Friday, July 8, 2016

For Many are Called, but Few are Chosen: A Writer’s Guide from the Gospel of Matthew by Christina Miller




Christina Miller

As a pastor’s wife and worship leader, my friend has a heart for ministry. As an author, Christina Miller has also traveled the road to publication. Is there a difference between being called and being chosen? What do you think? 
~ Dawn

For Many are Called, but Few are Chosen: A Writer’s Guide from the Gospel of Matthew

Has God called you to write? I sensed the call of God on my work several years before I sold a book. I’ve met many writers who tell me, “God has called me to write, but I get nothing but rejections from agents and editors. What am I doing wrong?”

Sometimes, I sense God asking me to offer them this verse from Matthew’s gospel: “Many are called, but few are chosen.” The writer always answers, “I know I’m called. How do I get God to choose me for a book contract?”

I used to think I had no control over what God decided. But as I considered this verse, I realized I was wrong.

Years ago, I heard the keynote speaker at an ACFW conference say, “Most of you in this room will never sell a book.” At that time, I was among the unchosen, and those words hurt. But they made me think about Matthew 22:14, and this is what I discovered:

God does the calling, but it’s up to us to get chosen. 

For example, if you ask your child to bring you a glass of water, you’ve called him to serve you. If he says yes and brings you the water, he has then chosen himself for the job.

Becoming a chosen one involves two things: suffering and sacrifice. Your child sacrificed the game he was playing and served you a glass of water instead. Likewise, we must sacrifice in order to become chosen: spend the time and money needed to learn our craft, critique for others, and give up TV, movies, coloring books, Facebook, and any other unprofitable pursuit that wastes our time.

But one sacrifice will help a called one to become a chosen one: spending one hour a day (Matthew 26:40) obeying Matthew 6:6 (NKJV):“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Closing the door to our room is like going behind the veil in the temple. We enter the secret place of prayer, where our Father waits for us to come in and spend time with Him. In the secret place, ask Him for new ideas for your book, tell Him where your plot or characters seem stuck, pray for favor with your targeted editor and agent. But most of all, make sure He knows you (Matthew 7:23). Tell Him how you feel about the issues in your life today. What made you smile yesterday? Share it with Him. What do you need His help with today?

The secret place is where we go to seek God’s face and worship Him. Then we leave with His favor—on our way to becoming a chosen one.





Returning home, Confederate hero Colonel Graham Talbot faces his toughest battle yet—avoiding the marriage-minded young ladies in town vying for his attentions. With a stepmother and orphaned niece to support, the penniless soldier has no intention of marrying. Neither does the woman he once loved, his next-door neighbor Ellie Anderson. But Ellie has a proposal of her own: a pretend courtship to keep their unwanted admirers at bay.

Ellie's unpredictable childhood left her determined to safeguard her independence—and her plantation. Blaming herself for driving Graham away to war, she devises a plan to help them both. But when it goes awry, Ellie will face a choice: save her beloved property…or trust in a relationship that's becoming undeniably real.




Christina Miller has always lived in the past. Her passion for history began with her grandmother’s stories of 1920s rural southern Indiana. When Christina began to write fiction, she believed God was calling her to write what she knew: history.

Bethany College of Missions graduate, pastor’s wife, and worship leader, she lives on the family’s farm with her husband of twenty-eight years and Sugar, their talking dog.




15 comments:

  1. Christina, what a wonderful sentence to remember: "God does the calling, but it’s up to us to get chosen." Reminds me of a similar thought I've heard several times: "God helps the sailor, but he still must row." Thanks for sharing this post with us.

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    1. This is Christy. :) Thank you, Richard, for the kind words! Yes, we must row that boat! Love that!

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  2. Christina, this is wonderful advice. You've opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at things. Thank you!

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    1. This is Christy. How kind of you to say so! Thanks for having me here today!

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  3. What a great post! I know I'm called to write. But I often forget to get chosen. It's time to do some sacrificing, close the door on my room and have a talk with the Father. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. This is Christy. Thank you, Shelley! We all need occasional reminders to get in the Secret Place with Jesus! I'm amazed that He even wants to meet with me. He is awesome!

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  4. Well said, Christy. Thank you for this encouragement and challenge.

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    1. This is Christy. Thanks for stopping by, Kathy, and for your sweet words!

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  5. So happy for you, Christy! Just stopping by to "heckle" but you had a great post! Love it.

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    1. This is Christy. I don't know who you are, Lollipops, but I must know you, since you came to heckle me as I invited all my Facebook friends to do! :) Thank you for the encouraging words! (Sure wish I knew who I am thanking! Hahahahaha!)

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing your words of wisdom, Christy. This line has been sticking with me: "God does the calling, but it’s up to us to get chosen."

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    1. This is Christy. Thank you, Dawn, for inviting me here today! What fun!

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  7. Heckle heckle. :) I Christy. This is such an encouraging post and so true. I belong to two writers groups and half of the members want to be published but they rarely write or study the craft. I've even worked with new writers and we'll plot out their book and when I check with them later they've been too busy to work on it.
    writing is hard work and yes, you have to give up something to make it happen. We have to be ready when God gives us the opportunity. It took me many years to get published and I know how long and hard you've worked before you were finally chosen. I also know how hard you've worked. God Bless you. See you soon. :)

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    1. This is Christy. Lori, thanks for stopping by to heckle! 😉 I know it's hard, when we haven't sold yet, to keep making that sacrifice. But as you and I found out, it's worth it! I'm so glad your new writers have you to help them! Can't wait to see you Nashville!

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  8. Hi, this is Christina Miller, but you can call me Christy. I apologize for being late in answering! We had a death in our church and I have been busy getting things ready for the funeral dinner tomorrow. And when I tried to comment, the ID came up as my husband's name. So when you see "anonymous," that is me! :)

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