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Friday, January 25, 2008

When Two People Say It...You Listen!

The Bible talks about listening to the counsel of others, and where two or three witnesses testify to something. Now I'm not talking about listening to gossip or well meaning friends trying to talk you into buying a new dress, LOL! I'm talking about listening when you believe someone with wisdom in a given area makes a suggestion and shortly after, another person states the same thing... with no prior knowledge of the counsel already given.

I had that happen this past week, in two different areas, but both have to do with book marketing, to some degree. But more importantly, with an area of ministry that's always tugged at my heart.

I've felt for a number of years that I'm supposed to be speaking and ministering to women beyond what I've been doing. I've led small groups, taught Bible studies and prayer groups, headed up committees and even spoken at our church when our pastor was absent. But I've not spoken specifically at women's groups as the featured speaker.

A few days ago my agent suggested it was time I consider putting out feelers and let churches and groups know I'm available to speak. The following day I spent an hour on the phone with a professional marketing consultant. We don't know one another personally, but after chatting for about 40 minutes she urged me to consider a speaking ministry.

Ministry you say? Wouldn't I just be trying to tout my book and writing career? No, absolutely not. Of course name recognition is important to book sales, but I'm talking about speaking to women's hearts about issues that are important to them. My first book deals with marriage and family issues--some of which I've lived personally. Being unequally yoked with a spouse who isn't a believer, having an unexpected child come into your life that belongs to you spouse and dealing with the resultant fall-out. Dealing with emotions as a direct result of both of these issues.

My second book deals with loss....How many of us have lost material things and found that when we did, our world turned upside down? How many of us at least know of someone who lost their job, their home, their credit rating, if not more? Can you relate to that type of loss and are you able to speak into people's lives who've experienced the same? I have and I can. We've been close to bankruptcy more than once in our early years of marriage, had to voluntarily turn a car back to a bank, lost jobs, had to walk away from a business because of a huge tax liability, and the list goes on. We've experienced laying awake at night from stress and wondering how we'd keep the electricity on after the phone was turned off.

Fiction is relevant and speaks to our lives. So many people believe that fiction, even Christian fiction, is a waste of time and has little or no place in a Christian's busy time schedule....either in reading, or writing. I beg to differ. Some of the most profound truths have hit me through a book of fiction. When my marriage was struggling it was a book of fiction that impacted me and spoke to my heart. Of course, so did many non-fiction books, but I've had a number of fiction books speak into my life over the years.

How about you? Is there a work of fiction that's touched your life? Leave a comment and tell us the title and what it was that ministered to you!


Sharlene MacLaren said...

Miralee, I so agree that Christian fiction has the ability to touch and heal. I think I first discovered this back in 1970 when I read a book called NOT MY WILL. Can't recall the author, but that book touched my heart and truly made me look at Christ and His purposes for my life in a whole different light. Another impacting book for me was Catherine Marshall's Christy. That was powerful for me, really made me start craving fiction of all kinds. Since then, I can't begin to name all the fictional books that have made a positive impact on me.

Oh yes, Christian fiction has the power to set people's feet on the right track, make them hunger after God's Word.

Just received your email a couple of minutes ago and decided to check out your blog. Delightful.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Be blessed.

The Koala Bear Writer said...

I love your comment that "fiction is relevant and speaks to our lives." So true! And that's the kind of fiction that I want to write. People are open to a story, but not to preaching. If you can speak to women from the perspective of "I've been there, let me help you through it," you'll reach them not only through your fiction but through your words too. May God bless you and lead you in this!

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