You’re a Writer!

When should you call yourself a writer? This post will give you reasons you need to see yourself as a writer now!

“GOD’s Message, the God of Israel: ‘Write everything I tell you in a book. Jeremiah 30:2

 

My stomach cartwheeled and lodged in my throat, as my heart hammered away. Fighting light-headedness, I braced myself tightening my grip on the handholds. Perched on a limb overhanging Farmer Lott’s pond, it petrified me.

“It’s not that high, Kevin! Just Jump!”

From the other bank, the tree branch seemed closer to the water’s surface. But the air seemed thinner with altitude. My head spun as images of injury and a watery grave raced through my brain. I contemplated climbing down the way I came.

“Just jump, already!” My brother shouted as he rolled his eyes. His patience was wearing thin with his tag-a-long younger sibling. The searing stares from the other bank were palpable. I wanted to, but I couldn’t climb down again. I knew I had to jump.

The combination of peer-pressure and the rough bark biting into my bare feet, coaxed me further out on the limb. I imagined the plunge. With a deep breath, I began a mental countdown. Three… two… I closed my eyes still envisioning the jump… one… I pinched my nose… zero… I leapt. Time slowed in midair. Then the cold water enveloped me sending a shock throughout my body. Instinct took over, and I swam upward. Breaking the murky water’s surface, I opened my eyes to see my older brother and his friends smiling. I was a jumper.

Calling myself a writer, like the limb over Farmer Lott’s pond, intimidated me. Sure, I published a few pieces here and there, but did that make me a real writer? Like me, do you ask questions like, am I a writer or a wannabe?  Can I call myself a writer, if I haven’t published a book? Are you looking down into the foreboding waters afraid to jump? Well, the water is fine! And I want to tell you the key to taking that leap of faith.

A few years ago, I worked up enough courage to take the plunge as a Christian writer. How did I do it?  The key, like imagining my childhood leap, was to see myself as a writer.  Even if you have published nothing, if you write, you’re a writer! I haven’t published a book, yet.  But I am a writer, nonetheless. All a writer is, is a person who writes. Do you write? If so, what would you call yourself? Go ahead say it out loud. It helps.

How did I get comfortable with calling myself a writer?

First, are you called to write? Only God can answer this question for you. I cannot. Remember, a call to write is a God-given durable impulse to glorify Him and serve others through the written word.  If you have a want to write, God may be calling you to write.

  I wrestled for years to make sure my want was His will. (We all struggle with this so be gracious to yourself.)  However, you can find peace in the “write calling” by examining your desires. Lay them bare before God. During my time of discernment, I realized I needed to obey God’s voice. If that meant walking away from my writing dreams, I had to be willing. I admit I was afraid of His answer.

Again, only you can find this answer. For me, in a gradual revelation, God confirmed He gave me the desire to write. In the process of revelation, He was stripping me of selfish ambition (He’s still working). My writing was for God’s purposes, not mine.

How can we tell if our desires are from God? Eric Liddell, an Olympic athlete born to missionaries, said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run, I feel his pleasure.” Like Liddell, God created you and me for a purpose. If we ask God, He will reveal that purpose to us. Inventory your gifts, talents, and abilities. Has God gifted you with a way with words? You need not be Shakespeare, because you can always hone your craft later.

Do you feel God rejoicing when you’re writing? If so, you may be a writer! I’m writing, and God is smiling. He is not smiling because I am penning renown prose. You can find others more eloquent. He rejoices because I acknowledge my gifts come from Him. And I surrender them to His purposes. He delights in our creativity, because it reflects His image. If you think about it, God is a writer too!

It is a simplistic revelation, but it has revolutionized and solidified my call as a writer. The Bible says,

 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 [Emphasis added]

Did you catch that?  God is the Author! If you’ve never considered the metaphor in this verse, I recommend God as Author by Gene C. Fant Jr. This book has help shape me more than this post will allow to tell.

Galileo argued that God wrote two books: The Book of Nature and the Book of Scripture. Nature tells us there is a Creator, but the Bible reveals God intimately. Think about it, what special revelation have you received from God that was not written? The Bible is God’s grand narrative in which He reveals Himself to humanity. The Bible is God’s book. God (the Father) used the Word (the Son) to create and communicate Himself to creation. God (the Spirit) inspired men to use words to write the Bible. The Christian God is a best-selling Author!

Is it irrational to think, that your desire to write a book may have come from God? I don’t think so. Please realize a Christian call to write is not synonymous with becoming a world-famous author. Rather, it is a commission to labor using faithful words to serve others and promote the biblical worldview.

After I realized that God gave me the desire to write, and that by writing, I am reflecting His glory; I found peace in identifying as a writer. I plunged into the waters of writing. It’s fun. You should try it too!

Do you feel the call to write? If you do, I don’t want you to feel alone in this journey. I invite you to join me as I make this pilgrimage across the page by liking, sharing, commenting, or subscribing to my mailing list. I look forward to the journey with you!

 

 

 

 

3 Reasons to Attend Church (or Rather be the Church)

Why should you go to church? Here are three reasons.

And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works,  not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 (CSB)

It may not shock you, but I think people should be in church. But why? I could readily resort to the saying, “The Lord said so.” However, I will give more of an explanation. Although there are many reasons to attend church, I will narrow the focus on three ideas found in Hebrews 10:24-25.

Reason #1 – Accountability to Others

The author of Hebrews states, “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works…”  Accountability is key to living a fruitful Christian life. Without others to hold us culpable, we tend to fall into complacency.  The sad thing is we don’t recognize our worldly drift. We all have blind spots.

A spiritual gathering of the saints will keep us accountable. It aids us in seeing our shortcomings.   For example, has anyone ever pointed out a smudge on your face? It may make you uncomfortable at first, but you’re grateful for your friend pointing it out before it was a greater embarrassment. Church helps us be to stay focused by accountability.

Reason #2 – Encouragement of Fellowship

The biblical writer exhorts us to be “encouraging each other.” We all struggle. Often, our struggles hid under the mask of “I-got it-all-together.” Nevertheless, we grapple to stay afloat. Let’s be real. We all need a pat on the back or a kind word from time to time.

True Christian fellowship inspires and restores. It encourages us to keep pressing forward in faith. It restores a proper perspective of reality. The valleys we walk through are only temporary. Heaven is on the horizon. Genuine fellowship is truly divine!

Reason #3 – Jesus is Coming!

I believe this sums up everything. We should be busy provoking love, doing good deeds, and encouraging others because Christ is coming back. This is the hope we all have in Christ. We need the reminder that one day all wrongs will be right.

Of course, I could think of more reasons to gather together in Jesus’s name (Like the fact, Jesus promised to be in our assemblies.) However, I think these three will suffice for now. Where do you gather with the saints? Leave a reply in the comments below.

 

PS-

Ray, thanks for encouraging email. God bless!  😉

 


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog at www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God’s Holiness Demands our Reverence

A Reflection on the Daily Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary.

Daily Readings

 

Psalm 99

1 Samuel 2:11-17

Romans 9:19-29

Daily Reflection 

LORD our God, you answered them. You were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their sinful actions. Exalt the LORD our God; bow in worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy. Psalm 99:8-9 (CSB)

 

God’s holiness demands our reverence. 

Our society has lost the proper sense of reverence.  Although the term is still in our colloquial language, it is often misdirected. We glamorize that which is wicked and shun what is right. God alone is to be revered. His holiness demands it. The reason is that God is good.

It has been said, that the goodness of God is the most terrifying concept in the Bible. Why? Because we are not good.  In other words, if God is good and we are not then this means we are at odds with the all-powerful, holy Creator.

In 1 Samuel 2:11-17, Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, did not respect God’s holiness and perverted the worship of Israel. Later, judgment fell on Eli’s family because he took no action to prevent their irreverence. God’s holiness demands our reverence. Yes, God is a God of love, but He is a holy God. Therefore, he should not be toyed with!

Many will cling to God’s goodness without realizing His goodness condemns their wickedness. For comparison, God’s is like the sun and His holiness like the sun’s rays. Without the sun, there would be no life. If you approached the sun, its life-giving rays would prove fatal. However, God has provided a way into His holy presence through Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 CSB).

 

In the age of grace, reverence for God’s holiness is not negated. Like the sons of Eli, we are commanded to approach God through properly offered sacrifice. Jesus is the Lamb of God offered once and for all. By faith in his name, is the only means by which we can approach the radiance of the Father’s glory.  Hophni and Phinehas chose to abuse God’s grace in sacrilegious worship.  What will you do? Reverence the Jesus Christ with a life of submitted to his grace or live in rebellion to God? God’s holiness demands our reverence.

 

 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for the access given to His presence through Jesus’s sacrifice. Ask God to help you live a God-honoring life for His glory. 

Reflection on Previous Sunday’s Reading

1 Samuel 3:1-10[11-10]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6

 


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God is Speaking – Will you Listen?

Sunday Readings

1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6

Daily Reflection 

 The LORD came, stood there, and called as before, “Samuel, Samuel!?” Samuel responded, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 (CSB)

 

God is speaking – will you listen?  

What would you do if you heard God speak? Would you listen? In the days of Eli, the Bible says the “word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread” (1 Samuel 3:1 CSB). It was in this spiritual dearth that God called Samuel. Samuel mistook God’s voice for that of Eli, but after several visits, Eli understood it was the Lord calling Samuel. After Eli’s instruction, Samuel received a word from God by listening. 

Will you listen? God is speaking now. Although God speaks in many ways, He communicates primarily through His written revelation – the Bible. Many desire a supernatural encounter like Samuel’s but neglect reading what God has spoken. The Bible is God’s word to you. Will you listen?  

 

Suggestion for Prayer

 Thank God for His infallible and inerrant written revelation. Ask Him to speak to you as you read its pages. 

 


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God has the Final Word!

Daily Readings

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

1 Samuel 2:1-10

John 7:9-24

Daily Reflection 

Do not boast so proudly, or let arrogant words come out of your mouth, for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and actions are weighed by him. The bows of the warriors are broken, but the feeble are clothed with strength. Those who are full hire themselves out for food, but those who are starving hunger no more.The woman who is childless gives birth to seven, but the woman with many sons pines away.1 Samuel 2:3-5 (CSB)

God has the final word. 

Hannah carried the shame of barrenness for years. She endured the whisperings of those around her. She persevered through the proud boastings of her rival, Penninah. It has been said that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. How untrue is this statement! Words hurt. 

Every time Penninah hurled an insult at Hannah it cut. However, Hannah’s prayer reveals to us that God has the final word. Some may think you’re a hopeless cause, but God sees you for who you are – His child.  A child made in His image that is full of potential. 

In life, people will slander you, saying all kinds of hurtful things. However, you mustn’t dwell on their words, because they are fleeting. God’s word is established in eternity. God has the final say. Remember some arrogant men, blinded by their own self-righteousness, viewed Jesus as a demoniac. But now Jesus has a name of above all names! 

 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for having the final word in your circumstance. Pray for those that hurl hurtful words to see their error before God humbles them. Also, pray for your own words to be seasoned with grace. 

Preparing for Sunday’s Reading

1 Samual 3:1-10[11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God Hears Your Cry

Daily Readings

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

1 Samuel 1:19-27

Romans 8:31-39

Daily Reflection 

After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, “I requested him from the LORD.”
1 Samuel 1:20 (CSB)

God Hears Your Cry. 

We live in an age of the instant. We are annoyed by the buffering of a Youtube video, long lines at the grocery store, and drive-thrus that take more time than expected. If not careful, this instant-grits-mentality bleeds over into our spiritual walks. We wonder, “How many times have I prayed about this situation? Shouldn’t God have answered by now?” Rest assured, God hears your cry. 

Hannah prayed for Samuel, and it was “after some time” before she received an answer.  Before this answered prayer, Hannah was in agony over being barren. A “double portion” from Elkanah would not suffice. This gesture of kindness from her husband wouldn’t soothe the ache of Hannah’s heart. She desired a child – a son. 
 
Why did God take so long to answer? Could it be that God used this time to prepare Hannah’s heart? Did Hannah desire a child to prove she was as “good” a Peninnah? It’s possible. Regardless, the hot tears of Hannah’s brokeness washed away any prideful ambition. This delay prepared a young mother’s heart to be willing to say, “I prayed for this boy, and since the LORD gave me what I asked him for,  I now give the boy to the LORD. For as long as he lives, he is given to the LORD” (27-28a). 

 

In seasons of silence, we question if God hears our prayers. He does. He is working on your behalf. However, patience is a virtue forged in the flame of heartache and tribulation. But God is working during the pain.  He may be shaping your motivations to align with His purposes. The Apostle Paul encourages us by saying, “He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything?” Romans 8:32 (CSB) Take heart. God knows your situation, and He hears your prayer. 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for hearing your prayer. Ask for the grace to patiently wait for His answer. 

Preparing for Sunday’s Reading

1 Samual 3:1-10[11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

Image Attribution**

Victors, Jan, 1619-1676. Hannah Giving Her Son Samuel to the Priest, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55181 [retrieved May 31, 2018]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hannah_VICTORS,_Jan.jpg.