My Parents as Teens in West Yorkshire in the 1950’s
– part 2 of my memoir “RESCUED. REDEEMED. RESTORED”
My parents were teenagers when they met. Two young kids from a small town in West Yorkshire, England. Theirs was a small town full of woollen mills and factories. Where most people eked out a small wage and dreams were even smaller. No one dared have lofty ideas of world travel and fame. Their thoughts were on paying rent and buying enough food for the day. Entertainment was a couple of beers at the local pub and, if they were fortunate enough to be able to save a few shillings, a bus trip to the seaside at Bank Holiday time.
Lyndon was seventeen. A young merchant seaman. The son of a coal merchant and a housekeeper. ‘Coal merchant’ may be a tad misleading if you envisioned a smart businessman in a suit, sitting behind a mahogany desk in a downtown office. My grandfather, Arthur, rode a horse and cart down the cobbled back streets, delivering coal to residents. He collected the coal from a depot in huge bags and tipped it into a hole at the back of the house (if there was a back of the house). The hole had a grate that he’d remove and replace when he’d done. The hole led to the cold, damp cellar. Then off he’d go to the next-door neighbour’s house to do the same. The horse dutifully stepping slowly down the tar-covered street. At the end of the day, they’d trot down to the field at the bottom of the row houses. The weary horse would be fed and patted, and told she was a ‘good lass’ before the weary old man shuffled home. It was a hard life, as were many in the small town in the Pennines.
Grandad Calvert also owned many single-car garages and rented those to residents of the row houses. Quite often, there would be a row of houses followed by a row of toilets, followed by a row of garages as time progressed. The houses were attached, often without a back door because there was another row of houses attached at the back. These were often referred to as ‘one-up one-down’ homes. The row of toilets were the same, back to back. Not a lot of privacy, and newspapers for toilet paper. At least we had an advantage during the Covid pandemic. We remembered what we learned as children–use the stock market page!
My father didn’t live with Grandad Calvert. When he was home from his tour of duty he lived with his mother, Edith, a housekeeper, and her sister, Ada, who didn’t work at the time. I don’t know if Ada ever had a job. I know the women worked the factories during the war effort but I don’t know if she worked anywhere after that. Funny how children just don’t feel the need to ask. Now, as an older woman myself, I wish I’d asked more while I still could.
~read the first episode of RESCUED. REDEEMED. RESTORED here~
And you can find more photos of 1950s England on my Pinterest board including a photo of an outdoor loo!
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
“She remembered the way she felt back then, lost and alone even though she had Tom and the children and all her friends supporting her. She’d slid into a dark place, one she felt trapped in and unable to climb out of. She’d called out to God but all she could say was His name. No prayers would come, no verses made sense. No hymns brought her comfort. She’d become a shell of herself and didn’t know how she would escape, let alone be well again. It was all so dark and terrifying in that place, alone, with no one – not even God. She felt abandoned by Him and didn’t know how to get back to Him or if she even wanted to. Her doctor prescribed a mild anti-depressant but it only served to make her frightfully euphoric.”
From the revision of my novel about lies and deception in a small town church. Have you ever felt like this yourself or helped someone through a similar dark time? My protagonist is a believer in Christ but still has these same dark thoughts and fears. How will she overcome them? Will she overcome them?
I wrote most of the description from my own personal experience. If you’re in a dark place right now, please seek professional help and if you’re a believer and follower of Christ, talk to your pastor about what you’re going through. Most importantly, talk honestly to God. He can take it. He’s your loving dad and wants you to tell Him how you’re feeling, even if you need to shout!
Read some experiences from other people who follow Christ and have gone through this too. An excellent book to read is Brett Ullman’s ebook “Reset”. I wrote a personal story in this. BUY IT ON AMAZON
Are you here for the first time? You can read previous Book Bites beginning here Book Bites 1.
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. The book also contains this Spiritual Gifts evaluation.
Many Blessings, my brothers and sisters as you live and serve in your giftedness.
Before you begin the Spiritual Gifts evaluation, you’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.
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.
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 –
Many Blessings, my brothers and sisters as you live and serve in your giftedness.
In my last blog, I wrote about the value of creating a playlist as you write and for your reader’s enjoyment as they read your books. I said I would share with you my playlist for ‘The Fellowship Of The King – a Christian Geek’s Guide to Kingdom Purpose’. Well, here it is. If you’d like to buy the book to go along with it you can get it from Amazon.
The book is a guide to discovering what your purpose may be for God’s kingdom while you’re here on earth; your royal assignment and quests, what God has laid on your heart to do for others, and the personality, experiences and natural abilities He gave you to accomplish those quests. Quizzes and note pages are included.
‘The Fellowship Of The King’
The first few songs are for the introduction to Kingdom Purpose as we go about our daily lives. Axe or Sword starts the second part of the book which takes you on a journey to discover who you may be in a fantasy realm and what the king there would ask you to do as a Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Nord or Imperial (with leeway to choose any other race you’re familiar with).
The book has note pages to write down what you discover and blank pages for your artistic talent to shine as you imagine yourself in another world. If you would like some inspiration for that, check out my Pinterest board on The Fellowship Of The King.
PLAYLIST titles and artists
Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) – by Chris Tomlin
There and Back Again – by Chris Daughtry
Bring Me to Life – by Evanescence
These Dreams – by Heart
The Kingdom – by Starfield
Desert Song – by Hillsong
Only King Forever – by Elevation Worship
Mighty Warrior – by Elevation Worship
Axe or Sword? – from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Ring Goes South – from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The White Tree – from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Medallion Calls – from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Concerning Hobbits – from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
(For Mountain Dwarves)
Durin’s Folk – from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
(For Deep Dwarves)
The Bridge of Khazad Dum – from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
(For High Elves)
Evenstar – from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(For Wood Elves)
Vox – by Sarah McLachlan
(For Grey Elves)
Breath of Life – from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Minas Tirith – from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
No Quarter – by Led Zeppelin
I managed to find videos to go along with these by simply googling the title+video, but because of copyright laws, I can’t add them here. Those of you who are tech savvy will hopefully be able to create a playlist on your device.
If you think any other songs would fit the playlist, you’re welcome to add them in the comments. Enjoy!
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image with an imagination that invites you to take a step beyond.
“Do you ever dream of being more than you are? Being a super-hero who can do marvellous feats for others and for God? Someone who can vanquish evil by a spoken word? Well- You Are! …We are all part of something bigger than ourselves; a supernatural world which exists parallel to ours and which few of us see but which interacts with ours in a constant battle for Mankind.”
This is the introduction to my new book —
‘The Fellowship of The King – A Christian Geek’s Guide to Kingdom Purpose‘
Click the book to find out more.
Find Your Christian Life Purpose
What on earth does that mean? That’s a leading question because not all of the book is about this earthly realm. Half of it is about youin a differentrealm! The first part of the book is discovering how God uniquely designed you before you were born, to be an ambassador (a representative) for His Kingdom. How He gave you specific natural abilities, a specific personality, and ultimately Spiritual Gifts chosen for you to carry out the assignments He has for you on earth—should you chose to accept them.
Find Your Fantasy Alter-Ego
The second part of the book is a fun spin about who you might be in a fantasy realm, your uniqueness translating into a world of fiction and what your missions would be there for the king. It takes you through discovering your race, your choice of weapons, your class (occupation), creating a shield, and your code for the kingdom. Who do think you would be and what mission would you accept for the king?
The book’s a prelude to my upcoming Speculative Fiction novels set in a fantasy realm but written from a Christian perspective. More about those in the coming weeks.
I wrote this book with my son, Benjamin T. Collier, also a published author, who writes amazing novels of fantasy and science fiction (mum’s bragging rights). We had a lot of fun writing this together and putting the different aspects of humankind and fantasy characteristics together to explore the seen universe and the unseen realms of fantasy. He’s the one who wrote most of the second part of the book, and a good friend of ours, Kirstie Shanks, designed the cover and the artwork. It’s a blessing to be able to work with such talented people who are dear to me and follow after God.
If you’re not inclined to geekdom yourself hopefully you’ll still enjoy the reality half of the book and discover what God has for you in His divine wisdom. It also makes a great gift for a geeky friend. The ensuing conversations could be quite hilarious! You may find you have more in common than you think.
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image—and remember:
“Biblical [Christian] Speculative Fiction is speculative fiction which uses Christian themes and incorporates the Christian worldview…” — Wikipedia.
In many of the modern Christian fiction novels, the characters are mainly Christian and act on guidance from God with no overt or miraculous divine intervention. There is almost always a non-Christian character who eventually becomes ‘born again’ and the emphasis is biblical and doctrinal, as in Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’Left Behind series. It differs greatly from speculations on the Bible and Christianity found in fictional work such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
An example of a story which portrays a biblical and doctrinal emphasis but also features miraculous intervention would be Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness which features demons, angels, and spiritual warfare.
So, in a nutshell, Christian Speculative Fiction is any fiction genre which gives a Christian worldview and can incorporate fantasy, science-fiction, dystopia, and other genres which invite us to connect with our Christian beliefs ‘outside the box’.
In the last few years, new venues have opened for the Christian Speculative Fiction genre. More recently, Enclave Publishing (formerly Marcher Lord Press) and LoreHaven have created a platform for writers of Christian Speculative Fiction.
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image, which includes that magnificent imagination of yours.
I’m currently updating my first published book, an autobiography as a mother with an autistic child. My son, Benjamin, was non-verbal as a small child and was later identified as having High-Functioning Autism. He is now a published author and speaks at churches and schools about his experience growing up with autism. You can still get a copy of the first edition but some of the links in the resources are outdated. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction of the book.
Where do you go to, My Sunshine?
“You have the most beautiful blue eyes, my handsome baby boy. Why can’t I see you behind them? Where do you go when your eyes wander away from me?
I hold you in my arms and stroke your tiny face, run my fingers through the yellow strands falling across your brow and I search for a glimpse of soul connection, but you are nowhere to be found.
If I let go of your small hand you’ll run away or you’ll walk in an endless straight line and not care where you’re going. You won’t see the people on the path in front of you or the tree that blocks your way. You won’t run excited to play with the other children on the swings because they’re not there in your world.
We walk by the lake. I point at the birds, gracefully gliding, skimming over the lapping waves. A young puppy barks and, for an instant, I see a puzzled frown on your tiny forehead, then it’s gone.
I show you the delicate, colourful blue petals of the Forget-Me-Not and we stop for a while to listen to the rustling of the birch. But you walk where I walk and stop when I stop only because I hold on tightly to your little fingers so you don’t slide down the bank and disappear. You have no response to these wonders around you.
I tell you how God made all these things. How He loves you and created you as part of His masterpiece too. How you have a purpose inthis life and how I’ll do my best as your Mummy to help you find that purpose He has planned for you. But you don’t seem to hear a word. You just stare into the distance.
We walk back on the path and I sing to you “Forever Young.” You don’t sing along or dance in circles around me giggling. But oh how I love you my Sunshine.
Where do you go to, my sweet baby boy, when your eyes wander away from me and you’re lost in your autistic world.”
The first edition is available from Amazon at a super discounted price:
A few years ago I wrote a personal story in Brett Ullman’s book, Reset. I’d like to share that story with you as I look forward to the new focus of my blog. All the stories in this book are about personal struggles and how the writers moved forward with a new perspective. Brett includes his own story of a dark time in his life.
You can follow Brett’s blog about his work with teens and their families and receive the book for free, or go to Amazon to purchase it:
“Brett Ullman travels North America speaking to teens, young adults, leaders and parents on topics including sexuality, mental health, men, dating and media. Brett’s seminars engage and challenge attendees to try and connect our ancient faith with the modern culture we live in. Participants are inspired to reflect on what we know, what we believe and how our faith ought to serve as the lens through which we view and engage tough conversations in our society today.” – Brett’s blog.
Till Next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
(note: I’m an Amazon affiliate and receive a small fee for using their images when I promote someone’s work.)
In my first blog post of this series I told you about my transition from blogging about writing, I wrote about how I discovered my Kingdom Purpose. In my second blog post, I wrote about how God created all of us with a Unique Design. So in this third and final blog in this series of my transition, I’d like to show you how God put both of those together to shape a wonderful future for me.
My Ministry at Church and in the Community
I no longer try to serve at church or in the community in a position I’m not gifted for nor have the natural talents to carry out. Having said that, if there is ever a time when no one else with the gifting or ability to do a certain task is available, I will do my best to muddle through because ‘Helps’ is one of my stronger gifts. But it will, most likely, be a muddle. I volunteered to serve in the kitchen once – and only once!
Coaching and hosting workshops is my ministry in the church as a life coach (my gift of encouragement) and workshop host on various subjects I’ve learned through the years. This utilizes my personal experiences to help others go through similar times in their own lives.
At my church, I started the SHAPE ministry using Erik Rees’ videos and study guide. I enjoyed this immensely, though I was not expecting to be the team lead and I don’t have the gift of leadership. But other leaders and helpers I worked alongside were wonderful and because of their patience with me, we managed to work well as a team. I was overjoyed to see many participants realize God’s purpose for their lives too. The coach in me was thrilled to hear someone say she realized God had been calling her to the worship team.
I don’t like being a leader, (did you get that impression?) and I don’t like public speaking, but I know God wants me to share what I experienced with others so they may experience the same joy I have been blessed to experience. So I’ve led workshops at women’s retreats and women’s groups such as MOPS where I can sit on a stool, and it’s ok to speak from notes. I like to have the participants interact and have fun, and it saves them from listening to me ramble for an hour. God opened these doors for me to share and I’m happy to do that rather than be the keynote speaker.
My Service Through Business
White Rose Writersis a website for writers and authors, and writing service providers to connect with others in the business. I started the website to help authors promote their work, and we now have talented artists, editors, social media experts and more, who use their natural talents to help authors publish their work. Starting this was my service to God’s Kingdom here on Earth through helping writers.
My Long Term Assignments:
Coaching in an office was good training but turned out to be only a temporary assignment for me. I had offices in two locations, but God closed those doors after only 10 months. He had a broader clientele for me.
Now I coach here on my LynneCollier.com and through White Rose Writers, and occasionally host workshops through business and church venues.
I write about what I have a passion for; my Lord, my simple life in the country, my coaching. This is my second (actually more like fourth or fifth) career later in life, and it was a bit of a struggle at first to accept that this is what God is asking me to do now. I never saw myself as an author. But now I write novels of fantasy and fiction, and online courses to help authors tell their stories well. I can’t imagine not writing now. I get very cranky if I have to go a day without writing something. I would never have guessed.
I wonder what God has in store for me next. Do you know how God has designed you?
When I forget: 1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” – NIV
Till next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.