Blank pages to be filled

I will still confident of this:
I will see the goodness
of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord

Psalm. 27:13-14
We have left the last year, and in fact the last decade behind, and as many seem to think 2020 will be a time of envisioning, breakthrough and fulfilment for God’s people.  In the book of my life I have reached beyond halfway, but my heart is still centred on the Lord, and know that each day in Him is a new day and starts with a blank page.
I don't make New Year resolutions, but am resolute in keeping my commitment, trust, delight in the Lord and believe it is important to hold on to faith of unseen hopes and that any vision given by the Lord will be fulfilled.   In 1981 for me it was of a modern-day Ark - a house built on a hill where His people could take refuge, rest and be rehabilitated into society as a testimony of God's love and provision. We hadn't the money then, and don't now, but u…

Writing through the Valley of Baka by Annmarie Miles

Psalm 84 is one of my favourite Psalms. Maybe best known for verse 10 - being a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord, but it's verses 5-7 that I love most dearly. 
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.  As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs;  the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength
till each one appears before God in Zion.
Psalm 84:5-7 (NIV)
I love that, as pilgrims travelling through this valley, we have the ability to change it. If our strength is in him and our hearts are set on him, we can turn a place of weeping into a place of springs. My prayer is that our words will do that. That God will use our words to help us and others go from strength to strength as we journey on.
Over the years, a lot of my writing has been done through the Valley of Baka, the Valley of Weeping. At a very low point in 2008, I spent a lot of time with my guitar, weeping and praying to God in …

Winding Up The Pig by Kathleen McAnear Smith

Winding up the Pig

Going through my photos, I realise I’ve lost the pig picture. I need this pig. The little pig that I very much need for this blog was the one that made that Philippians verse “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” go from my Southern Baptist memorising head to my half-British Baptist heart.

This wind-up, flying pig lived at the Northumbria Community, in the dining room. At every meal, while on retreat, I would see this little pink plastic pig complete with wings; hanging on a string. I would also see a post-it note on the Community dining room bulletin board. It said, “ You’re not in London now, pet.” I mean, this place was just full of truth and at least I still have that photo.

Having moved people from all over the world to London and New York, I was a city girl (Level 4- read my book) learning how to live in Surrey, and on retreat in Northumberland. I nodded my head, “yep, Lord; but what’s with the pig?”

I watched retreatants wind him up, and …

The Demise of the Pristine, New Fridge - A Moral Tale

Once upon a time there was a woman who owned a fairly bog standard fridge.  Starting its life with the woman as a great bargain on eBay, it served its purpose, keeping the family’s meat, fruit, vegetables and yoghurt wonderfully cold.  The woman, however, was somewhat neglectful of her fridge.  Despite all her best intentions and protestations to the contrary, she did not keep her fridge in order as she should.  From time to time she could be seen by the passing village postman, lunging across the kitchen from fridge to bin, hurling something dripping and unidentifiable into its murky depths.
One day, returning from a camping trip, the woman discovered that the fridge had had an identity crisis, deciding, instead to have a go at being a warming drawer.Enough was enough and the woman excitedly ordered a new fridge, which arrived the next day in all its shiny glory.
The woman boasted about her new fridge far and wide.She waxed long about the built in water-dispenser, sent photographs to …

Learning to welcome the interruptions by Claire Musters

I don’t know if you are like me but, increasingly, I find it takes me quite a long time to get into the groove of my writing; to really settle down and be productive. Quite often I am just beginning to grasp what it is that I want to say in my writing as lunchtime looms  – so my lunchtime has been getting later and later. After that break, I then have to get myself back into the flow; often I’m just getting back into it when it’s time to stop and pick our son up from school. Whether I have the opportunity to write more that day really depends on what my kids have on after school.
This week I had another interruption: I had really struggled to make headway with a devotional I am writing, but had begun to put thoughts down. I was really wrestling, as the subject matter is quite difficult, but I felt I was finally progressing… and then the phone rang. I looked at the number and recognised my parents’ so I picked up. What followed was an exceedingly emotional ‘conversation’ with my mum, wh…

When the Unexpected Happens by Wendy H. Jones

I've decided that the only guarantee in life is that you can't guarantee anything. Life may be trotting along quite nicely and then something comes along to disrupt those well laid plans. The regular contributor to the 16th of each month is currently unwell, so I stepped in to help out. It was an honour to do so and I wish her a speedy recovery.

Yet, writing another blog post today was unexpected for me. Yes, I already write for another blog on the 16th of each month and rung out my creative juices on that. Or so I thought. As writers, we often have more creative ideas than we can ever imagine. If that sentence actually makes any sense. Anyway, we have a huge and awesome brain and we often forget to use all of it. A change of circumstances or something unexpected, if we let it, our brain will step in and give you the answer.

As well as being an author and the webmaster for the Association of Christian Writers, I am also the President of the Scottish Association of Writers. As…

A Writing Season by Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

I don’t know about you, but I find writing comes more naturally on a cold winter’s day than in the oppressive heat of summer. It is difficult to imagine Oscar Wilde or Virginia Woolf anachronistically tapping away on their respective laptops whilst sitting on a beach in shorts, sipping margueritas. Much more writerly to be wrapped up in one’s quilted smoking jacket, or staring wanly out a frosted window, communing with the muse and batting away witticisms and elegant metaphors faster than they can come at you.
Maybe it is because I’m housebound, but however much it is enhanced by circumstances, my naturally hibernatory, eremitic nature is far more comfortable writing from under the duvet in the winter. In the warmer weather, I’m reminded far too often of the outside lives other people with normal, healthy pursuits are leading.
All the same, there is something about being cosy that sits well with words. Reading, as well as writing, has something magically isolating about it. Far easi…