“Autumn’s Bounty”, A Poem

I wrote a poem today, reflecting on God’s goodness through the delights of the fall season. It reiterates the verse in Isaiah that declares “”Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:3)

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AUTUMN’S BOUNTY

Ripened leaves, wet by fall’s cool rain,

Fills the earth with God’s praise!

Where fiery reds breech the tender golds,

And oranges so drenched, only He could mold

And fashion such as these.

So freely partake of the season’s fruits.

The visions spoil before too long.

Try to catch it in a cup. . .

Drink the sweetness up. . .

And savor every drop until it’s gone. . .

Thanks to Him for His goodness!

NaNoWriMo: Calling All Novelists. . .

For all you closet writers out there. . .you know who you are. . .you’ve had an idea for a great novel swirling in your head for some time. . .this is your chance. Beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 1st, you can participate in the National-Write-A-Novel-in-a-Month campaign for 2011 (or NaNoWriMo as it’s affectionately known).

Once you’re officially signed up, you will find the website chock-full of forums and discussions on lots of different topics related to writing.  If you can make it to the desired level of 50,000 words during November, you are entitled to unique bragging rights and a coveted web badge if you are one of the few, the qualified, the persistent.

Why 50,000 words, you ask? A typical mass-market book usually contains anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 words. The NaNoWriMo folks figure if you can make it to 50,000, then you will be pretty darn motivated to see the rest of your novel through to its completion.

Why must it be done in a month? Experts say the best way to grow a novel is to definitely think a little about it first. This means spending a little time beforehand cementing main characters in mind, deciding on your setting, and having an idea where you want the story to end. But then, by all means, they advise you to FLY FAST and FURIOUS over the keys during whatever time you can devote to it. NaNoWriMo is a motivational vehicle to get you there.

Oh, and two caveats:  Do not, I repeat, do not stop to edit what you write. And do not, by any means, DELETE ANYTHING written, as you are just trying to make it to the finish line with 50K under your belt.

Though I’ve never attempted it before, I will try NaNoWriMo this year because of my current work-in-progress. Since my writing style tends to be more like that of a turtle than a race horse, it will take some major adjustments on my part. I’m willing to try it, though, and see where it leads me.

BTW if you need an extra little push in this direction, I will pass along the link below for a wonderful FREE trial of  Scrivener for Windows or for Mac, offered just for NaNoWriMo. This is a visual organizer will help organize your ideas for your novel. Being a teacher, I’m all about any organizer that makes life simpler!  Your downloaded version of Scrivener can be modified to be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. I personally love the corkboard with cool notecards where I can post my little bits and pieces of background stuff to my heart’s content. . .then pop over to write on the full screen, then pop back to refer to my notecards. Genius!

If you’re still undecided, visit both links below and see if it doesn’t get your juices flowing.

God gave us words to express ourselves and to glorify Him. And if not for any other reason, you can say you tried it and now it’s scratched off your bucket list. . .

So check it out:

http://www.nanowrimo.org/  (NaNoWriMo website)

and

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/nanowrimo.php (Scrivener free trial website)

May God Bless You Richly In Your Endeavors!

Lookin’ up,

Sislyn

Jesus Really Loves the Children

I just finished the NY Times bestseller Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the real-life story of a pastor who recounts the story of his son, Colton. Colton lay violently ill in a hospital with appendicitis at the age of almost-four years old and took a short trip to heaven. Yet God saw fit to return Colton to his earthly family, back from the edge of death.  Colton, who did not have enough theology to frame the fantastic and comforting details he encountered, began speaking of things in heaven he’d witnessed, to the sheer amazement of the adults around him. If you’d like some eye-opening descriptions of what an eternity with God might/will look like, I encourage you to buy or borrow this book.

If there was one subject in particular Colton enthusiastically repeated over and over, Todd Burpo says, it was that Jesus really, really loves the little children.

He said that Colton would wake up in the morning and remind him, “Hey, Dad, Jesus told me to tell you. He really loves the children.” Or he would babble over dinner about it. Or at bedtime while brushing his teeth, Colton would firmly preach the same message: “Hey, Daddy, don’t forget. Jesus said He really, really loves the children!”

In Mark 10, Jesus’ disciples had come up with their own method of crowd control. They fussed at all the parents dragging their broods out to see Jesus. To their credit, the disciples probably had honorable intent, not wanting to squander Jesus’ valuable time and attention on those in the crowd they considered insignificant. But Jesus, of course, saw what was happening, and had a radically different take on things!

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it. And He took them up in his arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.”  Mark 10:13-16, NKJV

Todd Burpo also points out statistics showing that most people who come to know Christ as Savior, do so when they are young.  So, to those of you who minister to children in some way. . .

. . . Who still have children at home and are actively engaged in teaching them about the Lord–

. . . Who sing songs to or sit in the floor to play with little ones in the nursery–

. . . Who fill children’s heads with exploits of God’s heroes in Sunday School or extended session–

. . . Who patiently listen to children to spout their memorized Bible verses in Awanas—

. .  . Or those who brave the youth group, daring to live out a godly life before those young people–

You are in terrific company! You are doing what Jesus might Himself be doing, if He were here in our world today. Blessings!

Lookin’ up,

Sislyn