THANK YOU, Everyone who made it out to the workshop today!!! I realize the weather wasn't perfect, but I'm glad you all made it! For those of you who couldn't make it, we missed you!!!! For five hours, we studied the art of writing fiction, and everyone of the students wrote at least part of a story while they were there! We went through the INCH BY INCH - WRITING'S A CINCH Workbook and although we didn't cover everything, we had fun!!!
We had some fun slides to help learn the things we were talking about.
As I said above, everyone wrote part of a story, and they all did a GREAT job! I REALLY enjoyed hearing them read their stories and how they all have such great imaginations!!!!
In case you're wondering what R.S.C. stands for, it stands for Regional Student Convention. Every year, there's an AMAZING convention for students using A.C.E. (Accelerated Christian Education) full of GREAT preaching, fun competition, and LOTS of FELLOWSHIP!! Although I'm too old to compete, I had the opportunity to attend with a few students and was able to help serve at the convention! Unfortunately, I didn't have a great camera, so I only got a few pictures, but I hope you enjoy them!!
That's me helping serve lunch. You may also recognize the other people facing the camera. That's Evangelist Steve Piggot (who was the convention speaker,) and Dad.
As I mentioned above, Evangelist Steve Piggot was the speaker and he preached some GREAT sermons that were challenging, encouraging, and convicting. I was so blessed to be able to be there! This is him with two of our students!!
I mentioned the fellowship!! This is me visiting with one of the MANY people I was blessed to visit with!!!
At one of the churches we used, there was a man who carved this watermelon for us!!!!!
I became serious about my writing when I was thirteen. I knew it was something that God wanted me to do, and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.
I began spending so much time at my laptop doing research and writing, that I was spending less time reading the Bible. Days would go by where I didn’t read at all. Sitting in church, all I could think about was my books, and I was starting to not care about spiritual things.
Then one night, God had a talk with me. Now obviously, God wasn’t verbally speaking to me, but as I lay in bed that night, unable to sleep, I felt as if God whispered in my heart. “Do you love me more than your writing?”
I didn’t want God to think that I wasn’t spiritual, so I quickly responded with a “Yes! Of course I love you more than my writing!”
“Then why can’t you spend even ten minutes a day with me? Why are you always at your laptop?” The still small voice asked.
I tossed and turned. This was not the kind of conversation that I wanted to have late Saturday night. “You know that I love you,” I insisted.
“If you really love me, then stop writing.”
“No! I’m not giving up my writing!” I argued back. “You’re the one that called me to write! You’re the one that gave me my dreams and allowed me to get my laptop.” I promised to make more time to read the Bible and pray, but God ignored my pathetic arguments. He just held out his hand and asked for my laptop.
I promised not to write for at least a week, but that didn’t work. God wanted me to quit writing forever.
Tears streamed down my cheeks. “I can’t give you my writing!”
In that moment, I realized that if I didn’t let go, my writing would mean nothing. If God wasn’t blessing me, I would never have a chance at fulfilling my dreams of being published.
I was confused. Why would God take this away from me when He was the one that gave it to me? Despite all my arguing, God still held out His hand.
I began to physically tremble as I realized who I was arguing with. God Almighty, who was giving me my every breath, was asking me to yield one area of my life to Him, and I was saying no.
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. “Okay, God, you can have my writing.” A wave of peace washed over me. Here I had been so worried that God would make me miserable, and I hadn’t even realized that I was the one making myself miserable.
First thing the next morning, I grabbed my laptop, and all of my USB flash drives, and headed downstairs. I knew that if I didn’t get rid of my USB flash drives with my books, then I could go back to them even without the laptop.
I set my laptop and the flash drives on the entryway floor, and started looking for a sledge hammer. That’s when Mom came in and asked me what I was doing.
“I’m going to smash my laptop,” I said.
“Why? Is there something wrong with it?” she asked.
“It’s too important to me,” was all I could say without breaking down in tears.
My wise mother told me to put my laptop in her room and go get ready for church.
At first, I was mad. Here I was trying to give it to God and Mom stepped in and stopped me.
I had another small argument with God but, like always, He won. I felt genuinely happy for the first time in weeks.
I don’t remember what the sermon was about that morning but it caused another fight in my heart.
“When you get home, I want you to write.”
I felt sure that I had misheard the still small voice. God couldn’t possibly have changed His mind so fast! But the thought kept coming back. I fought it. “God, I gave it to you! I don’t want to ever touch my laptop again!”
But God just repeated the command. I was reminded of the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:15 “And that he died for all, that they which live should NOT henceforth live unto themselves, BUT UNTO HIM which died for them, and rose again.” It was as if God was saying. “You were writing for yourself, and so I stopped you, but now that you’ve given it to me, I want you to write for me.”
I went home and started writing again but, this time, it wasn’t for me. I still struggle with making sure that my writing doesn’t become too important to me. It’s a struggle because I REALLY love writing! But I’ve learned that no matter how much I love writing, or how much it means to me, it can never become more important than my daily devotions. I can write hard, but I have to pray harder.
A very dear friend of mine just returned from an AWESOME missions trip to Romania with her Grandpa! I asked her to share with us all about that trip, so here's the post from her. THANK YOU, JESSICA FOR WRITING THIS!!!!
This is Jessica Jeffery. Priscilla asked me to do a post about a recent missions trip I was on. It has been incredibly difficult to put the entire story into one blog post. :)
Every year, my Grandpa takes a trip to Romania to give some Bible classes to a church, and visit the places where he and my Grandma used to be missionaries. After many months of praying, God worked it out that I would go with him.
So it was settled, I was going to Romania on a missions trip with my Grandpa. My Grandma decided to make the trip too, as well as Doctor McNeilly, a friend of my Grandpa's. Doctor McNeilly would be helping teach the classes. Many Romanian Pastors attend the classes, as well as members of the church. Adam was also a member of our group. Adam is Romanian born, and plans on being a missionary in Romania.
One Romanian family over there have a ministry of teaching Bible classes to the children in the schools. From an early age this couple Zoli and Ema felt burdened for the children of their country. After they got married they established a non-profit mission name in order to go to the schools. Zoli and Ema now teach Bible lessons in many schools as well as doing crafts, and handing out food and clothing in occasion.
So the jobs Adam and I had on this trip would be to accompany Zoli and Ema to the schools and give a Bible lesson and do crafts for the kids. We also did some special music a few times at the church.
Teaching lessons to these kids was really great. Of course there was the little nerves of will they like me? How is my lesson going to go? What if I mess up? But, as soon as I walked into the first classroom and saw their shy smiling faces my heart just melted. You couldn't help but love them. I was wondering to myself, how did that happen? How could I just love them as soon as I saw them? And it occured to me that as soon as I decided to come, I knew I was coming for them. Choosing a lesson, praying over it, praying for the kids, that's when you choose to love them. So seeing them and getting to know them was amazing. There were still times where it was slightly awkward as we met each other, got past the shy hellos, stumbled over words during a lesson, or interrupted your translator. But, all in all, God really helped us get past ourselves, and focus on pleasing Him.
I was scared before going because I was afraid I wouldn't be good enough. Why me? What could I possibly do to make a difference? But, God was really working on me that I would just learn to trust him. To stop worrying about being good enough, to not worry about doing everything right for my church, but just focus on pleasing God.
Well, I thank God for an amazing trip! My Grandpa and Doctor McNeilly each gave hours of lessons daily. I was glad to play the piano for the people there. My Grandma was able to visit many of the people there, and be a blessing to all of us. Three mornings, Zoli and Ema took Adam and I out to the village schools to give lessons and crafts.
Everyone stepped away feeling like it was a very blessed trip. We thank God for the health, safety, ministry, and overall good memories, from this trip. We were able to spend a day and a half in Budapest Hungary as well. Zoli, Ema, and their son Brian, accompanied us. They were such a huge blessing to us!
I really don't know who encouraged who on this trip. We had gone to be a blessing to the people of Romania and yet, they were able to encourage us. I didn't know their language, I didn't know them, and yet they treated me as a daughter and sister.
I don't know why God wanted me to go, but, I'm glad He allowed it. I don't know if I'll ever go back, but I will always remember it.
There is nothing like meeting fellow believers in other countries! Seeing the differences in each of our lives and yet knowing that we all serve the same God is awesome.
So if I just want to encourage you all to trust God. I don't know what he has planned for all of us but I do know it's better than anything we can come up with. You don't have to go on a missions trip to serve God. He wants us to be pleasing Him everyday. In the normal stuff like doing the dishes or going to work. Are you easy to use? Is your attitude pleasing to God? These are the questions I've been asking myself and trying to work on. So what has he been teaching you?
I hope this post can be an encouragement to somebody! Thanks for taking the time to read it.
Deuteronomy 12:18b And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou putest thine hands unto.
(Jessica also shared some pictures with us! I added the captions on my own, so I hope I get all the of them right, but if you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments!)
This is the whole team from left to right - Adam, Dr. McNeilly, Jessica's Grandpa and Grandma, and Jessica in the front.
Jessica had the opportunity to bless them with her skill on the piano.
Teaching with an interpreter.
The people there LOVED meeting Jessica!
Here's Jessica with one of the classes that she was able to teach, as you can see, she made them all balloon animals!
THANK YOU, AGAIN, JESSICA for sharing with us, and for allowing God to use you!!!! I'm so blessed and encouraged by your example.
I'm EXCITED to announce that I'll be doing a workshop on writing fiction on the 27th of April from 9 A.M. to 2 P.M.! It's for beginning writers ages 10 and up and will be held at the Family Fundamental Church, three miles west of Warroad on Hwy. 11. The cost is $12 per student. (This includes a workbook, snacks and over four hours of instruction.) Bring a bag lunch, and be sure to register by April 25th by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in person!