The Call to Create: Taking the Steps to Walk in Your Vision

I had the pleasure last month of seeing a meme on social media that said something like, “My 2018 begins in February. January was just the free-trial month.” I, like you, I am sure, smiled at the sentiment.

No, we don’t really get to have free-trial periods for our civil new years, but we do get to take some time to plan out what we want to see in the months to come.

For many around me, January came with a punch that was comparable to galeforce winds. Many had continuous battles with sicknesses passed from family member to family member as if they were sharing trading cards. Some felt defeated by the reminder of failed goals that seemed to follow behind them like cans tied to their legs with strings. Many felt overwhelmed and disappointed that the ringing of the midnight bell did not wipe away the heavy demands that were still weighing on them from the year past.

Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

But one thing remained the same through the smoke, and that was the desire for change.

I believe that all of us are aching to create, to do something that makes our soul sing and shine like the sun with a glow and warmth all its own. I believe every person reading this, has a dream that is worth pursuing, no matter how big or small.

We are all created in the image of the Master Creator, Jesus (Genesis 1:27). Our need to see something born from our imaginations is embedded deep within our spiritual DNA and roles and kicks inside of us like a baby eager to break forth from their mother’s womb.

Many of us have dared, in the past, to take steps to bring life to our dreams, only to lose momentum along the way, direction, or focus. Life’s demands have acted as roadblocks diverting our creative flow into the drudgery of the mundane. We stop creating. We stop dreaming. We stop living our identities.

But the glory is, we can begin again.

My prayer for this 2018 year is for each and every one of us to dig our toes in the soil of purpose and let them take root. I pray that this year is the start of a not another 365-day calendar of empty plans and vague goals, but that it will be the catalyst to bring real creative and life change for you.

YOUR CREATIVE TOOLKIT 

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“Get yourself a journal!” I know. I know. It almost seems like a ‘fad’ similar to the unicorn trend that is overtaking just about every industry out there. But I promise this is a powerful tool.

Why do you need a journal? For several reasons:

  1. Keep track of your ideas: There is nothing like capturing a creative moment as it comes and there is nothing like paper… but an electronic journal like EVERNOTE works well too. The point is, our brains can only hold so much content without things becoming a tangled mess. If you want to see progress, you need to make sense of your creative chaos and a journal will help with that.
  2. Keep track of your progress and take note of changes that need to be made: Vision is indeed 20/20 in hindsight. Being able to look back on your progress and see what works for you and what doesn’t will help you build the creative momentum you need to keep pursuing your dream.
  3. Put into word and prayer how you are feeling as you go: I get it. This feels personal. Well, it is. Being a creative is personal. It is more than just writing a story or composing a song or even baking cookies that are so good they cause riots! What drives you to do these things is born of something personal to you. In order to wield that power to its fullest, you’ve got to get to know it. Pray on it. Meditate on it. Put it into words.

“Get yourself a planner!” 

Organization is paramount to successfully executing a goal.  No one goes on vacation without having a plan of action first. Even being creative requires that.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER AS YOU CREATE

Over the next few weeks, I want to dig deep and tackle some questions that I’ve faced in my creative journey. I invite you to consider them and dare I say, journal about them.

  • Can I be me? Can I be original and authentically me as a creative?
  • Can I do ‘it’ my way?
  • Can I make mistakes and still be confident as I create?
  • Can I learn as I go/Am I teachable?

No matter how your 2018 began, there is still so much, not only left to the year, but left to our lives. Every day, every step is an adventure waiting to happen. Let’s step out together!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

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New Year, New Chapters, New Novel in 365 Days: Novel Writing Challenge 2017

Welcome to 2017! This is a new year for resolutions, clean slates, and fresh journals, which leads us to the 365-day novel writing challenge.

This challenge was inspired by a quote I came across on Facebook, by Brad Paisley. I’m certain what he said was not meant to be taken literally but I figured, hey, why not?

Tomorrow is the first blank page of 365 page book.Write a good one. ~Brad Paisley

When I read the quote, I thought, what would it really take to write a book in 365 days besides sitting down and writing one?

Then I saw another shareable moment that read:

12 new chapters. 365 new chances.~Unknown

Within the span of twenty minutes this challenge was born, one that I am giving to myself and offering to you as well.

SO WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WRITE A NOVEL IN 365 DAYS?:

A novel (Young Adult, New Adult, General Adult) will contain roughly 50,000 for YA, 70,000 to 90,000 words for Adult, depending on the genre. Genres like thrillers and science fiction run around 90,000 to 120,000 words, while middle-grade manuscripts require a lesser tome of roughly 20,000.

To get a bit more information about word count you can check out the blog, “Ask the Agent” by clicking the link.

Putting things down to daily requirements for word count within the 365-day challenge, here it goes:

  • 20k Novel: 54 words PER DAY
  • 50k Novel: 137 words PER DAY
  • 70k-90k Novel: 192 to 245 words PER DAY
  • 90k-120k Novel: 245 to 329 words PER DAY

Not very many words, huh? But this is a challenge after all, and I want to give you a little something to work with.

First, let me give you the rules or guidelines.

365-DAY CHALLENGE RULES:

  1. Choose a Genre and Demographic you’d like to write your novel for.
  2. Decide which bracket of word count you are in.
  3. THE RANDOM WORD OF THE DAY-Using a word each day chosen from the random. word list, fulfill your word count requirement by weaving the direction of your narrative around the given word. ( A list of words is at the bottom of this post. You can also do a Google search for random word engines and create your own list of 365 words.)
  4.  How to create Chapters: 52 chapters or 12 chapters in all:
    • EXAMPLE for a book with 80k words-  You will have roughly 1,600 words a week, the length of a chapter. Create 52 chapters (one for each week)
  5. Write for 365 days!

And that is it in a nutshell..mostly. This challenge is about having fun but there are going to be days this year where you just don’t have even five minutes to set aside for fun. Life does happen. Here are some things to keep in mind should you decide to take this challenge:

  • For days that you can’t write, double up on the days that you can. Grab the words assigned for the given day and write.
  • Feel free to follow your creativity: If you are feeling like you have more than 250 words for the day, GIVE MORE! Again, double or even triple up your writing goal for the days when the juices are flowing.
  • Have fun!

RANDOM WORD LIST WILL APPEAR ON THE NEXT PAGE. CLICK THE NEXT PAGE BUTTON BELOW THE ADDS, LIKES, & SHARE THIS TABS.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Dressed for the Appointment: Hope for the Promises to Come

Urgent Message of Hope from December 26, 2012, ON TIME FOR December 2016: 

Four years ago I was led to write a short message reminding many of my friends on Facebook to keep holding on to the Word of Faith and promise that Yeshua Jesus had given unto them. Now, four years and two days later, I am urged to do it again.

The Lord laid this question upon my heart that only you can answer for yourself, really, and here it is. “Are you dressed and are you ready for the open door?”

It is easy to be given a dream and a prophetic vision for your future/destiny/purpose, but it is a whole other thing to not only hold on to it but to be prepared for it at all times. With many of the trails that we face, especially within the last year, it is easy to lose hope in the dream, allowing it to be transformed into the elusive ‘carrot on a stick’ dangling just out of your reach.

“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.”~ Genesis 41:14

The enemy has a way of trying to convince us that that that is what the promises of Yeshua Jesus are, elusive and out of reach. The good thing is that we know satan IS A LIAR! (John 8:44) As we know that our Heavenly Father’s Word never returns to Him void (Isaiah 55:8-13) ( And our Savior is the Living Word that did not return unto Him void…think on that a bit more 😉 ) we also know that the truth is not found within the enemy (John 8:44). If the Lord said He is going to do somehting in your life, HE IS GOING TO DO IT!

He (Jospeh) did not allow the circumstances that had tried him to keep him in the garments and appearance of a slave or prisoner but he presented himself as a free man to the very one who had the power to promote him. Joseph dressed for the open door, one he had been waiting on.

So again I ask you are you dressed and ready for your open door? Consider Joseph. Joseph was given many prophetic dreams about his destiny and purpose. He, like all of us called by His Name, was destined to reign (Romans 5:15-17). Our Heavenly Father embedded these truths about his future deep within his being so that Joseph would know what he was meant to do and who he was called to be.

Even with these truths and promises deep within him, Joseph still endured hardships and betrayals, letdowns and heartbreaks that looked and were completely contrary to the promise and vision, but Joseph did not relent on what God had shown him. Instead, he held on to the dream. For thirteen years Joseph trusted in God in the face of more storms and more roads that seemed to lead further away from the promise, but with each step down he kept looking up, waiting for his open door.

In Genesis 41:14 we read that when Pharaoh suddenly calls for Joseph, Joseph immediately shaved and changed his garments in order to go before Pharaoh. He did not allow the circumstances that had tried him to keep him in the garments and appearance of a slave or prisoner but he presented himself as a free man to the very one who had the power to promote him. Joseph dressed for the open door, one he had been waiting on (Genesis 40).

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. ~Habakkuk 2:2-3

All along Jospeh believed that he was meant for greater so he dressed for greater. He held on to the Hope that ‘This might be the day!’ and it was! His day did come. He did not allow thirteen years of imprisonment to convert him in any way to a prisoner.

But not only did Jospeh hold on but so did many others like Father Abraham and Sarah who waited over twenty years of their promised miracle son, Isaac (Hebrews 11).

Yet, here is something else we need to consider and that is how we are waiting. Are we really waiting on the promise dressed with faith or are we like the fruitless fig tree giving the appearance of faith but empty of the real thing similar to the five foolish virgins who held lamps they didn’t bother trimming and with very little oil, or are we truly ready and waiting with faith and hope? (Matthew 21:18-22*, Matthew 25:1-13)

So I ask again are you dressed for your open door or are you keeping on the clothing of a prisoner and a slave with no intention of changing them because of lost hope? I pray the Holy Spirit leads you in all you do and for whatever He has in store for you I pray you are getting dressed and ready because the open door is indeed coming! Be ready.

*If you are wondering about the fig tree, understand that fig trees have what is a preseason fruit, where they bear a first run of figs and then a second yeilding. When Yeshua Jesus approached the fig tree that He later cursed, it was during the preseason for fruit. The tree had the appearance of doing what it was supposed to be doing but was empty of fruit!

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

Time: A Quote

Time is really the only capital that any humanbeing has and the only thing he can’t afford to lose. ~ Thomas Edison

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The Prophet Moses wrote in Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we might gain a heart of wisdom.” As we draw to the close of the civil year, 2016, my prayer is that each of us would take to heart what we still have left to sow during this time, and all of the blessings that are ahead. Let us make good use of the time we have, numbering each day, loving the ones around us, and creating like the world’s existence depends on it!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

This Year: Music Interlude & Hope For 2016

“Don’t remember the former things, and don’t consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” ~Isaiah 43:18-19

The Apostle Paul said in (Philippians 3:13-14) that he had determined to forget what was behind him in order to obtain what was ahead of him, thus he pressed forward towards the goal of the high calling of his life. And if you are familiar with the life of Paul, then you know that he was responsible for many deaths and imprisonments of the first followers of Yeshua Jesus, only to be called into the glorious Light himself.

Could you imagine what life would have been like had Paul allowed his past mistakes, failures and disappointments to determine and even spoil his future? Think of all the humanitarians of the Faith who’ve come forward for good because Paul pressed forward leaving yesterday where it belongs…behind.

With the dawning of a new civil year, we too have the blessing of starting over, but not just the year but through Christ, every single day!

Yeshua Jesus promises that His mercies are new EVERY MORNING! not just ever 365 days (Lamentations 3:22-23.)  But there is still something so special about starting fresh for an entire year.

Behold, Yeshua Jesus is doing a NEW THING. That New Thing is available to any and everyone who will call upon His Name and trust in Him and His love for them. That New Thing is ready for all of us this year, should we choose to perceive it, or as Isaiah prophesied, “shall we know it?” The choice is ours to do so or not.

Let us all determine to have a paradigm shift. Let us see through faith and hope and love and victory.

Let’s take hold of the new thing and the new year of life gifted to us. Let’s march forward to greater things!

Happy 2016!

Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

 

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”

~Ecclesiastes 3:11

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Today is the start of a new season, a new day, a new year! As with most people, many of us are stepping forward into the newness of the unknown while leaving behind so much. Maybe you lost a loved one. Maybe a relationship ended. Maybe you didn’t lose those last 5 lbs that you planned to shed at the start of 2015. The good news is it is okay. Yeshua Jesus-the God of all creation-knows your heart, and he knows the steps you take. If you trust him, no matter how frozen the world around you may seem, soon and very soon you will see and feel the warmth of the Son (sun) breaking through the ice and revealing all the goodness of life that was being cultivated beneath the snow and earth of your yesterday! Trust He has made everything beautiful in its time. He is faithful. dance into 2016 with joyful expectation! Happy New Year!!!

The wind whispered: A Free write

The wind whipped and whistled, swirling about violently through the curves of his ears, biting them until his brown flesh was a bright shade of red. Todd tightened his jaw and pulled the collar of his tweed coat up against his face. The flaps did little against the onslaught of winter.

Winter, it was January, the first of the new year.  It was 2015 according to the Gregorian calender. Todd liked this time. The thought of it put a smile on his face. It was far less complicated here, unlike the world in his timeline. So at least he thought, or rather hoped that it was. As far as he could tell, the worst of the people of 2015’s worries was making sure they had on thick enough layers to fight against Old Man Winter. Other than that, life was a cake walk.

Lucky for them, none of them would live long enough to see what things would become. They truly had no idea, but that didn’t stop them from hoping, wishing, planning.

New year’s resolutions. They were little more than a juvenile child’s game to Todd. ‘Here’s to losing 15 pounds and no longer being a slob!’ Or ‘Here is to spending more time with the kids, loving my wife more.’

All of it was rubbish in his estimation; the idle plannings of the naive. No, he wasn’t a pessimist. He was more of a realist. No one really cared about the new year, not enough to change. Instead they were all more concerned with what they could get out of it, get a good do-over from past mistakes, rather than figuring out what they could do to actually give back to the world and others in the new year.

Todd and others like him had scrapped the whole idea of a new year’s resolution in exchange for those personal new years that came around on the day of your birth. People dropped like flies in his timeline, senseless violence and the near animalistic struggle for survival beat against the survivors with as much force as the icy wind that was making his eyes water.

Tucking one more year beneath your belt after grappling for the chance to do so made a person plan for changes and really strive to do them.

“Your late.” Her voice was familiar, even though he was certain he had never heard it before; smooth, but heavy, like a stone dropping done slowly in a tub of water. It drew Todd out of his winding rambles.

He looked down at his watch. He was late, but only by three minutes. Time was sensitive but three minutes wouldn’t hurt things. He knew what he was doing, and from what he heard, so did his new companion.

She handed him a tissue and smiled, her full matte brown mocha lips spreading across her equally mocha face in one of the most insincere smiles Todd had ever seen. “Your eyes are running and I need your vision clear. No room for mistakes, but you know that. I will also be deducting credit time from your pay when this is all over. Its business, nothing personal.” She turned away from him and faced the cross walk sign. The orange hand for ‘stop’ was still blinking.

Audrey Vennet-Lemon. Her personality seemed as sour as her name, but who was Todd to judge? He didn’t know anything about her life, and the rumors that he had sampled seemed to far fetched to be true. If they were true, Todd was not going to make it through this partnership. He didn’t care much for cold-hearted women.

He narrowed his eyes at her, masking his gesture but blowing into his hands. It was best to make due with his situation, and if that meant working with Mrs. Lemon then so be it. He would do it with a smile, a real one.

There, he had done it, made a new year’s resolution. “Happy New Year.” He whispered in her ear. The strands of her black hair reminded him of cotton candy as they moved under his breath. Her perfume, one so subtle that he couldn’t tell if it was from a bottle or her own chemistry, tugged at his senses. It, too was familiar.

She cocked a brow. “For some, I suppose it is.” The light of the cross walk switched to ‘Go’. Audrey stepped into the street. “For others not so much. I see our target, there in the window of the coffee shop. What do you say we have a cup before getting down to business?”

“Only if there is time.” He answered back, taking the man in the window in full view, his mind switching to full on business mode even though something about Audrey was nagging at him.

“Its the new year. I have decided to make time. Here’s to resolutions.”

THE END

Happy 2015! This is my first post for the year, a 15 minute or so Free write. This, surprisingly (although I reckon I should not have been surprised) is the rough workings of a series that I have been meditating on for a little while. The reason there is more meditation instead of actually writing at this point is because the series is a spinoff of another 3 book series that I am still writing. Anyhow I hope this is a preview to good, creative adventures, and that we will meet again soon!

Cheers!

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