Monday, December 2, 2013

Whispers of Hope and A Giveaway!

             I write
                               and write 
                                                     and write.

Words spill forth, inspired by my God. Words pour out from the depths of my soul. But somewhere along the way, I squeeze words out from human expectation--from a desire to create without regard for the One who created me. Sometimes, I smudge that line between 'inspired by His word' and 'inspiring words that sound good'. I stumble and crash into a barricade of selfish desire to create words that manipulate hearts the way I want to.
When we're in the business of inspiring and creating as writers, sometimes, we should step back and make sure our hearts are in line with the Only One who can truly inspire. It is during my own season of stepping back to remember Truth in God alone, that I received Beth Moore's devotional, Whispers of Hope, 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer.

Whispers of Hope has three major areas that offer hope to any woman of God, and definitely any writer longing for intimacy with the most Perfect Author of our stories:

1.  Scripture Focus:
For thirteen years, I have delighted in Beth Moore's studies because of the mere fact that I walk away from each amazed by the intricacy of exploring original meaning and divine connections among Scripture from Old to New Testaments. In typical Beth Moore fashion, her newest devotional does not disappoint with Scripture-laden application that doesn't skim the surface, but digs deep and often explores the original language to give greater understanding. 

2.  Deep Prayer Formula:
Since the book's main focus is on prayer, it has space for guided prayer journaling. This excites me. Before I ever sat down at a computer to write my first story, I wrote by hand...and I journaled. Using Beth's acronym has probably been the most eye-opening aspect of this devotional book. I have found that in using this acronym, my prayers organically flow and guide me in a thorough outpouring of my heart to the Lord, especially because Beth suggests thanksgiving should flow throughout each of the sections. This is where my selfishness flees and humility is given room to grow!

Beth uses P.R.A.I.S.E, to form the prayer.

First, P is for Praise. The best way to take the focus off of my stuff, is to reflect on Him and Who He is.

Next, R is for Repent. This is something I so easily forget to do, but it's vital to stepping forward in intimacy with Him. When I can ask for forgiveness, I feel like I can be used by God in more extraordinary ways since I don't have sin weighing me down.

A is for Acknowledge. Acknowledge his Authority in our lives. Beth says, "We can praise God all day long with our lips yet never deliberately surrender to His lordship with our hearts." This is something that made me take that step back in the first place. I was trying to claim authority over my life and my writing when it really is not mine at all.

I is for Intercede. To pray for those the Lord brings to mind. Another great way to get the focus off of me!

S is for Supplication, which is in perfect order in this acronym. My family always says, "I am third"--God, Others, then Myself. Once we've focused on God and others, praying for our needs and desires brings us to a deeper dependency and intimacy with God.

Beth Moore, Living Proof Ministries
And finally, E is for Equipping. Asking God to equip us the rest of the day is a great way to close in prayer, and for us writers, look forward to God answering this specific part of our prayer!

3.  Christ-Centered Life Application: 
I picked up Whispers of Hope during a season of spiritual wrestling. My heart was heavy with lies uncovered, and truths yet to be found out. I was in a place where I had focused on myself, assuming my will could measure up to God's--especially when it came to my dream to seek publication. And when I discovered my self-centered way of thinking, I found refuge in sloughing away my fluffy self-talk and focusing back on the One who deserves all attention. Just a glimpse of how the devotional met me first off, see what Beth says after exploring the story of the tower of Babel on page 11 of her book:
"God's response? "If they're this foolish and self-centered, they'll try anything.' Brick after brick, we humans sought to determine our own fate. Despite all the efforts, we never imposed our will on God, but God imposed His on us." In every daily devotion, you can be sure to find poignant life application that will meet you where you are at. It is through Beth's examples and deciphering of Scripture, that the Word becomes alive and applicable to your own life in a unique way.

My season of stepping back from all that influence me, and the fleshy desires of my heart, is certainly not one of a backward journey from God. With this God-focused, Scripture-centered devotional from Beth Moore, my heart is filled with whispers of Hope from the One and Only Author of my story. And with a heart in line with His,
           I write
                               and write 
                                                     and write.

***Want the chance to win a copy of this amazing devotional?? Please let me know in the comment section!***

Please share of a time when you needed to just step back and return your focus on God, whether in writing or just in life!
Angie Dicken first began writing fiction as a creative outlet during the monotonous, mothering days of diapers and temper tantrums. She is passionate to impress God's love on women regardless of their background or belief. This desire serves as a catalyst for Angie's fiction, which weaves salvation and grace themes across historical cultures and social boundaries. Angie is an ACFW member and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you for presenting to us Beth's devotional, Ang.
So many of these points touched my heart.

Joanne Sher said...

Do I want this devotional? ABSOLUTELY! Sounds amazing. Excellent post, Angie. Thanks.

karenk said...

a wonderful posting/reflection...thanks for the chance to 'use' this devotional.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

AmyB said...

I would love to win a copy of this devotional!

Not too long ago, I found myself working hard, I would work and work and work--I was caught up in the little things, the little tasks that seemed to consume my life! I thought I was just pressing in on my dream. I stopped, stepped back and breathed. I remembered that my life is a tool in God's hand--that His will comes before my own; no matter how hard I work, it won't make my dreams come true. It's all Him! My desire should be that His will would be done--not mine.

Thanks for the review and giveaway!

Beth K. Vogt said...

I keep running into wonderfully encouraging reviews about this devotional. And, as the year draws to a close ... and as I'm feeling a bit exhausted and rung out, it sounds like a beautiful way to refresh my soul!

Jeanetta Chrystie said...

Thank you for sharing about this book! I love the P.R.A.I.S.E. acronym for prayers! I'm going to add your blog to my feed list; so glad I ran across it!

Jeanetta Chrystie said...

Oh, yes. Please enter me in your drawing for this book!

Angie Dicken said...

Thanks, Mary! It is such a great way to focus on what matters. :)

Angie Dicken said...

Great, Joanne! I'll put you in the drawing. :)

Karen- I will include you in the drawing, too! Thanks for stopping by!

Angie Dicken said...

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I love how God is faithful to nudge us to surrender. Will include you in the drawing.

Angie Dicken said...

Yes, the end of the year really does make us feel weary, doesn't it? Having something like this devotional, that keeps me accountable each day, really has helped in my frenzied life!
Will include you in the drawing. :)

Angie Dicken said...

So glad you came across our blog. I'd never heard the PRAISE acronym before. It's wonderful!
Will definitely include you in the drawing.

Anglican Mama said...

Loved this, and this book looks right up my alley right now. I would love a chance to win it! Though, even if I don't win the giveaway, it's going on my wishlist. :)

Angie Dicken said...

I'll put you in the drawing, Jen! Thanks for stopping by!

Esther Filbrun said...

That devotional sounds wonderful! Please enter me in the drawing.

Prayer is something I really struggle with in expressing myself. This book sounds really good.

Thanks for sharing, Angie!

Angie Dicken said...

Esther Rose,
Will definitely get you in the drawing! I have trouble with prayer too, but journaling has helped.
Thanks for stopping by!

Angie Dicken said...

Jen!! You won the drawing for the devotional! Email us with your address so we can get it in the mail to you.:)