Guest Posts Posts

Here I am! Can you see me?

Thanks to my guest blogger, author Sara Davison for sharing her perspective on social network marketing. Her conclusion is dead on, and best of all, doable! 

Do you ever feel like you are a single, waving stalk in an endless field of golden heads of wheat?  That’s because you are. At least, if you are attempting to be seen, or make yourself heard among the vast sea of social network voices clamoring for the attention of the general public, you can completely relate.

I recently came across a post listing the 370 top Social Media, Apps and Tools . I was intimidated by the sheer numbers, but even more by the fact that of the 370 sites on the list—many of which had exotic, Muppet-character sounding names like Cloob, Kilco, Burple, Deezer and Keek— I had only ever heard of a handful. Just reading the list of sites made me tired. The thought of exploring what each of them had to offer was enough to cause me to close my laptop and go take a nap. A long one.

I have taken the leap into the world of social networking (or maybe, after looking at this list, I should say that I have dipped a toenail into the endless ocean expanse). I am attempting to stay connected and to build a platform for my work using a blog-based website, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Even there, though, the numbers are staggering.

Tumblr.com, WordPress, Livejournal and Weebly report a combined 240 million plus blogs. Wow. That makes me one quiet voice among more than 240 million. How on earth can I ever hope to be heard?

The answer, I am coming to realize, is that I can’t. Very few of us can make a loud enough sound on our own to be heard over the general cacophony of noise that is the World Wide Web. The best we can hope for is to make a tiny squeak that, if we’re fortunate, just might succeed in turning the heads of those standing closest to us in our direction, if briefly.

But what if I stop trying to make that tiny squeak all on my own? What if I reach out to others, drawing them into my little circle and asking them to squeak along with me, or at least to contribute to my blog and have me as a guest on theirs, or mention something I’ve done or written on Twitter or Facebook while I do the same in return. That would expand the ripple exponentially, wouldn’t it? The few people who had turned their heads in those people’s directions would now hear my voice added to theirs. And maybe they would jab their elbows into the sides of those around them and point them my way too. And then those people would elbow their neighbours, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Community. That’s the key. Supporting and encouraging each other, and promoting each other and our writing to an ever-expanding circle of friends, acquaintances and even strangers. As writers, and as Canadian and Christian writers in particular, we need to band together. After all, we’re way up north. And muffled by snow. We have to speak extra loud to be heard, or at least work extra hard to get the news out there that we’re here, we’re working hard, and we just may have something to offer.

God has given us a gift, and we must use it for His glory. But first we have to get it out there. And we can do it, if we work together.

After all, that’s what being connected is truly all about.

 About the Author

Sara Davison has been a finalist for three national writing awards: Best New Canadian Christian Author; Best Column – Single; and Best Novel – Mystery or Suspense (The Watcher). Her favorite way to spend the days (and nights) is drinking coffee – a running theme throughout her novels – and making stuff up. Davison lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/geespot/25267361/”>GerjanneTiemens</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

Adam’s Animals – Welcome Kimberly Payne

Kimberley Payne, authorDid you know?

  • Ants are from the insect family
  • Ants can lift 20 times their body weight
  • Ants have two stomachs – one to hold the food for itself and one to hold food to be shared with other ants
  • There are 3 kinds of ants in a colony: the queen, the female workers, and males
  • Ants communicate by using chemicals called pheromones
  • Ants don’t have ears but they “hear” by feeling vibrations in the ground

I knew ants were insects, but that was as far as it went.

Who would want to write about ants? My guest today is Kimberly Payne.

Kimberly, tell us about the book

My latest project is “Adam’s Animals”, a children’s activity book that features over 40 animals mentioned in the Bible and little-known facts about each. It is the second book in the Science and Faith Matters series. The first book, “Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation”, is a colourful introduction to trees, leaves and their corresponding Bible stories.

Who is this book written for?

“Adam’s Animals” is ideal for 6 to 9 year olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in grades 1-3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum on Animal Life.

What was your inspiration for this book?

Years ago, my daughter wrote a little book called, “Did you know…fascinating and fun facts about animals around the world” as a fundraiser to go to camp. I helped her with it and loved discovering new things about God’s creation.

Do you have a favourite animal and why that one?

I loved learning about the leopard. This big cat can climb trees, run fast, and swim. He’s powerful and smart. My kind of creature!

Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?

There was a ton of research. Not only did I have to dig through the Bible to discover the animals mentioned, but then I had to research each individually to uncover five unusual facts.

Writing isn’t new to you, is it?

I am an award-winning author and a member of The Word Guild, Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship, and John 3:16 Marketing Network. I combine my teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for mothers and children about family, fitness, science and faith.

What do you hope this book accomplishes?

I hope that “Adam’s Animals” will fuel the desire for children to read the Bible and to also learn more about the animals that God created.

Where can we find the book?

This is the exciting part! The book is still in manuscript form. I am hoping to bring the project to life with the direct support of friends, colleagues and family.

As the book creator, I have set a funding goal of $3500, with a deadline of February 28th, 2014. If you like my book idea, you can pledge any amount of money to make it happen.

As the book backer, you choose from a number of rewards based on the amount of financial support you pledge. For example, backers who pledge a minimum of $5, will receive a choice of one of two of my e-books: 1) Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health, OR 2) Women of Strength – a devotional to improve spiritual and physical health. Backers who pledge a minium of $15 will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”. Backers who pledge a minimum of $175 will be listed on the “Dedication” page at the back of the book PLUS will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”.

Backing “Adam’s Animals” is more than just giving money. Writers need encouragement and you would be supporting my dream of creating a valuable resource for children and parents.

To support the creation of “Adam’s Animals” please visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamsanimals/adams-animals-a-childrens-activity-book

Short url for easy sharing: http://kck.st/19NBYR6

Where else can we find you?

I look forward to people connecting with me on any of my platforms.

Website: http://www.kimberleypayne.com

Blog: http://www.scienceandfaithmatters.wordpress.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/KimberleyPayne.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FitForFaith

Kickstarter Campaign:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamsanimals/adams-animals-a-childrens-activity-book

Short url for easy sharing: http://kck.st/19NBYR6

My Problems or Yours?

Guest writer, Janette Faulkner shares her perspective on a thought-provoking quote:  “If we threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” Janette writes:

There are things in my life that I wish weren’t there; but there are also blessings in my life that I would like to keep.  What if the two are related?  What if getting rid of some of my problems would result in losing some of my blessings?  What if it isn’t heads or tails, but heads and tails?

Everything, the good and the bad and the ugly, has brought me to today.  Where I am and who I am and how I am is the culmination of cause and effect. Remove any of those causes, and the effect would change.

If I ask God, “Why?” when terrible things happen, then I also have to ask, “Why are You so good to me?”

And God is very good to me. In the midst of turmoil I still receive provision of food, shelter, clothing, companionship, and so much more.

So I will keep my pain. I own it. Just like I own my pleasures. Both are illustrations of me, like my cross.  The negative is a horizontal line and keeps me calling out for help, trusting in God. The positive is a vertical line which keeps me thanking God, loving Him, reminding me I am Heaven bound and inviting others into this truth.

Thanks, Janette for letting me share your insights. 

Like many, Janette has a story of pain, betrayal, and loss. Yet she chooses to dwell on the restoration she’s found not in spite of it, but because of it. An encouraging perspective.

photo credit: Rob Hayes. via photopin cc

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome – Great Book!

I’m not much of a one for giving book reviews. I’m also not one for saving books to re-read.

This book is different.

Benjamin T. Collier is 29 years old. He was diagnosed with severe autism as a child, and has now progressed to a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome (A.S.)

In his newly released autobiography, “My Life A.S. Is”, Collier takes us on an in-depth journey into the mind of one who lives it. He is brilliantly articulate, and his turn of phrase is engaging. His matter-of-fact approach leaves no room for pity. Collier speaks to the reader with a sense of respect. He appears to believe his readers can and will understand his perspective, and we can live more harmoniously because of that.

Personally, I recognized some traits he describes as being part of the personality of some people I know. Reading his often humorous descriptions helped me see how other acquaintances of mine express little tolerance for such differences. Reading this book would, I think, help change such attitudes.

I met Collier recently at a conference. The following paragraph from his book describes perfectly what I observed when I told him I’d purchased his book as a valuable reference for our counselling agency.

“How do I explain the way my thought process works? It’s like the human brain is the garage for a delivery service, and every package is a thought, and each part of the brain is a different terrain vehicle. My brain has to deliver a thought across a desert wilderness, only my desert jeep won’t start, so I’m stuck with a snowmobile… The package still gets there, but it’s slower, and because it’s a different vehicle it can’t take the same routes… so whenever someone asks me a question, my thought takes longer to process…”

I will have to purchase another copy for the agency, because I’m keeping this one for myself.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious about autism and A.S., but also for anyone  who would like a great read describing a fascinating alternate perspective of the world.

Well done, Mr. Collier!

photo credit: hepingting via photopin cc

Walking in the Sweet Spot

Today’s posting is adapted from an article written by my good friend, Janette…

March displays the tug-of-war between winter and spring. Yesterday was sunny, well above freezing. Today brings a light fluff of snow. 

Walking my dog this morning I noticed she was not tugging at the leash to go faster, and I was not pulling her from distractions along the roadside.  

She was walking in my sweet spot. We were in synch.  

I wondered about my sweet spot with Jesus:  Walking with Him…

     * not pulling to do things my way;

         * not distracted from His Way with little detours here and there;

             * not making Jesus stop and wait while I expend strength needlessly.

That sweet spot with Jesus: A place where…

     * there is no struggle, no tug-of-war;

          * there are problems not yet tied to solutions, but still;

                * there is joy.

Jesus is sufficient. I know He is going to see me through.

Oh, to be able to remain in this place.  

I know that staying in Jesus’ sweet spot is only possible through effort on my part. That effort is the difference between 

     * finding Him and keeping Him; 

          * the wedding and the marriage.

 

May we all strive to walk in that sweet spot with Jesus. 

Thanks again to our Guest Blogger, Janette