Friday, August 21, 2009

The Numbers Game

Recently I've talked to several bloggers playing the numbers game. Questions and comments run back and forth like this:

"Have your comments/visits dropped a lot this summer?"

"I LOVE all the people I’ve met through blogging, I can’t see the point of working so hard for the amount of visitors I get."

"It's frustrating to have 5 comments after 3 days, and visit someone else who posted 5 minutes ago and already has 10 comments."

I've felt the same way before. Sometimes it seems like a lot of work to come up with several blog posts a week, if no one is reading! Consider, however, Noah.

God told Noah to build a huge ark. It took hard work, determination, and energy. Noah then had to gather up all the animals and put them in the ark. He had to care for and feed the animals. (Have you ever been to the zoo? Imagine the smell in the ark!) But the Bible tells us the Noah did everything just as God asked.

Do you know how many peoples lives were impacted by Noah's hard work? Besides Noah, only seven. SEVEN! Out of all the people in the entire world, only seven were saved. If Noah, who the Bible calls righteous and blameless, could do all the work God called him to do for only seven people, shouldn't we be able to do the same?

If you feel like you are called by God to write, then don't get caught up in the numbers game! Because for God, there is more rejoicing over just ONE sinner who repents, then in 99 who do not need to repent. Write for that one!

Genesis 6:9 -- Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.

1 Peter 3:20b, 21 -- ...God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.

Luke 15:7 -- I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday 8/20

5 things I'm thankful for this week:

1. I'm especially grateful and thankful for my 10 yr old daughter who celebrated her birthday on Tuesday. She is a source of joy in my life.

2. I'm thankful for my husband's work. So many are without work now, I'm so thankful that he is working.

3. I'm thankful that we don't have any more expenses this month. With new expenses of school uniforms, school supplies, birthday gifts and my convention, this was an unusually expensive month. Thankful we don't have months like this often!

4. I am thankful that after 10 yrs of leading my stay home moms Bible study, that I am going to join another study group at my current church, and be the nurtured instead of the nurturer for a while. And I am ESPECIALLY thankful for those who are rising up into leadership so that our wonderful group will continue on without me.

5. I am thankful for a God who knows my heart and always arrives, not in my time, but in his own.

What are you thankful this week?

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Chatty Kelly

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Book Review: Rick & Bubba's Guide to the Almost Perfect Marriage

Honestly, I'd never heard of Rick & Bubba when I ordered this book from Thomas Nelson to review. What I was expecting was a really funny book on marriage. I love humor! But not the kind in this book.

Rick & Bubba are evidently syndicated radio personalities who used that huge platform to become authors, and New York Times best sellers at that. The book's humor was very "redneck." Lots of hunting and fishing jokes, and even a couple of "pull my finger" references were made. Women of course always get lost, and have to be apologized to for everything, even the dog tracking mud in the house while the man is at work.

Honestly, I gave up about 1/2 way through the book. But then, I decided to finish it in good conscience so I could review it, and order another book. I don't know if I had lowered my expectations, or if the book got better in the second half, but something happened.

The chapters on respect, date night, and protecting your mates honor from negative friends resonated with me. And the chapter on surviving the loss of a child (which Rick & his wife did) brought me to another level of respect for him.

The truth is, this isn't my kind of book. But Rick & Bubba seem to be good Christian men who wrote a book that will probably be enjoyable for the folks that listen to their radio show and enjoy it. My best wishes to them both, and my sincere condolences to Rick and Sherri on the loss of their son.

Chatty Kelly

Monday, August 17, 2009

God Knows My Heart

It's no secret that I don't take rejection well. God knows my heart, and so when I submitted my very first article it was accepted. This was the jump start I needed to get me to continue writing. I subsequently found out that my experience was very rare and that rejection is the rule in writing. I then started to get rejected. But I kept getting enough acceptances to keep me writing.

The writers conference was hard. I felt overwhelmed. So many good writers...where do I fit in? I wrote this draft blog post last Wednesday.

One of my favorite children's authors is Kevin Henkes. I love each of his books so much, but my favorite is Chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemum is a little girl mouse and she loves her name. She loves everything about it...until she goes to
school. Then when the other children tease and taunt her she comes home and
tells her parents, "School is no place for me."

I know how she feels. I love writing. I love everything about it! Yet, after attending the writers conference I feel like running home and exclaiming "Writing is no place for me!" I'm not thick-skinned and I don't face rejection well. The truth is, the writing market is filled with writers all hoping to be published.

I'm not a great writer. On a good day, I'm a good writer. So where does that leave me? Well, Chrysanthemum got macaroni & cheese, and Parcheesi to cheer her up.
But the thing that made the most difference was when her favorite teacher
validated her worth.

My favorite Teacher is, of course, Jesus. Certainly he has validated my worth. He died for me. But where does that leave me as a writer? Still confused. Perhaps I'm just called to be a Blogger Extraordinaire. Perhaps I'm to write magazine articles. As Simon Cowell would say, maybe I'm good enough for the Karaoke bar, but not for a recording label.

Maybe that's okay. Because God didn't call me to be published. He called me to write. So I will.

I thought I'd publish this last Friday, then decided to "sleep on it" and perhaps post it today. A funny thing happened on Friday. I received a contract for a piece I'd submitted. A piece I'd already received a rejection letter for. This contract was a COMPLETE surprise. I had nothing out for publication, and didn't plan on sending anything anytime soon.

To me, God is encouraging me to keep submitting. It doesn't mean I have to write a book. But perhaps I am called to write and seek publication. So I will!

Chatty Kelly