Posts Tagged ‘Rick Warren’

PostHeaderIcon Writing Heavenly Father’s Day, Part 5–Don’t Run Ahead

By the end of May 2009, after successfully navigating most of the E-Book Check List, I thought I had everything I needed to get my book written. I began the rough draft of Heavenly Father’s Day, thinking I could just bang it all out in one month. But other things kept getting in the way–or so I thought.

I roughed out a website plan after looking at those of other people. I looked at lots of free internet marketing information on the web, and took lots of notes. I studied the style of other Christian authors, such as Rick Warren, Charles Swindoll, Charles Stanley, and Max Lucado. In fact, the ones I hadn’t read before looked so interesting I ended up reading them through (and taking more notes).

I was scheduled to preach on June 21. The theme was “Calm Our Storms.” I could see that just maybe this sermon might fit in somewhere near the end of the book. (And, in fact, it did.)

But toward the end of the month, I was frustrated with the fact that the end was still far off. The Spirit reminded me that I wasn’t to run ahead of God’s plan–that I was proceeding well and shouldn’t become anxious. The Spirit reassured me that even when I seemed not to be working, I was. I could be waiting, pondering, planning, researching, or otherwise furthering the work. It wasn’t necessary to actually write every day.

I got a call in late June from one of my reviewers. She had been looking over the outline I had sent her and was pleased with the direction I was headed. She told me a story about a sermon delivered in her church on Father’s Day.

The speaker mentioned that, just by chance, he had been scheduled to speak on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year. He said he realized while he was preparing that we have many special days for special things, but we never have a special day for God. My reviewer said she thought of me when he said this and considered it another confirmation of my work.

Way back in April, I had committed to serving as a counselor for our church’s Senior High Camp. I had hoped that by the time camp came along (in early July) that the book would be finished. It was not.

But once again, this act of service was not an interruption of the writing process, but a confirmation of it and a contribution to it. The spiritual development that enabled me to write this book in the first place just continued at camp.

It seemed to me like everything we discussed in our daily class at camp that week either fit nicely with or confirmed my message. I found myself explaining some things in my small group discussions just exactly as I had explained them in the book.

More importantly, I encountered some new ideas along with the campers. We did a really neat object lesson where we had to carry a bag of rocks around with us, symbolizing the guilt each of us carries around unnecessarily (because God has already forgiven us). This object lesson ended up in the book.

I told a few of the campers that I was writing a book called Heavenly Father’s Day. They were anxious to read it and asked me to let them know when it was published.

I came home encouraged once again. It wasn’t until I was back at home that I realized the campers were pretty close to my ideal reader.

So even as I was in the middle of writing, I continued to be fed. New material appeared, the appropriateness of my existing material was confirmed, and my efforts were encouraged.

Once again, the Spirit encouraged me by calling on me to trust in his words and in his message given through me. The Spirit confirmed that this was not my message, but his–not my will, but his. I am just the messenger. This insight from the Spirit really took the pressure off and I was comforted.

A week after camp (mid-July), I reviewed what I had written so far. There were some pretty big gaps I had no idea how to fill. But the Spirit told me not to worry about it–that he would provide. He told me to go forward in faith and to complete writing what had already been given to me.

So I kept on. Little did I know what challenge lay just over the horizon.

Next: The Last Chapter.

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