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Bob Robinson

Visit (re)integrate

The Fragrance of Suffering

Being the aroma of Christ in the world. The priest walks down the center of the church, waving an urn of burning incense. The sweet smell fills the church as an act of worship to God, and all are reminded of the sacrifice of Christ, of how his sacrifice wafts to and fro, from the ...
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Amy Sorrells

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Interview with Nel Stewart, a main character from Then Sings My Soul

Happy Monday! I am so excited to have a guest with me today on my blog. She’s one of the two main characters in my novel, Then Sings My Soul, which releases in just a few short weeks. Her name … Continue reading →
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Tom Volkar

Visit Delightful Work

Delightful Work Rides Again at a New Location

Copyright © 2015 Tom Volkar. Visit the original article at http://coreu.com/delightful-work-rides-again-at-a-new-location/.This post is for all of you faithful Delightful Work subscribers. I’ve been wrtiing again at Coreu.com. Please join me to subscribe to my blog there.  Here are some recent posts if you want to know what I’ve been up to. How to Live a […]

Duane Scott

Visit Duane Scott ~ Scribing the Journey

lost in love

Someone once said, “Let my heart be broken by the […] The post lost in love appeared first on Scribing the Journey.
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Glynn Young

Visit Faith, Fiction, Friends

On Being a Writer: Discovering Who You Are

When did I first decide I was a writer?Perhaps it was when I was 10, and wrote a mystery story longhand.It might have been the summer before I started journalism school in college, and I had to teach myself to type (it was a required skill for journalism). Or later that same year, when I received a B+ on my first class assignment with the note, “Not bad for a cub.” Or when the grader for my American history class gave me an A on a test, with a scribbled “well written essay” at the top of the first page.I know that by the time I was writing speeches for other people, around 1975 or 1976, I was also writing short stories. For more than 35 years of my career, I’ve been involved in speechwriting. It’s perhaps the toughest job in corporate communications (or any other kind of communications). You’re writing for another person. To do your job well, you have to write like that person speaks. That means you have to listen more than you talk.Speechwriting is also a rather anonymous, despite the tendency of presidential speechwriters to rush out with a memoir as soon as they’ve left the West Wing of the White House. Someone else takes credit for everything you write in a speech. That is, unless the speech doesn’t go well. Then it’s all your fault. Most people in communications hate speechwriting. If you’re writing for the CEO, you have to keep reminding yourself you’re not the CEO’s friend, or even his or her colleague, no matter how friendly the CEO might seem. You’re there as a professional writer. I’ve seen several careers flame out because the writer though he or she was the CEO’s friend, chatting the CEO up, repeating things the CEO said, sharing the CEO’s jokes. All of those activities tell everyone that the writer has a bad self-image, and is seeking to inflate his or her importance. I didn’t mind the anonymity. I did mind being at the CEO’s beck-and-call on nights and weekends. I did like the largely solitary work. I didn’t like the politics surrounding the CEO’s speeches. One CEO I worked for was so sensitive that he had one hard and fast rule: no one in the company could see his speech drafts unless they came and asked him face-to-face for permission.That cut out a lot of requests from people to “just give the draft a quick read,” usually spoken with an ingratiating smile. Speechwriting taught me to write with a voice, and that the best speeches were the ones that expressed emotion in the right way and in the right places. It taught me that the most critical part of the job was not the writing but the listening. I learned to listen, and listen hard. Speechwriting also taught me to interpret, and how, for example, to translate a rant that I didn’t know how to write into a CEO’s unspoken fear of speaking to a minority audience. And it taught me know when the time had come to confront the CEO about his abuse (you don’t do something like that lightly or without a lot of forethought about the possible consequences).I had also been around the speechwriting life long enough to know that it is very rare for a speechwriter to write effectively for both the CEO and his or her successor. Too much baggage can get in the way, and usually does. So you have to know when it’s time to do something else.In On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts, Ann Kroeker (co-author with Charity Craig) says that “writing is more than what I do or coach. I discover who I am.” It teaches you about how you think, how you react, what you believe is important, what cannot be compromised, and what is superfluous. What you read on a printed page or computer screen, no matter what the subject might be, tells you more about the writer than what is written.Photograph by Linnaea Mallette via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.
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Jim Lange

The Power of Team – The Buckeye Case Study

On Saturday, The Ohio State University Football team held their formal celebration of their recent national championship.  Though it was below freezing, there were somewhere between 40,000 – 50,000 people...

Sheila Lagrand

Visit Godspotting with Sheila

Weekend Reflection: Wait

Cadence, Waiting to Dig In to Lala and Auntie’s Birthday Cake. February, 2014.  13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see  the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14 (NASB) Shhh. It’s […]

Michelle DeRusha

Visit Graceful

Like a Jar of Expensive Perfume

Recently my nine-year-old son Rowan, a beginner violist, attempted to tune his instrument before performing a Christmas “concert” for his grandparents. After an hour of fruitless fiddling and many frustrated tears, Rowan finally allowed my dad to call a local music shop for help. They found someone willing to squeeze them in that afternoon. Two […]You just finished reading Like a Jar of Expensive Perfume! Consider leaving a comment!
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emily wierenga

Visit in the hush of the moon

An Open Letter to Mothers Who Have Miscarried

Dear Mothers Who Have Miscarried,I've lost two, and it's near torn me apart, this longing to be in heaven with my babies, but I've learned the secret to staying on earth.I learned the secret, just weeks ago, and I want to share it here with you, if I may?It was December, a cold afternoon and I was meeting in a church with a prayer team. They asked me about the babies I'd lost and I wept so hard I couldn't speak because this past spring, God had told me my Madeleine would live. And then she'd died. He'd told me about her personality, and then she'd slid from my body, and I gave birth to Stillborn Faith that day.I've been grieving ever since and sometimes it's just a white lace shoe that undoes me. Or a pink dress.  Or the sight of a woman's rounded womb.And I met with the prayer team and they prayed over me, that the Grief would end. I nodded tearfully.Following the prayer, one of the women pulled me aside and told me she'd heard a pastor speak once, on miscarried and aborted babies, and that this pastor had received a vision of a nursery in heaven. In this vision, the pastor saw a nursery filled with miscarried and aborted babies, angels watching over them, and upon reaching heaven, mothers who'd lost their babies would be given a second chance to raise them.Now, friends, I don't know that there's anything in Scripture that talks about a nursery in heaven but I also know that heaven is mysterious and unfathomable and eternal, and that a nursery is something akin to the loving character of God the Father. He may just give us a second chance to raise our babies.I breathed long and hard and fast after she told me this. Because if this nursery does exist, then suddenly God's words to me in the spring made sense: his words saying that my baby would live (even though on earth, she died); his words describing her personality, as though she were already alive.Because no life is lost to Jesus.The night I lost my first child, I had a dream, even as I slept: a little girl with golden curls sat outside my bedroom door playing with toys, and when she looked at me, she had her father's eyes. And then I looked down at my arms and there was a little boy asleep in them, but I couldn't see his face.If this nursery exists, that dream was of my daughter, playing in heaven (and the baby in my arms? My eldest son, who was conceived months later).And my daughter's waiting for me--even as your children are waiting for you.13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139)Friends?Our God does not lie.If he's told you that your baby lives? She does. Maybe not on earth. But nothing can separate us from the love of God--not even death, Romans 8 tells us.May you be filled with hope. This world is not all there is.Hallelujah.Your sister,e.*** Hey guys--I hate asking this, but I guess it's part of being a "professional" writer; I created an Author page yesterday and am wondering if you'll consider Liking me? Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/emilytwierenga. XOXOSubscribers that had been using the RSS method may have tore-subscribe and choose the non-comments feed. Old (dead) link: http://canvaschild.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/defaultNew (working) link: http://www.emilywierenga.com/feed/

Tod Bolsinger

Visit It Takes a Church

Living and leading in the light of a Christmas surrender. “What we are all searching for is Someone to surrender to, something we can prefer to life itself. Well here is the wonderful surprise: God is the only one we can surrender to without losing ourselves. The irony is that...

Jeanne Damoff

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A Word for 2015: Abide

I don’t know who originally started it, but I like the trend of choosing one word as a focus for the year. It feels less rigid than New Year’s resolutions, and as Anne-with-an-e would say, offers more scope for the imagination — like I’m standing on the edge of a vast meadow, scanning the horizon, […]
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Susan Jones

Visit Just ... a Moment

Finis~

“For last year's words  belong to last year's languageAnd next year's words await another voice.And to make an end is to make a beginning." T.S. Eliot *  *  * "Any new beginning  is forged from  the shards of the past,  not from the  abandonment of the past." Craig D. Lounsbrough *  *  * Juniper "The Juniper tree's name is derived  from the Latin word juniperus.  In Latin,
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Brock Henning

Visit Lifesummit

Unleash the Writer Within: The Essential Writers’ Companion [Book]

Unleash the Writer Within: The Essential Writers’ Companion by Cecil Murphey (Waterford, VA: OakTara, 2012) You may never fully understand your motives, but it’s still a good question to ask yourself regularly: Why do I write? — Cecil Murphey Whether you’re writing for publication or putting your life down in a journal, launching a blog or already writing professionally, here’s a book that can help you figure out why you really write, and why it’s important for you to explore the question. I had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on a few writing classes taught by Cecil Murphey, co-author of the popular book 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life. Whether speaking or writing, “Cec” embodies a down-to-earth style and “no bull” approach.  In his book for writers, Unleash the Writer Within: The Essential Writers’ Companion, Cec sits at eye-level with you, like the long-time friend who can shoot you straight about your writing, why you write, who you are as a writer, and how to work with your inner critic to improve your writing instead of warring against it. Cec offers an honest examination of his own life as a writer, his ups, downs, and doubts, and his own experiences in overcoming the challenges most writers face (and aren’t willing to admit). He also asks tough questions, including one that I believe lurks around every budding writer’s psyche—is writing really your gift? Check out more on Cecil, his books, and his speaking schedule via his website, www.cecilmurphey.com. The post Unleash the Writer Within: The Essential Writers’ Companion [Book] appeared first on Brock Stephen Henning.

Heather Holleman

Visit Live with Flair

The Stories You Tell Again and Again

Today I teach the Advanced Writing students about writing their "Signature Stories" for their professional development. It's such a fun and meaningful assignment. We look at the key stories that have shaped our ideas about work and adulthood.They choose one life story, and they craft the tale in five pages of vivid verbs, varied sentence patterns, sensory detail, dialogue, and tension. We talk about how to present an unanswered question that promises a delayed revelation. We talk about creating mood and mystery. We talk about important characters in our stories.We talk about why this story must be told.I tell them a few of my own Signature Stories like the Neighborhood Fitness Group, my decision to write a daily blog, the day I became a teacher, or the day I knew I was meant for graduate school. I have sets of stories about overcoming, about finding love, about parenting, and about learning. At my age, I've collected cautionary tales, adventure stories, and even my own ghost stories.Life is story. We tell the story, and we pass on wisdom, warning, insight, or just a good, hearty laugh. We tell stories because we testify in front of these witnesses who acknowledge the meaning and beauty of this one little life that has seen what nobody else has seen, in the way that it saw it, with the people it knows, in the exact location it lived.Oh, life is wonderful, mysterious, and so rich. I can't wait to read all of the stories these brilliant students will write.

Marilyn Yocum

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Dumping My Blog

I’M THINKING OF DUMPING MY BLOG - been thinking it a while - but is it one more step away from writing? Or toward it? Unsure. I admitted to these very thoughts while riding to church a few weeks ago and wouldn’t you know it? The morning’s passage included “immediately they left their nets.” I […]

Marni Arnold

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Good Girls Aren’t Supposed to Hate Their Mothers

“I could not find a book that explained that this phenomenon of feeling unmothered could be a real deal and that here could be mothers who are not maternal. Nor could I find a book that discussed the conflicted feelings that... The post Good Girls Aren’t Supposed to Hate Their Mothers appeared first on Marni Arnold.