Devotional Books: Wrapping Up November

By Jennifer Hallmark

I love to read devotional books. I always have at least one on my nightstand. There is no better way to start or end a day than with a section from the Bible and an encouraging thought about God, love, and life.

To wrap up this month of all things devotional, I’d remind you of our earlier posts you might have missed.

8 Steps to Writing a “Shout from the Housetops” Devotion by Bonita McCoy

Christian Devotions: The Birthing of a Ministry by Cindy Sproles

Devotion Writing: Journeying to Publication by Martin Wiles

Hopefully Devoted by Carlton Hughes

So You Want to Write a Devotional Book? by Shirley Crowder

Resources for Anyone Who’d Like to Write Devotional Books by Jennifer Hallmark

Apples of Gold by Harriet Michael

Writing the Rightly Divided by Kristy Horine

Encouraging Others Through Devotional  blogging by Tammy Trail

I know you’ll enjoy all these posts, whether you are a writer of devotions or strictly a reader. My favorite devotional books are:

Streams in the Desert

Jesus Every Day

God in the Dark: 31 Devotions  to Let the Light Back In

My Utmost for His Highest

Jesus Calling

Do you like devotional books? Do you get a new one each year in January? Who are your favorite devotional writers? Share a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a Kindle copy of Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress by Lysa Terkheurst.

Click to tweet: Devotional Writing: Wrapping Up November. What are your favorite devotional books? #devotional #amreading

Writing Prompt: Take one of the Psalms and write a devotional thought about it. If you’d like, share below also…

The Write Course: 3 Minute Tips for the Beginning Writer-A Short Break

Jennifer Hallmark here. Welcome to my You Tube series called “The Write Course: 3 Minute Tips for the Beginning Writer.”

Sometimes, as writers, life doesn’t go quite as expected.  We have plans and a schedule to maintain but everything can change in a moment. Please watch as I explain on today’s episode, A Short Break.

 

Click to tweet: The Write Course: 3 Minute Tips for the Beginning Writer. The YouTube series for the beginning writer. Catch the next episode on the Inspired Prompt blog: Taking a Short Break. #amwriting #WritersLife

3 Questions Wednesday with Donna Schlachter

aaaSchlachter DSCF1330_DonnaHappy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes  author and story teller, Donna Schlachter. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Donna: Analytical. Justice-oriented. Child of the Living God.

A mind for details makes a great writer.  Now about travel…

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

Donna: England. For the history. And it needs to be at least a month long. Maybe two. No, six. Six months in England, to tour old castles, ghost towns, and cemeteries. Yes, cemeteries. I love dreaming up stories to go along with inscriptions such as “Mother of 10”, “Love of my life”, and “Infant daughter of J.C. and E.M. Clements”.

What a interesting answer! Last question:

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

Donna:  I had no idea, so I went online and did a crazy quiz. Answered 7 seemingly unrelated questions, and presto! The answer: Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams. Apparently, I wish it were still the good, old days. They say I’m not much for change, which is true. As for the rest of their conclusions, don’t know that I agree, but then again, they came up with the theme song when I couldn’t. If you want to try the quiz, here’s the link: https://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=What-song-tells-story-your-life-1

Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams

You wish it were still the good old days.  You are not much one for change, because it never seems to work out for you.  You love to look back and reminiscence on all the great times you have had.  Your friends are faithful and pals you have had for most of your life.  You have their backs, and they have yours.  Life is pretty much the way you like it, so you see no reason to change it.  Things are just better when you let everything unfold the way it should.  Who knew the story of your life would be the worst export Canada ever sent to the USA?

Change is a struggle for me too… why mess with a good thing?!  Thanks so much for dropping by!

Click to tweet: Author and Story Teller Donna Schlachter talks about writing and a giveaway. #DonnaSchlachter #amreading #MissAdventureBrides

What would be the theme song of YOUR life? Feel free to use the quiz mentioned above, or choose your favorite song. Leave a comment and enter to win a random drawing for a free print copy (US Only) of MissAdventure Brides Collection.


Cover

The MissAdventure Brides Collection

These seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back from adventure.

About Detours of the Heart: A tour guide who wants to move on, a playboy who’s never had a place to call home—can they overcome their own plans and allow God to make their path straight, or will they take yet another detour?


aaaSchlachter DSCF1330_Donna

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a critique group, and teaches writing classes. Donna ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter! Histroythrutheages.com       WordPress       Facebook         Twitter

Books:  Amazon &  Smashwords

 

 

Encouraging Others Through Devotional Blogging

Merriam Webster defined devotion as “An act of prayer or private worship; to show allegiance or loyalty.”  Devotions help with the growth of our faith through spending quiet time with God. In doing so one can be blessed through this act of obedience.

We spend so much of our time these days on the computer that it’s normal to now find devotions in an electronic form. There are many to choose from, and they can target many different ministry needs. Writing a devotional blog is much like writing a devotional book.

Prayer is the first step in the process. Ask God for His guidance and wisdom to create a site where one can find a source of encouragement from the Bible. A great example of this is Philippians 4:6; Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.

You will need to decide what venue to use to produce your blog. A site like WordPress can help walk you through the steps to create a top-notch blog site. Coming up with a name for your site may take a bit more time and prayer.

Once you have your blog site complete. Decide how you can best serve those who will be reading your blog. Will you do it daily, weekly, or monthly? Perhaps share other resources that help emphasize the theme of your blog with non-fiction books, a Scripture reading plan, or a ministry resource. You may also consider using information from professional sources such as medical doctors, psychologists, or other knowledgeable professionals to help with the theme of your blog. It will not be possible to help everyone in every situation. However, you will be able to help some, so create the devotion as God leads you. Then trust in the Lord to lead the people to Him through your blog.

Most devotional blogs tell a story that drives home a biblical truth or theme. Some incident in your life where God was able to teach you through an event, a Bible verse, or even a sermon can help give your reader direction. Consider a theme for your devotional blog. You could target your blog post for an audience that may be dealing with addictions, or raising a family; it can even be based on books of the Bible such as Psalms or Proverbs. Whichever you decide; God will use it for good. You may have gone through some rough patches in your life when you struggled with personal issues. Allow God to use those hard times to teach others and give them encouragement so that they too may come through it in victory.

Making time for devotions is a challenge for most Christians, including myself. Start out with a portion of Scripture. Include your thoughts about the Scripture reading. Share a consideration of how it can be applied to everyday life. Encourage your reader to journal their thoughts. It is a wonderful way to meditate on God’s Word and begin to see how He is truly guiding you. Finish with Prayer leading your reader to ask for continued guidance through the Scripture verses.

Click to Tweet: Encouraging Blogs #Devotions

Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT.  Our direction from God in this Scripture is to always be thankful, in all circumstances. In doing so we can be assured to find joy in leaning closer to Him in prayer.

Please post a favorite Scripture and your thoughts on it.

Writing the Rightly Divided

Writing Devotions: Bible Study

by Kristy Horine

“So, what do you want to do next?” my Bible study partner asked me.

“How about the book of Judges? Let’s study actual scripture.”

And just like that, I tied my Bible into the center of my bandana, fastened it to a stick and propped the stick on my shoulder. Like the Pilgrim who made his progress, I began a marvelous journey.

Well, maybe not marvelous. Sometimes, it was frightening, exhilarating, even illuminating. Mostly, though, it was humbling.

As I dug in to each chapter, I gained a more sober conviction of my human depravity, a deeper awe for the absolute sovereignty of God and His plan, and a greater appreciation for the redemptive power of Christ Jesus.

These truths are too good not to share. Too life-altering not to share with excellence.

But how?

When writing a Bible study, we turn to the Bible itself. Within its 66 books, we find answers for every question and instructions for every endeavor.

Here are some tips on getting started with writing a Bible study.

  1. Be in the word. Read 2 Timothy 2:15. We cannot write about that which we have not known, so get to knowing. Begin at the beginning. Begin at chapter one, verse one of a single book. And read several different translations. I love the poetics of the King James Version, but sometimes, it’s hard for me to understand. For a deeper journey into God’s word, explore NKJV, ESV, NIV (I prefer the NIV copyrighted prior to 2011). The Message is a great way to read the Bible in common terms, many people quote from it and God can use it. Keep in mind that books like The Message are considered paraphrases, not translations or transliterations.
  2. Use the right tools. Read Proverbs 11:14. Ever try to hammer a nail with a screwdriver? It can be done, but it’s a lot easier to use the proper tool. Bible study is the same way.
    • Use a trusted Study Bible. I prefer Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible. My husband prefers the Crossway ESV Study Bible. Our Christmas gift this year is an investment in the ESV Reformation Study Bible by Reformation Trust. Do your research on study Bibles and be careful. Pray for discernment and protection. (We should be doing that no matter what we begin.)
    • Let scripture interpret scripture. Most Bibles include a narrow strip of verses that correspond to little letters in the text. These are cross references. They indicate where words, phrases or verse intentions are found in other places. They contain absolute jewels of information.
    • Go to the pros. I often use the BLB app. I dig into biblegateway.com. Both of these online resources are rich depositories of commentaries, concordances, dictionaries, translation comparisons and more cross references. Another online resource is www.gotquestions.org. Hardbound commentaries usually hide out in church libraries. Another book is called Where to Find it In the Bible. It’s like a concordance, but is more topical than a word search resource. (https://www.christianbook.com/where-find-it-in-the-bible/ken-anderson/9780785211570/pd/11578)
    • Context is key. Flathead screwdrivers will sub for a Phillips, but a Phillips is no match (or fit) for a screw that requires a flathead. Now, I can grab an ordinary kitchen knife, but chances are, I’ll end up with a wonky knife tip. The same principle applies to scripture. We can rig something to make it work, but if it’s not the right tool, it’s not the right tool. For good, God-honoring study writing, we must read and use the right scriptures. Look at historical context, the cultural context, and the textual context. Never forget that people have used scripture to justify sinful behavior. Don’t be those people.
  3. Give credit where credit is due. Read Exodus 20:15. Take good notes and cite your sources if an idea, phrase, or sentence is not your own. A simple citation is acceptable for informal written studies, but if you are writing for publication, try to find out the publisher’s guidelines before you begin. Plagiarism is stealing. Plain and simple. Stealing is bad. Do the good and necessary work up front. You will be thankful in the end.
  4. Choose your approach. Read 2 Timothy 3:16. Bible studies can deal with individual books, words, themes, or characters. Keep the study simple and focused. The Bible is complex, but not confusing if handled with prayer and care.
  5. Take off your shoes. Read Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:18-19. Be very careful. When we write and share studies on the Bible, we must always remember that we walk on the holy ground of God’s word. Don’t trash the sacred. Bare feet are also good reminders of Romans 10:15. As writers who are Christ followers, we have beautiful feet. Write like our toes are showing. Even in winter.
  6. You will be overwhelmed at times. Read Psalm 119. Read it out loud. At 5 a.m., standing in front of the heater that is trying desperately to warm your little writing space. Make this passage your prayer and your praise. There is nothing you can write that God does not have control over. Trust Him.

[Click to Tweet] Tips on getting started with writing a Bible study from Kristy Horine via @InspiredPrompt and @Kwriteone. #amwriting #devotionals #HowTo

Writing prompt: Your job is to encourage a complete stranger who is writing a Bible study for the first time. Write him or her a letter explaining how they are not alone. Use the following scriptures in your study: John 14:16; John 16; I Corinthians 12; Galatians 5:22-23.