Catch the Fire!

wood-fire-1241199__180It was a time of great spiritual awakening. If you lived during this time period, you would have felt the fire of evangelism sparking in the hearts of so many around you. You might have been caught up in the fire yourself.

The historical time period I refer to gives a different perspective from the others mentioned to date. I’m not talking about time periods as usually examined by historians. Rather, I’m looking at time periods of evangelism. Looking through those lenses, by far my favorite period is the evangelism awakening that occurred from about eighteen hundred through approximately the nineteen-sixties. During this time, tens of thousands of men and women left the comforts of life in Europe or America and traveled to the remotest parts of the earth to take the light of salvation to those who lived in spiritual darkness.

Many of those brave individuals died at sea, or in the jungles of Africa and South America, or at the hands of the very people they had abandoned everything to help. Still, they went. Their fire was contagious, their sacrifices not in vain, and thousands upon thousands heard the gospel and came to salvation because of them. Some of missions’ great heroes come to my mind: Adoniram Judson of Burma, Hudson Taylor, and Lottie Mon of China, David Livingstone of Africa, Jim Elliott and his brave coworkers in Ecuador … just to name a few. african boat

I was a child of this great evangelical movement. My parents were among the courageous men and women who left everything, crossed a vast ocean to an unknown land because of their passion for the souls of people they had never met. I owe my wonderful childhood memories of growing up in Africa to this movement. But more than that, I owe my own passion for missions to the brave men and women who belonged to the generations before me.

BiblestudyIn Revelation 3:8, God tells the church in Philadelphia, “… I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut…” The generations before me had an open door too. Theirs was a great calling and many heeded it. It was a calling filled with adventure, challenge, love for their fellow man, and the joy of seeing God move and lost souls saved.

This historical time period is the setting of my first novel—a fiction based on fact. It is the fictionalized story of my parents’ lives and their call to missions.

Today, our door to missions and evangelism is not as open any longer. In fact, new doors close to missions seemingly every day. I stood at the feet of the last generation that have an open door to foreign missions. I saw the zest for the Lord they had and the courage it required in the face of difficulties. The Nigerian mission where I grew up faced the Biafran War. My parents and missionary aunts and uncles witnessed the genocide of the Igbo people, the constant presence of armed soldiers, sudden evacuations, and the fear that the war could be in their front yard at any time. Yet, they kept their course, loving the hurting people around them and leading many to Christ.

There is a song that says, “May those who come behind us find us faithful.” The generations of missionaries that came before me were faithful to their Lord and to their calling. My prayer is that the generation that comes behind ours will find us faithful, too, in whatever tasks God gives us. For writers like me, our task is to write stories and pieces that glorify Him.

So, come away with me now. Climb aboard a boat bound for a foreign land that you have only known from books and lectures. You don’t know how to speak the language, you have only a sketchy understanding of the culture, and no idea of what lies ahead. You have said goodbye to the family you love and will not see them again for several years.

You look back and see the coastline fading from view behind you. You turn your face forward. A salty mist hits your face as the breeze blows through your hair. A grand adventure beckons you. There are places to go, people to meet, souls in need of a savior …

seagull

Writing Prompt: The picture above is the view from your boat, where you have been for weeks. The sun is setting, tomorrow will be a new day. Tomorrow, you should finally reach the coast of …

In the comment section below, write a short piece about where you’re going and what you will do when you finally arrive tomorrow.

3 Questions Wednesday with Kelly Liberto

Liberto 8Today’s guest is my friend, Kelly Liberto:  Biblical counselor, speaker, and writer of Christian suspense.

Hi, Kelly! So glad you dropped by. First question:

 

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Kelly: The first book, my mainstay which comes to mind, is the Bible of course. Written by the Designer himself, if I have any needs for my writing journey, I go here first for encouragement, direction and even healing.

You may ask, what kind of healing? I was diagnosed with cancer in April 2001. In the bible I found promises from God which kept me going through some serious chemotherapy and leaned on this book for the inspiration, strength and wisdom to know how to deal with that particular bump in the road.

My next choices may not sound so “obvious.” I found Ronie Kendig’s novel Dead Reckoning to be the jump starter in my love of writing suspense. When I was told to add a romantic thread to my current manuscript by a well known expert in the field, I balked. How could I add “romance” to a book that deals with such difficult subjects as trafficking and political corruption?

The answer to my questions came in the form of Beth Vogt’s romance novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love. She had just the right balance of realism dipped with a touch of young love and I thought, “wow, I could write that!”

The Bible is a main stay for many of us. And I find novels an interesting choice. Now about you…

What secret talents do you have?

Kelly: Hmmm…that’s a rough one. A fairly recent experience revealed a talent I had when a recruiter offered me a job as a life coach.  Apparently, this job entails encouraging and advising others on how to overcome personal and business challenges.

Though the offer was attractive, I turned it down. It appeared I made the right decision as shortly after, I was offered a contract with Hartline Literary agency.

Sounds like a win-win situation. 🙂 Last question:

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Kelly: It depends. What do you like to eat? My specialties would probably include traditional fare like pasta, Mexican or meat and potato dishes. We’re not too fancy around here.

But, I can guarantee some laughs and a good time for sure!

I like all of the above. Thanks again for participating in 3 Questions Wednesday!

Kelly is offering to giveaway  a print copy of Sweet Freedom With A Slice of Peach Cobbler to one blessed person who leaves a comment. So make sure and tell Kelly “hi.”

sweet freedom 1Kelly Liberto is a communicator with a capital “C.”

From speaking in a Fortune 500 board room to appearing on several local television shows including a taped interview “Kelly’s Miracle.” Public Access television program, The Total Picture, produced the account of how God miraculously healed her from stage 4 cancer after only three months in 2001.

You can read more about how God rescued her from fear resulting from sexual abuse and healed her from cancer in the anthology Sweet Freedom With A Slice Of Peach Cobbler. Sweet Freedom hit number 7 out of 100 free kindle downloads on July 4, 2013.

Her current manuscript was a semifinalist in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis Contest in April 2014. Her novel also won a bronze medal in the Frasier Contest in 2015. This December, Kelly signed with agent Jim Hart from Hartline Literary Agency.

When she’s not busy as a wife or a mom or jet-skiing the shark infested waters off South Carolina, she spends her time writing Christian suspense.

A Time of Rebirth

By Betty Boyd

Slide6

One of the most intriguing periods in history is The Renaissance. The term means “rebirth” and it is the development of Western civilization that marked a transition from medieval to modern times.  It profoundly affected Europe specifically in Italy in the 14th century.  According to Wikipedia the Renaissance, “Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, philosophy, art, music, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry”.

There were many great achievements during the Renaissance in science, art and music.  In science, Nicolaus Copernicus, a Polish astronomer, who was responsible for the formulation of a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center. Galileo, an Italian scientist and scholar who is responsible for modern day physics and astronomy.

The most famous artists during the Renaissance were Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci. Michelangelo, an Italian sculptor, is famous for his sculptor of the Pieta and fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Leonardo DaVinci, another Italian painter is most famous for the Mona Lisa, and The Last Supper.

I can relate to this period in history, because I too have gone through various renaissance periods in my life. I have never been a prolific painter, or even in my writing. I find that change or rebirth at different times in my life have helped me to be more centered and to grow as a person.

Complete the prompt below for an entry in our blog-a-versary drawing! Submit your completed writing prompt via Comments.

So what do you find most interesting about the Renaissance period in history?

Can you write a story with these words?

  • Sculptor
  • Civilianization
  • Renaissance
  • Transition

The Medieval Era

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I love history. All of it. Choosing a favorite era was, well, akin to choosing a favorite child. Impossible to do.

But for the sake of this post, and in tandem with my love of all things Irish, I chose the Medieval Era, which roughly correlates with the history of the land of my ancestors.

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The medieval period is also known as the  Middle Ages and the Dark Ages. According to Wikipedia, historians don’t know much about this period of time; records of the history of this era have not survived; we are “in the dark” so to speak. Also lending to this particular moniker was the free reign of barbarians, and widespread disease, namely the plague.

Slide3

Social class was clearly delineated. Called the Three Estates, they were nobles who governed, clergy who tended the religious needs, and the common folk. The Roman Catholic Church was rigid in their standard. Not only were invading barbarians brutal in their actions, but the Europeans themselves thrived on bloodthirst. This, and the seeming disparate passion for their religion fed The Crusades.

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Of particular interest to me are the great cathedrals of this era. Gothic architecture that took decades to complete. They, too, point to the emphasis on piety and religion.

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And as mentioned at the beginning of this post, all things Ireland. There is much written of Saint Patrick, legend and lore. Most widely accepted is that he arrived in Ireland in the year 432 A.D.  Most notable of his writings was the Hymn, or Breastplate.  Called the Lorica in Latin, a small excerpt states:

 Slide7

Ah! But this is a writing blog. And oh! the literature of this era. Oft romanticized, knights in shining armor fending off knaves who would carry fair maidens off. Sagas, epics, ballads, spoken tales passed amongst the common folk who could neither read nor write. As to written literature of the era, Dante and Chaucer were among the most prominent writers of the middle ages.

Slide8 Classics by Ken Follett and Bernard Cornwell, Morgan Llywelyn and Mark Twain, Phillippa Gregory and Sharon Kay Penman, and titles such as The White Queen and The Red Queen, When Christ and His Saints Slept and Lionheart, The Last Kingdom and The Mists of Avalon.

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But what better than titles by current day author and friend, Melanie Dickerson. I was first introduced to Melanie’s story telling when I read The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest and I was hooked. I’ve read three others and am in line to read an advance copy of The Beautiful Pretender. And I know I won’t be disappointed.

 

Slide10

As any era, there is much rich history that could be told. I could write an entire post on the Book of Kells alone. Or the life of Saint Patrick. Or the great cathedrals. Or… You get the picture.

Slide6

WRITING PROMPT:

“But Father!” I cried. “The Crusades are so dangerous.”
Father’s arms embraced me in a gentle yet firm hug.
“My daughter, it is the call of God.” He kissed me on the forehead and mounted his horse.
Watching him ride off, we didn’t see the approaching…


ME - 041115“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. She resides in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. Besides Tessa, she has Clara Bess, book two in her unsavory heritage series. She is currently working on Cissy, the third and final book in the series. It will be released in June of this year.

Come visit me at:

http://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S

https://twitter.com/amythyst212

3 Questions Wednesday with Carlton Hughes

Carlton Hughes

Carlton Hughes

Please welcome Writing Prompts crew member, Carlton Hughes, to 3 Questions Wednesday. Carlton is multi-talented–a writer, professor, children’s pastor, actor–the list goes on. So how did he answer our 3 Questions? Read on–

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Carlton: Writing for the Soul by Jerry Jenkins was a great reminder/primer of how to balance life as a writer with all of the other responsibilities of life. Truly an inspiring memoir of a writing life.

Glorious Intruder by Joni Eareckson-Tada literally changed my life, and I’ve reread it many times (something I don’t normally do). It’s a devotional book that God has used mightily in my life, and it has encouraged me to find God in the ordinary moments, whether good or bad. I hope to be half the writer she is someday.

Those are both wonderful books. I love when God uses a book to change lives, because that keeps me moving forward to be a better writer. Next question–

What secret talents do you have?

Carlton: I’m a children’s pastor, so I can do puppet voices. My signature one is for a puppet named Granny. Once we did a program for the entire church, and afterwards someone came up and said, “I loved Granny! Who did her voice?” I answered, “Me.” The look of shock on the person’s face was priceless.

People are often surprised that I love to cook, especially desserts. It won’t surprise many people that I also love to act (I’m quite a ham) and have been featured in a nationally-known community play series called Higher Ground, in which locally-gathered stories are combined with music and weaved into a play format.

I’m laughing out loud here, because I’ve heard your puppet voices. That’s so fun, and I know the children enjoy it. All this talent, but can you cook? That’s my segue into the final question, even though you’ve already confessed a love of cooking–

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Carlton: Baked breaded chicken tenders, onion-roasted potatoes, fried corn, salad, garlic cheese biscuits, and loaded brownies for dessert. Y’all come!

I’m on my way. 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our 3 Questions and I look forward to hearing more from you here on Writing Prompts.


Carlton Hughes is a communications professor at Southeast Kentucky Community College and coordinates the Dual Credit Program at Harlan County High School, where he also teaches part-time. He is children’s pastor at Lynch Church of God and won the 2013 Shepherd’s Cup Award, the highest honor for children’s pastors in the Church of God denomination. Hughes is also a year-round volunteer and Relay Center Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child.

As a writer, his works have been featured in numerous publications, including the books Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game, Simple Little Words, and a Christmas play anthology from Carpenter’s Son Publishing. He has also served as an ancillary writer for textbooks and standardized test materials for both Oxford Publishing and McGraw-Hill. Hughes is a two-time first-place winner in the “Dramas/Plays/Scripts” category in the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Writers Contest. He resides in Cumberland, Kentucky, and he and his wife Kathy have two sons, Noah and Ethan. He is a fan of chocolate, good books, basketball, and classic television shows like “I Love Lucy.” Someone out there please publish his book :).