Tag Archive: books

Hi all, Hope you had a fabulous weekend! I know I did! I had the privilege of being part of a highly intensive, interactive, annual writer’s conference hosted in Guelph Ontario, called Write Canada!

This was my second time going to this conference, but I must say it is highly addictive, leaving you both energized and renewed, with fresh vigor towards your writing goals, as well as leaving exhausted and overwhelmed by the massive amount if content taken in from the varying speakers in their seminars. Not to mention the incredible connections you make, and the opportunity to meet and promote your work to editors, agents and publishers represented at the conference!

It is also amazing to have the opportunity to have your work critiqued and see the areas you need to work on and grow in your writing skills, and to come away with fresh new ideas and new missions toward reaching your goals!

I was extremely thrilled to find out I am already tracking as I should be in my social media circles, building the ever so important platform for my writing. It was also incredibly helpful to get some tips that I have not yet applied, which gives me some great take-away for the next steps in my writing career!

It is awesome to see the opportunities that come out of it, and to hear those words all writer’s long to hear: “Send me a book proposal” for the latest piece of work you are working on, or to submit some articles to a journal, magazine or paper, to get the added exposure in your writing! Those are joyous moments to be sure, accompanied by the weight of responsibility, knowing all that that entails to get your information together for the proposal!

It is interesting as well to connect with each writer and hear the stories of their journeys in their writing career, everything from the “I never wanted to be a writer” perspective but who have multiple books published now, to those who are fulfilling a lifetime dream…. All they wanted to do is see their name in print, having published one book, maybe as a kind of bucket list item to check off the many things they want to fulfill of their dreams in life, to those who are writing out of the trials and painful journeys they have been through and have lived to tell the tale!

It was awesome to get a sneak peak at the whole writing process from start to finish in Steve Laube’s (pronounced ‘lobby’ like the hotel) continuing class this weekend! By the way, he mentioned that those of us who were in his class were supposed to tell everyone we were given a publishing contract from him! (Although it was only to show us what to look for in the agreement of the contract! Lol! Sorry for giving away your secret Steve!) it was awesome to hear him speak with such integrity and concern for the writer, rather than to serve his own agenda, which he mentioned is important to look for when you are interviewing an agent or editor to ensure they ‘mesh’ well with your vision and can help work toward your goals as a writer! We got the opportunity to pitch our book ideas in 40 words or less in the class for the practice and critique of our classmates! Fun exercise!

And then there were the effective blog tips that were extremely useful and the social media tips, and the bookstore, and the faculty one-one appointments were you could ask your specific questions and get advice for your next steps!

All in all it was another exciting and awesome conference, and as one long time attendee mentioned, it’s addictive! Once you start going, you always want to go back the following year! Amen to that! I wholeheartedly agree! Though I am overwhelmed with a flood of content from the incredible material offered this weekend, while I quiet,y sit and absorb it all, the air of excitement for the journey ahead is bubbling up within my heart!

What a great conference! I’m going back next year for sure!

On Mondays, I have been blogging excerpts from one of the books I’m writing, called “Found Wanting”, exploring a God who loves us and relentlessly pursues a deep and engaging relationship with us. We have looked at the first portion of the book which discusses a position of inward bankruptcy in our souls as a result of sin and it’s consequences. Why do bad things happen in the world? Not because God doesn’t care and doesn’t want to do anything, for sure… But because sin separated us from a position of trusting in, and having intimate connection with God. Because we were sinners, separated from God by our own move away from him, refusing to trust his good intentions toward us, we decided we needed to look out for ourselves, instead of allowing him to protect, defend and care for us. With this newfound independence from God in place in our lives, ample room for self centeredness brought about lawlessness. Every one did as they saw fit. This allowing sin to enter the world. Instead of allowing God to be judge, and decide fairly on the outcome of situations in our lives, we took matters into our own hands. You see it today. From the simplest example of trusting ourselves and questioning the character and goodness of God… Simply because we ask the question, “Why does a ‘good’ God allow suffering in the world?” the very question itself questions the character of God, proving our suspicion of his goodness or concern or involvement in human affairs. Now I could answer that God delights in freedom for us, which is why He gave us free will, and that out of that free will he longs for us to connect to him, because he knows love cannot exist where there is no choice… And maybe you buy it and maybe you don’t. But the example still stands that there is something blocking our ability to believe in God. Free will presents another side to it as well, sadly. Just as we can freely choose to love God and each other, we can also choose to not love. Or to love selfishly… Loving what suits us best. Why is it that we desperately want to take justice in our own hands? An eye for an eye, that sort of thing. When someone has been wronged, and the authorities do not satisfy the hunger for justice, sometimes people take matters into their own hands. Why do people murder each other? Because they have taken matters into their own hands, not because God does not love us. Bad things happen to good people, because free will exists. On the one hand, it is a brilliant plan when it is used for good and not for evil, but free will backfires when we are serving our own interests above all else.

In the second half of the book, I discuss the incredible state of being ‘found wanting’ as in desiring after God as a result of recognizing His great love for us, and once we have felt it, experienced it, embraced the love of God, we are now enabled to love as He does -putting the needs of other’s above our own, or at least not exalting ourselves above another, as a good place to start! When we have truly been loved by God, received his live, tasted and seen that He really IS a good God, we experience the desire to give back. Not out of compulsion, but out of joy!! So how do we give back what we have freely received from God? The forgiveness of sins, and the invitation back to intimate fellowship with him… Then what?

“We were designed to respond to God’s love. We were designed to love. It is our first nature. But what does this nature look like? What does it involve? What does it entail? It is the nature of love to be ever expanding, not to horde love to itself, but to feel the warmth of the embrace of real and genuine love and to desire to give it away, knowing ‘there is more where that came from!’ When you hear of some really incredible sale at your favorite store, do you want to keep it to yourself or tell all your friends so they can find a great deal to? If you were on your death bed and suddenly were completely made whole and are perfectly well, would you not be so excited and bursting at the seams to tell everyone you know about your sudden, miraculous healing? Or would you keep it to yourself? When you are having the best day in the world, and feel like celebrating, do you not want to call as many of your friends as possible to go out and paint the town red and do something exciting to celebrate the moment, or a big victory? Love is like this too! When we are in love, we want to tell everyone of our newfound love. Why? Because love was created to express it, and to bring joy to those around you. That is the purpose of love- to expand, to spread the news! To share something wonderful!

Those who have come to know and understand and receive the love of God participate in the mission of God, by spreading the greatest news imaginable – that God is love! That God DOES indeed love us! We are not alone here, left to fend for ourselves, lurking in the dark, grasping the wind, struggling to find a purpose in life or for the meaning of why we are here. Those who have understood his love, KNOW. They know that the mission of God is to spread his love to everyone, because his heart grieves for all of us who have wavered in our confidence in his goodness, those of us who were disillusioned, or gave up hope in God because of some travesty we experienced in life that we thought was God’s fault, when in reality, was the result of free will and sin nature expressing itself in independence and rebellion against God, all because we believed the biggest lie of all: “God’s heart for us is not good!” So sad this reality of our condition, such incredible news when we believe again… God’s heart for you is good! God loves you. God is love! Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend. He has called us his friends and invites us to be friends of God, believing on his kindness, his goodness, his plans for us to give us hope and a future, and vision, and purpose in life. Do you want to join this incredible adventure? If you know and have experienced the love of God for you, do you want to participate in the mission of God? To remind people of his great love for them, to tell them of his goodness, and that he wants to be their friend too? He wants them to ecstatically experience the incredible love of God! If you have not experienced the love of God in your own life, you can! It is the easiest and hardest thing you will ever do! Believe. Believe in his goodness. Receive his love. Confess your independence from him and ask for him to help you depend on him and trust in him. He will empower you to do this. He loves you so much!

The mission of God has always been the same: to pursue mankind relentlessly and passionately with his love to draw us into a fulfilling and meaningful relationship with him, and to love each other as we love ourselves, preferring each other above our own interests, and enjoying the community of oneness that is experienced among the triune God. We are invited to be part of this family, to be sons and daughters to a good king, the King over all the world!”

I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my book! There is so much to be excited about when we truly understand and come to believe and trust in the goodness of His heart toward us!

Have a great day!

It is not really until we come to understand the meaning of the bible as a grand narrative, a love story of God’s pursuit of mankind -the first love, the evil intruder attempting to destroy love and woo the heart of God’s beloved away from him towards anything else, and the lies that were believed of the goodness of God, the turning away, and His radical love to pursue a wayward wife that we can even begin to understand the love of God.

If we merely see the bible as a religious book of bedtime fairy tales, or the Christian religion as rote rituals and spiritual disciplines than we are likely to miss the point. We are likely to gloss over the whole point to the story:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him, might be saved.” John 3:16

God loved us, and when we wandered off from him questioning his goodness, bandaging our wounds, believing the lie that God had indeed forsaken us and left us to our own devices, oblivious to the true fact of his never ending love for us, he still sought us out to repair the relationship torn apart because true love cannot exist without trust. And we thought God was holding out on us, keeping secrets from us, not to be trusted, when all this time, he has merely been pursuing us with his love to win back our hearts to him, hearts that were broken because his love was called into question.

He had to do something radical to show us his unconditional love, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, taking all of our sin and shame on himself, so we could live free, and that our eyes may be opened to believe that he loves us.

“I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…” Ephesians 3:17-19

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

“God IS love” 1 John 4:8b

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neighbor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God, that is on Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.

These are only a few of the many passages of scripture that present the great unfailing love of God for us… Yet, unless we open our minds to see it, and our ears to hearing the truth of His love for us, we sadly stay locked away in a prison we created for ourselves, and miss the point: God is love. God IS love. Love comes from God, it abides in us, and we are able to love others because he has first loved us! He is the one that imparted within us the ability to love each other, and the insatiable hunger for it. We all need to be loved!

Understanding God’s love is a lifelong pursuit as he corrects our distorted thinking and beliefs about him. When we get those ‘aha’ moments, where we sense his divine presence… And we just ‘know’ God is good, it is in those moments where he is inviting us to know and encounter and experience the great love of God, a love that fills like no other can!

According to Christian theology, the Old Testament is rich with glimpses of a promised Messiah. In fact, many Jewish people believe that there is still a messiah to come. The main difference is that the Jewish population for the most part, (excluding Messianic Jews), believe a Messiah has not yet come, and a few have departed altogether from the belief in an actual messiah as a man or ruler to come about, but other experts rather interpret the messianic prophecies through ideas such as a Eutopian society or other ways to explain the passages that seem to indicate a messiah will come. Some modern day Jewish people are completely unaware of anything to do with a Messiah at all. Christians, on the other hand, believe the Messiah has already come, only that he came in a way that the Jewish people of Jesus Christ’s era did not recognize him, perhaps because they were expecting him to come in the same fashion as all the other Jewish heroes -someone who would sit on the throne of David and break off the tyranny of their Roman oppressors of the day.

But to really unpack the glimpses of the Messiah to come, we must examine the Old Testament to watch the stunning unfolding of Jewish prophecy foreshadowing a Messiah that seems to fit the portrait of Jesus.

The prophet Isaiah revealed the manner of his birth – born of a virgin.
The prophet Micah pinpointed his place of birth -Bethlehem.
Both the book of Genesis and the prophet Jeremiah described that he would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of the tribe of Judah, the lineage of King David.
The Book of poetry known as the Psalms foretold his betrayal, his accusation by false witnesses, his manner of death, (crucifixion -pierced in his hands and feet -even though crucifixion was not even a part of Jewish law at the time of this old testament writing as it still wasn’t part of their judicial system in the time of Jesus.) The book of Psalms even predicted he would not decay but would be resurrected.
There are even scriptures suggesting that he would be called a Nazarene (someone who lived in Nazereth).

Perhaps the most stunning scripture in the Old testament as a prophecy foreshadowing the messiah comes out of Isaiah 53:3-9, 12.

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we were healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth, he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment, he was taken away, and who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence nor was any deceit in his mouth. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Ok, let’s try and unpack this a little, as there is so much more symbolism and prophecy in the old testament that points to Jesus as Messiah.

Re: the virgin birth, see Luke 1:26-35 for confirmation in the new testament of the old testament prophecy.
As for his birth in Bethlehem, Jesus should not have been born in Nazareth since his family lived in Galilee. But guess what? There happened to be a census that required every man and his family to register in the town of his birth. Since Joseph (Mary’s husband) was a descendant of king David, he was required to take the long trip to Bethlehem to register for the census. Mary was with child as they set out on the journey to register for the census in Bethlehem. While they were there, she gave birth to Jesus in a manger. (Luke 2:1-7)

As for the lineage, there are 2 found in the new testament, one found in Matthew 1:1-17, and the other in Luke 3:23-38, indicating Jesus was descended from what was prophesied.

Jesus’ betrayal was foretold and fulfilled in Matthew 26:47-50, and again in Mark 14:43-49, Luke 22:47-53, and John 18:2-8. Judas, the one betraying Jesus, was filled with remorse after making a deal for 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus into the hands of the officials who would bring him to trial. Judas’s story is found in Matthew 26:14-19, and again in Matthew 27:1-10. This particular passage also is a fulfillment of a prophecy found in Zechariah 11:13 that Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. ( I encourage you to read the scriptures for further insight as I do not have enough time or room to unveil all of this in one blog! )

As for the false witnesses, while Jesus was on trial, the chief priests of the day had incited false witnesses to come forward and testify against him (Matthew 26:59-63), also fulfilling the prophecy that Jesus remained silent before his accusers, from the prophecy in Isaiah 53 above.

As for the nail scarred hands, and the death by crucifixion, the fact that the Jewish people of the day were under Roman occupation, they appealed to the Roman governor, asking that he be crucified under Roman law which allowed crucifixion as a form of punishment, thereby allowing the prophecy of his death by crucifixion to be possible. Without believing, and without knowing, they had a hand in fulfilling Scripture! Pilate, the roman governor, consented to the cries and wishes of the people begging for his crucifixion even though he himself, saw that Jesus was not worthy of such a punishment. But in an effort to gain the people’s favor, he released Jesus to be flogged and then executed by means of crucifixion.

Where it suggests that Jesus was assigned the death of the wicked (crucifixion) he was hung on a cross between two thieves (Matt. 27:38). Where it talks of him being despised and rejected, the very next verse, Matthew 27:39 says that those passing by ‘were hurling abuse at him’ and it goes on for several verses afterwards with their taunting and rejection and accusations, and mocking words.

Familiar with suffering? Not only was he flogged with whips with chunks of bone in them, and had a crown of thorns placed on his head, but he had spent the evening prior to his arrest in a garden, weeping with such turmoil at what he knew he was about to endure and experiencing the burden of carrying the weight of the sin of the world upon his shoulders… So much so did he experience this sorrow that he endured a rare condition that causes the human body to sweat drops of blood due to excessive stress and anxiety. (Luke 22:42-44).

The disciples had even arranged a place of burial for the body of Jesus after his death, not believing he would literally rise from the dead and return to them 3 days later fully alive! But ironically, they arranged a burial site from a rich man named Joseph, a member of the council, who had been waiting for the messiah, who allowed them to bury the body of Jesus in his family burial site!


There are so many more signs and prophecies from the Old testament that give sufficient evidence that not only was Jesus the Messiah, but that he is part of the triune God, another point of contention between the Jewish belief and the christian. The Jewish people do bit claim to believe in the trinity, whereas Christians, believe along with Jesus when he claimed to be the son of God and that he and the Father were one, but also suggested another would come, the holy spirit, the third person of the trinity, sent as the comforter for those who believe that Jesus not only is Messiah, but the son of God.

Sadly I do not have enough time to give away the whole chapter of this book, indicating signs and customs performed in the old testament, and even today that are meant to be symbols pointing to a messiah.

Why don’t the Jewish people believe that Jesus is Messiah if there is so much evidence to support that he fulfills the old testament prophecies? Again, as I mentioned at the beginning, the Jewish people of his day, though ripe with anticipation for a messiah to come, expected him to come to deliver them from the Roman occupation, when God, through the Messiah who was to deliver not only Israel, but the whole world, was up to something bigger… A far larger plan was in place than what they expected, and their hearts could not embrace the grander narrative of what was beginning to unfold. I absolutely mean no disrespect whatsoever to the Jewish people! On the contrary, I am grateful to them for the introduction to the God of the Jews, the God that I worship, but along with Messianic Jews, who embrace Christ as the Jewish messiah and savior of all mankind, I embrace Christ as my messiah & savior as well! I would be happy to discuss this further with anyone interested! But sadly and unfortunately I cannot give away everything in one blog!!

Until next Monday, where I will unveil the mission of Jesus and the good news he was bringing to all mankind, you will simply have to stay tuned!!

A Look At Idolatry

Two weeks ago on April 9th, we looked at a deep inward bankruptcy and our attempts to earn our way to God. We touched a little on the idol worship the nation of Israel was involved in that grieved God’s heart as it pulled away their faith and confidence and trust in him, shifting it to idols made out of stone, rather than dependence on the living God.

Today we are going to take a look at what kinds of idols Israel worshipped in the time of the writing of the Hebrew scriptures of the Old Testament, as well as taking a look at the idols of the New Testament era, and if we have time, perhaps I’ll give a few examples of modern day idols we worship today rather than God.

To understand idol worship a little more and how it was such an offense to God, we first should take a closer look at what happened when the nation of Israel was given the ten commandments by God.

What happened that day as Moses received the 10 commandments from the God of Israel, the creator of the universe, the God Christians believe in as well? The Israelites had agreed to enter a covenant with God, a contract, as it were, that consisted of blessings for obedience, and curses for disobedience. You can take a closer look at these blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 11 in the Old Testament. If we de-construct this to a modern day comparison, we can view this as a contract. If the two parties participating in the terms of the agreement are satisfied with the terms they will sign a contract including the consequences involved for breaking the agreement of the terms stated. we see a similar contract developing with God and the people of Israel. The people agreed wholeheartedly, wanting the blessings offered in this contract, and the terms seemed reasonable enough. As the 10 commandments state:

1.Don’t have any other gods before Me. (this is God speaking to Moses as he is giving the law he expects Israel to follow).
2.Don’t make any idols, in the image of anything in heaven, or on earth, or under the earth. Don’t worship them or serve them.
3.Don’t take the name of the Lord God in vain.
4.Remember the Sabbath (a day of rest) and keep it holy. You shall not do any work on this day.
5.Honor your father and mother that your days will be prolonged in the land which God gives to you.
6.You shall not murder.
7.You shall not commit adultery.
8.You shall not steal.
9.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10.You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

I read a quote once, that I absolutely love, on the subject of the ten commandments that I will share with you now, which at first, may seem to contradict everything that I am suggesting about some ‘standard’ that God has set, that we cannot attain to. But bear with me; I am taking you on a journey with me to discover what the heart of God for man is. Here is what Erwin McManus suggests on the subject of the Ten Commandments:

“The ten commandments are not heaven’s standards… They are not God’s attempt to pull us up beyond the human into the spiritual. The Ten Commandments are the lowest possible standard of humane living. Stop and consider what they demand of us. Maybe it would help if we just rephrased them in everyday language. Here goes: ‘hey could you stop killing each other? Oh, yeah, and by the way, could you not steal each other’s stuff? And it would be really helpful if you wouldn’t lie to each other and here’s a thought, could you not take other people’s husbands and sort of, like, keep your own? Upon reflection, these are unreasonable right? How could anyone be expected to live up to those? Only God could do that, right? Why don’t we get it? Anything below these standards is choosing to live like an animal, a barbarian. The Ten Commandments don’t call us to extraordinary life; they call us to stop dehumanizing each other. The law is the minimum of what it means to be human.”

When you look at it the way Erwin McManus puts it, it makes sense. Sounds like some good rules to live by to keep everybody happy and inherit massive blessings on top of it! Israel was IN! They agreed to the terms of the contract, little realizing how difficult it would be to follow. Little realizing that to God, this was more than a contract, this was His heart of love wanting to bless his people and have a close relationship with them. But as I mentioned in my blog two weeks ago, Israel strayed their commitment and affection from God to other things.

Some of the major idols in the BC (before Christ) era that Israel served were the gods of the Caananite people who controlled all the fertile valleys of the region at the time. The Caananites worshipped Baal and other deities that were known to be gods of fertility. It was natural to pray to these gods to hope for one’s crops to be good each year, as well as the very sexual content involved in the worship of these gods.

The erection of two golden calves in cult centers were also idols that were forbidden to be worshipped. These forms of worship were introduced from Assyrian and Babylonian worship that influenced Israel while they were in exile to foreign rulers.

“Israel’s calling was to the worship of the one true God. God’s election separated the people from unholiness and to himself as his special possession… God had chosen Israel and they were to worship and serve him only…the first commandment is to have no gods before God (Exodus 20:3). In addition, the construction of any images or the mention of other gods was forbidden” (taken from biblestudytools.com. )

Baal, according to the Caananite religion of the time, was considered to be the god of the rain, thunder, fertility and agriculture, and lord of heaven. In an arid land were agriculture was a thing of difficulty, it is no wonder people would turn to whatever God ‘specialized’ in the need at the present moment. Fast forwarding to the Roman and Greek culture that we are more familiar with in history, the same applies: pray to Aries the god of love, or to Aphrodite, the female sex goddess, or for peaceful journeys at sea, pray to Poseidon the god of the seas. Or Zeus, or Hades, god of the underworld. You prayed to whom you needed the most at the time.

Going back to Baal worship for a moment, back in the day, Baal worship consisted of child sacrifice, indecent sexual acts, and the reverence of creation over the creator. It would look a little like a bunch of people standing around the alter to Baal and burning a child on the altar, and then having a massive sex orgy, in the attempt to bribe Baal to bring rain and fertility to the land.

The goddess associated with Baal is Anat, like the goddess Ishtar, of love and war. She is believed to aid & support him in his conflicts and vindicating him in his losses. According to tradition, Caananites centered their worship around the male creator god, El, and his wife Asherah. Baal was the son of their union. Asherah was the chief female deity worshipped. Baal’s appearance was mostly in the form of a man with horns of a bull, carrying thunderbolts in his hand like his father. He would also appear in the form of a serpent. Asherah appeared mostly as an Asherah pole, a wooden figure depicting sexuality.

The problem the Living God of Creation had with these pagan idols was multi-fold. First of all, these idols were treated like household gods, in an attempt to get what they wanted, they would pray to the appropriate god, thus, treating all gods as a means to an end, out of selfish ambition. Second, these idols had turned Israel’s dependence and trust in God to other images of stone that were not gods at all, but mere idols and myth. God wanted his people to recognize that he was God over all, that HE in fact, was the God of creation, not El. That HE was the God of the rain, and the thunder and the water and all creation itself. Thirdly, creation itself was exalted higher than the God who created all things!! And finally, and most important, God loved his creation and wanted them to know his love, rather than exert their independence and trust in their own strength, or in fantasy rather than reality. He wanted them to know, according to Him, all other gods are no gods at all and have no strength or might or ability.

He alone is God. So here we have it… God is still trying to teach them (and us) to get it: He alone is God. “all other cisterns are broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

No other god, or created thing can fill us as He does. We were designed on purpose to connect to God, to be loved by God, to love him in return, to enjoy the community of oneness between us and the godhead, and to pass it on in the communities of our lives, our family, our friends, our community, our neighbors… Even our enemies, to extend compassion & love towards them.

Briefly, on idols today: anything we put our faith, confidence and assurance in MORE than God, is considered an idol. He wants us to rely on Him. After all, he is known as the Exer Kenegdo: “The One who comes through for”.

Katie Meilleur
Life Coach
#Freedom #Life #Love

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Critiques ARE helpful!

Today I am thinking back to a writer’s conference I went to last May, I think it was.

I had the opportunity at Write Canada, to have the first chapter of my book Found Wanting, critiqued.
I have to say, getting a critique is not an ego boost by any means. But it is an incredibly beneficial experience at any rate to have your work critiqued by those further along in their writing, or by editors, with the intention of helping you better your writing style.

I most appreciated my critique of my first chapter. But what was funny, is that I already felt the same thing, which was helpful to know I was already on the right track!

She mentioned that I had great potential as a writer, but one of my major areas to work on was to choose my audience. She picked up right away that I had already been struggling back & forth as to who I intended to market my book for: who was my audience? This tip was of great help to me. And back then, I was still in the very early drafts of my first chapter, so I knew it wasn’t ready to promote yet anyway, but I figured I may as well take the opportunity early on in my book writing process to get input about whether the subject was interesting enough to market.

I got lots of great pointers at the conference and made some great connections! I intend to go back again this year if I can make it!

I encourage all up and coming writers to check out writer’s conferences, start blogging and to build a platform for your writing through social media, as I was encouraged to do.

One last suggestion she gave me for writing a non-fiction book, which is what I am writing, was to understand how to write good fiction as well because it helps you write better non-fiction!

So much incredible insight, so thankful to have met everyone I did last year, and am forever thankful for the critiques, tips & advice I received last year! Looking forward to another great conference this year!

Here’s a little sample of an early edit of my first chapter of the book which you won’t probably find in my finished product! Lol.

Feel free to ask questions and make comments. But most of all…Enjoy:

“You have been weighed on the scales and found… wanting.” The words were there, written on the wall. The king in all his pomp, his power, his luxury, had been incapacitated, trembling, alarmed by the mysterious hand that appeared and began writing on the plaster of the wall. His knees began knocking together, and his face grew pale. The party with the free-flowing wine was suddenly interrupted, as the king cried aloud, demanding that the wisest men of all of Babylon be brought to him at once to explain the mysterious writing on the wall. What was its interpretation? The words, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. What did they mean?”

“What does it mean? “You have been weighed on the scales and have been found wanting.” Our opening story takes us into the book of Daniel from the bible, exploring a mysterious writing on the wall, setting the course for the remainder of our journey, attempting to uncover the meaning behind this curious judgment, and engaging in a much larger story to discover something about the heart of God. What you are being invited to, throughout the remainder of these chapters, is to become part of an epic journey to understand the grand narrative of the Christian faith.”

“The story begins with the heart of God to create a being in his own image, to know and be known by God, and to be the recipient of a love that was very contagious. It’s the story of mankind, God’s grand design for us, our fall from that original design, and a plan of redemption. So if God is love, why do we find ourselves looking at this same God telling some king that he has been found deficient?”

“The purpose and intent of this book, is to introduce you either for the first time, or all over again, to the good news. But in order to do that, I must first tell a story, which I will attempt to do throughout the remainder of this book. The story must begin with God’s original design. His original intention for mankind, which I will attempt to unpack in the next chapter.
In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at what it means to be found ‘wanting’ or deficient.
The dictionary defines the word ‘deficient’ as: ‘lacking some element or characteristic, defective, insufficient, inadequate, deficient knowledge. One who is mentally deficient.
Perhaps God is maybe trying to get our attention on the fact that something has gone terribly wrong, something is defective, not in proper working order, that needs correction, rather than a harsh judgment that we cannot measure up to his standard? Maybe it isn’t about a standard at all.”

“Come and see the heart of God for you as I paint a picture of this epic love story of a God who desires for you to know him, and desires to lavish his love on you, more than you can possibly imagine.”

There you have it. I pulled a few quotes out of the first chapter (early draft) just to give you a few glimpses of what I’m writing about. They are not in chronological order which will explain why they sound a little choppy. Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading my blog!!

So this is it! I’ve finally entered the world of blogging! It’s long overdue, but here I am, brand new year, brand new journey. My intentions to blog are to blog about 3x a week, Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s. I hope to blog about writing on Monday’s, since I am venturing into the world of writing… yes, I am in the process of writing a book. On Monday’s I hope to share perhaps qoutes from my book as it is being written, sneak previews, my journey about writing, and writing tips I pick up along the way! I might also share some poetry I have written as well.

On Wednesday’s, I hope to share a little about myself, who I am, what I’m about, the things I’m interested in. Perhaps I’ll share articles about things I am passionate about, or just ‘a day in the life of me – Katie Meilleur.’ I may share poetry here as well if it helps me to describe part of my current journey in life.

On Friday’s, I intend to share life coaching tips, relational advice, counseling related material that I have found challenged or inspired me throughout the week. Feel free to respond to my posts at any time, and if you are seeking counsel or advice, I am a life coach, available to offer some free tips on my blog, and if you wish to pursue a life coaching session feel free to contact me at katie.meilleur@gmail.com for more information, or to set up an appointment! I can do phone sessions as well as in person, in the greater Toronto area.

For today’s blog, I will simply leave you with the synopsis of the book I am working on writing. Btw, I am looking into getting into some journalling, and would love it if I could find a newspaper or magazine that would be interested in doing a ‘Dear Abby’ kind of piece, where I could utilize my life coaching skills as well. Soooo…If anyone has any contact suggestions for me, please keep me posted! Thanks for reading my blog! Below you will find the synopsis for my book, Found Wanting. Hope you enjoy, and have a great day!

Katie Meilleur/Found Wanting Synopsis
Found Wanting

“You have been weighed on the scales and have been found wanting.” Deficient. But it was not always this way. It was never meant to be so. The grand design had been perfect; crafted together by the master designer himself: God.
Before the foundation of time, there was a desire deep within the heart of the godhead, a design for the expansion of the perfect model of love and community expressed between the trinity to be shared with mankind created in God’s image. The desire was that they would know and experience and participate in this same love as the godhead shared, and to extend that beyond themselves and create a family, a community that knows God’s love and passes it on.
But… something went wrong. The sad reality is, in order for one to freely love, one must have the freedom to not love. One must have the freedom of choice. And long before creation began, our God had an enemy who sought to be god himself. Exalting himself above God, he began a war in heaven for the throne. He was defeated and fallen, his ego wounded, but he needed to find a way to get back at God. He knew he was not powerful enough to defeat Him, so his plan involved the next best thing: Attack the object of his affection. When he lost the war in heaven, he began a crafty plot to get back at God, by assaulting his heart, the very core of his being, the desire of his heart – mankind. Adam and Eve took the bait and found themselves in a state of deficiency… found wanting. The sin condition would forever pass on to their descendants, separated from God, and independent.
This separation was unacceptable to God, and he began a desperate pursuit to redeem mankind. God was on a mission to restore his original plan. Though his people were found wanting, or deficient, as a result of their independence, when his character and goodness were called into question, he began a pursuit to redeem mankind. His great unfailing love for us culminating in the most perfect plan of all: God would become a man, perfect and sinless, and prove his love for us by ransoming us from our fallen condition of sin by the message of the gospel; a message that when we fully uncover it’s meaning, it is ‘good news’ that leaves us ‘found wanting’, as in desiring after a relationship with a God who is love.

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