1) Identify the point(s) that feel impossibly negative. Speak the thought aloud.
“Nobody cares if I write a blog this week or not.”
2) Stop to evaluate if it’s really true or just feels true right now.
Well, there was that one person who told me she looks forward to my blogs. Maybe a few people care. But I definitely need more interaction from readers.
3) What step(s) could I take to reverse the idea and begin to feel positive?
Maybe I could ask some people what they like or don’t like about my blog.
Start with my most positive person, of course. Maybe I could ask a pertinent question, or propose a subject I’m passionate about. I should do that right now, and see what happens.
4) What outcome might cause me to feel more positive?
Some encouraging input would lift my spirits and give me that little push I need to keep going. Who knows, maybe I could pick up some new followers.
5) How can I change the initial negative thought into a positive statement?
Speak it aloud to try it out.
I need to see more engagement of readers on my blog. I’m going to do a little research on what’s trending today and find a pertinent question to include with a new topic. I’m also going to try incorporating what my friend suggested and see what happens.
Now I feel so much more motivated -- actually inspired --- to move ahead and create some waves in the blog world. The articles I read showed me some possible mistakes I’ve made and gave me some good ideas as well.
My mood has changed!
“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone;
He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross, so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds you are healed.
Once you were like sheep who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.”
1 Peter 2:21-25
As followers of Christ, we are called to suffer. Jesus suffered and told us to be prepared to follow His example. He said the world would hate us. Our goal should be to handle that hatred and persecution in the same manner as He did. Easy? Absolutely not. Some of us fall apart when some nonbeliever insults us online or contradicts our opinions.
We often see Jesus portrayed as this gentle, soft-spoken, wimpy sort of fellow. If you read your Bible carefully, you will see that in no way does that characterize our Savior. At the time of His crucifixion, He was very quiet, never arguing, threatening or defending His case. What that portrays is an amazing inner strength that almost defies reason. Most of us would have chosen to yell, cry out about injustice, or point blame on someone else.
The scripture says clearly that He left His case in the hands of God, Who always judges fairly.
We must develop that inner strength, that faith in our Father, that unwavering trust that God has us covered. If we are living godly lives, doing our best to walk in the Spirit and follow His plan, we can rest in knowing that the outcome of our plight will be handled efficiently by God.
For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, "In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength." Isaiah 30:15
Pastor Ray Thomann
1965 Prophecy - End Times (by Stanley Frodisham)
Very powerful message for today. Let me know your thoughts.
For those of us who call ourselves Christians, the overload of articles on the coming doom is off the charts. Nonbelievers scoff and mock and continue to live in their ignorant bliss. Actually, Christians, for the most part, are also keeping blinders on and ignoring the warnings. Interestingly, there are as many secular news stories on financial collapse, food shortages, bank failures and so on as there are from the spiritual realm. It seems as though most people are aware of changing times in the world whether they are believers in Christ or not. It's just that no one feels prepared in any way to walk the journey that is ahead.
I have written several articles on warnings of coming disasters. In my prayer times, the Lord has cautioned me that many of these reports are true and He has advised me of some things to do. I have no idea when or where these things will occur. I only know that this is the time to get your heart right with God. It's time to stop procrastinating facing sin and negligence of the things of God. I know this message is for someone specifically wrestling with the Holy Spirit today. He is wooing you, calling you, and expecting you to move into that fresh place of deliverance and commitment. Your reward will be amazing.
My friends, please stop following false prophets who continually bombard us with their messages of how soon all will be easy, plentiful, and abundant materially. These are lies. Troubling times are on the horizon. Listening to those platitudes will not bring you to a place of strength and wisdom. Get into the Word of God every day and begin finding truth and manna to sustain you in the coming days. Ask God to confirm what you're hearing. Ask Him to give you direction. Don't ask some so-called prophet for a "word". Ask your Abba Father for a word. That word will be the one that sets your feet on the path you need to be walking. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 The way to stand strong in adversity with power, love and a sound mind is to stay as close to the Father as you can. He will honor your heart for Him and bless you accordingly.
Recent Book Release:
Perils of a Pastor's Wife...Available Now
1. Nan, please tell us about yourself.
I live in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina (Ashe County) about10 minutes from Virginia and about 20 minutes from Tennessee. My home is a farmhouse built in 1895 with a much loved wrap-around porch, complete with rocking chairs and porch swing, that replenishes my spirit when I feel worn. I have three adult children in their late 20s and one grandchild. Talk about joy! I love the dynamics that occur in a parent-adult child relationship. Watching the fruit of my labor sweeten the world around them is a delight of my heart. My simple country home wouldn't be complete without my Mastiff, Blue - a 125 lb. hunk of love and two country cats. When I'm not writing or preparing messages for my speaking ministry, you'll find me gardening, crocheting, reading or sharing a cup of coffee with a friend.
2. Tell us about The Perils of a Pastor's Wife. What inspired you to write it? Where did you get the ideas for it?
I served as a pastor's wife for 31 years. These were some of the most fulfilling and rewarding years of my life. These years were also some of the most trying—not necessarily because of the people, but because of the spiritual battle that raged. Our lives could be turned upside down as quickly as the wind changes in a storm. A pastor's wife knows what it is to feel completely alone in the middle of a crowd. We are known to have trust issues—wondering who we can really be ourselves with and share our hearts with when we're troubled. Rejection is another deep-seeded hurt that most folks don’t think about when they consider the lives of pastors and their wives. We love our church people like they are family. When we are asked to leave or voted out because of the annual confidence vote it's like going through a divorce. The pain is unbearable. But most people don't think about that. I knew that other pastors' wives needed to know that they were not alone in their struggles and that someone understood what they were going through. The Lord has taught me so much through this journey of service to Him—lessons of His faithfulness, lessons of His pleasure in obedient hearts, and lessons of finding shelter beneath the shadow of His Wing. I am so thankful He asked me to share this with His girls.
3. When did your book come out, and where can readers find it?
The Perils of a Pastor's Wife was released on June 30th. You can find it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
4. What distinguishes your book from others?
I believe my conversational tone sets it apart from other non-fiction works. I don't enjoy a non-fiction book that reads like a lecture. I wanted my reader to feel as though we are sitting together enjoying a cup of coffee and conversation. It's written with raw emotion—no fluff—as I address the struggles of ministry. I wanted my reader to know that I fully understand her heart.
5.What would you like your readers to take away from your book? What emotions and thoughts do you hope to invoke?
The Perils of a Pastor's Wife is written with raw, authentic emotion because I want the reader to realize that I too, have experienced exactly what she has. Reliving the pain was difficult, but necessary to make a difference in the lives of others. My heart's cry is that the pastor's wife will realize she is not alone—that someone understands how she feels. I want her to walk away from this book with renewed confidence in her calling, with healing deep in her wounded spirit, and the realization that in her darkest moments God was with her—He is faithful.
6. Are you planning a sequel, or another book?
Yes! I'm working on another non-fiction piece tentatively called SEEING BEYOND THE VEIL: Finding the Nearness of God When You Need Him the Most. It's all about learning to look for the evidence of God in our lives. You know, we tend to think that when we're going through a difficult time God has abandoned us. Through my own sorrows I've learned deep in my knower that during my darkest moments, that's when the Lord is closest—He is drawn to our pain. But I must open my eyes to see Him. That's the veil I'm referring to, not the veil in the temple that separated God's people from Him—the one that was torn in two when Jesus died. No, I'm referring to the veil that separates our physical world from the spiritual world. The Lord promised to be with us always, but we often fail to see Him, especially when we need Him the most. Seeing Beyond the Veil will teach the reader how to open her eyes to see Him, and in the seeing, the child of God learns the very essence of who He is. I've recently started a facebook community page by the same name, Seeing Beyond the Veil. I get carried away when I speak about this because I love to share lessons learned, so I'm sorry I rambled. Suffice it to say that I'm very excited about sharing what the Lord has shown me about His faithfulness and His Presence surrounding us always. There will be a bible study for small groups by the same name to follow, so stay tuned.
7. What genre do you place your book in?
8. How did you publish? Are you independent or do you have a publisher? How did you decide to publish?
I am with a small, traditional publisher, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Lighthouse delights in giving new voices a chance to be heard—I love that. How many great voices, messages, and stories have been neglected because the author didn't have an agent or couldn't afford to attend a large writer's conference to meet face to face? Lighthouse is a branch of Christian Devotions (www.christiandevotions.us). They host a small conference in Black Mountain, NC at Billy Graham's, The Cove every February called Writer's Advance Boot Camp. It's a great place to begin a publishing journey. The conference averages 100 people and costs less than $250 for lodging, food, and conference fees. That's where I met Eddie Jones, my publisher. I was actually the first recipient of their Badge of Honor book writing contest.
9. What's your marketing plan? Do you use social media to help you? Do you have any ideas for marketing that you'd like to share? Author
tips to share?
Marketing is a big deal to authors today. Because I'm with a small publishing house, I'm responsible for 80% of my marketing. Even in a larger house, the author must help market and must show their willingness and ability to do so on their proposal. It's a big deal. I recommend that, instead of coming to the table kicking and screaming, lift your hand toward heaven and ask the Lord to take hold and lead you down this difficult path. And He will. Self-promotion is very, very hard for me. I don't enjoy the limelight and I want my writing to be about the Lord, not me. Most of us feel that way. But, I've learned that if I truly believe He has given me a message (and He has), then He expects me to get that message into the hands of His children who need it. That requires marketing. That requires studying how to market. That requires networking with marketers and other authors and industry professionals where you can glean from their expertise. A book that helped me tremendously is Rob Eager's, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire. I've read it three times! He also has a newsletter chocked full of information.
Social media is mandatory for authors. Any potential publisher is going to google your name and see if you have an online presence. I don't enjoy all- things technology (I'm 60 years old) and I'd be just fine without a computer—give me a child, a crayon, and a book any day, but again I've had to surrender my will and my frustrations to the One who has given me a message for His children. The way I handle this is to try to be relational in all of it, even on Twitter. I have met some amazing people on Twitter. We offer each other prayer support and encouragement, yet Twitter doesn't consume me like facebook does. On facebook I've learned to draw boundaries so that my life is not lived out on a digital screen. My go-to blog to learn about social media is Edie Melson's, The Write Conversation. Everything I know about social media, Edie has pretty much taught me. I highly recommend her blog. If you're just beginning this crazy journey, I recommend that you read Marlene Bagnull's book, Write His Answer. That was the first writing book I read and my heart travels back to its pages often. Marlene taught me to listen to what the Lord is saying to me as I stare at an empty screen or an empty page. She taught me how to understand that my writing belongs to Him, to commit it to Him, and trust Him with the outcome—that the outcome is wonderful whether it's to an audience of one or to the readers of a best seller. It's all good, because it's God's plan, not mine.
10. What other links would you like me to post (author page, website, facebook, twitter, etc.)?
blog, Morning Glory: mailto:http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/
facebook: Nan Trammell Jones
facebook community page: Seeing Beyond the Veil
For Speaking Engagements: Women's Ministry
To purchase The Perils of a Pastor's Wife: Amazon
To purchase The Perils of a Pastor's Wife: Barnes and Noble
11. Do you give permission for people to contact you? if so please
include your email address or other contact information.
Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist
fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour.
Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for
Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in His Presence.
She has been published in several anthologies as well as the online
inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a Fire. When Nan
is not writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing
God’s love as keynote speaker for special events.
Are you experiencing the pressures and loneliness that comes from ministry burnout, social isolation, frantic schedules, and unrealistic expectations? Nan Jones' new book,
The Perils of a Pastor's Wife
will meet you right where you are! No fluff. No sweet smelling roses. She inserts God's Word and the testimony of His faithfulness right into the middle of your raw emotional mess—the mess that she understands all too well.
Get your copy today!
You can burn it, ignore it, trash it.. But NEVER can you change the Values & Principles it Stands For!
Might appear to be a strange title. But then, only strange to those who have not yet been there … in the wilderness, wrestling with God. Many of us can attest to our wilderness experience being a contest of wills.
My will versus God’s will.
Of course, in the beginning we do not see it that way at all. We are so sure that we are seeking to do only the will of God, and that our hearts are pure and right. God, in His infinite wisdom, surely shakes His head as He watches and listens to us. When He takes us at our word and places us into that place of refining, I’m sure He sighs heavily as He observes our kicking and screaming and doubting and pleading.
I spent seven years wrestling with God.
It was a miserable place. I was absolutely sure I was on track, following passions and desires that I was convinced were His as well. Why was it taking so long for God to understand me? Funny now, but definitely not at the time. There were layers of doubt, unbelief and control issues to be sifted out. Or, more accurately, grated off. It was painful. My Father, as a good Abba, continually whispered the object lesson into the ears of my heart. “Rest in Me.” Over and over again these words bombarded my soul, and yet I fought on to achieve my goals.
When at last I realized He was not going to silence His directive, I dug into His Word and studied what that meant---to REST in Him. It sounds simple, but it’s so complicated ... to a driven, achievement-oriented soul.
The world is spinning out of control every day. We watch news reports, listen to prophets, teachers and leaders comparing their predictions to our Bible lessons. No doubt about it, trouble is looming on the horizon for our country. That, in the midst of our own personal battles, sometimes seems overwhelming.
Where do we turn to find true peace?
There’s only one place.
You know where that is.
Resting in the arms of the Savior is the only place to run, to hide, to escape, to breathe. No human can provide that. No achievement, no government, no lover, nothing, except Jesus. Living in His rest means that no matter what whirlwind of pain spins around you, you have the express ability to relax, be at peace and walk through it with Him.
It’s a choice.
Don’t be like me and take seven years of battling to experience the joy of this valuable gift. If you find yourself exhausted from wrestling, stop---go to Him, and surrender your will totally and completely, so that resting in Him puts the brakes on the roller coaster and quiets your heart.
He longs to hold His children close and soothe their anxious souls. My life is different now. There is no comparison.
The wrestling match is over. He won! And I won!
"For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'"
~ Isaiah 41:13
Welcome to my website!
"Living in God's Rest...At Peace in a Chaotic World" "Masked in Deceit," and Faith's Illusions are all available now. Living in God's Rest can be purchased from any of your favorite booksellers online or in stores. Masked in Deceit and Faith's Illusions, Christian novels, are available from Amazon. All books are offered in ebook versions as well. I always appreciate reviews on the seller's sites. Just click the books below and you will find links to purchase.
My newest book:
Have a blessed day!