Monday, April 27, 2015

PRAYING FOR THE PRODIGAL By Andrea Merrell

by Marcie Bridges @Marcie_Bridges

Guest Blogger Andrea Merrell @AndreaMerrell

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Hello Friends! 

Today we are doing something a bit different. My good friend Andrea Merrell has written a very personal story about how she and her husband struggled while their children strayed from home and their faith. Praying for the Prodigal: Encouragement and Practical Advice While Waiting for the Prodigal to Return is a very heart-felt, sincere, tear-jerking journey through their lives and it will be the most helpful tool you've ever read during your agonizing wait for your own prodigal to return. (I've read this book and I can't wait to read it again and again!) 

Today Andrea answers questions about writing this book and at the end I'll provide links for you to get your own copy! 

Welcome to Heart Thoughts Andrea! 
Thank you for sharing your story with us today... 



How long have you been writing?
Writing has been a joy for as long as I can remember, but my career took a serious turn fifteen years ago when my husband and I attended a marriage retreat. One morning when the speaker asked about hobbies and passions, I mentioned writing. “Yes, and I’ll bet that’s at the bottom of your priority list,” was his response. When I admitted it was, he said, “Well, it’s time to get it off the bottom and put it on the top.” Then he leaned in a little closer and said, “After all, you’re not getting any younger, you know!”

I went home, started writing seriously, and have never turned back.

You are also an editor. Can you tell us a little about what you do?

I love words and have always had an eye for detail. About seven years ago, I started proofreading the daily devotions for Christian Devotions Ministry. Not long after that, I became a freelance editor and an associate editor with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. I enjoy using my editing skills to help other writers become the best they can be. Being a newbie in the writing and publishing industry can be very intimidating, and I always strive to be an encourager and help to mentor those seeking to learn the trade and sharpen their skills. If I can challenge a writer to keep moving forward, inspire them to reach higher, and give them hope and encouragement, I feel my purpose has been accomplished.


Do you ever teach at writers conferences?

I have taught classes at Writers Boot Camp (the Asheville Christian Writers Conference), the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference (KCWC), and the CLASS Christian Writers Conference. It was also my honor, along with Meaghan Burnette, to do a presentation for NSA Carolinas (National Speakers Association) on how to get your manuscript ready for publication.


What are you currently working on?

The majority of my time is spent editing, editing, editing. My biggest challenge is balancing my time between writing and editing. With the release of my new book, Praying for the Prodigal, I have been busy with marketing. I also write devotions, articles, and blog posts, but I have three novels in various stages that are begging to be completed.


Can you tell us a little about Praying for the Prodigal?

This book tells the story of my five-year journey dealing with two prodigals. My son and daughter both took the wrong path at the same time, and my husband and I experienced our own personal hell. Because I’ve been there—and survived—I want to share some of the lessons I learned, offer some practical advice, and encourage parents to learn to pray the Word of God over their children daily. My husband and I never thought this could happen to us, but we learned that even good kids rebel, and even good parents can end up with a prodigal. We also learned that God is faithful, His Word is true, and we should never give up on our children.

What else have you written?  
My work has been published in several anthologies and online venues.  My first book, Murder of a Manuscript, is full of writing and editing tips to help writers keep their book out of the editorial graveyard. I write devotions for www.ChristianDevotions.us, and co-write a blog with fellow editor, Alycia Morales, www.TheWriteEditing.com. This site is designed especially for writers, written from an editor’s perspective, and we strive to give helpful tips to both new and seasoned writers. We feature a guest blogger on the second Monday of each month to share their wisdom with our followers. We also do a lot of book giveaways and would love for people to sign up and connect with us. My devotional blog is www.andreamerrell.blogspot.com.

How can people connect with you?

I would love for folks to visit www.thewriteediting.com and www.andreamerrell.blogspot.com and connect with us by subscribing to the posts. You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Goodreads.


BIO                                                                                                                                      Andrea Merrell is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a freelance editor and has led workshops at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, Writers Boot Camp, and The CLASS Christian Writers Conference. She has been published in
numerous anthologies and online venues. Her first book, Murder of a Manuscript, gives writing and editing tips to help keep your book out of the editorial graveyard. Her newest book, Praying for the Prodigal is now available at Amazon. To learn more about Andrea, visit www.andreamerrell.com or www.TheWriteEditing.com.   



Amazon link for Murder of a Manuscripthttp://amzn.to/1HlRLmy
Amazon link for Praying for the Prodigalhttp://amzn.to/1HlRLmy
Amazon link for The Gifthttp://amzn.to/1rLKAk0
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/142LXjp
 

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

PRAYER OF MY HEART



by Marcie Bridges @Marcie_Bridges

As for me, I will call upon God, And the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. Psalm 55:16-17

 

PRAYER OF MY HEART

Just as I am
Holding nothing back
Myself to give
It is all I have
Nothing between us
Not anything to fear
To trust and lean
Upon God to depend
The things I have
I give to Him.
There is much to do
Many places to go
But not without my Lord
My Saviour, my All in All
To Him be the glory
I must surrender all.
There is no other way
He cannot guide
What He does not have
So all I have I give
Because He loved me
Enough to die and give of Himself
And nothing I could ever do, or give or say
Could be enough to pay back
His sacrifice for me
Except to give myself to Him.
Blessing and glory, power and honor
Be unto the Lord, God Almighty!
Amen.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©1995

“The entire bottom line reason for prayer is that God be glorified, that God be revealed in and through us and in that for which we pray.
“Won’t you join me in prayer?
“Pray when you feel like it. Pray when you don’t feel like it. Pray until you do feel like it!”  ~Anne Graham Lotz*

 
This particular devotion from Anne is about her struggle with prayer. She struggles how to pray, when to pray and praying daily just like you and I do. So take heart, you are not alone. And neither am I in this struggle. 

Try this:
Day 1
  • In the morning start out with just a "Good Morning Lord."  This helps you acknowledge He has brought you into another day to glorify Him.
  • In the afternoon, maybe at lunch, "Thank you Lord for this food." This acknowledges you are appreciative of His gift of food for you.
  • At bedtime pray, "Thank You for giving me another day." Now you've acknowledged that He has helped you through the day. 

Day 2 Add a little to each thought
  • "Good morning Lord what a beautiful day it is!"
  • "Thank You Lord for this food and for this job. Help me to be a blessing to others today."
  • "Thank you Father for this bed to sleep in. I will rest in You tonight."

With each day and night add a little more to each prayer. AND if between these three times you think about God say a prayer then too. Before you know it, you will not struggle so much with prayer. There are many verses in the Bible that talk about prayer. Look them up and learn how to pray them to God too.

I love her final thought of this devotion so I repeat it again


 How do we fix our eyes on Jesus? Prayer. 

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

Scripture Verses for Further Meditation: Psalm 5: 1-3, Psalm 55:16-17, Matthew 6:9-13, Philippians 4:6-7


*~Anne Graham Lotz, Fixing My Eyes on Jesus: Daily Moments in His Word, April 8th, page 109

Top pictures provided with permission by Tee-Tee Barnes. All Rights Reserved. 

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015