Write2Ignite 2014: Snag the Blessings

by Sally Matheny

Author, Edie Melson chats with other writers.

   God’s mercies and miracles misted over the campus of North Greenville University this weekend. As with any conference, a few snags popped up. That’s always a great thing—to have a few unforeseen circumstances—because they provide opportunities to witness God at work.
Ignoring Satan, and trusting God, allows us to snag the blessings.

     God's work was evident throughout the conference. There were stories of perceived "mistakes" actually opening doors to new friendships and opportunities. It’ll be exciting to watch how God continues reworking those “snags,” weaving them into something surprisingly beautiful.  


Writers' Social Media Sincerity

by Sally Matheny

Social Media Sincerity
Did you know there are well over three hundred social media outlets? 

Some sites have the potential to build a larger readership, grow platforms, and expand businesses. However, it’s essential you weigh your social media sincerity if you plan to offer anything of value.

What do you offer? A product? Words of wisdom? If not monitored, social media slowly slurps away your time. 

At the end of the day, many realize the productivity gauge is still on empty. They struggle trying to find a balance between networking and actually writing. Are the games, news, and videos the distractions? Decide what it is you want.

Be true to your calling first. Which do you want to do the most—circulate or create? Networking is important in the writer’s business, but what’s the point if the writer is never in the business of writing?
When you do socialize on Facebook, YouTube, and the like, stand firm in your Christian beliefs. Don’t fade into the background in fear or camouflage your heart in order to conform. Be courageous. Choose authenticity over popularity.
Another checkpoint for sincerity is endorsements. One popular practice among business professionals is reciprocal recommendations. One social media venue for this is LinkedIn. Professionals build contacts, promote their skills and businesses, and provide endorsements for other professionals. However, I question the authenticity of some of the endorsements.
Once, I had a gentleman endorse me for my poetry writing. That’s fantastic. Except I’ve never written poetry. I removed the endorsement and sent the man a message. I thanked him, but explained the situation. A cordial invitation to visit my blog followed so he could see what I do write. A few days later, I received a nice note apologizing for his hasty error. He added there should be a tab on my profile where he could endorse integrity. Now, he follows my blog.
They've changed the format a bit on LinkedIn. At one time the profiles sported people's photos as endorsements for someone's skills. All-too-familiar photos kept appearing on numerous profiles. I saw them so often, I questioned their sincerity. Obviously, some people are just out to see how many endorsements they can give and receive. Their recommendations are untrustworthy.
If you see endorsements by me on LinkedIn, then you can trust I have actually experienced their work in some form. Even if a good friend lists cake baking as a skill—if I haven’t tasted one of her cakes, or know for a fact that she won a blue ribbon for one, I won’t endorse it. So, bring on the cakes!

Our words mean diddly to the majority of the world. But they should stand for something.
“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”  Luke 6:45 (NIV)   

Be sincere in whatever God is calling you to do—whether that is writing something excellent, engaging others in a conversation, or recommending a good book. Let your words not be empty. Empower them by allowing them to carry the weight of truth.

I would love to hear from you.

Have you questioned the integrity of social media? 

In what ways do you practice sincerity when using it?



Mama, I Want to See God Book Review

by Sally Matheny

"Mama, I Want to See God" Book Review
Usually, on this blog, you’ll find a word of encouragement as we ponder ordinary life under God’s extraordinary Light. While the topics vary, they often lean toward Christian living and Christian parenting.

Today’s post is a bit different. One aspect of Christian parenting involves encouraging our children (and grandchildren) to read literature that is honoring to God.
Promoting this type of literature is a joy. Recently I was asked to review a newly published children’s book, Mama, I Want to See God (BQB Publishing), so that’s what I’ll be posting today.

Another new thing we’ll try is the use of Rafflecopter.
The author has graciously offered to give away a free copy of her book so read below how to enter the drawing.
Rafflecopter will randomly select a winner.
We’ll announce the winner in next week’s post (3/24/14). Be sure to check back and see who won!


Mama, I Want to See God, is an engaging picture book for children four to eight years old. Inspired by a comment her grandson made one day, author Vanessa Fortenberry responds to the natural curiousity children have about God.
Through her experience as a teacher-librarian, Fortenberry understands not only the questioning nature of children but also their attention span. Her rhyming verse quickly carries little ones along as they learn about God and his love.
Throughout the book, children pose questions about God, followed by loving responses from mothers.

“Mama, can I sing to God? Will he like my voice?”

            Mama sang a little tune, “He wants us to rejoice.” 

The illustrator, Leah Jennings, does a beautiful job filling each page with vibrant colors—nature settings and various scenes of children with their mothers. Including children from all ethnic backgrounds gives the book a special touch.
In Mama, I Want to See God, I think Fortenberry sucessfully reveals many delightful ways children can behold Him.

Vanessa Fortenberry

About the Author

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Vanessa Fortenberry wrote plays, poetry, and short stories as a young girl. After graduating college with a degree in music education with a concentration in voice, Vanessa taught general music, chorus, and voice. But, Vanessa’s passion for books, reading, and research soon led her to return to school for her master’s and specialist degrees in Media. Presently, as a teacher-librarian, Vanessa enjoys story time with her students.
Author Links:   


To register for the drawing of a free copy of this book, follow the instructions below. You may also obtain a copy at Amazon.
To read an inspiring interview with the author,Vanessa Fortenberry, about her journey to publishing her first book go to Write2Ignite!  

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


What Children Learn When Parents Face Adversity

by Sally Matheny
Children learn fom hard walls of adversity.
Sometimes life feels like an obstacle course. 
Zigzagging through distractions provides adventure. 

Successfully hurdling small problems brings satisfaction. 

However, occasionally, we find ourselves in a quagmire. We come face-to-face with a hard wall of adversity. 

People watch to see how Christians will handle these dilemmas. 

Our children are among them.