Hello everyone. Today we’re talking about writing, and the topic is “creative nonfiction writing examples.”
A little while back I did some study in copy writing. It was the sort that you do for sales letters and things like that. One of the things that they advised us to do was to find a good sales letter and then copy it by hand. I’m not asking you to complete things by hand, but I do have some resources for you today. I’m going to give you six places to find creative nonfiction writing examples.
Here’s one from Tom Corson-Knowles. If you’re not familiar with Tom Corson-Knowles, I’ll give him a little plug. I studied his writing and read some of his books. Actually, when I did my first book on marriage as an e-book it became a bestseller. I had read some of Tom Corson-Knowles’ writing and I found it to be very helpful. That website is TCKPublishing.com. This article is apparently a guest article because it’s written by Kaylen Barron. The title of the article is “What is Creative Nonfiction? Definitions, Common Examples, and Guidelines”.
Now, for the finale: Drum roll! Here it comes! Here’s an example of creative nonfiction writing. As I mentioned previously, we’re only about a month away from the launch of my new book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death”. That would be a good example of nonfiction writing.
When we talk about creative nonfiction writing. Sometimes we can use narrative elements to illustrate the main points of what we’re talking about. So in this book, I give some examples and true stories from my own life that illustrate some of the things that are in the book. The stories are narrative. So, even though they’re nonfiction, not fiction, they are stories, much like fiction stories.
You also can borrow things from fiction when you’re writing nonfiction, to use as good illustrations of what you’re talking about.
Janet was walking along and saw the edge of the cliff. Then her right foot slipped! She didn’t regain her balance, and she slipped over the edge She began to slide down the slope. She grabbed a branch and was hanging on for dear life.
How does that relate to your article or chapter? It may not relate at all. But if it did, you would surely have everyone’s attention. Let’s talk about four nonfiction writing techniques.
First, you can use narrative items. Tell a story. The story can still be a true story, so you would still be writing non-fiction. You can also invent a story. In that case, you would be adding some fiction in with your non-fiction writing. At any rate, you can use storytelling or narrative techniques.
You can do that in the form of an illustration. After all, who doesn’t love a good story?
Another thing you can do is use the story arc to develop your material. You would have to do a little more research on what the story arc is, but it’s something you can do. Basically, you have a beginning, middle, and end. You have a problem, then a conflict, then escalating problems, and then solving the conflict. You can set up non-fiction writing in a similar manner.
Another place you can use that technique is in the introduction. You can use narratives in the introduction just like I did with the fictional story of Janet and the cliff. Or you can use a personal or historical story as you go about doing that.
A couple of other techniques that aren’t necessarily narrative in the introduction is asking a question or questions. You may be trying to solve a problem anyway, so you may want to restate that problem in the form of a question.
Another technique you can use in the introduction is interesting, unique, or funny thoughts at the beginning of your writing
So use narrative techniques.
Details, Details, Details
Also, use details. Sometimes, you need to have some details just to help with the clarity of your writing. You can also add sensory details. Talk about the smell, or sound, or the sounds in the setting. Use those sensory details. Sometimes, those sensory details relate to emotions. If you are involved in sales, many people tell you that people buy from emotions as well as from want. So use sensory details. Add emotional triggers where that’s appropriate to do so.
This is the second technique.
Keep it Simple
Third, use simplicity. Abraham Lincoln said if you have the choice between a simple word and a complex word, and the simple word will convey the proper idea, use the simple word. That was good advice coming from our 16th president. Use short or clear words where you can.
Use short paragraphs. One of the ways to use shorter paragraphs may be contrary to what you were once taught in school. In the old way of writing books, you may have had 2-3 long paragraphs per page. One of those paragraphs may have included five items within that paragraph. And that is a proper way of doing that. You would have a topic sentence, then you would enumerate the 5 items, and you may have a clincher sentence at the end.
The more modern way of doing that is to make that 5 paragraphs and have the topic sentence in the first paragraph with the first point, and the second item would be the second paragraph, third- third paragraph, fourth- fourth paragraph, and fifth – fifth paragraph. Or, you may have six paragraphs, with the topic sentence being a paragraph on its own, introducing that topic. You may even make it seven paragraphs, having a “clincher” paragraph/sentence at the end.
You’ll notice in a lot of online writing, a lot of blogs, and a lot of areas where you observe writing techniques, you’ll notice in modern-day copywriting, there is a lot of “white space,” or there is a line between the paragraphs, which gives more white space. That is if you have black letters on white paper, which is how it’s usually done.
So, use simplicity. Use short paragraphs and short, clear words, and white space where possible.
Variety is the Spice of Life
The last technique is to use variety. You can use variety in sentence lengths. I know I said to use short sentences, but don’t use only short sentences. If you do that, they will be like little bullets one right after the other. So you want some variety in sentence length. Many of them will be shorter because you made a conscious effort to do that, but some should be longer so you have variety.
Also, use variety in the sentence types. You have simple sentences, you have compound sentences, and even compound-complex sentences. You may want to use several short sentences, but for variety, you should throw in compound, and compound-complex sentences. Use variety in sentence length and types.
Another thing you can do is use variety in points of view. If you are using stories, either fiction or nonfiction, to illustrate your points, you can tell them from the first-person point of view. You may have been talking about something that was a personal experience. In that case, you would say, “I did this. I did that.”
Another story may relate to someone else and you may speak about that in the third person. Sometimes, you can tell a story about someone else, and you can tell it as though you are that character. You should make clear to your reader that you are not that character, but you can tell it in first-person.
If you’re writing conversationally, many of your sentences will be the second-person point of view where you’re addressing the reader as “you.” Or you could do a third-person point of view.
Think of each story as a scene in a movie. You just don’t want to change the point of view within the scene or illustration. The first story may be from the first-person point of view, and the next may be a third-person point of view. Just don’t mix the two within the same illustration.
These are some nonfiction writing techniques that can make your chapters or articles more interesting. 1. Use narrative items. 2. Use details. 3. Use simplicity. 4. Use variety.
For more writing tips, head to Randy’s Blogs. On the top of the page, you’ll find a heading labeled “writing”. There is a lot of helpful information there. This article relates to the idea of steps to writing success.
To get even more help and advice, check out my book, ” How to Write a Book in 28 Days Without Stressing Yourself to Death”. Just go to Amazon.com, type in the full title in the search bar, and you’ll be able to purchase either an eBook or a print book. ( Note, the book is officially launching in November, 2021. I encourage you to participate in the launch. There will be some perks during the launch.)
I hope this has been helpful for you. Happy writing!
There are three simple steps to success for non-fiction authors. Here, I will explain how to lay out a book plan and get started writing a great book. Writing non-fiction books is one of the best ways to start as an author.
Step One: The Big Idea
Come up with a big idea. Figure out what the reader’s main desire is. Figure out what the reader wants to accomplish. Another way of looking at that is what is the main problem he or she wants to overcome?
What Problem Are You Solving?
Figure out the problem you’re going to solve. You may have already done that trying to figure out the big idea. If you haven’t now is the time. Look at a specific problem that the reader would like to have solved. Also, think about what are his/her past obstacles in this area. They obviously haven’t overcome those or they’d have no need to read the book you’re planning on writing. So, figure out the big problem that you’re going to solve.
List the Steps
List steps taking the reader from where they are now to where they want to be. How do you get started? That’s often the main question for someone trying to solve a problem. Just where do you start? Analyze that situation and help them answer that question. Another thing is to figure out is what obstacles will have to be overcome to get the reader from where they are now to where they want to be.
Once you have those general ideas for your steps, then figure out what is the first baby step to take. List that first. Then think about other steps that will lead them to the best chance for success in that area. Then, list the steps in the best order. It may be chronological, or some other way. Whatever is the best order. Try to come up with at least 8 steps. You have the general idea of how to get to the solution, just keep breaking that big idea down into smaller steps.
You can come up with a concept for your book…that’s the big picture. You can identify the problem that the writer wants solved. You can break the journey into progressive steps. You can lay out a plan for your book!
If you are an author or aspiring author, and you want to learn how to make this process even easier, go to Amazon and search for my newest book, “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” by Randy Carney. If you are reading this before October 15, 2021, you may want to wait until launch week on October 15, where you can get a discount for a limited time.
This is the fourth and final post in the series on mistakes that Christian family members make, when dealing with one another, without realizing it. In the first part, I discussed the mistake of not knowing how fragile your family members are. You can read the first post and watch the video here. The second post addressed the importance of encouraging words. Read part two here. In part three, I talked about understanding how general attitudes of encouragement benefit the entire Christian community. See that post here.
In this final post, I will explain how examples of encouragement can benefit others.
The Teacher and Teddy
In 1974, a lady named Elizabeth Silance Ballard wrote a story that appeared in “Home Life Magazine”.
On the first day of school, the teacher looked at the fresh faces of her fifth-grade class. Smiling, she told them, “I love each of you the same!” But in her mind, she knew that wasn’t true. She looked to the back row and saw Teddy Stoddard slumped in his seat. As the school year progressed, she somewhat enjoyed putting the big red “X” on incorrect answers and the big “F” on Teddy’s papers. He just wasn’t a good student.
The teachers were required to go through notes from their students’ previous teachers. Teddy’s teacher began reading: First Grade: “Teddy is such a delight to have in class. He is so excited about learning.” Second Grade: “He is a delightful young man. He’s so cooperative and so cheerful when coming into school.” Third Grade: “Teddy is having a little trouble. His mother is very sick.” Fourth Grade: “Teddy is having trouble focusing. He is never happy. His father seems disinterested.”
The teacher’s heart changed that day. She showed up to class the next morning with a new view of Teddy. She began encouraging him and cheering him on. She soon discovered that her pledge to love each child the same was still untrue because she had come to love Teddy the most. Christmas time came around, and all the children brought beautiful gifts for the teacher. They would get so excited when she came to each gift. Then it came time to open Teddy’s present. It was poorly wrapped in plain brown paper. She opened the package to discover a rhinestone bracelet with a few stones missing and a small, half-empty bottle of perfume. The students all began to laugh, but the teacher stopped it with the action of taking some of the perfume and applying it. Later that day, Teddy came to the teacher and said, “Thank you, Ms. Thompson. You smell just like my mother.”
The next year, Teddy was not in her class, but she got a note saying, “My grades are doing better. You’re still the best teacher I’ve ever had.” Two years later, she got another note from Teddy: “I’m graduating 8th grade. You’re still the best teacher ever.” Four years went by, and Teddy sent another note. “I’m graduating high school this year. I’m in the top fourth of my class!” Another four years, and another note. “I am graduating from college!” The next note read, “I have graduated from medical school!” Signed, Theodore Stoddard, M.D.
In time, another letter from Teddy came. “I am getting married in 3 months. I would like for you to come and sit in the spot reserved for the mother of the groom.” The teacher gladly accepted and sat proudly in the place of honor.
The story of Teddy and the teacher is fictional, but elements of it are taken from real-life events. The author of the story had taken pecans she had picked up to her teacher, and rather than allow the kids to laugh, the teacher made a big deal of it. The rhinestone bracelet aspect came from another family member’s experience.
It’s also true that encouragement goes a long way, and discouragement can rip us apart and destroy us.
I pray that the Word of God encourages you. I pray you encourage one another. I pray husbands and wives encourage each other and children do as well.
Thank you for reading. I hope that I have encouraged you. Please check out my other blog posts at Randy’s Blogs and don’t forget to follow me on YouTube and Rumble.
Writing nonfiction eBooks can be a great way to get your writing career off the ground. It’s often easier and quicker than going the traditional route.
There are four main steps processes involved. The first is coming up with a general idea. Next is coming up with a more specific plan. After that, is the execution of the plan. Finally is the publishing step, and you have your end result.
The Big Idea
Having a general idea is all well and good. But an important aspect is finding out what, exactly, your readers are interested in. They want to know things related to what you are interested in. You’ll need to do a survey. Ask people what problems they have and need to be solved and what they are interested in. Then the trick is to discover what you want to write about, what you know about, and what they want to read about. Find the overlap, and you’ll have your idea. You can write your eBook on what you want to write about and also help people with what they want to read about.
Now you move on to the plan You came up with the overall theme, or “big idea”, for your book. What is your book about, in a nutshell? You need to be able to state that in a paragraph or even one sentence.
Next, it’s time to come up with 10-21 working chapter titles. A few more than that is ok. Sometimes, if you start getting too many chapters, you can combine ideas.
Then you want to come up with chapter plans. This is very important. Come up with points for each chapter. Here’s a secret: It’s much easier to write an answer to questions. After coming up with 9-15 points for your chapter, turn those into questions. Then, for each question, give yourself little hints as to what you’re going to write as an answer to those questions. Lay that out for the whole book.
Write daily. Figure out how many minutes a day you can write. Make it at least 30 minutes, up to 75 minutes a day. If you can write 75 minutes a day, you can complete a rough draft of a 20 chapter 200 page book in about 20 days. The key is to write daily. Another key is to write a fast rough draft. Power through and get your rough draft done quickly. Just write, and do the editing later. Some people do prefer to edit daily, which is fine, but it will take longer each day if you do it that way. Just make sure you write every day and complete your daily goals. Doing it this way, you’ll be able to complete a rough draft fairly quickly and move on to editing.
You are the best editor for your book because you are the most familiar with what you want to say. It does have some drawbacks when it comes to proofreading. When you are proofreading your own work, your mind knows what you want to say, so sometimes it will put in a word when it’s not actually there. So, edit your book after doing the first rough draft. If you have the money and the inclination, you can hire a professional editor to help.
Publishing – The End Result
After the idea, plan, and execution, we come to the final step, which is publishing. If you are writing an eBook, I recommend self-publishing. If you’re doing both an eBook and a print book, then you have other ways you can go. If you do that, you can go 4 different routes.
First is traditional publishing. You’ll need to compose a good query letter and book proposal. You would then send those off to prospective agents. Then the agent would find a publisher for your book.
The second route is self-publishing. Especially with eBooks, you can come up with a PDF file that you can sell from your website.
The third route is using Kindle Direct Publishing. I have no connection with them, other than the experience of having worked with them in the past. They will allow you to publish a print book around the same time that you publish your eBook.
Another possible route is a hybrid publisher. It has some of the best aspects of traditional and self-publishing. They will offer you additional services, which you would have to pay for. They may offer editing services, marketing services, or cover design.
You have the idea, you have the plan, and you have written the book. Now get it published. Since we’re talking about a non-fiction eBook, I recommend either self-publishing via a PDF file on your website, or through Kindle Direct Publishing. You would then have it listed on Amazon.com
Edification Mistakes Christian Family Members Make – Part 2
This is the second in a four-part series on mistakes that Christian family members make, when dealing with one another, without realizing it. In the first part, I discussed the mistake of not knowing how fragile your family members are. You can read that post and watch the video here.
Today, I will be talking about the power of encouraging words.
A Lasting Impact
There was once a teacher who was concerned about some problems going on in her class. She came up with an assignment.
She began by giving each student a list of the names of all their classmates. She instructed the students to write down one good thing about each one in the class. The students turned in their assignments the following day. The teacher then compiled all the good things the children had written about one another, and gave the list to the respective student. She then moved on with her normal lesson plans for the rest of the year. Several years passed, and the teacher hadn’t thought much about the lists. Then, one of those students was killed in the Viet Nam war. The teacher, along with several students from that class, attended the visitation.
While talking and remembering, it was said that, among the soldier’s belongings, was the letter from the classmates listing his good qualities.
Once that was revealed, one by one, the other former students began saying, “I still have mine.” One said, “I look at mine at least once a week.” Another smiled and opened his wallet, and removed a tattered and taped piece of paper, showing that he, too, still had the letter from so long ago.
The teacher’s actions that day so long ago had a lasting impact on those students. It was evident by how many of them held on to and cherished the letters and the words written on them.
We see the power of encouraging words in examples such as these.
As I’ve said in previous blogs, the one about humility, for example, (read it here) supportive words and actions can go a long way and have a deep and lasting impact on the recipient. Words have the power to build up or tear down.
I’m sure we’ve all seen a child light up when a parent, teacher, or coach, tells them they did well, or praises their attitude, or congratulates them on a newly mastered skill. The encouragement makes the child want to try even harder, or repeat the action, or get even better at the skill.
Adults are no different. We all need to hear that we’re appreciated for who we are and what we do. We all need the encouragement of those we love and are closest to.
Husbands need to hear from their wives that they are proud of them, how hard they work, and how well they lead the family.
Wives need to hear from their husbands that they are pleased with the work she does, both in and out of the home. Wives need to be encouraged that they are doing well with the children and running the home.
Children need to know that Mom and Dad are proud of them and their efforts to learn, grow and improve.
Children need to communicate to their parents that they’re appreciative of the time, money, and effort that is put into their well-being and upbringing.
Not Just Blood Family
While the main focus of these posts is on blood-related family members, it’s important to note another family relationship. For those of us who are believers, our brothers and sisters in Christ are our family as well.
Those family members need support and encouragement as well. It’s easy to grow weary while serving Christ. Especially these days when we are under attack from so many directions. Discouragement and frustration can easily creep in. Just as it’s important to encourage our spouses and children, it’s important to lift up and exhort our pastors, deacons, elders, and other fellow believers.
Everybody needs encouragement and support from those around them. It’s so important to understand the power of encouraging words.
Thank you for reading. Please check out my other blog posts at Randy’s Blogs and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.
The importance of edification cannot be overemphasized.
Edification Mistakes Christian Family Members Make – Part 1
There are 4 mistakes that Christian family members make when dealing with one another. In the next several posts, I will be discussing what those mistakes are, and ways to avoid them. In this first installment, I will talk about the mistake of not knowing how fragile your family members are.
I’ve always been proud of the relationship that I have with my son, Rusty. Currently, he is serving as a missionary in Japan. Well, a few years ago, my wife and I took a trip to visit him and his family. While there, I had an opportunity to have a conversation with Rusty about an event he recalled from his past.
He was in school, and I was the assistant principal at the time. I had come into his classroom, and found that he had not completed his goals. He had gone as far as getting some of the school staff to support him, but I was going to override it because I knew what he was capable of accomplishing, and a different goal would have benefited him two weeks later.
I did not realize how damaging that was to him. Now, at that time, had he better explained to me what he was thinking, I feel like i would have understood and done what he asked. But what hurt me the most was that he didn’t feel like he could talk to me and explain. I had hurt my son, and I was oblivious!
Then, Rusty told that he recalled a time when he and my youngest daughter, Rita Beth were together, and she made what I interpreted to be a disrespectful comment. It concerned me because I felt I was responsible for her correction. I felt it was my fault.
Rusty left and went over to my mother’s house. I followed him a little later, and proceeded to speak to him and ti try to explain why I had corrected his sister. He looked at me and said, “It just feels like that sometimes you don’t respect us.”
Well, that floored me. I didn’t have anything to say. I just turned and walked away. During that same conversation I mentioned above, Rusty said that he remembered the look in my eyes after he said that, and how hurt I looked. He didn’t remember what he said, but he remembered the look of hurt.
Before we move on, I should point out that all of my children were generally very respectful, including these two.
Family members sometimes make mistakes like these and don’t even realize it.
What Children need from Their Parents
Children long for approval and love from their parents. We’ve all seen a young child yell, “Daddy, watch this!” or “Mommy, look what I can do!” From an early age, children seek out their parents’ approval. Many of their motivations early in life come from a desire to make Mom and Dad proud of them. Even as adults, they don’t outgrow that need for approval.
A basic human need is love. Children who are deprived of that love and closeness often have lifelong problems with relationships. It’s sometimes referred to as “attachment disorder”. That is defined as “a type of mood or behavioral disorder that affects a person’s ability to form and maintain relationships. These disorders typically develop in childhood. They can result when a child is unable to have a consistent emotional connection with a parent or primary caregiver”
So you see, a lack of a loving support system can have lifelong consequences.
What Husbands Need from Their Wives
I’m not sure that wives understand how important their admiration, respect, and encouragement are for their husbands. As men, we feel the need to provide for and take care of our families. The Bible commands that we do so! Big, showy, grand gestures aren’t always necessary to show your husband support and respect. I heard a story of a pastor and his wife. Every Sunday, while leaving the church, his wife would link her arm in his and say to him, “You’re a good man.” That was an encouragement to him.
What Wives Need from Their Husbands
Similarly, husbands aren’t always aware of the needs of their wives. Wives crave security, support, and encouragement from their husbands. Wives have a lot on their plates. Often, they work outside of the home. Many women are also responsible for the running of the household and care of the children. Knowing that their husbands are there and “have their back” is a source of great comfort.
What Parents Need from Their Children
Children, especially young ones, may not understand what their parents need from them. They may not know their parents need anything from them. But they do. Parents need to hear and see their children express gratitude for the things that they do for them. Parenting is a tough job, and it’s important to feel that what you’re doing matters and is appreciated.
Summing it all Up
So, within the family, everyone needs something from the other members. It’s a circular relationship. When everyone fills his or her role, the family can be happy, harmonious, and united.
In my next post, I’ll be discussing how important encouraging words can be. In the meantime, you can visit Randy’s Blogs for more about marriage and family relationships. You can also follow me on You Tube or Rumble.
In my recent posts, I’ve discussed edification or encouraging one another in the family. Here, I’ll be talking about building up each other’s confidence. While I’ll be focusing on relationships between husbands and wives here, remember that the church is the bride of Christ, so this blog post can be applied to relationships within the church as well.
Philippians 1:3-6, 25 (MEV)
3 I thank my God for every reminder of you. 4 In every prayer of mine for you all, I have always made requests with joy, 5 due to your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ. 25 Having this confidence, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your joyful advancement of the faith,
Definition of Confidence
Let’s start off by defining confidence. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstance” Another definition is “…feeling sure of yourself and your abilities — not in an arrogant way, but in a realistic, secure way. Confidence isn’t about feeling superior to others. It’s a quiet inner knowledge that you’re capable.”
Confidence is not just our own confidence, but who we are in the Lord and how the Lord can bless us. We should be able to lift others up within the Lord and that should bring confidence within our lives.
Problems From Lack of Confidence
A lack of confidence can cause missed opportunities. Feelings of inferiority can cause you to think you can’t do something, or shouldn’t try. Maybe you won’t go out for that promotion at work because you feel like you wouldn’t be able to handle the extra responsibility. Perhaps you decline an offer to teach a Sunday school class because you think you lack the necessary abilities. It’s important to take advantage of opportunities that come your way. No matter if you succeed or you fail, you will always learn something.
Personal growth can stall without confidence. For example, what if, in order to get a new job, you needed to go back to school? If you’re feeling less than adequate, you may miss out on furthering your education, not to mention a great new career. You will feel defeated before you even start, so, you may not start. That goes back to those missed opportunities. How many things have we missed out on because the words “I can’t” or “I’m not” ran through our minds? It was once said that the word “can’t ” should be removed from the dictionary.
I think the worst thing to come from a lack of confidence is the feeling of being worthless and feeling that no one cares. It can get to the point that it will pull a person down. If Satan can’t rob you of your knowledge of who Jesus is, he will try to rob you of your joy. He’ll rob you of thinking clearly and he will fill you with lies. Satan will gleefully remind you of your past failures. That robs us of the freedom we have, in Christ, from those failures. When Satan gets a foothold in your thoughts and keeps reminding you about your past, it steals your confidence, and you fall deeper and deeper into despair. The sadness turns into more self-deprecating thoughts, Satan gains ground and the cycle continues.
Let me begin by saying that I am in no way elevating myself. We all need to encourage one another.
Something I have always wanted to do is encourage my wife, Rhonda in her personal growth. She was once asked to speak at a Mother’s Day banquet. She had never really spoken like that before and was a little apprehensive. As a family, we encouraged her to speak. She did and was successful. Then word got out and another ladies’ meeting called and asked her to speak. We encouraged her to do that event also. Hopefully, that helped her develop some confidence
While living in Georgia, we started a Christian school. Rhonda hadn’t completed her education degree yet, but we felt like her main ministry should be at home during that time. She did come into the school once a week and started working with a reading program helping the children. She was also a monitor which is like a teacher’s aide. While helping out, I knew I could just ask her to do something and she’d understand what I needed.
Another time, I worked at Accelerated Christian Education (ACE). They did “Bible Time Boosters” which is similar to VBS. They asked her and another lady to work with the little ones. There were at least 35 children in the group. To get the kids to walk in line and stay together, they all had to hang on to a rope. When it came time for the closing program, her class’ turn came and she took the front of the rope, the children grabbed on, and the other teacher took the end and they did their program. When it was time to leave the teachers and children took the rope and went back to their spot. The rope trick really impressed a lady in the church named Mrs. Howard, who was in charge of many areas of the ministry. Later, she became president. When it came time to start the preschool program, they wanted someone to be in charge of the school. This school was to be the pilot program for the development of the curriculum, which would have a world-wide impact. Mrs. Howard asked me if Rhonda would be willing to do that. I would have encouraged Rhonda to do that, but we had already determined that her main ministry would be with our own preschoolers at home. Nevertheless, the idea of someone wanting her to head up the school was a big confidence builder for her.
Rhonda played the piano for her church as a teenager and she told me about a time that she couldn’t hold the foot pedal down because her knee was shaking so badly. But she’s practiced and played many times for our church and others and has gained confidence and been a blessing.
As a teacher, Rhonda’s confidence was in working with the smaller children. She worked with them for a while and was then asked to work with older children. It was intimidating to her, but she did it and gained confidence.
As a Sunday School teacher, again, her confidence was in working with children. But she’s taught young adults and adults and I’ve seen her confidence grow. I’ve just been trying to encourage her to grow.
My Personal Journey
Rhonda has encouraged me to grow and helped me gained confidence as well. She’s encouraged me to trust in the Lord, and I’m SO glad she was willing to do that. Our confidence in the Lord has grown through our lives because of our little, feeble faith that we started with that we could trust God when we couldn’t see what the next steps would be.
I was attending Seminary and had been a youth director at a church. That time was coming to an end, and it was time for me to graduate. The house we were living in did not belong to us, and we needed to move out because the new youth director and his family were going to be moving in. It got to the point where we had to be out in 6 days and didn’t know where we were going. I had sent out many letters all over the country telling them I was available to pastor.
I got a call from a church in Mt. Vernon, Illinois to preach a trial sermon. I went and spoke, but was not called by that church. That was not in God’s plan.
We got some replies from Georgia, and in that 6-day time frame, we went to one church, and I spoke. I was scheduled to speak the next week at a youth revival at another church in Georgia. After speaking at the first church in Georgia, we were headed back to Tennessee and were in prayer about what God wanted. We said if that first church called us, we would accept the call. Before we even got back to Tennessee, they had their meeting and called me as their pastor!
We loaded up and moved to Georgia. We pulled our U-Haul into one of the deacons’ yards with barely any time to spare and headed to the youth revival to fulfill that commitment.
Then we were going to start a Christian school but it all fell apart. I had already resigned from my church, and we had to be out of our house. The church people asked me if I had made a mistake. I said, “I don’t know. I don’t understand. I don’t know what’s happening. But, I’m pretty sure I was right to resign. I just don’t know yet what my next step is.”
They said they needed someone to fill in as pastor, so they asked if I would be willing to do that until I discovered my next step. I agreed, and they said my family and I could live in the parsonage until everything got sorted out. So, even though the direction wasn’t clear at that time, God still provided for our short-term needs.
That Sunday we went up to a Sword of the Lord conference in Atlanta. The regional coordinator from ACE was there, and I said, “It looks like we’re not going to start a school.” He said, “That’s OK. We can just keep everything on file and in the next 3 years the church there can start.” I started to walk away, and he asked if I needed a place to go. It had never occurred to me to tell anyone that I need a place to go. So, I told him that I did, and he told me he knew of a pastor who was wanting to start a school but didn’t have a principal or a supervisor and hadn’t sent anyone for training yet. Classes were supposed to start in a few weeks. So, it turned out that was the next step for us.
Through all this, Rhonda just went along with me, even though I couldn’t see clearly the direction that God wanted me to go. She got confirmation from the Lord along with me that He was doing something. Even though we couldn’t see it, we relied on Him and trusted Him. In our case, God seems to let us just barely hang on when things seem to be falling apart. We just cling tightly to our faith. Throughout our journey, Rhonda has encouraged me, and that has been a confidence builder for me.
Then, I worked for the International Institute, a college program for ACE, for a time. I then went back to southern Illinois and began a college there.
Things didn’t always turn out how we had planned, but no matter what, God worked through that, and people were blessed.
God Provides Confidence
We don’t know how big or small things will be, but they are never insignificant. God is faithful. He can instill the confidence in you, that when you take some steps, even if you can’t see how it will work out, God will come through and it will work out! Then, when you’re facing another time of uncertainty when you can’t see how it will work out, you will remember what God did before, and you ask Him to please do it again.
Rhonda and I decided that we wanted all our children to attend college. We didn’t know how we were going to pay for it, but we took a step of faith and enrolled them. Somehow, through God’s grace and provision, we made it.
We had one year when 3 of them were in college at one time. Our son, Rusty, was told by someone to apply for some scholarships. They scholarship providers didn’t know him and weren’t from our state. Rusty wouldn’t have had any idea about applying for those, but someone suggested he do so, and he got several scholarships out of that encounter. God works that way! He also provided jobs for them. That was the year that our income came up and was one of the highest we’ve had in our lives.
Then, Rusty decided that he was going to be a missionary to Japan. I said, “How are you going to get funding?” He went to area churches to get monthly funding. The mission board said he needed a budget of $108,000 a year. To us, in our area, it seemed excessive. But Rhonda and I took a trip to Japan and bought a watermelon while there, and it was $40, so we found out that level of funding was totally in line. But God made a way, and Rusty and his family were able to move to Japan, and he is still serving in the mission field today!
The Lord builds confidence in failures. Abraham Lincoln ran for office several times and didn’t get voted nt. Then, finally, he was elected the 16th President of the United States.
Encourage One Another
You can encourage one another. If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing poorly until you can do it well. You can encourage with that. Wives can encourage husbands. Perhaps the husband gets a new job and isn’t doing well in the beginning. She can encourage him by using that phrase and letting him know that she believes he will improve and be successful.
Encouragement Regardless of Personality Type
God can use every personality type. There are some people who are very driven and outgoing and will work to get things done. You can be thrust into leadership positions. You can be a follower. You can be the best support person you can be. But, there are also people who have milder personalities who can be leaders.
There is a spiritual gift of pastoring, but there are some pastors who do not have that spiritual gift. I am currently pastoring a church, but I don’t feel I have that spiritual gift. But I have learned that if God calls you to serve in a certain role, He will provide the necessary tools.
You may have that hard-driving personality, and God will cause things to happen because of your drive. You might have a milder personality. You might be introverted. In many companies, there are people that are introverted and quiet who are in positions of leadership, and people can’t figure out how they got there. The reason those kinds of personalities can be successful is that they are willing to put up with things that people with stronger personalities aren’t. God can take that and use that.
Whatever your spouse’s personality type is, please encourage them that God can use them.
I’m currently interested in Internet marketing and I’m trying to learn how to do that. My confidence grows each time I fail at that. I lean a little bit more each time I try. Maybe someday I’ll be a great Internet marketer and be telling you all how to succeed at doing that.
What Can Be if We Instill Confidence in Others
Think about what can take place if you build your confidence, and your family builds your confidence. You can begin to tackle new things, and you can see God do unusual things. You’d be willing to start without knowing what the next steps will be. You may be called to go to minister in a prison. You may be afraid, but you take a step and be willing to start. As you do this, you may appear to be more outgoing than you actually are. You may overcome some obstacles along the way, but you will recover from failures that you face.
Before Rhonda and I got married, I sang in a quartet. There was a song we sang that said:
When trouble is in my way, I can’t tell my night from day, When I’m tossed from side to side, Like a ship on a raging tide, I don’t worry I don’t fret. My God has never failed me yet. Troubles come from time to time, But that’s all right, I’m not the worrying kind because I’ve got confidence God is gonna see me through. No matter what the case may be. I know He’s gonna fix it for me. Job was sick so long Till the flesh fell from his bones. His wife, cattle, and children, Everything that he had was gone. But Job in he despair, He knew that God still cared, Sleepless days and sleepless nights, But Job said that’s all right because I’ve got confidence.
I pray that you will have it as part of your mission to instill confidence in those around you. My desire is to instill confidence in you so you can talk to people about your faith. I want you to be able to step out of your comfort zones. When asked to be a Sunday School teacher, you will accept and see where the Lord leads. When you see a challenge before you, I pray for you to realize that God has never failed you yet. Step out. Even if there’s a failure, you learn from it. I pray that in your life, failure is never a bad thing. Don’t let the failure go to waste. Learn from it and build your confidence.
Thank you for reading. For more posts like this, go to Randy’s Blogs. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and my Rumble Channel.
Humility can bring about healing in our own lives, our marriages, and our Nation. Here, I will address the importance of humility, examples of humility, commands concerning humility, and the most important requirement of humility for us all.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. II Chronicles 7:14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Marge and Mark
Marge and Mark were next door neighbors. Marge was in her back yard. Mark was in his. Their yards were separated by a tall hedge and they could not see one another. Marge, to herself, said, “I can’t do anything right! He never stands up for me. I’m always taken for granted. He doesn’t notice when I try to look good for him. He is SO arrogant. He never apologizes for anything! He never supports me when the children put me down.”
Imagine if Marge had felt appreciation or gratitude from her husband. How would her attitude be different? Instead of the frustration she was feeling, maybe she would have felt grateful for a husband who supported her and showed his love. Was her husband being arrogant, or just not paying attention? Either way, it’s obvious there was work to be done. Marge needed the support of her husband, and some
encouragement when she made extra effort to fix herself up. Dealing with the children alone was draining, and feeling like she had no one to back her up or stick up for her when they put her down was very hurtful. The whole home would have run more smoothly if Marge’s husband would have shown humility and stepped outside of himself for a few minutes and looked at things from Marge’s perspective. I’m sure she would have had feelings of admiration for her husband as opposed to the resentment her thoughts showed. She was working hard and did not feel the validation she needed.
Similarly, Mark was thinking to himself, “She doesn’t seem to think I know anything! I’m always taken for granted. She never says anything good about me in public. She never apologizes for anything! She never stands up for me when the children push against me. It would be nice to hear ‘thank you’ once in a while.”
Mark’s wife seemed wrapped up in her own world, her own self. Mark worked hard, both at his job and at home. He was skilled at many things, and knew how to do a lot. His wife never seemed to appreciate that. He felt beaten down and defeated. If his wife had taken the time to step out of herself and look at things through Mark’s eyes, she may have seen what her pride had done. Maybe she would have realized that he was a good provider, a good husband, and a good father. Maybe her heart would have been softened, and she would have apologized for how she had treated him, and how she had not taken his feelings into consideration. It could have been the beginning of a new commitment for her to be more appreciative of Mark, and to make sure to thank him for the things he did.
The Importance of Humility
A man once said, “There’s one thing that I’m better at than anyone else: being humble.”
Pride Brings Pain
Proverbs 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
In both Marge’s and Mark’s houses, it seems there were people who were lifted up with pride.
Proverbs 21:19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman. Proverbs 25:24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
There was a time when God commanded King Saul to take his army and totally and completely destroy the Amalekites. They were to take no prizes, trophies, or plunder. They were even commanded to kill all the livestock. This was to prevent anything from the pagan land from influencing His people.
Instead, they took some of the spoils. When Samuel returned, King Saul claimed to have done what was commanded. Samuel questioned him. What is the bleating of sheep and goats that I hear. King Saul continued in his lies, indicating that he kept the animals for sacrifice.
I Samuel 15:17 -19 So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel? 18 Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?”
So, you can see that pride brings pain in our lives. In the case of our marriages, our own pride is a hindrance to helping our spouses to experience that feeling of value they deserve.
However, when we humble ourselves and get our eyes on others, we get into a better position to lift them up.
Humility Brings Joy
1 Peter 5:5-7 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
So, if you have cares, you can bring them to God. All you have to do is humble yourself under His mighty hand. Not only will you feel better, but you, yourself, will be lifted up in due time. Your humility will help you lift up your husband or wife, but it will also place you where God will eventually lift you up too.
II Chronicles 7:14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Humility brings joy. It brings healing. Healing for our land, for our marriages, and for our lives.
John 9:33 33.Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”
I have an entire message on just this, called the Secret of Greatness. It can be summed up in just one sentence: The secret of greatness is humble service without thought of reward. That is what Jesus was talking about here.
Marge and Mark are good examples of what can happen if we don’t practice humility in our own lives. Resentment and hurt feelings arise. That’s just from the human standpoint. Relationships between one another are an important part of life. We want to go through life with people who appreciate and respect us, and we need to do the same.
Imagine if we all showed one another the grace that God shows us. How much more kind would we be to the cashier who made a mistake in giving us our change, or the driver who cuts us off in traffic? Imagine how our brothers and sisters in Christ could be lifted up and encouraged if we addressed them with humility and grace and love? If the humility is something we are the recipient of, imagine how encouraging that would be, and how much more joy and contentment we would feel in our lives. Pride can cause so many problems. Refusing to be humble can cause hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and sometimes much worse. The biggest reason to be humble, though, is because God commands it!
Examples of Humility
Numbers 12:3 Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth. Moses was leading millions of people. God used him to part the Red Sea, and all the children of Israel went across on dry ground.
Something I want you to understand is that humility does not mean being a doormat. We must humble ourselves in the sight of God. We can fall down before God in our feelings of unworthiness. We should be humble in our dealings with others. But humility does not equal weakness. Moses was very strong. In fact, he even had a problem with anger. His anger caused him to miss seeing the Promised Land when he struck a rock instead of speaking to it as God had commanded.
Of course, the greatest example of humlity is Jesus. He was King of the Universe, yet He humbled Himself, was born as a baby, and raised by humans. He knew hunger, thirst, criticism, and intense pain on the cross. He had the power of Heaven at his disposal and He chose humility. Humility is strength and power under control.
Luke 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
Joseph and Mary had lost Jesus. Imagine what it must have felt like–to have been given the responsibility to care for God’s only begotten son, and the lost Him!
When they found Him, He was in the temple talking with the doctors of the Law.
When they questioned Him, He told them that He must be about His Father’s business. Still, he went with them and was subject unto them. Here is the ruler of the universe deciding to be subject to human beings.
Notice He was subject to them even though He knew more than they did.
Not only that, He was subject to them even though they were sinful and He was not.
I John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Jesus came to this earth and humbled himself. When they came to crucify Him, He allowed it to happen.
If the strong personalities of Moses and Jesus could humble them selves, surely we could temper our own selves.
Commands Concerning Humility
Ephesians 5:32-33 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
We need to value one another, and make one another feel valued. You are valuable to God. So much so that He sent His son, who was willing to take your sin upon Himself. God values you so much, he offers you the gift of eternity in Heaven. You are that valuable!
Scripture tells us to not grieve the Holy Spirit. We’re told that when we receive Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit. We also receive the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness*, self-control. Against such there is no law. *Gentleness is the same as meekness or humility.
When we looked at the translations that said that Moses was the meekest man on the earth, we saw that alternate translations said the more gentle than others, and further that he was more humble than others. We see the synonyms: meekness, gentleness, and humility. Therefore, humility is a part of the fruit of the spirit.
How can we learn to be more humble? The Bible is the perfect place to start. Use a concordance or search engine and find scripture verses about humility. Write them in a notebook and keep them where you have your daily devotional. Read the verses daily. Commit them to memory. Another way is to look up…from the phone or computer, from the television, the book, paper, or anything else that takes your focus away from others. Look for needs around you. Look for the person who is hurting. Pay attention to words and actions. Not everyone who needs help will tell you. Pray and ask for wisdom and discernment in seeing people’s needs. Ask for guidance in how you can help. Be open to correction and direction. Remember that being humble is a fruit of the Spirit, a gift from God when we accept Jesus as Savior.
The Most Important Requirement of Humility for All of Us
We have to humble ourselves and admit that we have sinned in order to receive Christ. God requires it. If you are going to be saved, you can’t say, “I don’t need to be saved. I’ve done all these wonderful things. I’m better than that person over there” The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
Humbling yourself before God is the only way to get to Heaven. Why would God have sent His son, and why did Jesus lay down his life, if there were another way? Even Jesus Himself prayed to His Father, if there were any other way, to let the cup “pass from” Him.
The first step to salvation is to humble yourself before God. Acknowledge your sin, that you’ve gone your own way, and that you have pushed against God. Give yourself to Him, and He will fill you with His Spirit, and you will receive the Fruit of the Spirit.
Pride stands in the way of us lifting up our husband or wife. Humility will remove that barrier.
Humility then will heal our land, our marriages, and our lives.
If you enjoyed this marriage tip, you might like this one that talks about the power of overcoming.
Crash. Boom. Lightning strike! Was it going to rain on our . . . (Well, not actually a parade)? Persistence, a key success trait for life and business, was going to figure prominently for us on that day.
Last Thursday, I went to Holiday World with Chip, my son-in-law, and Ralanna, my second oldest daughter. They have four children (four of my Grandchildren!). Three of them went with us. The eight-, thirteen-, and sixteen-year olds would be able to navigate the park very well. Their youngest stayed with my wife, Rhonda, who doesn’t care anything about most of the rides anyway.
We started the trip in a storm. Then the rain progressively seemed to get less and less heavy. We, after a couple of hours, could see bright spots in the clouds as we got closer to Santa Claus, Indiana. Yes, that’s really the name of the town where Holiday World is located.
However, about ten miles before the exit off of the interstate, what many would call a “cloud burst” hit–The hardest rain yet!
Would we have to go back home?
The rain let up again, and by the time we got to the parking lot, it was just a little harder than a sprinkle.
The bottom line–We went on in. We had plastic ponchos, and they served us very well.
The rain continued off and on. That was OK because after riding the old-fashioned cars, where even the youngest could drive, and the bumper cars, which were inside, we were in the water park the rest of the morning.
Right after we ate lunch, the loud speaker announced that weather with lightning was approaching and all rides would be shut down temporarily. So, for about 45 minutes we sought shelter in some areas with rooftops.
The storm ended, and we changed clothes and went to the other part of the park. Our ponchos came in handy again when we rode the Raging Rapids and the log ride, both of which usually drench us.
Several rewards and nice surprises came our way because we persisted through the storm: The crowd was much smaller than usual. The lines were shorter. We even rode the Raging Rapids three times in a row–which delighted Makenna, the youngest member of our party, very much. Because some of the larger rides were closed, we rediscovered many of the smaller and medium-sized rides. Again, the was a great benefit to Makenna. The weather was cooler than usual. Furthermore, since some of the major attractions shut down for two hours, we also found out that we get to use the same tickets for another trip with no additional charge!
What does this have to do with writing books, having online businesses and other entrepreneurial pursuits?
Realize the value of persistence. Many failed businesses have been estimated to have quit right before their moment of success. Many experts say if those businesses had just hung on a little longer, they would have made it.
So, persevere through the storm. Many unexpected benefits may come your way.
For you, success may be just around the corner and right after the current storm dies down.
Where are you in your business ideas? If you are thinking about writing a book, for instance, here is a great way to start.