This is the second weekly round up regarding some writing, and blogging, that I have done at my various websites. From daily devotions, entering into a first every short story contest, to working on two WIP’s for publication, and even producing some apologetic articles on religion.
First, if you are not aware there are two main Facebook Pages I manage. One page is dedicated to Damascus Way Recovery and provides links to the daily devotions and articles from the main website. It also includes discussions of recovery, sobriety, faith, and spiritual growth related to a mindful Christian perspective. Second page is one I had started many years ago and that is Timothy R. Berman. This page is for a place to discuss what is happening with regard to blogging, writing, and does include posts from all three websites that are managed. Click on the links, like the pages, and engage in discussing the articles and keep up to date with what is going on.
Next, here are some posts from this past week at this website. There are two aspects regarding this website. The first is sharing my own personal insights on developing 8 key strategies for effective and efficient mindful creative writing. Along with this there will be 52 weeks of writing prompts and challenges for those interested in writing. These writing prompts and challenges are to encourage those seeking ways to engage in blogging (whether one is a beginner or seasoned blogger). Or, if you prefer to journal instead of writing and publishing. Overall objective is to engage in a more mindful approach to journaling and writing.
WORKS IN PROGRESS UPDATE
There is not much to report on the two work’s in progress. Kiss Me Goodbye Chapter Two is still going through a process of reading, editing, and rewriting. I am also working on updating and rewriting and editing the first chapter of Mourning Ellyn.
I am debating on continuing to post each chapter of Kiss Me Goodbye to Vocal Media as a serialized online publication. Or, to continue editing and working on getting a good draft going for potential Beta Readers to provide feedback on. If I go the latter course it will be because I am looking to either self-publish or go through a literary agent. This may also include revising, rewriting, and polishing the manuscript up for a final edit.
As for Mourning Ellyn, it will be a second edition reprint and will not be published online. That one will definitely go through more revisions and rewrites. I will be opening up to seek some beta readers for that manuscript as well and then seek an editor for some final work. Goal is to submit that to a literary agent or self-publish as well.
SHORT STORY AND KISS ME GOODBYE CHAPTER ONE ON VOCAL
I entered a Dream Date Challenge for Vocal Media where the objective is to write a 600-2000 word short story about a first date. This story had to also feature a glass of Merlot. In addition to writing this short story I also transferred the first chapter of Kiss Me Goodbye over to the Vocal Media Platform as well. The grand prize for the writing challenge is $5,000.00. The short story is titled Sweet Kiss of Merlot. Go check it out in the link below.
“It’s so lovely to meet you!” Virginia Thomas voice sung with sweet softness. He immediately swooned over her as his caramel eyes drank her in. Soft raven curls bounced and cascaded over slender shoulders. Her dark blue eyes pierced the depths of his soul. She kept herself in good. She clutched a dainty handbag in her slender fingers. She appeared quite innocent. There ought to be a law against how her curves suffocated against the fabric of her cocktail dress. She was more than what Tristan Raymond expected of a woman.
As comfortable as that kiss was. As comfortable as she felt next to him. Something was wrong about this. The call from Detective Stolsky. Steele’s reluctance to cross the Puget Sound. A beautiful and mysterious dame having greeted him before they had disembarked.
TIMOTHY R. BERMAN WEBSITE CONTENT ROUND UP
Taking pride in who we are, our meaning and purpose, and how we reach out and serve others is healthy and contributes to our overall happiness. It also keeps us focused on what matters to us – what we value as most significant and important – while learning from our failings. Without appreciation for our accomplishments, we may find ourselves wallowing in self-pity, remorse, and struggling to overcome the shame and guilt of our failures.
Here are some strategies I may suggest that might work for you. These strategies are more specific for content one may want to publish to a website, blog, or other online medium. These strategies may also be helpful with short story, novella, and novel writing.
One of the hardest struggles for many of us is to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and transparent enough to open up to others. The problem is, if I feel unsupported and have reached out numerous times, how am I able to be transparent and vulnerable? Share with another (outside of God) what I am struggling with.
DAMASCUS WAY RECOVERY WEBSITE CONTENT ROUND UP
Here is this weeks daily devotions that are to inspire daily mindful and spiritual Christian living. I have also worked on getting the comment section updated. Come check out and share these articles with others, comment, and subscribe to receive more daily inspiration to help you living a more mindful Christian life.
Seeking after my own interests begins when I mistrust God’s wisdom and guidance. This is what I have come to understand about my own personal sinful nature. When I give over to choose my own will over God’s I am essentially mistrusting him and trusting in my own self motivations. Such idea has become quite absurd since I have come to understand the basic teachings of scripture: God’s will and care for my life is in his best interest.
Knowing that I am driven by my own internal impulses and reasoning, I am merely settling for second best. Even if such were shaped by years of discipleship, they are still subject to sin and deception. I can use them to God’s glory, yet can’t bring myself to trust them. I must always submit myself to the guiding mind of God and trust in His will and care for my welfare and spiritual well-being. I must trust in God fully and wholeheartedly.
I had to not only reach out to my Heavenly Father. I had to reach out through sincere brokenness of spirit. Mourning my own demise. Experiencing what scripture refers to as Godly grief over my own sins and transgressions. Detach myself from my own will and desire. I had to learn to listen and recognize his voice. I had to learn to live differently. Put aside my ego. Put away my own selfish will and desires.
What exactly am I following then? Simple and most profound spiritual truth is the Savior’s example. It is a higher spiritual calling for those who are brought to the depths of humility. Touched by the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. Convicted of their present condition, and then the volition and willingness to surrender all that one is and to give their very lives and will over to God’s care. This is exactly what the savior had done numerous times. He submitted his will, his life, over to the care of the Father. And yet he was the Son of the Most High and the Only Begotten of the Father. If it was as important for the Savior of humanity to give his life, will, and authority over to the Father’s care – how much more important is it for me to do the same?
I had often resorted to lesser means of wisdom because I stood unaware and ignorant of the mind of Christ and how accessible it truly was. I did not have the courage and willingness to accept the reality of such extravagant promises. Because I did not believe, nor accept its reality, I did not possess it. The mind of Christ is available to each of us through the Holy Spirit, who comes to us only through faith. The spirit searches the deep things of God and reveals them to His people. Such things are foolish to the world, yet they are truth nonetheless – truth that I am able to know and base my life upon.
I will keep always in mind that today is my sole concern and that I will make it as good a day as I am able to. This one small span of time is mine, and I will use it to do the things that need doing, and have a little time over for enjoyment and reflection.
Since my own personal and most intimate spiritual journey through a more mindful and meaningful Christian experience I have imagined myself in the throne room of God. Imagined the altar at his feet (see Revelation 4:8-11, ESV) where I lay myself out before Him and prayerful say, I am yours. Do with me as you will. I give up my right to govern myself because you are far more worthy to do it, and you will never do me harm. I exist for your purpose, and for yours alone. I have done this every morning and went about living each day mindfully and with purpose and intent. Keeping to mind who He is. This is true worship and sacrifice. And it is this true worship and sacrifice one is wise to engage in every day for renewal and transformation.
I learned the hard way to face consequences of my own actions and words, and to correct myself when I am wrong. Accepting responsibility and holding myself accountable is essential to becoming spiritually mature. Whether the others may agree or not. I will no longer look for a scapegoat to excuse my own faults.
Wisdom in recovery begins when we come to realize the love God has for us and are able to confidently find rest and peace. I know the truth of this reality. Such true understanding had to come by my own overwhelming awareness of His greatness, holiness, and power as they contrasted with my own sinful and carnal nature. There was nothing more fear-inducing than this. It is where I needed to begin. It is where healing and restoration of my mind, heart, and soul had to begin.
For me, the lack of discipleship within these certain Christian fellowships lacked a program to foster spiritual growth on a person’s spiritual journey in faith. Christians boast that such a lifestyle is a faith based on a relationship with Jesus Christ. A fellowship of believers. Yet many fail to nourish those new to the faith and therefore many no longer attend services or ministry programs. Yet one walks into the fellowship rooms of recovery and there they are nourished by many stories of victory and endurance of faith, power of restoration, and healing. Not just in the rooms themselves, but in connection and fellowship through individual relationship and fellowship of mentoring, discipleship, and sponsoring those still suffering and struggling.
MORMON APOLOGIA WEEKLY ROUND UP
Here are two featured essays published on Mormon Apologia. The first focuses on a discourse recovered in the first volume of the Journal of Discourses. While this 26 volume set is not considered part of the official teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there are some interesting thoughts on the subject of religion. The second essay focuses on a conversation I had found myself involved with and the nature of dealing with internet trolls.
True spiritual disciplines of a mindful Christian life focuses on the purpose of Godliness within our hearts, minds, soul, and body. It is the true foundation of an authentic Christian faith. One that is exemplified within the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. It is these spiritual disciplines that one seeks to attain salvation and exaltation. They are the rock upon which we build our faith on.
I have personally dealt with my share of internet slander over the years. Whether it is discussing politics, religion, or even merely commenting on particular issues being buzzed about on various social media platforms. Someone, or multitude of individuals, will always mock and ridicule. Sometimes by not even responding to your comments and simply use emoticons inappropriately.
HOW YOU CAN HELP SUPPORT AND PARTNER WITH ME
There are several ways you are able to partner and help support me. As a writer – we all need support from our readers. Such encouragement matters. Here are the ways you may want to consider:
- Subscribe to all or one of my sites: One of the simplest forms of support is to simply subscribe to all, or one, of my websites. By subscribing and/or following my sites, you will receive daily and weekly updates on content that is published.
- Comment and engage in discussion: Another of the simplest forms of support is to comment on those articles that you find entertaining, inspiring, and encouraging. Or, want to share your own thoughts and insights. Even if you may disagree with some of the content I posted. My only requisite is for you to be mindful and respectful in your comments and discussions. By posting a comment you are engaging with me and others who have similar insights and understandings. Or share in what is agreeable or disagreeable. And yes, comments are monitored and may be subject to editing as needed. To help prevent spam comments, an individual may need to have their initial comments approved. Once approved, you are able to comment without ongoing approval. At Damascus Way Recovery, the comment requires one to log in using their specific social media credentials.
- Share to your social media: One of the other forms of support is sharing those posts and articles to your social media accounts. Whether it is a devotional you enjoyed reading, a feature content that you learned from or want to get others to engage in the discussion of particular topics, or any other reason. By sharing these articles and content to social media you are helping each website build a loyal readership and following. Plus, it is another venue to keep the conversation going.
- Make a purchase through the various affiliate links provided: On each site, I do post content that may include affiliate links. Some of these may be recommendations for particular books (as you see in this post above), or recommended books to read for the month, self-help and self-improvement books (for instance I have one content that has some book recommendations at Damascus Way Recovery for those who are in recovery and interested in obtaining workbooks). By making purchases I receive a small commission that goes to help financially support my writing endeavors and provide ongoing and relevant content.
- Make a one-time or ongoing financial contribution: Probably the best way to show your support and gratitude is through financial donations and contributions. Writing and publishing these inspiring articles and devotions is all voluntary. It is what I am passionate about and love doing. However, it does cost to maintain three separate websites. By your one-time or monthly donations, you are not only helping me with the financial aspect of maintaining these sites. Your donation will also go toward funding paid contributing guest articles from other writers. Help provide support to local charities. And fund other ongoing projects needed to update and better develop these websites. There are a variety of ways to donate. If you have any questions you are more than welcome to connect with me through my main Facebook pages linked above in this article.
- Make a suggestion and provide feedback: I am always open to suggestions and feedback. Do you have a question that you want me to address? You can post it to any of the two Facebook Pages I have linked above. You can contact me through Damascus Way Recovery contact form. Or, you are more than happy to send me a message through the contact form here on this website.