Contributing to a Compilation

by Jeannie Waters, Contributor to Heart Renovation


Questioning the Call


Doubts assailed me as I stood on the mountain. After driving six hours, I’d arrived for my first Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Fear tainted my excitement as I considered that maybe I’d made a mistake by coming. 


Is this God’s plan or my idea? Why do I want to write anyway? Is my motive pure?


I’ve dreamed of this venture for years. Friends assure me my efforts are publication-worthy, but what do they know? I wonder if an agent would agree? Are my pieces good, excellent, or none of the above?


Writing for God . . . Wow! What a blessing! Did He choose me for this type of kingdom work? Wait. That couldn’t possibly be true. I’m a fair judge of writing and mine is okay—well, maybe good—but certainly not great. No, I’m not a great writer. I dare not write in God’s name if He’s not asking me to do so.


Conversing with God


With thoughts swirling, I remembered a conversation with God in prayer:


Oh, Father, I’m remembering a talk we had months ago. After accepting what I believed was Your call to write, I’d read pieces authored by two friends and screamed to myself, “That’s it. I won’t do it. My writing is good, but their skill is great. Now I’m certain I’m not called to write for God.”


With loving firmness, You interrupted my internal tirade and spoke to my heart, Father, asking, “Jeannie, are you willing to write with the gift I gave you even if it doesn’t appear as profound as someone else’s?”


Your question dissolved me into a puddle of humble tears as I cried, “Oh, yes, Lord. I’ll do it. You HAVE given me a gift for Your purpose and You’re calling me to use it. I offer it back to You in obedience. Teach me, Father.”


Accepting Opportunities


Can you identify with my struggle in your area of service? Doubts still arise, but when they sneak in, a heavenly shoulder tap reminds me of God’s call and my commitment to it. In the Bible, God didn’t always call people who were experts on each aspect of the work. He called those who said yes, and then, He continued preparing them.


During the two years following my first conference, I contracted to write devotions for two compilations, contributed an article to a book, started writing regularly for Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and authored a published poem. I’m amazed at God’s blessings for this once-hesitant writer! With each opportunity, I learned more about His Word and how to write.   


Finding a New Challenge


Last year, Beebe and Katy Kauffman shared their dream of publishing a Bible study entitled Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character. Their enthusiasm captured my interest as they invited writers to submit articles.


Why did I agree to join the group? First, in addition to believing I’d gain craft experience, I anticipated spiritual growth through the process. Jesus promises, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV). Yearning for His abundance, I trusted God would continue molding my character as I participated.


Secondly, as a new Bible study writer, I liked the idea of a team effort. Not likely to undertake such a task independently, I believed this community of scribes and gifted leaders ensured prayer support and guidance.


The topic also enticed me. What is more important than learning from Scripture and the experiences of others about how God changes our hearts?


After the editors selected articles, all thirty writers rolled up our revise-and-edit sleeves, sent bios and headshots, voted on cover options, and finally signed books at BRMCWC. From the first Zoom meeting to the virtual launch party and beyond, it’s an amazing adventure.


Receiving Unexpected Blessings


Unexpected blessings surfaced. Composing for a compilation requires strict attention to guidelines so that all the pieces fit nicely together for a polished product. While writing, I learned to focus on the mission to ensure continuity.


Another benefit is that as I read this book during my daily study, I picture the author friend who penned the words. We’re expressing gratitude to co-writers as we read.


I’m thankful God patiently walks with me through “Doubt Valley” and sets my feet on the mountain of His grace as He renovates my heart and teaches me to serve Him.


Whether you’re a writer or serve in other ways, have you experienced doubt about God’s call? How did you discern His will?


Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
Colossians 3:23 ESV


If you read Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, I hope you receive many blessings. Thirty writers prayed you would.


© Copyright 2018 by Jeannie Waters


About Jeannie

A regular writer for Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Jeannie Waters is a contributing author to Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character (Lighthouse Bible Studies), Let the Earth Rejoice (Worthy Inspired), Breaking the Chains (2018 Selah finalist, Lighthouse Bible Studies), and Just Breathe (Worthy/Ellie Claire).



Sharing the encouragement of Christ fills Jeannie's heart with joy. Find her creative ideas for “Brightening Someone’s Day” with encouraging words, acts of kindness, and meaningful gifts at http://www.jeanniewaters.com. Connect with her on Twitter, @jeanniewaters44.


Jeannie and her husband have two children, four grandchildren, three granddogs, two grandcats, and one grandhamster named Clara. A retired teacher and instructional coach who taught students from over twenty-five countries and ranging in age from five to sixty-five, she currently teaches ESL and leads an English Club for friends learning English.


Jeannie’s favorite moments are spent laughing with family and friends, hiking to waterfalls, and cheering for the Georgia Bulldogs with her Bulldog hubby-buddy.


About Heart Renovation

How does God make our character more like Christ's? What is His part, and what is ours?


Under construction is the condition of our hearts as children of God. He is the Contractor in charge, and Christ's likeness is His flawless design. We contribute to the process by cooperating with His work within us and by following the principles and instructions of His word. Then transformation happens.


This Bible study compilation is a construction guide to building godly character and overcoming the hidden problems that sabotage it. It explores how God works in our lives and gives us wisdom to handle such real-life issues as unwanted change, grief, loneliness, financial debt, and difficult people. It shares God's blueprints for a renovated heart by looking at Jesus' character, godly people in the Bible, the Fruit of the Spirit, and the Beatitudes. It also discusses how to help our children grow in godly character. 


Whether your heart renovation started recently or years ago, this book will encourage you to continue to cooperate with God until the job is done. After all, the goal and the reward is building a heart like His. 


A leader guide for a group study is included.


This new Bible study can be ordered from Amazon or our website. If you are interested in ordering books for a group, e-mail us lighthousebiblestudies@hotmail.com
 

 

Heart Renovation, Jeannie Waters, writing, writing for a compilation, small group Bible studies, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (20)

  • anon

    Unexpected blessings are the best!!

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    I agree! 

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    What a blessing it is to have such a talented spiritual writer in the family!!!

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Having an encourager like you is a blessing! 
     

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    These words are so encouraging to me, even as a stay-at-home mom! Thank you for sharing.

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Thank you for applying the truth more broadly. He equips mothers and all who serve Him. 

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Jeannie, Your journey brings back memories of my own--the doubts, fears, the anxiety about whether or not I was "good enough" to honor God with my writing. Thank you for your courage in writing this post. It's been such a blessing to work with you, Katy, Beebe, and all the wonderful authors of Heart Renovation.

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Katherine, those doubts can certainly become hindrances, can’t they? I’m thankful God reminds us that He will equip us for the call. Thank you for your kind words. Being part of this compilation was indeed a joy! 

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Doubt happens to me right before I am about to take a key step in the direction of the call. I almost cancelled my reservation at my first BRMWC. That’s when I knew I needed to be there to learn what’s next. While there I struggled daily with going to classes, feeling I was not the person to answer this call to written communication. The Lord reassured me everyday with an excited response to the experience. Even though I didn’t feel like the smartest person in the room, I later realized I was there as a learner not a expert. Thank you, Jeannie for affirming my deepest reality. God Bless your authoring. 

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Karen, I’m so glad the post was encouraging. Your comments are a blessing to me. When we sit at our computer alone, it’s comforting to know that other writers have doubts, also. I’m thankful God reminds us that He is there with us and that He will lead us. 
     

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    This was such an encouraging post, and I was moved by the conversation you had with God. I have struggled with my writing for almost a year, and though I'm coming out of that state now, I was very encouraged by your post.

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Joshua,
    I'm glad God led me to share this process and that the post encouraged you. As we share our struggles, we're discovering that although doubts arise, we can trust God completely and walk in obedience to his call. I'm praying for all of the writers who commented that we will faithfully follow the call to write. Thank you for commenting. 

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    It is strangely encouraging to remember we all have our times of self-doubt when we have no idea what God is doing. It is good to know that when we obey, God gets us where He needs us to be, when He needs us there.  Thanks so much!

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Joanna,
    I appreciate your comments, especially the reminder about obedience. Yes, it is "strangely encouraging" to realize we all have self-doubts. When we move from doubt to trust, we can encourage each other with God's work in our lives. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Jeannie, 
    Oh, how I identify! I too doubted on my first and even second trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains Writers' Conference. But God is so good to us, isn't He? 
    Thank you for such a candid and encouraging post. 
    Many blessings,
    Beckie

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Beckie,
    I'm glad you shared our mutual conference doubt and I hope to see you at the conference in 2019. Yes, He is amazing and promises to complete His plan in our lives. (Philippians 1:6) Thank you for taking time to comment.

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    "Doubt Valley" - what a perfect description. I know the place well! What excellent words and encouragement. And then to read "thirty writers prayed you would," - powerful!
     

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Lori, your words are so encouraging! I think it helps all of us to realize that doubts arise, but God leads us through them. If we let doubt rule for too long, we cannot accomplish the work God calls us to do. Heart Renovation is a wonderful source of encouragement for letting God mold out hearts as we focus on Him. 

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    I loved meeting my new friend, Jeannie Waters, at Blue Ridge last year - one of the BEST parts of writing conferences is the newfound friendships and camaraderie with fellow writers! And the doubts assail me constantly in the writing arena, even after a number of years of writing, albeit very part-time for most of those years. Thank you for sharing from your heart and for encouraging us - whether we've written a short time or for slightly longer. 

    Jun 28, 2018
  • anon

    Julie, I was delighted to meet you and share stories. All Christians need friends for encouragement, but because writers often work alone, we must find friends and writer groups for support. I’m glad we are in the Lighthouse Bible Study Writers group together. 

    Jun 28, 2018

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An editor for Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Katy Kauffman is also a Bible study author who loves to write about the treasures of Scripture. Her Bible studies focus on winning life's spiritual battles, and her blog shares snippets of "scrapbooked" encouragement. Learn more about The Scrapbooked Bible Study, and follow Katy's blog to receive weekly posts. 

 

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