Through my writing career, I’ve discovered a quick and easy way to create a short story or info book in about ten hours. So Kirstie (my digital designer) and I have been busy putting together five new workbooks for authors of stories and writers of nonfiction and we’re ready to launch the first one!
It takes approximately ten hours to write enough content for your book plus a short revision and you’ll be ready to publish. We’ve added worksheets to help you brainstorm and posters to inspire you as you write. We even give tips on marketing so you’ll be off to a great start right after you hit ‘launch’. The best part is you probably have enough content on your social media platforms already, you just need to organize it into a publishable book.
Here’s another Book Bite from the novel I’m writing. The working title is ‘Lies and Deception’ about a small town church in rural Canada. In this scene, Maddie suspects something’s wrong at the house of their new friends when she catches a sickly smirk out of the corner of her eye. She convinces her husband to leave.
“Unsure if she actually saw what she thought she saw, Maddie flung the door open and almost tripped down the steps. Running to the car she shouted to Tom, “Go! Go!” Tom was bewildered by her behavior but decided the best thing he could do was just leave and hopefully she’d explain herself later. Maddie glanced in the mirror to see Carter in the doorway, watching her intently. That same sickly smirk on his face.”
I wrote my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2018 and I hope you’ll keep in touch as I continue my revisions.
If you missed the other Book Bites you can catch up here.
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
Here’s another Book Bite from the novel I’m writing. The working title is ‘Lies and Deception’ about a small town church in rural Canada. In this scene, the protagonist, Maddie, has just been introduced to a new character and is sitting in their living room, admiring her grandmother’s antique brooch. She begins to feel a little uncomfortable.
“I feel a draft.” Maddie frowned slightly and looked around the room to see if a window was possibly open. She drew her shawl around her shoulders and admired her grandmother’s brooch adorning the cashmere shawl. It was a family heirloom and she seldom wore it but today she felt she should try to make conversation with the young mother and the brooch always brought a compliment and a smile from admirers.”
I hope you’ll stay tuned as I continue my revisions.
If you missed the first Book Bite you can catch up here.
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
I really like previews of an upcoming movie, don’t you? They usually get me excited for the release of it in theatres and I immediately start planning when I’ll go. I’m revising the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo and I thought you might like a few Book Bites before it’s published, like a movie preview but without all the noise. I hope you enjoy them!
This one’s near the beginning of the story and introduces two main characters, Maddie and Tom. The working title is ‘Lies and Deception’, set in a small town church in rural Canada.
“Maddie and Tom pulled onto the circular driveway of the large home, barely missing a pink trike, and parked beside what they decided was the side door. The front entrance looked like a door only the prime minister would use with its tall, ornate, double glass doors and huge planter urns. Maddie decided the side door was more appropriate seeing as she hadn’t worn her ballgown.”
If that didn’t quite grab your attention, stay tuned. I’ll be posting more Book Bites as I revise. (Follow along here)
If you follow along I’ll also have a playlist for you before my book’s published too. I love playlists!
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
Your characters have a backstory, a personal history that will shape their life in your novel. They have childhoods, education, loves, conflicts, careers. All of these must be present in your character building for you to see where you need to foreshadow an event. When the event happens, your reader should be able to look back and think, “Oh ya, I kinda saw that coming”, but still be blown away when it happens.
Keeping Track of Where Your Characters Have Been
To keep track of the timeline in your novel use a paper calendar with large squares, create one online using excel or an app, or use sticky notes. If you have room, put these on your office wall. If something epic happens to Lucy on Friday, you need to leave ‘Easter Eggs’ (metaphorically) or have Lucy experience something similar before the epic event. Put a few ‘Easter Eggs’ in the days, months or years leading up to the event. This gets the reader anticipating something and committed to turning the page.
Examples of Foreshadowing
It doesn’t matter that your protagonist was a ballerina as a child unless she’s a ballerina when we meet her in the story as an adult, or there was a traumatic dancing accident which will haunt her throughout her life and shape her future. The foreshadow leads to an event or a realization in her life later.
One of my favourite old movies is Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? A nasty crotchety old woman is just plain mean to everyone. You have to know there’s something in her past that made her change from the beautiful little girl she used to be. As the story progresses, we see her relationship with her sister whom she lives with and cares for. It’s in the dialogue and flashbacks that we learn what happened to Baby Jane.
By far one of the best movies of foreshadowing is Sixth Sense written by M. Night Shyamalan. The entire movie is leading the viewer creepily towards a shocking truth. I didn’t see it coming until near the end. I believed everything until then and was blown away by the ending. I had to go back and watch it again to get all the clues that were left like tiny breadcrumbs. Now that’s foreshadowing at its best!
Where do you need to add a breadcrumb of information that will have your reader saying, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming! Wait – yes I did!”
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
On the following pages, you’ll find the Spiritual Gifts Evaluation. Complete it to find out which Spiritual Gifts God may have given to you.
As you willingly accept your gifts from God, ask Him to reveal to you how He wants to use them to accomplish the special assignments He has for you to fulfil your purpose for His Kingdom on Earth.
Legal Stuff you need to know –
You may print out this evaluation for your own personal use or in a group setting but the evaluation is copyrighted as it’s been published in a book, so please don’t use it for any monetary gain such as asking a fee from others to use it or copying it into another book for publishing purposes. If you’re unsure if you can use it for a purpose other than those, please send me a short comment on my website and I’ll be happy to help. (Helps – one of my gifts!)
Are you ready to unwrap your Spiritual Gifts?
Let’s begin –
How much do you agree with each statement? Be totally honest as you are right now, not as you want to be. God can use you right now for His Kingdom, so start where you are now in your life – warts and all! Hold on to the person you want to be – that person will emerge as you seek God with all your heart and trust His leadership. You may see other gifts unwrap as you grow in your faith. Put your answer beside each statement. And don’t be shy – if you know you fit the statement – say it with confidence in the realization that it’s not anything you’ve done, but what God has done through you. Give Him all the glory!
Score as 0 = Not at all. 1 = Sometimes. 2 = Often. 3 = Usually. 4 = Almost always.
__ Q1. I effectively organize people and projects to reach goals in ministry and work.
__ Q2. I have specific plans for reaching defined goals.
__ Q3. I easily delegate tasks in order to make things run more smoothly.
__ Q4. I seek out opportunities to make decisions.
__ Q5. I understand what must be done to accomplish a goal.
__ Q6. I feel driven to start new projects for God.
__ Q7. I enjoy new challenges and taking risks.
__ Q8. I enjoy making a difference in other peoples’ lives.
__ Q9. I would like to work as Christ’s ambassador.
__ Q10. I am willing to work hard to see churches reach their full potential.
__ Q11. I can usually tell right away what a person’s character and abilities are.
__ Q12. I usually know if something is from God, Satan or human.
__ Q13. I recognize inconsistencies in people.
__ Q14. I realize peoples’ true motives for doing something.
__ Q15. I perceive when something is twisted in communication.
__ Q16. I am driven to impact other peoples’ lives for Christ.
__ Q17. I rejoice with people who have put their trust in the Lord in difficult times.
__ Q18. I seek out opportunities to help people reach their full potential for Christ.
__ Q19. I like to be able to inspire people and encourage them.
__ Q20. I rejoice at other people’s success.
__ Q21. I seek out opportunities to bridge the gap between myself and people not of my faith.
__ Q22. I sense when a person is open to the message of salvation.
__ Q23. I have helped many people come to faith in Christ.
__ Q24. I believe love, not logic, wins people to Christ.
__ Q25. I’m deeply burdened for those who don’t know Christ.
__ Q26. I welcome taking risks for God.
__ Q27. I get excited by overcoming obstacles by faith.
__ Q28. I readily accept a challenge that seems like a ‘mission impossible’.
__ Q29. I have a passionate prayer life.
__ Q30. I have a great sense that God is in control of all things.
__ Q31. I eagerly give more than the ten percent tithe in my offering.
__ Q32. I usually give anonymously when I can.
__ Q33. I look for ways I can increase my income in order to give more to the church.
__ Q34. I see my resources as belonging to God so I give beyond what is asked of me.
__ Q35. I know everything belongs to God and I am a steward of His bounty.
__ Q36. I firmly believe that people can be healed supernaturally.
__ Q37. I pray specifically to be used by God to heal people.
__ Q38. I believe healing occurs only by God’s will.
__ Q39. I view medical science as a means God sometimes uses to heal people.
__ Q40. I give God all the glory when He uses me to bring healing to someone.
__ Q41. I like to serve behind the scenes.
__ Q42. I rejoice in the success of others.
__ Q43. I like attention to detail.
__ Q44. I seek out ways to assist others in their tasks.
__ Q45. I don’t need recognition for work I do.
__ Q46. I’m known for making people feel welcome and comfortable.
__ Q47. I seek out people who are alone in a crowd.
__ Q48. I have a strong desire to make people feel loved and accepted.
__ Q49. I see my home as belonging to God and welcome visitors in His name.
__ Q50. I try to promote fellowship in believers when I can.
__ Q51. I have a clear understanding of what the speaker is saying, even if the language is unknown to me.
__ Q52. I can translate messages in a way that edifies and exhorts believers.
__Q53. I am able to convey the meaning of words spoken by other believers to glorify God.
__ Q54. I am able to interpret messages when given by a speaker in a language unknown to the audience.
__ Q55. I am eager to interpret when someone starts speaking in an unknown language.
__ Q56. I devote much of my time to reading scripture.
__ Q57. I love to share biblical insights.
__ Q58. I love to help others understand God’s Word.
__ Q59. I feel strong benefits from studying the Bible.
__ Q60. I delight in answering difficult questions about scripture to glorify God.
__ Q61. I motivate others to work towards accomplishing visions for the future of the church.
__ Q62. I am naturally drawn into leadership roles.
__ Q63. I find it easy to inspire people to work together for the benefit of God’s kingdom.
__ Q64. I easily see the vision for the church.
__ Q65. I am happy to release responsibility to others who are qualified.
__ Q66. I am drawn to meeting the practical needs of others.
__ Q67. I devote much prayer time for the sake of others.
__ Q68. I grieve with those who grieve.
__ Q69. I generally place the needs of others above my own needs.
__ Q70. I feel fulfilled when I visit the sick, homeless, orphans or those in nursing homes.
__ Q71. I recognize prayer as a supernatural way God acts in the lives of people.
__ Q72. I give credit to God alone for supernatural works.
__ Q73. I fully understand it is by God’s will only that miracles happen.
__ Q74. I believe I am an instrument for God’s work on Earth.
__ Q75. When I encounter an impossible situation, I pray and look to God for His will.
__ Q76. I feel driven to help others reach their full potential in Christ.
__ Q77. I look for opportunities to serve others.
__ Q78. I enjoy developing a trusting relationship with a small group of people.
__ Q79. I am happy to give my time to help people with their spiritual needs.
__ Q80. I believe people take precedence over projects.
__ Q81. I am known for communicating God’s Word.
__ Q82. I enjoy sharing my strong biblical convictions with others.
__ Q83. I view myself as an instrument to be used by the Holy Spirit to change lives.
__ Q84. I find it easy to confront others’ motives if they don’t live up to biblical standards.
__ Q85. I frequently receive and share messages from God which comfort and challenge His people.
__ Q86. I spend many hours studying scripture in order to apply the truth.
__ Q87. I enjoy explaining God’s Word to others.
__ Q88. I seek out opportunities to speak biblical truth and principles into situations.
__ Q89. I enjoy helping people learn to study scripture.
__ Q90. I believe God’s Word can be effectively taught by several means.
__ Q91. I believe God prompts me to convey His messages through a language I don’t know.
__ Q92. I often pray for others in utterances using an unknown language.
__ Q93. I desire opportunities to pray for the church in an unknown language which I believe glorifies God.
__ Q94. I share words and messages given to me by God, using an unknown language.
__ Q95. I often comfort or encourage others using an unknown language inspired by God.
__ Q96. I enjoy speaking biblical insights into life situations.
__ Q97. I am often sought out by others for advice or wisdom.
__ Q98. I take great pleasure in counselling others.
__ Q99. I am known for making correct decisions and judgements.
__ Q100. I recognize God as the primary source of all wisdom.
Now tally your results:
Qs 1-5 =
Qs 6-10 =
Qs 11-15 =
Qs 16-20 =
Qs 21-25 =
Qs 26-30 =
Qs 31-35 =
Qs 36-40 =
Qs 41-45 =
Qs 46-50 =
Qs 51-55 =
Qs 56-60 =
Qs 61-65 =
Qs 66-70 =
Qs 71-75 =
Qs 76-80 =
Qs 81-85 =
Qs 86-90 =
Qs 91-95 =
Qs 96-100 =
Now record your highest marks and discover which Gifts God may have blessed you with.
Record your highest three scores. Your supportive scores are listed as your fourth, fifth and sixth.
If you score the same on more than one Gift, write them on the same line then go to the next score.
If you scored the highest on Qs 1-5 it means you likely have the Spiritual Gift of Administration, and so on;
Administration is the Gift which serves and strengthens the body of Christ by effectively organizing resources and people in order to efficiently reach ministry goals.
Apostleship is the Gift which God uses to launch and lead new ministries to expand His kingdom.
Discernment recognizes truth or error within a message, person or event.
Encouragement helps others to live a godly life through inspiration, counselling, and empowerment.
Evangelism is the Gift that enables believers who are blessed to share the love of Christ in a way which draws people to accept the gift of salvation.
Faith helps those who have this Gift to see God’s purposes accomplished; trusting God to overcome all obstacles.
Giving encourages people to joyfully offer more than the usual tithe to further God’s kingdom.
Healing restores health beyond traditional and natural means, to those who are sick and suffering.
Helping offers assistance to others in reaching their goals that glorify God, without thought for their own gratification.
Hospitality provides others with a welcoming environment for fellowship and comfort.
Interpretation is the Gift which understands a message from God spoken in a language unknown to them or others in attendance.
Knowledge is the ability to communicate God’s truth to others for the purpose of promoting justice, honesty, and understanding.
Leadership is given to believers to relay visions of God’s will for spiritual growth and achieving specific goals.
Mercy is the ability to minister to those who suffer physically, emotionally, spiritually, or relationally. Their acts are characterized by their love, compassion, and kindness.
Miracles are supernatural acts that bring validity to God and His power.
Pastoring is the responsibility taken for a group of believers to equip them in Christ-centered living.
Prophecy offers messages from God that comfort, encourage, warn, and reveal truths that lead to repentance and spiritual growth.
Teaching is imparting sound doctrine in relevant ways, empowering people to grow in their faith.
Tongues communicates God’s message in a special language unknown to the speaker.
Wisdom is making wise decisions and counselling others with sound advice in accordance with God’s will.
Now you have an idea of the Spiritual Gifts God may have given you, pray for His will and guidance to use your gifts for His glory and to serve others, as you minister to them in love that flows from Christ.
How Do We Use Our Spiritual Gifts?
If you try out a gift and it doesn’t seem to ‘fit’ go on to your next gift and pray for clarity.
It will help you most if you have, or can find, a local church or one online which preaches the full gospel of our Lord Jesus. Together we build up each other, love and care for one another with the love of Jesus, and minister to the local and global community in His name. If you’re unable to find a local church, leave me a comment and I’ll send you the link to an online church.
A more comprehensive look at Spiritual Gifts and how we can use them to further God’s kingdom can be found in my book THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE KING –
Before we begin the Spiritual Gifts evaluation, we’ll need to understand what Spiritual Gifts are. These passages from scripture help us see how wonderful our Heavenly Father is, that He would give all His children such special gifts!
What Spiritual Gifts Are
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 New International Version (NIV)
4.” There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity.
What Spiritual Gifts Are Not
Because Spiritual Gifts are freely given by God, they cannot be earned or merited. Though working through individuals, they operate and are manifestations of the Holy Spirit, not of the gifted person. They are to be used for the benefit of others and are given to the church as a whole not given solely to individuals. There is diversity in their distribution because the purpose of a Spiritual Gift is to edify (build up), exhort (encourage), and comfort the church by each person using their gifts to glorify God and further His work on earth.
The Difference Between Spiritual Gifts, Natural Gifts and Acquired Talents
Natural gifts (abilities) are innately given by God to all mankind at birth through creation. Everyone has natural gifts even if they don’t recognize them or use them.
Acquired gifts are talents learned through education, training and experience. Most people have access to these at some point in their life.
Spiritual Gifts are given by God through His Spirit and are for the purpose of ministry. They can be developed over time to enable believers to make a unique contribution to the kingdom of God.
Who Gets Spiritual Gifts?
1 Corinthians 12:8-10 New International Version (NIV)
8 “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.”
Every believer, at the moment they accept Christ into their heart, receives at least one Spiritual Gift.
Do We All Get The Same Spiritual Gifts?
Romans 12:6-8 New International Version (NIV)
6 “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
Why Do We Get Spiritual Gifts?
Ephesians 4:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Do We Get More Than One Spiritual Gift?
Everyone receives at least one Spiritual Gift at the moment they receive Christ. Some may receive more than one. In this evaluation, we look at receiving multiple gifts and how they may be used together for God’s glory. If you think you only received one gift, ask other believers who know you what they’ve seen in your life since you met Christ. Be patient. You may only need one gift right now and possibly others will follow later.
What Do We Use Spiritual Gifts For?
1 Peter 4:9-11 New International Version (NIV)
9 “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
How Do Spiritual Gifts Differ From The Fruit Of The Spirit?
All believers are called to bear the ‘fruit’ of the Holy Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22).
Spiritual Gifts are about ‘doing’ while the ‘fruit’ of the Holy Spirit are about our character.
How Do We Unwrap Our Spiritual Gifts?
In my next blog post, you’ll find the Spiritual Gifts Evaluation. Complete it to find out which Spiritual Gifts God may have given to you.