Motivation For The Future

By Jennifer Hallmark

Where were you twenty years ago? I still lived in the first house we bought a year after we married. My children were not yet teens and I was writing a few Bible studies, papers I called them, just for my own enjoyment.

Life has majorly changed. We moved twice since then. Now my children are grown and married and I have six grandchildren. Writing is my career and I’m seeing some of my dreams realized.

During the month of October,  we discussed both personal changes and worldwide change.  Twenty years held good and not so good inventions. Tragedy and triumph.

We lived through Y2K and 911. I made it through my husband’s plant closing, my children’s teenage years, and the deaths of friends and family.

Life. These posts leave me with one question.

How will I embrace the future? The world is not safe. #MondayMotivation #InspiredPrompt

There are no guarantees. I’m not promised tomorrow.

But still I remain enthusiastic. Ready to start another Monday with hope. A new month with a small smile on my face. Why? Because as long as I’m here on this earth, I have purpose. I believe with my whole heart that God has a plan for me and it is good.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV  

My motivation for the future…

Louie to the Rescue-The Big Dig by Maria I. Morgan

I’m so happy to welcome my friend, author Maria I. Morgan, to our blog. She writes children’s stories and has a new one almost ready to release.  Let’s learn more about Louie to the Rescue-The Big Dig

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Maria:  My love for writing began with reading. My Mom read to my brother and me when we were young. Favorite books included anything by Dr. Seuss: Green Eggs and HamFox in SoxSneetches on Beaches; as well as Aesop’s Fables.

In junior high I collected as many volumes from the Nancy Drew series as I could. Instead of just words on a page, each book took me on a journey – painting pictures of far-away places and introducing me to fascinating characters. I couldn’t get enough. I was hooked.

With a degree in Health Fitness/Wellness, it wasn’t until years later that I got serious about writing. As strange as it sounds, it took an accident to get me back to the keyboard (you can read about it here).

To date, I’ve had two children’s books in the Louie the Lawnmower series published (Louie’s BIG day!, and Louie & the Leaf Pile), as well as a 10-week Bible study for women, Outrageously Fruitful. And I’m super excited to announce the third book in my children’s series will release in December. A brand new yard tool will be introduced, setting the stage for an exciting adventure! “Louie to the Rescue – The Big Dig” will be available on Amazon.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Maria: I enjoy writing both fiction and non-fiction. My Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful, and the devotionals I write for my blog are non-fiction and are geared toward women. Themes typically include: understanding God’s character, understanding God’s truth, understanding God’s plan, and writing tips & encouragement.

It’s fantastic to share the truths of God’s Word and have ladies respond to its relevance and timelessness – it’s powerful!

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12, KJV

Fictional writing unleashes the kid in me. I love writing stories that teach valuable life lessons. The Louie the Lawnmower series emphasizes character qualities (i.e. selflessness, kindness) through attention-grabbing storylines.

Do you work to an outline or prefer to see where an idea takes you?

Maria:  Good question! Typically, for non-fictional writing I have a general idea outlined in my mind, but it can shift as I write the piece. If I’m writing a devotional, I may have a topic and several verses I want to include, but the life example may change as the theme evolves.

Children’s books allow me to be more creative. There are endless adventures I can dream up to highlight specific character qualities.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Maria:  Honestly, for me, it’s finding the right balance between writing and marketing. I’m not very good at working on several projects at once. So if I’m releasing a book – my focus is on all things marketing. When I’m writing a book, I’m not concentrating as much on social media.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Maria: I asked my husband this same question on our first date – many, many years ago! As an author, I’d like to have several more books published, and see Louie the Lawnmower become a video series similar to Veggie Tales. That’s a BIG dream!

Encouraging women in the Word is my on-going dream as well. I want to continue teaching Bible studies and pointing ladies to fulfillment in Christ.

Thanks SO much for letting me be a part of your Saturday interview!

Click to tweet: Maria I. Morgan’s Louie to the Rescue-The Big Dig #InspiredPrompt #amreading

Thanks for being our guest, Maria. Now for a closer look at her new book…


*The 3rd book in the Louie the Lawnmower series, “Louie to the Rescue – The Big Dig,” will be releasing on Amazon soon!

Louie and the gang are fired up about the neighborhood yard competition. But when a sarcastic shovel arrives on the scene, hurtful words cause big problems. Will the newcomer succeed in intimidating Louie and his friends? Or will her plan backfire? Join Louie and the others and discover whose words win.

Enter to win: leave a comment below listing a character quality you’d like to see featured in a future Louie book, along with your email address, and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to receive a copy of “Louie to the Rescue – The Big Dig.” (Open to U.S. residents only. Contest will run through Saturday, November 4th. Winner will be contacted via email.)

Other books in the Louie the Lawnmower series:

Louie’s BIG day!

Louie & the Leaf Pile


Maria I. Morgan

Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker. She is the award-winning author of Louie’s BIG day! Regardless of the age of her audience, her goal is the same: to share God’s truths and make an eternal difference.

Contact Maria

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

The Smart Phone Phenomenon

By Betty Boyd

iphone-410311__480.jpg

Can you live without your cell phone? Imagine sitting by a land line and waiting for an expected call. Our smart phones are one of the most technological advancements in the last twenty years.

Initially, mobile phones were generally used for talking. When Steve Jobs in 2007 presented to the world the first I-Phone, this changed the trajectory of what smart phones should be. In the early going, developers added new features such as voicemail. Other brands such as Samsung and Motorola broke into the market and continued to advance.

Our cell phones are now multimedia driven. You can take photos, video chat, stream many forms of content, play games, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and search the internet. The list goes on and on.

The smart phone now comes in many sizes and a variety of colors. They include higher screen resolution and operating system interfaces are of high quality, and have greater storage capacity.

Customers are demanding more and more of their mobile devices. They are replacing our laptops, TV’s, and even tablets. These devices are streamlined. Our data is now stored in the cloud, and artificial intelligence is included in the package.

The smart phone has revolutionized lives over the last twenty years and will continue to advance in the future. What changes are in store?

Writing prompt: How has the smart phone changed your life?

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For Such a Time as This: Write to Inspire

by Tracy Ruckman

When Betty invited me to write a post for this month, I was going through yet another challenging time in our lives, and I originally wrote a post that was pure pity party. I even had the gall to send it to Betty, and she graciously scheduled it.

But that night, the Lord convicted me. My own challenges pale in comparison (more like they’re invisible in comparison) to the world’s current challenges. Most of the people I know can only bear to watch or listen to the news in short spells – every moment seems to be fraught with horrific details of disasters, evil acts, hate-filled opinions. The images burn into our brains, and the fear and doubt mounts.

So I decided to rewrite this post, and Betty has allowed me to get rid of the pity party and offer these words of encouragement instead.

The last 20 years have been filled with so many changes, so much horror and destruction. What do we do with all this news? What do we do as we watch friends suffer through floods and fires or become victims to the latest maniac bombing or shooting spree? What do we do as we watch politicians play war games with our countries like we’re all pawns in a child’s board game? What do we do when loved ones go through one health crisis after another? Or when our child suffers from mental illness?

Many of us pray and give, and somehow manage to get through each day, yet we long to do something more.

I’m going to assume that most of you reading this blog are writers, so my following comments are directed specifically to the writers, but even if you’re not one, I hope my comments will encourage and inspire you just the same.

Writers – we have a task in the midst of all this turmoil and tragedy! We are WRITERS. We must record these events, write about them.

No, we’re not all reporters, and we’re not all on the front lines. But we can still write from our own perspective.

I’m not saying we all need to start shouting our opinions to the world. There’s too much of that going on now, and I honestly feel like that aspect leads to our overwhelmed feelings at times.

The kind of writing I’m talking about now is this: our words, our stories, our experiences MATTER, because we can be a light in the darkness. We can offer hope and encouragement, we can offer sympathy and comfort, right when the world needs it most. Our words, our attitudes, our actions, our beliefs can point people to Jesus when they’re desperately seeking a lifeline.

Even if you don’t have a blog or Facebook page, you can still use your writing. Keep a journal. It will not only help you process everything, it could serve as an encouragement or inspiration to the next generation of your family (or as a good reminder for you later in life.)

Send letters, or even short notes, to friends, loved ones, even the local news editor or a politician. Offer words of encouragement, or special insights the Lord has given you about these times.

If you do have a blog, website, or Facebook page, could you use them in some way to offer hope or encouragement specifically for these trying times? What have you experienced that has strengthened your faith? Was there some event in your life that brought you to Jesus? Think on those things and figure out a way to convey your story to the world.

Don’t worry about the audience for your writing. Let God handle that. Just pray, then write the story God lays on your heart. He’ll put your words in front of the person who needs them most, and you may never know it.

If you have a blog, website, and Facebook page, and are already using them for this purpose, is it time for you to write a book? Or the next book? Your story matters. Your words matter.

We’re right here, right now, for a reason. For such a time as this. Ask the Lord to use you for His purposes, and you’ll be amazed at how He will change your perspective. You’ll still be burdened for the world, but from His viewpoint, not your own.

Here’s a great song to remind us:

Click to Tweet: Writers have a task in the midst of turmoil and tragedy. #Write to #Inspire.


Tracy Ruckman owns TMP Books, a subsidy press, and is currently accepting new clients. TMP publishes fiction and nonfiction, and children’s books.

 

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3 Questions Wednesday with Maria I. Morgan

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday!

Maria I. Morgan

Maria I. Morgan is “passionate about sharing God’s truth and making an eternal difference, regardless of the age of my audience.”

So, let’s see how she answers our latest 3 Questions–

Question: What inspires you?

Maria:  Reading! No matter what type of book I’m reading – fiction or non-fiction – there’s just something about getting immersed in the story that inspires the writer in me. I love imagining the setting, the culture, and lifestyle of the characters. I’ll let you in on a little secret: someday I’d like to write a historical fiction novel about people in the Bible!

Reading is one of THE best ways to gain inspiration (in my humble opinion). I look forward to reading your historical fiction one day!

Next question–You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Maria: I’d definitely be a shade of orange – it’s my favorite color. The label on the wrapper around my crayon might read Outrageous Orange (to go along with my Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful about the fruit of the Spirit). Something bright and cheerful to bring a smile to people’s faces.

Orange is the color of youth, it’s fun-loving, and strong, especially when coupled with the word, “outrageous” — ha ha! Couldn’t resist. I love your color choice.

Final Question–As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Maria: Hmmm. That’s a tough one. I think I wanted to be a teacher when I was in grade school. Probably because my Mom was a kindergarten teacher and she made teaching seem fun. When I got a little older, I wanted to be a hygienist and actually worked as an intern at a dentist office when I was in high school. My husband still teases me about being the dentist’s ‘pet’ because I don’t have cavities!

Cute story! Thanks, Maria, for visiting 3 Questions Wednesday. READERS – See below for a chance to win Maria’s book, Louie to the Rescue – The Big Dig. And get to know her better by clicking the links below. You’ll find a wealth of information about her and her books on her beautiful website.

Click to tweet: What inspires Maria I. Morgan? Find out on today’s 3 Questions Wednesday #InspiredPrompt #3QW


Louie to the Rescue – The Big Dig

Louie and the gang are fired up about the neighborhood yard competition. But when a sarcastic shovel arrives on the scene, hurtful words cause big problems. Will the newcomer succeed in intimidating Louie and his friends? Or will her plan backfire? Join Louie and the others and discover whose words win.

Enter to win: leave a comment below listing a character quality you’d like to see featured in a future Louie book, along with your email address, and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to receive a copy of “Louie to the Rescue – The Big Dig.” (Open to U.S. residents only. Contest will run through Tuesday, October 31. Winner will be contacted via email.)

Other books in the Louie the Lawnmower series:

Louie’s BIG day!

Louie & the Leaf Pile


About Maria I. Morgan:

Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker. She is the award-winning author of Louie’s BIG day! Regardless of the age of her audience, her goal is the same: to share God’s truths and make an eternal difference.

Contact Maria

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

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