Tuesday, March 29, 2011

5 Reasons You Need to Write (Sing, Dance, Paint, Work) Free of Charge

I make money writing, speaking and singing. Not a ton, but it helps me buy clothes to wear to writing conferences and gas to travel to speaking engagements.

Sometimes I write for nothing. Why would I do such a thing? And why should you?

1. When we give our time and talents with no expectation of return, we’re saying “Thanks” to God for all He’s given us.

2. We gain experience when we practice our craft, whether we receive a paycheck or not.

3. Working free is a means of planting seeds for future paying jobs (see Galatians 6:7).

4. All publishing (speaking, singing, working) credits added to our resume’ count, whether we earned money for them or not.

5. We show love to others when we volunteer our services. And love is the greatest thing in the universe.

Kitty love

Even if you regularly receive pay for your work, have you also found great rewards in offering your talents as a gift or favor?

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's Not All up to You

I discovered a surprising phenomenon many years ago when our family traveled and sang in churches: the amount of benefit a person derives from a song is not entirely up to the performers.

Some audiences were so openhearted, they pulled the music from us. Ministering to them was as easy as eating raspberry truffles. Other crowds sat stony-faced, daring us to help them grow. Singing to them was slow torture.

So I began praying that the Lord would send exactly whom He wanted to our concerts-not one person more or less than those who needed to hear our message of grace, and would receive it. It worked.

I’ve employed the same method in my speaking. If I pray for exactly the right audience, the crowd is eager to learn and grow, and the message flows from my heart like warm honey.

Now, I believe the Lord is calling me apply this principle to my writing. I will ask that He lead the ones He wants to hear my words, to my columns, articles, blog, and eventually my books. I will pray that their hearts be open to the message I present to them, and that God will use my words to enrich, even change their lives.

What a privilege to work for the Master! How humbling that He would use me to speak His grace to hope-starved hearts. But I must do more than write His messages. I must pray for my audiences to receive them.

If you are a writer, an artist, a speaker, a dancer, or a singer, do you pray for your audiences?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

7 Time Savers for Writers--or anyone serious about making a difference in the world

I know you are not average, ordinary, common folk who don’t care whether your life counts or not. You are serious about your passions, and want to prove it by making a positive difference in the world. Here are some time-savers for destined-for-success individuals like you:

1. Get up earlier. Even fifteen minutes can help you get a jump-start on the day, and add extra motivation to your dreams.

2. Pray. I know you know that you reap whatever you sow (Gal. 6:7). If you spend time worshiping God and praying for others and yourself, He will give you back more time to pursue your aspirations (or just wash the dog!).

3. Turn off the TV. If you need entertainment, read. Readers are leaders.

4. Make friends with visionaries and positive thinkers and talkers. Their lives will inspire you, and help you make the best use of your time.

5. Stay away from doubters and negative talkers. They will drain the energy from you.

6. Unless you find cooking energizing, use simple recipes that require few ingredients and short prep time.

7. Delegate.

Any I missed, that you’ve found helpful in saving time?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Winners and Wranglers

The Winner of Patti Lacy’s newest book, The Rhythm of Secrets, is Rhonda Schrock from The Natives are Getting Restless, a warm, humorous blog about Rhonda's adventures in raising four boys.

Congratulations, Rhonda! I know Patti’s brilliant writing will bless and inspire you.

I believe all readers and writers are winners, because words contain the power of life and death. God said that. He also said to live at peace with everyone, as much as it depends on you. However…

Do you ever wrangle with your spouse, parent, sibling or co-worker about silly issues? Kevin and I got in a dumb argument this morning over how the foam insert in my post-surgical boot was constructed. By the time he dropped me off for work, I was so mad, I was ready to head for Colorado and wrangle a herd of horses!

What is the silliest argument you’ve ever had?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Has God Ever Surprised You?

Has God ever surprised you with the way He does things?

If yes, you'll enjoy my Baby Plans story today at The Pastor's Wife Speaks. 

I won't be surprised if it builds your faith to expect more from the Lord!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Maggie: There's One in Every Family

Does your family have at least one drama queen or king? I thought so. Join me today at Army of Erma's, where I tell about Maggie and her home repair brouhaha. I think you'll relate.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Vacations of the Soul

When your mind is numb from grief and your soul is sore from responsibility, where do you go for a mental vacation?

How do you rest your heart?

I'd love to hear the ways the Shepherd leads you into
paths of peace.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lacy's Best Book Yet: The Rhythm of Secrets and a Giveaway!

Would you like to read a book that:

1. Overflows with suspenseful, palpable tension;

2. Employs a musical theme, woven into the plot;

3. Has a satisfy-your-heart ending;

4. Is written in a gutsy, courageous, bold style;

5. Shows that secrets separate, but truth unites;

6. Reveals the redemptive work of God over evil;

7. All of the above?

Then you will love The Rhythm of Secrets by my friend and stellar author, Patti Lacy.

I know a book is a winner when I find myself praying for the characters as I read. I prayed my way through Rhythm, Patti’s third novel and finest work yet. First, I wept and prayed for the young girl Sheba, raised by unconventional but loving parents in jazzed-filled New Orleans. Then, I railed and prayed for love-thirsty teenager, Sheila—a name change forced by her cruel grandmother--when she must give her illegitimate son away. Finally, I held my breath and prayed for the mature Sheila Franklin, as she chooses to reveal her secret past and help her son, risking the love of her husband.

Because Patti is a people person who considers writing a ministry, the human element is a bright star in all her stories. She loves to shine the light of redemption into darkened lives, proving that no pit is too deep for God’s love. Rhythm of Secrets is a tremendous example of Lacy’s passion to minister to deep places in a women’s hearts—places that hold secrets only God can heal.

If you would like to enter to win a free copy of Rhythm of Secrets, please leave a comment below, with your email address. Contest ends at noon on Wednesday, March 16th. I will announce the winner on Friday, March 18th.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Are you Trying too Hard?

From my prayer journal many years ago…

Lord, I need encouragement today. I really don’t want to go by my feelings, or I wouldn’t have a good day at all. I know I have to choose joy and choose to have peace rather than turmoil, but I need Your help even in the choosing. I need you to show me what to do and how to think in order to choose joy rather than sorrow. And I need You to send me encouragement, because right now I just don’t care about anything. To care would mean work, and I’d rather rest and sleep and escape.”

Jeanette, I don’t want you to CARE. I will care for you. When you TAKE CARE, it means you aren’t giving me a chance to help you and care for you. You are trying to do it yourself and that’s pride. When you let go and relax, My spirit takes over and gets the job done in an almost effortless way. You know it’s Me when you don’t have to struggle to get it and struggle to keep it. For Me to carry you, you need to simply relax and not wiggle down and run off. Trusting Me means allowing Me to carry you.


I am forever amazed at the timelessness of God’s words. I hope His shepherding of my heart spoke to yours today. May you rest in Him, allowing Him to care for you.



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Finding Encouragement from a Crazy Driver

If you've lived on the planet more than five minutes, you've compared your talents to others', and felt cheated.

I hope my fun story about the worlds' worst driver** at The Pastor's Wife Speaks encourages you to like yourself better, and believe in your special gifts.

**It was a man!