Friday, October 26, 2012

Terry Burns - Bringing the Old West to Life

Agent with The Hartline Literary Agency, Terry Burns tells how he came to faith. I gave my heart to Jesus much younger but did not get up the nerve to get out in that aisle until I was fifteen. (I was and still am a very shy person, but that's another story) Some ten years ago I decided to incorporate my faith into my writing and went to the Christian Writer's Conference at Glorieta New Mexico to decide how to do that.

My wife and I met at church and went steady in high school. When I went off to college life got in the way and we ended up with other partners. Thirty years later, both single, we met at a funeral and got back together again.We've been married almost twenty years now and are very happy together. If we had stayed together after high school we would be coming up on our fiftieth anniversary. We often think about how those years would have been and how they would have changed. We have five kids between us but do not differentiate as mine and hers but rather as ours. We have ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. We consider ourselves extremely blessed.


Janie Benedict has led a sheltered life. She’s never had to worry about anything with a father to care for her, servants, then a husband that saw to her every need...until the first two potential converts he tried to minister to immediately sent him on to his final reward. But faith will find a way and the love of a good man helps fill the void. She finds her way to a little town nicknamed “Saint’s Roost” whose real history is more fascinating than any fictional tale. The adversity that comes in the process teaches her much about herself and she does keep her promise, but in ways she could not imagine.


They were all dead. No one alive in the whole wagon train. He was alone.
When Bryan Wheeler's parents are killed by Comanche raiders, he wonders how he will survive without them. With a few supplies, two guns, and his mother's Bible, he sets out to create a new life for himself in the western wilderness.

 The companion book to the popular program that Terry presents on how to do queries and  pitches, how to write winning proposals and  how to develop a strong platform. The content for this book came out of a month long online course at the American Christian Fiction Writers that had over 600 writers registered for it.

I can personally recommend this as I ordered the online course some time ago and it was a very helpful, clear cut set of guidelines for a serious writer.  
His books and Downloads are available at: Mountainview Publishing

These are just a few of Terry Burn's many books. They are entertaining and uplifting. Look him up on the web for more information

Thanks Terry for sharing with us.       


Friday, October 19, 2012

What Does Marriage Mean to You?

PART TWO of  last week's post with advice
from Debra Fileta a professional councellor.
Marriage alone can't give you purpose.

One thing I noticed while attending a Christian college was the all-consuming search of young adults who were out to fulfill one mission in life: find a godly spouse. Don't get me wrong. I personally was on the lookout, too. But there was something behind the drive of these young people that really disturbed me. Their sole purpose in life was to catch a mate. Some of the girls even joked they were there to get their "M-R-S" degree.

Something has gone terribly wrong when young Christians believe their sole purpose in life is to find marital love. This belief is dangerous; it robs us of true joy and real purpose in life. True purpose is eternal and can never be taken away. The Bible encourages us to live this life for God's glory, to love Him and to love others in an attempt to leave His fingerprints all across this world. We are each made for a unique reason and design that may include marriage but goes far beyond its scope. Though marriage can be an incredible gift, it is a means to the end, not the end itself.

When we see relationships as the last step on our road of purpose, we find ourselves facing a wall of disappointment with nowhere left to go when we finally arrive. Marriage may be an avenue in fulfilling our purpose, but it is never the final destination. We need to seek God's purpose for our lives far beyond finding a spouse, allowing His will and His plans to be the course that guides our lives and influences our direction. Rather than asking what God can do for us, we need to look to Him in seeking what we can do for Him. In this is true purpose. And who knows? We might just run into a spouse along the way—this one I can personally vouch for—but purpose is not dependent on this possibility.

Thanks, Debra, for this down to earth and godly advice!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mixed Messages About Marriage

Excellent advice from Debra Fileta, a Licensed Professional Councelor who has the honor of sharing in the lives of others.

First and foremost I'm a woman in love with her Lord. Secondly, the wife of an amazing husband. Thirdly, a proud mother to a precious one year old.

With all the mixed messages our world offers us about love and relationships, sometimes it's hard to imagine marriage accurately from the perspective of a single young adult. Even with all the chaos modeled in modern-day marriages all around us and the national divorce rate consistently hovering at 50 percent (with only 50 percent of those who remain married reporting that they are happy in their marriage), somehow the idea of marriage still gets idolized beyond reasonable expectations. Everyone believes their marriage will be different, looking to Hollywood dreams and fairy tale romances as their example. 

I meet with singles in my counseling practice and get emails from all over the world from young adults looking for love. They long to be married and have an insatiable desire inside their hearts to meet the significant other they can finally call "the one." It makes sense that the topic of love is such a universal obsession. God created love and has placed the desire to be loved unconditionally within each of our hearts. Marriage is a natural overflow of that desire.     

Yet within this sacred and natural pursuit of marriage, it's easy to fall into the lie that finding a spouse will be the ultimate road to happiness and great satisfaction. That all problems, fears and deficits will fade away in the presence of true love. While this may be true of God's love,  it isn't true in the world of marriage. 

There is no doubt marriage is a great blessing and that those who find a good spouse have truly found a great gift (Proverbs 18:22). Having been married for five years, I can wholeheartedly say that marriage has enriched my life in so many ways. Yet for all the things that it has done to enhance my life and stretch my love, there are still some things it will never be able to do.

Marriage doesn't erase your insecurities.

I'm not sure why young singles ever believe that it would. For some reason, the idea of being loved unconditionally by another human being sounds like it would do the trick in helping us feel better about ourselves. We fall into the belief that being married and seeing ourselves loved through the eyes of another will really teach us how to love ourselves. Wrong. So very wrong.

That way of thinking has done more harm than good to many a marriage in our world. No one has the power to deal with our inadequacies and insecurities but us. Putting those types of expectations on a spouse will only cause harm, because there is a 100 percent chance they can't change how we view ourselves.

No matter how much encouragement, affection, affirmation and validation you receive from your spouse, true security comes when you choose to see yourself through the eyes of God, not through the eyes of your significant other (or anyone else, for that matter). Relying on your spouse to fill those insatiable needs is a recipe for disaster—because no one human being has the capacity to offer you what is needed for true value and self worth. That can only come from within. True security comes from the intimacy of your relationship with God, and whatever praises and encouragement you receive outside of that are simply overflow.

PART  TWO next week ....Marriage alone can't give you purpose

Thursday, October 4, 2012


It's a classic, and these words of an old favourite hit the target. None other than the  late Johnnie Cash spelled out a vow that needs keeping.Otherwise where's the commitment? Very few
can claim we've never been guilty of a pair of roaming eyes.

So what's the remedy?

It's a case of good old-fashioned will power!

The Song I'LL WALK the LINE sums it up beautifully.

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine.
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds,
Because you're mine, I walk the line.

When those eyes of ours see something they want, but shouldn't have, it's time to call on our will power to say "NO". Keeping our eyes wide open helps to recognize the trap. And we can only recognize this sneaky temptation if we have already committed to keeping a watch on our heart or emotions. Oh yes, those emotions of ours can always lead us astray. The tie that binds is the vow we make in our hearts and before God that we will stay true to our loved one. It's a matter settling in our minds that we will walk the line, and refuse to stray where we place ourselves directly in temptation's path.

Our human nature wants to stray - it's kind of an inbuilt thing. The path back is hard and we may never find our way back because of the consequences we have brought down upon our loved one and ourselves. That's why we need the power of God's Holy Spirit in our lives. We're all sinful people even though we may think we're upright, decent folk. And it's only when temptation hits us do we realize we're weak and need help. Long ago the Lord God saw our need and that's why He sent His son Jesus to pay the price for all of our wrongdoing and to lead us into a life that doesn't just give in to those wrong desires that creep up on us.

It's a matter of a simple prayer like this: "Lord, I believe you came to earth to show me a better way. I believe you died on a cross to take the blame for all my sins. I ask you to forgive me and come into my life to lead and guide me. Amen."

Find a Bible and read the New Testament. It's the Manufacturer's Directions for your life. God bless you!