Faith’s Checkbook: Christ and His Children – 1/18/2019

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed” (Isaiah 53:10).

Our LORD Jesus has not died in vain. His death was sacrificial: He died as our substitute, because death was the penalty of our sins. Because His substitution was accepted of God, He has saved those for whom He made His soul a sacrifice. By death He became like the corn of wheat which bringeth forth much fruit. There must be a succession of children unto Jesus; He is “the Father of the everlasting age.” He shall say, “Behold, I and the children whom Thou hast given me.”

A man is honored in his sons, and Jesus hath His quiver full of these arrows of the mighty. A man is represented in his children, and so is the Christ in Christians. In his seed a man’s life seems to be prolonged and extended; and so is the life of Jesus continued in believers.

Jesus lives, for He sees His seed. He fixes His eye on us, He delights in us, He recognizes us as the fruit of His soul travail. Let us be glad that our LORD does not fail to enjoy the result of His dread sacrifice, and that He will never cease to feast His eyes upon the harvest of His death. Those eyes which once wept for us are now viewing us with pleasure. Yes, He looks upon those who are looking unto Him. Our eyes meet! What a joy is this!

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Verse of the Day and Devotion – 1/17/2018

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

“You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”– II Chronicles 20:17 ESV

Devotion

A great enemy multitude came against Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah. Jehoshaphat, knowing that the multitude was too great for them to handle, called for a fast throughout Judah and assembled the people to seek the help of the Lord. He cried out to the Lord, “we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (II Chronicles 20:12) In response, the Spirit of the Lord came upon the prophet Jahaziel and he spoke the encouraging words of our verse for today.

Perhaps, as was the case for Jehoshaphat, there’s something coming against you that’s much too big to handle. Perhaps you’ve been forced, like him, to cry out to the Lord for help. You didn’t know what to do, but your eyes were fixed on Him. You were waiting for an answer. You were waiting for instructions about what to do. And, sure enough, the Lord came through for you. He gave you the insight and the strategy you needed. Although you still couldn’t see how it would all work out, you had confidence in the Lord that somehow it would work out.

Now what do you do?

You do what the Lord told Jehoshaphat to do. You go out against the problem you’re facing and you stand firm and hold your position. You don’t, that is, flee the scene of the battle. You don’t make futile attempts to evade what must be confronted. You go forth and you stand firm. Even more importantly, you go forth not being afraid or dismayed. After all, fear undermines faith and your foray into battle is a foray based on faith in what the Lord told you to do.

Stop doubting, then, and take your stand!

Perhaps, as was the case for Jehoshaphat, you will not need to fight this battle. Perhaps the Lord will solve the problem before fighting becomes necessary. However, even if you do have to do some fighting, take your stand without fear or dismay, for the Lord will be with you.

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Just Relax

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by Rebekah Beene

Occasionally I will wake up in the night with a cramp in my foot or calf. Last night I woke up from a deep sleep with a cramp in the tendon on the front of my leg. It ran from the big toe almost to the knee.  That made it kind of difficult to stand up! I know two good home remedies for cramps but because of where that cramp was, I could not get downstairs for either of them.  So of course, I moaned and groaned.  Finally, Danny woke up and prayed. Then he said “just relax”.  I responded with something like sure I’ll just lean my head on the wall here and relax.  Good advice.  I wanted him to do more. I wanted him to do something besides what he said. But as I leaned my head against the wall and tried to relax, something happened. That giant cramp began to relax and in just a moment it went away.

How often have you or I heard the Lord say “just relax”?

Oh beloved, life has cramped your style more than once hasn’t it?  Maybe you had someone in the room with you to pray. Maybe you’ve been all alone in your misery.  You try your best to find relief but the pain is still agonizing and it captures your full attention. I understand. There are things in life that happen that we no control over. They shoot out of nowhere in the middle of the good life. We are forced to deal with those things.

But God wants to remind us this morning that when He says just relax, He’s not putting us off or trying to go back to sleep. He is with you and He is working the soreness out of the stuck situation you are in. You don’t have to lean your head on a wall. You can lean your whole life on the Lord.  Will you have troubles? Most assuredly. It’s just part of life on planet earth.  Will you survive?  Most assuredly because that’s part of life in Christ.  His hand is always on your life.  He knows you intimately and He has prepared you for even these times when the pain seems insurmountable and the heartbreak seems real enough to truly break your heart.

There’s much debate on how to get relief from a cramp. So too there is much debate on how to find relief in life. But the only sure plan for help comes from the Lord.  When we pray He hears. When we listen He rewards. When we walk in faith He applauds.  Much may happen in your life, but nothing will cramp your walk with Him as long as you focus on your Victory instead of your present battle. You are a winner no matter what!

God loves you and He is for you – always, no matter what, in spite of it all. Run to Him this morning and praise Him for the Truth of His merciful love and incredible grace. And live, beloved, relaxed in His presence, no matter what.

1 Corinthians 2:9 Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

Ephesians 2:6-7 For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

I Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.

Psalm 16:8 I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

In a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr http://rebekah-beene.tumblr.com/
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.
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Gems From Pastor Jim – 1/15/2019

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by Jim Hughes

CrossEccl. 4:12-13 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

There is strength in numbers. By ourselves we are too weak to stand for long. The opposition is too great and strong. We are easily overwhelmed. It is true both physically and spiritually.

No one is so strong spiritually that he can withstand Satan for long on his own. We need others in our lives who understand what we are going through and who can support us in our struggles. We need wisdom and guidance beyond ourselves because often we simply do not know what to do. When someone is standing by our side, we feel stronger and more confident in our struggles. We do not feel all alone and are not as likely to give up and admit defeat.

It is better still when not only are there others standing with us to support us, but we have the Lord on our side. Quite frankly, unless the Lord is the third strand that binds the cord together, we will not overcome Satan. Two strands woven together are stronger than one and can withstand a lot, but three strands are much stronger and not easily defeated. No matter how good our intentions may be, without the Lord, we will not prevail.

Satan attacks us on many different fronts. When we shore up our defenses in one area, he attacks another. No matter how well protected we may be, we will always be vulnerable outside of the Lord’s protection. When people are united together by Christ, the gates of hell itself shall not prevail against them. People may be able to do much good and make a huge difference in the world working together, but without the Lord in it Satan will easily render the good useless.

In the church, in marriage, in the workplace, in all we do, we need the Lord to bind us together. It is impossible to please God without Christ. All of our labors are in vain without the Lord. Life lived out without the help and blessings of Christ is futile. He alone holds us all together. He is the head of the church and we are His body. He is the Lord of life and the sooner we let Him be, the better we will be able to live in victory and not defeat.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Foundations

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by C. J. Peterson

Certain characteristics are instilled within us from birth. Given to us by those who we chose as friends and from the family to which we are born. This foundation is the filter through which we see the world. Inevitably, there are rocks and pebbles, sometimes even boulders within the foundation that we need to work out or our lives will be out of balance. Often we need a little assistance in finding these. Sometimes we know they are there and are not sure how to get them out of the foundation.

Over the years, I have been presented, and even sometimes thrown into, situations where my innermost core and beliefs were challenged. Had I not already discovered where my strength was, I may well not be here today.

My initial foundation was not a solid one in life. As a matter of fact, it was chaotic and often lived in survival mode. It took me a while to find my strength. For the longest time, I thought I was on my own. This was a very lonely place to be. Granted, I had friends, but I was still missing something. It wasn’t until college that I found what was missing. It was God.

Now, my life wasn’t much better until the recent years, but I survived it by relying on God for my strength. When I was in the middle of often dangerous situations, I would retreat to the peaceful presence of God – who allowed me to not only pull through, but do so even stronger than when I started.

The reason for this blog is to encourage those who feel lonely. It is to show you that you are not alone. It is also to reassure those who are in the midst of a struggle, that God can show you the way through. He can lift you up and guide you through, all you have to do is ask.

Now, it may not be easy, but it will be worth it. Think of the caterpillar, who in one phase of their life goes into a cocoon. The caterpillar my feel that they are dying, but after a time of rugged transformation, they emerge a gorgeous butterfly. While the caterpillar could only crawl on the ground…the butterfly has the freedom to fly through the air.

What does your foundation look like? Do you need to clean out any pebbles or rocks so it is level? Who is helping you build? Are they helping or hindering? Where is your source of strength?

What lies before you and what lies behind you, is nothing compared to what lies within you.

Sorrow looks back.

Worry looks around.

Faith looks ahead.

 May your faith keep you
strong and full of hope.
Screen Shot 2019-01-12 at 2.42.33 PM

About the Author:

CJ PetersonI was raised in a Christian military home, but it was far from tranquil. Like many young people, I left home as soon as possible, and went my own way, thinking I knew better. To me anything was better than where I was. Unfortunately, some of the choices I made led me away from the Lord, and sometimes that path was a dangerous one.
God is faithful, even when His children are lost and wandering. When I needed Him most, the Lord was there for me. He led me out of that danger and into a new life…a life where I am loved and appreciated. He taught me what ‘real love’ is, and what it’s supposed to look like through my family and wonderful husband.
Who knew that “Prince Charming” actually existed? I hoped and prayed he was out there, and I found him! He is a 24 year Navy veteran and the love of my life! With his encouragement, I rediscovered the creativity I thought I had lost a long time ago, and have begun to publish the books I have written through the years. The words in these books helped me through my struggles, and my prayer is they will help others.
The way in which I write my Christian Books, is unique to say the least. I am a realistic Christian. People are people, they stumble, they fall, they trip, but God continues to dust us off, and set us back on the path again, if we just learn to trust in Him.
The challenges faced in my past give me a perspective on the realities of living the Christian life that some people may never see. There are times we wander away from God…there are times when we draw closer to Him. In our arrogance we think we can make it on our own. However, the One who made this world, and who made you, has the answers, and thankfully, He forgives our impudence and petulance and loves us through it all. God is a God of love, mercy, grace, and guidance. He loves us and only wants the best for us.
Those who have read my books, describe them as encouraging, frustrating, and a wonderful read all at the same time. The same character that could have you crying one minute, will have you cheering the next! One of my editors, stated that ‘she was so into the story, that she forgot to edit, and had to go back to do the editing’.
I pray you will enjoy my books as well!

While the stories are fiction, the journey is real.

Visit CJ’s websitehttp://cjpetersonwrites.com/

Follow her on FB http://www.facebook.com/writingbycjpeterson

Follow her on Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/authoress_cj

Follow her on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/authoresscj/

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Faith Sets the Bow – 1/11/2019

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud” (Genesis 9:14).

Just now clouds are plentiful enough, but we are not afraid that the world will be destroyed by a deluge. We see the rainbow often enough to pre- vent our having any such fears. The covenant which the LORD made with Noah stands fast, and we have no doubts about it. Why, then, should we think that the clouds of’ trouble, which now darken our sky, will end in our destruction? Let us dismiss such groundless and dishonoring fears.

Faith always sees the bow of covenant promise whenever sense sees the cloud of affliction. God has a bow with which He might shoot out His arrows of destruction. But see, it is turned upward! It is a bow without an arrow or a string; it is a bow hung out for show, no longer used for war. It is a bow of many colors, expressing joy and delight, and not a bow blood-red with slaughter or black with anger. Let us be of good courage. Never does God so darken our sky as to leave His covenant without a witness, and even if He did, we would trust Him since He cannot change or lie or in any other way fail to keep His covenant of peace. Until the waters go over the earth again, we shall have no reason for doubting our God.

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Verse of the Day and Devotion

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.Psalm 33:1 NIV

The thing about those that are righteous, those, that is, that are in right-standing with the Lord, is that they know what to do in life. They know what is good, what is bad, and that they shouldn’t mix the two up. The wicked, in contrast, mix them up all the time. That’s why Isaiah pronounces woe on them: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20) The wicked, one could go so far as to say, have no real sense of the nature of good and evil. Consequently, they have no real sense of the goodness of praise for the Lord God. To them, it is something bad, something not worth the time and effort.

The righteous don’t make that mistake. As with everything else, they get this right as well. They know that praise for the Lord God is good. It only makes sense, then, that they would praise Him. Indeed, it is fitting, as our verse for today says, for them to praise Him. It is fitting because it exemplifies their righteous nature and character. It may even be the primary exemplification. The Lord God deserves all the praise that people can send His way. It is fitting for upright people that know this to actually do it.

After all, the Lord God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. The Bible says that all things are from Him, through Him, and for Him. (Romans 11:36) All things depend upon Him for their continuing existence. If for some reason He were to withdraw His sustaining power, then all things would cease to exist. The righteous know this and are willing to give the Lord the praise that is due Him as a result.

Moreover, it is fitting for the righteous to praise the Lord because He’s the one who gave them the wisdom to understand the goodness of praise in the first place. They should praise Him, in other words, for giving them the wisdom to know that they should praise Him.

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Faith’s Checkbook: Gaining by Giving – 1/9/2019

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“The liberal soul shall be made fat” (Proverbs 11:25)

If I desire to flourish in soul, I must not hoard up my stores but must distribute to the poor. To be close and niggardly is the world’s way to prosperity, but it is not God’s way, for He saith, “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty.” Faith’s way of gaining is giving. I must try this again and again, and I may expect that as much of prosperity as will be good for me will carne to me as a gracious reward for a liberal course of action. Of course, I may not be sure of growing rich. I shall be fat but not too fat. Too great riches might make me as unwieldy as corpulent persons usually are and cause me the dyspepsia of worldliness, and perhaps bring on a fatty degeneration of the heart. No, if I am fat enough to be healthy, I may well be satisfied; and if the LORD grants me a competence, I may be thoroughly content. But there is a mental and spiritual fatness which I would greatly covet, and this comes as the result of generous thoughts toward my God, His church, and my fellow men. Let me not stint, lest I starve my heart. Let me be bountiful and liberal, for so shall I be like my LORD. He gave Himself for me; shall I grudge Him anything?

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Gems From Pastor Jim – 1/8/2019

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by Jim Hughes

CrossEccl. 4:9-10 Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.

I worked in a factory for many years where sometimes I worked alone and at other times I had a partner. I normally was able to get a lot more done working with someone than I did by working alone. Having a partner enabled me to focus on doing well specific tasks rather than trying to do more tasks and not do them as well. When two people work together well, much more can be accomplished than one can do by himself.

Working together enables each worker to help the other when they need it. It encourages each worker to know they are not alone, that someone is always there to help get the job done. The same thing holds true in our spiritual lives. We need to live in partnership with both the Lord and others. When we try to do things on our own, there is no one to help us when we run into trouble.

When we begin to think that we have things under control and start to neglect our relationship with Christ, we soon find ourselves in trouble with God. We let down our guard and sinful attitudes and behavior soon creep in. We begin to not read our Bibles and prayer takes a back seat in our lives. No one can neglect the Lord and make it spiritually. Our greatest need in life is the Lord. We are partners with Him in faith. We will always accomplish more with the Lord in it than we will without Him.

It is also true regarding other believers. We need others in our lives who can help us in our walk of faith and the working out of our faith in the world. Much more will be accomplished for the Lord when we are working in partnership with others. We feed off of others and grow more when we live in relationship with them. There simply is no room for loners in our faith walk.

Don’t get yourself in trouble with the Lord. Surround yourself with His grace and holiness and the fellowship of others. We simply cannot do it alone, no matter how gifted we may be or how well equipped we may be.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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A Challenge for Indies

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by Precarious Yates

One of the best things about being an indie author is the whole idea of creative control. We get to tell the story we want to tell in the way we want to tell it. I tell you what, this was a major draw for me to delve into independent publishing! I didn’t want to waterdown my message to please a gatekeeper at a publishing house.

Just being honest here.

And while I’m on the honesty streak, let me spill a little more. I had critique partners, lots of them, but I ignored the tougher ones in the early days. My skin was pretty thin and I was rather delicate. To put it mildly.

Actually, my skin was so thin, and my ego so delicate, my husband asked me to stop submitting my writing for a few months after my reaction to some stronger critiques. The emotional toll on me was too hard on my family. And it’s why I often write about bedside manner when it comes to critiquing the work of others. If you’re going to critique someone’s work, and you have the inkling that the writer is green or even slightly sensitive, tell them more compliments than criticisms. And if you can’t find something to build up, have the decency to pass the work on to someone who can. New writers have too much of themselves bound up in their work. New writers want to know the surgeon (editor/critique partner) will come along with a scalpel instead of a chainsaw.

But enough about that. This isn’t a post about giving critiques, it’s about receiving them. And seeking out those who will challenge us to be the best storytellers we can be.

I remember feeling the tension, after I recovered from the wounds of the harsh criticisms. I wanted input to make my novel the best it could be. But the people I knew who would give the best input had some rather, lets say, less than pleasant bedside manner. Some people can handle comments like, “It’d be better if you used this for fireplace kindling and started from scratch.” I’m not one of those! But critiquers like that often had poignant questions and suggestions that, if I listened to them, would help my writing become the best it could be.

I bemoaned my sales. I sighed as my reviews didn’t come in. Cried when the paid promotions yielded -40% at best. But I wasn’t ready to listen. Until I realized I wanted to continue on in this increasingly saturated field of creative/fiction writing. I could quit, or I could get better.

And getting better meant that I had to listen to those surgeons who sounded like they wielded chainsaws.

I could hear the whirring already.

But when I prayed, and I listened to what they had to say, I finally heard what I needed to hear. Even if they said things that I really didn’t want to hear. Like, “If you say this it will say that about God.” Ugh. Not what I want to hear. Or, “This reads creepy. Not creepy good, but just creepy, as in a total turn off.” Not my favorite kind of comment, but OH SO HELPFUL!

Indies—it takes a team to put out a fantastic work. That team isn’t visible when the reader buys the book, but it’s because of that team, those who give input on content, characters, covers, blurbs, and even for the author photo, it’s because of that team that readers are drawn in. 

How do we find viable creative sounding boards and critique partners on a limited budget?

Swap work. Can you make covers? Make covers for someone who can edit! Are you great at writing blurbs? Help someone who is awesome at creating unique, believable characters.

Indie doesn’t have to mean “alone”. It means we have different gatekeepers. And since readers are the gatekeepers of a sustained career, we have the obligation to provide them an excellent product. Don’t close your ears to those who could help make your book the best it could be. It could save years of heartache.

Trust me. 

Keep up that good work of writing!

God bless you! 

Precarious Yates

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

Links:

Facebook Amazon Author Page

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