Over the past month, I’ve enjoyed a new-to-me outlet for sharing and encouraging the church: podcasts. This fall and winter I have the joy of participating in not one, but two of these. Here’s more about both—plus a little info about a challenge I’ll be taking in November.
United? We Pray
United? We Pray is a podcast that calls for prayer about racial divisions in churches. I’m honored to join my friend Isaac Adams as we dive in to various topics related to race and, most important, pray together about these topics. We want to encourage Christians who are laboring to see racial unity and justice to join us.
God has limitless wisdom and strength, but we do not, and the trials and complexities of race and racism often challenge our capabilities to think and act in redemptive, effective ways. Yet we do have a powerful resource available to us—prayer. In the Bible, when people realized their limitations, they usually prayed. They prayed to the God who can do more than any of us can imagine (Eph. 3:20), the God who commands his children to cast their anxieties upon him because he cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7) the God who is more eager to give than we are to receive.
You can learn more at the website praypod.com or go straight to iTunes to listen: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/united-we-pray/id1289500755?mt=2.
Listen in every other Wednesday.
ERLC Podcast “How to Handle” Series
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (where I work) has a podcast that typically features talks from conferences. I decided to change it up for a season to include a series called “How to Handle” We live in a world where issues arise in the news and culture daily. Behind every issue, however, is a person—a person made in the image of God. This new ERLC Podcast series, “How to Handle,” will tackle tough issues for today with the hopes of equipping the church to address the topic, help those struggling with sin and temptation, and care for those who may have been or could be harmed. Every week I will be joined by a guest who is knowledgeable in the area as we explore ways to handle each issue.
You can access it here: https://erlc.com/resource-library/podcasts/recently-added
Listen in every Monday.
Perhaps you’ve heard of NaNoWrMo—or National Novel Writing Month. It’s a fiction-writing challenge in which writers take the month of November to churn out 50,000 words—yes, 50,000 words! Because I’m always up for a challenge and I have a long list of writing projects I need to complete, I’m joining some friends to take the challenge! But because I am not a novelist and I don’t desire to be one, I am concentrating my efforts on a new book project (can’t wait to share more!), a Bible study (yes, the Lord has given me the opportunity to write a Bible study—more soon!), and smaller projects that must be completed.
Here’s my plan: instead of setting a goal I must hit each day, I am logging my daily word count with the goal of writing 50,000 by the end of the November. I might set an individual daily goal simply to keep myself on track, but the main goal is that total at the end of the month. Each Monday I’ll check in with my friends to let them know how I’m doing.
Want to join us? You can either sign in at the official NaNoWrMo site or, if you’d like to take up the challenge with me and my friends, simply check in here each Monday for writing encouragement and short update from me. Write a comment and let me know how you are doing.
Hope you’ll listen in on the podcasts and join me as I take off on a writing adventure this November!
Often American-focused discussion about ethnic differences gets narrowed to just Black or African Americans and White Americans. It is fairly understandable, given US history, that we’d focus so much attention on black and white relations. My hope for God’s Very Good Idea, however, is that it would encourage all people made in the image of God to celebrate the differences in each other. God’s word says that we will be rejoicing with every tribe, tongue, and nation for eternity. That’s why I’m thrilled to share with you where you can find God’s Very Good Idea around the world. (Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. Click on the link below the country to find God’s Very Good Idea)
The Good Book Company
Internet Bookshop Italia
SKS Books ( Coming soon. The Singapore retailer has not yet listed the book on their site even though they’ve ordered it.)
The Good Book Company
And of course here in the US
The Good Book Company
Barnes and Noble
and anywhere Christian books can be purchased (independent Christian stores)
If you know anyone in these locations around the world, please spread the word!
It’s been a while since I’ve simply updated you on what I’m up to, so I thought I’d take a moment to do so today. Our news feeds have been filled with discussions about the election, and though the election is incredibly important to continue to address, I’d like to simply take one moment to share about something else. I have written an article for the ERLC on how we might pray for the President-elect, so I hope you’ll check it out and join me in praying.
On the personal front, January through November has been a wonderful whirlwind of writing and speaking. As I travel and get to know people around the country, I’ve often been asked questions about writing, the writing life in general and how I got started. First of all, thank you for visiting and reading at my site. I pray that what has been posted here has been an encouragement to you. So, in light of those frequently asked questions, I’m focusing today’s update on writing.
How did you start writing?
I started writing in high school, experimenting with poetry and quickly realizing that it wasn’t the genre for me. I loved research then and continue to today. I’d be the one person eager to do a term paper. So, in college I realized that research was a passion of mine. And I also enjoyed the idea of journalism and began writing (infrequently) for my college paper.
Once I got married and had our first child, I decided I wanted to work from home and the most logical and practical step for me at that point was to pursue what I had done in the past—writing. So, I pitched some stories to our local paper and began a wonderful journey into freelance writing for my local newspaper.
Although I loved writing feature articles about people, events, and interest stories in my local community, I knew that I wanted to write more reflective and perspective pieces, specially from my Christian worldview. That’s when I asked my editor at the local paper if she’d allow me to write a column. She said, yes, and because I like to tiptoe into the deep waters of all sorts of difficult topics, I wrote about biblical submission (I assume you now see the sarcasm. Ha!). I loved it! So from there, I started a blog.
Within a few months, I realized that writing from my Christian perspective was a way I wanted to encourage, inform, and minister to others. I had always been in ministry one way or the other, and it seemed the Lord was leading me down this path. It was confirmed by my husband, Thern, an agent, and then from organizations like Desiring God and the Gospel Coalition and the rest is a bit of history. I’ve been writing consistently ever since.
How do I get started writing?
The answer to this question will be short and sweet: you write. Start a blog, maybe. Or, journal. But if writing is something that you are truly interested in, then just start writing. A lot of people want a five-step plan to publishing or a clear path that I might be able to share. The truth is, every writer’s story is incredibly different. I’d hate to give you more advice than to simply write. If you begin that and can do it consistently, then you’ll know if you want to do it more. Writing can seem glamorous to those who desire to do it…until you actually do it! Then you realize that it can be lonely, hard work. But I hope you’ll go for it if that’s your desire! So, grab your pen (I’m so old school) and get to writing.
What’s next for me?
Here’s the short update: next week I’ll begin sharing more about my newest book Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts. But I’ll let you in on something exciting—I have an Advent devotional that will be available soon with a pre-order purchase of Enjoy! There are a few other exciting projects coming down the pike—and the moment I’m able to share I will!
What about you?
Do you have a story that you’d be willing to allow me to share and feature on my site? Is there a way that I might pray for you? Whatever it is, I’d love to hear from you. And know that though I may not be able to answer every email—I do indeed read them all and I’m so grateful when I receive one from you.
At the beginning of the year, there are many of my friends who choose a word that they hope will be “their” word for the year. Words like: gratitude, peace, balance, and flourish. They then spend the year thinking about the word, if I understand correctly, trying to experience the word or even be motivated by the word. I, obviously, have never chosen a word for the year—except, I think, I’ve discovered that this year a word chose me. Throughout the first seven months of the year, I’ve had a renewed conviction and desire to think about stewardship and specifically stewardship in writing.
This year I decided that I would be more intentional about my writing. I want to steward the ministry the Lord has given me. I think, in the past, I’ve been much more reactionary in my writing. In other words, if someone asked me to write a piece or contribute somewhere I’d say yes. But lately, I’ve been eager to prayerfully and intentionally consider how I might serve those who read my work in greater ways. I want to wait on the Lord more, consider the series I post on my site, oh, and actually write on my site! That’s been missing over the past several years. While I have been writing, I haven’t written nearly as much as I would like on my own site. Part of my renewed desire to steward my writing well, is to contribute to the writing home that the Lord has given me.
That’s one reason I’ve stepped up my writing here. If you’ve missed anything, I hope you’ll check it out! My hope is that I’d steward this ministry well to the glory of God. And my prayer is that you’d be encouraged in your faith and Christ would be magnified through my tiny efforts here. That’s my hope.
As part of this stewardship, I’ve been thinking about how the Lord has uniquely gifted me in writing. I’m often asked how I got started, which I’d trace all the way back to when I began exploring writing as a young girl, writing poems and songs with my father. I wasn’t exceptionally good with poetry and as I entered high school, I realized I was most suited for research. In college I continued in that research vein and I also dabbled in journalism writing for our university paper. After college and after my first child, I began to do freelance journalism with my local paper The Knoxville News-Sentinel. I spent several years writing frequently for the paper. I loved every minute! My concentration was mainly on feature stories—writing about community people, events, and unique stories. My favorite story, which is unfortunately no longer available online, took me to the streets of my town interviewing buskers. I loved learning about their lives, hearing their stories, finding out what made them tick, discovering why they were homeless—if, in fact, they were homeless.
Reflecting on that piece specifically makes me think that despite the fact that we see words every day—many words—there are still so many untold, remarkable stories. Although I love what I do now, I miss journalism. I miss sharing others’ stories.
That’s why I’d like to ask you to consider letting me tell your story.
I’m looking for individuals, male or female, with unique and compelling stories of strength, survival, courage, selflessness, suffering, perseverance or quiet service. That’s a lot! But it’s intentionally broad because stories shouldn’t be measured by glitz and glam, and neither should they be limited to the popular. The most encouraging stories I read are of those ordinary people who are relying on their extraordinary God. So, that’s what I’d love to hear from you.
If you have a story that you think could encourage others or if you have a friend who you think would be great as a part of this feature, please contact me via my contact page and let me know. I may end up pitching these to some of my friends at The Gospel Coalition or Christianity Today or, depending on the subject matter, could be posted at the ERLC. But most likely, they’d find their home here on my site.
Would you let me tell your story? If so, go ahead and contact me.
I never thought I’d be an author. Really, it wasn’t what I thought the Lord would have for me. For many of my friends, writing is the way they breathe—it’s almost therapeutic. I have friends who if they don’t write, can hardly think. Writing is important for them to function. Writing has never been that for me. I do love writing, but I have a desire to counsel. I’m slowly pursuing my M.A. in biblical counseling because I desire to encourage others in the faith with the truth of God’s word. That’s why I write—to encourage others in the faith with the truth of God’s word. And it is such an honor and great joy to be able to serve in this way during this season.
Today, I’m excited to share that I am working on a new book that will be published with Waterbrook Multnomah. The book is due in December and should be released in 2017. I am thrilled about this book, and though I’d love to shout the topic, it is a surprise! I will share more about the project, title, cover, in due time. But until then, I do need your help!
An element found in my first two books (United and Fear and Faith) that resonated with readers was the stories: my own and the stories of others. I make sure that my books include theology, but I do believe that the stories add an element of relate-ability that helps you, the reader, connect personally with the content. In many ways, I believe the stories are a fulfillment of 2 Cor. 1:4 as we get to comfort with the comfort we’ve received.
Would you consider submitting your story for my next book?
Here are the story ideas my publisher and I are looking for:
- Stories where you have discovered that you struggle with appreciating or being grateful for God’s gifts to you (for example, children, spouse, job, leisure, rest, etc.) and what the Lord was teaching you.
- Stories about when you’ve had a difficult time recognizing a gift or blessing in your life (i.e. with relationships, work, rest, etc.). Perhaps you were surprised by a gift that was there all along, but you couldn’t see it because of where you were focused.
- Stories of feeling guilt over enjoying a gift from God (i.e. a new home, a vacation, etc.) and what the Lord has been teaching you.
Please note that submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that the story will be used. Even if it’s not used, I am so honored that you’d consider sharing your story with us.
Send your story to Newbellbook@gmail.com by Monday, August 15.
We will need you to sign a release form that enables Waterbrook Multnomah/Random House to use your story in my book. That release will be attached to an email upon you expressing interest and/or submitting your story. I will not be able to respond to everyone who submits a story but please do know how grateful I am for your willingness. The writing and editing process is such that there’s no guarantee that a story will make it into the final book, but I will make sure to thank you appropriately.
Thank you for considering sharing what the Lord is teaching you and helping others along the way.
Failure, rejection, sickness, losing a loved one, being alone—the fears we carry are many and heavy. Fear can be a tyrant, a bully we can’t hide from. It can paralyze our spirit, damage our relationships, and hinder our faith.
I know this because I’ve struggled with great fear and continue to learn how to fight it with faith. In Fear and Faith, we look our fears in the face, name their root cause, and learn together how to lean on the One who we can and should trust. Fear has a way of whispering lies to our souls about who God is. But the Lord is better and through exploring what the Word says about our sovereign, good, and loving God, we can learn to rest in His ever-open arms. Ultimately we fight fear by trusting in the Lord and fearing Him. We fight fear by knowing our Savior.
Today is release day and I would be so honored if you’d grab one and share it with your friends and family.
You can learn more about Fear and Faith as well as read the endorsements from Matt Chandler, Nancy Guthrie, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Jen Wilkin, Gloria Furman, and more here: http://www.trillianewbell.com/books/fear-faith/
Here is some information to assist you:
You can purchase via Amazon and other retailers: http://amzn.to/1Dkxe3H
If you like using hashtags and decide to share about it use: #fearandfaith
If you’d like to tag me or connect via social media: Twitter– @trillianewbell and Instagram– @trillianewbell
If you choose to do a review—Fear and Faith is on Goodreads in addition to Amazon.
Recently, I had the opportunity to share at a conference about a very different topic and I said, “I’m not up here just because, I’m here because I believe in the message.” I didn’t write Fear and Faith simply for the chance to write; I believe in the message of the book and am praying that the Lord would use it for the good of those who read and for His glory. Would you join me in that prayer?
Thank you so much for your support of Fear and Faith!
With gratitude and anticipation,
p.s. Check out these interviews that about Fear and Faith (this will be updated as they post):
David Platt’s Radical.net: http://www.radical.net/blog/2015/04/fear-and-faith/
Jamie Ivey’s The Happy Hour podcast: http://jamieivey.com/2015/04/01/happy-hour-34-with-trillia-newbell/