sharpen your writing axe
SHARPEN YOUR AXE
If anyone needs to hear this, it is me. I also hope that this post will speak to your inner man and bless you.
The Meek - Matt 5:5
I first got acquainted with the word ‘Meek’ in the song, ‘Gentle Jesus meek and mild’, in my childhood and youth and associated being meek with our Lord Jesus Christ. My concept of the word had also included our Lord Jesus being meek because he was born in a stable. I saw sheep as meek because of their gentleness in comparison to the stubbornness of goats! Being ‘Meek’ is a word that means so many things such as humility, patience, self-control and gentleness. Nevertheless, for Christians, being meek is an evidence of the presence the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Being meek in the Christian context is often a misunderstood concept. It is far from being just a quality that can be seen outwardly in a person exhibiting humility, gentleness or patience. These are definitely desirable for Christians in their everyday walk with God and with their fellow humans in the world. Yet, in Gods eyes, it is much more than this!
As Christians, we look to God’s Word for wisdom to guide our knowledge and enable us aspire to become like our Lord Jesus Christ, our model. Matthew 5:5 says, ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.’[NJKV] So, it is a blessing that will bless our lives and our inheritance is great. Let’s now start from the Old Testament to see what God reveals about being meek. In Numbers 12:3 –“Moses was a humble man, more humble than anyone else on Earth”. Moses birth circumstances differ poles apart from our Lord Jesus. He was brought up in a palace as a prince yet God calls him the meekest man on earth and chose him to lead His people. He spoke to Moses face to face and showed him His form!! God punished his siblings for speaking against Moses in Numbers 12:8.
Being meek has to do with a quality only God can see in our heart. Moses as a person and leader always chose to intercede for the Israelites even when under pressure and provocation. He could have instead, for example, allowed God to punish the Israelites when they had pushed Moses beyond his patience and endurance. He chose not to be vindictive. It is very easy for us as humans to want instant justice, revenge or even retaliation to those who wrong us. So, From Moses, we see that he had the ‘power’ to do get even with the Israelites but didn’t. This is meekness. In the New Testament, in Matthew26: 53, when our Lord Jesus was arrested and one of his disciples cut off the soldier’s ear, He put it back and said, “ …Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? And on the cross, after all the humiliation, torture, suffering and finally being crucified, our Lord Jesus on the cross spoke to God and said in Luke 23:34, “ Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” I can imagine in the spiritual realm, our God wanting to destroy those soldiers in some way but our Lord Jesus interceded. This is meekness.
Finally coming to what our Lord Jesus said about the meek inheriting the earth, what does He mean? God created and owns the earth. He gifts it to those who have chosen not to assert themselves over others for personal gain, for their inheritance –[ something you don’t have to work for]. They will be blessed with good health, joy, love, peace and everything they will need. No matter how chaotic our world is, they are assured of the Father’s good plans for them. So dear sisters in Christ, let the words in Philippians 2:5 -8 guide us “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God…and became obedient to death…” I pray that God will exalt you as you seek to be meek by His grace. Amen.
Olusola Sophia Anyanwu is a novelist, poet and writes Christian fiction. She is a member of the Association of Christian Writers. Find out more about her at: www.olusolasophiaanyanwuauthor.com
#inspiration in lent
DO YOU NEED INSPIRATION?
Every Monday to Friday, I do not fail to watch Joel Osteen and Joseph Prince’s programmes from 7am to 8am on the TBN UK Channel. I derive lots of inspiration that has often motivated my writing. How do you derive your own inspiration?
As lent is a holy season of spiritual renewal, many Christian writers are motivated to write devotions, poetry, fiction and non-fiction content around the season of lent. However, for some some passing through challenges that dampen their motivation or stifle their inspiration, I pray the wordings of this song below from Joseph Prince’s programme will encourage, motivate and inspire you.
Anthem of Grace
I believe in a hope that’s so secure
In Your love, there is no fear, salvation’s sure
I believe on the cross You took my pain
All my sins are washed away, forgiven and free
And now I see
As You are, so are we
Let my life resound Your praise
As an anthem of Your grace
There is power in Your name
Alleluya, Jesus You reign
I believe I am righteous through Jesus
Your obedience has won
I rest in all you’ve done
I believe You are everything I need
More of You and Less of me
I fall at your feet
Lent salvation motivation inspiration ACW
BRINGING GOD’S KINGDOM INTO OUR WRITING
We know that God has the wisdom, knowledge, strength and grace we need by the power of His Holy Spirit. So we need to ask God for the words to write. Some of us are already doing this consciously and some of us too already acknowledge that whatever we write is from God the Author and Finisher of our faith and words. It is an act of surrender and humility when we ask Him what to write. We should consider Papa God as our business partner because we are labourers in His vineyard using our words, His tool, which He gave us to bring people in to His kingdom. Some of us rush into the deep waters of the publishing industry - agents, editors, contracts, publishing routes, etc and get drowned. I’m speaking from experience! I once submitted my manuscript to a friend to edit for me and the corrected version was returned to me but it got lost in the mesh of my documents and downloads. I ended up submitting the unedited copy! It was a nightmare! How organised are you? Papa God is not the author of confusion. Do share what strategies you use to get your files in documents and downloads organised. I should have let God know that I was sending my manuscript out and prayed for its safe return!
Let’s tell Papa God that we cannot do stuff in our own strength so that He can guide and lead us through the right paths thus preventing our making mistakes. Funding for our publishing needs – should all be made known to Papa God. David spoke to Papa God before he went into battle in 2 Samuel 5:19 – David asks, ‘shall I go and attack the Philistines?’ God answered him and gave him the go ahead! How difficult or complicated is that? Just a prayer to achieve the right results was all that was needed. I’m also speaking to myself and those who are in the same boat with me in this regard. For the PROs amongst us who have achieved huge strides in their writing careers, I still have advice for you. Be more alert and vigilant of strangers in the guise of ‘helpers’ who can scam or cheat you. After all, didn’t the Gibeonites deceive Joshua? Let’s just be wary that our writing business does not fall in wrong hands by always asking Papa God for advice and protection every step of the way.
I think some of us don’t achieve mega miracles in our writing and lives because we don’t ask God to fulfil our dreams. We may think that it is impossible or even selfish to ask boldly for £ 5,000 a week from our writing, for example! Dare to ask. It is faith being released. Are we asking for our dreams? We can ask God to bless us super so that we can be a blessing to others. In James 4:2 -3, it says, we ask but do not receive because we ask amiss. We can receive abundantly when our prayers of faith stir God’s interest. Our writing is meant to impact others and God is our business partner in bringing His kingdom on Earth.
Let us pray bold prayers such as, ‘Take my writing career where it has never reached before.’ Let us remember that with God, nothing is impossible. It is His good pleasure to bless us. But have we asked? Are we just asking in the usual, ordinary and normal prayer? Or are we asking in the bold prayer that fits the Almighty Father. Asking for the extraordinary?
#prayer #boldprayers #faith #miracles #iamwriting #christianwriterslife
SUCCESS IN MARRIAGE
To understand success in marriage is to firstly understand the concept of love and sacrifice. Many people marry for convenience, pressure, lust, compatibility, selfish desires and duty. Before you get married, purpose it on your mind to not compare your spouse to be like your parents or anyone else. The feelings of like and love are similar but the difference is that LOVE forgives a multitude of sins – 1 Corinthians 13:5 and will stand stronger in the storms of life. Learn to accept that no one is perfect and that both of you can’t have it all, in terms of your wishes, wants and desires in a spouse. Desire the gift of marriage even when there is no one in your life. Learn to consciously remember what the scriptures say about God granting you the desires of your heart –Psalm 37:4. And always remember that there is an enemy [the devil] who can take various ways, forms etc to bring you down. The devil is looking for whom to destroy. 1 Peter 5:8
Work on your weaknesses. Samson was listening to strange women and they brought him down. David lusted after women in heart and flesh. It got him down. Miriam was envious of Moses and it got her down. Hannah’s co wife, Penninah, was boastful towards Hannah. None of her children was chosen by God. Those who murmured against a prophet of God got killed. Eve and Adam disobeyed God and lost paradise .Some people do not follow in the good steps of their parents patterned for them – Samuel‘s sons in the bible, unlike their father were wayward. Both David and Solomon also had wayward children. These are few biblical examples. Also, Queen Asheri didn’t honour her husband and lost her throne and place as wife to the king, in the story of Queen Esther in the Bible.
In our present times today, the major reason why many marriages fail, right from the beginning is the sin of pride. This can come in the form of lacking humility before a spouse. Does a spouse talk down to the other? Does a spouse deliberately ignore the needs of the other? Or does a spouse indirectly show disrespect through the way relatives and family members are treated? Does a spouse continually disregard the personal space of the other? Does a spouse look down on the other’s career, weaknesses or disability? All these and more are labelled offence in the bible –Luke 17:1 because they are ways that tempt a spouse to sin by causing marital conflict.
Also, remember that it takes two to quarrel. Purpose it consciously in your heart, body, soul and mind that you will always be a person of peace. Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called children of God - Matthew 5:9. This means loving peace and hating conflict. It means you are ready to forgive , even when you are the victim or the offended party. It means you are willing to be humble enough to say ‘ sorry’, when you are the offending spouse or be ready to say ‘I’m sorry’ for the sake of peace, even when you are the innocent spouse. Understanding the concept of peace, unity, sacrifice and love is wisdom. Wisdom is Key. Proverbs 4:7.
Of course, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom –Proverbs 9:10. So having the fear of God will enable a couple ensure that the foundation of their marriage is based on God’s Rock – Jesus. 1Corinthinss 3:11 and Deuteronomy32:4. Talking about Jesus here is the best example because He is the epitome of love and sacrifice. Can a spouse give up or sacrifice something like denying themselves their pleasure, comfort, time, convenience or their leisure, for examples, to grant the need of their spouse? This is where sacrifice comes in. It is tied to love. See I Corinthians 13. It is all about love and sacrifice. It is what LOVE is really about. Are you read to sacrifice? Then you can love!! You are ready for a successful marriage!!
interview with dorothy guyton
1.What is the name of your latest book/ genre?
My latest book is’ The Captive’s Crown’ and it is Christian erotic fantasy.
2.When did you start your writing career?
In 1979, with poetry.
3.Did you have support from family, friends or community?
I am a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Thamesmead, Association of Christian Writers, Society of Authors, Alli and other groups on Facebook and twitter and God has used these immensely to bless me through advice, reviews, seminars, beta readers, book launch and helping to edit etc.
4.What is most difficult about an author’s life?
Marketing the books.Do you create female stereotypes?Yes in some of my books, depending on the era and culture the story is set in.
5.As a woman, do you feel an obligation to write on women’s issues [in some form]?Unconsciously, perhaps. Some of my books are women fiction covering career, freedom, inclusion, marriage and love.
6.Do you try to be politically correct or stay away from politics or controversial topics in your plot?
No. I write as inspired. My latest book talks about prostitution, gay sexuality and even though it is a Christian fantasy fiction, it is a strictly adult read due to the adult content in the plot.
7. What makes a woman a success?
When she sees herself first as successful in her thoughts as a daughter of the most High God and reflecting this in the way she portrays herself, confidently achieves the desires of her heart and is a blessing to others.
Thank you so much!
Self-Care for a Christian Writer
What does self-care for a Christian writer mean?
In mid-July 2022, I busied myself reading the MTW’s blog posts I had missed in days and noticed a trend in these posts. It was advice on how to thrive and achieve as a Christian Writer. These write ups were backed up with prayers considering what each one of us tries to accomplish in just one day! I looked at my life as a Christian writer. I have a portable calendar that shows what I have to accomplish each day by God’s grace. Some days have book launches, zoom meetings, blog write ups, personal newsletters to read or give feedback, review deadlines, TBR list to consider, things to catch up from my part time job, family commitments, social media, etc. In the midst of all this, there are personal challenges and writing goals to do!
Many of us face personal challenging situations such as dealing with loss, health, family or job issues. I used to feel disappointed by the few comments on my blog post but now I understand. It can be easy to think erroneously that some member’s posts are ignored. This attitude can be transferred to reviews, book launches and ACW group meetings attendance. I know better now. Looking at my calendar, I realise that I can try my best to support ACW members as much as I can but I must pace myself and try not to be like the proverbial hunter who carried an elephant on his head and tried to catch a rat with his toes but died in the attempt.
The first thing to remember as we are often so advised is to consciously ask God daily for His GRACE to accomplish all He wants us to achieve that day as well as our writing goals. John 11:40 says that ‘If you believe, you will see the glory of God.’ Believe God’s Word about yourself - you can do all things, you are more than able, you are made in God’s image, all things will work together for your good, He will give you the desires of your heart, whatever you touch will prosper and succeed, etc.
Also, remember that there is no competition with anyone. God has a time table for us in spite of whatever we are coping with. God uses our situations to move us into His purpose. Whether He moves us like a snail or an hare, His purpose for us and our writing will be achieved. He orders our steps with His Holy Spirit. He will make us ready and move us on as He did for Moses. Let us not be anxious about our pace or accomplishments. God’s time is the best.
Finally, as Christian writers, we rely on God’s faithfulness, His love and graciousness to trust Him and be content with how far He has brought us in our writing journeys. We see where He began and ended with Job, Joseph and our Lord Jesus. He will grant us unexplainable strength and favour in spite of our unfavourable circumstances. This has been true in my own case because there have been times when I felt overwhelmed or frustrated. Lacking the technical know-how for self-publishing, books to review, meetings/book launches to attend, school work to catch up etc! I asked God for His grace - and He did and sorted me out!
Yet, are there still things that I haven’t done? Of course, like I haven’t put my recent books in the ACW Book shop or put my books on D2D etc but I must learn to pace myself, be content with what I have achieved so far and ask God for grace for the strength and my readiness. This is self-care. Now, at the end of each day, I marvel at what God has enabled me to accomplish and I always thank Him for His grace on my life.
May He grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed in Lord Jesus Christ’s name. Amen. [Adapted from Psalm 20:4 NLT]
Are there some things that you are hoping to do by God’s grace and timing?
Sophia Anyanwu lives in SE London. She is a tutor, writer, poet and Grandma. All of Sophia’s books are available from her website: www.olusolasophiaanyanwuauthor.com , Amazon or local bookshops.
#encouragement #selfcare #christianwriter #selfcareforachristianwriter #ACW
OXENHOLME HERE WE COME!!
Oxenholme, here we come!
I journeyed over the Easter break to visit my younger sister in Oxenholme in Cumbria. I knew I needed rest. What would have happened to our Lord Jesus’s ministry if He had never taken time to rest or urged His followers to rest? This tells us we need to charge our ‘creative battery’ as needed. I love the holiday culture most people adopt in the UK and some other parts of the world. Before, I relocated to the UK, I never knew people just took off to other places away from home as if they had lost their reasoning, for the sake of a ‘Holiday’! It sounded quite bizarre and shocking to me. From my part of the world, many people still consider going on holidays as crazy, ostentatious and a waste of good money. Now I know better!
I realised that my body was not really in its greatest shape as I spent most holidays committing to baby-sitting, social media committments, looking after the family needs, doing house chores as well as my writing. This time around, I had to firmly lay reins on my dear heart which had wanted to fawn over my grands and I forcefully took myself on holiday. What a difference it has made! Just resting my eyes and tuning my senses to the country scenes around me was already refreshing. Going through the countryside and passing towns like Preston restored a lot of lost energy from my creative battery.
My sister’s home is near the Lake District and there is the ocean about forty-five minutes’ walk away from her home which I strolled to, as well as ,the little lake that has its tidal flow. The birds flying at ease, the greenery of the fields, the cattle and sheep on them reminded me of the Lord telling us who the real owner is! ‘All the animals in the forest are mine and the cattle on thousands of hills. All the wild birds are mine and all living things in the field’ –Psalms 50:10 – 11. When I saw the beauty of the peaceful plains and how I felt, I got clearly why our Lord Jesus always sought for such places to be alone with His Father.
My creativity level rose as poetry and prose flowed out of my brain to my pen by His grace. I came back with a determined charge and force on my writing as Facebook and ACW can testify to Papa God’s glory! God indeed has a purpose for everything. It was great bonding with family, having a good needed rest and creating a good deal of poetry. Have you been to Oxenholme or live there? Do you need to get away and charge your creative battery? I just did!!
Sophia Anyanwu is British Nigerian, lives in SE London and is a part time tutor, writer and poet. She is a multi-genre writer and poet but also writes Christian fiction. All of Sophia’s books are available from her website: www.olusolasophiaanyanwuauthor.com , Amazon or local bookshops.
Meet the author / signing and BLACK HISTORY MONTH EVENT - OCTOBER 30/ 2022 ABBEYWOOD LIBRARY
Olusola Sophia Anyanwu