Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
What exactly, are the things that can entangle us?
My life has been set on a course. I no longer question or argue about the direction I believe the Lord has set me on. In my books, I write about walking the Path. Why? Because, I've struggled to find mine, and even more, have struggled to stay on it.
You think Alyra is bad about wandering off?
I write her that way she is for a reason. And yes, I'm chuckling as I'm typing this.
In my life, I can be walking (strutting) along just fine, doing my thing, working hard on my books, taking care of my family, and just living life. But then things (life, writing, family, ect) comes to a curve, or begins to turn upward disappears into the misty heights. And I'll stumble. I hesitate. I swear, it never fails.
Really, what's that about, anyway? Those annoying curves, and dips, and ... stuff?
I stop and throw up my hands in frustration. Now what? This isn't in my "Plan". You know? I even cry and kick dirt clods around in my frustration.
What I should do, and wish I would without hesitation, is to just keep going. It sounds so simple. But it's not. At least, not in the midst of a temper tantrum. (I'm chuckling again- because we know when we're kicking and fussing, there's no walking going on.)
When I finally sit down beside the road to think things over (pout and groan) I end up coming to the same staggering conclusion: Jesus endured so much more. SO much more.
And if I really knew him as I should, then I would keep going. And not allow myself to get bogged down with dragging along a load of junk (questions and insecurities). Nor would I falter and trip when I'm unsure about where that next turn will lead me.
I'd know he only has my best interest at heart. If I would keep my eyes on him, and not the twisting turns, or the fog that makes it hard to see ahead, then I'd be able to accomplish amazing feats because he's right there leading and cheering me on.
Come on. He's a good God. Don't you agree? He's a good God who has good plans, good purposes, good thoughts for us.
No, it's not a straight road I need. The things that hinder aren't necessarily the circumstances of my life. Nor are they always rooted in sin. More often, they stem from my faulty beliefs, my thought processes, and the fears and doubts I've allowed to clutter my heart.
Doubts concerning who I'm serving and who I am in the Lord will drag down my spirit.
Fear stemming from a disbelief in His truths that I can find in the Bible if I'll only take the time to look.
Both attach to my heart and cause my steps to flounder.
These things must be cast aside so I can run with endurance, as Jesus did on a daily basis. Even when he faced the cross. I don't have to face a cross, or humiliation, or even death. Normally, I'm just trying to make it through an average day, week, and month.
With him, all things are possible. With him, listening to him, spending time and getting closer to him, nothing can hinder me. I'll know I'm a daughter of the living God. And in that, I can stand firm. I can walk with confidence, even when the path ahead isn't clear and the terrain becomes a little rough.
Father God, remind me of the things that hinder me from being all you've created me to be. Help me to cast them aside so I can run with less resistance. May I keep my eyes on you. Not the mile markers. Not the turns. Only you. I pray that my focus will be on you first, so everything else can just fall into place. Amen.
These little clips have been resurrected from a devotional blog I did way back when. I've revamped them and will be posting a new one every Friday for a while.
Well, unless I'm busy and forget. That happens.
Hope you enjoy them. Leave a comment if you do.
Blessings and Peace - Be a light in your world, wherever that is.
Good Night, as Haley Madison would say... Is half the year already gone by?
Ugh, never mind. Yes, time is flying for me, and I've been working like crazy to get more books out for those who are interested in reading them.
But this month, I'm heavy in edits.
First- The White Road Chronicles books
I know people want to know about the last White Road Chronicles...
That will be my summer project. I'm working on an outline. Meaning I'm jotting notes and scenes. They come at me kind of scattered, and I have to piece them all together.
It's crazy but it works.
I've been needing to update the edits I have for Ransom - the third installment of The White Road Tales.
Once I get that done, I'll add that last book to an expanded distribution for those who have Kobo, B&N, ibooks and whatever else- can now get a copy of the story.
And it's a little more intense than the original version. Which leads me to Illuminated. I'm working on that story, too, since Ransom and Illuminated overlap in a few scenes. If you've not read any of them, Illuminated is told from Alyra's point of view and Ransom (along with all the White Road Tales novellas) are told from Tarek's point of view.
Though there are not any major plot changes (The story is still the same story) I'm trying to up the tension a little and develop Alyra's character a little better.
Anyway, here's what I'll do when I get Illuminated completely done... Because many of you have already read it and Amazon doesn't always push through an update. (I'll have to check on this)
What I'm going to do is share Illuminated in my newsletter. Probably in two or three installments.
So, if you are interested in reading the revised version, sign up for my emails and keep an eye out for it some time this fall.
If you're already signed up for Jackie Castle's Story World, make sure you've told your email browser that I'm not spam. =)
Also, concerning The White Road books, Luminosity is currently with an editor. Soon, I'll have a cleaner version with a new cover up. There will be no changes to Luminosity. But when you see a new cover, you'll know it's been given an edit.
Second - The Madison Creek Bed and Breakfast
I've finished the first draft of the second installment in this fun, small town series. Haley and Ethan from Snow Belle are back in Raining Fools, and have a big secret they're trying hard to keep from Ethan's sister Bekka and his best friend, Stephen. But then, Bekka has a secret she doesn't want anyone to know. And Stephen has a secret that could ruin everything he's trying to work for. Not to mention it might cost him his one and only friend, Ethan Winters. And I think we all know that hiding things is just foolishness.
This is turning out to be more of an inspirational contemporary than just a romance. It's also way too big at the moment. So I'll also be spending this month in revising and editing and trying to make sense of the hot mess my stories can sometimes be at first.
I'm going to offer an Advanced Reader Review of this story in my newsletter this summer. As I complete the edits, I'll post the book in three installments. More on that to come soon. There's a link below where you can sign up for my newsletters if you've not done that before.
Finally - The Sentinel Archives
The next story probably won't come out until early next year. However, Through the Portal is in the process of being put to Audio. And it's going to be fantastic. As this gets closer to being completed, I'll give you more information. I'm so excited about this, though. It's my first venture into audio and I think this is the best book for it.
So, I'm keeping really busy. I'm trying to keep up with posting, and sending out newsletters. But I've lagged in that area. My days are crammed with the projects I want to get done. And I know you are excited about the next White Road Chronicles. I want to get that to you soon, and I want it to be a great wrap-up, experience. Good news about it... no cliff-hangers in the last book. Whoop!
Thanks for reading. Thanks for your feedback. Thanks for your encouragement. I love hearing from you all, I do. Keep sending me letters, or posting to my Facebook authors page. I'm also on twitter and tumblr and Instagram. Look for me there and connect with me.
Until next time,
Blessings and Peace. Be the bright light in your world, wherever that is.
Jackie Castle is an author, artist and dreamer. She lives in Texas with her husband, two grown children and her dog, Banjo. She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences.