If You Can’t See God

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you couldn’t see?

Maybe you are blind or you have some other kind of disability. When we struggle with something or face difficulties, it can be hard to understand how God will work it out for good.

Meet Fanny Crosby. Fanny had a hard life. In fact, to hear her story at first, it’s hard to imagine that she found any joy at all. And yet, Fanny Crosby was one of the most joyful, talented, wise and influential women in history.

Fanny Crosby was born in 1820 in Brewster, New York. When she was only 6-weeks-old, she caught a cold and got very sick. Even her eyes got inflamed and painful. The doctors treated the little girls the best they knew how, but by the time she got well, Fanny had lost her sight. No one really knows whether her blindness was caused by the medicine or something that could not have been prevented.

Before Fanny was a year old, her father died so she was raised by her mother and grandmother. Both of them were devout Christians and taught Fanny about Jesus. They taught Fanny to study hard, read the Bible and memorize Scripture. In fact, starting at 10-years-old, Fanny memorized five chapters of the Bible every single week!

Fanny was only 8-years-old when she wrote her first poem describing her blindness. By that time, she had accepted the fact that she could not see as part of God’s plan for her and determined to use it to glorify Him. She said that if she were offered perfect sight, she would not take it. Fanny believed that if she could see, she might have been distracted by all the beautiful things around her and forget to sing and praise God!

So, Fanny used her talents to glorify God. In her lifetime, she wrote over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs including some of the most poplar hymns we sing today like, “Blessed Assurance” and “To God be the Glory”. In 1843, Fanny traveled to Washington D.C. to help persuade the government to support education for the blind, and she was the very first woman to speak to the United States Senate!

When Fanny wasn’t composing songs, she spent much of her time teaching at the New York Institute for the Blind. Once, when an epidemic of cholera struck New York City, rather than flee for safety, Fanny stayed at the NYIB to nurse the sick. She also worked hard to care for the poor saying, “from the time I received my first check for my poems, I made up my mind to open my hand wide to those who needed assistance.” Fanny is remembered for her rescue missions work almost as much as for her songs.

Does it ever feel like you can’t see God’s work in your life?

Do you ever ask God why He made you a certain way?

Do you wonder why you have to struggle with some things that don’t seem fair?

Next time you do, try praising God using one of Fanny’s songs. I think it will encourage you!

To hear some of Fanny Crosby’s songs follow these link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNVCcph6cnI&list=PLD75EEB725D137135.

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Book Blast and Giveaway, The Christian Writer 101

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About the Book

The Christian Writer 101 (Fourth Edition) is author, Nina Fitzhugh Wells’ updated version of this concise guide to Christian Self-Publishing. Within the pages are step-by-step instructions for writing, publishing and promoting your Christian book. This educational manual offers all you need to make informed choices concerning your publishing focus.
As an update the third edition, it not only boasts the technical and practical pieces, it also extensively covers such topics as: 1) A Complete social media chapter, and 2) Proven marketing and promotions strategies. As well, there are foundational scriptures, wisdom winks, and motivational quotes from literary professionals to further educate and inspire you. This Concise, Precise, Advice Guide is for ALL writers, authors, and self-publishers.

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Nina Fitzhugh Wells has served in education for more than 25 years; in the book publishing business for nearly 15 years; and in the Christian counseling for 10 years. Her calling and passion is for teaching, counseling, and evangelistic outreach. “God has commissioned me to educate and inspire all people; and to offer hope and healing to the lost and hurting,” proclaims Wells, who serve diligently to help others discover, develop, and use their gifts to their highest potential.
A native of Philadelphia, PA, Nina Fitzhugh Wells is a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) student at Walden University in Baltimore, Maryland where her focus is Higher Education and Adult Learning. She earned her Master of Arts Degree in Christian Education from the Union Theological Seminary (Now Union Presbytery Seminary) in Richmond, Virginia; and did her undergraduate studies at the Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania. She is the author of seven books, including her profound autobiography: “Lost FOUNDation: From Foster Care to God’s Heir” (2009), a highly acclaimed top seller. Currently, she is penning her eighth book – a research-based study – entitled: “Emancipation Revelation: An Exploratory View at Resources and Supports for First Year College Students Who Age-Out of Foster Care,” to be published in 2014.
Wells is an ordained evangelist and adult educator who serves as Education Director at Kingdom Publishing Group (KPG), a Christian book publishing and promotions company in Richmond, VA. She is credited with helping a diverse group of authors to birth nearly 300 God-inspired books out to the world. Her ministry, books, and education have afforded her many opportunities to reach and teach multitudes of people from diverse communities. She continues to be in high demand as a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, educator and Christian counselor.
In addition to publishing, teaching, and motivational speaking, Nina Fitzhugh Wells dedicates much of her time to advocating for youth who age-out of the foster care system. She is the Founder and Executive Director at “Excel HIGHER, Inc.” Through this non-profit organization, Nina works closely with local, state and federal agencies, and colleges and universities by offering resources, programming, and finishing workshops to prepare foster youth as they transition from state support to self-sufficiency. In August 2013, she began hosting a radio show entitled: Revelation For Elevation, which serves to bring awareness to the plight of youth who age-out of foster care; as well as promote advocacy.
In July 2010, Nina was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for Education. As well, she is a member of the Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA), the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), and the Independent Book Publishers’ Association (IBPA). As well, she is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA).
Nina currently resides in Virginia; and is married to her best friend, Minister Leon Wells, Jr. She purposes to live each day based on the Philippians 4:8 scripture: “Finally Brethren, whatever is things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of a good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”

Social Links
Email:nwells@kingdompublishing.org
Website: http://www.kingdompublishing.org
Facebook page: kpgbooks
Twitter handle: @kingdomp
Tour Hosted by WNL Book Tour http://www.wnlbooktours.com

One winner will be chosen to win a paperback copy of The Christian Writer 101

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Book Title The Christian Writer 101 (Fourth Edition)
Genre: Instructional

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A Reason for Lost

This morning, I sat wordless before the Father. Don’t you hate it sunset-harbour-2-1016736-mwhen that happens? You’re supposed to be praying and all of sudden (or maybe not so suddenly, maybe it feels chronic) there’s just nothing to say? That was today.

But recently, I read @BlumLee on her fabulous site http://www.leewolfeblum.com and one little phrase lodged in my memory. She said something about writing from her subconscious. So, even though I was praying, I tried to let my mind go to what I was not thinking. I mean, after all, God knows all that anyway…right?

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There’s a weakening in me.

Like a rope washed and weathered by sun and salt.

Its life work about to pitch mercilessly on high seas, the familiar dock and droppings, fragrant with fish and stagnant air–

All safety far behind.

I wonder, how long it will hold together at all?

I wonder at those boats I’ve seen loose from tether in the distance.
What do they do–Wild and loose?
Is it frightening everyday?
What currents and rough winds await?
Will I ever return?

I feel about and nearly.
I float on almost and possibly.

There can be no assurance, wild upon those waves!

What of all I’ve so long feared?
Lost, a drifter, no purpose or destination,
No identifying flag.
Or pirates and mercenaries to scavenge me for waste?

Primitive, small, sunk low.
But here I find at once I’m loose, and at loss, and quite lost.
But I’ve been drifting slowly now,
‘Neath rise and sunset for a time.
A bit more weathered, not worse for wear.

But maybe stronger.
Certainly braver.
No storm has torn assunder.
I’ve no sail to rip.

And out here, the droppings miss me, a scent of salt and singular freedom.
The air awash with wind and wild blue.
I’ve even begun to see the others,
I’m not alone out here.

So many must have lost their lines.
Wayward a few, crosswise against the tide.
Fighting for float.

I would have kept away,
Far safe from their troubled wakes,
Dodging waves in a cove.
But the cries became so loud!

Fear a wretched sound,
A boat near sinking, a life near death,
Facing the one thing that would make it all it’s not–
Not a boat, not afloat, not alive.

I found a coil.
Neglected since I left the dock.
Warily, I wafted toward the distressed, and threw the line.

Not much, this little rope.
And I feared it would break.

Who am I? And what are my good intentions?
Lost, fueled by an invisible tide.

When my line reached her,
The wind began to blow.
And ushered with solemnity and solidarity
Our two hearts toward harbor.

When I read this poem later, I saw my purpose in those lines, my passion. God is using my once-lostness, my once-fearful, my once-dying to rescue others.

I pray especially, that anyone who reads my book finds hope and  healing. #ThePredatoryLiesofAnorexia

Buy the book here…

Poem From A Broken Writer

I felt sunlight softening soul into spirit,

Liquifying calcified dreams

Pressed dormant into crannies

Of this flesh-shell.

 

I felt icicles like prisms melting

Drips of radiant, golden life

Suspended from the end of despair

And soften, butter-yellow

Fall, back into this flesh-shell.

 

Yes, I felt sunlight soften my soul

Dripping spirit back into body

Filling, ever so slowly, back up this

Gutted flesh-shell.

 

I watched goals and dreams flitter

Like litter cross the street,

Fast and flimsy, uncharted, un-chased

Un-pursued.

 

Acorns pop beneath my feet,

Rebelling, I walk past lecture halls

And lessons.

I abandon should’s and should-nots and

Probably nevers.

 

I refuse the notion that my pen,

My words, my voice propels

The essence of my story.

I am not the harvest of so many pages

Or the culmination of book deals,

Digital friends and lurid likes.

 

I am not a soul-ish creature

But spirit filled and driven,

Spirit carried and consumed.

I am an artist and a canvas,

Both a creator and a lump of clay.

 

So, I let the warmth of sunlight

Bake my spirit firm.

Like autumn pies, rich with clove

Fragrance wafting from this open heart and

Weakened pen.

 

As soul melts and drips spirit

Back into this flesh-shell,

Abba bake me in the morning rays

Of Your exquisite love

And infinite purpose.

 

A purpose so profound,

It is only written on a softened heart.

A purpose of worship,

In words and notebooks, pens and pages

Hearts and humanity in right this minute.