Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Friday, May 31, 2013

A spring of wonder

 By Jeannette Doran
 A spring of wonder

    April came with ice and snow
    Treasured moments of solitude
     Long awaited in a Minnesota
     Hermitage clothed in frost and white
      One last snow
      Deer searching for food
      By May seeds planted in soft soil
      Rain soaked fields
      Drenching downpour
      Leaves sparkle with showers 
      Behold the loveliness even
     In the midst of storm winds
     Puddles abound yet
     Red Poppies open as
    Sun shines on
    Velvet green grass
    Beauty surrounds us
   How awesome is our God

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Baseball Inspiration

By Marvin Ferguson

The sun shined beneath a clear blue sky.  The temperature was in the eighties. Spring was in the air and along with it another baseball season.

 As a Clinical Technician at a local hospital my days were all routine. There was nothing unusual until one day recently I was congratulated by one of my peers for winning an employee survey raffle contest.

What? I asked. I was shocked because I never won anything in my whole life. Then, when I learned that I just won four tickets to a Cub game at Wrigley Field, I went bonkers.

And so with my wife and some friends we had a bird's eye view from the left field bleachers. We saw everything, and with popcorn, hot dogs, peanuts, and soda pop, we were in our second heaven.

Baseballs traveled swiftly on the infield grass. There were long throws from third base to first. Fly balls sailed deep into the outfield. And a fan scrambled for a home run that landed near my seat.

Sitting with thirty-five thousand baseball fans watching all the play-by-play action was fun and got my juices flowing to write another book. Yes, baseball was in my DNA. Talk to me about baseball and it wouldn't be long before you saw me with a pen in my hand filling all the pages with my favorite subject.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Small Tribute to Big Heroes

By Lori Boruff

Papa teaches me to count—
one flag, two flags, three.
I am his helper,
just Papa and me.

Papa teaches me colors
like red, white and blue.
He tells me a story,
of a soldier he knew.

Papa teaches “never forget,”
those who sacrifice all.
Brave men and women die
so I can grow tall.

Papa teaches me respect—
“Hold the flag high,”
for today we remember
soldiers who have died.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Multi-tasker Malfunction – How to Recover from the Stumbles of Life

By Kathryn C. Lang

My multi-tasker suffered a malfunction. It happens to me now and then – often around the same time of the month. It is never pretty.

Normally my family and I are the only ones to suffer from its demise. This time around I failed a friend and a supporter and that makes it much worse. I want others to know they can count on me . . . maybe I should hand out “Beware” cards when there is a chance for a multi-tasker malfunction.

I know better. These issues have been coming up for years. I have started to recognize and adjust for them in my daily life (for the most part). I know it is possible to avoid the multi-tasker meltdown. This time, I just did nothing.

For the record, doing nothing never fixes anything.

Tips for Avoiding Multi-Tasker Meltdown

1. Plan ahead. I know that I am going to guest post each month. The date may change, but the posting remains the same. I should make my article due on the 1st of each month. Then I know that Gail will have it when she needs it.

2. Have a backup plan. There are times when the unexpected keeps me from doing what I know I need to do. It is worse during the multi-tasker meltdowns. I run from room to room trying to remember why I am in that room. I told you it was not pretty. Having several articles in my database that I can tap into in one of those situations will help me avoid missing a deadline or leaving someone else in the lurch.

3. Be honest (with yourself and with others). There will be times when you have to take on less than you might otherwise be able to manage. Know those times and let others know those times. Be sure you also let others know when you miss the mark. Giving a reason why you missed the mark is not necessary. The why does not change the fact that the other person may be missing something they need. Just say you messed up and then make arrangements to try and repair the damage if possible. Things happen, and you have to open and honest when they do if you want to move past them.

We all stumble. It is what comes after the stumble that will make the difference. Plan, prepare, and be honest. These three things will make a big difference when you find that your multi-tasker malfunctions.

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Kathryn shares words to ignite hope in the hearts of those the words encounter. She knows that life can be difficult, but she also has experienced how hope can overcome even the hardest times. Visit Kathryn at to learn more about her journey or to discover her books.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shell Seekers, Truth Seekers Part II

By Sharon Wilhite

Shell Seekers sometimes find treasures on the dry sand out in the open.
Truth Seekers can find truths that surprise on a first reading of a passage.

Shell Seekers have to wade into the water at other times.
Truth Seekers frequently have to dig a bit deeper into their passage’s meaning.

Shell Seekers may have to dive under the water to bring up a shell that they have glimpsed from the surface.
Truth Seekers will take special time to throw their whole self into the study of a truth that is just beyond their grasp.

Shell Seekers have found wonderful shells hidden beneath a stretch of murky, weedy water.
Truth Seekers can’t be afraid of unclear, vague passages.  They keep looking, and praying, and sifting through the words for treasures.

Shell Seekers often admire and keep their best finds for themselves.
Truth Seekers know that some truths were given by God for their hearts only.
(“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19)

Shell Seekers multiply their enjoyment by sharing many of their shells with others.
Truth Seekers realize that their understanding is deepened when they share what they are learning with others.

Whether you ever get the opportunity to be a shell seeker, anyone can be a truth seeker.  God is just waiting to reveal His vast storehouse of treasures to YOU!

“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;  so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”  Proverbs 2:1-5

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Forming Great Teams

by Michael Elmore

Many people who read this blog are interested in writing. I know I am. Writing takes talent, practice, learning and encouragement. Perhaps you are not an accomplished author yet. But God has this in mind for you because he has put the desire in your heart. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Recognize that the dream to become an author is not just your aspiration but it is a desire that God has purposely placed within you to glorify His name and fulfill your destiny.

Regardless of the genre you are interested in, God can use your gift to touch countless lives. I don’t know if you realize this or not but the Bible includes a variety of writing genres. For example, you may not be aware of this but about 60% of Scripture is written as poetry. Poetry touches the inner life like few genres can. God also used prose, history, accounting and record keeping, prophecy and storytelling to communicate to humanity. So be encouraged, regardless of the genre you are interested in God can use you!

The question remains for most of us, “How can I hone my skills, connect with literary agents, market a product and sell it successfully?” That’s where learning how to form a great team comes in. Zechariah 4:10 states, ”Do not despise the day of small beginnings.” You probably know someone who has an interest in writing like yourself. You may belong to a writers association, perhaps you’ve attended a conference or workshop or two. Great! That’s how you begin to form a team.

When forming a team pray for divine connections. If you are serious about writing God will put you in touch with just the people you need to serve on your team. One way to help you form a team is to remember that serving others is an excellent way to form a team. Volunteer to help an experienced author. Learn from them, let them mentor you, assist them with their projects and you will be surprised at how rapidly a network of possible team members will soon cross your path. This is called the Law of Association. If we want to be successful then we need to spend time with people that we want to be like. Jesus said, “I came to serve not to be served.”( Mk. 10:45) If serving was good enough for Jesus, then it should be good enough for us.

Finally, be selective who you allow to be part of your team. Look for quality not for quantity. Learn from the best people you are able to connect with. One way to do this is to build networks through conferences, workshops, and seminars. These types of places are chock-full of published authors, promoters, marketing people and literary agents. But when you network with other people I use one word of guidance: listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit and let His Voice guide you to the right people. Be aware of the agendas that others may have. What are their motives, character, lifestyle and spiritual life? Do they honor God through their work? I have found a good rule of thumb for hearing from God is stopping long enough to hear the Shepherds Voice. Jesus said in John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Welcome to the concept of forming a writing team. I believe as you work in this direction and in the way God leads you, you will find good success! (Joshua 1:8).