The hardest thing to do is to put aside something you’ve worked on for nearly a year. Having marketed it and received both encouragement and helpful suggestions, I chose this past weekend to put aside my Contemporary Fantasy, “The Origin Series,” for almost a year. I need to see Book 1: The Rose Door with fresher eyes. I’ve read it so much that I can no longer see what’s wrong. Granted, I’ve not sent it out to more than a couple of publishers and spoken to a couple of agents about it.
It wasn’t easy to come to this decision. My heart is in this series and I am still confident that it’s a good series. It seems that God is affirming my decision in many ways.
The sermon on Sunday confirmed abstractedly that it was a good decision. My Word Weavers leader affirmed it was a good decision. Then, on Monday morning I received my daily devotional from “Lead Like Jesus.”
“Fluid circumstances require leaders who are both discerning and responsive to the changes and people around them. We can follow Jesus, who knew when to continue with His stated goals and when to turn aside to respond to new developments.”
Followed by this from Isaiah 30:21:
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”–Isaiah 30:21
Beginning the first week of October, I will begin and finish outlining a paranormal urban suspense called, “Broken Compass.” It’s part of the Christian Speculative Fiction genre. Then, I will steadfastly write this novel with a weekly/daily word count regiment. I hope you will pray for me.
One of the things that Andy Andrews wrote on my Women of Faith brochure when he signed his name was, “Persist!” That word has echoed in my mind eversince. When I feel discouraged or wondering if the journey is worth it, I hear the word in my mind.
What do you struggle with in the writing world? And how can I encourage you?
Preached Sunday, 1-17-11 by Pastor Chris, FBC Prescott
Excerpts From The Fellowship Group Questions and Sermon Notes:
“Each of the following passages demonstrates a time when God’s glory was seen due to His presence with the people. For each passage, list the ways in which God’s glory is demonstrated, state how the people reacted, give any reasons you can find why the people would react that way, and consider any practical ways their life might change as a result of experiencing God’s glory.”
Exodus 19:1-25, Exodus 34-38, Isaiah 6:1-13, and Ezekiel 1:4-2:7
God’s glory was demonstrated in each of these passages with smoke, fire, brilliant light, lightening, great earthly trembling, and in Isaiah 6, the Lord sits on a throne.
The people reacted by cleansing their outward appearance in Exodus 19 (according to the NIV Study Bible, outward preparation to meet God symbolizes the inward consecration that God requires of people), and abstaining from sexual activity (not because it was a sin, but because the mere act would make them unclean). Isaiah reacted in Isaiah 6 in agonizing godly sorrow for the actions of his people and himself. Ezekiel fell face down when he faced God’s glory. Each of them reacted thus because they were faced by this all consuming Glory and in Isaiah and Ezekiel case, they knew it was a death sentence to see God’s face.
Seeing God in all His glory changed the people in practical ways like obedience; In Exodus 40:34-38, the Israelites waited until the glory of the Lord lifted from the Tent of Meeting before they moved to a different location. In essence, they were obediently following the Lord’s direction. Israel was viewed according to the NIV Study Notes as an “extended family household” and God was with them, tenting among them.
Read Exodus 32-34
I hardly take notes during the sermon. I sit and absorb and reflect later. However, Pastor Chris asked a question after saying this (paraphrased from the sermon):
In Exodus, the Lord was honoring the promises He had made to the Israelites. They could have the Promised Land, but instead of God traveling with them, God would send only His angel to lead the way. He did this in reaction to the Israelites building a golden calf and worshiping it in Moses’ absence. This angered God. Moses chose not to accept these terms. Instead, he begged God to come with them. He did not want all that was promised if God would not dwell among them.
If God gave us good health, plenty of money, comfort, and everything that we wanted and needed in this world, but He would not be a part of our life, would we want it still? Pastor Chris charged that many Christians would not hesitate to go for what makes them comfortable in this world over having God dwelling among them. Am I so easily bought? Would I turn away from God in exchange for whatever this world offers? What would wealth and power do to me? Would I change?
While it’s comforting to have God dwell among us, there’s a certain uncomfortable accountability with God dwelling among us as He did with the Israelites. The sinful person in me squirms at the thought. Yet, I am retraining my brain to verbally think of God as Father. Doesn’t a child wish that her Father was close to her and would spend His free time with her, sharing His thoughts and encouragement? A child doesn’t balk at her earthly father’s discipline. She accepts it because she knows he disciplines her out of love and not hate.
If the ocean spreads out to the curvature of the earth, the sun spreads its rays over the jagged mountains, and the large moon lights the night forest in silvery blue light, God’s glory must be greater, more magnificent, and I can’t imagine it. I know my frail being would tremble if faced by God’s glory and I would fall face down like Ezekiel in fear and awe. I want to intentionally live each day to keep God in His rightful place as Lord over my life and treat Him like my Father and the God of the Universe—personal and close by, and yet powerful and holy.
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You can view past sermons here. The Church Office is closed today, but the sermon I wrote about will post by Tuesday afternoon.