Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Let Go And Let God.

Is it just me? or do others struggle to understand some of the very important aspects of spiritual truth.

For years I seem to have struggled with the Biblical teaching that tells us to surrender all that we are and have to God. Try as I might I just could not seem to get it, I wanted to, don't get me wrong, but I just had no idea how to do it.

I remember reading a book called 'Hinds Feet on High Places' It was very good and was written in such a way that it appealed to my vivid imagination. Oh how I wished that I could lay myself on the alter of sacrifice, like the main protagonist and rise up a changed person.
A person no longer in control of their life, because that life had truly been handed over to God.
But sadly I still didn't get it, and some years later God moved me to read the same book again, but to no avail .
How long suffering and patient our Heavenly Father is.

Believe it or not, it is only in these past few days that I am beginning to get the revelation of how to go about it, and I have to say it is truly liberating.

It all came about because of my book 'Valley of Shadows' I have invested an awful lot in it, and I guess was holding onto it very tightly in deed, as the reason for writing it has made it very precious to me.

If I believe that my gifting and imagination have come from God, which I do. Then I have to accept that God has had a major input in my writing, as He most certainly did with my painting.
After all He is the one who inspires and give us the ability to do whatever it is we are doing. I admit that without Him I would never have an original idea, whether for my writing or my painting. He has always been my undeniable inspiration.

So it goes without saying, He has a right to be part of what happens to anything I may have created. Whatever it may be, book, painting, song, it all belongs to Him.
He is the inspiration, without Him we have nothing. God is the original source of all things, all we do as His creation, is copy Him, as a child copies what their father does. He has done it all, as the scripture says"there is nothing new under the sun" God did it all first.

But I digress, back to my question, how to surrender everything to Him?

One evening when our prayer meeting finished, a friend told me she felt God was saying , lay down down 'Valley of Shadows' and give it to Him. And she saw a picture of me taking the book to the foot of the cross and leaving it there.

She could see I wanted to do it but was struggling as to how. So she suggested I take it upstairs to one of our rooms that has a cross on the wall, with a small shelf beneath it. She suggested I put the book there and leave it with God, Trusting Him to do all that was needed.
I did what she suggested and suddenly the penny dropped and low and behold I understood.
I got the revelation, it was wonderful.

Okay that doesn't mean I am not tempted sometimes to take it back. But each time I am in that room and see the book on the shelf, it helps me, I remember who the book really belongs to, and that it is His responsibility, not mine.

That doesn't mean I don't have a part to play. I have a responsibility to do my bit to promote it, and then God does His. Like a team, and what a team, when we allow God to have His rightful place in our lives. Right at the centre and in full control it takes all the pressure away from us. Then and only then will we truly fulfill His plan and purpose for our lives.

We have to let go and let God. Then stand back and watch Him work on our behalf. After all He has invested as much in what we have created, as we have.
What a mighty God we serve.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Victimizing The Little Guys

It appears that 'Gardner's' who are the main book suppliers here in the UK, have issues with self published authors.
They are refusing to supply small quantities of books for writers book signings. The manager of my local Waterstones Book Store is really angry, and so am I, it's just not on.

I did not willing choose to be self published, any more than thousands of other writers. We were forced into it. I spent five or more years struggling to find an agent/ publisher, but without success. It was always the same old replies, 'your work is good, but we are not taking on any new writers at this time' ect, ect.
Why can't they just be honest. What they really mean is that I, and the thousands like me, are unknown, we are not famous, or celebrities. and they don't want to take a risk.

At least those who are good writers in the self published community write their own books. Unlike most celebs who use ghost writers. I mean how pathetic is that? At least I and others like me write our own books, which believe me, takes imagination, time and skill.

Let's face it, many well known authors started of by self publishing. For example, Tolkien, Beatrix Potter, C.S.Lewis, and many more.

I am a creative person, with a desire to write, and just because some high powered main stream publisher doesn't think I
am a good risk, is not going to stop me, it's their problem and their loss.

I don't have the time to hang around waiting in the hope that someone will believe in my work and take me on. I have stories to share and no longer a huge amount of time to do it in.
So no matter how difficult the established publishing world try to make it, this writer is not stopping, I will get my work out there, come hell or high water. So do your worst 'Gardner's' and all others like you, we who have been forced to self publish are here to stay.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Stand Aside, Your Too Old.

Life is never simple and straight forward. In some country's like Korea, the old are respected and even revered, sadly not so here in the UK.

When your young, people are quick to say for example, "You won't achieve much in any chosen field, especially writing, until you are older and have some life experience behind you."

So the years go by, you become older and have amassed a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience, only to be told, "Sorry your too old, youth is what it's all about."

When I was about twelve, there was a crisis in the family and we went to live with my aunt and uncle in Kent, until the situation at home was sorted out.
I have always had a vivid imagination and loved to read and write stories. Fantasy has always been a favorite of mine.

I remember shutting myself away in the attic with paper and pencils, determined to try and write a story. I persisted for nearly a week, only coming downstairs for food.
My aunt said nothing, she left me to carry on, just calling me for meals.

However eventually I began to realize that what I was trying to write was just no good, and this writing business was not as easy as I thought.
And so in a fit of frustration, I tore up all the paper and stomped downstairs in tears, my aunt did her best to comfort me, and I will always remember what she said.

"Don't try to write a novel at your age. Perfect your English and spelling at school, and practice writing short stories. Then when your older, and if you still want to write, you will have your life experiences to draw on. Then is the time to start writing novels."
Those were true words and stuck with me.
My aunt was a very good writer, having had a number of plays and short stories published.

I am older now, and certainly have a wealth of life experiences to draw on. But guess what, no one wants to know. I am too old and should stand aside for the young.
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm all for encouraging the youngsters, but does that mean I should just lie down and die, because I happen to be in my early sixties?

Does my age mean I no longer have any imagination? That the talents I had when I was young are no longer present in my life? I don't think so. My body may be older, but my mind is as active as any young person.
The inner child encapsulated in this body is as vibrant and full of life as it ever was.
Am I going to lie down and die? not on your life. While there is breath in my body, I will continue to be creative. In fact I might even create a little havoc. LOL

'Ageism If Your Over Fifty Forget It.'

You know I had never really thought much about my age. Most of the time I don't feel it, and people have always insisted that I don't look it, [which is very kind of them.]
But that's beside the point, as far as I am concerned it should never be that much of an issue.
However sadly I am afraid I've found out that it is, especially here in the UK.

You see, I did a press release for my latest book 'Valley of Shadows.'
The heading was 'Valley of Shadows, A Novel Born Out Of Personal Tragedy.'
Quite soon there was interest in my press release, and initially it all sounded very exciting. Interest was shown, contracts and money were mentioned, and rightly or wrongly I kind of forgot I was a christian, and got caught up in the excitement of it all, how I was going to spend the money ect.

But all the while there was a nagging suspicion that it was all a pipe dream, and not something I should really be getting involved with. In fact I commented to my hubby, that nothing would come of it, and sure enough I was right. However when the pipe dream ended it was not for the reason's I expected, it was because of my age.
That threw me I can tell you, and yes, it hurt.
I received an email asking how old I was, and how old my sister was at the time of her death, I knew then it was all over.

Let me explain, My sister who was six years younger than me, was shot by her husband as she slept, he then shot their two dogs, set fire to the home and then turned the gun on himself.
It was an horrendous time, and 'Valley of Shadows' was written to honour my sisters memory.
She died in March 2005, I was in my late fifties and my sister's age was about 51.

When I gave them this information, I received an email telling me that I was too old and the story about my sister was also old, and no longer newsworthy. You have to remember the press release that started all of this was purely to promote my book.
Maybe I was naive, and should have realized they would pick up on the inspiration for the book, rather than the book itself. To late, I have learned an important and painful lesson, the main one being that once you are over fifty you are of no more interest and you have nothing to say that's of any value.
In a strange way it has taken away my confidence, and saddened me. I am finding it a struggle now to shake off the heaviness in my spirit, and an awful sense of worthlessness.

The poor person who initially took up my story, is doing their very best to help me, but is constantly coming up against the barrier of rampant age prejudice.
What a sad age we live in, when it is no longer the quality of a persons work that counts, but how old they are.
Why don't they just bring in euthanasia, for all of us who are over the age of sixty. I'm sure the powers that be, would love to do that. And believe me it will come and probably in my lifetime, under the excuse we can no longer afford to pay the pensions.
Am I bothered No!! 'For to live is Christ and to die is gain.'
Even though for me it's a win, win situation, it is still very sad for all us older folks who are talented, and still have so much more to share.
But I refuse to be written off as old and useless. With Gods help I will regain my confidence, and I will fulfill the plan and purpose that He has for my life. I will Glorify Him before I draw my last breath. That's a promise!!!!