3 Questions Wednesday with Lisa Worthey Smith

Happy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes author, Lisa Worthey Smith. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Lisa: I like books that challenge me to think and to make a difference in the world. For entertainment, John Grisham is a master story weaver. I enjoy untangling the mysteries and trying to discern who is telling the truth along with the main character. His legal series still ranks high on my “favorites” list.

Joel Rosenberg’s fiction is amazing. His stories that weave in plausible scenarios of how the coming events in prophecy might take place, are very thought provoking. I always spend a good bit of time researching Scripture while reading his books to verify the authenticity of prophetic themes he uses. I find that he is always right on track with the Bible. His ability to mesh those prophecies into current day events always intrigues me.

Relatively new author, Jim Miller, has a great action-packed adventure series—The Cody Musket series. His characters show courage and faith as they fight for causes we see in the headlines today. His action-packed books have relatable characters with flaws that only endear the reader all the more. His books remind me that to be a hero only requires we take action rather than sit on the sideline.

I also like nonfiction books about people who have done extraordinary things such as Same Kind of Different As Me and Kisses from Katie.

Sounds like you read a good variety 🙂

If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

Lisa: I like to write about “ordinary” people and events, and find the profound within them. On my wish list, stories from preachers, teachers, and the first family—Adam and Eve. I am fascinated with the Jewish Pseudepigrypha with details about those early biblical figures. Although not canonized Scripture, I am using that information to make notes now about Adam and Eve and how they coped with life outside the garden for a possible biblical fiction book.

That would be an interesting topic…

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Lisa: Sprout, the olive tree who grew up in the Garden of Gethsemane from my biblical fiction/allegory The Wisdom Tree. He lived at a pivotal point in time and interacted on such a personal level with Jesus. If I were there with him, I would hope to see Mary—mother of Jesus. I would ask her to tell me about Jesus as a young man growing up and interacting with others. I would love to hear her thoughts, see Him through her eyes, knowing He was the Son of God. I can’t imagine having the words to express the emotions and wonder she felt.

The Wisdom Tree is a lovely book and meeting Mary would be enlightening. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

Click to tweet: Author Lisa Worthey Smith talks about favorite authors, the Bible, and her latest book. #TheGroundKisser #amreading

Lisa has graciously offered a print copy of The Ground Kisser to one reader who leaves a comment below.


The Ground Kisser

An inspiring story of sacrifice, courage, and perseverance, in the face of incredible odds. When you reach your promise land, you kiss the ground.

Saigon had fallen. With Communism breathing down their backs and their wealth and freedom wiped out, Thanh’s parents had to make an agonizing decision. Without enough gold to pay for boat passage for all eight family members, they had to choose whether to stay together and face whatever came in Vietnam, or risk separating the family to give a child a chance to survive. They had only hours to decide.

Under the cover of darkness, two weeks after her twelfth birthday, Thanh left on an overloaded riverboat set for Australia through the pirate-riddled South China Sea. If their boat could survive that, then Thanh would find a way to have her family join her Down Under.
But that would never happen. One after another, obstacles most people can’t even imagine threatened to take her life. 

This is the true story of Thanh Dương Boyer’s strength, courage, and perseverance in the harshest of circumstances to fulfill the dream of living under the banner of freedom. The Ground Kisser is a faith-building, flag-waving story that will inspire you to recognize the important things in life, treasure them, and take action to preserve them—even if it cost your life.


Long time Bible student and teacher, Lisa Worthey Smith is sometimes called “The Parable Teacher.” She often uses ordinary events to explain a biblical truth. In fact, her first book was about an injured hummingbird she rehabbed. Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird was voted into the international list of “50 Indie Books Worth Reading 2016.”

The Wisdom Tree followed in 2017. One of the Vietnamese boat people who now lives in the USA read The Wisdom Tree, and asked Lisa to help her pen her memoir. The Ground Kisser released in 2019, placed in the NGCWC Georgia Peach Awards, and is an Amazon bestseller.

Time to Write with Lisa & Gail

Lisa Worthey Smith is a long time Bible teacher who ventured into writing inspirational stories a few years ago, and is now President of Word Weavers North Alabama.

She and her husband are empty nesting in northern Alabama where she spends time in her garden and writes stories of Faith*Hope*Love. Her first two books Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird and The Wisdom Tree are available on Amazon.com and she expects to release two books in 2019, Ground Kisser and COFFEE with God at Christmas.


Social media, daily chores, ideas for different stories, unexpected family needs all creep in and steal time that could have been used to crank out more words for the project of the moment. So, how do I manage my writing time?

Pray.

I ask God to give me direction for the day, deferring to His will rather than mine. If I get behind on my writing goals for the day because I spent time with someone who needed encouragement, I don’t count that as a lost day. I never want to be so headstrong on my goals, that I neglect His prompting.

Plan.

I work best with a plan to reach certain goals. I keep a small calendar on my desk to log in my deadlines and use that as a starting point.

Pare it down.

If I need to produce a 40,000 word story, I break that down into monthly, weekly and daily bites so I am not overwhelmed with a 5,000 word deficit a week before my deadline. There is great satisfaction in turning a page on the calendar, knowing those tasks are accomplished without panicking at the bigger picture of what is still before me.

Prioritize my time.

Work comes before leisure, so mornings are dedicated to writing. If something comes up, I still have time later in the day to reach my goal. If I have to give up something, I’ll give up leisure time to accomplish my goals and not deal with the stress of being behind.

Persist.

Of course, there are days when my computer remains unopened. Still, tomorrow I renew my prayer to follow His will, and adjust my goals to match His, and persist. The only thing stopping us from reaching our dreams is to give up. Persist instead.


From Gail Johnson—So, you’ve read the latest on carving out time for writing, but no matter how hard you try, the bullet list doesn’t seem to be working as promised. Oh, what’s a writer to do?

The best thing that you will ever do for your peace of mind is realize that writing isn’t a one size fits all profession. It’s a personal journey for each author. For me, it’s trusting myself, and God, to know what is best. I can’t sit in a chair and stare at a blank screen. It would be easier to lay an egg than writing my rough draft this way.

My goal each day isn’t so much about getting a set number of typed words on paper but staying in my head and listening to my characters. I can do this anytime and anywhere I’m able to pen words to paper, napkin, or shoe sole. 😊

When driving, I dictate to my sweet daughter who is glad to help in my time of need. My entire rough draft is hand-written conversations between my characters. That’s it. No settings. No internal thoughts. Just conversations. They reveal the plot. When I feel I have the gist of the scene, I sit and write the chapters adding the necessary components.

Remember, this is my process. It may not be your cup of tea. Learn what’s best for you. Trust your quirkiness; it’s what makes you, you. Finding your own process will make the words flow like warm honey across hot biscuits.


Gail Johnson enjoys sharing her passion for life and Christ through the power of the written word. Whether it’s through stories, articles, or songs, she invites her reader and listener to “taste and see” the hope she has found in a faithful God and loving Savior.

She is the author of Treasures of Hope, Discovering the Beautiful Truth Beneath My Painful Past, a memoir. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she writes fiction, non-fiction, and songs. Her Southern Gospel song “Less of Me and More of You” came in the top 5 runners-up in the 2010 Singing News/Solid Gospel Songwriters Search. Born and raised in Georgia, she is a wife and mother of two adult children. She enjoys lots of family time, good music, maple pecan ice cream, and southern living. In the past, she has published articles and interviews on the web, in the local newspaper, and in church magazines.


Click to Tweet: My goal each day isn’t so much about getting a set number of typed words on paper but staying in my head and listening to my characters.  Via @InspiredPrompt from @GailJohnson87 #amwriting #inspiration

Writing Prompt: It’s morning, the sun is shining. You open the curtains to find something you never expected to see in your front yard. Using NO adverbs or adjectives, describe what you see.

The Wisdom Tree by Lisa Worthey Smith

I’m so happy to welcome one of my Alabama friends, Lisa Worthey Smith, to our blog. Lisa finds truths in everyday events and nature itself and uses those truths to show a patternplan, and purpose intentionally designed by the loving hand of The Creator.

Hello, Lisa! Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Lisa:  I’m a simple Southern girl, who would rather be outside than inside any day of the week! I relished my time as a full-time mom then transitioned into the corporate workplace for a number of years, then taught high school students at a small Christian school.

Then when my health would no longer allow me to work at all, God sent a hummingbird to teach me about suffering. Yep, a real hummingbird who I named Oscar. The story was so unique people often asked me to write it down, so I did. Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird was published in 2015.

God used that story to guide me into this phase where I minister by writing and speaking occasionally. After a recent speaking engagement, several kind people requested I publish that story, and The Wisdom Tree was put into book form October 2017.

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

Lisa: I intended to write non-fiction, Christian inspirational (like Oscar). “I just don’t have the creativity to write fiction.” Then God gave me the fictional story of The Wisdom Tree. (Hint- Don’t tell God what you can’t do. God has a sense of humor and might just change your course!)

Both have Bible studies included which is where my heart lies. My mission is to draw people to the Word, to point them to the hand of God all around us and create an eagerness to learn more about Him.

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

Lisa:  Some of both. My short stories tell themselves, then I go back and block in chapters and outlines. If I ever write a novel length piece, I’m sure it will start with an outline.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Lisa:  Finding a way to say “the end.” I know readers want a satisfying conclusion, but I enjoy the stories so much that it is hard to stop! I tell myself if I don’t finish, I won’t be able to share – so I make myself cross the finish line in order to be able to share them with you!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Lisa:  Tippy tapping on the keyboard for His kingdom as long as He desires, and there is life within me!

Thanks, Lisa, for dropping by! Sounds like a good book…

Click to tweet:  Alabama author Lisa Worthey Smith latest book, The Wisdom Tree. #amreading #InspiredPrompt


 The Wisdom Tree

An ordinary tree, in an extraordinary place, in an extraordinary time, being prepared for an extraordinary event. If you listen closely to the trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, you might hear this story of a little olive tree named Sprout, and how he came to be known as The Wisdom Tree.

Often compared to the writing style of Max Lucado, this parable includes a Study Guide with the most basic and important questions in Christianity and provides the biblical answers for each.

Simple enough for middle readers, and yet adults who are acquainted with the New Testament love to hear the familiar story told from a unique perspective.

Suitable for book clubs, Bible study groups, homeschool, and personal growth.


 A long-time Bible student with a passion to help people grasp the depths of God’s love, Lisa Worthey Smith has been called “the parable teacher”. Using stories of everyday life and Creation, she weaves gentle stories of inspiration, hope, and love with the common theme of seeing the hand of God at work.

She and her husband live in northern Alabama where she spends time in her yard which includes a hummingbird garden and of course, an olive tree.

Contact Lisa

Twitter 

Life in My Father’s World Facebook 

Bible Study 101 Facebook

Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird Facebook

Lisa Worthey Smith Facebook

Website –  www.BibleStudy101.net

Blog – www.LifeInMyFathersWorld.blogspot.com

Freedom, Focus and Joy in Philippians

By Lisa Worthey Smith

Which book of the Bible is my favorite? The one I am studying at the time! No matter how many times I have read or studied any book or section of His Word, God always presents a new and fresh application for my life at that moment. There is one book that I tend to re-read pretty often.

Freedom

Philippians is the first book of the Bible that I studied in-depth, so it has an extra special place in my heart. With threads of joy woven throughout, it is the favorite of many and a great place to spend some time.

God spoke to me in the very first chapter (verse 6) about His faithfulness – “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” At the time I was struggling with not being good enough, perhaps even failing in my responsibilities and He gave me this personal note of freedom right there in the first verses!

Then, in the third chapter all the success and failures of the past and present, simply vanished when I looked at Paul’s comment about his own resume’. He was so proud of his righteous, law-abiding resume’ until he met Christ. Then he threw out his “righteousness” in exchange for righteousness from God through faith! While I knew that in theory, it became very real to me when Paul explained his experience. That’s part of the beauty of Philippians. Paul used his life as a relatable example.

I realized that my life was more than what I cooked for dinner, my job description, my parenting efforts, how my hair looked, what my house was like, my clothes, or any other goal of perfection I may have sought before. Any reward for those goals would be short-lived and of little lasting value. My mission became to walk in a manner worthy of what Christ did for me, to share that good news with all those around me, no matter where I was.

Focus

Paul finished that passage with an encouragement to press on. If his life was a race toward a goal, the finish line was heaven, and he was diligently reaching out toward that finish line. Not to end his life quickly, but to live it in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel 1:27” No distractions, no detours, no slacking off, but moving forward toward heaven, remembering that Christ paid my sin debt so that I could gain entrance.

Like Paul, during the study of Philippians, I determined that my life focus would be to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel that Christ paid for my entrance into heaven. Every aspect of my life simplified when I took on this “eternal perspective.”

Then, there are those days…you know the ones I mean…the days when worry, and dread, and even fear, creep into my heart and mind and I get bogged down, and even wallow (think pig in muddy pit) in discouragement, robbed of all joy.

Paul knew about those days too. In the fourth chapter he reminds us to

1 – Give it to Him  – “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

2 – He will guard your heart and mind“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

3 – Remember His goodness “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Paul’s remedy for the battle in our mind? Get out of the muddy pit, give it to God, and get focused.

Joy

Peace with God (and of God) allowed Paul to retain his joy – not just peace, but joy – in all circumstances, even while he was in prison and likely to die soon. His freedom and focus allowed him to keep his eternal perspective so that he could look death in the face and proclaim…“But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.” Philippians 2:17

So, you and I can rejoice and press on today and all our remaining days, to encourage others to find freedom, and focus, and joy, in their race to the finish line!

“Brethren… one thing I do:

forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

 Philippians 3:14

Click to tweet: Philippians has threads of joy woven throughout. #Bible #Faith

Writing prompt – The words that changed my heart, and direction of my life….


Lisa Worthey Smith

Lisa is a long-time Bible study leader and author of Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird (voted in the 50 Indie Books Worth Reading for 2016), a non-fiction account of a severely injured hummingbird she rehabilitated, and her own time of suffering. It includes a Study Guide with lessons on suffering in the life of a Christian.

Her newest work, The Wisdom Tree, scheduled to be released fall 2017, is the parable of an olive tree planted in the Garden of Gethsemane for a special purpose during the time of Jesus. He is fed nutrients (Scripture) by his wise worm-friend, Herm, and tenderly cared for by the Master of the garden. There are questions about our relationship with God and basic Christianity at the end of each chapter with Scripture answers in a Study Guide at the end – suitable for book clubs, homeschool, small group study, or personal growth.

Lisa, her husband, and their 21 pounds of cuteness wrapped in a Schnauzer suit, live in north Alabama.

 

 

3 Questions Wednesday with Lisa Worthey Smith

headshot3 Questions Wednesday welcomes  Alabama author, Lisa Worthey Smith. Don’t miss the opportunity to win a print copy of her book, Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird: And Other Tales From Life In My Fathers World . You’ll find the details below. But first, find out her answers to our 3 questions…

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Lisa: Certain authors-rather than particular books–who have influenced my writing include Joel Rosenberg and Oliver North for weaving prophecy into plausible contemporary scenarios to help people see how it could take place in our time. Kay Arthur for helping me learn how to study Scripture for myself. Each of these people effectively point others to know God personally and that is my goal as well.

That’s a great goal to have. 🙂 Now…

What secret talents do you have?

Lisa: For several years, I made stained glass windows, panels, and a couple of lamps. It was great fun and highly addictive!

I love stained glass windows! Last question:

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

Lisa: If I know you are coming, I will dig out the fine china, silverware and cloth napkins. We will feast on slow-cooked chuck roast, with roasted potatoes, asparagus, carrots and onions. I will have homemade yeast rolls hot out of the oven, slathered with butter. Served with sweet tea, of course! Dessert will be a three layer chocolate cake with peanut butter fudge frosting.

If you show up unexpectedly, scrambled eggs and grits on paper plates and I’ll toss you a peppermint after we eat!

😉 I’ll make sure to give you a call before I come over. Thanks, Lisa, for stopping in!

Lisa is offering a print copy of her book, Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird. Please leave a comment to be entered to win…


9781490882178_COVER.inddOscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird: And Other Tales From Life In My Fathers World

Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird is an inspirational nonfiction about a severely injured hummingbird and an unlikely friendship with his new best friend. Their adventures and the author’s own health issues speak to a loving God and His provision. Oscar was recently named in the top 100 indie books to read for 2016! 

You can read the first chapter at http://lifeinmyfathersworld.blogspot.com/2015/06/introducing-oscar-extraordinary.html

Oscar is available at

Amazon

Barnes and Noble  


headshotLong-time Bible student, Lisa Worthey Smith has been called the parable teacher. Finding truths in everyday events and nature itself, she uses those truths to point to the hand of God all around us. She, her husband, and their 21 pound of cuteness wrapped in a Schnauzer suit, live in north Alabama where she teaches an in-depth Bible study class and spends time in her garden.

Connect on Facebook     

Life in my Fathers World

Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird book

Lisa Worthey Smith

Twitter                        @LisaWSmith57

Blog                 LifeinmyFathersWorld.blogspot.com

More links:  https://about.me/lisawsmith57 (Pinterest, Google+…)