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In Honor of Poetry Month: Let Me Walk In Your Shadow

Rainbow In Sky by rakratchada torsapLet Me Walk In Your Shadow

by: Joyce Latta

 

Down the road I noticed

A shadow in front of me

I realized it was my own

This was plain to see.

 

As I turned

It followed me then

And kept right at my heel

As I came around the bend.

 

It was so close

Of me it was a part

Its nearness was felt

From the very start.

 

Then a thought came

Across my mind

Let me walk in Your shadow

Until the end of time.

 

Every where I’ll look

You’ll be in front of me

And follow right behind

To shield from the enemy.

 

you will never leave me

As I walk in the light

You’ll give me strength to conquer

By the power of Your might.

 

Your shadow brings healing

And deliverance from sin

Protection from without

And comfort from within.

 

O Let me walk in Your shadow

Become a part of me

Though I look through a glass darkly

Someday Your face I’ll see.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in encouraging posts

 

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Pics to Encourage and Inspire

I have been blessed to find some great sites that have free pics to download. I thought I’d share some of them with you!

Queen Knighting a man Accolade_by_Edmund_Blair_Leighton

Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton

For you history buffs, I found this pic on wikimedia commons:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Accolade_by_Edmund_Blair_Leighton_-_complete.jpg

It is completely free and is a public domain image. You writers out there could come up with all sorts of ideas with a pic like this, historical romance, mystery, adventure. Have fun!

ID-100206020

Pink Rose And Coffee Cup Stock Photo

By samuiblue, published on 04 October 2013
Stock Photo – image ID: 100206020

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/pink-rose-and-coffee-cup-photo-p206020

Most of you know that I LOVE coffee. 

This pic came from one of my favorite free sites, freedigitalphotos.net. You can pay to get higher quality or to avoid having to attribute credit, but if you just want the pics for yourself, (or don’t mind giving credit!) have fun! (One small word of caution: This site does include pictures of women in swimwear and men without shirts, but you can avoid those fairly easily.)

What sorts of stories could you come up with a pic like this? Hmm. Why are the coffee beans spilt? Where did the roses come from? Has the coffee been drunk at all? Why one cup? Is there more to the pic than we can see? If a picture truly is worth a thousand words, let’s get our ‘words’ worth’!

Regency Couple lovecouplegfairy003b This is a pic of regency couple I found here: http://thegraphicsfairy.com/search/

All of these pics are free as well.

If any of you enjoy regency reads as much as I, this is a terrific pic for inspiration! The man is in a uniform, is he going off to war? Are they already married or just pledged to each other? What happens next?! You get to decide!

Rose from Space for Valentine's Day

This pic came from the NASA space site: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA05266

Whether you like sci-fi or not, this pic is lovely. You could come up with all kinds of romance with this picture. Do you want to create a space opera? Go for it! Or it could be simply a hero or heroine who likes to study the stars. Maybe a ‘nerd’ romance.

Of course, you don’t have to write a thing, just enjoy the pic and save it on your desk top! It’s free and public domain.

LambThis is a photo from wikimedia that I added an inspirational quote from the Bible.

You might use it to create a parable of your own or a children’s story or a story about a shepherd or whatever you would like.

ID-10026027Here’s a couple of good photos for you mystery writers out there (or those who enjoy coffee as much as I do!). These are also from freedigitalphotos.

I love a good mystery, especially with a little romance and adventure thrown in!

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Who or what are these photos of? What does the detective, amateur or professional, write in the journal? What kind of coffee does he or she drink? Does that add to the description of his character? You decide!

Topiary Knot Garden by artur84This is a Topiary Knot garden, also from freedigitalphotos.

What a fun adventure this could become! Who lives in this house? Why the interest in this type of garden? Do some research and learn about these types of gardens. Who ordered the garden? Who tends it? What sort of people visit here? Will this be a mystery, romance, adventure, or all three? Will this be historical or contemporary? You decide!

Guy with Little Red Box Behind His BackI had to include this one! It’s called ‘Guy with a red box behind his back’ and is from freedigitalphotos.

Who is the ring for? How long have they been dating? How will he ask? What is he like? What is she like? Where and when does this take place? You decide!

I love pictures. They provide so much inspiration. We were created visual beings and that’s a wonderful thing. I hope you enjoy these pictures.

God bless you and happy March!

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Author in the Trenches

 

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A Different Sort of Valentine

Every year at about this time, our pastor calls our church to a 21 Day Challenge, in which we fast from meat, sweets, and media, we commit to going to every service, and we spend 30 min of uninterrupted time in prayer to grow closer to Jesus.

I’ve been wanting more from my times of prayer. There was a craving for not just blessing, but a deeper relationship with Jesus…more. Then, a missionary came through town and happened to be selling copies of his wife’s book–on prayer! Prayer is the key to the door of a deeper relationship with the Lord, but how to pray more effectively, more…real? God is real. I want a relationship with a real Person, not a put-in-my-time, do-my-Christian-duty type prayers where all I really do is either give a laundry list of petitions or talk to the ceiling. I want God. I’ve felt His presence, I’ve seen visions and felt His power, but I want to see His face. This book was His answer. It’s absolutely fantastic–short chapters, powerful message.

Drawing Near to God: Themes on Prayer by: Cheryl Craft

Mrs. Craft together with her husband serve as missionaries in Europe. Her daughter asked her to write to her about the principles of prayer and this book was the result.

Chapter titles include: A Pattern for Prayer, Drawing Near, Set Your Affections, The Spirit of Seeking, and Life Changing Prayer, with nineteen chapters in all. I love it!

Quoted from Chapter 7, Prayer Is a Place: “It is a moment of great revelation to confess faults and sins before Him, only to discover that He loves us regardless. This is the self-revelation that has to happen before we can have a God-revelation. When we see ourselves as we are and repent, we then can see Him as He is and rejoice.”

It is very difficult for me to be this vulnerable, because I am so afraid of rejection. Yet, it is through this vulnerability that He shows His greatest love. After all, it’s useless to try to hide my faults. God knows everything, but if I am open and honest about my short-comings, the Lord can help me to overcome, move forward, and get to another level in my relationship with Him and other people around me.

In order to have any kind of truly deep connection with Jesus or anyone else for that matter, there has to be honesty and vulnerability. No one has it all together and no one is completely without fault. That’s why Jesus had to come robed in flesh and die on the cross. The ugly truth is I have done things for which I am ashamed. I need forgiveness and I need to change.

The beautiful thing is “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (I Jon 1:9). We may feel like we’ve gone too far or that we’re simply unworthy, but that’s not what the Bible says. We may feel like we can’t change, we’ll never get it right, but that’s not what the Bible says either. God’s Word says He is faithful. He will forgive us–if we ask Him to. He will cleanse us, but we have to seek Him. We have to be honest with ourselves and Jesus. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” (John 8:32). There is nothing more freeing than knowing that God considers you innocent and He is actively cleansing you, changing you into the person He created you to be. 

God’s love is greater than our failures.

February is traditionally the month we focus on love–usually romantic. Wouldn’t it be a great thing to instead focus on the greatest LOVE this world has ever known? “…God is love,” (I John 4:8).  

The two greatest things to know in this life is yourself and Jesus (God). He wants to know you and is more than happy to show you Himself. He will also help you to face yourself in order to realize all the amazing things He created you for. Who knows you better than your creator? And who loves you more? He died for YOU! But, He’s greater than your failures and your mistakes. He’s greater than death itself. And HE LOVES YOU!

This year for Valentine’s Day, take some time to spend with the One who knows you better than you know yourself, who loves you more than you can even understand fully. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God,” (Eph 3:17-19).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2014 in encouraging posts, Uncategorized

 

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New Year/New Challenges/New Adventures

ID-10031199Oh my goodness! It’s 2014 already. Where did the time go?

Every January, our pastor issues the church a 21 Day Challenge. It’s slightly different each year according to the leading of the Lord and the needs of the people. This year, we’re spending 21 Days focusing on these things:

  1. 30 min of uninterrupted prayer every day.
  2. Daily Bible reading
  3. Daniel Fast, no meat, no sweets, no entertainment media (including FaceBook, fiction books, movies, etc.)
  4. Fasting as the Spirit leads (a day, a meal, etc.) and spending that time in prayer.
  5. Be faithful to church attendance
  6. Prepare my heart with 30 min of prayer prior to worship
  7. Minister to the needs of others

None of these is too difficult, not even all that much of a sacrifice. (I will miss chocolate, though!) However, my pastor didn’t stop there. He asked us to seek the Lord as to what He wants us to be willing to give up in our lives in order to get closer to Him. There is no sin in eating meat or sugar or decent entertainment, but this is a time to give up some things in order to focus our energies on Him. In thinking about this more deeply, several friends have brought up specific things they will give up during this time, such as shopping just for fun or Internet surfing.

For me, this is a time to search out what lies I have been believing that hold me back from what God wants in my life. This is also a time to prioritize my goals and seek vision for what the Lord wants me to accomplish and/or eliminate in my life.

I love checklists. It is the most wonderful feeling to check off those things that are done! So far, my daily goal/checklist is this:

  1. Decide to Trust Jesus and Husband every day (instead of my crazy feelings!)
  2. See what Jesus Sees, Speak what He Says, Do what He Does.
  3. Purposefully Connect with Hubby and Awesome Ones :)
  4. Continue to Study Book of John and Read a Devotional every day.
  5. HomeSchool with Excellence (Sis Latta Poems, BibleQuiz quote/memorize, Math, Teach/Facilitate Effective Communication through Writing, Musical Instrument Practice)
  6. Write Daily (Articles/Fiction/Blog/FB posts)
  7. Read Marketing book
  8. Read Writing Craft/Research book
  9. Cook, Laundry, Regular Home Pick-Up
  10. Exercise

To be honest, I don’t accomplish every one of these things every day, but that’s okay.

My goals for the year, so far, are

  • Help my daughters publish their latest fiction
  • Publish my own new fiction book by June
  • Publish blog posts more consistently
  • Have more of a presence on FB

It is so good to take the time to consider the past year and what you would like the future to be, short-term and long-term. You and I need vision. It’s great to have goals and even better to accomplish them.

What are your goals for 2014? There are sure to be plenty of new challenges and new adventures. What exciting times we live in!

Above photo is: “Cup of Coffee With Red Roses” by domdeen available from: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Hot_drinks_g184-_Cup_Of_Coffee_With_Red_Roses_p31199.html

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Author in the Trenches

 

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Black Friday and Beyond eBook Bargains! :)

Starting Friday, Nov 29 and running through Dec 3, 2013, my author friend, Sonya Noble, and I are posting our books on Amazon kindle’s countdown deals! These are a great deals and would make nice gifts. Enjoy! :)

 

Rescuing Vanessa: A Little Bit of Coffee, Flowers, and Romance

Rescuing Vanessa: A Little Bit of Coffee, Flowers, and Romance

by: Christina Li

Cats, Dogs, Aliens, Oh My!

Vanessa is hiding something. No matter what, she can’t seem to escape her mistake. Shame keeps her from trusting the Lord, her family, even the man who loves her. Will she be able to let go and allow herself forgiveness? Or will she fall prey to the man who wants her dead?

One reviewer said: “Rescuing Vanessa was a splendid combination of adventure, romance, and inspiration!! I deeply enjoyed the well-developed characters and the consistent reminder of God’s presence in every aspect of life. Beautifully done!”

 

Cats, Dogs, Aliens, Oh My!

by: Sonya Noble

What if you could cross through to another dimension…on a train?
What if people had discovered how to create a human that could shift into a dog…by experimenting on their children?
What if cats could talk?
What if aliens existed in said other dimension?
What if humanity’s only hope was the human dog shifter?
And what if you splashed a girl, her cat and a ton of faith right into the middle of it?

A reviewer said: “This book was soon good I finished it off in one night. I would highly recommend this book to anyone!”

 

Defeat Fear Forever

 

Defeat Fear Forever

by: Christina Li

Do you suffer from fear? Do you feel like your dreams will never come true because of your fears? Are you afraid of failure, success, sickness, job loss, financial troubles, death? Defeat Fear Forever addresses those very issues in nine progressive chapters. Warning: Don’t buy this book if you are not willing to change the way you think and act. Don’t buy this book if you are not truly willing to do what it takes to defeat fear–for real and forever. There are things in this book that will more than likely challenge what you have always been taught. However, if you are willing to apply the messages in this book to your own life, you will start to see victory. You will even start to see miracles. What are you waiting for?

A reviewer said: “Just finished reading “Defeat Fear Forever” by Christina Li. Truly an inspiring book full of spiritual insights and Scriptural foundation. This encouraging book will answer many questions about that old common ill that haunts all of us, ‘fear’.” Charlotte L Pound (Author)

Enjoy! I’m planning on doing a countdown deal on another book later on. Keep Watching!

 

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Helpful Online Convert Text to eBook, etc. Website

I wanted to share with you a nice website that helps me a lot when I want to convert files from text to eBook form and download it into your kindle or kindle app on your computer. I love being able to do this especially for pdf files because I can organize things so much easier on my kindle for PC. I can bookmark pages, highlight, make notes, etc. I know I can do the same with some pdf files, but I like having things categorized and contained all on my kindle for PC. Anyway, here’s the site: http://ebook.online-convert.com/convert-to-mobi This site will also convert to other things besides mobi (that’s for your kindle for PC app).

I know this might be easy for many of you, but for those who struggle with keeping up with technology, I thought this would help. Enjoy and have a great day!

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Author in the Trenches

 

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Using Emotions in Your Character Arc

For my latest book, Rescuing Vanessa, I used the emotion ‘shame’ as a theme and showed how my main character dealt with it throughout the book. In The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, shame is defined as ‘the feeling that arises from a dishonorable or improper act; disgrace’ (Puglisi, Becca; Ackerman, Angela (2012-05-09). The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (p. 140). . Kindle Edition).

My character, Vanessa, did something she is ashamed of and has to deal with the consequences. She didn’t commit murder or anything, but she feels like she let down the people she loves and doesn’t truly deserve forgiveness. This colors all of her actions and relationships.

The fun part for me as a writer was in showing how this character went from shame to grace. Of course, it couldn’t happen too quickly or it wouldn’t be much of a story. However, I needed to show movement of some kind. Mainly, I used the outline of a four act play to show this. The first act is really the intro, characters, setting, goals, etc. Here I showed Vanessa having made a move in the right direction, but mainly feeling shame and wanting to hide it. The second act is more of a reaction phase. Here, I showed her various reactions to people (and the Lord) reaching out to her. She feels love and has the offer of forgiveness, but feels unworthy and keeps people at arms’ length. She is okay with friendship, but anything else is not an option. The third act is more proactive. Vanessa isn’t just reacting anymore. She makes decisive choices. She finally reveals what she did, but still insists that she must somehow make penance. In the final act, she finally comes to terms with all of the contributing factors to her feeling of shame and deals with it.

Of course, this kind of thing can be done in any story, with any negative emotion. Fear, guilt, jealousy, loneliness, pride, and the list goes on.

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites for an example of going from pride to love and humbleness. Both Mr. Darcy and Lizzy go through this character arc by the end of the book.

In the Bible, Abraham is shown going from fear to becoming an example of faith in God. Initially, he obeys God, but he still has ‘baggage’. Instead of completely obeying God and going where he is sent, he takes along his nephew. When he passes through Egypt, instead of trusting God, he is fearful and lies to the Pharaoh about his wife, Sarah. He does this twice. Finally, he simply trusted the Lord even with his only child and the Lord was able to bless him more.

In both your fiction and non-fiction reading, try to be more aware of the changes the characters go through as the story progresses. Be sure to post in the comments some of your favorite examples. :)

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2013 in Author in the Trenches

 

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