The Requirement of Time: Faith Filled Encouragment for Creatives

Anything good will often require a good amount of time.” ~Candice Coates

Scripture: I Samuel 17:24-40 (I encourage you to read I Samuel 17 in entirety.)

In I Samuel 17, we find the Children of Israel in the Valley of Elah, stationed there for forty days in fear. Why? Because the champion of the Philistine army, Goliath, has come to defy them. “Send me your best warrior!” He says. “If he kills me, we will be your servants, but if I kill him, you will be our servants.

Standing nine feet tall and likely weighing near a complete ton, it is understandable why the Israelites would see this giant and camp out in fear. Who could match his strength? Who could possibly bring him down?

No one has the courage to do so…except one–David, the son of Jesse.

Ironically, David was likely no more than seventeen years old and was a trained…shepherd, not a warrior. But he was a master of faith in the God if Israel and the world.

David was also a poet and inventor of new musical instruments, instruments he used to draw closer to the God of creation and grow deeper in his faith. To anyone on the outside looking in, David was the least of likely candidates to defeat the Philistine champion, but he was the only one who was capable.

Why?

David, even as the anointed king of Israel, took his time in the pastures, tending his father’s sheep, protecting them at all cost, and praising God for every victory. I’m sure there must have been moments when David thought, “The Prophet Samuel anointed me King, and here I am still in the pasture…” Where he was, did not look at all like what he was anointed and called to. But once the right amount of time had passed, things quickly changed.

Because of the time he spent in the pasture, he had developed a skill of defense, but better than that, he’d honed a skill of offense. The enemy just didn’t see him coming!

David knew how to use his sling to kill lions and bears and he knew to give God the glory for it. He walked into ever trial trusting the Lord to deliver him because he had spent a great deal of time learning how to do so.

And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock,  I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.  Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” ~I SAMUEL 17:33-37 NKJV

He’d thusly developed a discernment to know when to take action. Like with the other predators who sought to make his sheep their prey, he knew that it was time to attack Goliath. Forty days of the enemy’s taunting was long enough!

Still, David encountered resistance even though he was ready and willing to act. His eldest brother rebuked him (vs 28-30) and King Saul tried to discourage him (vs 33). Still, David heeded the tug that was in his heart by the Spirit of God!

He saw, through the eyes of faith and time spent honing skills that seemed ill-suited for the anointed king of Israel, the opportunity he had been preparing for (vs 34-37)!

Here is my encouragement to you. When others don’t see the opportunity, when others discourage you, press forward even still, especially when the Lord God Jesus Christ has prompted and prepared you.

Like David, you must:

RECOGNIZE YOUR MOMENT: David had gone to the battlefield to deliver bread and grain to his brothers, cheese to their captain, in order to deliver a report to their father (vs 17-18). But hearing and seeing Goliath, he recognized an opportunity to be used of God.

REALIZE SOME MOMENTS HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE: I believe that, just like with Queen Esther who was elevated to the Palace of Persia to deliver the Jewish people for such a time as that, that so too, was David. However, like Mordicah warned Esther, if she didn’t seize the moment, God would raise up another who would (ESTHER 4:13-16).

REMEMBER WHAT THE LORD SAYS AND HAS DONE FOR YOU AND IGNORE THE VOICES OF NEGATIVITY: The Scriptures say, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” (ROMANS 3:4) The Scriptures also ask, “Who shall believe our report. And to who has the Arm of the Lord (Reference to Yeshua Jesus) been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1)

Basically, whose opinion are you going to heed and are you going to forget how many times the Lord has come through for you, how He has proven that He is the Great I Am? Like David, you have to remind yourself of the other times the Lord has brought you to victory and keep pressing forward.

Don’t even let the negative voices be a motivating factor, but let the love of Christ, His glory, His promise, and His passion, be what drives you!

BE PATIENT AS YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR MOMENT: Even though David was, in God’s eyes, the official King of Israel from the moment he was anointed, David still was sent back to the pastures to tend the sheep and tighten up his sling-shot-game, and for good reason. Goliath was no pushover. He also remained humble enough to obey his father and deliver cheese and grain to his brothers, brothers who didn’t even recognize his calling, destiny, or anointing, even though they bore witness to it. (I SAMUEL 16 (vs13))

Sometimes the most hurtful thing is when we pursue the promises and purpose of God in our lives only to find that we have to do so without the support of those closes to us, namely our families. Sadly, this happens.

But be encouraged! You are in good company. David didn’t have family support. Joseph, the son of Jacob, was on his own, and our Savior even was mocked by his younger siblings about His anointing (JOHN 7:1-9)! All of their families eventually came around in the end though, it just took time.

Again I say, anything good will often require a good amount of time.  Be patient and be persistent. It’s going to require your courage through ups and downs and your trust in your Heavenly Father, but we know that because what is before us is good, we are assured that it is worth it. So keep pressing, keep preparing, and until that moment comes, keep waiting!

For my married brothers and sisters who may not have the support of your spouse. Take courage, trust the Lord, and walk in wisdom. If the vision that you have is from God, allow Him to work on your loved one’s heart. But you be of humble heart, like David. Continue to pray. Continue to hope. Continue to believe. And continue to pursue…in time.

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

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Plan Big!: A Word of Creative Encouragement #MotivationMonday

When God is your partner, make your plans big!” ~ D.L Moody

Plan BIG!

You’d think that that exhortation would make every person who heard it celebrate with a motivated fire for action when in reality it makes a lot of people shrink back in fear and hide under the heavy blankets of safety and mediocrity.

Dreaming is not so much of an issue for most of us. But dreaming big . . . well, that has the power to not only knock the wind out of many of our sails but sink our boats completely.

Like me, I suppose you are wondering why that is. If we are honest with ourselves we would have to admit that insecurity and the scrutiny of others is what holds us back. The old ‘what will people think?’ phrase acts as the perfect glitch in our plans of action.

The very thought of failing in front of others, especially those who’ve minimalized our former dreams with the constant song of ‘you can’t,’ strikes us immobile. Them witnessing our former failed attempts doesn’t help either.

But is any of that really a reason to shrink our globally-sized visions down to something that only fills a shoebox? Are our past ‘failures’ really messages that we are not able to achieve the impossible?

I dare say NO!

If nothing else our past ‘failures’ are signs that we are indeed able to succeed? Why? Because even when we aimed for the moon and didn’t even leave the atmosphere, we still have the gumption to load up for another shot.

We are indeed meant to plan big, and along with that, we must rest in faith that every seeming malfunction has a glorious function for our good. We learn from every step we take. We are strengthened by every closed door. We can actually become better with ever affront against our determination.

Isaiah 54:2-4 says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.”

Dreaming BIG is a gift, a costly gift. It means we will have seasons and moments when we look foolish. It will require us to cast out our nets just one more time in faith even though we’ve been fishing all night and caught nothing. (Luke 5:3-7) But when Yeshua Jesus is directing our casting even when the progress looks minimal the process is optimal and so is the final outcome if we stick with it.

What we must realize is that the God of all Creation has big dreams and plans for each of us. When we trust Him as our Father we are then positioned by faith to prosper. (Jeremiah 29:11)  His thoughts for us are all GOOD and PRECIOUS  and they outnumber the stars and the sand (Psalm 139:17-18).

But part of seeing these dreams come to pass rest in our willingness to dream big, plan even bigger and allow the Giver of Dreams Himself to guide us on the journey. (John 15:5) “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

There is nothing that is too big for Yeshua Jesus to do and when He is our partner there is NOTHING we cannot do! (Philippians 4:13)  But it requires us to believe in and on Him, and take great leaps of faith.

But then, that’s all it takes.

So dream, plan and do it BIG! He’s got your back.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Revised from June 2016

The Bend: Flash Fiction Results of Monday’s Muse May 16th 2016

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The Bend: Flash Fiction

The road was still dark though the fog had cleared. Still they hadn’t seen another car for hours. The same lurching feeling that they’d felt in the fog returned but with a greater degree of clarity.

It had happened.

The shockwave that had rocked him to the ground several hours ago, the one that had left his ears bleeding and his sight spliced to a sickening double, had come at the exact time that he’d predicted.

“They should’ve listened to me,” His words trembled from his lips. White knuckles gripped his steering wheel as he rounded the bend. Tears blurred his vision again before trickling down his face.

His breath hitched. He hadn’t cried in years, not since his first  prediction. Kelley, his sister. He’d told her that her breaks would give out, said he’d seen it in a dream. They’d fought over the keys. He became enraged by fear, busted out her window as she fought to drive off.

She died. The car didn’t stop, just as he’d told her. He’d fought to save her life and all he could think about while he sat in a prison cell for his sister’s murder, was how her last thought of him was one of fear.

That hadn’t been his first prediction, not really. He’d had several up until then. They’d come at random, like pebbles sliding down a mountain face, the gentle warnings of an ominous danger just up ahead.

They started after his own recovery. A bad high mixed with a fall into an empty swimming pool with a rain slick bottom and a lovely jolt of electricity from a construction lamp falling on top of him.

The predictions began the moment he opened his eyes and just like they pebbles they grew weightier with their warning. The last was the shockwave that brought the fog.

No one listened then, having dubbed him a murderous lunatic junkie. How he wished they were all right about him. He wished he had been every slur they’d called him just to have the suffocating emptiness that had been strangling him for hours to lift away for good.

He pressed the gas and picked up speed. Maybe he shouldn’t have found cover from the shockwave. Maybe he should have done like everybody else and stayed above ground. Now alone, he thought that he should just end it all.

Who would he tell of what he’d witnessed? So far it was evident that there was no one left. A moan crawled up his throat and burst forth in a flood of more tears. He bit the back of his hand and let the speedometer climb higher and higher and higher until–

His wheels screamed to a halt and with the agility of a NASCAR driver, he managed to bring the car to a safe stop only several yards from the young woman standing at the side of the road.

THE END…?

*I love the way freewriting goes in whatever direction it pleases. This story kind of made me nervous in a what’s-about-to-happen kind of way. Other writer’s know what I mean by this. These are my results for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt May 16th, 2016. If you are interested in seeing the original prompt and rules, and maybe even give it a writing try yourself, you can do so by following this LINK.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Worse Than Being Blind: A Quote by Helen Keller

 

Worse than being blind is to see and have no vision”

~Helen Keller

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Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no VISION the people PERISH…”

To be able to see is one thing, to have a vision is another. Vision is the driving force that calls us to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Vision is the crown that causes us to press even in the face of repeated failure because it’s given you a hope for the future. To be a person who has lived and not simply existed, you must have a vision, a goal.

Although vision and sight are different, they are not mutually exclusive. To maintain your vision you must keep it ever before you (Habakkuk 2:2) Put it down in the simplest of words as a reminder of what you are aiming for.

It is very easy to allow the challenges of life to stifle our vision. In faith, in Yeshua Jesus, we are called to ‘renew’ or minds, that we not be conformed to the world (Romans 12:2.) To renew is to “reestablish” to “repeat” to “give strength to” to “validate.”

Keep renewing,  reestablishing, repeating and strengthening until you see your vision come to pass, and when it does, get a new one.

The world will always tell you that you can’t. Others who’ve given up on their visions will attempt to push you to do the same. Just remember, you were given a vision for a reason.

You were called to do more than just ‘see’. You were created to live and that takes VISION! You’ve got one, don’t lose it.

~Dream. Image. Beleive. Do. CONQUER!

All In The Pieces: Piece It Together By Pastor Steven Furtick

Greetings! I just listened to this message and it rocked my world in such a good way. My prayer is that you will set aside a good 45 minutes and allow your heart to be encouraged as well. Yeshua Jesus Bless!

Piece It Together

If the dream is inside you, it only means you were meant to bring it to reality.

~Candice Coates

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Our dreams are like eggs. Having one is the easy part. Giving it life is an entirely different story. Just like with an egg, you can either leave your dream idle, and nothing comes from it, or you can nurture it until it transforms into the glory that you always ENVISIONED it would be. Dreams, like eggs, take time to hatch. But in the end, time is all it takes.

The “Novelty” of Organization: Tools For Creative Planning

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One of the delights of being a creative person comes with the birth of a new idea to be created. All of us are born with an innate “creative gene,” but many of us fall short in not only starting the actually manifestation process toward creation, but the completion of the creation once we’ve begun.

When it comes to writing a full length novel from start to finish, there are several things that tend to hold us back from completing our goal.

I am going to address one of the biggest and yet stealthy overlooked roadblocks, and that is lack of ORGANIZATION.

Let me add this disclaimer. I am not a person who uses conventional outlines for my stories (This isn’t even a blog posting about outlining). In fact, I am a Stream-of-consciousness writer. (Basically I have a vague and yet concise destination for the story, but I let my free-flowing imagination get me from start to finish without putting on any kinds of creative restraints. )

I do however write down ideas as they come, and place them in a separate “spice rack” document to add into the story later.

Whether you are a stream-of-consciousness writer or an writer who swears by the trusted outline, you still run the risk of falling short of your intended goal without proper organization, and let me make that more clear: TIME ORGANIZATION.

In addition to your goal for completing a full length novel (50,000 plus words…really 70,000 to 90,000 for an adult fiction novel) you have to set long term goals that keep you focused, while at the same time keeping you from getting overwhelmed.

I mean if you only have 5 pages written why are you even concerning yourself with the cover of your novel or even the final title. First things first. Put up fences and stay in your lane.

I have written and completed several manuscripts over the years and yet none of them have seen the light of publication because they have yet to be properly polished. (One was polished and even queried…just nearly published but I am glad it wasn’t…it could use a bit more tweaking.)

Why? Because I have not organized my goals to do so and without restraints we run wild…or run nowhere. As the book of Proverbs says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

I would like to help you all create a “vision plan” for your goals even as I strive to achieve mine.

Here is a template I’ve created to map out and achieve my novel goals:

Novel Progress Planner.jpg AGI have given myself 9 months (Novels are like babies to me, they require time and care to grow and develop) to take Ascension Graveyard from the creative mess it is today, to a polished piece prepped to be self-published at the start or close of 9 months from now.

The template is pretty self-explanatory, writing down and expanding goals from 2 weeks clear up until 9 months, while also having simple yet pointed daily goals. As the length of time grows from 2 weeks into 3 months, you notice that my tasks have gotten more detailed.

Below is a blank document that you are free to copy and use if you’d like. The basic idea for this organization came from a book on business planning, but the ideology holds true even for writers.

You will have to tweak your goals for the stage of writing you are currently in. If you are just starting a novel it is best to give yourself at least 3 months to write from start to finish.

A full length novel is 50,000 words at the least to 90,000 plus depending on genre. Science Fiction is safe at 125,000 words.

If you dedicate yourself to write 1,500 words a day for 90 days, you will have 135,000 words. This is doable for even the most tight schedules.

Novel Progress PlannerShould you choose to give this template a try, let me know how it works or doesn’t work for you. Consider even creating an organized plan for yourself with a template all your own, just make sure to organize your time and organize your vision in order to bring it to manifestation.

“Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. Conquer!”

Cheers!