Do you love natural imagery and unrhymed poetry? Discover these pairings of poems and photographs that communicate images to penetrate your mind and heart.
Are you a fan of photo literature? Do you like the combination of words and images? Are you looking to blend visual and verbal images? Kimberley Payne is a talented photographer and poet who shares her love of words and pictures to help you experience the blending of each to stir your soul.
A Moment in Time is a book of poems inspired by images from nature. The pairing of poetry and pictures shines a light on the cohesive combination of these two distinct art forms.
Kimberley shares three lines of words that illustrate and interplay with the photographs to add depth and context for your imaginative engagement. By reading these poems and looking at these photos of nature you’ll be inspired by the emotion of the moment and connection with nature.
In A Moment in Time you’ll discover:
Over 30 poems inspired by captivating photos from nature
Tightly linked connections between images and text
Short-form poetry and photographs that encourage each other
Independent yet interdependent connections between art forms
Simplistic descriptions and images of the seasons
A Moment in Time is visual poetry that demonstrates how the haiku poem comes closest to the shutter’s click. If you like photos that inspire and poetry that resonates then you’ll love this book.
In 2002, the first phone with a built-in camera became publicly available. At first, I balked at the thought of it. But 20 years later, I can’t imagine going anywhere without it. Living in a rural area, there are many opportunities to take pictures. Since I always have my phone with me, I now always have a camera. My smartphone is a basic Samsung Galaxy A50. It has a few features including an image stabilizer, laser auto focus, and triple lens. It works best for stills, particularly in bright sunny conditions. I took all of these pictures in Ontario, all within 500 kilometers (310 miles) northeast of Toronto. The area where I live is known as the Kawartha Lakes region, a large recreational region of the province. There are four distinct seasons.
There are two main post-secondary institutions in Peterborough: Trent University and Fleming College. I work at the college and walk along its trails on my lunch hour. There are a variety of natural trails that surround the entire campus and extend to the boundaries. The majority of my photos are taken within this area.
As a young child, I enjoyed writing poems that rhymed. As a teenager, I dabbled in free-flow. As an adult, I explored a more structured form of poetry called Japanese Haiku.
A haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables. The first line is five syllables, the middle is seven, and the last is a five syllable count.
Although true haiku poems end with a twist creating a sudden sense of enlightenment, I wanted to use the structure to describe my simple nature photos in three short verses.
Much like a photograph, a poem captures a moment in time.
I hope you enjoy this collection of my pictures and poems, or “photopoetry”, where I’ve paired words and images across the seasons.
About the Author
Kimberley Payne is an award-winning author. She writes to help others grow closer to God. Connect with her on her website
Do you want a glimmer of hope in the face of loss? Discover these reflections that can bring you comfort during your time of mourning.
Are you dealing with the loss of someone you love? Do you have the desire to seek God in the shadow of grief? Are you looking for encouragement and a boost in your faith? Kimberley Payne’s life with her granddaughter was cut short by her sudden death at seven months old. Here she shares her honest journey through overwhelming loss and the hope to be found in God’s promise that death is not the end.
Until Heaven is a book of stories and poems from the journey through the first few years of deep sorrow after the death of Kimberley’s grandbaby.
Kimberley processes her loss through writing and shares from scripture and her own story and how her faith helped. By reading these reflections you’ll be feeling encouraged in your grief and strengthened in your faith.
In Until Heaven, you’ll discover:
Reflections that will speak to those facing heartbreak and pain
Hope that death is not the end and you will see your departed loved ones again
Real-time reflections from the first few years of grief
Faith lessons about heaven, our eternal home
Reminders of teachings from the Bible without being preachy
Until Heaven is an authentic devotional that will ignite your imagination and make you long for heaven. If you like stories that offer a glimmer of hope then you’ll love this book of reflections that will offer comfort in times of sorrow. Buy Until Heaven to help you grieve with hope today!
I lost my granddaughter, Talia Elizabeth May, in 2019. Born in the spring, she died of SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death) in the fall of that same year. SUIDs is a term to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby less than one-year-old and often happens during sleep.
Talia lived with her older sister, Sophia, and her mom in the in-law suite of our home. I witnessed her birth, fed her, changed her, and played with her every day. Talia was as much my little one as she was her mother’s.
Grief is hard. As a Christian, I grieve. But I do not mourn as those with no hope. I find comfort and hope in a better life—a life after death.
In this collection of stories and poems, I share my journey through the first few years after Talia’s death.
So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. ~John 16:22
About the Author
Kimberley Payne is an award-winning author. She writes to help others grow closer to God. Connect with her on her website
Heather Williams wanted to be a good mom. She did her best to provide for her daughter’s physical, mental, and social well-being. But when her daughter reveals a horrifying secret that she’s been molested by her own father, Heather struggles to come to grips with her inadequacy as a mother.
Heather is consumed with anger, despair, and frustration with the system. She feels alone in her desperation to ensure the safety of her child.
As Heather battles the legal system to protect her daughter, she also finds herself battling feelings of anger, guilt, and betrayal. Will she be able to protect her daughter? Could she ever forgive her ex?
Tuesday, September 3rd
My daycare provider’s apartment always smelled like a combination of applesauce and baby powder, and my daycare provider, Donna, smelled the same. She had hair highlighted red and a goldfish face with eyes set wide. When I knocked on her door, she shouted her familiar, “Come in. It’s not locked.”
I let go of Caitlin’s hand and gave her a tight hug before releasing her to join the other kids at the toy chest. Donna sat on the edge of a kitchen chair, feeding a toddler some banana goop out of a jar. Two boys played with dinky cars on the pale taupe carpet.
I reminded Donna, “I’m working till four again today, so I should be back to pick Caitlin up around 4:30.”
Donna looked up and smiled, revealing small white kernels of teeth. “We’ll be here.”
“Bye, Caity-Cat. Have a good day,” I called to Caitlin.
Caitlin looked up from her puzzle. “Bye, Mommy.”
I blew her a kiss and then signalled for her to take her thumb out of her mouth. Although she never did it as a baby, she’d recently started sucking her thumb.
Once outside our apartment complex, I zipped up my coat to protect myself from the biting wind. Usually, I didn’t mind the walk to work but days like this reminded me that winter was on its way. Twenty minutes later, I was glad to step into the warmth of the dental clinic.
From the cloakroom, I called to my co-worker, Connie, “There sure is a nip in the air.”
Connie’s brow wrinkled. “Yeah, it’s a change from last week. That’s what I hate about September. The weather changes from one day to the next. By the way, your mom says hello.”
I smiled and nodded. Mom and Connie talked on the phone almost daily since I started at the clinic. I think Mom must feel more in tune with my life when she can talk about me with Connie.
Today, Connie had pulled her unruly brown hair into a braid. She wore a tight jean dress with one gold bangle wrapped around her left bicep.
I took off my jacket and walked through the waiting room. That’s when I saw the petite, blonde woman sitting with her back straight, and both hands in her lap, twisting the handle of her purse.
She looked up and smiled. “Hi. I’m a little early.”
I continued past her and sat at my reception desk. I looked to the appointment book to see her name was Sarah Dowe and she was indeed twenty minutes early.
“Can I get you a cup of coffee while you wait?” I said and handed her a clipboard with the standard dental forms to fill out.
Taking the paperwork she answered, “No, thank you. I just brushed my teeth.” She smiled brilliantly. “I’m a little nervous. No offence to Doctor Mott, but I don’t like dentists.”
As if on cue, Dr. William Mott entered the room. His tall frame filled the doorway. He had full lips, high cheekbones and slightly sunken sea-gray eyes. Carrying a motorbike helmet and leather jacket, he wouldn’t be mistaken for a dentist.
“Bill, your ears must be burning,” Connie said.
Bill’s face creased in a smile. “Hmm. Three women talking about me? Please don’t stop.”
I could feel the heat rising up my neck.
Connie wagged her finger at Sarah and me. “These two were saying how they don’t like dentists.”
Bill’s smile faded, “Oh.” His eyes found mine. He looked like a pierced puppy. Sarah sat up straighter. “Oh my, no. I like dentists. You come highly recommended. It’s just that I don’t like dentist appointments. I mean, I don’t like dental work.”
She seemed flustered so I tried to rescue her. “Dr. Mott, Sarah is a new patient and will need a preliminary exam.”
His smile returned so that both dimples showed. “Well then, let’s get her set up with some x-rays.”
The hygienist, Gail, walked with purpose down the hall. In her late fifties, she wore her slate-gray hair in a tight bun. I turned to Sarah and said, “Gail will take you to the room.”
“Thanks.” Sarah stood, handed me her paperwork, and followed Gail down the hall.
Bill winked as he passed my desk and again I felt my face flood with color. I was relieved to have a solidly booked afternoon to keep me busy and focused on work. I picked up the receiver and dialled.
“Hello, it’s Heather Williams from Lakeside Dental Clinic. I’m just calling to get some insurance information for one of our patients. Paula Wagner.” I waited for their response. “Yes, she did give me some primary insurance numbers.” I read the numbers to the woman on the other end of the phone. “But you’re not showing anything? Okay. This must be really new. I’ll have to call her to get the right information. Thank you.” The numbers are probably from her dog license. I smiled.
I continued with my work but my thoughts returned to Bill and my regular daydream. I imagine us walking barefoot along the beach, with the sun streaking the sky brilliant blues, oranges and pinks. He’s wearing a white shirt that flutters in the warm wind. A lone seagull calls in the distance. The waves crash onto the beach erasing our footprints as we walk. He takes my hand and turns me to face him…
“Hi again,” Sarah said, her words jolting me from my thoughts.
“How’d it go?” I turned my chair to face her.
“No cavities. I need to book another appointment for a proper cleaning though.”
Looking up at Sarah, something about her smile twigged my memory. “Did you used to go to St. Anne’s High School?”
Sarah leaned over the counter. “Yeah, I did.”
“Was your last name, Kinsey?”
She raised an eyebrow in amusement. “Yes! Dowe is my married name.”
“I’m Heather. Heather Williams.”
“Oh, my goodness! Heather! I didn’t recognize you with dark hair. You used to have blonde hair and braces. How are you?”
“Good, good. I’m working here now.” I smiled sheepishly. “Well, obviously.”
I’d known Sarah since we were “minor niners” in high school together. On the first day, she told me that although her teeth were perfectly straight, she wished she had braces like me. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to have to wear the ugly metal contraptions and immediately felt a warm bond with this new friend. She was shorter than me, with bright blue eyes and fair skin. Pretty and petite while I was athletic and tanned we looked like an experimentation in opposites. Later that same year, I dyed my hair blonde to look more like her.
The phone rang and I excused myself to answer it. After I hung up the receiver I asked, “Listen, do you have time to visit for tea after work? I’ll be off at four and just live a short walk from here.”
“I’d love to. I have some errands to run and then I’ll return.”
“See you then.”
With two emergency appointments, the afternoon passed by quickly. By four o’clock I felt rushed to get my paperwork done. Sarah returned at ten past four. I held one finger in the air and called to her, “I’ll only be a few more moments.”
On our way home the earlier bright skies had clouded over and the chill was still in the air. I was happy for a drive in Sarah’s mini-van.
“I’ll have to wear an extra sweater to work tomorrow,” I said.
“Do you always walk to work?” Sarah asked as we drove past the commercial area. Next to the garden store was a patch of field, Bath and Body Works, the Bargain Dollar discount store, Holland Video, the pizza joint, and the computer store.
“Yeah, that’s why I moved close to work. You remember I used to be on the running team? I don’t run anymore, but I do love walking and hiking.”
“There are some lovely trails around Holland. But I admit I don’t get out as much as I probably should.” She laughed, a nice lilting sound.
We both giggled as we drove past the Lighthouse Christian Assembly Church outdoor billboard. It read:
Don’t let worries kill you. Let the church help.
I asked, “So what have you done since high school?”
“Oh, I went to Hope College, got married, had a baby. The usual. You?”
“About the same.” I didn’t feel like getting into the fact that my marriage ended only last year. We caught each other up quickly on parents, siblings, and our jobs.
“Here we are.” I pointed to my apartment. Sarah parked on the street in front.
When I opened the doors to the building, I was surprised to find Donna waiting in the hallway.
“Heather, we need to talk,” Donna said.
Her amber eyes, normally bright and animated, were clouded and wrinkles creased her brow.
What is she, the time police? I thought as I looked at my watch. “How’s right now?” I offered, a lump rising in my throat.
“It’s good. I have a sitter.” She exhaled.
“I should go,” Sarah said, twisting the ring on her left hand.
“No, please stay.” I grabbed hold of Sarah’s arm. As we ascended the stairs, Donna’s ominous announcement made my heart race with a surge of adrenaline. Had Caitlin hit another child? Kicked that little curly-haired boy? I hoped she hadn’t bitten anyone. But if it were any of these things, wouldn’t Donna have just told me? Why the secrecy?
I could never have imagined what Donna would tell me that day. The very thought made me want to retch.
About the Author
Kimberley Payne is an award-winning author. She writes to help others grow closer to God. Connect with her on her website
Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour and $10.00 Amazon Gift Card for Confident Women Rise by Dr. Doreen Lettesome Reid. The book tour will run Oct 31-Nov 11, 2022.
Genre: Christian Non-Fiction
About The Author
Dr. Doreen Lettsome Reid is a Certified Business Coach, Marketplace Ministry expert, CEO of Divine Connection Network Association, 3X Author #1 Amazon BEST SELLER for the anthology Confident Women Rise, Editor-n-Chief of Unlock What’s Inside You TM Magazine, Confident Incubator PODCAST host, and Host of International Radio Broadcast ALL THINGS BUSINESS World Tour chat.
Dr. Reid coaches high performing Christian Coaches 40+ how to develop a Business BLUEPRINT to gain clarity on their specific Mission, Message, Mandate, Mantle to MARKET; lay a FIRM FOUNDATION with business structure, policies, procedures, service/product development that builds the business FRAMEWORK & CONSTRUCTION to overcome fear, shatter misconception, increase confidence, and profit by FAITH in ALL THINGS BUSINESS.
About The Book
Confident Woman Rise tells the stories of 20 amazing women that made a decision to “Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept them—to a new life” Each story provides KEYS to Unlock What’s Inside You as a Confident Woman.
Are you ready to rise from depression?
Are you ready to rise from the prostration in which circumstances have kept you?
Are you ready to rise from that pressed-down position?
Are you ready to agree with God’s Mission, Message, Mandate to Unlock What’s Inside You TM, the Confident Woman?
Visionary Author Doreen Lettsome Reid and 20 co-authors from around the world have been sent with the KEY to Unlock What’s Inside You TM, the Confident Woman, as you rise to BOLDLY proclaim your FAITH in the worldwide marketplace gaining clarity of your Mission, Message, Mandate.
Expect your life and the lives of those around you to be forever changed as you read and apply this amazing book based on Isaiah 60:1“Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”
Title: Are You L.I.T. ? (Leader Intentionally Trailblazing)
UNLOCKING your Strength & Anointing while discovering the secrets of trailblazing to advance God’s Kingdom in ALL THINGS BUSINESS!
Being inspired by life-changing stories on how to overcome self-doubt and fear of launching a business as you are introduced to 10 NEW Christian Coaching Businesses built in only 90 days!
The opportunity to Unlock What’s Inside You; SHARE.CONNECT.GROW.BUILD with Christian Woman in BUSINESS & learn from a Gentleman’s Perspective!
Through Trials to Triumph is the story of a Catholic teenage girl struggling with depression and dark thoughts about ending her life while grappling with her faith.
It’s a recollection filled with prose, poetry, and pictures from Grade 9 to Grade 13 in the 1980s. The story unfolds in a “scrapbook” format with original poems and report cards that draw you in from the start and transport you back in time with nostalgic memories.
Since childhood, I believed in God. And I believed in Satan.
Satan. Father of lies. Beelzebub. Enemy. Demon. Devil. Deceiver. Lucifer. He is referred to all these names (and more) throughout the Bible.
Most people are familiar with his actions in the garden of Eden. However, he was a created being before then. He started out as an angel of God, a cherub, named Lucifer. He was exceedingly beautiful. But he became prideful because of this. He wanted the glory and honour that belonged to God. He wanted to be worshipped. He wanted to be God.
His pride caused him to rebel and he was thrown from heaven down to earth. Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18).
His name changed from Lucifer, which means “morning star” to Satan which means “adversary”. His story is told in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14.
As the enemy of God, he is the enemy of all God loves. His goal is to turn us away from God. He is an accuser and a tempter. We see his influences throughout the world and our godless society.
However, the good news is that Satan is not the opposite of God. They are not equal and opposing powers. God is all-powerful, present everywhere, and all-knowing. Satan is not.
Satan cannot read our thoughts. He is a created being who is limited in what he knows, where he goes, and what he can do. His existence depends upon God. At the end of time, he will be thrown into the lake of fire forever.
But until then, Satan reigns on earth. He is evil, crafty, and deceitful. There is a real battle that goes on in our hearts and minds: the struggle between good and evil.
The Bible warns us about him:
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11).
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Although I had a solid upbringing in a strong Catholic faith, I did not heed the Bible’s warnings. During my years of high school, there raged a real battle for my soul. Satan wanted me to lie, cheat, and steal. He wanted me to take my own life.
Although I allowed him to influence my thoughts and my actions, I believe God protected and shielded me over those years.
Romans 8:38–89 says: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers [satanic power included], nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
About the Author
Kimberley is an award-winning author. Her writing relates raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. She also combines her teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science, and faith. Visit her website.
This fun and imaginative story sends a message of unbiased and unconditional love. By demonstrating how our differences make us special, it encourages the celebration of our uniqueness and God-given gifts.
Thank you Jesus for today, we love you in every way, keep us safe and strong and smart, always humble in our heart.
About the Author
“Cullie the Crustacean” is the creation of published author Shana Dressel, a mother and manager who is originally from New Iberia, Louisiana, and currently lives in Dallas, Texas, with her son.
Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour and $25.00 Amazon Gift Card for The Birthday Gift: Book 1 by Betty Collier. The book tour will run August 15-26, 2022.
Genre: inspirational Christian fiction
Betty Collier describes herself as a nurse by profession, author by passion, and storyteller by the grace of God. She is a 5x bestselling, 4x award-winning inspirational Christian author. She writes with a purpose, and that is to bring honor and glory to God.
Her first book series, “Living Inside the Testimony” is a collection of inspirational nonfiction stories. Betty showcases her gift of storytelling by engulfing her readers from the very beginning and captivating their attention throughout the emotional journeys.
In her second book series, “The Birthday Gift”, Betty displays her creative storytelling in a surprisingly extraordinary way with her fictional work. She continues to inspire while lifting the words right off the pages to bring her characters to life. Readers will find themselves hoping for the best and dreaming about the characters as if they were members of their own family.
Betty also co-authored 2 anthologies with visionary author, Paulette Harper. Both are Amazon #1 bestsellers, “For Such a Time as This” and “The Breaking Point.” They feature incredible and inspirational stories from 20 different men and women from all across America.
Betty’s fictional work in The Birthday Gift Book Series is included in the John 3:16 Global Placement Mission as commissioned by founder, Terry Gurley. She uses her talent to introduce readers to the greatest gift ever given to mankind. While taking them on intriguing tales of heartbreak and hope, Betty intricately weaves together stories leaving readers in suspense until the very end. What they have in common is they all beautifully deliver the gospel message found in John 3:16.
On a personal note, Betty has been married since 1986 to William Collier, the absolute love of her life, after first meeting him in middle school. They are the proud parents of two sons and a daughter-in-love, all of whom reside in Shelby County, TN.
An unexpected knock on the door derails a birthday celebration as Mrs. Williams recalls the mysterious events that prevented her beloved husband from flying back home with their daughter’s priceless, life-changing gift he discovered at a flea market in the Middle East. In the opening scene, she learns in a most dramatic fashion that the absolute love of her life was murdered while in route to Los Angeles. Her faith and fortitude are unimaginably tested, but Mrs. Williams ultimately realizes that she possesses the greatest gift inside of her.
This Book Excellence Award-Winning Book is an exceptionally thought-provoking and intriguing tale that takes the reader on an emotional journey of profound heartbreak to surprising hope for the future. Although a catastrophic loss occurs, one comes away with a great sense of hopefulness in this increasingly violent world. The author intricately weaves this story together leaving readers in suspense until the very end. Be uplifted and inspired as you discover your own faith while experiencing the gift of a lifetime so cleverly embedded within the pages of this book.
The next thing I remember hearing is “Code Blue.” It was now pitch-black outside my ICU window at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. I don’t know what happened on that beautiful sunny morning after I opened my front door for the police officer. He was standing there in the last ray of sunshine I would see for quite some time. I guess I could look at the police report or medical records, but what’s the point. I really don’t want to be reminded of the single most horrific day in my entire life. What happened? Why was the police officer talking in slow motion?
Bill had been in Israel for thirty-three days. It was time for him to come back home. I had been expecting a phone call from him during his layover at Heathrow. Instead of Bill’s much anticipated call, I got that abominable knock at my front door!
Then I heard it again. “Code Blue.”
Everything went black. As I reflect on that disastrous day, everything was already black. My world had gone dark and void.
From what I’ve been told, I woke up the following morning with no recollection of the previous day. Apparently, those words my ears had refused to allow my mind to process were no less true just because I refused to hear them, let alone accept them.
My heart was broken. I was broken. Life as I once knew it no longer existed. There was no reason to go to the airport. Bill never boarded his connecting flight in London. The only thing at the airport now was his luggage, and there certainly wasn’t any reason for me to go claim that. Well, no reason that I knew of at the time.
Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a one-month book tour and $20.00 Amazon Gift Card for The In Word: The Two Letters That Will Change Your Life by Cynthia Robinson. The book tour will run July 5-29, 2022.
Genre: Nonfiction, Christianity, Inspiration
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cynthia Robinson is a 6-time published Author, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Pastor. She believes that every woman has a purpose and whether that is to be the best mother and wife or a CEO of a Fortune 500 company they deserve respect in their positions in life.
As an author has written several books to empower and inspire the women of God to reach for their best life amid bad circumstance. As a coach, she believes in the building up a woman to move forward in their journey and learning to enjoy the process. She is a motivational speaker that ignite the people to go for theirs. Pastor Cynthia is a loving and compassionate soul that knows rebelling against God only brings you to him humble.
She speaks to the hearts of men and women alike through her daily motivational messages on her social media pages and her blog entitled “My Crazy is Real,” which is on her website http://www.CynthiaRobinson.me. She works to change the mindset of women around the world to walk in the royalty they have called you in to by God.
ABOUT THE BOOK
As Christians it is somehow implied that once we are saved, we have all the skills for living a kingdom life on earth. There somehow a switch that flips on and we are downloaded with the faith to make it through all the storms. We will instantly trust God with our lives even though we were taught to not trust anybody. We are somehow just going to love God unconditionally when most of us were not loved and don’t have a clue how to receive love without conditions. We must learn the new life and way of living IN God. When we come to Jesus Christ as born-again servants of the Lord, we are not told that we need more that a service mindset with God to make into heaven. Our relationship with God can be broken down into three parts just like the Tabernacle of old. Either you are having a relationship (outer court), or you with God (The Holy) or you are in relationship with God (The Holy of Holiness). Now all are good to experience but faith, trust and love can only be when we are IN a relationship with God.
Cynthia Robinson takes you through the 3 stages of growth in God it is Have, With and IN. She explains the how’s, what’s, when’s, and who’s with familiar biblical characters and principles. Cynthia has included her own experiences waking in complete darkness right in the church.” I never know faith, love and trust in God would be like this but when you open yourself to his grace and mercy the True God can show up for you”.
The “IN” word is a simple yet complex book on being “IN” a relationship with God. We cannot just be a Christian or a religious person. At the point of adoption into the family of God, everything in our lives change. We are no longer on the outside looking in. No more just being Gentiles or Jews. Not sinners doomed to hell for eternity. The confession of your mouth that Jesus Christ came to die for your sins and that His resurrection confirmed eternal life with the Godhead, we are now heirs with Christ.
With that being said, to be “IN” means we have something we must do. We are to be “IN” relationship with God. Now, I know some of you are saying, “I’m already in a relationship with God. I pray daily, I read my bible and I go to church. I sing in the choir, I minister to the young/the elderly, and I do other ministry work. I give to the poor and I do missions work out of the country. I pay tithes and offerings.” “My relationship with God is fine. Is it, really?” Everything mentioned are works for the Kingdom. It’s good, but what about the “IN” God part? Merriam-Webster defines the word “IN” as, used in a function to indicate inclusion, location, or position within limits.
After reading this definition, what type of relationship do you have with the Godhead? Are you “Having” a relationship or “With” God “IN” a relationship or are you “In” relationship with God?
Guess How Much God Loves You is the story of seven-year-old Lucy Lu, a colorful, creatively curious first-grader, who is starting to have serious questions about God. How old is He? Does He sleep? What does He do all day? And the biggest one of all-does God love me? After one particularly hard day of being bullied by her classmates at school, Lucy feels like she doesn’t matter. She sits with Papa Joe, who has promised to answer her questions about God, launching them onto a journey to discover God’s never-changing, never-failing, never-ending love. What follows is a wild adventure through the Bible, where Lucy and her papa find themselves in the middle of each page of the exciting story of God’s love and faithfulness for all people throughout all of history.
Lucy had always been told by her Papa Joe,
“God loves you!”
But now that she was seven years old,
she had questions about that.
Especially since some of her classmates said mean things to her like,
“You look funny.”
“You talk funny.”
And the worst one of all, “No one likes you!
Oh, yes. Lucy had lots of questions for her papa, like . . .
“Who is God?”
“How old is He?”
“Does He ever sleep?”
And the biggest one of all,
“Does God really love me?”
About the Author
Karen Ferguson is a freelance writer and small business owner with a background in K-8 education. A grateful wife, mom, and grandmom she loves words and the Word of God and is passionate about writing stories that grab and hold young readers’ attention, while teaching them all about God’s unchangeable truths, and His unchanging love for them. She wants every child to know that their life matters.
Through her company Illuminate Communications, Karen creates online content and digital products designed to touch the heart and nourish the mind, body, and spirit. She self-published her first book in 2017, a 21-day devotional called Breath of Life: Living God’s Promise of Peace in the 7 Dimensions of Wellness.
Karen loves reading, writing, staying active, and spending time with her family and their crazy Golden Retriever in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The process I went through to create devotional books
I started following Julia Cameron’s advice in the year 2000. In her book, The Artist’s Way, she recommended that we write “Morning Pages” — three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing.
I particularly liked that we were instructed to write about anything and everything. It reminded me of the free-flowing poetry I wrote in high school.
I bought an 8.5″ x 11″ spiral-bound notebook. Nothing pretty. Each day, I captured the weather, the kids’ antics, and my health concerns. Anything that occupied top-of-mind thoughts. It didn’t take long to fill a 250-page notebook.
In 2001, I gave my heart to Jesus. My writing continued to begin with everyday stuff but then it moved into deeper concerns and finally, I’d be working out my faith on paper.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12 NIV).
Although I was raised in the Catholic religion, when I was born again I felt like a new believer seeing God and Jesus through new eyes. I wrote about my experiences, what I learned, and how this new faith applied to my life.
In 2003, I attended my first Christian writer’s conference through The Word Guild called God Uses Ink (now called Write!Canada). I learned about their writer’s contests and decided to gather my writings together into a small book. I submitted my devotional book called Voice of a New Christian — A collection of 52 devotionals to a writer’s contest. I didn’t win, however, the feedback I received was worth the cost of entry.
I made the suggested changes and renamed the book, Where Life Meets Faith — A Collection of 52 Devotional Writings. I hired ByDesign Media to edit, design the interior layout, and create a cover. I submitted this book to another writer’s contest and won Honourable Mention.
I hired a graphic artist through Fiverr.com to create the new cover and again used the Kindle Direct Program (kdp) to upload to Amazon. I ordered a proof copy to review before I made it available to readers as a paperback.
I enjoyed putting these devotions together and breathing new life into them so much that I decided to do the same with four other smaller devotionals that I had written over the years.
I hired a graphic artist to create the cover, however, I was not happy with the final product. I worked on Canva to create flyers and memes for Instagram in the past so decided to try my hand at creating a book cover.
I made a few draft covers and then posted them on Facebook for feedback. I received great ideas from shortening the subtitle to changing the font style. When I finished creating this cover I knew we had a winner.
Currently, I am working on another collection of devotional writings. These have all been written over the past few years. Originally I wanted to call the book, Voice of a Christian but I changed my mind and settled on Still Learning — Reflections From the Life of a Believer.
I’ve written 48 devotions to date and want to have at least 100 before I publish. I will likely work on creating my own book cover given my love of the last one I made.
It may not be until 2023 that I release this new book. Until then, I’ll keep writing my three Morning Pages.
Many Christians face numerous problems on a daily basis, ranging from financial stress to criticism and hypocrisy. Pastors and ministers of God are not exempted, especially when they are faced with several issues from church members whom they have fed with God’s word. Financial struggles are common in churches while they are trying to win souls into the kingdom of God and reaching out to lost sheep. It is no news that our society has reduced pastors’ ministries to a buy-and-sell commodity, especially in the western world. How do pastors and God’s ministers get out of this fix? What’s the way forward for Christians in this end time? This book digs deep into the scriptures and critically examines five different areas that will assist Christians and young ministers to survive the tactics of the satanic kingdom in this end-time period. The highlighted steps will increase church productivity, which will lead to exponential growth with a significant financial breakthrough. It reveals secrets, guidelines, and steps that make Christians and God’s servants avoid satanic deceptions, remain in God’s end-time army, and put an end to rivalry, criticism, and hypocrisy in the church. It is “a must have” book.
Is there any one of us who would not be awed into profound silence if a heavenly messenger stood before us to disclose what was to occur to us, to our families, to our friends, to our country, in far-distant years? That will be our situation when all our senses are opened spiritually. EPHPHATHA- BE OPENED For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he will beautify the meek with salvation (Psalm 149:4).
About the Author
By God’s grace, James is a seasoned Bible teacher and multilingual sermon writer who has contributed more than 200 sermons (English, Spanish, French, Tagalog, and Portuguese languages) to sermoncentral.com, and the sermons are viewed monthly by about 6000 people in 170 countries worldwide. Presently, he manages a Christian blog website—mountzionblog.org—that provides resources for pastors, churches, and Christian ministries worldwide.
He preaches the word as laid down in the Holy Scriptures, and follows in the footsteps of God’s Generals, who obtained good reports with their great faith in Almighty God (Hebrews 11:2). Having been an Online Missionary with Global Media Outreach in the USA for many years, he has good experience in Christian Counselling. He manages a team of prayer warriors that intercedes for persecuted Christians and believers worldwide.
He is married to Rachael Dina and blessed with two children, Michael Dina and Michelle Dina.
Unlike a number of my friends and neighbours, I had a fantastic childhood. In fact, I didn’t suffer any serious trauma until I was 30 years old.
Growing up, I didn’t realize that I had it so good. But as an adult, I recognized the blessing of my childhood years.
In 2000, I began writing Morning Pages according to Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. This ritual of writing three pages every morning helped me to deal with the trauma in my 30s and led to the beginnings of my devotional books, my novella, and my memoir.
I scribbled three pages of memories growing up. I wrote a few words per recollection, enough to jog my memory and enable me to write a story.
But that’s as far as I got. I had no idea how to write a memoir.
I decided to read books and take courses including, Writing a Memoir by Karen Barnstable, and Spiritual Memoir by Karen Stilleroffered through The Word Guild.
I rummaged through my “keepsakes” box and found many treasures. Included in this eclectic collection was my Strawberry Shortcake doll, Canada Fitness badges, my Confirmation sash, report cards from kindergarten to university, Brownies and Swimming badges, Science Fair ribbons, Sacramental Certificates, and a Grade 8 graduation booklet.
I also found my “Confirmation Logbook and “The Salvation History of Kim” booklets.
The idea to share my religious upbringing started to form in my mind. I wanted to share with others my positive experiences growing up in the Catholic Church to show how this impacted my faith to eventually accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
But I still didn’t know how to put it together in a cohesive format.
Then I was introduced to the micro-memoir and specifically the book Heating & Cooling 52 micro-memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly.
The short form of the micro-memoir intrigued me. The Writer says,
One thing the micro-memoir is particularly suited for is an exploration of a moment, particularly a moment that seems small or unimportant, but, when viewed from the right perspective, with the right attention, reveals itself to be central to identity. What are the moments who make us who we are?
I dabbled with writing my stories in as few words as possible. The best way I could find to do this was in poetry form.
Although I was writing, I still needed a framework to put it all together.
Originally, I thought maybe I would break it into the Fruit of the Spirit and have each chapter dedicated to one attribute: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. But my memories didn’t fit neatly into these attributes.
I considered the seven Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the sick, Marriage, and Ordination. But again, it didn’t fit all my stories and I only received the first four sacraments.
So I prayed about it.
The next day it came to me. Create a framework of school years from kindergarten to grade 8. Align my stories by the year they took place. Include the 4 sacraments I participated in along with photos and excerpts from my “Confirmation Logbook and “The Salvation History of Kim” booklets. Add snippets from my report cards, specific to Religion class. Build in fun facts from the 1970s and early 1980s.
I love when God answers prayers in such a clear way!
Originally I wanted to call my memoir, Watch for Children, like the yellow triangle signs found in school zones.
But then I changed it to, East City Girl — A Micro-Memoir of Growing up Catholic. This better suited my main theme of being Roman Catholic in a small town.
I hired a graphic artist to design the cover. The first cover she designed had a cathedral building that really had nothing to do with my memoir. The graphic artist thought that because I used “Catholic” in the title, the stone church would be a good fit.
Instead of letting her choose another photo, I researched and discovered a photo of the Hunter Street Bridge in Peterborough that leads into East City, the exact area where all my memories take place.
The second cover had East separated from City Girl. The graphic artist didn’t realize that “East City” is the actual location of my memoir.
The third and fourth cover drafts had font and colours that I really didn’t like.
She nailed it on the fifth draft. I loved the font, the photo, and the colours.
Once I had my cover and the stories and poems in place I put a call out on Facebook to see if anyone would be interested in volunteering to be a beta reader.
I received 20 responses!
I sent a pdf copy of my draft memoir to all 20 with a list of questions for them to answer (i.e. what did you like best/what did you like least/would you like more photos/etc.) and a deadline to return to me.
Some responded right away and gave a thumbs up to the project. Others provided some insight into what was missing. Still others took the time to go into detail on improvements I could make, including a title change.
I worked through each suggestion meticulously. Through their suggestions, I added a prologue and epilogue, a map and family tree, and many more stories.
The process I went through to create a book about animals in the Bible
When my daughter was in grade school she often regaled me with tales of animal facts.
She’d start with, “Mom, did you know…” and then went on to share with me the latest fascinating fact that she’d learned.
As a fundraiser for her to attend camp, we collected these tidbits together into a small book and published it through Lulu.com
What I liked about using this self-publishing service was the opportunity to upload the word document online, create a nice cover, and not have to order thousands of books. However, to order a few books was expensive.
The endeavor to fundraise failed and the project cost us money. However, it was a good learning opportunity for both my daughter and me.
Years later, I created a book series called Science & Faith Matters. This series was to introduce children to life sciences through Bible stories. I targeted it to 6-to 9-year-olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in Grades 1–3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum.
The first book in the series was called Trees of the Book — Learning from God’s Creation. For the second book, Irevisited the idea of fascinating animal facts by creating Adam’s Animals — Fun Facts About God’s Creation. Both books were created as 8.5″x11″ activity books.
The animals found in the Bible were presented alphabetically. A typical entry contained the verse in the Bible where the animal is mentioned, and a brief explanation of what the verse means.
A “Did you know?” section followed with six facts about the animal. I did a ton of research to uncover fun unusual facts about the animals. In my research, I discovered that some of the “facts” that my daughter had shared were not true. I’m relieved that her book did not get distributed with false information beyond her own family!
Each entry also included a picture of the animal to colour (illustrated by
Janis Cox) along with a simple word search puzzle. Puzzle solutions ended the book.
The cover design came from 99 Designs. I told them what I wanted and designers submitted their ideas and I picked my favourite cover. It cost approximately $300.
A few years later, I wanted to make it more accessible by removing the activity portion of the book and making it available as an e-book.
I re-designed the book to be 6″x9″ and removed the illustrations and puzzles.
I also renamed the book, Animals of the Bible — Over 35 Animal Bible Stories, as I realized that if people were interested in learning about animalsthey would not google “Adam’s Animals”.
I created the cover myself using the free Amazon KDP Cover Creator.
When I changed the series from Science & Faith Matters to Exploring God’s Word I hired a graphic artist to design new covers. She created a new cover for Trees in the Bible and for future books in the series, Weather in the Bible and Music in the Bible.
I re-added the illustrations of the animals but made them much smaller and placed them between the scripture explanation and the “Did you know?” sections.
In 2014, I created 30 super simple animal crafts to supplement the children’s activity book Adam’s Animals — Fun Facts About God’s Creation.
I elicited my daughter’s help to research and create the crafts while I wrote out the needed materials along with simple directions.
My church used it in its Sunday school curriculum and Vacation Bible School.
Six years later, I updated this book to match the 6″x9″ new Animals in the Bible book. I formatted it to be downloaded as an e-book as well. I created a new title 30 Super Simple Animal Crafts for Kids and created a new cover with photos of some of the finished crafts and a more detailed sub-title, Easy-to-Make Animal Crafts Kids Will Love.
Although I sell this book on Amazon, I offer it as a free download on my website.
It’s been quite the journey but I finally have a series that I feel proud to share with my daughter and my granddaughter.
I am grateful to Amazon KDP for the flexibility to self-publish and make as many changes as I want. I am already thinking of new topics to add to my Exploring God’s Word series including books on Food in the Bible, Jobs in the Bible, and Names in the Bible.
The process I went through to create a book of memories for my grandchild
When our children were young, my husband and I would take turns with each child at bedtime.
I would go first to my daughter while my husband spent time with my son. I would talk about her day, pray with her, tickle her back, and then repeat a saying with her before trading places with my hubby.
I would repeat the bedtime ritual with my son.
The expression that I shared with both of my kids went something like this:
Me: How much do I love you? Child: Up to God!
Me: When will I stop loving you? Child: Never!
Me: What could you possibly do to make me stop loving you? Child: Nothing!
Me: And why do I love you? Child: Just because you do.
Me: It’s not what you say, it’s not what you do, it’s just because you are you.
Over the years, my kids’ responses could get pretty silly. Instead of saying, “Never!” in response to my question of when I will stop loving them, they would get goofy and say something like, “Yesterday!”
Or, instead of answering, “Nothing!” in reply to my question about what they could do to make me stop loving them, they would say something like, “Put a spider in your soup!”
But despite their silly years, we kept saying the expression and always came back to the true responses.
Even after my son left home at age 15 and, in anger, told me that he no longer had a mother, I would send him text messages asking him how much I loved him and then typing the answer when he didn’t respond.
Those rebellious teenage years were difficult, but I believe that the expression we shared let them know that I truly loved them unconditionally.
As young adults, my children can still rely on the truth of my rhyme.
In 2007, I decided to make the rhyme into a book for my kids to have.
Back then, there weren’t many programs like we have today for indie authors to create books. But I found an online program and put together a small 6-page “book” called, How Much Do I Love You?
Each page had one line from the rhyme and I used black and white clipart hearts to illustrate it.
Now, 15 years later, I share this same expression with my granddaughter. She delights in shouting her responses.
The sheer joy I feel at playing with my 4-year-old grandbug prompted me to relook at the idea of creating a keepsake book.
I learned that picture books are 32 pages long, including cover pages, introductions, back flaps, and copyright information. So I needed more than just the rhyme to fill the pages.
I wrote the book rather quickly, telling the story of our relationship and what we love to do together. Along with describing the kind of fun things we like to do, I included the expression we say together.
But I didn’t know the best way to illustrate it.
At first, I searched Pixabay for suitable pictures. I absolutely loved the artwork of La Petite Femme and originally created the book using all her illustrations.
However, as much as I loved her illustrations I didn’t think they truly captured the relationship between Sophia and myself.
I then toyed with the idea of making the book more generic with the use of animals. I found some delightful giraffes that I imagined could be representative of myself and my granddaughter. I even tried my own hand at drawing.
I contacted her and asked if she’d be interested in illustrating. Although she had a pretty full plate already, she said she’d give it a try. I showed her the pixabay art that I liked so much and she created beautiful pictures.
They were simply adorable. Yet, they still didn’t capture what I was looking for.
Jan recommended a friend, MaryAnne Wheeler Dietrich. I reached out to her and she said that she’d be willing to make a few preliminary sketches. I sent her my manuscript and she created some beautiful artwork.
She even sent me a draft of the giraffes I thought so adorable.
Both these ladies are so talented! I loved the artwork but it still didn’t capture what I was looking for.
Maybe I could just draw stick figures?
I had the story. I had a ton of photos of Sophia and me doing all the things we loved to do. But I just couldn’t settle on the illustrations.
The photos were nice but I didn’t want a photo book.
I prayed about it.
God gave me the idea to alter the photos to create an artistic yet realistic picture.
I googled and came across Picsart — Create Amazing Photo & Video Edits With Online Design Tools.
It was a slow process to upload my photos and then apply the “Magic — Highlight” effects to create the look I wanted.
But it was worth it!
The final product is a book that captures the love between my granddaughter and me.
I hope that this will be a keepsake she cherishes today and into the future when I may be long gone.
My prayer is that she, too, will share joyful times and unconditional love with her own grandchildren.
The process I went through to create books with multiple contributors
Although my two anthologies have polar opposite origin stories, they were released in 2021 within a month of each other.
Writers on Writing
I didn’t start out intending to write a book.
I started with a desire to showcase the writers who contributed to our publication, Koinonia, on Medium.
Koinonia is a publication that
Janis Cox and I started in 2019 and it grew from the two of us to over 400 contributors.
Julie Ranson took over the reins in 2021 and continues to promote the values of fellowship through a Facebook group, the prayers, the scripture prompts, the recommendations of others’ writings, and more.
I started the interview series in May 2019 and featured one writer interview each Friday. The interviewee answered a series of questions, including where their ideas came from, influencers, writing goals, how their faith influenced their work, and things they learned. They included a minimum of two photos: one head & shoulder shot and one personal picture.
After reading the inspiring answers to the questions, I believed other writers would be blessed by reading these interviews if I shared them in book format.
I sent out an email to all the contributors asking them if they wanted to take part in this project. Of the 92 interviewees, 35 responded favourably.
I went to work right away.
I cut and pasted each interview from Medium into a Word document, added a bio to each writer’s contribution; then wrote the table of contents, introduction, conclusion, and information about Koinonia Publication.
In August 2021, I shared the draft of the book with the contributors. I removed some of the more specific-to-Medium questions and included the writers’ social media links in their bio. I gave them a deadline to review and submit any changes or edits.
In the meantime, I hired a graphic artist to design the book cover. I bounced title ideas around and settled on Writers on Writing — Interviews with Writers of Faith.
Once I completed the final edits from contributors, I uploaded the book to Amazon. I created both a paperback and e-book version.
Since being published in August 2021, the book has received high praise and many writers are encouraged by the interviews.
What’s Your Story
Every year at Christmas, I reflect on the last 365 days, review my goal planning notes from years past, and write new goals for the year.
In 2001, one of my goals was to write a book called What’s Your Story. I wanted to collect stories from people who were born-again Christians.
It wasn’t until 20 years later when I had contacts from Christians around the world that this goal would finally be realized.
Through Koinonia and social media, I sent out a request to believers asking if they’d be interested in being featured in a new series on Medium that would eventually be collected into a book.
I created a google form with questions for each contributor to answer including how old they were when they gave their heart to the Lord and what was their life like before and after they were saved.
Twenty-five people answered my request and sent in their stories.
In February 2021, I featured my own story as the first in the series. I featured each testimony on Tuesdays on Medium and then cut and paste them into Word format for the book.
In August 2021, I sent the first draft of the book to all contributors. They replied with feedback, edits, and necessary changes.
I hired the same graphic artist I had used for the writers’ anthology to create the title page. I kept the same title, What’s Your Story, and added a subtitle, Personal Testimonies to Encourage Your Faith.
In reading it through, I couldn’t help but smile and be warmed by the many testimonies of the saints. I uploaded it to Amazon and created both an e-book and a paperback version. The book released in September 2021.
Although the germ of the idea to create each anthology was diametrically different, I believe that each book was created with perfect timing.
Amid the uncertainty and chaos that the worldwide pandemic has brought into our lives, my prayer is that many readers will be blessed by the encouragement and hope that both these anthologies bring.
The process I went through to create a book about trees in the Bible
Years ago, an author shared with me that he had created his popular children’s book week-by-week. Every Sunday, he distributed a chapter to the children in his church congregation and received instant feedback from his little readers.
I thought this to be an ingenious idea and adopted it as my own.
I wanted to create an activity book that showcased the trees that are in the Bible. But I wanted it to be unique with a playful flair. Thus, I created Trees of the Book where the trees “came to life” and told the Bible story from their own viewpoint.
Originally, I picked seven trees thinking that it may be a good study for every day of the week.
But I wanted more than just a story. I researched each tree and put together facts about their bark, leaves, trunk, fruit, etc. I then added fun activities such as a word search, colouring page, maze, and so on.
I wanted to add illustrations of each tree, their leaf, and their corresponding Bible story, but I am not an artist. I knew a woman, Esther, from church, who had been drawing and painting since she was a young child. She planned to attend Fleming College of the Arts in Haliburton and we both thought this would be an excellent way for her to grow her portfolio. Esther created beautiful watercolour artwork (including the cover) for the activity book.
In 2013, byDesign Media published my 8.5 x 11 inch 26-page activity book and I called it, Trees of the Book — Learning from God’s Creation.
It received a few 4–5 star reviews but saw limited sales.
In 2020, I wanted to make the book more accessible to libraries, schools, and as an e-book so I took out the activities and illustrations, and reduced the book size to 6 x 9 inches.
I also realized that readers wouldn’t google “trees of the book” but rather “trees of the Bible” so I changed the title to Trees of the Bible — 7 Bible stories told from the viewpoint of a tree.
I then created a new cover myself using one of the illustrations that Esther originally made and self-published through CreateSpace on Amazon.
In 2021, I once again updated the book. I added 10 more trees, 10 more project suggestions, and line drawings of each tree. I also added 6–16 more words and characters to the “Glossary” and “People of the Bible” sections.
Leisure Time With God is a collection of devotions from Where Media Meets Faith, Think Snow, Night Stories, and My Journey to the Holy Land.
Can God speak to us through movies, hobbies, travel, and dreams? The Bible is very clear that God can and does speak to us in a variety of ways. Kimberley Payne shares in short, simple stories the truth that God may have something for us to learn about our lives.
Best described as an emotional treasure of personal reflections, each devotional in this book holds a lesson of wisdom that can be applied to one’s life.
Leisure Time With God is a collection of stories from Where Media Meets Faith, Think Snow, Night Stories, and My Journey to the Holy Land.
Over 60 devotions explore the movie scene, the joys and challenges of snowmobiling, night time dreams and their interpretations, and personal reflections of my pilgrimage to Israel.
I pray this collection of four small books in one will encourage and motivate you in your daily walk with God.
Where Media Meets Faith
Where Media Meets Faith is a collection of short devotionals about movies and television shows that I’ve watched and what I’ve gleaned from them.
Movies included in this collection are The Passion of Christ, Time Changer, Pirates of the Caribbean, Bruce Almighty, The Little Mermaid, Murdoch Mysteries, Back to the Future, It’s a Wonderful Life, My Name is Earl, and Scary Movie.
Although most of these films are intended for a secular audience I’ve found that God has been gracious to show me Christian truths through them.
About the Author
Kimberley Payne is an award-winning author. Her writing relates raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. Visit her website.
Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a one-month book tour and book giveaway for Naked & Not Ashamed: The Transformational Devotional Experience by Chanelle Coleman. The book tour will run May 2- 27, 2022.
Chanelle Coleman Wesley is a native of Milwaukee Wisconsin. She is the creative powerhouse of CeCi’s Ink, an innovative storytelling company that conveys stories through poetry, books, playwrights, blogs, fashion, and motivational speaking. Chanelle is significantly inspired by her late mother’s, Brenda J. Coleman, penchant for prolific storytelling and developing a strong sense of faith. As a survivor of abuse, Wesley believes in passing on the communication skills she developed to cope in those environments. She is also an accomplished playwright with her latest project, a gospel stage play entitled The Beautiful Truth About an Ugly Lie to be released soon. She strives to empower individuals who have lost their ability to advocate for themselves by challenging them to recognize the power of their voice. Her greatest accomplishment, however, forever remains becoming a mother to her six beautiful children and “GiGi” to her two adorable grandchildren.
Naked & Not Ashamed is a transparent conversation between Sisters. One that allows both the writer and reader to expose themselves without fear or sense of condemnation. It’s a journey towards healing that allows us to dialogue without masks, charades, or pretense. We explore familiar stories of women in the Bible. These powerful narratives of trial, triumph, failures, and flaws show the resiliency, redemptive and transformative power of encountering Christ. I also reveal personal experiences of my own Christian walk with all its ups, downs, twists, and turns. But the most amazing part of these chronicles is you! Right now, you are writing your story. Are you living with pain, grief, and regret that needs to be released? This book is designed to help you see your own undeniably powerful narrative. I want to challenge you to see the hand of God in your life and urge you to find the ability to tell your story. We accomplish this through journal prompts, activities, prayer, etc.
Tony instantly began screaming and yelling. I continued to bite down harder. I continued biting and grinding my teeth until I couldn’t bite anymore. I let go. He fell back onto the bed. I jumped up out of the bed, my heart was pounding, terrified I opened the door, and I was met with darkness. Hurriedly I ran out past the dining room, through the hallway to the kitchen. Panicked, I reached the back door. I began pulling on the door, but it was locked. Fear seized me as I began fumbling with the knob trying to unlock the door. The latch finally twisted up and I raced up the back-hallway stairs. At last, there was light. I ran as fast as I could through the open kitchen door. The light continued to welcome me as I forged ahead running through the hallway past the bathroom and my aunt’s and grandparent’s bedrooms, the dining-room and into the living room to the couch where my grandmother was sitting. I distinctly remember her shocked expression as I pounded towards her as she sat there speechless, on the couch holding my baby brother. I felt relieved and a sense of security momentarily came over me until my grandmother spoke. She stared at me, with her mouth opened in shock. She screamed, “Chanelle, you’re naked! Where are your clothes?” Momentarily, I had forgotten that I was naked, but the awful realization of my nakedness began to cover me like a garment. It was the evidence of my pain, humiliation, and fear. I stood there breathlessly as I gasped, painting for air, naked and ashamed, I told her my story.
If you know God loves your work, you can—as Paul put it—”work at it with all your heart.” But too often even Christians find it hard to engage fully with what occupies them for hours every day. This book will help you relate your work to God’s eternal Kingdom purposes. Here you will find not just one or two but several biblical reasons for getting up and going to work.
During your lifetime you will spend, perhaps, 100,000 hours working in paid or unpaid work. Will you see spiritual significance in those hours? In the end, will they really matter? These easy-to-read chapters will help you view your daily work within a new and much larger perspective. For example, what if you were to begin seeing your work as a worship offering that God gladly receives? Or what if you were to discover how he intends to use your work to further your own spiritual growth?
Get set to move from “Thank God, it’s Friday!” to “Wonderful, it’s Monday again!”
Have you ever thought of your ordinary, daily work as an offering? As an activity that can be offered in worship God gladly accepts? “Wait!” you may be thinking. “Like texting and driving, worship and work don’t mix. Each has its own proper place.” Sadly, too many Christians see worship and work that way.
It seems that a great many believers segregate the two in their thinking. Sundays for worship, weekdays for work. A neat way to compartmentalize. But stay with me for a bit. Let’s see if we ought to keep work and worship in separate drawers.
From the earliest Bible records, worship has involved offerings. Cain and Abel both came to God with offerings. God, we know, accepted only what Abel offered. Abraham trudged up Mt. Moriah, thinking he would have to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice—but God himself provided the animal for the offering. Tabernacle and Temple worship involved a whole range of offerings. The ancient Israelites offered a variety of animals: bulls, rams, lambs, doves, and pigeons. Some offerings included barley, wheat, red wine, yeast, and honey. All need for those Old-Covenant offerings, though, ended when Jesus offered his own body and blood on the cross. That’s why we no longer offer the slaughtered animals.
Does this mean New Covenant worship involves no offerings? Hardly. We are still to bring offerings to God—but not all those brought to the Tabernacle or Temple. Our offerings don’t atone for our sins. Instead, they spring from gratitude for the one-time sacrifice Jesus made for them. For example, one offering God still wants us to bring is praise. As Hebrews 13:15 tells us, “let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.”
Worship as Body-Offering
But there’s another gratitude-sacrifice we can bring to God—one explicitly connected with worship. Paul wrote to the Christ-followers in Rome that as they gazed on God’s mercy in Jesus, they were to “offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (Rom. 12:1). What’s happening here? This one sentence connects offerings with bodies. Connects bodies with sacrifices. And connects bodily sacrifices with spiritual worship.
Have you ever considered your human body as a worship instrument?
“Not so fast,” someone might object, “bodies are so physical. How could they be spiritual? Praise songs and Bible and prayer and church meetings—those are spiritual. Bodies, on the other hand, are just biodegradable dust. They’re so mundane, so ordinary. They get dirty, sweat, need baths, get sick, and finally die. Souls and spirits—those are spiritual. They live forever. Aren’t they what we should be offering to God in worship?”
But wait. When Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days,” what did he mean by “this temple”? Well, you say, “He meant his own body—the temple of his body. But of course he could say that, because he was Jesus—God in the flesh.”
True. But what did Paul go on to say about your body? Don’t you know, he asks, “that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” (I Cor. 6:19)? So our physical bodies become spiritual instruments because of the One who lives in them—the Holy Spirit. And because these temple-bodies of ours are spiritual instruments, we can offer them to God in spiritual worship.
Work as a Body-Offering
When you get up, get dressed, and begin your day’s work, what instrument do you use to do it? Your body—the “house” that the whole you lives in.
If your work is driving a delivery truck, you use your hands on the steering wheel, your feet on the pedals, and your eyes on the road. Computer programmers use their brains. Singers used their vocal cords. And so on. In other words, this spiritual instrument, this temple of the Holy Spirit, gets involved to accomplish whatever the work may be, whether it’s paid or not. Paul urged the Roman believers to involve their bodies as spiritual vehicles: “So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God” (Rom. 6:13, NLT).
When Eugene Peterson came to Romans 12:1 in The Message, here’s how he put it: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering.”
Did you catch that reference to work in there? You are to place your “going-to-work . . . life . . . before God as an offering.” Yes—one’s work-life. Work done by the spiritual instrument of the body, the work itself, can be offered to God as an acceptable act of spiritual worship. This is not some radical new idea. Centuries ago, Martin Luther said, “Seemingly secular works are a worship of God and an obedience well pleasing to God.”
A Hebrew Word for Work and Worship
Or go back much, much further in history for a look at a surprising word. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew term avad is sometimes translated as worship. For example, at the burning bush God told Moses, “when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain” (Exodus 3:12). That English word “worship” translates avad.
Now for the surprise. In the fourth of the Ten Commandments, God said, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work.” (Exodus 20:9). Here, the word “work” translates avad. The same word that means worship also means work.
What links worship and work so closely that the same word can describe both? Deuteronomy 6:13 makes the connection: “Fear the Lord your God, serve him only.” The word “serve” in this verse also translates avad. In worship, we serve God. In work, we serve God. Do you recall what Paul told the Christian slaves in Colossae about their work? He said, “It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3:24).
Kamalini Kumar, a nurse, says, “Nursing is my profession, my daily work. But it is also an important way I worship God. For me, work and worship have become like two blades of a scissors; one is useless without the other. I see now that work is a ministry performed before God.”
The First Workplace Offerings
Cain and Abel made the first “offerings” we read about in the Bible. Both men offered something from their work. Cain, the farmer, offered what grew from his plot of ground. Abel, the shepherd, offered part of an animal from his flock. So each man offered that which stood for his work. God accepted only one offering. In the letter to the Hebrews, we learn why. Abel made his God-pleasing, workplace offering “by faith” (Heb. 11:4). Apparently Cain did not because, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6).
Our job descriptions define us as accountants, project managers, installers, or what have you. Those are useful as role descriptions. But they do not tell us who we are. Among other biblical terms that reveal our identity is that word “priest.” For Christians today, it takes faith to see ourselves doing our work as priests.
What do priests do? For Old Covenant priests, a large part of their work involved making offerings. For New Covenant priests, work makes up one of our major offerings. “Whatever you do,” Paul instructed the Corinthian Christians, “do it all for the glory of God” (I Cor. 10:31). That “whatever” wraps in everything, including our work. We are to offer, submit, donate our work to God as worship.
“What is That in Your Hand?”
The little drummer boy saw his drum-playing as worth little compared with the fine gifts of the magi. In a similar way, you may have considered so-called “secular” work unfit to offer to Jesus, the King. At the burning bush, Moses did not think he could do the work God was asking him to do—the task of delivering the Israelites from their Egyptian slave masters.
And so God said to him, “What is that in your hand?” Moses knew it was nothing but an ordinary staff. God told him to throw it to the ground. He did, and it became a snake. God then told Moses to take the creature by its tail. When Moses did so, it turned back into a staff.
What is that in your hands? What work has God given you to do? As you do your work for God’s glory, you turn it into a worship offering. As Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson say in Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy, “Gathered worship in the sanctuary must become scattered worship in the streets.”
About the Author
Larry Peabody serves as adjunct theology-of-work professor for the Bakke Graduate University. His first book, Serving Christ in the Workplace was published by Christian Literature Crusade in 1974. Job-Shadowing Daniel: Walking the Talk at Work was published in the spring of 2010. Curing Sunday Spectatoritis: From Passivity to Participation in Church was published by Urban Loft Publishers in 2015. Peabody has served as a state employee, business owner, church planter, and senior pastor.
Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour and free book giveaway for My Sister Helped Me Heal: The Power of Kingdom Sisterhood by Chavon Anette. The book tour will run April 4- 15, 2022.
Genre: Religion / Christian Living / Personal Growth
ABOUT THE VISIONARY
Chavon is an Amazon #1 International Bestselling Author, Transformational Speaker, Leadership and Life Coach, and Talk Show Host. She is the CEO of Purpose Unwrapped, LLC and non-profit Power and Grace Leaders, Inc. Also, a board member- COO- of an Accreditation organization- Governing Council.
Chavon is affectionally known as the Fire Leadership Coach. She marries practical and spiritual tools to empower and equip kingdom people to lead in the world. Formerly a high school educator, her mission is now to help Kingdom people Break Fear, Build Faith, and Lead Confidently online and beyond. She believes it takes commitment, confidence, and courage to impact culture.
She is also a transformational speaker who speaks with great passion in a way that empowers and challenges her listeners. She has been featured as a speaker on ABC news, TCT Today, Virginia Wesleyan University, and at conferences and other events such as globally recognized Comeback Champion Summit and Sister Leads Conference.
Chavon has published 4 books that are available on Amazon, and she has been a part of 7 anthologies. Three anthologies became Amazon #1 Bestsellers- Undeterred, (International Bestselling) Unveiled Transparency, Called to Intercede and Sister Leaders. Now, She is in the process of birthing out My Sister Helped Me Heal Anthology where she is the visionary.
Chavon Anette was the 2021 Servant Leader of the Year Award Recipient from ACHI Magazine. Also In 2021, she was nominated for ACHI as Entrepreneur of the year, mentor of the year, author of the year, and TV personality of the year. In 2018, Chavon was nominated for ACHI as Author of the year and Educator of the year, and in 2019 she was nominated for ACHI as Educator of the Year and Orator of the Year!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Chavon Anette and an amazing group of women join in an Anthology to share their story about the Powerful gift of Kingdom Sisterhood. The book is about real stories of Sisterhood That helped people move – from broken to whole – from hidden to walking in purpose – from rejected to accepted – from insecure to confident – from afraid to bold as a lioness.
“Look at her”- my eyes meet my friend- “I support and love you.”
“Look at her”- my eyes shift to my next friend- “I support and love you.”
“Look at her”- my eyes turn to my other friend- “I support and love you.”
“Look at me”- my eyes are at my friend creating this moment- “I support and love you.”
It was moments before I would speak for my first in-person event. God led my friend Kiyanni Bryan to instruct me to turn and look at all my sisters in the back room with me – Lakia Perez, Ciara Mason, Melissa Daughtry, and herself, and allow them to say those words to me. With tears rolling down my eyes, the reality of their words sinking in brought me to a new level of freedom and deliverance.
It can weigh on you when you have had to manage the fights of ministry and fights in your
personal life. It never means quitting or giving up, but with the right people around you, it still means making sure you position yourself to heal in the areas where you have been wounded.