Friday, May 30, 2014

Trickier Than Dr. Seuss

If you'd like to try reading aloud a Poem that 90% of People Can't Pronounce, then give it a whirl. I did . . .

And here are the words I didn't know:

In Greek mythology, this is the Muse of the dance and of choral song

How to pronounce AGUE.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tidbit: Gannah

I've been editing all week. Not my writing, though. A buddy of mine. That is one of the best perks of being an author. I get the privilege of reading some fantastic stories before they go public. Currently I'm spit shining yet another book in the Gateway to Gannah series.

Here's my review from the first book: Story in the Stars. . .

Mix together a deadly plague with a snarky hero--one sporting abnormally large ears. Then throw in an independent heroine who's lost everything, and you've got a blue-ribbon recipe for a winning debut novel. The Story in the Stars is sci-fi at it's best with plenty of action, unbelievable landscapes, and a message that is hard hitting.

And here's the back cover copy . . .

The inhabitants of the planet Gannah are known as bloodthirsty savages who once tried to conquer the galaxy. Now a plague has ravaged the planet and only one survivor remains, a young woman named Dassa. Pik, the doctor from the League of Planets assigned to her case, hates everything Gannahan and wishes every last one of its people had died. Bereft of everything she's ever known, Dassa clings to her God and the story he has written in the stars. He has given her an assignment: to return to Gannah and replenish it with a new race of people. But she must first overcome the prejudice of the entire galaxy and recruit her de facto enemy, Pik, to help her.

It's a great story. So is the second book, and now the third one is out. . .

How much is a life worth? And who will pay the price? Fifteen-year-old Lileela returns from the planet Karkar, embittered over what she perceives as abandonment by her parents. Why do they want her back now? And why does Karkar demand such a huge payment for delivering her? Neither she nor her family suspects that the Karkar’s true mission is revenge. The tiny New Gannahan settlement has no hope of repelling an invasion – except for One the Karkar can’t see.

If you'd like to keep up with author Yvonne Anderson's writerly adventures, check out her blog at Ys Words.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Write the Unexpected

One of the many bonuses about having a puppy is enforced morning exercise. There's no way I'd get up at 6:30 a.m. to bound out my front door and clip out a fast-paced 2 mile walk if it weren't for a certain 15 pound boxer.

But that's what I do. Day in and day out. It's a great excuse to eat doughnuts guilt free.

My usual route is past an old cemetery, old as in some of the tombstones date back to the mid-1800's. Needless to say, the place is a little run-down. For the most part, though, it's pretty nondescript, but since I walk past it every day, I notice things. Like the fence. In a few places, the chain link is bowed. Not a big deal, except for one bulge. Near the corner. Where it swells out from the cemetery to the sidewalk side.

Like someone was trying to make a quick escape from the inside out.
Creep city.

What does this have to do with writing? Good question. The thing is that I never expected to see the fence looking like a corpse was trying to barrel through into the land of the living. It made me stop and wonder. . . and that's exactly what you want to do with your story, article, devotional, or whatever it is that you're writing. Do the unexpected and your writing will be memorable.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

You Never Know When This Will Come in Handy

Just like trivial facts, you never know when you might need to use a specialized web site like Sherv, times like when you need to flip your type upside down:

ɥsɐǝl ǝɥʇ ɟɟo ɹǝʇıɹʍ 

Flip allows you to enter any copy that you'd like and it automatically flips it upside down for you.


Or if you're looking for a super fun and/or interesting emoticon like a waving Rastafarian with fantastic dental hygiene, click here.

This site takes your type and reshapes it into wild and crazy fonts that you can copy. Here's an example:
ฬгเtєг ๏ŦŦ tђє lєครђ

And if that's not enough fun for one day, pop on over to I Waste So Much Time.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Ode to Ray

Ray Bradbury 1975 (taken from Wikipedia)
Author Ray Bradbury died 2 years ago. I know. Morbid way to being a post, eh? Still, I loved him. I spent hours and hours during my awkward adolescence absorbed in his books. Even now he's still an inspiration to me with his encouraging quotes...
"You will have to write and put away or burn a lot of material before you are comfortable in this medium. You might as well start now and get the necessary work done. For I believe that eventually quantity will make for quality. How so? Quantity gives experience. From experience alone can quality come. All arts, big and small, are the elimination of waste motion in favor of the concise declaration. The artist learns what to leave out. His greatest art will often be what he does not say, what he leaves out, his ability to state simply with clear emotion, the way he wants to go. The artist must work so hard, so long, that a brain develops and lives, all of itself, in his fingers.”
He was a prolific writer, the author of over 50 books (such as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles) and hundreds of short stories. He won a gazillion awards ranging from the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation to the National Medal of Arts. What inspired him to become so prolific? When he was 12 years old (in 1932), he met a carnival magician named Mr. Electrico. At the end of Electrico's performance, he reached out to Bradbury, touching him with his sword, and commanding, "Live forever!" Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."

With all that fame and glory and gumption, one would expect him to have lived in a mansion, right? Wrong. He lived in a modest 3 bedroom, 3 bath. And if anyone is interested in buying that home, here it is for sale. . .
Information and Photo taken from Redfin
10265 Cheviot Drive is perhaps Cheviot Hill's most important address. For more than half a century it was home to Ray Bradbury, one of the most celebrated, beloved authors of our time. This charming traditional features a grand living room with soaring vaulted ceilings, classic brick fireplace, large bay window allowing soft California light to flood in across original hardwood floors and custom built-ins; formal dining room for proper entertaining with detailed crown moldings, expertly crafted wainscoting and wood shuttered windows; 3 generously sized en-suite guest bedrooms; maid's quarters on the main floor; expansive grounds with a large front yard as well as backyard to retreat to the outdoors in a secluded environment and a surprisingly spacious basement where he chose to write daily. A beautiful property with an important cultural provenance, come see where so many great works of fiction were conceived. A tremendous opportunity to begin a new chapter in its storied history.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tidbit: Inspiration

My next book coming out in January is about an officer of Bow Street. What in the world inspired me to write about that? Read on and find out. . .

Traditionally, every male householder in London was expected to police the streets in their neighborhood, and every citizen was to report anyone they witnessed committing a crime. This changed in the eighteenth century because of increasing concerns about the threat of dangerous criminals who were attracted by the growing wealth of London’s middle class.

Prompted by a post-war crime wave in 1749, Magistrate Henry Fielding (who himself was a playwright and novelist) hired a small group of constables and ex-constables to locate and arrest serious offenders. He operated out of No. 4 Bow Street, hence the name “Bow Street Runners.”

Fielding petitioned the government and received funding, but even so, he soon ran out of money to pay these men a worthy salary. Still, the runners were committed to justice, so they took on odd jobs such as watchmen or detectives for hire or even—as in the case of Nicholas Brentwood—guarding people or treasures.

What attracted my interest as an author and inspired me was an old newspaper advertisement put out by Fielding. It encouraged the public to send a note to Bow Street as soon as any serious crime occurred so that “a set of brave fellows could immediately be dispatched in pursuit of the villains.” I wondered about those “brave fellows” and what kind of villains they might come up against.

Despite Bow Street’s efforts, most Londoners were opposed to the development of an organized police force. The English tradition of local government was ingrained deep, and they feared the loss of individual liberty. So, as gallant as the Runners were in tracking down criminals, the general public did not always view them in a positive light. Even the nickname given them by the public—Bow Street Runners—was considered derogatory and was a title the officers never used to refer to themselves.

Bow Street eventually gave way to the Metropolitan Police, and by 1839, the Runners were completely disbanded.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

FAQ's About Hiring an Editor
I am often asked about editing, so clearly there is a need to talk about the issue. Here goes . . .

Is it necessary to hire an editor?
That's a loaded question. It depends. If you're planning to go the self-pubbing route, then yes. Absolutely. Get out there and find an editor already, sheesh. I don't care how stellar you think your skill with words is, you need an extra set of eyeballs to catch what you don't see, and I guarantee you, you will NOT see every glitch in your story.

If you're planning on subbing to a traditional publisher, then forking out the cash to hire an editor depends upon your writing ability. This is not the time for pride. Be honest. Get a second opinion other than your mother's.

How do I find an editor?
Word of mouth is the most reliable source. It weeds out the charlatans and junior high grammar failures. Ask around for references. Any editor worth hiring will have reviews from pleased clients, so yes, they should have experience. Here, I'll make it even easier and give you a referral. Elizabeth Ludwig combs through all my manuscripts before I send 'em out. You'll find her editing information HERE.

Networking is the best way to go about finding an editor, but if you're really stuck and can't find one or the one you want is too swamped at the moment, try the Editorial Freelancers Association (just make sure to check their references before you hire someone). And before you lay down cash for any editor, make sure their name doesn't show up on Preditors & Editors.

Aren't all editors the same?
Besides varying in hair color and propensity to eat asparagus (YUM!), editors generally specialize in a particular kind of editing. There's the macro editor who does a substantive edit, which looks for overall storyline ebb and flow and plot issues. Then there's a copy editor who will point out all your grammar, usage or style problems.

Is it really worth it?
You'll need to consider the return on your investment. If an agent or publisher is impressed with your clean and tight manuscript and you snag a contract, then yep. I'd say it's worth it. Of course, there are no guarantees. Sure there's a chance you cough up the bucks and you still don't attract any publishing attention. That's the writerly game, folks. On the flip side, though, if you put out writing that falls far short of perfection, you will get noticed and remembered in a very, VERY bad way.

Will you edit my story?
Nope. I am not a professional editor. I edit for a few, select writerly buddies because we swap our services with each other. Is that ingrown? Maybe. Is it fair? Not at all. Get over it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Shut Your Piehole and Do it Already

What's worse than crappy writing? No writing at all. You can't edit anything if have nothing to work with. You can't query, pitch, sell or market something that hasn't been written. If you want to be an author, at some point in time you have to park your butt in a chair consistently enough to pound out some words, and the first time you plop into the ol' roly-poly chair is the hardest.

Blank screens are the worst. Stephen King or Ted Dekker ought to do a horror novel on the phenomenon. Why does an empty page evoke such terror? Van Gogh sums it up quite nicely in a letter he wrote to his brother Theo. . .

"Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don't know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas is, which says to the painter, 'You can't do a thing'. The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can't' once and for all."
~ Vincent Van Gogh

If this fear grips you by the throat, do what I do. Don't over-think it. Simply start typing. Dialogue, prose, a shopping list. . . anything. Words are words, after all. Think of the action as greasing the wheels of creativity.

The best thing of all is that this concept doesn't apply only to writers. This "just do it" theory works for any big project that's staring you in the face. Do something. It doesn't have to be big or even perfect. Don't expect it to be grandiose. In fact, expect that you'll eventually toss out your early work. The point is to begin some forward motion.

Eating an elephant begins with one bite, so pull out a fork and dig in to whatever overwhelming task it is that you'd like to accomplish. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sometimes One Letter is All it Takes

What's the difference between an idiot and an idiom? The last letter, of course. Well, that and the meaning. Lest you appear to be an idiot, here is an education on the roots of some common idioms. . .

Raining Cats and Dogs
This saying goes way back to the 1600's. The thatched roofs on 17th century homes also housed small mammals such as rodents and possibly a cat or two. After a heavy rainfall, those that had crawled up there to die were washed into overflowing gutters and kablam. If your umbrella wasn't heavy duty, you could literally be smacked in the head with a dead cat.

Wrong Side of the Tracks
When steam engines used to roll through town, black smoke and soot billowed out of the smokestack. The wind generally blew that smoke in the same direction. Would you want to live there? Nope. Most people didn't. So the poorest of the poor took up residence on the nasty sooty smoky side, hence the phrase.

Don't Throw the Baby Out 
With the Bath Water
Families used to share bath tubs. Yeah. I know. Get over the eew factor and you'll be fine. In pre-running water days, the tub would be filled and the head of the house got the first bath, followed by the next oldest and so on and so on. By the time it was the baby's turn, that water was pretty dirty, so it was a good idea to make sure the kid wasn't still in it by the time you tossed it out of the house.

Mad as a Hatter
Felt hats used to be made by using mercury in the process. Worked great on fabric. Not so much on brain cells. Mercury poisoning causes tremors, brain damage, tooth loss, slurred speech and other freakish side effects. Think of it as a perk of the job.

To Be Stumped
This is another train transportation era phrase. Land had to be cleared to lay down tracks. When workers came across a tree stump, it caused a dilemma, or in other words, to be stumped.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tidbit: Historical Trivia

Because I write historical fiction, I do a fair amount of research. Here are a few interesting bits of information I came across this week. . .

Saturday Night Out at the Morgue

Looking for a 19th century idea of a good time in Paris? Visit the morgue, of course. Just behind Notre Dame, the morgue was originally built to identify unknown bodies dredged from the Seine or from suicides. Their remains were displayed on slanted marble tables behind glass. It was open every day from dawn until 6:00 p.m. Most people came simply to gawk at the poor unfortunates.

Interested in reading more? Click HERE.

An Island in New York City

Located in New York's East River is where you'll find North Brother Island. It was once a well-known and important part of the city, but in the past 50 years it's all but fallen off the map. . . unless you're a migratory bird.

From the 1880's until the 1930's, the island was home to Riverside Hospital, a refuge for those suffering from infectious disease. The perfect spot for isolation. After WWII, the island housed returning veterans and their families. In the 50's and 60's, it morphed into a juvenile drug treatment center.

The buildings are still there, though no one is allowed to visit (belongs to the Park & Rec). You can find some haunting photos HERE though.

Ridding Rabies

In the UK, rabies was a huge concern in the 18th and 19th century. Packs of semi-wild dogs ran rampant in England, spreading the infection even to the point of crossing over into hunting dogs. It was finally brought under control when legislation was passed in 1867 which enforced the human shooting of strays, quarantine of imported animals, and the muzzling of pet dogs.

The last reported case of rabies in the UK was in 1970 from a dog imported from Pakistan. Things might be about to change, though, because of new regulations that many see as being too "loose".

For more historical rabies info, click HERE.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Are You A Real Bookworm?

I'm a sucker for quizzes. Yes, I was one of those suck-up kind of students that everyone hated.

Anyhoo, I came across a fun reading-type quiz put out by the BBC. It's a list of 100 books. You simply click on the ones that you've read. By their calculations, most people will have read only 6 of the hundred books listed, but that the average Goodreads member would have read 23 of them.

I took the quiz and guess what? They were spot on. I am a Goodreads member and I did read 23 of them, which proves the BBC probably employs a goodly number of smarty pants.

So, are you up for the challenge? Give it at whirl HERE.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Good Reviews vs. Bad Reviews

One of the first pieces of advice every newbie writer gets clobbered over the head with is "Develop a tough skin and suck it up, cry baby." Which I heartily echo because I really can't imagine a more ego bruising occupation other than maybe a sumo wrestler. Think about it. How would you feel about yourself if you had to wrestle in a thong with all your fat jiggling in public?

Because of all the negativity a writer faces, I purposely choose to write book reviews that highlight the good in a novel. I'm also very discriminating about what covers I crack open, so that helps me avoid the need to write a this-book-stinks-and-the-author-should-take-up-knitting kind of review. But there are other reasons as well. . .

No matter how tough a writer is, they still have feelings. I don't want to be the one who stomps on them with spikey-cleated shoes, leaving little bloody holes in their soul.

My bad review might obliterate the sales of a particular book, sales that maybe that author needs for food and clothing or possibly personal hygiene products. Far be it from me to deprive a fellow writer of deodorant no matter how smelly the writing.

I might be shooting myself in the foot by writing a dismal review of another story. Why? Because that author is going to have some fans even if their prose happens to set my teeth on edge. Those fans will read my review and remember my in "Dang! I'm never going to read that crabby writer's stuff because obviously she doesn't appreciate good writing."

I'd rather spread encouragement and happy-happy vibes than negativity. The world is bleak enough without me painting wide swaths of black color all around the literary neighborhood.

All that being said, I do point out when a book's plot falters or a character is predictable, so I don't exactly earn a Pollyanna badge either. Want to know what I'm reading and what I think about it? Check out my reviews on Goodreads. You might be surprised at my sometimes back-handed positive reviews.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why Are We in a Handbasket and Where Are We Going?

You think I make stuff up because I'm a fiction writer. Actually, the reason I'm a fiction writer is because life is so bizarre, I don't need to come up with oddball ideas. The real word is loaded with them, such as the recent trend of Topless Reading Parties.

Not even kidding.

Sheesh. As if there isn't enough erotica in print, are we now driven to the point of spicing that up by reading it in the nude? What's next? NO! Do not answer that. **walks over to sandbox and plants head...deep**

Awhile back I wrote about Silent Reading Parties, which I thought was an interesting concept, taking a solitary endeavor and revamping it into something a little more social. But reading topless? You can count me out for several reasons:

  • I get cold easily.
  • After four kids and fifty-one years, my girls have seen better days (sorry for the visual). I'm creeped out by what I see in the mirror. I certainly don't need to see what's hiding under your shirt.
  • M-O-D-E-S-T-Y. Yeah, I know. God made our bodies and they're beautiful and all that, but save it for your spouses, not fellow readers.
  • I don't want to participate in the degradation of books, because really, that's what this is.
Honestly, I can't believe this is up for discussion and I'm thinking of starting my own reading party trend: Cozy Sweaters and Chocolate Reading Parties. Anyone game for that?

Friday, May 9, 2014

How to Write with an 8 Week Old Puppy

I'm sure Cesar Millan might take issue with my quirky dog whispering, but hey...whatever works, Hoss. That's my motto. No, really. It says so on my mini-van bumper.

And seriously, could this YouTube video have possibly frozen on a more unattractive expression?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tidbit: Theme

Sometimes I'm asked--other times taken to task for--why I wrote such a dark story in A HEART DECEIVED. The world is such a black place already. Why add another shade? Why the flippity-flap could I not pen a tale about dolphins or puppies or magical fairies who spread cheer and glitter?

Because sometimes writers create a story that simply reflects what's going on in their life at the time. 

Such is the case for A Heart Deceived. I wrote that story during a dark period in my life, when everything was falling apart. I seriously questioned where God was and if He saw where I was. Hence the creation of Miri Brayden and Ethan Goodwin. They both end up in tragic situations, asking the same questions I did.

But (and I've always got a big but) darkness doesn't win--as it didn't in my own life. No matter what kind of a pit your life is currently stuck in, God sees. God knows. God loves.

A Heart Deceived is based on Psalm 139:7-15. . .

Where can I go from your Spirit?

    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Face It . . . You Might Not be a Writer

IF you spend more time thinking about writing than actually parking your butt in the chair and doing the deed, then you might not be a writer.

IF you use excuse after excuse as to why you're not writing, then guess what little cowboy. . .
you might not be a writer.

IF you're playing the writing game because you think it's the fast track to fame and fortune, you're a crazed freak on steroids because there is no way you'll stick with it long enough to be a writer.

IF your every word is handed down to you on a silver platter by the writing gods, making you dang sure you do NOT need an editor--ever--then there's no teachable spirit in you, grasshopper, and not even super ninja skills will make you a writer.

IF the number of your unfinished manuscripts rivals the pages in the Affordable Care Act, and you've honestly never finished a story, then read this text message from Captain Obvious: you are not a writer.

IF you are more interested in getting your book published than in writing it, maybe you should look for a job at Harper Collins as a janitor because you're definitely not a writer.

IF you're not willing to grow your craft, learn the rules before you break them, roll up your sleeves and do the hard sweaty work of putting out the best possible combinations of words that you can, for all I know you might be a princess cuz you sure ain't a writer, dude.

Self-evaluation time. Are you a writer or not?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Unglue It

Just when you think you've come to terms with everything there is to know about ebooks, along comes another curve ball. takes ebooks and gives them a new conceptual spin by asking 5 simple questions. . .

What if you could give a book to everyone on earth?
Get an ebook and read it on any device, in any format, forever? 
Give an ebook to your library, for them to share? 
Own DRM-free ebooks, legally? 
Read free ebooks and know their creators had been fairly paid?

Guess which one is my favorite question. Yep. The last one. Sounds too good to be true, eh? Stay tuned. Here's how it works. . .

Basically, you buy the book you want to be offered for free by making a pledge. If enough people are interested, voila. The author gets the money (with taking a cut, of course) and bam! The book is released to a willing and waiting audience.

But that's not the only choice an author can make. Here are the 3 different campaigns from which an author may select.

This is the one I just mentioned. Book lovers pledge support for "ungluing" a book. If enough support is raised (think Kickstarter) then the supporters credit cards are charged and an "unglued" ebook is released.

Every ebook copy sold moves the book's ungluing date closer to the present. There's no IF in this option. The book will be released no matter what, and hopefully sooner rather than later.

The ebook is already released with a Creative Commons license. Supporters can express their thanks by paying whatever they want for the ebook, kind of like a donation.

I know. It still sounds a little iffy, but the crowdfunding idea has been around for awhile. All it means is collectively pooling contributions (or pledges to contribute) to support a cause. using the internet for coordination means that strangers can be brought together, creating a larger pool to draw from. Also, because the number of supporters can be vast, individual contributions can be as large or small as people are comfortable up and still add up to an amazing amount.

Why in the world would an author choose to go this route instead of simply self-pubbing? Mostly to have a digital strategy that pays for itself even if you don't have or want to gain expertise in producing ebooks.

Sounds pretty intriguing to me. I'll be watching to see if it sinks or swims.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fraidy Dog

This weekend we expanded our family by one. This one:

Meet Ada Clare. Bonus points if you figure out who I named her after.

Anyhoo, my biggest fear inspired by this cute ball of black fur was my first night with her. Last night. Yes, my eyes are bloodshot and I'm a little tired because of the whole 5 a.m. potty excursion. Such is life with a puppy. But at least I'm over the fear of the first night because, well, it's over. I know. Irrational right?

I'm not the only one. Here are a list of a few writerly fears that maybe you've encountered. . .

graphophobia = the fear of writing

bibliophobia = fear of books

logizomechanophobia = fear of computers

dimnaliphobia = fear of pens

papyrophobia = fear of paper

phobophobia = fear of fear

Epistaxiophobia- Fear of nosebleeds (yeah, I know, not writing related but it's a fun word)

If you're really getting into this, check out The Phobia List to find out even more. Ada and I are going to snuggle for now.

Friday, May 2, 2014

10 Things to NEVER Say to a Writer

As an author, I've heard some ridiculous things come out of people's mouths. I'm here to stop the madness.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tidbit: Struggling

Anyone out there struggling? With anything? Maybe it's as "simple" as putting words on a page or something bigger like trying to get published. Or you're struggling to peddle your wares and hit some magic sales numbers so that you are marketable enough to sign another contract in the future.

Or maybe you're struggling with larger issues...overeating, cancer, homosexuality, death. The list goes on ad nauseam.

The fact is not a day goes by when you won't have to battle with some kind of issue, large or small, so today's post is for all you strugglers out there, finding it hard to hold on to the last frayed thread of the rope that's got you dangling over Cavern Problem. Read over the following list of truths. Then reread. Bathe in these truths. Print them out and put them in your pocket. Write them onto your heart.

No good thing will God withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Ps. 84:11)

God will answer you if you call on Him. (Ps. 86:7)

With God, all things are possible. (Matt. 19:26)

Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Josh. 1:9)

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. (Ps. 62:8)

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and he will act. (Ps. 37:5)

And last but not least, here's one I like to really chew on when I'm tempted to despair...

"Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you." (Ps. 116:7)

3 Minute Challenge
Take just a minute to pull your eyeballs off of your struggles and instead mentally list off 10 blessings in your life. Just 10. I don't care how wretched you think your life is at the moment, you've got at least 10 blessings going on. Now take one more minute to thank the One who gave you those blessings. What should you do for the last minute? Re-read over the previous list of encouraging verses.

And if you've got a verse that's especially encouraging to you, feel free to share it with us in the comment section.
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