Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To God be the Glory

I subscribe to a great website called Sermons 4 Kids, and every week I get an email, giving me a sermon. I just love this website as it's so easy to understand and gives lessons me and my kids can discuss. I will start posting these here, on my blog, so I can share them with you, too.

Theme: Glorifying God in every situation. (Fourth Sunday in Lent)

Object: A hymnal

Scripture: As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. John 9:1-3 (NIV)

Did you know that Fanny Crosby, the writer who wrote a hymn called "To God Be the Glory," a wonderful hymn of praise to the Lord. As well as "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" tells about how Jesus leads us through the difficult times in our life. Another hymn written by Fanny Crosby is "Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine."

When Fanny was six weeks old, she had an eye infection. Her regular doctor was out of town, and a man posing as a doctor gave her the wrong treatment. Within a few days, she was blind. If that happened to me, I am afraid I would be very bitter and I would probably spend a lifetime feeling sorry for myself. Fanny was never bitter and she never felt sorry for herself. When she was only eight years old, she wrote this poem:

Oh, what a happy child I am,
Although I can not see.
I am resolved that in this world,
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't.
To weep and sigh because I'm blind,
I cannot and I won't!

Instead of being bitter and feeling sorry for herself, Fanny used the gifts that God had given her to write over 8,000 hymns and poems to praise and glorify God.

One day Jesus was walking with his disciples when they passed by a blind man. When they saw him, the disciples asked Jesus who was to blame for the man's blindness. Was it because of his sin or was it because of his parent's sins? Jesus answered them and told them that no one was to blame, he was blind so that God's works could be shown in him. Then Jesus healed the man and the people praised and glorified God for his goodness.

What about Fanny Crosby? God didn't heal her blindness. Perhaps if God had healed her, she might never have written all of those beautiful hymns -- and the world would never have heard of Fanny Crosby. She used the tragedy of her blindness to glorify God. I pray that tragedy will never come into your life, but if it does, remember that everything that happens can be used to praise and glorify God!

Dear Lord, the difficulties in our life seem small when compared to what others may be facing. Help us not to grumble and complain, but to praise and glorify you in every situation. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.


Friday, March 25, 2011

How true. My goal is to write a scripture down every Friday--give us something to think about as we head into the weekend. God is good.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Avoiding 8 Mistakes Self-Publishers Make

Well, while I'm writing another novel, thoughts about self-publishing have come to mind. I found an article by Peter Bowerman called 8 Mistakes Self-Publishers Make And How to Avoid Them! I found this article very helpful and I copied some of the main points below.

Mistake #1. You wrote an unnecessary book (this is especially true for non-fiction), but when writing the book you need to make sure there's a market for it.

Mistake # 2. You have a bad book cover - you may want to hire a graphic artist, and not one from your printer place

Mistake # 3. Your title is lame - pretty self-explanatory

Mistake # 4. You didn’t hire an editor and a proofreader - it's extremely important to find someone to look over your book that isn't related to you.

Mistake # 5. You think small (Part One) - don't just celebrate any validation (getting minor publicity) you deserve to be there.

Mistake # 6. You promote the old-fashioned way - Go through the Internet and target your audience and promote, promote, promote.

Mistake # 7. You think small (Part Two) - Sending out a few dozen review copies isn't enough. Think big and send out 350-400 copies (just an example.) 

Mistake # 8. You forgot that you have just ONE job - you may want to hire someone to help you promote.
Here's the website, http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/2009/05/8-mistakes-self-publishers-make-and-how-to-avoid-them-guest-article-by-peter-bowerman/ if you want to check it out. Plus, aboutfreelancingwriting.com is a great place to find freelance writing jobs.
Let me know what you think and if you are self-published.