Book publishing has evolved over the years. The most popular method is self-publishing. I have self-published about 5 or so books and was even a part of a book collaboration. My intentions were never to become a millionaire from writing books. I never had a goal to become a best-selling author either. Some people may ask why not. Honestly, I did not feel that was the purpose for telling my story and offering spiritual encouragement.
However, there is more that I must do if I am to publish more books. That will require more recognition that makes me uncomfortable but will glorify God in a mighty way!
I prefer serving in the backdrop but that will soon be changing. As I prepare to write more books, I am considering alternative options to publishing. More companies are now offering options that helps to get your book published and put out there to your intended audiences. I realize one of the major demographic features of my audience is Christian faith. Not every Christian is on social media. Nor are they sitting inside a church. However, they are at a book store, shopping on Amazon, at a conference or retreat, a part of a local book club or Bible study, etc. I personally limit my time on social media because I often find myself so engrossed that time escapes me, and I could have been doing something more productive. Plus, I do not have all the connections of how to get my book into Christian bookstores and the like. Therefore, I am considering using a Christian online publishing company for my next books.
I am more interested in writing than spending tons of time marketing. I do anticipate other opportunities, e.g. speaking engagements, etc. However, I do not mind investing more money and blessing a company to handle my book publishing and marketing needs. It may be due to the fact I am older, and I have learned a lot these last several years. I now prefer to stay in my lane and let the experts do the rest!
I have found a very resourceful and helpful online association for Christian authors. The Christian Indie Publishing Association. They even offer a list of Christian publishers. This is certainly not an exhaustive list but a great start! And please know: I still believe self-publishing is a great option! There are many stories that needs to be birthed and can reach the right people with the self-publishing method. Do not down play self-publishing! My self-published books have gotten into the right hands because of God’s grace and mercy. I will never regret that!
Let me hear from my fellow Christian authors! I still consider myself a rookie in this writing ministry journey. How are you progressing in writing your Christian book? I am planning to take some time on these books because I am still in seminary. I plan to align them with my seminary journey. How long will it be before you publish your next Christian book? Reply below.
Technically, we did not beat the stock market alone. However, due to a goal of financial maturity for 2018, we took a risk and made out very well by end of 2018!
First off, we are not getting any younger. My husband and I will be knocking at retirement age before we know it. In 2018, I wanted to learn about financial saving options that were not too risky and let me sort of ‘set it and forget it’. That is when I did my research and discovered Fundrise.
Since I am no financial expert (but I do create a heck of household budget), the best way I can describe Fundrise is it is an organization that allows you to invest in private market real estate. This company develops a portfolio of various properties to invest in. They send you email updates about properties that they include within your portfolio. There are properties all around the United States that this company includes within your portfolio.
I started with Fundrise in early 2018. They payout returns quarterly. I currently have it reinvested. However, you are more than welcome to have the money sent directly to you. By the end of 2018, I was impressed to learn that Fundrise had outperformed the overall stock market by 14%. As with any investment, there are risks. I do recognize that. However, if anyone is looking for an affordable investment option where you can ‘set it and forget it’, I recommend Fundrise.
I do realize any investment it is not as simple as ‘set it and forget it’. Because it is wise to monitor any investment you may have. This includes something as simple as your 401k. Even if it is handled through your employer, every quarter or so, I recommend reviewing what is happening with your money. I learned that as I learned more about financial maturity and retirement.
I have not stopped learning about financial maturity. I am striving to embark on other options that will help our money grow. Saving for a comfortable retirement.
For more details, I invite you to try Fundrise for yourself! In Ecclesiastes, it includes wise advice concerning handling your money. The phrase ‘don’t put your eggs all in one basket’ is the overall message. Seek other ways to create positive cash flow even with the money you earn now. It is time to become better stewards of our money and one way is to save wisely.
What financial goals do you have for 2019? Let me hear from you. I am currently finishing reading ‘I’m Rich Beyond My Wildest Dreams’. Not at all what I expected so I am glad I read it! It truly offered some great advice that aligned with my Christian beliefs. Are you planning to read some books to grow in your financial knowledge? Where you do need help with becoming a better steward over your finances? Reply below.
I noticed many people for 2019 are on the mission to self-publish their book.
I celebrate you!!!
I have two previous blog posts with self-publishing tips and information. Below I am including the remainder the final 3 webinar recordings that I did. I do not claim to be an expert but I've been through the process and I want to offer some help to those who are seeking help with self-publishing. My main prayer is I offer some tips that will you piece together the puzzle to achieving the goal of publishing your book! God bless you! **NOTE: The contact information within these videos are outdated. Also, remember that as of late 2018, CreateSpace.com for self-publishing is now combined with Kindle Direct Publishing (kdp.amazon.com).
Scripture Reading: Psalm 6:1-5
“…But You, O Lord – how long?...” (6:3b – NASB)
Reflection & Observation:
I know – a new year. New goals. Another opportunity – or opportunities to come! Yet, there still may be that one thing we have been asking God about. The one thing we need help with. Like the psalmist speaks in these verses about being afflicted with pains and afflictions. The writer gives explanations or reasons why they are seeking healing and grace – why they are in need. How many times have you gone to God just like that? Asking for healing from mental exhaustion or bodily afflictions. Or asking for grace to help strengthen you to keep going until healing and deliverance comes. How many times have you asked God: How Long? It appears so many things happen that distract, detour, or dictate what God promises. When will the change happen? The good news is change will come and even the slightest of change can help!
Along with your honest prayer to God (because there is nothing wrong with asking God that question of how long – just be ready to clean up your face when He breaks it with asking you the same question…LOL), also take a moment to see what you can do. Even if you think you have done everything you could, believe me, there is more you can do! I used to believe the same thing and tell God: “I have done all I could do…”, “I have done everything right…”. But, I really had not done all I could do, nor I had I done everything right! I remember when I first started having all over body pains and started pointing the blame to others versus myself. Then when the doctors said it is fibromyalgia, I was like, ‘well, I have done all I could, I guess…’. But then I met with a specialist who reminded me that our bodies were designed to heal itself. I do not know if she was trying to be spiritual or not, but I felt God! God designed these weak, fragile, corruptible, naturally deteriorating bodies to heal itself! I am not sure HOW or WHY He did it – all I know is I THANK GOD FOR HIS HANDY WORK! That is when I started to follow her recommendations: No bread, no gluten, no sugar, no sugar substitutes, exercise, take a probiotic nightly, meditate, rest, drink plenty of water, avoid processed foods as much as possible, and more! Now did I do all those things overnight? UUUUHHHH, NO!!! It takes time! But I did not give up because believe me the pain did not stop overnight either. But now, as I share this story, I no longer suffer from all over body pains! GLORY TO GOD!! I am daily walking in my healing!
I chose to watch my diet. I chose to allow God’s handy work to heal itself. I chose meditation which helped me to continue seeking what more I can do versus always asking God how long. I chose to say ‘yes’ to the striving for a healthier eating habits and seeking God for more that I could do. Consider what more you can do. You can meditate more so that you are not focusing so much on what is not happening and more on what you can be doing. When you meditate, you discover peace, patience, and less stress.
I want to hear from you! Consider what more you can do in 2019. I declare and decree 2019 will be greater than the last years! Not because it is a popular phrase or cliche but because each year is supposed to be greater! That's God's Will for us! Comment below on what you will do throughout this year to ensure for a great year!
I’m saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost, fire baptized – blah, blah, blah. LOL! Yes, I did just end that with blah, blah, blah. It’s because I honestly have seen this phrase used more as a mask to hide spiritual identity crisis. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I have to ignore my body and mental health. God IS AN AWESOME GOD! Anyone that knows me knows I give God glory and praise; not ashamed to praise Him where ever I go. However, I also have learned as I’m maturing in this spiritual formation journey that there are some layers that I need help with. To overcome issues that were known and unknown. That’s when I made the decision to get a licensed mental health counselor.
When I started seminary in 2017, during the initial courses, there was book about living a kingdom life. Within that book, it didn’t sugar anything about this life on earth. IT’S HARD! We encounter so much on this side and to believe that we must endure all this alone is not true. Even now, I get emotional thinking about all those who do have to endure hardships and obstacles alone. Not by choice but still they are alone for a specific season. As a vessel for God, it’s not easy. One of the things I found so profound was that the author strongly recommended to seek counseling when necessary. This was a well-established pastor! Someone who counseled others but even he said there’s a need for a professional counselor when necessary.
I decided to start counseling about mid-year of 2018. Why? Honestly, to ensure I don’t go crazy. No offense to those who have gone crazy and had a major mental meltdown. But it finally took one occasion to say I needed help. And it was a Sunday morning! Yep, right in the women’s bathroom at church! I had a meltdown. Not a major one but I had a meltdown. Only a few people know but when I drove to church, I tried so hard that day to get it together. Ya’ll know, ladies! The cute dress, the nice heels, hair exactly right, the fake smile – by the time I left my house, parked my car on the street next to the church, and walked into that bathroom, I WAS DONE! And the whole time I’m driving to church, I felt myself getting overwhelmed, but I couldn’t control it. Every emotion overtook me, and I just busted out in tears in my mother-in-law arms (who just so happen to be right at the bathroom sink when I walked in). I finally got it together after she prayed for me and another woman of God helped me. But I knew then, I had to decide.
Few people know I see a therapist. My husband knows. My best friend knows. A few others. Now, it’s not because I’m ashamed! First off, my therapist is a Christian therapist. And by the time I started seeing her, God had started speaking to my heart about all that I need to do. But God still said, See the therapist because she’ll help keep me accountable. And she’s done just that!
I’m a Godly wife. I’m a Christian author. I’ve accepted my calling as an evangelist. I’m doing better at seeking guidance and support from my pastor, husband, and close friends. Then I also have a therapist! I’m determined to help others transform their lives with God. But I must strive to maintain a healthy balance in order to be the most effective. I want the power of the anointing to flow freely in what I do for ministry and not just a bottle full of emotions that tickles ears. Just like I want yokes destroyed in my life, I want yokes destroyed in EVERYONE’S life! I challenge all Christians to ensure they have a dedicated support group to help them mentally, physically, and spiritually! Do NOT think it’s a sign of weakness or doubt in God’s ability. God works through His chosen for a reason!
Love all of you! God bless!
Stress in ministry is real! This includes mental health issues. I want to hear from my fellow Christian brothers and sisters! How are you ensuring you maintain good mental health so you can stay effective in the Kingdom of God? Comment below! :-)
We all are busy. As a Christian, I know I struggle to figure out how to apply and exercise my spiritual disciplines throughout the day. I’m not perfect by no means! I have thoughts and actions I need to get victory over. I can always improve in some area of my life. Recently I discovered something that I am trying to apply to my daily life. For some Christians, they may already know this. I, however, did not and I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years now. This habit or spiritual discipline is meditating on God’s word.
I’ve been doing OK with this, but I certainly can improve. Like everyone else, I’m busy thinking of everything else and to try and think about God and the Bible is hard. I’ve tried to ‘manually’ write into my daily To Do list – that didn’t work. I’ve tried devotionals but once those 3, 5, 7, or 30 days was over, I didn’t start another one. As I was reading some materials for one of my seminary classes, Deut. 6:7 came into discussion. This verse was supporting the importance of studying and teaching the Bible. This verse also describes the times when you can continue to think, or meditate, on God’s word. There were four different moments mentioned within this verse. They are (1) when sitting, (2) when walking, (3) when laying down, and (4) when rising. When I thought about these, the obvious Psalm 1:2 verse came to mind for the laying down and rising. To meditate day and night. However, it never occurred to me to consider when I’m sitting and walking which can be moments of waiting or literally walking.
In this modern day, most people are clinging to technology as they wait. They are looking at their laptops, tablets, and/or cell phones. Now, a few of us may be looking at some scriptures or reading a devotional book. However, many will be busy with other things. This can also include those who walks for exercise purposes. You may listen to music or a book while walking. Again, it could be something spiritual. But for many it is not. The one thing I’m learning about meditation on God’s word is it does not have to be long and drawn out. For example, if your walk is 20 minutes and you really like Psalms 23, then meditate on that. As familiar as that scripture is, you may discover an important message within that scripture for a situation you are facing. The same is with waiting. Maybe you’re sitting in the airport and you have a 45-minute wait. Consider a verse or two from Philippians 4 about what to think on or 1 Corinthians 13 about what love is. When meditating, it does not have to be this elaborate moment in time. In fact, it is better to take those briefer moments to build up to a time when you can devote yourself to solitude for a longer duration of meditation.
I’ve been praying for God to help me more mindful of these moments. As with any positive transformations, it takes time and a willingness to do better. Personally, I desire to meditate more on God’s word because my mind gets overwhelmed with other things that may not always be positive. With God, I can always ensure either a positive word or a word that will convict me to make a positive change. I’m fine with either because my overall goal is spiritual transformation for me and for those who connects with me.
I want to hear from you! When do you find the best times to meditate on God's word? Or how do you plan to do better? I've actually started incorporate real moments at work; 10 -15 minute to close my eyes or listen to some worship music that uses actual scripture so I can recite it and meditate on it. Comment below! :-)
This phrase tickles me. I’ve heard it so many times. Some people really meant it while others did not. I guess they liked how it sounded but obviously did not mean it. That phrase, “I’m an open book,” is one that people should really be careful with. Even if you say this to someone who is close to you. If you have trust issues with anyone (I mean ANYONE), I recommend not saying you’re an open book.
I’ll be the first to admit, I am not an open book. With my husband, I’m about 95% open book. I’ve striving to get to 100% because that other 5% has more to do with personal development. Anyway, I’m not sure what his percentage is but I’m sure it’s not 100% either. I don’t purposely hide information from my husband. In fact, I’ll tell him more about my personal issues than he’ll tell me about his. Guys don’t talk much until they’re ready – and that’s cool. I will text my husband a TMI message at any point of the day but hey, that’s me! LOL! But outside of an intimate relationship, I’m not an open book. I have various entry ways that I filter people through. If you think of a house – not everyone can come into my yard. And even once you’re allowed in my yard, you may not be allowed to come through the front door. Even if you come through the front door, you may not be allowed to come upstairs. I think you get picture. That’s who I am, and I’ll admit at first I thought something was wrong with me for being that way. But there’s not. The truth is, I’ll meet you in the yard, at the door, or wherever. And I have no problem telling you’re only allowed to be in a certain area of my life. It doesn’t mean I don’t consider you a friend. It also doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I may not trust you, but I’ll love you no matter what.
I believe being an open book to everyone requires being vulnerable all the time. I personally don’t have the energy or interest being vulnerable all the time. I’m an introvert and I like my moments of being in my ‘space’ by myself. I’m not depressed or lonely. I just like my personal space. Even when we tell our spouse that we are an open book to them, it requires being vulnerable way more than we realize. We can’t question our spouse when they start to ‘read’ those pages or try to tear out the page and say, ‘not that one’. Then you’re not an open book. I remember during our courtship, I wrote a small book for my now husband. It was about me. It talked about my childhood, past mistakes and everything that led me up to meeting him. Not sure if he if still got it or if he read all of it. LOL! But the reason I did that was to signify the open book concept. I’ve never done that for anybody else in my life. Also, I wanted him to know that I was willing to love him unconditionally.
I believe the main idea of being an ‘open book’ is to love unconditionally. I mean, some of us have a tough time being an open book to ourselves. We don’t even want to deal with our own crazy stuff most of the time. We can get on our own nerves. LOL! But seriously, I know that finding that unconditional love is difficult. Some men don’t believe their wives loves them unconditionally; and vice versa. Some best friends don’t love unconditionally. I love my best friend unconditionally. I love my husband unconditionally. I’m learning daily how to love everyone unconditionally. Why? Because it’s hard enough in this world. (I bet most of you all thought I was going say because God is love --- Ha! --- just kidding) Honestly, I have found it takes more energy to be judgmental, to backbite, to gossip, to envy, and all that immature stuff than it does to just love. Maybe I’m getting lazier as I get older, I don’t know. But I still believe what the whole Bible says about life and that includes loving unconditionally. We have issues and I need all my energy to overcome my own issues versus wasting my energy on immature habits. So, if you really desire to be an open book, consider seeking after those individuals who will love you unconditionally versus saying you want to be an open book.
I'd like to know how you all feel about the phrase of "I'm an open book". Maybe what people really mean to say is, "what you see is what you get." Leave your comments below! :-)
We hear it all the time. To stop being so negative. Stop being so judgmental about self. But then we hear about humbling ourselves and recognizing we are not perfect. We really are not all that great. For someone who is trying to figure this thing out, it may seem quite confusing. So, which should it be? Should we think we suck, or should we think we are awesome? Well, I believe there is a healthy balance that should lean more towards the awesome with constant reminders of there’s always room for improvement.
I recently told my husband he is too hard on himself. His response was that is what keeps him humble. I agree if you know how to keep a healthy balance. My husband sometimes does not have that healthy balance. But sometimes, neither do I. I have done faith coaching and it often involves helping people get over negative self-thoughts. The phrase about us being our worst critic is true. But somewhere along this path of self-criticism, we ended up too far on the negative end. Some have surpassed the negative end and that is dangerous. The same can be said if someone surpasses the positive end. I believe humility does begin with recognizing we need help. In the Bible, it talks about we should humble ourselves. This means recognizing we cannot deal with life on our own. We need God, family, friends, spouse, a pet(s), and more. As we advance in life, to maintain humility, we should remember where we started and how far we still must go. Even for someone who has a successful business, a great house, a nice car, stable savings and investments – they still need to remain humble! They still need help and there’s still room for improvement in their life.
But recognizing we need help is not negative. I am not sure who that was but whoever that was that thought it was shameful or embarrassing to admit you need help, I say shame on you! This shame has now caused people to hide their issues and now they feel isolated and alone. True humility does not dwell in self-negativity. True humility means your feelings will get hurt more than what you like them to. True humility means learning how to embrace all the good and the bad but use the good to triumph over the bad. This includes loving yourself enough to seek help to become better. To become a better person and to do better. Humility is not shame or guilt. Will you feel that way sometimes while humbling yourself? Yes. But do not dwell there. The good news is God helps us to feel shame or guilt no longer. And if we have real family and friends, they too will help us no longer feel shame or guilt.
Humility is a powerful attribute to have. We all possess some amazing gifts and are wonderful in those gifts. We all can make a positive difference in this world. No one is better than the other while, yet we all are awesome! LOL! That is something that amazes me about God and how He created us. He assigned each us just enough to balance each other out. There are those people who are often considered giants in their field but honestly, there will always be room for more giants! I challenge all us to stop the self-negativity and really learn true humility.
Don't be so hard on yourself! There is always room to improve but recognize you are awesome and amazing! Let hear from you! Comment below on how you learned to humble yourself and how you continue to ensure you exercise true humility!
Life consists of eternal transformation. If we live on this earth, we are constantly transforming. Perfection will never be obtained. However, we can achieve good health in our minds, bodies, and spirits. The way we can achieve those things is by the power of choice. God is truly present and all-powerful. However, God does not force His way. He provides influences that are natural; some may say overwhelming. At the end of the day, God still needs a ‘yes’ and that is a choice. With this great power, comes great responsibility (yes, I know that is a famous phrase that is overly used…sorry…LOL). Here are 3 ways to positively embrace the power of choice to help achieve good health:
Let the world know that you have the power of choice! Check out the awesome t-shirt apparel at http://teespring.com/stores/ichoose. I'd love to hear from you! Comment below on what you choose and which t-shirt you plan to grab to let the world know #ichoose!
Why do we care about wearing masks? We all do it. I do it. My favorite mask to wear is a smile. I smile to hide my emotions. I use it while at home and out in public. I understand that if we all just walked around, going crazy, and not caring how others feel, then it would be quite chaotic. I know and trust me, I would rather see smiles versus all those emotions. However, at some point, that mask needs to come off.
Now, think about when someone constantly wear a mask or masks. No time to breathe or be honest about their feelings. We all have moments when we know life gets tough. Life gets tough for everyone. Guess what? It is ok to acknowledge when life gets tough. The mask clouds our judgement and perception. The mask is what society says is normal and it is the only way to cope with life. But I do not think so!
As a Christian, I do study the Holy Bible. Despite the various stories contained within the Bible, there are several consistent ideas throughout. Some of these include not being afraid, God is always present, God loves His children, God wants to take care of His children, let God fight your battles and/or struggles, etc. Now, to me, that would signify that life is going to be tough. Why else would these be repeated so many times in the Bible? It does not mean that life will not have great moments too, but it does mean life on earth is meant to include some tough times. And because of those tough times, we will cry. We will scream, break things, drive aimlessly to clear our heads, and more.
To conquer the demon of facades we must embrace the fact that life is going to include tough times. We must be comfortable with knowing this and be comfortable to uncover ourselves before God. If you want to know a safe place to not wear your mask: in the presence of God. If that means you take a moment to be by yourself, wherever you select, and share all your emotions with God, then do it! I encourage you to find one other person, e.g. best friend, spouse, parent, etc., and take off your mask before them too. Taking more time to not wear a mask will help you conquer not needing a mask. I do have my ‘smile mask’ but I do have a genuine smile of joy. And guess what? Most people can tell the difference!
It is not cool being fake and wearing tons of masks. It takes more energy to fake it. There is a way to conquer that mindset of facades. I'd like to hear from you! Comment below. How do you practice not having to wear masks so much? Tell others so they can be encouraged on how they stop wearing masks and dealing with facades.
As a Christian wife, author, and evangelist, I want to love and help others to enjoy life! I offer tips, empowerment, and more on my blog! Be sure to follow me on FB & Twitter to stay up-to-date!
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