Christian Author Lorilyn Roberts' Blog

Monday, May 28, 2012

Top News Stories of the Day – UFO’s, Economic Collapse, War, and More



           By Lorilyn Roberts



UFOs sited in Missouri, man attaches dynamite to a dog and blows it up (for you dog lovers, the dog survived and is being taken care of by a Good Samaritan who renamed him Rocket), a man bites off parts of another man's face, Greece's economic woes may eventually impact banks in the U.S. and the 2012 elections, an emergency U.N. meeting is called to deal with the crisis in Syria—these are just some of the news items of the day.
If I were an alien on a UFO visiting, I think I would hightail it and find another planet on which to take a vacation where there was more peace and less war. On a more serious note, how is it possible to listen to the news stories that bombard us day in and day out and not become depressed or despondent?
Many years ago at a Christian writer's conference, an editor asked me what I do for a living.
"I provide closed captioning for television," I told him. His eyes lit up as if there must be plenty of writing material in those juicy stories.
I laughed at him and shook my head. What good stories could I write? Oftentimes the news left me depressed. Perhaps the same sentiment was felt by Nathanael in John 1:46 when he commented about Jesus’ birthplace, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?"
But my response to that editor has always bothered me. Can I not find good in the world if I look for it? Does God not bring good out of evil? Can He not redeem the worst story I have ever reported?
Sometimes at night when I'm falling asleep, I will think back to something I captioned during the day and will be troubled. I won’t be able to get a disturbing image out of my mind. Perhaps it's Satan's way of attacking me—after all, if He can make me doubt God's love and providence, how effective can I be in my witness?
In my limited wisdom, all I can feel or see is the pain and suffering inflicted. And while I despise someone else’s gross behavior, as a sinner, I am just as guilty at hurting others. Sometimes I wonder how God tolerates it all. How can He not get angry? If I have a righteous indignation in my limited understanding, how much more so does God become angry?
In I Corinthians 2:7, the Bible speaks of God having a secret wisdom—a wisdom that is hidden, that not even kings and presidents and premiers can understand. Not only that, but He says that He “destined” to give that wisdom to us even before time began.
The Bible also claims that Jesus would not have been crucified if the rulers had understood what it was they were doing. That means it was necessary that the people not understand what happened to Him as even today we don't understand many of the things that happen in the world.   
When I am closed captioning and wonder, how could God let that happen, I remind myself that I am thinking this way because I don't have the wisdom of God. It's not like God sits up in the heavens wringing His hands and wondering how mankind screwed up His planet. Not only does He know, but whatever He has planned for us far surpasses even the most horrendous event that can happen in our lives.
It takes a lot of faith for those roots to go deep into the human heart. I Corinthians states, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." That means physically and mentally we can't know, but God has revealed it to us by His Holy Spirit.


In Matthew 24:12, when referring to the latter days and the signs of the end of the age, Jesus stated, "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold..."
It's very easy to read this and flippantly think, "Oh, I would never do that. I will always love my neighbor, my family, my husband." No matter what happens, can we believe that? Is our love greater than that murdered child or broken heart or abused animal? Is God's love greater still? Even if I don't understand it now, it is enough to know that someday I will.
As Peter said in John 6:68, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." My faith must be strong enough to stand up to the worst of humanity because Satan is relentless. His fate is sealed and he has nothing to lose. Whenever I start to doubt, again, I remind myself it is God who holds the words of truth.   
One thing we can do in response to the news is be an intercessor. God never tires of hearing our prayers. Some of those suffering souls that get reported in news stories may not know the Savior, but we know as Christians the one who holds their future. We can be assured that God's love is deeper than their pain and great enough to reach across states, oceans, and continents.   
On a grander scale, I fear not so much a battle with weapons of mass destruction as I do the war imposed on Christian principalities and beliefs. In light of that, some upcoming topics may make you uncomfortable, but I hope you will read my blog anyway. Please feel free to leave comments as I love to hear from readers. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Interview with Author Sidney Frost


Today I am featuring Sidney Frost on my blog. Sid is a member of the John 3:16 Marketing Network and is always passing along helpful information to member authors.  Tomorrow and Thursday (May 23 and May 24), he will be offering his Kindle book, The Vengeance Squad, for free at Amazon. Don't miss an opportunity to enjoy his beautiful writing and be inspired.

I hope you enjoy this short interview.




How long have you been interested in writing?

I've had the writing bug since age 12 when my sister and I wrote a neighborhood magazine, complete with movie reviews. Aptitude tests showed an interest in creative writing, but my school counselors said I should think of it as a hobby since few people made a living from writing. So, I ended up majoring in computer science and wrote for fun.

My degrees are in mathematics and computer science, but early on I took correspondence classes from Writers' Digest on how to write magazine articles and short stories. I sold one short story out of many submitted and I remember what a thrill it was to see it in print. I wrote many articles for magazines and newspapers, but the pay was so little, I hated to spend much time at writing. I still have a bunch of rejection slips in my files plus hundreds of article and non-fiction book ideas. I co-authored a computer book in the 1980's called Automated Law Office Systems, but it was short lived due to the rapid changes in computers.

Tell us about writing your first novel.

I was working full time for the City of Austin, teaching part-time at Austin Community College, and singing in the Austin Lyric Opera Chorus. The latter was a paid job and we rehearsed three times a week for eight or nine months out of the year.

I had what I thought was a great idea for a novel about a bookmobile librarian, but with all my activities I knew I couldn't start it until after retirement from my full-time job with the city.

But that didn't work. I continued to teach and sing, and soon my free time was filled with volunteer work at church and at the library. When I thought about writing, I began to say it was too late. I had waited too long. I was too old. I grieved the loss, but accepted it.

Then, one Sunday morning my pastor, said something like this, "Trust God with your dreams and he will help you achieve them."

I felt as if God was talking to me about the bookmobile novel. I had this life-time dream and I had given up on it and now it was so clear to me that I could do it, with God's help.

I believe what my pastor said came from Psalm 37: 4. "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." I'd heard this before, but it had never been clear to me that it could mean achieving dreams.

As soon as I could, I resigned from the opera chorus to give me more time to write. I took writing classes online and six years later Where Love Once Lived was published.

Did it take six years to write the book?

Yes. Even though I've read novels all my life, I had no idea how they were structured. The bookmobile story I thought was a novel, wasn't. I took Writers' Digest's advanced novel writing class four times to get feedback from the instructor and the other students. I entered contests for several years before finally winning first place in two contests and placing in two others.

Not all of the time was spent writing. Part of the time was to contact agents and publishers, attend conferences, and study marketing. One publisher expressed interest and had me delete several subplots and resubmit. It still wasn't right for them.

Another year of that period was a time I thought nothing about writing. My wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Surgery only made it worse and she was unable to get further treatment. I was with her every day and night, in and out of the hospital. She died the day before Thanksgiving in 2008. Not wanting to face Christmas, I went to a place we'd never been before, Halifax, Nova Scotia. I took my laptop with me, but never opened the book file.

I don’t remember the day I was able to write again, but I felt an urgency to publish the book because in a way it was about my wife and I was beginning to feel time was running out. She knew I had taken parts of her life and fictionalized it. She had encouraged me to write even while sitting with her in the hospital, but of course I couldn't.

This sense of urgency led me to self-publish and Where Love Once Lived came out in August 2010.

How long did it take to write your second book?

The Vengeance Squad was written and published in less than a year. The main character is a computer science professor whose fiancée is killed during a robbery. He decides to go after the killers and get revenge. Along the way, he learns to grieve.

Any other books in the works?

Book 3 has no title yet, but it is near completion. I've written the first half and the last fourth, so I know it is a great story. It is a sequel to Where Love Once Lived, but includes some of the characters from The Vengeance Squad as well.

How can the readers reach you?

Free on Kindle May 23 and May 24
Click here for your copy


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Grand Prize Winners of Kindles and of My Book Children of Dreams


Let’s thank the following John 3:16 Authors for sponsoring our 2 free Kindles






Congratulations to the Grand Prize Kindle winners:

 Marnie Pohlmann

   Patricia Day

Winners of our two Kindles from the John 3:16 Marketing Network Giveaway Blog Hop!


Congratulations to the three Winners of my book Children of Dreams
Yes. I decided to give an extra book out to a lucky winner


Ken Winters,
Sandra Humphrey
Marianne Wanham

Thank you to all those who participated last week!  





Lorilyn

Friday, May 11, 2012

John 316 Blog Hop -- Free Kindles, EBooks, and Lots More


  
Welcome to the 1st John 3:16 Giveaway Blog Hop! As one of the members of this great network of Christian Authors, I am excited to participate in this event! 


We have come together this week to showcase our books and to give you, our readers, a chance to win some great prizes as you "hop" from blog to blog. A different prize is offered at each blog site (no purchase necessary). 


However, if you want to have a chance to win one of two Kindles the network is giving away, the only requirement is that you sign up for the John 3:16 Ezine Newsletter (located at the top right side of this blog).
At the other blogs, each author may require that you leave a comment (and a valid email address) so they may contact you if you win a prize offered on their blog site.
May I also suggest that you show your love and appreciation to each blog host by either following them on Twitter, or "liking" them on Facebook or even following their blog. It won't help your odds of winning a prize but I know each author would be thrilled and very encouraged!







So tell your friends about the John 3:16 Giveaway Blog Hop! It's going to be a great week of fun!
Just click on the links below to go from blog to blog! Happy hoppin'!

Blog Hop Participants:

Lorilyn Roberts (John 3:16 Network Blog)http://john316mn.blogspot.com/
 Lynn DoveWord Salt (Host blog) - http://wordsalt.wordpress.com/
 Thomas Blubaugh - http://tomblubaugh.net/
 Heather Bixlerhttp://heatherbixler.com/
 Deborah Bateman - http://www.DeborahHBateman.com
Eddie Snipeshttp://www.eddiesnipes.com/
Janalyn Voigt - http://janalynvoigt.com/
Elaine Marie Cooper http://wp.me/PVo1a-1vM
Sidney W. Frost - http://bit.ly/JsqrVa 
Jairus B. King – http://bit.ly/JsqrVa 
Bob Saffrin - http://bobsaffrin.com/
Yvonne Pat Wright -http://bit.ly/LzjzcL
Melissa Main –  http://www.mainwriters.com/


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Free Kindle Book, Children of Dreams, for Mother's Day, May 9 and May 10th


Welcome to the 1st John 3:16 Giveaway Blog Hop! As one of the members of this great network of Christian Authors, I am excited to participate in this event! 


We have come together this week to showcase our books and to give you, our readers, a chance to win some great prizes as you "hop" from blog to blog. A different prize is offered at each blog site (no purchase necessary). 


However, if you want to have a chance to win one of two Kindles the network is giving away, the only requirement is that you sign up for the John 3:16 Ezine Newsletter (located at the top right side of this blog).
At the other blogs, each author may require that you leave a comment (and a valid email address) so they may contact you if you win a prize offered on their blog site.
May I also suggest that you show your love and appreciation to each blog host by either following them on Twitter, or "liking" them on Facebook or even following their blog. It won't help your odds of winning a prize but I know each author would be thrilled and very encouraged!










You can still enter below on the previous posting for a signed hard back copy as well as a $10 gift card to Starbucks.

So tell your friends about the John 3:16 Giveaway Blog Hop! It's going to be a great week of fun!
Just click on the links below to go from blog to blog! Happy hoppin'!

Blog Hop Participants:

Lorilyn Roberts (John 3:16 Network Blog) – http://john316mn.blogspot.com/

Lynn Dove – Word Salt (Host blog) - http://wordsalt.wordpress.com/


 Thomas Blubaugh - http://tomblubaugh.net/


 Heather Bixler – http://heatherbixler.com/


 Deborah Bateman - http://www.DeborahHBateman.com


  Rose McCauley – http://www.rosemccauley.blogspot.com


  Saundra Dalton – http://gracetolivefree.blogspot.com/


Janet Perez Eckles - http://www.janetperezeckles.com/blog
Eddie Snipes – http://www.eddiesnipes.com/


Janalyn Voigt - http://janalynvoigt.com/


Bob Saffrin - http://bobsaffrin.com/


Yvonne Pat Wright -http://bit.ly/LzjzcL 


Pauline Creeden -  http://fatfreefaith.blogspot.com/


Katherine Harms -  http://livingontilt.wordpress.com


Melissa Main –  http://www.mainwriters.com/