FWF – October Challenge 2017 – Day 13: Try

I haven’t been able to keep up with every day of this challenge, but I’m back in the groove at least for today. So here goes. Today’s prompt word is Try.”



If there’s something that you want to do, try it.
Even if you think you can’t succeed, try it.
If a cause deserves a battle for it, try it.
Even if you know you’ll lose the battle, try it.
If you’d like to love another person, try it.
Even if they don’t deserve to be loved, try it.

For we never know our measure ’til we try.
Can’t uncover buried treasure ’til we try.
And we’re oft’ surprised with pleasure when we try.

So, for heaven’s sake, stop sitting there and wishing that you could.
Simply grab your gumption, man: give it a try!




FMF October Challenge – Day 7

Today’s prompt is “Hold.”

TRAPEZE ARTIST 1 - GOLD LIGHTENEDI hold my future in my heart. So do you. Most people seem to think that we have no control over our future. They think that either God or something called Fate are the powers that determine what our lives will be like as the years go by. But, according to God’s Word, neither He nor Fate are in control.

To begin with, let’s get the idea of Fate out of the way. God’s Word — which is the record of absolute Truth — tells us that there are only two powers working in this universe. There is evil, and the leading characters in that side of the story are Satan and his hoard of demonic spirits. But he is the lesser power. And the truth is that he actually has no power of his own. No power emanates from him, nor can he create any. But as a spirit-being with eons of experience in that realm, he knows how to use spiritual power to try to get what he wants. But man is the one who has opened the door — and holds it open — for the devil and his forces to operate in this earth.

The other power, the higher power, is our Lord, whose forces are led by Jesus. His power emanates from His own being, and He can generate as much of it as He finds necessary at any given time. However, according to His Word, we are the ones who open the door to Him as well, to allow Him to operate in the earth.

God put Himself in covenant with the human race, and in doing so, He — by His own sovereign will — locked Himself into conducting His own behavior according to the principles laid down in the covenant. That’s why He urges us continually in His Word to pray, pray, pray — and to speak only His Word in every situation. Because when we pray, we open the door to His involvement in our lives, and when we speak His Word we do the same. Even His angels are ordered to obey His Word, and I do believe that, often, they are standing by, wanting to help us in our problems, but they cannot act on our moaning, groaning, complaining, and fear-filled crying. They are waiting to hear us speak the Words of the Creator of the universe instead, and then they can go to work.

God tells us in many places in His Word that He often does not get His own way in the lives of men. He doesn’t just arbitrarily step in and make something happen because it’s what He wants. Most people — even most Christians — believe He does. But we need to stop believing whatever we have been taught by other lesser minds and start believing God Himself.

This article is not meant to be a bonafide Bible lesson, so I am not going to cite loads of scripture references here, but I will throw in two of the best examples of the point I’m making: 1. God tells us clearly that it is His will for everyone to come the Jesus and receive salvation. But He also tells us that everyone will not do it. 2. When Jesus walked the earth, He wanted to work miracles for the people in His own home town the way He did for so many others. But His Word clearly says that He could not do any mighty miracles there. It does not say that He would not, but that He could not. And the only reason was because the people did not believe. They shut the door on His miracle-working power, so they limited what He could do. They prohibited the God of the universe from getting things His way. (You’ll find this event referenced in more than one Gospel account.)

So who really does hold our future? We do. Proverbs 18:21 even tells us that death and life are in the power of our own tongues. Most people do not understand that fact at all. But the lack of understanding is due to a lack of believing. God tells us that the beginning of understanding and wisdom is the “fear of God.” That kind of “fear” refers to reverence and obedience — meaning that we believe Him.  If we truly believed what He says — that death and life are in the power of our tongues — we would begin to understand how that fact is so. Believing God has to come before understanding.

Not only are death and life within our power, but our future — the very boundaries of our lives — are within our own hearts. Again, let’s go to Proverbs briefly. This time let’s look at Proverbs 4:23. This verse, in several translations, says we should guard our hearts with all diligence because the issues of life proceed from our hearts. The word issues is a correct translation here, but the original Hebrew word meant more than just what we think of when we see that word in English. The Hebrew word says that the issues and the borders of our lives flow out of our hearts.

What are the borders of our lives? They are the boundaries — boundaries that tell enemy forces how far they can come before they have to back off and leave us alone — and boundaries that tell us how far we can go in reaching for goals and striving to become what it is in our hearts to become. You see, according to God, what we believe for in our hearts — and what we are willing to throw our whole hearts into — determine how far we will go. And what we believe in our hearts also determines how far we will let the enemy come to hold us back.

A successful trapeze artists from a couple generations ago has been made rather famous from a story told about him, concerning his training methods for proteges in his field. At one point, he was training a student who suddenly froze in fear and exclaimed that he just could not throw himself out there on the bar and perform successfully. The veteran trapeze artists is quoted as telling him, “Yes, you can, Son. Just throw your heart over the bar, and your body will follow.”

We hold our future in our own hearts. So we need to take God at His word and then follow the advice of that veteran performer. We need to find out from God’s Word what wonderful things are available to us for our future. There’s really no limit.  Then we need to believe that Word and throw our hearts over the bar and into the future that we want.




FMF October Challenge 2017 – Day 5

Today’s prompt is “Trust.”


HANDS IN CIRCLEI find it very hard to trust people nowadays. I’m not sure why, but I have to assume it’s because so many people have let me down and/or virtually ‘knifed me in the back,” to use a worn-out — but exceedingly descriptive — phrase. I won’t use this post to list the times and details of those kinds of experiences. That would do no good for anyone — least of all me. And I can honestly say that I have, with the Lord’s help, been able to forgive all those actions by others against me. And, in fact, in most cases — again, with the Lord’s help — have put them out of my conscious mind to the point that I’d  have to make concerted effort to remember those details. I’m very grateful that I’m at that point in my life.

However, just because we forgive hurts, attacks, and injustices by others does not mean that we automatically acquire renewed trust in those people. And, unfortunately, it’s true that when you know you cannot trust most people, then it’s pretty hard to trust any at all. But thank God, He can help us. He can lead us to relationships with people who really are trustworthy, and He can give us the faith and courage to take the steps that lead us back into trust.

The main reason He can do that is because He is so trustworthy Himself. Our loving Father God means every promise He ever made to us. And He’s made at least one that will cover every single need we will ever have. And He tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:20 that every promise (from the Old Covenant and the New Covenant) has already been answered “Yes” in Jesus. There’s no way God will ever go back on any promise He’s given us in His Word, because, according to this passage of scripture, He cannot change His mind or decide He’s not in the mood to answer “Yes.” It’s already a done deal, so we can trust Him, no matter what.

And, of course, that’s why He can tell us in Proverbs 3 that we should trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding. I’m so grateful that, in a world where so many people can’t help but hurt each other and break trust, we have a God whom we can trust with our whole being. We can literally stake our lives on His love, His Word, and His faithfulness. We can trust and not be afraid.





FMF October Challenge 2017 – Day 4

Today’s prompt is “Hope.”

HOPE RAYS PURPLE“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13).

The God of hope is our God. He offers us all that we can ever need for this life and for all of eternity by giving us Himself. But we must recognize that He says very clearly that in order to receive all those blessings manifested, we must be born again with His own nature in us. Being born again is very easy. All we need to do is accept Jesus the Christ as the Son of God who lived a perfect life for us, then took our sin upon Himself and paid the price for it with His own blood. When we accept Him, He comes into our own spirit and gives us that new birth into God’s family – with the very nature of God Himself created inside of us. (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21).

Moreover, it’s because of Jesus the Christ that God can now bless the entire world, because, as far as the Father God is concerned, Jesus paid the price for every person who ever lived, or ever will live, on earth. (2 Corinthians 5:19). Now He pours out blessing after blessing through Jesus, and all who will receive – by calling on Jesus’ name – may do so. But Father God is very clear: There is no other name by which we will be saved or blessed. Only by Jesus the Christ. (Acts 4:10-12).

Everything good that comes to anyone on this planet – to every nation – every people group – every geographic location – and every environment – comes only from the loving God who created it all. And the only avenue through which that holy God can bless us – a rebellious people – is Jesus the Christ. He alone is the Hope of the entire world. Many people pray for world healing and world peace. But it will never come until Jesus the Christ rules over it all. His sacrifice for every human being who ever lived on this planet gives Him that right. And, truly, He is the only Hope for the world, and the only Light that can lead it out of its own darkness.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord: plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).




FMF October Challenge 2017 – Day 3

Today’s prompt is “create.”

What an exhilarating experience it is to create something! Our God, of course, is the original Creator, but since He made us in His own image, we are also creative by our very genetic nature. I’ve written about this fact a number of times in the past, including it as an important part of my curriculum Releasing the Creative Writer in You.

Writers, particularly, need to be aware of this facet of their craft. Artists just naturally seem to understand that they have created something unique when they finish a painting or a sculpture. And jewelry makers and woodcrafters recognize the fact. But so often I meet writers who seem to feel that until they have completed an entire novel or at least a large collection of short stories or poems, they have not actually created anything of value. And then many writers feel that until another person has judged their work and labeled it “valuable” – someone such as a publisher or literary agent – then they are still “working” at being “creative.”

But the truth is that the intrinsic value of writing lies in this one potent fact: everyone who writes – once he has written an original piece of any size – has created something that never before existed. That person’s words in that specific form, making that specific statement, having that particular impact, constitute an entity that never existed before it came forth out of that individual. What’s more, it never would have existed – had no chance of ever seeing the light of the world – unless that individual had put it onto paper – or into his computer as the case may be.

Now, it’s true that most of us who write want others to read and appreciate what we’ve written. That’s fine. In fact, it’s a good thing. And the acknowledgment of others has its place in a creator’s life. But the fact is that whether or not anyone else reads what we’ve written – whether or not it ever boasts a publisher’s imprint or spends time on a bookstore shelf – every original piece we write is a unique entity that we have created out of ourselves. I encourage all the students in my creative writing classes to get that point indelibly planted into their minds and souls and to enjoy the power of it as they labor, even on their most frustrating, unfruitful days, to hone and polish their craft.

And just as an afterthought, I’ll add one more point that I tell my students – again and again – until I get it solidly established in each of them: Once an individual has written anything original, he has become a “writer.” I never allow my students to say that they are an aspiring writer, a would-be writer, or a prospective writer. Any individual who has created a piece of literature that never before existed is a writer, pure and simple, and should gladly embrace and acknowledge that fact to himself and to others as well.