Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury

I love what my friend and fellow-writer John F. Harrison had to say about writing and real life… Read more on his post Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury.

“…Real life is intense. So there is no excuse for writing sterile, emotionally flat fiction. This was a gut-wrenching trial for the complainant, her family, the defendant, and the jurors. . Furthermore, there is intense drama around all of us; people experiencing unspeakable joy, or shattering grief, or blinding rage, or crippling fear. We need only take the time to look around and see it. If our fiction doesn’t provoke strong emotion, it’s because our characters and/or their stories aren’t real enough.”

Love: an active noun, like struggle

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” -Fred Rogers

I Love YouWhat does it mean to love? How do you feel love? How do you show love? Do you feel loved? And possibly more importantly, do the people you love feel your love?

I am afraid to ask the people in my life if they feel my love. I am afraid of the answer. What if they said no?

Too often love feels more like a struggle than it feels like love. “To strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now” isn’t always easy.

What does it mean to withhold love? In my mind it is avoiding another person, refusing to speak, putting them down, not spending time with them, ignoring their cries for help. Maybe these behaviors go beyond “unloving” and fall into the realm of emotional abuse.

Love, to me, is emotional support. I may not be able to fix my loved one’s problems, give them finances, a new job, take away their emotional or physical pain… But I can be there with them through the pain. I can give them emotional support. I can empathize. I can show concern. Express condolences. Bring flowers. Spend time with them. I can accept them right where they are, amidst the struggle, and unselfishly acknowledge life with them.

Today, I will take the time to love someone. I hope you will too.

Rachael Hartman

Rachael Hartman, owner of Our Written Lives editing and publishing services for independent authors.

Contentment – We are ENOUGH.

174725660513273199_EOC6NDey_fFor the past few weeks, I’ve been writing a four-part Bible study on contentment.As I dug deeper into the Word of God, I was honestly surprised at the depth of what the Word said about contentment. Contentment is one of those concepts I’ve heard all my life, but struggled to obtain.

One of the most striking points I learned in my study on contentment was the original meaning of the word. One Greek word that translates into “contentment” in the King James Version is “Arkeo.” Arkeo is the word found in Luke 3:14, 1 Timothy 6:8, and Hebrews 13:5.

The original definition is very close to our definition of contentment: “to be satisfied or contented with.” But it also takes the meaning of the word to the new depth of: “to be sufficient, to possess sufficient strength, to be strong, to be enough for a thing.”

imagesI often find myself and other people I meet feel inadequate when it comes to facing difficulties in life. We feel we aren’t good enough, strong enough, smart enough, rich enough, or you-name-it enough.

Finding contentment in who God has made us to be isn’t always an easy task. We think a new look, a new car, a new high, a new friend, a new ‘something’ will fill the void and make us “enough.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are strong enough for the task God has called us to. God has given us enough strengths and wisdom in His Word to make the right choices for our lives. We are ENOUGH for the day.

 

Rachael Hartman

Rachael Hartman is a Christian author and publisher. She has worked as a full-time newspaper reporter, and as a freelance contributor to magazines. She writes high school Sunday school material for Word Aflame Press creating lessons for Project 7 (P7) student-led Bible Clubs, and Link247. She enjoys health and exercise, reading, art, and playing with her two dogs Darla and Danny. She owns Our Written Lives of Hope bookstore & publishing services. Check out her web site at www.owlofhope.com and link to her on Facebook.

A word for women experiencing marital rejection

While working on my new book Plastic Reality: Processing Cosmetic Surgery, I was so moved by a story I read about a woman who was dealing with rejection from her husband. She sought out plastic surgery as a way to be “re-born” after her husband left her for a younger woman. My heart broke for the woman and many others like her. I had to stop to bring a word of encouragement for women experiencing the grief of marital rejection.

 

 

Plastic Reality, by Rachael Hartman (Video 1)

I’m talking about my new book Plastic Reality: Processing Cosmetic Surgery – which will be coming out later this year. We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev. 11).

Rachael Hartman is a Christian author and publisher. She has worked as a full-time newspaper reporter, and as a freelance contributor to magazines. She writes high school Sunday school material for Word Aflame Press creating lessons for Project 7 (P7) student-led Bible Clubs, and Link247. She enjoys health and exercise, reading, art, and playing with her two dogs Darla and Danny. She owns Our Written Lives of Hope bookstore & publishing services. Check out her web site at http://www.owlofhope.com and link to her on Facebook.

Redemption for the Repentant

I enjoyed this blog today from Revelations in Writing

Revelations In Writing

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. – (Joel 2:13, NIV)

 

Tear your hearts, not your clothes. Come back to the Lord your God. He is kind and merciful. He does not become angry quickly. He has great love. Maybe He will change His mind about the bad punishment He planned. – (Joel 2:13, ERV)

 

God is indeed merciful; slow to anger, abounding in love. However, we must make a choice. We either elect to turn from our selfish and independent ways and choose to trust Him, or we continue on our self-made road to ruin. Jesus made the way so that all who call on His Name, may be saved. All of our sin and shame has been covered at the cross…

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Angel Cortello press release, book signing for “Angel: The True Story of an Undeserved Chance”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alexandria, LA—Last year her book published, and this year she’s taking her message of hope on the road.

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Earlier this year, Angel Cortello had speaking engagements in San Marcos, TX and Miami, FL. She’ll be speaking in Austin, TX in soon and in August, she heads to Providence, Rhode Island as a guest speaker at another conference.

This Saturday, Cortello will be at Hastings bookstore in Alexandria, LA on Saturday, June 28 from 3 to 7 p.m. to meet readers and talk about her book, which will be available at the store.
She will be appearing on Jambalaya on KALB-TV, Wednesday, June 26, to invite the public to her book signing.

Her book goes to places she can’t reach. One man, a prisoner in Oklahoma serving 20 years, read her book and wrote, “I’ve read it twice. The first time in 8 hours. Words can not express how much it ministered to my heart, and encouraged me to take the things in my life, and allow God to use them for His glory… Also, I have about 20 of my friends in line to read it, and God is already moving through your book.”AngelCover

In her book, Angel: The True Story of an Undeserved Chance, she shares her story of being lost in a world of emotional problems, addiction, prostitution and the street life. This is the true story of how she chose recovery and freedom, even in the midst of consequences such as HIV.

She is currently writing a devotional of daily prayer and inspiration for people living with chronic illness.

The book, Angel: The True Story of an Undeserved Chance is available through all major bookstores. It was published by Our Written Lives of Hope, LLC in 2012.

 

 

Rachael HartmanRachael Hartman is a Christian author and publisher. She has worked as a full-time newspaper reporter, and as a freelance contributor to magazines. She writes high school Sunday school material for Word Aflame Press creating lessons for Project 7 (P7) student-led Bible Clubs, and Link247. She enjoys health and exercise, reading, art, and playing with her two dogs Darla and Danny. She owns Our Written Lives of Hope bookstore & publishing services. Check out her web site at www.owlofhope.com and link to her on Facebook.