Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Running the Race by Laura V. Hilton

Laura V. Hilton
Right now (when I’m writing this) we are right in the middle of National Novel Writing Month (otherwise known as NaNoWriMo). Writers all over the nation (maybe world) are writing crazy amounts of words every day, trying to finish an entire novel in a month.

Rough draft form, of course.

Writers are encouraged not to go back and edit. Not to fix mistakes, not to worry about telling versus showing or point of view, just get it on paper.

I have never participated in NaNoWriMo for several reasons. One reason (and probably the most important!) is that I don’t have time. I’m a mother of five, I homeschool, I’m a wife, etc etc etc. I can’t put life on hold, check out of a busy household and write without interruption for a month. No way, no how.

But another reason is that I’m a perfectionist. I like to go back and edit as I write. I’m compelled to do so, by my inner muse. I don’t write rough drafts, when I finish the book it is ready to go to the publisher, because I edit as I write.

The apostle Paul mentions running the race that is set before us: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)

In those verses, Paul makes a passing reference to “the cloud of witnesses.” Sure, Paul himself is going to be in that crowd some day, when we make our victory lap. Some of your favorite Bible heroes are going to be there; your loved ones will be there as well, cheering you on.

But that’s really all it is. It’s a passing reference. Because our eyes aren’t supposed to be on them. They aren’t supposed to be even on the course, itself.

Our eyes are supposed to be on Jesus.

The apostle Paul encouraged the Corinthian believers to a life of excellence:
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)

And in his letter to the Colossians, Paul exhorts the readers of his letter:
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)

Our focus, on whatever we say, or do, or even think, is supposed to be on the Lord God Almighty, and on our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are running for His glory; our rewards are going to come from Him.

But don’t do it for the rewards alone. Don’t even run the race primarily for the rewards, or to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Yeah, that’s going to be so awesome!

Finishing with another passage from Paul,
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. “ 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV)

Because when you cross that finish line, and you receive that reward, you are bringing glory and honor to your Heavenly Father.

I don’t know about you, but that’s motivation enough for me to run as hard as I can, for as long as I can, as best ever I can.

Because I love my Savior, my Lord, and my God. And He loves me.

I’m proud of my Heavenly Father. I want to brag on Him. I want to boast about Him. And when I cross that finish line, I’m going to be able to point to him and tell the world, “That’s my Heavenly Father. He’s the one who helped me run so well!”

Dear Lord, when I get discouraged, help me to keep pressing on. Amen.

About the Author

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also has two adult children.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Bird House in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Connect with Laura
visit her blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/ & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

The Bird House
The Bird House
by Laura V. Hilton
Twenty–year–old Greta Miller's daed has been injured in a farming accident during the summer. The supportive Amish community tries to help out, but Greta and her sister must work outside the home to make ends meet, and so Greta rents a booth at the farmers' market. Because Greta is still in her rumspringa and free to explore the world, her family selects her to sell her homemade jams, jellies, and preserves to Englischers. Josh Yoder wants to court Greta, but years ago, he made the mistake of rejecting her during a seemingly innocent game; which resulted in him leaving the Amish. Three years later, he's back, but Greta wants nothing to do with him. Josh struggles to fit in and rebuild relationships he destroyed. Knowing Greta's family needs help, he steps in, hoping to win her back. When Greta admires one of his birdhouses, he gives it to her, hoping that it will open the door to more. But as their friendship begins to grow, a series of unfortunate events pull Greta away from the Amish, leaving her rejected by those she loves. Will Greta get beyond her family's distrust and return home? Will she prove her innocence? Or will she remain outside her Amish community?

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