Thursday, October 21, 2010

Engaging the World on the Internet

Last night I spied on enemy territory. I actually listened in on blog conversations where Christianity is an anathema. These people were quite sincere in spouting their opinions, but none of them had any facts—truth—to back up their assertions.

If you haven’t been published yet, consider engaging the world on the Internet. Your impact is immediate: no editors, no Pub Boards, no book buyers to please. Think about it. Put on the armor of God, pick up the sword of the Spirit, and like Caleb and Joshua, go spy on the giants in another land on the Internet.

Do you remember the story of the spies that Moses sent into the Promised Land? Only two—Caleb and Joshua—came back with a bold and courageous report that the Israelites could take out the bad guys. The other spies were afraid of the giants in the land. So the whole tribe of Israel had to wander through the desert until the older generation who remembered Egypt had died off.

Why do we write? To preach to the choir? If the Christian book industry is in trouble financially, what will you do if the number of bookstores continues to decline? What will you do if there is so much competition for publication that you could be waiting in line for years before you have a book published?

Did you know that one online magazine article might touch the hearts of 50,000 readers, but your first book might only sell 4,000 copies?

Now is the time to pray for God’s will in your life . . . not your own. Can you lay down a dream to pick up God’s dream? If you are called to write a book, then write it and stop worrying where you will sell it once it’s written. God will open doors you can’t even imagine.

But if you are more in love with the idea of being a writer than the actual writing process, now is the time to admit it. Pray for God’s will in your life. Is He instead calling you to write magazine articles or to post on your blog?

Now for a really wild idea. Is the Lord calling you to spy on enemy territory and take the land He has given you? Consider listening in on a blog for awhile and when you see error, refute it with the truth in love. It’s a big world out there.

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This is day #4 of our 30-day prayer challenge for the Christian book industry. Please share your prayers and thoughts with us in the comment section below.


  1. This is your best post YET! So encouraging and inspiring, coming from a thoughtful perspective of someone in the trenches. As a writer, I appreciate it so much. As a prayer warrior ...

    In this prayer challenge for the Christian book industry, I lift up my voice in the name of Jesus, and call out to my Christian brothers and sisters to lend their voices as well. Wherever two or more gather in His name, He is there, in their midst.

    In Jesus' holy name, I pray for the Godly anointing of favor, prosperity and wisdom over the publishing houses in the CBA market today. I lift up the fearless JOY of Abingdon Press, the wise CELEBRATION of Summerside Press, the consistent MINISTRY of Barbour Books, the shining LIGHT of Thomas Nelson, Broadman & Holman, Guideposts, Love Inspired, and ALL OF THOSE OTHERS CALLED BY GOD in their own specific way to take His radiance out into the real world through fiction. I ask for blessings upon blessings for these publishers and their leadership; that they would be blessed coming in and blessed going out; that their favor and growth would increase and spread; that the Christian market would thrive and prosper for no good reason except that the mighty hand of God has made it so. And we all agree in the holy and sacred name of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

    Love a good prayer opp! Thanks, Barbara.

  2. Good points, Barbara. I think this is why some Christian authors may be focusing more on the ABA market. Just a guess. Regardless, God can work anywhere an author is willing to follow.

  3. Yes, I need to work on my blog more. I dream of writing for God. So why don't I do more of it? Sigh.

  4. Looking at writing as a ministry, it seems to me there are three distinct areas of focus: encouraging those who are already believers, reaching the world with the gospel of Christ, and challenging the lukewarm--those "religious" folks who may have a regard for God or may just want the veneer of social respectability or "fire insurance" without the sacrifice of obedience.

    Most of the Christian fiction I've read seems intended to entertain and encourage those who are already believers, but what you say is great food for thought and prayer.

  5. I was especially interested in your post today, because our Lord has led me to have the main character in my WIP write a few(maybe more) posts. Motocross Mania is YA, and the main character has big issues with trusting God. I have two posts written, but hesitate to launch because I have no critiquer. I did this before, and had to take it down because readers from "the other side" rewrote my posts to their views and posted them with my name on them! It's scary business, but as Ms. Scot said, get the armor on.

    Just because it's hard, we don't back down. God will protect and bless.

    God bless you all! Audrey Hebbert - Home of Green Light Red Light

  6. Great challenge! I've changed the focus of my blog with more devotions. I think there are more changes coming, but God hasn't revealed them to me, yet. Blessings,

  7. This post reminds me of where Jesus hung out--WHO He hung around.

    Sandra's prayer was beautiful.

    "God will open doors you can’t even imagine."

    I'm believing this and trying to be obediant in all the areas I am currently writing.

    Loved this post!
    ~ Wendy

  8. I look forward to receiving your posts! I am doing what you said and focusing on what God wants to do with me. After attending another conference after ACFW, I was becoming "locked up" with fear over how to proceed with re-writes on my children's novel. I was also worrying over which publishing house would accept it. I'm not usually a worrier, and this was tough. I am going to consciously put these things aside now and just focus on refining what He has already given me. Thank you for such wonderful, encouraging words. God bless, Suzy Parish

  9. Interesting! Last spring I seemed to engage the enemy every time I turned around. Today in my devotions I took a close look at what Paul said to the Philippians:

    For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Phil 1:29

    I asked myself if I was willing to suffer for Christ's sake . . . suffer scorn, suffer mockings, suffer the loss of friends or the support of colleagues for my stand. When I considered that doing so would mean that I might experience God ministering strength and comfort and peace to my soul during those times, I thought, wow, nothing in this world can compete with that.

    Will I ever be published by a traditional publisher in the CBA? Well, that's entirely in God's hands. But that won't stop me from moving forward with the ministry He has given me. I'll keep writing and keep proclaiming the Gospel and keep working on humbly submitting to His sovereign will in my life.

    I want to be able to stand as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and say:

    If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Daniel 3:17,18

  10. Thanks so much, Sandie, for your prayer! I started to write one for this posting, but it wasn't mine to write. If we pray and work together as the Body of Christ and take our anointed places, He will bring forth those who are meant to do specific "things" for His Kingdom.

    You're right, Mark. I do believe the Lord has called some authors into the ABA market rather than CBA. Those writing for CBA are usually building up and encouraging believers.

    Sharon, I believe God will help you accomplish His purpose in your life, as He will for all of us.

    Great perspective, Lynn. There are many avenues and reasons for why authors write for CBA.

    Audrey, when we step into the enemy's territory, we best all have our armor on. Remember, it's not who gets the credit, it's who gets the glory. If God is with us, who can be against us. When the Lord told us to turn the other cheek, He wasn't telling us to become doormats. Launch your blog with His blessing. Brandilyn Collins posted a blog while she wrote one of her series, and the entries were written by writers who auditioned for the role of a character. Might be a great way to get other people involved!

    Jennifer, you and I are on the same wavelength. I don't know where he's taking this blog, but I welcome His change. It's exciting to step out in faith!

    Thanks for your comments, Wendy. I give God all the glory for what is written and posted here, either from me or from one of you. I don't write these postings in advance. I wake up with an idea, and as I write, I'm as ministered to as you are.

    May the Lord bless you all and bless the work of your hands,


  11. God bless you, Suzy. I'm glad you were able to find a place of peace. I often pray this Scripture from 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV): "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Keep writing!

    Amen, Lynn. Thanks for reminding us that when we step out in faith for our God, He doesn't promise that we won't suffer. But He does promise that He will always be with us.

    We will not serve other gods!

  12. This is so exiting, Barbara. I can't wait to see where the Lord takes all of us. Thanks for allowing your readers to come along on this wild ride.

    Our lives, when we surrender to Jesus, are never boring, are they?

  13. Never before has there been such a time as this to share the Gospel as far, as wide, and as instantly to a world desperate for good news.

  14. Barbara, I love your heart! Thank you for gently prodding us forward to press into God and pass on His message to a hurting world.

  15. I don't want to write for CBA. Does that make me odd? I just want to write well and to have crossover. Thanks for your evangelical message today. We need to search our hearts.

    Your blog always speaks to me.

  16. Not at all, Kathy. Just tell great stories with heart.

  17. I'm so thankful, Barbara, for your heartfelt messages and hope you'll continue with them. When I participate in book festivals I feel as if I'm in enemy territory, too. This world is so under the control of the evil one and it's reflected in many of the books. But I know I'm to be a witness to the truth and God's goodness and not to shrink back. If only one person can be reached than it's my privilege to speak a word in season. May God grant you and others here the confidence needed to follow His will.

  18. It felt like you were talking directly to me!

    Okay, maybe it's God talking directly to me through you...

  19. What a great post, Barbara! We need to pay attention and understand the other side's agenda before we can speak up with intelligence and conviction.

    Each writer has a different calling, and we need to move in the way we're led. I didn't start out writing fiction, but I've always loved reading it. My earliest published works were parenting articles. After a God-inspired nudge from my husband, the desire to write stories grew. I still enjoy writing nonfiction, and I'm blessed to be able to make a living doing both. Quite a few of my nonfiction articles are the seeds of new fiction ideas.

    When I veer from the plan God has for me, He firmly guides me back. I've learned that what we consider setbacks are often His hand leading us in the direction He wants us to go.

  20. This is such a true post, Barbara! I think we really get removed from the world sometimes and get comfy in our Christian circles. Great idea to "spy" on others. I hope it was fruitful for you. :-)
    Also, I'm praying for whatever direction you're taking with your own career!