Month: January 2019

In the Silence: A Story of Friendship

Written July 22, 2015 by Candice Coates Well, I am going to go then,” I thumb toward the front door from the back deck and look down at him, waiting for him to respond. We have been sitting out here for the last couple of hours. The perfect buffet line for every mosquito in the neighborhood. He stares forward still unmoving before finally tilting his head around to look at me. He can’t see my face, which is a good thing. The sun behind my head has created the perfect backdrop, veiling my features in darkness. Like I said, it is a good thing. I have never been good at poker, and I can’t mask my expressions so well anymore. When this began I was good at it, but it hass been almost a year now. I began to wear down six months ago. His eyes glance down at my toes and he grins. I must be balling them and releasing them again, a telltale sign that I am irritated. He is very astute that …

The Wisdom of Pursuit: Pursuit of Passion Pt 3

*Revised from the “Postures” Series from July 2016 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” ~JAMES 1:5-6 Our passions are as vast as the sand of the sea. Even so, the way in which we are to pursue those passions are equally as vast and require wisdom, the wisdom of God if we are truly to hit our marks and be successful in a way that not only pleases God but allows us to be blessed and be a blessing to others. The Word of God tells us in that if any of us lack wisdom we should as God who gives unto us abundantly. To approach and pray to Savior in Faith and Wisdom is to approach Him with focused confidence in Who He is and who we are in Him as …

The Many Realms Of Romance

“The beauty of Romance is birthed from the thought of what could be.” ~CANDICE COATES In light of the season revolving around romance in the ‘love’ sense, I felt lead to share this quote that, like countless others, came to me several years ago. The meaning of it is pretty straight forward, although I believe that that romance itself is often shoved into a singular pocket of expression and definition. Whenever most people hear the word, ‘romance’ they initially think, “Girl lonely for Guy, finds Guy within the cliche environment, and then they are in love, DESPERATELY in love.” Romance. The thing is, romance is far broader than that. If you look up the definition of the word, you are going to pretty much get what I described above with this grand definition lost in the shadows and often over looked: Romance: spirit of adventure: a spirit or feeling of adventure, excitement, the potential for heroic achievement, and the exotic* First, as a fiction and non-fiction author who is exploring the genre of clean-read-romance, I would …

Blessed Under Pressure: Faith for Creatives

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”~PHILIPPIANS 1:6 As I sat, several years ago, and practiced calligraphy with a pen I had never used before, I noticed that when I didn’t apply the right amount of pressure with my hand, the inky lines would break and lose their fluidity. They lacked perfection. I continued to draw more curved lines all in the attempt to make the perfect, curvy, line with thick sections here and thin, fine sections there, repeating the pattern, all without breaks. As I continued to draw the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation. Just like with that pen in my hand, Christ Jesus is working with us in His hands. He is working with us to get us to do greater things that we have never done before. Just like with the pen, He must apply the right amount of pressure at the right time to get our ‘lines’ perfect, fluid, without breaks. The task …

The Posture of Pursuit: Pt 2 of Pursuit of Passion

Faith. Fear. Worry. Wisdom. All four cups are set before us to drink from as we traverse our pathway of pursuit of passion, but which cups are we choosing to drink from? The question seems simple enough and the answer even simpler. What is our posture in prayer as we pursue our passion? If prayer, seeking the wisdom of God, is not our foundation we are already off to a bad start. Christ Himself blessed us with the truth that apart from Him we could do nothing, and sharing with Him in all things is done through prayers of faith (JOHN 15:5). Prayer. It is more than just a religious act of acknowledging a Power greater than yourself. For the Redeemed, prayer is, or rather should be, an authentic conversation with our Beloved Father, Friend, and Savior, Christ Jesus. The Word ensures us that “…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (JAMES 5:16) We who have accepted the free gift of salvation through the finished work of Christ Jesus ARE now the righteousness of God …

Fear of Forgiveness by Rachael Ritchey

A hard flick to my hat brim detonated a cloud of dust into the sweltering, stagnant air, and I hated how the subtle imagery matched the powder keg of dread ready to bust my chest open. Selena coughed and punched my hip. I cringed. No doubt she was glaring at me, too, but I shrugged it off and stepped forward, jamming the Stetson back on my sweaty head. “Go get ’em, tiger!” she said. I rolled my eyes but couldn’t help the reluctant smile, even if it didn’t last long. Did I deserve a second chance? Hell no, but Selena convinced me to give it a shot, and I wasn’t going to let her down. She kept insisting what happened wasn’t my fault, but every time I looked at her, crippled and trapped in that godawful wheelchair, I couldn’t shake the guilt. If only I could take back what happened a year ago. If only I could rewind the clock and stop my sister from getting trampled in that stampede. If I’d been there on …

Faith & The Fast Lane: Faith for Creatives

“But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.  For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.  And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” ~HEBREWS 6:9-12 Sometimes in the pursuit of our passion, the vision that the Lord has set ablaze in our souls, we find ourselves slowing down to a productive pace that does not match the zeal that is burning on the inside of us.  We look around us and see others seemingly tackling goals and gaining momentum with neck-break speed while we putter along. We wonder if our faith is enough.  The answer is yes, yes your faith is enough!  Your journey in pursuit of your creative passion and the calling that the Lord has placed upon your life …

Don’t Give Up in Your Pursuit by Pastor Robert House III

The reality of living in a fallen world is that many times you may feel stuck, unfilled, hopeless, confused and even bitter. You put your full effort into making a change, pursuing something better in your life, fighting an addiction, changing your circle of friends or even connecting with family and then nothing changes. You have been lead to build a dream, you pray over your family and your marriage and nothing changes. Have you ever been passionately pursuing the will of God because you know what He told you and still find yourself empty? What do you do when nothing changes and yet everything changes. Where do you go when you feel like your prayers aren’t being heard. Your body aches, your heart cries, you know that you stepped into the miry clay and now trying to get out of it. You went right when God told you to go left and now your trying to make a U-turn. Pursuit, passion, change and finding a better balance to the brokenness of your life. In …

Rachael Ritchey: Creative in Action

Interview by Bri Lassiter Bri Lassiter here. As an avid reader, it always adds a different layer of meaning to the books I’m reading when I get to know more about who an author is, and what inspires them to write.  I love hearing stories behind the stories, and I’m so excited that author Rachael Gartmen has afforded us such an encouraging snapshot of who she is and how she became the writer she is today.  Once upon a time a young sixth-grade girl, awkward and strange, looked at the prompt on the board and thrilled at the chance to explore the mysteries the inspiration might unlock… That was where my love of writing first took root: a bustling classroom on a little island in southeast Alaska. I loved the exploration of my imagination through that outlet. And for an introverted girl who didn’t seem to fit the mold, it helped me feel like maybe I had something interesting to say. Writing has given me the strength to say what I need without rambling or …

A Heart at Peace: Pt 1 of Pursuit of Passion

“The life of the body is a heart at peace, but envy rots the bones.”~PROVERBS 17:22 WMB Passion is a gift, be it passion for creative arts, passion for relationships, passion in your walk with Christ. The beauty of passion is that it is unique in design even if it bares similarities in concept with the passion of others. Just as there are an innumerous amount of snowflakes, each one bares a singular pattern unique in its form in comparison to others, so too is the design of your God-given passion and the drive and direction with which you pursue it. Unfortunately, many of us find our feet tangled in the trap of the enemy and the lies that come along in the game of comparison. We wonder if our process and pursuit should be like that of others. We question if the reason why our fruit is taking so long to manifest is because we are not following the plan and path of others. We judge, not only our dream but the plan with …