When Crumbs are Enough – M. Laycock

Our Bible study group pondered over one of the
miracles of Jesus the other night. It’s a passage in Matthew 15 that describes
how the crowds followed Jesus to a remote area, bringing the lame and blind and
demon possessed before Him. And he heals them – thousands of them. Then the
passage says that he had compassion on the people because they had not eaten
for three days. So He told His disciples to find food for them. Food for 4,000
people. In the middle of nowhere. No restaurants nearby, no caterers ready and
willing to serve, not even a village where they could get a few vegetables and
bread. 
 

Of course the disciples are nonplussed. They tell
Jesus what He already knows. They don’t have the means to feed so many. Then He
asks them a simple question. “How many loaves do you have?” (Matthew 15:34) We
can imagine the disciples showing him the seven loaves and the few small fish.
Then Jesus tells them to have the crowd sit down. I wonder what they thought
then. Did they think there was going to be a riot if they did not provide food
for so many? Did they think Jesus was foolhardy to make it seem that they
could? Why was he expecting so much of them?
The miracle that occurs then showed them, and us,
that he was not foolhardy. Neither was he expecting too much of them. He knew
exactly what they had and what they were capable of. But this was the God of
the universe, the one who created those few loaves and fish. The miracle that
occurs then showed them, and us, that even a small offering was enough, when it
was put into the hands of a mighty God.
When I published my first devotional book, Spur of
the Moment, I thought it would be a very small local effort. I was nervous about
ordering 500 copies and I was amazed when they sold out quite quickly. I was even
more amazed when I saw that little book travel to some very far away places –
places like India and England, Mexico and the South Pacific. Then God started
to show me what He can do when a small thing is put into His hands. 
I began receiving letters and emails and
even a few phone calls telling me how that small book had changed their lives.
God had a plan. It was not my skilful inspiring
words that can change someone’s life. It was God’s Spirit that moved the hearts
of his people through the words in a small devotional book. And sometimes he
does it through a mystery or a romance or a fantasy novel. God has a plan to
heal and restore, to instil a renewed faith and to bestow joy beyond our
wildest dreams upon the lives of His people, through our words.
So, how many loaves do you have? Does it
seem like only a few crumbs in the face of a great need? Be encouraged. Jesus
will take those crumbs and make them enough. In fact, He will make them into an
abundance of blessing as they are fed to those who hunger for them.
So offer them up. Then stand back and
watch.

****

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta
Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She
was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel,
One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been
endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. Marcia’s
second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed in the contemporary
fiction category of The
Word Awards
. Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for
writers can be downloaded here.
Visit Marcia’s website

 

Glad To Be Here! What’s Your Story?

Hey Rocketeers!

I’m so thrilled to be a part of this amazing Novel Rocket team.

Thank you Gina and Ane for inviting me. So many of my friends are here. Especially you, Jim Rubart!

What’s my story? Isn’t that such a common phrase?

“What’s your story?”

“What’s his story?” Or “Her story?”

With Robin Jones Gunn

All of life is a story.

Recently at the ACFW conference, the lovely and fabulous Robin Jones Gunn started each of her keynote sessions with, “I want to tell you a story…”

That simple phrase moved me to the edge of my seat. What was she going to say?

With emotion and depth, humor and tears, Robin shared how God changed her dreams to be His dreams.

She moved me from laughter to tears every time.

I’ve known Robin for years but we don’t get to see each other often. Yet every time we do, it’s love! We are sisters of the heart. And we are also sisters of the story.

When she tells a story, my heart comes alive. Not only because of her storytelling ability, but her amazing love for Jesus.

Robin inspired me. Touched me. Healed me with her words. Challenged me. As all good stories should whether written or spoken.

Clowning with Frank Peretti

So what’s my story?

I started writing in ’93, a year after I’d married my darling husband, henceforth known as Hubby.

Christian fiction was in it’s infancy. World War II novels were all the rage.

Frank Peretti was wowing us all with This Present Darkness, and Lori Wick was the queen of romance. Brock and Bodie Thoene were the king and queen of historicals.

We purchased our first computer and I sat down to write. And I wrote and I wrote, for two year, on an epic WW II saga.

It was well rejected.

So, I found myself back in the corporate world and the season of writing subsided. However, I attended a couple of writer’s conferences and joined American Christian Romance Writers. Yep, ACFW started as ACRW.

Eventually, I sold my first novel through a partnership with author Lynn Coleman.

I left the corporate world in ’04 to write full time and bless the Lord, I’ve been at it for nine years now.

You see, writing is a process.

We want it to be quick, don’t we? We want everything to be “now!”

We envy those who have a “fast rise” to the top. But some of those fist rises also quickly fall or stall.

Novel writing takes time, discipline and heart. Readers grow over years with each passing book. 😉

I’ve had some tough lessons in this publishing gig. Been disappointed. Felt kicked in the gut a few times.

But I knew one thing — there was no place I’d rather be.

In the middle of writing a difficult book, the Lord gave me a verse. Isaiah 41:13:

For I am the Lord your God,
who upholds your right hand,
Who says to you,”Do not fear, I will help you.”

Wow, I was encouraged. The writing was going to get easy now.

Nope.

A few month later I said, “Hey, Lord, I thought you said You were going to help me.”

He said, “What makes you think I’m not?”

I hammered the table. “Because it’s hard.”

Then I burst out laughing.

Ah-ha, I understood. Just because something is difficult, hard, requires long suffering does not mean God is not in our midst, helping.

We have to see with those “spirit eyes” Paul talks about in Ephesians.

Look, life is a story — with a beginning, middle and end.

It’s what we do with the pages in between that matters.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

So, what’s YOUR story? I’d love to chat with you about your life? What’s going on?

***

Best-selling, award-winning author Rachel Hauck loves a great story.

With a love for teaching and mentoring, Rachel loves to come alongside writers and help them craft their novel.

She is on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship for their annual conference. Recently, she was named ACFW 2013 Mentor of the Year.

She is also the Book Therapist for My Book Therapy. Otherwise, she lives in Florida, where she is also a worship leader, with her husband and  dog.
Her novel, The Wedding Dress, was named Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year. Her latest release, Once Upon A Prince, earned starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly.

Mastering Your Craft

by Edie Melson

When
someone asks me what I do or where I work, I always hesitate to mention that
I’m a writer. Not because I’m ashamed of it or think I’m not worthy to be
called a writer, but because it often leads to some frustrating conversations.
Let me see if any of you can relate to some of my experiences. 
  • “I’ve always wanted to
    be a writer. Can you help me?”
  • “I have a
    book I’ve written. Can you send it to a publisher for me?”
  • “I used to write in high
    school—maybe you could look at a few things and tell me what you think.”
  • “I’ve been through (fill
    in the blank
    ) and want to write a book about it. Can you tell me how to get
    it published?” 

Don’t
get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently wrong with these questions, the
problem comes when I answer them. I’ve found that most people don’t really want
to hear the truth—they want a shortcut to fame and fortune, not the
truth. 
  • There’s no shortcut to
    becoming a professional writer. It takes time and commitment.
  • I don’t have an inside
    track into getting your book published.
  • If
    I take the time to look at your samples, I’ll tell you the truth and that may
    not be what you really want.

There
aren’t any shortcuts to becoming a master at any craft, and writing is no
different. Even exceptional talent needs time and experience to hone it into
brilliance. I rejoice when I find those who are willing to put in the time and
really learn about the craft of writing. Those individuals are a pleasure and I
love taking time to help them. 
Now
it’s your turn to share. What funny situations have you encountered when you
confessed you were a writer?
Edie Melson is the author of four books, as well as a freelance editor with years of experience in the publishing industry. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands of writers each month, and she’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Her bestselling ebook on social media has just been updated and re-released as Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy and the social media director for Southern Writers Magazine. You can connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.

Publishing house opens new imprint

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas introduces new imprint:

Lighthouse Publishing of the Caroinas Logo

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas To Launch New Romance Imprint

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas will launch its new romance imprint, The Candle Light Love series, April, 2014. LPC plans to release two new books in the series every quarter.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLog (Press Release) – Sep. 13, 2013 – RALEIGH, N.C. — The Candle Light Love series will launch in April, 2014. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC) plans to release two new books in the series every quarter. Each novel will have a 55,000 to 60,000 word count, and the stories may be set in the United States or abroad. One goal of the series is to show characters struggling with their faith—much as they did in the Old and New Testament. Candle Light Love characters are flawed but saved through the blood of Christ and continue to work out their salvation through the choices they make—both good and bad.