Tag Archives: #lizjohnson

How to Defeat Jealousy

By Shelia Stovall

Everyone I know suffers from jealousy at some time in their life.  Since starting the writing journey, I’ve been plagued by the acrid emotion and it shames me.  When it’s time to announce finalists for different writing contests, I shut down my computer and avoid Facebook.  When writer friends post, “I’ve just signed a three-book contract,” I make the appropriate comments, but, there’s an ugly green poison that infuses my spirit.

There’s a reason God listed covetousness as one of the Big 10, Thou shall not…  It steals our joy. What I’ve finally discovered is that I needed help to overcome this virus.  All these years, I could have been celebrating with my friends and sharing in their happiness.  Instead, I’ve sipped from the cup of  envy. I’ve confessed this sin, and repented in prayer, but it wasn’t until I asked Jesus to take this burden from me, it happened. THANK YOU, JESUS! I couldn’t’ do this on my own, but the power of His holy spirit wiped it away.

My critique partner, Carrie Padgett, has a sweet spirit, and she’s one of the most talented and hard-working writers I know.  I’ve critiqued the first few chapters of Harley Taps Out.  When the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference (ACFW) announced her name as a finalist in the Genesis contest, my heart soared with joy. Then she asked me to accept the award for her, if by chance, she won, because she was not able to attend. My heart overflowed with happiness for her achievement. When her name was announced as the winner, I practically ran to the podium in high-heels and accepted with tears in my eyes. What a blessing to share in her success and joy.

Photo by Becky Melby.

God has gifted me with so many wonderful friends along the writing journey. As I sat in the audience Saturday evening, I cheered on and celebrated three additional writer friends who have counseled and mentored me. Cynthia Ruchti won a Carol Award for her novella, Restoring Christmas. I still have the advance copy she shared with me two years ago.

Ann H. Gabhart

Also, my friend, Anne Gabhart’s book, Murder Comes by Mail was a Carol Award finalist.

Liz Johnson and me.

And my friend, Liz Johnson’s book, The Red Door Inn was a Christy Award finalist.

I am so fortunate to have these women as mentors and friends.  What a joy to be able to celebrate my friends’ accomplishments as their successes make my cup runneth over.

What about you?  What’s causing you to be envious?  Perhaps it’s a friend who gets the job you wanted, or maybe you’ve been waiting for the right man to be your life-partner, and it seems you’re always the bridesmaid and never the bride. I’ve seen women suffer such angst as there are praying for a baby, and yet, it doesn’t happen, then they suffer when friends have children. Dear ones, it took the power of Jesus to take away the burden of jealousy from me.  Don’t do as I did, and try to do this on your own. I think it impossible to do so without the strength of the savior.  My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30 NIV.  Jesus can replace your jealous spirit with His spirit of love, joy, and peace, but the choice is yours to  ask for His help.

To celebrate my writer friends, I’m going to have three drawings on Saturday, September 30, 2017. For a chance to win one of the books below,  comment about jealousy.


 

The Promise that Comes with the Command

By Liz Johnson

“Now be sure to put Vaseline on that every day and cover it with a Band-Aid.”

I stared at the nurse like she was a little bit ridiculous. After all, the spot she was referring to was in the middle of my back. I couldn’t see it with two mirrors and selfie-stick, let alone manage keep it moisturized and covered by myself.

But the mole had had to be removed, and the resulting spot—what I dubbed “the mole hole”—had to be cared for. I did the best I could. A single woman, living alone, I employed the help of friends to apply bandages and generally suffered through the irritating itching as it healed. After all, the problematic mole, which my dermatologist deemed “troubling,” was gone. All was well.

Until I received a call from the dermatologist’s office a week later. “The pathology results from your mole are in,” said the nurse.

“Great.” I assumed the best. After all, it was just a little mole. No big deal.

“It’s not benign.”

I heard only ringing in my ears for a moment. Not benign? Benign meant harmless, right? So this was not harmless? My brain was working at the speed of sloth as I tried to sort her words into something I could understand.

And then she said what she should have started with. “But it’s not malignant either.”

“Huh?” I wasn’t feeling particularly sharp as she explained that my mole fell into a shady gray area between everything-is-great and this-could-be-trouble. The problematic cells were right along the base of the mole. If they hadn’t removed all of the problem, it would grow back, much nastier than before.

“We need you to come back in in three months,” she said.

Three months? Seriously? I had to wait three whole months to see if those little cells were still multiplying in my back? I nearly asked if they could just remove a crater from my back and be done with it. But there was nothing to be done but wait.

It’s incredible the stories that a mind can conjure as it waits for the truth. This is true in relationships—when we don’t hear from a friend, our minds fill in all the worst reasons. It’s true in families—when the person who said they’d call after their road trip doesn’t, our minds picture terrible car accidents.

I tend to be a fairly imaginative person. It’s a hazard of being a novelist, I suppose. So I immediately pictured the very worst. Facing the big C while living 2000 miles away from my family and those I love most.

friends_walkingFear settled in, heavy and oppressive. And I knew I couldn’t spend three months picturing the worst. On a walk with my best friend, I shared my fears, and she reminded me that the Bible is filled with reminders not to be afraid. She was right—per usual.

So I got home and opened my Bible. And I discovered something pretty incredible.

You see, I’d known about the many commands in scripture. “Do not be afraid.” “Fear not.” “Do not worry about tomorrow.” These are important. And they’re commands. They’re not suggestions.

But it’s one thing to know them and another entirely to do them. But as I was reading some of these key verses—the ones on postcards and wall art—something hit me. Like in Joshua 1:9, which says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

I thought that was where the verse ended. It’s not. The whole verse reads “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Did you catch that? “For the LORD your God will be with you.”

Joshua 1:9 isn’t just a command. It’s a promise. God is with us.

And the more verses I found, the more promises came with them.

Isaiah 43:1 – “But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’”

Psalm 23:4 – “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

We don’t have to be unafraid in our own strength. God tells us how to conquer fear. With Him. Remembering that He is always with us.

The command is not to fear. The promise is that we have a God who cares about the things that scare us, and He’ll walk through them with us.

I clung to that promise for three months. (Still do, for that matter.) And you know what? God was with me. He was by my side every step of the way through my mole scare. Which turned out to be nothing to worry about.

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where-two-hearts-meet-cover-finalIf you love romantic novels placed in beautiful surrounding, you won’t want to miss Liz’s new book,  Where Two Hearts Meet. It is the second book in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series and released last week.

Caden is a talented chef employed at the beautiful Red Door Inn. When Adam, a journalist shows up looking for a story, there’s a misunderstanding.

I hope you’ll treat yourself to an afternoon get-away to the beautiful setting of Prince Edward Island to see what happens “when two hearts meet.” Click on the book cover for a direct link to Amazon. I’ll draw a name from my subscribers on Sunday, October 30th and give away a free copy. To subscribe, scroll to the top of the page and add your email address in the “subscribe” box.

Liz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she’s not plotting her next trip to the island, she is the director of marketing for a Christian radio network. She is the author of several novels including Red Door Inn cover - FINALThe Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Tucson, Arizona.