I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have eternal life. [1 John 5:13]

.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Interview with Frank Ball, Author of Eyewitness


Eyewitness - The Life of Christ Told in One Story offers a unique perspective about the life of Christ. Because the author has taken years to painstakingly compile and compare the four gospels to create one single storyline, Jesus' life unfolds in a new and intriquing way!


As a Christian storyteller, I'm going to use this book as a resource for developing some of my characters. As a Christian writer and speaker, this book serves as a remarkable reference!

Please take the time to read the interview with the author, Frank Ball:

1. The gospel stories have existed for some two thousand years. Why put them chronologically together now?

Nine out of ten Americans own a Bible, but the people who most need to hear the message don’t often read the book. They believe Scripture is outdated and too difficult to understand. Would they read the story of Christ if it were presented as a single story that is easy to understand? Most of them say they would, so Eyewitness answers that need.

2. Why do the Gospels appear to have conflicting stories?

At a crime scene, eyewitnesses always have different testimonies about what happened. Because each gospel writer had his own point of view and spoke to a different audience, the information is actually complementary, not conflicting. The apparent conflicts disappear when we use each viewpoint to compile a complete and compelling story.

3. How was writing and recording events different two thousand years ago?

We now use a computer keyboard to rapidly type and edit text that prints on our laser printers. In the first century, writers had only their parchment scrolls in which every word was hand written, one character at a time. Cut-and-paste editing and simple rearrangement of details into chronological order didn’t exist. Writers naturally put down information as it came to mind, giving us a flow of thought that isn’t always in date sequence.

4. What is the significance of John’s gospel being the last one written?

If John were to introduce his book to us today, he might say, “Let me tell you the rest of the story.” There wasn’t much need to repeat what had already been written, so he gives us clarification of events that were already being told and retold, as well as eyewitness reports that are found nowhere else. Unlike the other writers, who were not always chronological, John unfolds most of his story in date sequence in relation to the Jewish feasts. This gives us a chronological guide for putting all the biblical information in order.

5. In what way do you think the readers of Eyewitness will have a clearer understanding of the nature of God?

Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” If we can see what Jesus is doing and hear what he is saying, we become eyewitness of God’s nature. Because the words in Eyewitness are more like what we would read in a novel, readers are able to visualize themselves as present at the gospel events. It’s the next best thing to actually being there, walking with the other disciples.

6. How many different Bible translations were necessary to complete this project?

Hundreds of scholars have invested countless hours in the production of good translations. In the development of an easy-to-read wording for Eyewitness, translators’ handbooks and more than fifteen popular translations, as well as the Greek and Hebrew texts, were considered.

7. Is the Bible flawed in presenting the life of Christ in four separate books?

No, not at all. Each author’s report has its own perspective and meets a different audience need. Matthew points to the fulfillment of ancient prophecies to prove Jesus was the Son of God. Mark, the shortest of the Gospels, is the quickest to read. Luke, being a physician, gives many important details. And John adds clarity, chronology, and new information. Eyewitness was written for those who don’t read the Bible and for people who are helped by seeing how the story unfolded, chronologically.

8. Why do you think Eyewitness appeals to people who seldom attend church?

Even professed atheists and agnostics have questions about the meaning of life and what happens after we die. Eyewitness isn’t a book of difficult-to-understand rules that threatens punishment if we don’t do everything exactly right. The life of Christ is presented in a way so people can easily understand the value of loving our enemies and helping people in need.

Where can we find out more or purchase a copy of Eyewitness? Please feel free to visit my web site at www.eyewitnesstools.com.


Frank, thank you so much for allowing me to host you on the blog tour! I thoroughly enjoyed you book!

Find out how to have Frank speak for your group, church or writer’s conference: CLICK HERE.


Would you like to win a copy for Frank’s book? Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a free copy of Eyewitness – The Life of Christ Told In One Story.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Anthologies with Calls for Submissions-Still time to enter in 2009!

Deadline: 12/31/09.
Submit to: A Cup of Comfort. Submit via online form: http://www.cupofcomfort.com/memberlogin.
Theme: For Golfers.
Type: Personal essays (2,000 words MAX).
You will need to join in order to log in and submit an entry.

The following Payment Terms apply only to the standard anthologies (non-Christian):
  • A one-time payment of $500 is paid to the Author of the lead story in each book (the "grand prize" winner).
  • A one-time payment of $100 is paid for each of the other stories published in the book.
  • Each contributor receives one complimentary copy of the book per story.

The following Payment Terms apply only to the Christian books:

  • A one-time payment of $50 is paid for each story published in the book.
  • A one-time payment of $25 is paid for each devotional published in the book.
  • Each contributor receives one complimentary copy of the book.

Deadline: 12/31/09.
Submit to: Whole Terrain. Editor, Antioch University New England, 40 Avon Street, Keene, NH 03431-3552, or e-mail to: whole_terrain@antioch.edu (preferred).
Theme: The Scale of Significance.
Type: Poetry (3 poems MAX), short stories, and essays (2,000 words MAX).
URL: http://www.antiochne.edu/news/news_detail.cfm?News_ID=733

Whole Terrain pays upon publication in copies and a lifetime subscription.

For more information, please contact:
Rowland Russell
603.283.2437
whole_terrain@antioch.edu


Deadline: 12/31/09.
Submit to: What Doesn't Kill You... E-mail (via attachment) to coeditor Murray Dunlap at murraydunlap@gmail.com.
Theme: Stories of struggle (real or imagined, physical or mental).
Type: Short stories or personal essays (10,000 words MAX).
URL: http://www.press53.com/whatdoesntkillyou.html
There is NO reading fee. Please limit submission to one story. Previously published works are acceptable, as long as you hold all rights.

Contributors will receive a complimentary copy
of the anthology plus the opportunity to buy unlimited copies at a discount.

Contributors will also have one page in the back of the anthology for his or her bio, photo and story comments.




Deadline: 01/05/10.
Submit to: Bona Fide Books. E-mail to: submissions@bonafidebooks.com with "Permanent Vacations" and title in the subject line, or mail to: Bona Fide Books, PO Box 550278, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96155.
Theme: Permanent vacation: Living and Working in our National Parks.
Type: Essays (5,000 words MAX).
URL: http://www.bonafidebooks.com/permanent-vacation

Writers will receive $100 for their story and one copy of the collection.

Let me know if you win!



Blessings on your journey

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Where I Am From

This was published at Glasswing Ezine some time ago, but I was feeling this weekend like I wanted to be reminded of Where I Am From and Whose I Am.

Where I Am From

I am from newspaper women
and farmer's wives
spines of steel;
wisdom beyond imagining
no dreams of fame and fortune.
Just ordinary lives.


I am from hard work and ancient wounds
never forgotten nor spoken of
nor exposed to light of day;
survival of the fittest;
overcoming struggle.
Manifesting deep love.


I am from the ocean and the sand;
eternal horizon expanding;
waves crash and roar;
undertow pulls and releases shells and
skeletons from the deep.
A million grains of understanding.


I am from ancient earth mothers;
sisters of magic and mystery
creators of hope and beauty,
vessels of future dreams
dutifully bearing children.
Changing the course of history.


I am from spirit and flesh and bone;
made to wonder "why?"
seeking ever after truth,
needing only the next question
asking always for the answer.
Looking ever to God in the sky.


I am from the earth and sky;
thriving where nothing should grow
dirt and clouds, sun and rain;
blooming where I'm planted
desiring only air and water.
Sometimes reaping more than I sow.


I am from woman and man;
destiny, desire and chance
created in an image and likeness;
struggling to be different
resigned to be who I am.
Rising above my circumstance.


I am from saints and angels,
wings of gossamer and gold
seen from the corner of my eye,
whispers and quiet breezes
in my head and on my skin.
Heavenly secrets in dreams unfold.


I am from the eternal source of life;
created for a purpose and a reason
perfectly and divinely designed;
journeying toward heaven
offering up my future and my past.
Each twist and turn in time and season.

© Mary Moss – April 5, 2008


Where are you from?

Blessings on your journey

Friday, November 6, 2009

What's a Richmond Writer To Do?

In my surfing the net and following several links at some friendly blogs, I found the following upcoming events that may be of interest to writers in the Greater Richmond Area. If you go, let me know by leaving a comment! Writers need to network and take every opportunity to learn the art AND business of writing!

11/9/2009 7 – 9 PM:
The Richmond Playwright's Forum meets monthly at the Barksdale Theatre Willow Lawn conference room. Members share works in progress and discuss the play writing process. RPF is open to all interested persons, and welcomes your participation as voice actors or active listeners. For more information, contact Margie Langston at margie.langston@yahoo.com.

11/10/2009 12 – 1 PM: Eugene Trani discusses and signs his collaborative work with Donald E. Davis, Distorted Mirrors: Americans and Their Relations with Russia and China in the Twentieth Century. Free and open to the public. Limited free parking under the library. At The Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad St, 804-692-3500, http://www.lva.lib.va.us/.

11/11/2009 5:30 – 7:30 PM: “Writers Wednesday.” JRW hosts a casual meet and greet for writers of all genres every second Wednesday. At Richbrau Brewing Company’s TapHouse Grill, 1212 E Cary St. Access parking in the decks on 12th St or Virginia St (between Cary and Canal Streets).

11/13/2009 4 PM: “VCU Visiting Writers Series” continues with a reading by acclaimed poet Lucia Perillo (Luck is Luck). Free and open to the public. At Barnes & Noble, VCU, 111 W Broad St, 804-828-1678. For further details call Thom Didato at 804-828-1329.

11/13/2009 6 – 9 PM: Grand opening of Books On Wheels Thrift Store: Books, Bikes, and Beyond. Catered by Joe’s Inn. At 302 Brookland Park Ave. For more details visit Chop Suey Books or call Ward at 804-422-8066.

11/14/2009 11 AM – 3 PM: “1st Annual Authors Literary Festival.” Free and open to the public. At Precious Memories Book Store, 3229 Idlewood Ave, 804-726-8501, http://www.blackauthlitfestival.webs.com/.

11/14/2009 5 PM & 8 PM: SlamRichmond’s Poetry Slam Workshop and Open Mike. Cost $5. At Artspace Gallery, 31 E 3rd St, 804-232-6464. For more details visit http://www.myspace.com/slamrichmond

If you go, let me know how it was!

Blessings on your journey

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

CHRISTIAN WRITERS RETREAT

OFFERED BY PUBLISHED AUTHOR LINK &
WILLIAMSBURG CHRISTIAN RETREAT CENTER
JOANNE LIGGAN, EVENT COORDINATOR

An event for Christians who write, not necessarily writers who write
Christian material. Non-Christians are welcome with the understanding
there will be prayer and discussion in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
and no offensive material will be tolerated. If you have questions concerning
the definition of offensive material, please contact Joanne Liggan by e-mail at jliggan@verizon.net.

DATE: February 19 - 21 (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday)
LOCATION: Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center; 9275 Barnes Road; Toano, VA 23168

COST: $175/person
Includes:
Lodging for 2 nights
Meals from Friday evening through Sunday morning
Workshops/Discussions/Devotions to encourage and stimulate writers
Fellowship with other writers and Christians

(Anyone living in Williamsburg, and therefore not requiring lodging,
the cost is $95 for meals and attending daily events.)

EMAIL jliggan@verizon.net for a registration form!

Blessings on your journey

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Win a $25 Gift Card to Celebrate My Interview about Woman At The Well!

My interview with Katrina Robinson, Richmond Books Examiner has been published! She's interviewing me about Woman At The Well on her column as part of her Reading Religiously series.

Win a free $25 Barnes & Noble gift card by leaving a comment here. Win an additional chance by also leaving a comment in the comments section of the interview post: Reading Religiously: Woman At The Well by Mary Moss.

Blessings on your journey

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I just sold an article at Helium.com!

Woo Hoo! I just received an e-mail from Helium.com that one of my articles has been sold to a publisher looking for articles about "parenting in the new millennium!" It's not a huge amount of cash, but completely unexpected!

Here's the link to read the article: Parenting Pitfalls: 10 Mistakes Even Good Parents Make.

I'm going to check out other publishing opportunities to see if I can score another paycheck:-)I haven't visited the site for a while and it appears they have really enhanced the site and increased opportunities for writers to earn money. If you're interested in writing for Helium.com, send me your email: divinelydesigned@hotmail.com and I'll send you an invitation.

I've been doing quite well at Examiner.com as well! My page views have been consistently exceeding the average number in the category of Family and Parenting both in Richmond and at the national level on many days. Here's my link: Richmond Frugal Family. If you'd like to have your own column on examiner.com, click HERE and tell them Mary Moss referred you (examiner ID #20427)

I'm counting down to my interview with Katrina Robinson, Richmond Books Examiner. She's interviewing me about Woman At The Well on her column as part of her Reading Religiously series.

When my interview runs, I'll be offering an opportunity to win a free $25 Barnes & Noble gift card. So check back soon to find out how to qualify for the gift card!



Blessings on your journey

Monday, October 19, 2009

October Writing Wrap Up

It's been a busy month, and it's not over yet! Here's what going on in my little part of the writing world:

Upcoming interviews and book signing/sales:


Interview: Wednesday, October 21 an interview about Woman at the Well and my women's ministry will be published at Katrina Robinson's Reading Religiously series on Examiner.com

Book signing/sales: Sunday, October 25 at Good Shepherd UMC Pumpkin Palooza

Book signing/sales: Saturday, December 5 at the Craft Fair at Emeritus @ Deep Run (Morningside) on Gaskins Road

Adventures in frugality - some recent posts from my Examiner.com column, Richmond Frugal Family:
Target announces biggest sale of the season
More October Deals & Steals (including 12 oz beverage at 7-Eleven)
Fun, frugal Halloween costumes
My "What's Frugal or Free in Richmond" weekend series has been very well received and I work all week to find activities for Richmond families that won't break the bank!

God's Wonder Woman
at Take Root and Write wraps up my series on The Seven Deadly Sins.


I'll be interviewing Frank Robinson, author of Eyewitness: The Life of Christ Told in One Story here at Godly Graffiti on December 5 as part of the Christian Speaker's Service blog tour. Watch for details coming soon.

I hope to enter two contests before the month is over as well. I figured out if I give up sleeping I'll have time to fit everything in a 24-hour period that I want to get done!

What about you? Leave a comment and share your writing activities this month!

Blessings on your journey

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wow! Save $30 on October On-line Courses for Writers

I just had to share this list of upcoming on-line workshops through Writer's Digest ! Even better: use coupon code OCT09 to save $30 on any course!


Name
Start Date
10/1/2009
10/1/2009
10/8/2009
10/8/2009
10/8/2009
10/8/2009
10/15/2009
10/15/2009
10/15/2009
10/15/2009
10/22/2009
10/22/2009
10/22/2009
10/29/2009
10/29/2009
Remember - use coupon code OCT09 to save $30 on any of these upcoming courses!Just click on the on the title of interest and you'll be linked to the course outline.

Blessings on your journey

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Back in the Swing: Writing, Growing, Learning, Sharing

THE DON'T-DO-THAT RUT

Editor: C. Hope Clark
Mailto: Hope@FundsforWriters.com
Web Site: www.fundsforwriters.com

The quickest way to irritate another writer is to speak
in absolutes.

Never use passive voice.
Never begin a sentence with AND.
Never self-publish.
Write EVERY day.
ONLY pitch to New York agents.
Don't sell all rights.
Never accept a work-for-hire gig.
Never pay an entry fee for a contest.

If you want a serious dose of absolutes, attend an
online writer's group, visit a writer's chatroom, read
blog comments. Sooner or later someone will say, "Thou
shalt not..." then rattle off an absolute.

Writing is an artistic endeavor, and throwing absolutes
in the way cramps that creativity. Sure there are a few
common sense rules like not harassing an editor daily
or not writing a query letter on stationery that smells
like gardenias. But for the most part, it's our creativity
that drives us and drives those who need our work.

You can read the rest of this article offering great advice to writers HERE.

On the home front: My mother-in-law, Audrey, is showing some small signs of improvement, but her doctor has told us to have her follow up with him in 3 months. That seems like such a long time when everything she has known in her life is like a missing link. Thankfully she knows all of us and seems to enjoy some of the activities at the skilled nursing facility that is her temporary residence.

We continue to pray for 100% healing. We also continue to need prayers on behalf of Audrey's family, especially my husband and sister-in-law who are basically scheduling their lives around their Mom and her needs. My husband has been bearing the burden of "looking out" for his mom on his own for quite a few years and we are grateful his sister is back in the U.S. and able to pitch in with her brother.

My writing has not been in the forefront lately, needless to say, though Audrey's stroke has served to remind me that we simply do not know how much time we have on this earth - and to be of sound mind and body. That has prompted me to reshuffle, re-prioritize -- in other woods to give myself a much needed good swift kick to get back on track with my writing and also in other areas of my life!

I'm bowing out of some the activities that have sidetracked me from what I feel God desires of me right now. It is never easy to let go, but I am learning and God has been faithful in affirming and assuring me as I grow and learn His ways.

I've researched some contests accepting entries and I will work on that this week. This is a big "contest" time of year, so there are plenty from which to choose. I'm especially considering some pieces I wrote then have just filed away in a general folder on the computer. This morning I re-read one in particular and decided it's time to put it out there:-)

Here are links to the contests I'm considering. You may want to look at them as well.

==================================================

BLUE EARTH REVIEW
http://www.english2.mnsu.edu/ber/contests.html#flashfiction
---
$5 ENTRY FEE FOR THREE ENTRIES

The Annual $5.550 Tom Howard Short Story, Essay and Prose Contest Is Now Open!: http://shortstorycontest.0catch.com/


The 10th Annual Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition is accepting entries! We're looking for fiction
that's bold, brilliant ... but brief. Send us your best in 1,500 words or less. But don't be too long about it—the
d
eadline is December 1, 2009.

The Grand-Prize winner will receive $3,000 (that's $2—or more—per word).
For guidelines, prizes and to enter online, click here.

=====
THESE SOUND GREAT AND MAY BE A WAY TO KICK THINGS UP A NOTCH FOR SERIOUS WRITERS:

WOW! Women On Writing Online Workshops & Classes- price range $150-$200


http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/WOWclasses.html


=====

My column at Examiner.com, Richmond Frugal Family is going very well. I've begun posting "Frugal Weekend" activities and several folks have commented they appreciate the ideas. I'm not going to get rich, but I am able to expand my ministry in a way I had been praying about: frugality as a lifestyle.

Whether one is a Christian or not, stewardship is important to ensure a family's welfare and also as a way to preserve our planet's resources. I am pleased to be able to share my passion for this lifestyle with so many who are in search of ways to stretch their limited resources and learn how to thrive on less.


God's Wonder Woman
at Take Root and Write posts on the first and third Wednesday of each month. The October 7 post continues the series "The Seven Deadly Sins." In the meantime, you can stop by HERE to read past issues.


What's going on with your writing? Leave me a comment! I'd love to reconnect and know how to pray for your writing efforts.


Blessings on your journey

Friday, September 25, 2009

Easy Yoke, Light Burden and Sufficient Grace

Two days after making my last post our lives changed dramatically. On Friday, Sept. 18, my mother-in-law suffered an ischemic stroke. To say we have been on a roller-coaster ride in the past week would be an understatement! We have literally lived at the hospital, and in the past two days at the assisted living facility where she will be staying for some indeterminate length of time. We have been away from her to work, to change clothes and sleep and little more.

Last Friday morning when we got up, we had a long, long, long list of all the very important things we had been putting off and absolutely needed to get done by Sunday in anticipation of the week ahead.

Our family was anticipating with great joy and excitement and reveling in God's blessings upon our lives as we looked to the week ahead: Second wedding anniversary of our beautiful daughter and wonderful son-in-law; my birthday, our son's victorious graduation from Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, my husband having been offered a full-time job after more than 2 years of working multiple part-time jobs simultaneously while looking for full-time employment. We had planned a marvelous, joyous, yes, perhaps even a bit rowdy, family celebration this weekend!

Since shortly before our daughter's wedding we have been through a refining process. My husband was laid off from his job. I wasn't working full time. We had planned that I would be able to pursue my writing full time. But God decided we needed further refining in order to fulfill His plans for us. That's how we have viewed it. I went back to work--we needed health insurance and a steady, assured minimum income. We offered up to God all of our desires and dreams, all of our hopes and plans, even our very survival. There were days, weeks, months where it was our absolute and complete reliance upon God alone that allowed us to make it at all.

These were not only lean years financially, they were lean in terms of our control over circumstances--very literally we hung by a thread for a long time, hoping, praying, trusting, and ultimately believing without question or hesitation that God held our very lives in the palm of His hand and that he would sustain us. We were ready to accept whatever He planned for us - even losing everything we owned. We knew that He would provide for us what we truly needed and that He would never leave us on our own. And we were okay because we had our family and our faith.

We had learned to rejoice, even in our adversity, lack of financial security, lack of certainty about what the future held. God's grace transformed our lacking by the world's standards into an attitude of abundance only possible through belief in Jesus Christ. And our faith has grown strong and deep roots. And God has refined us and reworked and reshaped and revitalized us. And we have rejoiced that He has considered us worthy of His time and effort.

His yoke became easy and His burden light. Then Audrey had a stroke.

I could write a book about just the past week. Some of it, no one would even believe. Some of it would be just too hard to relive in the writing of it. Some of it, God isn't done using to teach us about yet. But this much we know: All of it is written in God's book of plans for Audrey and for us. He is in it all and He is in control. And we rejoice in that! We are grateful for Jesus' easy yoke and light burden. We continue to rejoice in all the "worse case scenarios" that could have played out that didn't -- not just for Audrey but for us in the past two years -- no, for us in the past 50+ years we have been alive.

One week out: we are grateful beyond expression for God's grace and mercy. We rejoice that He is in control and we are thankful for the prayers and expressions of kindness from friends and strangers regarding Audrey. We don't know the prognosis for Audrey, beyond our assurance that she will one day be in heaven - and hopefully, we will be there too. Until then, we are leaning on God and relying upon His strength, trusting in His mercy, rejoicing in His grace and coveting prayers on her behalf and ours. Oh, and we're going to have that family celebration:-)

"Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you" (Philippians 3:1 NIV).

"But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed" (1 Peter 4:13 NIV).

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice" (Philippians 4:4 NIV)!

Blessings on your journey

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Growing, Living and Learning

September is National Coupon Month! Imagine my excitement at discovering this, considering it is also my birthday month AND in light of my newest undertaking as the Richmond Frugal Family Examiner!

In my last post I shared about how I have been striving. Having shared it, and my poem/prayer, I felt some easing of my sense of laboring so hard. God is so very good and He has introduced still more Christian women entrepreneurs and writers into my life, even in just this week and they have encouraged and uplifted me!

I have also had the joy of helping several others with issues in their "non-bloggy", non-writing lives and that is even more a blessing - to be a blessing to another. That's really what life is about.

This week I am working on submissions to several contests and the latest edition of my 2X/month God's Wonder Woman column at Take Root and Write is live. I hope you'll take a few minutes to read part 2 of The Seven Deadly Sins. God continues to reveal to me so much about Himself and His love as I research this topic.

I am learning to view my sin not as something that will prevent me from going to heaven, but rather as a means of growing in grace toward others in my life, myself, and the world at large. I've got a long way to go, but I am learning to view life through a new lens and it is pretty incredible!

Since I'm a bit ahead in posts for Richmond Frugal Family, I'm going to try to finalize two author interviews I've agreed to host here in the near future. Stay tuned! You'll want to know about these two writers!

If you are interested in viewing a list of free-lance writing jobs available around the world, click HERE to read Anne Wyman's roundup of opportunities. It's so great that she does all the research and lists everything in one place - including her advice on whether or not it is a good opportunity. Anne also publishes great tips for writers at About Freelance Writing.

What are you writing about this week?


Blessings on your journey

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My All and All

I tend to focus on and ruminate over a word or phrase that comes to mind. A particular term that continues to "visit me" is striving. I had a pretty good idea of the definition, but being a wordsmith and lover of words, I decided to look it up. Here's what I found at dictionary.com:

1.

to exert oneself vigorously; try hard.

2.

to make strenuous efforts toward any goal.

3.

to contend in opposition, battle, or any conflict; compete.

4.

to struggle vigorously, as in opposition or resistance.

5.

to rival; vie.


Ah, yes . . . this is exactly what I thought! It is also exactly what I have been doing lately! I've also noticed lately that many others in my life have had a week or a month, or a year or even a lifetime of striving. And what are we striving for?

I asked myself that question the other day. "What, Mary, is it that is causing you so much struggle? What are you laboring for?" I know Jesus offers us an easy burden and a light yoke. Why is it, then, that I don't lay down MY burdens and take on His?

It is exhausting, this striving. It wears us out and beats us down. It doesn't matter what good or joy there is in our lives. Striving is always in the background, like white noise, if we don't give it over to the One who has already borne our burdens and won us a victory over this world.

Striving is spinning our wheels, believing we are in control, we are in charge, we are the masters of our own destinies. Hard work is a noble thing! Don't get me wrong! I believe in hard work! I believe in 'fighting the good fight' and doing what needs to be done to advance God's kingdom on earth. That's not striving though! Striving leaves out God, because there's isn't any room, or any energy to include one more component of the struggle. Striving is like there's too much friction; going against the grain; swimming against the tide.

Hard work sees the light at the end of the tunnel. Striving can't even see a pin dot of light anywhere on the horizon. Okay, I think I've belabored my point. Over the last several days, this poem has come to me. It is a prayer, really, offering over my striving to the One who lifts us on eagle's wings. I pray the words minister to you as well.


Lord of my striving

Lord of my ease

Lord of my journeying

Lord of my rest

Lord of my labor

Lord of my respite

Lord of my past

Lord of my days

Lord of my future

Lord of my hours

Lord of my burden

Lord of my comfort

Lord of my yoke

Lord of my freedom

Lord of my striving

Lord of my ease

Keeper of my heart

Champion of my fears

You are

My all in all.

© Mary Moss-September 2009




Blessings on your journey