.

Different personalities also affect how well or how poorly a person copes. A strong personality may respond with irritability and anger (I’ve heard that depression is anger directed at oneself) whereas an introvert may respond with tears or withdrawal. Sometimes our brain may even block a traumatic event from our consciousness, and I thank God He’s provided that coping mechanism for sanity and self-preservation.

Depression can be a result of a chemical imbalance, too. Just as poor nutrition, especially in the early years of development, can affect a person’s physical body and lack of human contact can affect the psychological well-being of a child, I’m of the belief that stress in itself alters the chemical balance in our brains, especially the sudden or sustained stress of traumatic experiences. It has been shown that a major life change, childhood trauma, and other situations that are out of our control such as getting a debilitating illness or being a victim of a natural disaster — all sources of prolonged stress — can cause physiological changes², such as high blood pressure, increased blood glucose levels in diabetics, stomach ulcers, and even strokes and heart attacks³, so it stands to reason brain chemicals such as serotonin can be affected, too.

Also, people respond differently to the various treatments and medications, and even to individual psychiatrists, medical doctors, or counselors. It’s important to keep trying till you find one, or a combination, that works for you.

There are things in common, though, for those who suffer from depression:

  •  Isolation makes it worse and that’s often one of the first responses to depression.  Those who are depressed don’t typically want to be around other people. The other side of that is a lot of people don’t want to hang around someone who is always depressed, negative, or complaining either. 

Unfortunately, there’s a stigma that surrounds depression (or any mental illness) and, even after thirty years in the medical field, I still hear medical professionals (who should know better) make negative or derogatory comments about those who come in after a suicide attempt, with suicidal ideation, or having a panic attack. As one who’s attempted suicide twice in my life, it angers me and saddens me when I hear those misperceptions verbalized. 

To help alleviate feelings of isolation, try getting out and doing something you once enjoyed. Have a cup of coffee with a friend, pick up that paint brush and express what you’re feeling through your art, go for a walk or to an amusement park or a concert, whatever will help make you feel alive again.

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  • Focusing on yourself and your problems only perpetuates the downward spiral. I realize it can be difficult to get out of your own head when you don’t want anything to do with anyone else, but just as a car tends follow your line of sight, we tend to follow our thoughts. When we focus on someone or something other than ourselves, it can help alleviate the self/problem focus to some degree. When we don’t have time to dwell on our own problems, our mind becomes distracted from the loops of negative thinking. This can be especially true when the focus is on helping someone who is worse off than we are. Sometimes, that’s enough to put things in perspective for us. 
  • Search out your local food bank, homeless shelter, rape crisis center, or cancer treatment center, and see if they need a volunteer. Another thing to try is focusing on Scripture, especially God’s promises. Find an uplifting verse or chapter that really speaks to you and work on memorizing it. It can’t hurt! 😉 

Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8 (CEV)

  •  Talking it over tends to help because keeping everything in is often what causes the depression in the first place. First of all, try spilling your heart out to God in prayer.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
Psalm 34:18 (NLT)

That may be all you need but if not, try talking to a counselor, a trusted friend, or jotting thoughts down in a journal. Just make sure the friend is willing to really listen. The last thing you need is someone who’s just going to spout answers to your problems and give advice, or judge you for the way you feel.

  • Laughter, it’s said, is good medicine.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
Proverbs 17:22

There are a few studies that show laughter releases endorphins (the feel-good hormones) in the brain that can help counteract the depletion of serotonin found in those who suffer from depression.  “A good belly laugh leads to the release of endorphins from the brain,” says Michael Miller, director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. That release sets off a cascade of heart-healthy biological events. Endorphins, pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters, activate receptors on the surface of the endothelium, the layer of flat cells lining blood vessels. That leads to the release of nitric oxide, which widens blood vessels—increasing blood flow, lessening inflammation, inhibiting platelet clumping, and reducing the formation of cholesterol plaque.

  • Depression and chronic pain sometimes go hand in hand and can be part of a vicious cycle. For me, when my fibromyalgia is flaring up and my pain level is creeping up on the pain scale, the more likely it is for my depression to worsen, too. Similarly, when my depression is at its worst, my body aches a lot more. Oftentimes, if you can alleviate one of them, the other will improve as well.

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  • Forgiveness is key. Holding on to past hurts does nothing but make your life miserable. Get to the root of bitterness, resentment, hurt, and anger from past injustices and ask God to help you forgive the person who wronged you. Try seeing them as a hurting person, too, one that’s loved by God just like you are, one who’s doing the best they can with where they are in life, one that’s lost in their own swirl of anger, resentment, and bitterness. Choose to release them from your negative thoughts and instead pray for them to come to know Jesus. Choose to forgive yourself for past mistakes, too.

Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you condone their behavior, but it does mean you’re not going to let it drag you down any more. Forgiving yourself and others, apart from being a command from God, is the best thing you can do for your own mental and physical wellbeing.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:13 (NLT)

  • Exercise can help. Ever heard of a runner’s high? That’s why a lot of people enjoy exercise. It gives them a high from the released endorphins and can be a great way to combat anxiety and depression.

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So, if you’re suffering from depression, don’t isolate yourself—go join a gym or call a friend for an impromptu lunch. At least do something active—go for a walk or bike ride or swim.  Try putting on some worship music and dancing for the Lord. Forgive anyone who’s hurt you or betrayed you or let you down, including yourself. Help someone else; talk it over with a friend or counselor or write it down; do something to make yourself laugh (preferably with friends!); and keep on praying and focusing on positive Scriptures.

  • Always seek professional help if you become suicidal.
  • Don’t let the devil convince you there’s no way out of your problems or that the world would be a better place without you. Neither of those things are true. In fact, my bet is the devil is trying so hard to convince you of those lies because you have a special purpose that he doesn’t want you to fulfill.
  • Fight back and don’t let the devil win!

 

And remember, you’re not alone. If you’ve ever suffered from depression, what helped you?

 

References:
1.  https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml
2.  http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037
3.  http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx
4.  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/140606-laughter-jokes-medicine-health-science-laughing-yoga/
5. https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression#1

 

(I actually wrote this piece last year sometime but removed it when I updated my site a couple of months ago. I decided to revamp it a bit and re-post it)

 

©️ 2018, Mia Manumit, https://calledtobeawriter.wordpress.com

3-Day Quote Challenge, #3

Okay, so here goes day 3 of the 3-Day Quote Challenge I was nominated for by two great members of our blogging family. Please support them and go read some of the inspiring posts by:

Stu at https://stubaby777.wordpress.com and

Stefan at https://thefourthdimensionoflife.wordpress.com.

Thanks, guys, for honoring me by nominating me for this challenge!

The rules are as follows:

Thank the person who nominated you.
Post a quote for 3 days, and explain why it appeals to you.
Nominate bloggers each day!

Once again, I’ve chosen some Rick Warren quotes (no, I can’t just narrow it down to one!😉), but instead of being society-focused, these ones are more personal. There’s so many hurting people out there (as I touched on in Day #2), but as God’s Word says,

“We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 (CEB)

I’m so thankful to know there’s a lot of bloggers out there, Stu and Cynthia being just two examples, that have turned their past mistakes and hurts into ministries to help people going through similar things.

There’s a great quote that says:

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So, based on those truths, here’s a few more quotes for today:

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Great scriptures to remember when we’re going through a tough time, are tempted, or suffer the consequences from making bad decisions in life, are:

“¹³Don’t blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil, and he doesn’t use evil to tempt others. ¹⁴We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us.”
James 1:13-14 (CEB)

“He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share this same comfort with others in trouble.”
2 Corinthians 1:4 CEV

Knowing that the bad things that happen to us are not God’s fault, but that He does allow them and other trials for our growth and so we can learn to comfort others, these quotes are good to keep in mind:

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I’ll stop now 😉. I hope you enjoyed them!

My nominations for today are:

https://fracturedfaithblog.com

https://godmakesallthingsnew.com

https://dancingafterjesus.wordpress.com

 

What are your thoughts on all these quotes? Do you have a favorite?

 

©️ 2018, Mia Manumit, https://calledtobeawriter.wordpress.com

3-Day Quote Challenge, #2

Okay, this is Day 2 of 3 in the 3-Day Quote Challenge I was nominated for by my fellow blogging buddies:

Stu at https://stubaby777.wordpress.com and

Stefan at https://thefourthdimensionoflife.wordpress.com.

Thanks, guys, for honoring me by nominating me for this challenge! Please support them and take a peek at their inspiring blogs.

The rules are as follows:

Thank the person who nominated you.
Post a quote for 3 days, and explain why it appeals to you.
Nominate bloggers each day!

Sorry this is coming out so late, but last night was busy at work and so I didn’t get much time to look for quotes. Then this morning after I got off, I caught up on some grocery shopping and laundry. After that, I drove an hour to see my daughter, who had the baby a month ago, to help her out. She has a severe case of mastitis, she’s been on antibiotics for 8 days now, but it’s no better, possibly worse. She is still running fever on and off and the pain is excruciating.

She asked me and her sister if either of us had any painkillers stronger than extra-strength acetaminophen. I told her I had some Lortab (acetaminophen with codeine) that expired about 5 years ago still in the cupboard from an old skiing accident. She said she was willing to try anything at this point.

I know, I know, you aren’t supposed to share medicines, but I was glad to have something to offer her even though I didn’t hold out much hope for its efficacy, since it was long expired. This was just to help get her through till her doctor’s appointment in the morning.

So as I’m typing this, I’ve been up for 28 ½ hours, but I wanted to get this post out before I went to bed. Personally, I’m just thankful the Lord kept me safe on the drive home (eating grapes, an apple, and smoked almonds helped😉)

Anywho…for those who don’t know yet, I’m a big Rick Warren fan, so today I thought I’d pass on a few of his pearls of wisdom. It’s too hard for me to narrow it down to just one, so you get several!

These quotes all have to do with our culture and the sad state that it’s in. I’m not going to add much to these because they’re really very self-explanatory. Our culture is blinded to the truth and focused on the wrong things.

As I cradled that baby boy, fed him, and gave my daughter a little break, we watched some TV. That’s not something I do very often (occasionally on my 30 minute lunch break at work), but we watched a sad show called Botched. It was about two cosmetic surgeons who corrected botched plastic surgeries.

There were just some really sad cases there, not only because of the deformities caused by surgeons (and some non-surgeons), but because of the mentalities behind some of the reasons for the surgeries…like the lady who’s turning herself into a human doll, the transgender cases, the models (and regular people) who were trying to attain and maintain “perfection,” you get the picture.

But the saddest part of all about most of those people is the fact that they were not accepted and loved, often abused in some way, by those closest to them as they grew up and so they didn’t like the person they were created to be.

Anyway, in a round about way, that ties into the quotes below:

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Thanks for sticking with me till the end. Hopefully it makes sense in my sleep-deprived state!

My nominations today are:

https://teenmeetgod.wordpress.com

https://becominghistapestry.com

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