Friday, December 30, 2011

Calling All Writers!

Blog Post Contest

In April 2010, I started writing and publishing an online Blog tilted, “Mark Showalter’s Blog.” What inspired me to start writing and publishing my thoughts and inspirations was another Blog that I began following in late 2009. During that time of my life, I had many doubts and questions surrounding my relationship with God and the church. The Blog posts more often than not were exactly what I needed at the time. After reading and being fed by them for about five months I began to feel God impressing me to write and publish my own Blog.
At first I argued with God. I reminded Him that I had never written anything for the public to read nor did I have any formal training in the art of writing. I felt extremely under-qualified, and thought, “Nobody would ever want to read or would be fed by anything I wrote!” I reminded God that He had far better people out there who were much more qualified to write and publish a Blog than I was.

But God wouldn’t let up. He reminded me that my salvation isn’t all about me and that “He” is the one that is the giver of good gifts! I began to think, “What if this Blogger that I now enjoy would never have published their thoughts? What other form of help would God have to find me? What if everybody denied God because they felt inadequate or under-qualified? Sure, we would still have the Bible, and wasn’t that written by just a few ordinary men? However, even the Ethiopian Eunuch, when reading the scripture, needed Phillip to help him understand what God’s Word was trying to tell him. And wasn’t Peter just a regular guy with a moderate education!? He wrote two books of the Bible! So, if God could move on some ordinary men to make an extraordinary difference, why couldn’t I do the same?”

This is when I decided to write and publish an online Blog. Since April 2010, I’ve written just over forty-one posts. I’ve been honest, open, and best of all transparent. I know that in a world of so many people trying to hide, out of shame or fear, who they really are, I had to be honest. As a result, I’ve received numerous comments or email responses from people dealing with issues including suicidal thoughts, manic depression, and divorcing their spouse. Others issues mentioned were believing that God had failed them or that they had failed God, while others have felt like the promises God made them could never come to pass. All of these hopeless people felt that due to major failures or sins, they had resolved to live a life of empty church going with no hope of ever being used by God again. Honestly, the list truly goes on and on with numerous accounts of hopelessness, regrets, fears and doubts. But God has been faithful to help! Through the posts, many have received the answers and hope they needed to face the situation once more, and now, they KNOW God is on their side and has never given up on them.

More recently I’ve felt like God is wanting others to speak out and be an encouragement. Problem is, most don’t know how to do so, or even how to get started. This is where the “Blog Post Contest” comes into play. Most, if not challenged, will never really step out and do anything unordinary. So, this is your challenge, your chance, to be heard, to express your thoughts, but best of all, “overcome the Devil by the word of your testimony.”

Below are a list of guidelines that will help you to get started.

Twelve winners will be posted
 1. Of all the posts submitted, twelve will be posted over the next twelve months. The last and final Post will be posted on January 2013.
2. The first Post will be posted on February 6, 2012, (That will allow us enough time to read and pick the twelve Posts that will be posted.)

Rules for entering Post
1. All Posts must be submitted by January 14, 2012.
2. Post must be less than 1,000 words but more than 500.
3. Posts can be any form: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, devotion or creative prose.
4. The post must be written by the one submitting it. (May be submitted using another’s email, but must be clearly stated  as such)
5. Must have Biblical references, and be sound in doctrine. (Can be a personal story or life principle, but must have 6. scriptural thought and reference to back it up.)
6. Your post must include a small letter of permission stating that you give us permission to judge and post your Post in my Blog. It also must include your full name and date.
7. Your post may remain anonymous if you so choose. (You can state that in your letter of permission to post your Blog Post. Your confidence will remain with me only!)
8. Posts will be judged upon the above – regardless of age, race, gender or religious affiliation.
9. We reserve the right to make corrections and alterations to your Post. (Only to correct any grammatical or spelling errors we may find. We will not change or alter the message or thought in any way.)
10. All posts should be submitted to

All Posts will be read and winners determined by three People:
Mark Showalter (Blog Host)
Kris A. Newman (Author and Publisher)
Christina Li (Author and Publisher)

NOTE: Winning posts will be published on the following Blog sites:
Mark Showalter’s Blog –
Through a Writer’s Eyes –

Get writing and watch how God inspires you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Friend Named Jesus

 My second book is about to hit the world.  Second.  The one after the first.  I can’t really quite believe it. 

It’s old and new mixed together telling the story of seasons, of life, of a walk with Jesus.  It’s my stories and words and tells about stuff I see.  It’s smarmy and meant to mostly be a way to send a message of grace to Followers of Christ.  It’s true.  I wrote for an audience.  I don’t know if they will like it and I’m really not sure anyone who doesn’t label themselves Christian will find any value in it.  I didn’t intentionally set out to offend anyone or disenfranchise anyone, but the words fell where they belonged and I couldn’t take them out.

I like some of it.  I enjoyed writing much of it.  Like all of my ramblings, a genuine mix of laughter and tears fell through my hands as the stories grew.  Simplicity and complexity are woven among the lines dragging the reader from one place to another.

I’ve received amazingly gracious reviews from the first book.  I hope this books finds a similar reception.  I hope people grow from it and see how easy it is to live for Jesus through really tough times.  I also hope that Christians see how deeply important it is to show love to others – regardless of how “fine” they are on the outside.  Follow this link:  Love One Another and see just a few verses about the necessity of loving.  

It’s Christmas.  Don’t know what to give someone?  How about a little love?  Easier than you think.  Even easy to wrap.  I generally use words and arms to wrap mine.  A Friend Named Jesus won’t hit your mailbox in time, but love has no timeline.

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year, friends!  Thanks for sharing the journey with me.