Abba’s Promise

abbas-promise-bannerWhen I got the acceptance notice from Debra Butterfield, editor at CrossRiver Media, that my story, The Late Check Provided, had been accepted for an upcoming devotional anthology—I had to search my memory. When did I submit this work? The story confirms God’s perfect timing to provide a much needed resource during a time when I lived through a rough patch. Yet, the story had been submitted during another rough patch, the last few months of my mother’s life. Twelve years of dementia ended with a massive stroke and I cared for her almost continually during the last year of her life. Many of those months are a blur upon reflection but God had a plan to do once again as He taught me in my story. Sometimes He delays a blessing until the need is the greatest. The acceptance of the story came on a dreary, sad day after Mom’s death and the news of publishing a work brought a great lift to my spirits. As He had done before, the Lord saved the blessing of sharing in Abba’s Promise until a time when I really needed Him to fulfill one! I pray the readers will be blessed by all the authors and their stories. And appreciate not only the hard collective work of the writers but the long-suffering of our editor, Debra. I don’t think I’ve ever received an e-mail on the weekend from any other editor. She’s done an outstanding job and I know the writers look forward to the success of the book, shining a light on Ms. Butterfield’s dedication to publish our stories. But, ultimately I pray the Lord receives the glory for the abundance He offers to all who call upon Him. May these stories draw the reader into His presence and experience the blessing of His promises.

The Frost of Heaven

freedigitalphotos,com
freedigitalphotos,com/”Beautiful Branch of an Apple Tree With White Blossums” by Serge Bertasius Photography

“Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew? From whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth?” (Job 38: 28-29 NASB)

In the final chapters of Job, the Lord gives the suffering servant somewhat of a dressing down. At least that’s how I interpret the exchange. Job reminds me of a sassy, rebellious school-age boy receiving a lecture by his father. The answer to all of God’s questions would have to be a basic no. No, I cannot do anything. You, dear Lord, are able to do it all.

In my part of the world, the change of seasons is unpredictable from year to year. All the data confirms spring comes after the last frost, which should occur by a late day in April. But, I’ve learned to hold back before planting. I wait and see. I may purchase my seeds and transplants and keep them in my little greenhouse till I know it is safe. I avoid rushing into my garden because I’ve been sorry in the past—frosted out of fertility.

The grip of blue sky atop a ripe plot of soil, accompanied by a delicious warm breeze, is intoxicating to the point of coercion. The yearn to plant can overwhelm even the most conscientious like a drug sneaked into iced tea. However, my education in planting with the seasons allows me some control in that I have my safe place, the greenhouse, to use as shelter. For fruit trees, I’m out of luck.

Commercial growers have elaborate coverings and spray systems to protect tender blossoms and buds from pending, expected frost. As a humble backyard hobby gardener, I possess no such resources. My poor little orchard has to stand and take it, unprotected and vulnerable to the loss of fertility. Each spring I watch and pray over the timing of the frost, knowing the outcome is entirely in Nature’s hands. The Lord is in control and I am not.

Those years I’ve awakened to the dismal reality of frost on the budding trees, I’ve learned to sigh and accept with humility and great disappointment there will be no pies that year. If the pattern repeats again the following year, I may moan and complain but there will still be no pies. Like Job, I have to submit and accept I was no where to be seen when the Creator of the universe laid the foundations of the earth.

The past few years for me have been afflicted with many untimely frosts. Just as projects have been ready to launch, next steps planned to be taken, and expectations of fruition of great effort, a brutal frost descended with vigor and nipped it all right in the bud. There will be no fruit from my efforts, no delicious aroma of baking pies of success, and no stock pile of baked goods stored for future enjoyment. Just as I’ve learned to do with my orchard, I must wait out another season of loss.

The frost of heaven may have been the manna to nourish and sustain the wanderers. For me, the frost from Heaven has been an opportunity to place myself on a diet from the world and learn that the Lord is my sustenance and His word is my nourishment.

Eventually the frost restrains its painful, untimely occurrence and the Lord will once again allow fruit. There will be pies once more. I remain in my safe house, the shelter of his Hands, as I watch and wait for another run of warm inviting days. Like Habakkuk, I realize that even if there are no buds on the vine and no cattle in the stalls I will rejoice in God, my Savior. He is Sovereign and my strength.

 

Of Daffodils and Doughnuts Along the Red Sea

Like a leaf disappearing in a wind storm, days pass without significance. At one time special days rose with a new sun each year, causing a flurry of activity—a wind storm—of preparations, celebrations, and acknowledgements.

A birthday, a milestone, a remembrance, an anniversary… These occasions of cherished celebrations etched into the pillars of my life. Folks around me shared a deep appreciation of these particular days because they were integral to the celebration. The uncomfortable stillness after the storm passes produces a strange, still unfamiliar reading on my emotional barometer as I pass through a day without a mention of those no longer here.

When my mother died all her days blew away with her departure. The birthday our entire family once colluded to acknowledge has passed unnoticed. The marking of the years beyond completion of her education used to be commemorated by her colleagues and I looked forward to hearing the news obtained from her cronies. Many of those individuals have passed away as well and the leaves of their lives have settled off in a foggy, unknown but very real destination.

On my parent’s anniversary, especially in the late years of life, I made the cake, bought the flowers, sent cards and invitations, and listened to the re-telling of the old, old stories. How they were so young and poor they couldn’t afford a honeymoon thus visiting a local doughnut shop for coffee and a shared treat before returning to their jobs. How they worked for years refurbishing the house my father was born in. Or how many times they threatened to divorce each other but finished out sixty five years of marriage, a decreasing accomplishment in modern society.

When the Lord established the feasts of Israel, He instructed to continue celebrating through every successive generation. New Hebrew children must never forget the bricks and captivity, the grand deliverance before exodus, or the departure through a great sea as their ancestors crossed into a wilderness that led into their promised land.

My family’s stories can’t compare to Israel’sID-100135268 but I can learn from their tradition. To pause from the windstorms of life and remember important events, stilling the rushing tempests momentarily, provide focus, appreciation, and comfort to me.

On this wedding anniversary of my parent’s marriage sixty six years ago, I rest and honor the memories. Doughnuts are no longer on my menu so I’ll select a few emerging buds of daffodils and reflect.

Like the Hebrew children I celebrate, remember, and thank a great God who goes before me and leads to a promised land where His family will once again gather. The flowers sit on a windowsill seen by no one but me, yet testify to a very real and sure destination. I am reminded that my leaf will soon disappear but today enjoy the sun, the flowers, and the God who created all.

photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Flowers_g74-Daffodils_In_Spring_p135268.html

Basket Check

ID-100256393Psalm 33:22King James Version (KJV)
22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
King James Version (KJV)
by Public Domain

This verse from Psalms is a memory verse from Andy Stanley’s DVD “He’s Still Got the Whole World in His Hands”. I’d read it many times but Pastor Stanley greatly illuminated the meaning in his study. I highly encourage anyone to view this three-part teaching if figuring out life is something of interest.

Depending on the Bible version, mercy may also translate as love. The psalmist, most likely King David, begs for God’s unfailing or everlasting love to be with him as he shifts all of his eggs into God’s basket. This move is somewhat counterintuitive to modern man as we are told to diversify and be self-reliant. How many of us treat God as a back-up plan rather than a first line of defense?

The theme I most appreciated in Pastor Stanley’s study is that he told the truth about life. Life in this world will disappoint us, fail us, and fall short of our deepest desires. No matter how spiritual I think I am, I admit he is right. I know in my head that true, full, meaningful life only exists for me as a Christian within the boundaries of God’s will and plans but in my heart and mind I have tried to find life in all the things the world can offer.

Even churchy stuff can be stuck on my list of less-than-fulfilled if the activity is an end unto itself and not an offering to God. It’s pretty easy to participate in all kinds of religious activity, looking great on the outside, but coming up empty deep inside. Too many of us have been invited to the party, and we show up well-attired and trained, but in the end we have to admit we didn’t enjoy it.

Then we blame God for the failures of life and ask a lot of why questions. Why did that fail? Why did he die? Why did she leave? How could this have happened? And too many pulpiteers swear that if we just sign up we get prosperity, with Jesus thrown in for good measure. Ask yourself…could any of your attitudes really be rooted in the fallacy that you can actually be the master of your own ship to the end of the rainbow?

Pastor Stanley admonishes to do all the good stuff anyway. Study. Learn. Serve. Train. Work out. Be positive. Strive. Stay faithful. But in the end if your hope is in anything but the Lord, your world will cave without the strength of God’s unfailing love to sustain. In a world of positive thinking, to say that life will disappoint sounds negative and futile. But to me, I found a new truth that set me free.

I must continue on to do what I believe God has called me to do. Yet, I’ve learned that the pain and disappointment of life is not caused by God. He is not to blame. It’s just life. No matter how diligent, educated, talented, beautiful, wealthy, or faithful a person is—life can crash. Life is uncertain but God is not.

Erwin Lutzer says God is just as much in control in waiting as He is in winning. Take heart. If your failures exceed your successes, know you are in good company. Keep on but rest in the unfailing love of God who never fails and has secured a sure hope for believers. Check your basket. Where are your eggs?

Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net, “Fresh Eggs in Basket”.

The Pull-Up That Went Down

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Romans 15:5
5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
King James Version
Public Domain

Other translations of this verse speak of endurance, encouragement, or perseverance in place of patience and consolation. All of these qualities are necessary to live the Christian life. At my CrossFit gym, I’ve learned they’re essential as well for the WOD.

The work-out of the day, or WOD, is revealed to the participants at the beginning of each session. I never have any knowledge about the level of challenge I’ll have to engage until I walk through the door of the facility. Very much like life, huh?

On that day when a toes-to-bar maneuver was listed in the WOD, I felt strong and assured. This activity helps train to perform a pull-up from an overhead bar. I practiced several before our time began and felt my completion would be probable. But, about halfway through the WOD my left wrist gave way and I found myself eight feet lower, flat on the mat. It happened so quickly. I felt stunned that I did not have time to brace myself from falling on my hip with the titanium joint. Yikes. I could hear my surgeon’s voice as I processed the damage.

The coach arrived in an instant, along with every athlete around my station, to assess the level of damage. I felt like a very old turtle on its back, surrounded by all the young faces. As the oldest athlete in the group and forty years older than my coach, I’m sure they all anticipated seeing me shattered like an antique vase. When I assured them I sustained no injury, they returned to their activities. The coach benched me till everyone finished.

The following weekend I reflected on the incident as I nursed a bruised behind. I thought about how we can fall so quickly even when we think we’re prepared and are up to the challenge. Our confidence can blind us to the ever-present possibility of slipping off the bar. We plan and God laughs.

I don’t credit my fall to the devil because it probably had more to do with the Carpal-Tunnel syndrome in my wrist. But the shock of the fall reminds me of how quickly life can change. The cause may be through the signature kill-steal-destroy tactics of the devil or it may be allowed by our Sovereign Lord. Change may happen just because…

When we fall, our Christian community is to rally around us, checking for damage and offering support just as my fellow athletes did. Sometimes they can help us up and ease the suffering until we find our bench. The Lord may allow us to sit there. And sit there. For a long while.

As I sat on the bench and watched everyone continue on, I sure wished to be out there with them. Yet, prudence prevailed and I hung there until our time completed. I feel very much benched in my life at this time, not from a fall or slip in my Christian walk, but because of life events. My Christian community continues on without me as I attend to life’s responsibilities from my bench.

It is the Lord, my Coach, who has benched me. I feel like it’s been a long fall from when I worked in my profession and actively engaged in the ministries of my church. Now, I have increased family responsibilities and strive to keep myself in the best shape physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As the family caretaker, my time is not my own. I’ve learned I must take care of myself or I will be ineffective in caring for others.

I would love to be back out there with my fellow workers. For now, I’ll work from my bench until He tells me it’s time to go back in. The pull-up that went down reminded me of the value of supportive people and the wisdom of sitting it out when you can’t go on. If you’re on the bench, wait it out till healing comes. And if you’re a faithful hard-working servant rushing by the bench, give encouragement and offer to lighten the load. The next seat on the bench may be yours.

Photo credit: Cartoon Businessman Exercise Set, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Unfettered

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…and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil.
Luke 8:29 KJV (Public Domain)

I’ve longed for this type of deliverance. The demoniac was cut loose and fancy free. Sort of. When his possession ceased, his hope for a brighter future must have blossomed.

Not demon possessed myself; there are still many burdens and obsessions that afflict my mind. Sometimes I can get so sick of myself I want to pack up and leave me behind.

Why do I keep repeating the same mistakes? Why do I allow myself to be beset by plaguing thoughts? Why do I focus on my worst characteristics and never rejoice in my gifts? Why can’t I trust completely? Why do I…? Anybody identify with this?

It happens every year. As soon as the warm breezes blow, I rush into my closet and fold up the down vest and heavy sweaters and switch to the cotton pastel tops and breezy skirts. Spring, I tell myself, is just around the corner. Then, it snows.

Each year during closet re-organization I am faced with the reality that I plainly have too much stuff. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I create my own prisons by burdening my life with too many possessions and commitments? Why?

I Googled how many clothes one person should own, hoping there would actually be a guideline. That’s how I found Debbie Roes from the Recovering Shopaholic (www.recoveringshopalic.com). I can’t testify to her spiritual condition because she blogs mainly about how to shop and organize your wardrobe. However, her theme of trading a full closet for a full life definitely could preach a spiritual message.

Not only does she offer helpful tips and insights on wardrobe management, her guests delve into concepts revealing underlying maladaptive behaviors and thinking. She advises to own clothing for a life actually lived versus a fantasy life that may never happen.

By facing reality, I can not only save myself a lot of money and time but I can take those saved funds and time and invest them in something meaningful. My latest mantra is not to fear failure but to fear success at something meaningless. (Tweet this! I have…)

Fetters rarely find their way into most of our lives. A few old hymns mention these chains that bind and modern prisons have replaced shackles with GPS embedded bracelets or anklets. But after some time of meditation on the idea of being shackled to non-productive actions and thoughts, I realized I am bound by wrong perceptions, ignorance, fears, and painful memories that keep me confined to my own personal dungeon. Cleaning out my closet proved to be tangible evidence of what anxiety, false impressions, and insecurities can do my otherwise all-together appearing life. As Debbie says, a full closet does not equate a full life.

It is easy for many of us to replace deep, intimate connections in life with the frivolous. Social media keeps us at keyboard’s length from real communication. The pressure to appear successful is intense for many women as they diligently work to be everything to everyone and end up with not much more than a trunk load of cast-offs bound for the local charity.

And the snow came. I adopted an eight-week-old puppy in the midst of this last breath of winter. Potty training became a hellish endeavor. One below-zero trip to Pottyland found me chasing my precious pup after she wrestled off her leash. In order to catch her, I had to free myself from the clunky clogs on my feet. Bare feet in icy snow at two a.m. can jolt amazing realities.

The free demoniac. Debbie’s version of the perfect wardrobe. The distant singing of Jesus Glorious Emancipator filled my mind as I struggled to replace the fetters/clogs that nearly cost me a puppy in the dark. Puppy in arms, I returned to the warmth of my home and realized in order to reach the prize of great worth, I must sometimes be quick to shed the things that bind.

Try it. Give Debbie’s site a read through and sift through those things you haven’t used in a very long time. Face the reality your body will never be like it was at eighteen. Analyze where your life is today and pray for wisdom to do the meaningful things the Lord has designed you to do for such a time as this. Identify your fetters and under the Lord’s watchful eye send them into the swine that deserve them.

 

Photo credit: Image by artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Bling Somebody

ID-100227003And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.
(Acts 15: 31 NASB)

Death takes a bite out of the survivor’s spirit. In between the logistics of taking care of belongings, policies, paperwork, and memories, I’ve spent some time meditating on loss and grief. Mom’s hospice took care to distribute caring pamphlets for the bereaved but the one which I remember most is “Life after Loss” by Tim Jackson from RBC ministries. Almost anything associated with Discovery Series is a good resource and this little pamphlet was no exception. Mr. Jackson shared from his own losses of his parents and I easily identified with his emotions.

It’s a valley most of us will walk through. The silence without a loved one is at times deafening. But, the Lord has gifted me with His presence and grace to move forward. Mom is gone and I’ve got to get back to work!

Recently I had the joy of hearing from Donna Mynatt. Follow the link to her interview and book review of book one in my Cotton Springs series, Erased with Grace. (There’s a giveaway!) Find it at: www.donnasbookshelf.com. Donna and her daughter, Rachel Miller, are both authors and reviewers and belong to my AFCW group that meets in Middle Tennessee. Being around fellow writers inspires but fellowship with fellow Christians heals and soothes.

Blogging and writing have suffered in the past few weeks and Donna’s sweet words of encouragement have been like a balm to this weary traveler. My thoughts turned to good ol’ Barnabas, Paul’s companion during a missionary journey. During one Bible study I attended, the leader pointed out how initially the two were listed as Barnabas and Paul. Later, as Paul became bolder and stronger in his witness and presentation, the two became Paul and Barnabas. The presence of this son of encouragement prompted Paul to continue on without him and become a prolific author and church planter.

We all need a lift every now and then. More than an atta-girl, real encouragement works its healing through the power of the Holy Spirit. I’m convinced many times I’ve missed an opportunity to infuse a helping hand into someone’s dark day. I know I can’t solve someone else’s problems but I can help bear the burden by sticking just a little joy under their cart. The Holman Bible version says in Proverbs 25:11: “A word fitly spoken at the right time is like gold apples on a silver tray.” Is there someone close by who could use just a little bling at the right time today?

As you’re thinking of the person you will encourage, don’t miss a visit to Donna’s site and enjoy the scenery.(Read this.) She seems to be a positive, inspiring gal and I believe you’ll find an apple or two to snack on. Go ahead. Bling somebody!

 

Photo by mapichai. Published on 14 January 2014
Stock Photo – Image ID: 100227003, http://www.freedigitalphotos.com

Old Year Resolutions

Happy New Year Stock Photo By franky242, published on 10 January 2014 Stock Photo - image ID: 100226284
Happy New Year Stock Photo
By franky242, published on 10 January 2014
Stock Photo – image ID: 100226284

Philippians 3:13 King James Version (KJV)

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I’ve learned not to make New Year’s Resolutions. According to the experts, whoever they are, most resolutions fizzle by February. I’m too obsessive to participate in something with such poor returns.

What I have learned to do is make Old Year Resolutions. They are just as hard and sometimes more difficult to keep, but the returns are deep. After a year like the one I’ve just survived, it’s crucial for me to make and keep my Old Year Decisions.

Failed resolve may not apply to every aspect of defeated goals like losing weight or cutting down on sugar. Many of us fail at these types of pipe-dreams. Less spending, more saving, more giving, or less selfishness are common hopes yet my culture seems inept as a whole in making those ideals become a reality. It’s so much easier to stay with the familiar and usual.

A major difference between an old year and a new year resolution is acknowledging the real source of Who is going to make it all happen. Failure to meet goals is often rooted in the belief that we have  the ability to be in control of life. Old Year Resolutions center on the fact the Lord will be the same in the future as well as today and substantiate He is also the same in our past.

A New Year goal looks to a promise in the future where an Old Year goal is resolved to the fact a Sovereign Loving Creator held us as the storms raged and the promises were broken. Old Year goals help me to resolve to leave the past with Him. They help me  recognize the disappointment, loss, pain, and anger that mounts up to the bitter spirit I do not want to bring into my tomorrow.

I know from Scripture that my times are in His hands so I do not need to fret about the future. His Word tells us that man makes plans but God directs. An old proverb says if you want to make God laugh, make plans.

Henry Blackaby has taught me God is always at work around me. He is working today and will be working in the future, but He has also been working in the past. My task has been to learn to trust Him during those painful times when I don’t understand what He’s up to.

I saw this illustrated at feeding time for my animals. My dog waits in the room where he will partake of a meal while I prepare the food in another room. A door separates us because he will charge in and devour what I’ve planned to give him. Not only does he make a mess of things, he can become sick from gouging too quickly on too much food. As he waits, knowing I will eventually come through the door with his object of desire, he whines and sits up against the door in torment. He’s never missed a meal in ten years yet I imagine him drowning in a sea of doubts as he pines. He doubts his future instead of depending on the faithfulness of his master in the past.

Hence, I focus on Old Year Resolutions to keep me focused on God’s faithfulness and great ability to provide and comfort. I’ve been fed by His Hand a lot longer than my dog has been by mine so I know I’ll never miss what I need in the future. Sometimes I’m tempted to beg and whine. I’ve learned to stay behind the door until He enters because I’ve rushed through in the past making a mess of my life and have made myself sick with regrets. I can release my doubts and fears to rest in the provision I trust Him to provide.

I’ve been known to bark on occasion but I’m quickly quieted by His soft soothing words of comfort. Similar to the words I say to my dog, He assures me He is coming and is working for my best outcome. I can have courage to face the tomorrows because my Old Years have been resolved to His care.

I won’t discourage you from seeking new goals in your next year. Maybe you won’t be a statistic. But when you arrive at the time in your life when you have more yesterdays than tomorrows, those Old Year Resolutions to leave life in the Hands of the One who loves you most will be of tremendous comfort. I look forward to each new day with courage not because of what I will do but because of what He has already done.

 

Photo credit:  www.freedigitalphotos.com, By franky242, published on 10 January 2014

Stock Photo – image ID: 100226284

 

 

 

Are You Nanoready?

nanoreadyLuke 9:62 King James Version (KJV Public Domain)
 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Jesus called followers on the spot and bid them to join Him at the moment of call. Luke relates a story about a young man who gave a myriad of excuses that prevented him from joining the movement. He had responsibilities, after all, things to do, people to see, and places to go. Someday…maybe he would follow after he got it all accomplished.

The problem with this reasoning is that there is never a good time to change. There is never a convenient time to do something different. No time is a good time to take on a shift of focus. It is so much more comfortable to just stay the same.

Henry Blackaby teaches in Experiencing God we cannot go with God and stay the same. Change is part of the process. Not only a change in attitude and priorities, but many times a change in physical locations, relationships, or employment finds a way in to our new lifestyle following Christ.

Next month, many writers will put their hand to the plow and pray and write and pray and write and….not look back. Nanowrimo, national novel writing month, begins with a challenge to write fifty thousand words in the month of November. Such a challenge requires preparation.

I have prepared my work station (see attached photo mimicking Earnest Hemmingway’s stacked typewriter. It worked for him, right?) I’m praying for the protection of time to sit/stand and write daily. My fortitude to keep the path is being fed by currently finishing my second manuscript’s first pass. Book three hangs in my imagination and prayers but I hope to bring it into reality before December first.

What I learned last year from Nano was what the young man in Luke’s verse had yet to learn. As writers, we know writing is life. Having receptivity and faithfulness to imaginary friends and places can spill into our faith walk. Finishing something facilitates finishing more and more tasks. Done is good. Crossing a finish line builds confidence to find another race and run it.

As millions gear up for Nano, I’m praying many of us will apply the same diligence of meeting the goal of fifty thousand words to following the Master of Word. Fingers to the keyboard are like hands to the plow. Don’t look back. Follow the Master in all your ways and you might even produce a new novel!

BelieversPress Gets My Vote

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Philippians 1:6
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ

King James Version (Public Domain KJV)

 

Opening the box of my proof to my new book, I exhaled a prayer of thanksgiving that I made it this far. I need reviewers! If you are interested in reviewing this title, contact me through the blog or my website: www.aynnecynar.com. I have a few paperback copies to send out and, if I can figure out how to send the e-file for Kindle, I’d loved to send out a few of those as well. My plan is to load both to Amazon in 2015. I’m editing book two now and hope to Nanowrite book three next month! There will be a fourth…

I solicited a slew of quotes for printing the advanced review/galley copies from several printers. I narrowed down to three and selected Believers Press as the winner. Meeting Andrew MacKay at the Writing for the Soul conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee greatly influenced me but in the end it is strictly business. I mean finances. Mr. MacKay is a budding author as well as a publishing contact. His affable nature allowed me to quiz him personally and get all the information a starving author needs. For an Indie author to have had access to a professional resource like Andrew was invaluable.

BookMasters in Ohio was fairly priced, but the minimal quantity is one hundred books. At five dollars a book plus shipping, I would be living among books stacked to my ceiling for (probably) infinity. This POD company comes highly recommended by Peter Bowerman (The Well-Fed Self-Publisher). If you are Indie, buy his book. BookMasters’ response was timely and professional.

BookBaby also seemed like a viable choice and has favorable reviews by Joel Friedlander, the go-to know-it-all for self pubs. They will print a short run,  under twenty five books, but the cost per book with shipping is about eleven to twelve dollars. Not too bad if you are in a pinch.

I also communicated with a local Nashville printer that also prints short runs. Pollack printing was the highest of the quotes but being able to pick it up on site had advantages for me. Besides, the contact person, Harvey Hearn, was professional and enjoyable to correspond with. I’m keeping them on file in case…

At Believers Press, www.BelieversPress.com, you will be linked to www.bookprintondemand.com to set up an account. Be careful. There is a similar web address for a POD printer in the Netherlands and you will know it immediately if you don’t speak Dutch.

I think SnowFall Press actually does the printing. The finished product is as professional looking as any other paperback book on my shelf from a number of big name publishers. I chose a cream paper, which I prefer, and hope it pleases my readers. The drum roll is for a two hundred eighty page finished book with a full color cover, shipped and printed, for just under five dollars. I ordered a single copy as a proof and was very pleased with the results. My little order of thirty books should arrive in less than a week and I will have enough money left over to buy dinner and feed the animals.

I chose to use a professional editor, typesetter, and cover designer. Lynnette Bonner at IndieCoverDesigns was a dream to work with. She is also an accomplished author and her advice along the way was outstanding. My editor, Betty Whitworth, belongs to the Kentucky Christian Writers. All mistakes are mine. Lynette and Betty gave me the confidence to complete my first book, Erased with Grace.

My goal is to reach women through entertaining inspirational fiction and introduce them to my Lord. My protagonist lives under the same trials most mature woman face and learns to trust the One who never fails. By keeping my financial investment low, I can afford to gift my book as the Lord leads and let Him do His work through the words He inspired me to write.

Indies: check out Believers Press! Readers, drop me a note if you wish to review. I hope you will be blessed to learn you are never invisible to God. Your relationships may change but can be erased with grace.