It Was Only a Little Slip-Up

It was only a little slip-up. Nothing bad, really.
Either we have all said, aloud, or to ourselves, “At least I’m not as bad as him.”
It seems to make us feel better to rationalize the triviality of our mistakes.

Perhaps it was something that should not have been said, or words withheld, that were needed. A small act of unkindness. A scowling glare. Lingering thoughts.

What was the tiny slip-up? Was it just a bad habit?

“I’ve been like this my whole life.”
“It’s nothing, really.”
“I’ve always heard I take after my uncle, John. It’s just who I am. I can’t help who I am, right?”
“Nobody’s perfect.”
“The devil made me do it.”

One talent we have is making excuses. We begin practicing the art at a very young age. Some of us excel at it.

Eating a piece of fruit seemed like a
 tiny slip-up to Eve.
Sometimes we become so accustomed to our rationalizations that we begin to believe Satan’s lie of big sins and little sins. Satan would like us to believe the little sins are so tiny, we don’t need to be concerned with them. And the big sins, well, they are so big God will never forgive those so why bother?

This kind of thinking shackles us to sin. Satan offers nothing good and nothing that will last forever.

Here’s the thing—we’re not bound to our past, to our relatives, or whatever. We have a choice.
We can choose let go of the former things and grab hold of the Truth, Jesus Christ.

Jesus tells us, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”

There are those shackles again. And he didn’t say anything about how big or little the sin is. Sin is sin—it all measures out ugly. If it goes against God’s Word, it is sin.

We all know some nice people but Romans 3:23 tells us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The Good News is God loves us so much He gave His One and Only Son to pay the price for our sins. If we believe and truly love Jesus, we turn away from those sins. We can only do that with His help.

We have to grow in our relationship with the one, living God, by faith, through prayer, by Bible study, and fellowship with other believers.

That’s the Truth of Jesus.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

The worse slip-up we can make is denying the Truth.


Blessings Abound After Writing Conference

Cecil Murphey & Sally Apokedak
at Write2Ignite! Writers' Conference

It has been a busy, busy time with the Write2Ignite! Writers’ Conference.  A year of praying and planning has come to completion. Blessings abound.

Joanna Echols and Sally Matheny
God blessed everyone with a great conference. We came away with our hearts inspired by music and encouraging words. In our hands, we carried home a tote bag full of notes, freebies, books—all which will enable us to become better writers. Our minds are full with memories of making new friends and catching up with old ones. Our energy depleted, but our souls filled with the words God has spoken to us during our time at the conference.

While I always learn a great deal at writing conferences, one of my favorite aspects is making new friends. At a Christian conference, the ties that bind us are even sweeter.
I’m sharing a few photos with you this week. Hope you enjoy them and perhaps next year, I’ll see you at Write2Ignite!
Jan Prahl at one of the book tables

Kristi Butler talks with editor Vicki Moss

Adults & Teens at Write2Ignite Lunch

A Wonderful Bunch of Teens!
Authors: Donna Earnhardt & Kelly Starling Lyons

Kim Peterson & Sally Matheny
First Pages Panel of Agents & Editors

Our prayer for Write2Ignite is for every person to hear God speak to them during the conference.
I felt God's presence throughout the conference and witnessed Him working in different
people's lives, including my own.
Has God whispered to your heart this week?
 Has He asked you to try something new?
Perhaps you've been asked to move from a nice, cushy spot to a more difficult place.
Maybe He wants you to let go of something old and refresh your grip on Him.
I would love to hear how God has spoken to you this past week.


Writing Conference Jitters

by Sally Matheny
Packing for Writing Conference

Soon I'll begin preparing to attend the Write2Ignite! Writers’ Conference at North Greenville University. I remember how nervous I was my first year. None of my friends could go with me so I attended alone. Boy, talk about writing conference jitters!

Like a kindergartener on her first day of school, I timidly open the door and take my first steps into the Write2Ignite! (W2I) Conference. Shy at first, I slide into a back seat of the auditorium. My goal is to fly under the radar until I survey the surroundings. 
That didn’t happen. The leadership team is all over the place making us feel welcome. Then there is music—upbeat, worship music that stirs the soul. Encouraging words, announcements, and then they whisk us out the door to begin the workshops.
Carol Crane autographs "T is for Tarheel"
The workshops present a dilemma. There are several ones offered each hour. How do I decide on just one? I choose the ones I think I need the most: “Make Your Manuscript Stand Out,” “The Language of Children’s Picture Books,” and “Filling a Need—First Chapter Books.” My pen flies across the page taking notes from the wise. So much helpful stuff it makes my head swoon. Perhaps supper will settle me down.

People file into the cafeteria. Small groups are forming at tables. Did they initiate sitting with the editors or were they invited? Taking no chances, I chose an empty table. I look around for a friend I had made earlier but she is already sitting with a group. Hmmm…a little awkward eating alone but—wait! A smiling member from the leadership team beckons me to sit at her table. Conversation ensues and a new friendship forms.

Then back for another workshop followed by a keynote address given by my new friend. Funny how fast friendship roots begin to grow. I am nervous for her as she begins. I pray for her as she speaks. Afterward, we celebrate a speech well done.

Exhausted from the first day jitters, the load of knowledge received, and the friendships made, I fall into bed. I can hardly sleep because I’m excited about returning for more workshops tomorrow!

If you enjoy writing, consider attending the Write2Ignite! Writers’ Conference (March 27-28). It doesn’t matter how much experience you have—there is something there for everyone. The teens have their own track of awesome workshops led by wonderful authors, editors, and illustrators. Adults have a wide variety of workshops as well. Whether you have work published or not, you’ll benefit from the conference.

If you’re a parent, consider the conference as a great resource of writing instruction for your teens. Homeschool students can earn high school credit hours.

And don’t be nervous if you must attend alone. I guarantee you’ll be warmly welcomed. New knowledge and friends are waiting for you.
One of the best things about Write2Ignite! is the Christian environment. Perhaps God will stir your heart, as He did mine, to write for His glory.
Come be blessed so you can be a blessing to others.


Let Him Work, Let Him Live

Dreamstime Stock Photo
We all have had to slow down for road construction.

If you’re not in a hurry to be somewhere, it can be cool to look at all the big machines working. However, if you are in a rush, you’re probably staring down the worker who holds the golden key. You know, the one who turns the key for passage from “Stop” to “Slow.” And slow is a good description of the whole process!

Sometimes you see actual construction taking place. Other times, you see men walking around or propping up a guard rail. Meanwhile, the man with the golden key is either1) looking down the road wondering himself where his coworkers are, or 2) glaring you down, daring you to inch your car any further.

Finally, you see a glimmer of hope. The golden key keeper brings a walkie-talkie to his ear. This is it! Nope…false alarm. He must have been calling in his lunch order.

By now, you are evaluating your options.
Is there enough room to successfully make a 3-point turn without damaging the car behind you?
Is it possible to maneuver between the orange barrels (or over them) just long enough to get to the next exit?
Right when you are considering an even crazier option, you see the walkie-talkie go up again.
Wait for it, wait for it…the sign turns!

Sometimes God gives us a stop sign in our day. He brings our plans to a standstill. We get fidgety, even panicky at times. During our weak moments, we consider taking things into our own hands.

Why does the construction worker bring our cars to a halt? Work is necessary for improvements. He asks us to pause for a moment, in order to promote progress. He is protecting us, holding us still until we are safe from danger.

Hmm…makes you think, doesn’t it?

Perhaps God wants us to take a detour, a different path. Maybe He just wants us to stop for a moment and see Him at work.
Whatever the reason, it is for our benefit to trust God’s direction.

Let Him Work, Let Him Live
                (in you).