Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In the Clefts of the Rock!



O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.”  Solomon 2:14





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Monday, October 27, 2014

The Way Up is Down!

I'm going to get a little personal in this post today. I hope you don't mind. One of the biggest things I struggle with as an author is marketing. Not only am I not very good at it, but honestly,  as a Christian, I question how much self-promotion I should do. Yes, I have strong spiritual messages in my books (messages I believe God has given me) and yes I want as many people as possible to read them, but more often than not, my "marketing" efforts have seemed more like me promoting me. Like me uplifting myself. "Hey, look at me, buy my book, leave a review and tell me how wonderful I am!!" 

Even for the most grounded of people (which I'm not), It's easy to get caught up in all of it and lose sight of why you're writing. Is it to glorify myself or God? Of course it's to glorify God, but sometimes in all the hollering and cheering, too much of my "self" gets in there too. So, I've been battling with this whole marketing thing for awhile. As a Christian business owner, yes, I believe God wants us to market our products just as any business should do. Yet, I believe it's different for us also. There's a fine line between marketing and self-promotion. What makes it even harder is that we authors are not just promoting a product but we are promoting ourselves too. How easy it is for us to get caught up in it and think more highly of ourselves than we should!  Even though it's God who has gifted us to write in the first place and given us the opportunity.

Okay, so where am I going with this? Well, I've been struggling with this for awhile. Am I doing enough marketing? What else should I do? Am I doing it for the right reasons? Am I promoting myself of God?  

Then the sermon our pastor gave yesterday spoke directly to me. You see we live in a culture, in a world system that tells you that if you want to get ahead, if you want power, if you want money, you have to work hard, promote yourself, and claw your way to the top. Right?  

But this is not God's culture. When Jesus came on the scene, he turned the world upside down.  The world says the way up is up. Jesus says the way up is down.

 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life John 12:24-25


Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 18:14

but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave Matt 20:26

God says that you have to humble yourself if you want to be exalted.  If you want to be honored, you must be a servant.  How different that is from what everyone around us says? 

Being a Christian author or a Mom or a businessman or bus driver or politician or doctor or secretary is not about promoting yourself. It's about promoting God.  Jesus came to earth to do one thing. Glorify His Father in heaven, and He did that by taking off His Godly robe and humbling Himself as a servant and finally dying a gruesome humiliating death.  Now, He sits victorious at the right hand of God. 

Yes, we have to work and make money. Yes, I need to sell books, but we all need to check our hearts and make sure that everything we do is for the One purpose, the single goal of glorifying God. Not making money, not gaining that promotion or raise, not getting accolades from everyone around those. Those may happen. Wonderful if they do. But that cannot be our main goal. We are to glorify God in all we do, and that means humbling ourselves and being a servant to all, putting others ahead of ourselves. 

What does this look like for you? That's something you need to get with God about. For me, it means that I'm checking my attitude daily to make sure that glorifying God is my goal. Next, though I will continue to market my books, I'm only going to do the things God leads me to do. Instead, I want to be a servant to my readers. I want to be an author who lifts them up and seeks their ultimate good above my own. Whether that expresses itself in a kind note, praying for them, or writing a story that God knows will bless many, I don't know... but I'm praying for a heart change. I'm tired of trying to promote myself.  I'm going to lift up Jesus and then let Him draw those He chooses toward my books. 




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Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Frenzy!

Happy Friday Everyone!  I hope you all had a great week! My week was busy as usual. The first three days I scrambled to get a review copy of Tears of the Sea ready for those who signed up to read the pre-release version and review it for me.  Then yesterday and today I have my precious grandbaby. When she's here, I don't get much done. Unfortunately like me, she's not much of a napper! There's just too many fun things to do and see to waste time sleeping.

Say Hi to all the lovely folks, Andrea!! (Sorry the pics are blurry.. I was doing a selfie!)





Writing news

I released an E-version Box Set of my Legacy of the King's Pirates series. ALL FOUR books for only $9.99.  If you were to buy the books separately, it would cost you $20, so this is a fantastic bargain. If you've already read the books, consider buying a copy for someone for Christmas or a birthday gift. Think of the hours and hours of entertainment and romance upon the Caribbean they will enjoy for just $9.99. 

http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Kings-Pirates-pirate-romance-ebook/dp/B00OPIJ3XS/ref=sr_1_19?ie=UTF8&qid=1414087542&sr=8-19&keywords=marylu+tyndall
Click on the box to order!
Great box cover design, eh? My friend Dineen Miller designed it!

Friday Writing Tip!

Emotions are essential!  As is true in real life, one of the most important ways the reader connects with your character is through emotion. We read books to "feel" something.. a new experience, romance, heartache, hope, joy!  We even want to be afraid, to feel angry.. and to be sitting on the edge of our seat wondering how on earth the character will make it out alive!  As a writer, one way to do this is by putting ourselves in our characters shoes and asking what they would be feeling at this very moment. So often writers just tell what's happening but they forget to tell what the character is feeling. Of course like anything, this can be overdone.. but more often than not, it's way underdone. 

It doesn't have to be a major thing either.. something as simple as a character hugging herself  to show fear or discomfort or  a character fisting his hands to show anger..   be sure and check every scene and make sure you have at least one showing of emotion displayed.


I hope you all have a great weekend!!  I'm having lunch with a few girlfriends tomorrow and then doing the normal chores and errands. Sounds exciting, eh??  

Hugs to all!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

He drew me out of many waters!



He sent from above, He took me,
He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me;
For they were too strong for me

  2 Samuel 22: 17-18

Monday, October 20, 2014

Converts or Disciples?

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit  Matt 28:19

We learn from ACTS that the early church met in homes. Their relationships were intimate and personal. They ate together and shared their lives together. I imagine those among them with the gift of music helped lead worship, and those among them with the gift of teaching, gave the morning word, and those with the gift of service, served.... those with the gift of healing, healed, prophets prophesied.. etc.  The thing was, you couldn't be anonymous in their meetings. Everyone knew you and you knew everyone and everyone participated. So, if you were struggling with a problem, trial, or even a sin, there were people who were more mature in the faith all around to help you. They "discipled" you .   They taught you what they learned from the Scriptures and from walking with the Lord for years. That's how the younger Christians were able to grow in the faith. They were one-on-one discipled by people close to them.

That's what a disciple was in Jesus's day. Most Rabbis had disciples, men who forsook their careers, their families and followed a certain Teacher. When I say followed, I don't just mean their teaching. I mean they literally followed the Rabbi around. They ate, slept, studied and spent all their time with this Rabbi, learning from him, learning how to be like him.

Sometime after Rome became Christianized, believers started meeting in the old pagan temples once used to worship the gods of Rome and other demonic deities. Slowly the home church where people were discipled one-on-one evaporated in favor of mass meetings in church buildings where believers became more spectators than participators. The Christian church even adopted the idea of rituals and ceremonies from the pagan religions they replaced and throughout the centuries that has morphed into our modern-day churches.

The problem is that in this auditorium-style non-participating church environment, disciples have been replaced by converts. Churches measure their success on how many new converts they have each month and give no thought to what it means to actually disciple someone. Sure, there are after church programs and special classes and even small groups that people can attend, but even those can often times be very impersonal.  Plus they are not mandatory. That's why it's so easy for someone who is weak in the faith and engaging in some kind of sinful activity during the week to be able to hide in church.

But Jesus clearly said Go make disciples, not Go make Converts. But what is the difference?

A convert is someone who calls themselves a Christian and who has received Jesus's sacrifice for their sins. If they go no further than that, they remain just a convert. Are they still saved? That's between them and God.

Here's what Jesus says of a disciple
If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.....So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.  Luke 14

And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me  Matt 10:38

Discipleship is the same as it was in Jesus's day. It's a call to give up everything for your Rabbi. It's a call to put Him above everything in our lives. It's a call to follow Him and learn how to be just like Him. 

Yet how many churches today actually do that? How many raise converts and not disciples? And shouldn't we be about the business of doing exactly what Jesus commanded? 

When is the church going to wake up? I'm sensing God is asking us this. We are running out of time, and there are so many people still in the darkness.



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Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Frenzy!

Happy Friday!

I hope you all had a great week! Mine was busy, as usual. Some may think an author's life is glamorous, but let me tell you, it's just as hard and mundane as anyone else's!  I still have to clean my house, scrub my toilets, do laundry and cook. I still have to deal with kid problems and grandbabies and spiders in the bathtub and an internet that keeps going out.  Like most women I step on the scale and cringe at what I see, then make pledges to cut back on the sweets!  I greet my husband at the door and listen to his day and then settle down to watch TV at night. Yes, I do watch TV. I think it's the storyteller in me but I have always loved a good TV show or movie.  Hubby and I have our favorites, though that list is getting shorter these days as the shows get raunchier.

Writing wise, I worked on edits for Tears of the Sea this week.  That is now turned back in to my editor for one more glance through and then I will start formatting it for ebook and print!  If you've signed up to read and review it, I hope to get the copies to you the last week of October.  After I send that out, I hope to take a couple days off to recharge. I want to go to the pound and rescue a cat in line to be euthanized.  Hubby and I love to take in strays and misfits. Mainly because that's what we've been most of our lives.

My Reef Tank

You may remember I started a reef tank some time ago. Well, it's coming along!  I've added a few corals, some clown fish, a shrimp, and an anemone.   Because I chose to put in live rock taken directly from the sea, new creatures tend to appear all the time.. and more will appear as time goes on. I've noticed a few baby clams and this weird slug-like creature. (pictured below) 

The Entire tank

Clown fish bonding with Anenome

Hammerhead Coral

Living soft pink coral
Sea Slug that just appeared!























































I want to share with you pictures that my friend and publicist is finding to help advertise my book, Tears of the Sea. She's so good at this... 




I'm excited to see what she finds next!

Now for this week's writing tip

FRIDAY WRITING TIP!

As much as you can, try to put action before reaction.  For example

She screamed as the monster charged toward her. 
Her heart thudded against her chest when the man fired the pistol

What you want to say is
The monster charged toward her. She screamed!
The villain fired his pistol. Her heart thudded in her chest.

Seems simple enough but not as easy to do. The reason? At least for me is the way a sentence reads.. it's rhythm and cadence. Sometimes it just doesn't sound right to write it the correct way!  Anyway, for the most part, it's important to write events in the sequence in which they happen.


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Praying you have a wonderful weekend!



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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Foam of Shame!


The Apostate!

They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Jude 1:12-14


Not exactly a comforting verse but I thought it was appropriate and a reminder to stay true to the Lord! 


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