Friday, September 27, 2019

Book I Am Reading - Exciting New Historical by Denise Weimer

The Witness Tree by [Weimer, Denise]The Witness Tree:


Past betrayal has turned John Kliest’s passion to his work as a builder and surveyor in the Moravian town of Salem, North Carolina. Now, to satisfy the elders’ edict and fulfill his mission in Cherokee Territory, he needs a bride. But the one woman qualified to record the Cherokee language longs for a future with his younger brother.


Clarissa Vogler’s dream of a life with Daniel Kliest is shattered when she is chosen by lot to marry his older brother and venture into the uncharted frontier. Can she learn to love this stoic man who is now her husband? Her survival hinges on being able to trust him—but they both harbor secrets.



Hope you enjoy Denise's new
novel! Please share on your
social media.  --Elva







Denise Weimer writes historical and contemporary romance and romantic suspense set in her home state of Georgia. She’s authored over nine novels and a number of novellas. As a managing editor at Smitten Historical Romance and Heritage Beacon Fiction, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, she also helps others reach their publishing dreams. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.




Friday, September 20, 2019

Why Do We Write Romances? Guest Blog MaryLu Tyndall

Posted: 16 Sep 2019 12:30 AM PDT


Sometimes people ask me why I write romance. Aren't there more important things to write in these trying times? I always answer them that I write about God, and God is a romantic!  In fact, the entire Bible is one huge love story composed of a bunch of little love stories. 

It goes something like this.
  • God seeks out a bride for Himself. A people who will love Him and follow Him and be in relationship with Him. He wants a bride who will tell the rest of mankind about Him.  He chooses the Jewish people. He saves them from bondage (Egypt), marries them on Mount Sinai, and then intends to bring them into the promised land where they will live happy and free with Him. 
  • The Jewish people cheat on God. They run off after other lovers. 
  • God divorces them. 

Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. Jeremiah 3:8

  • Jesus becomes a man in order to pay the penalty for everyone's sin and bring the Jews back into relationship with God.  God loves the Jewish people (all people) so much that He is willing to sacrifice His own Son in order to win them back.  
  • The Jews reject Jesus.
  • Jesus turns to the gentiles to seek a new bride.  God has sent His Holy Spirit to earth to call each individual member of the bride and help them get ready for her wedding! 
  • Note:  In the end, God will save Israel when they turn to Jesus, and they will once again be His bride.. He's not done with them yet. (This is mimicked in the story of Jacob listed below)
So you see, the entire Bible is a love story!. It's all about how much God loves us, how much He is willing to pay to set us free from our prison of sin, how much He is willing to lose to bring us back to Him, how much He is willing to suffer.. It's the greatest love story of all time., and embedded within it are a dozen great love stories that all illustrate and point back to the major one:

God loves you with an undying, sacrificial, unconditional, immense love! And He never leaves you and never gives up on you, and He pursues you as if you were the only object of His great affection. Don't ever forget that!

Look how God has woven the same story throughout Scripture!

Adam and Eve
What a grand love story. Adam was lonely. He needed romance in his life. He needed to fall in love. So what did God do? He brought him Eve. What is God preparing for His Son now? A Bride, which He will bring to Jesus at the rapture. Note. Jesus doesn't come down to earth. We go up to meet him in the clouds! Just as God brought Eve to Adam.

Abraham and Sarah. What a grand love story!  Apparently she was so beautiful he had to lie and tell other men she was his sister so they wouldn't kill him for her. Not his best moments.

Isaac and Rebekah!  Who could forget this great love story that mimics the love story between Jesus and His bride. Abraham (Father God) sends Eliezer (the Holy Spirit) back to his homeland (earth) to find a suitable bride for his son, Isaac (Jesus). Eliezer finds Rebekah, who agrees to marry Isaac. He pays the bride price and brings her willingly home to her new husband (Jesus)

Joseph, who many scholars believe is a typology of Jesus, took a gentile bride from Egypt, an Egyptian princess. Just as Jesus is taking a Gentile bride (the church)

Jacob, who was forced to marry a bride he did not want at first, Leah, in order to get the bride he did want, Rachel.  Sounds a lot like Jesus who is now about to marry a gentile bride, (the church), but that is not the original bride God wanted for His Son. The Jews were to be the chosen people, the chosen bride but they rejected him. However, after Jesus marries the gentile bride, the Jews will be saved during the tribulation and they will once again become part of God's family.

Moses took a gentile bride.

Rahab, the prostitute of Jericho who sided with the Jews. She married a Jewish man and from their union, Jesus was eventually born.

David and Bathsheba - who can forget this love story, as immoral as it started out. It was through their lineage that Jesus came as well.

Ruth and Boaz, one of my favorite love stories. It it the perfect analogy of Jesus and the Church. Boaz was Ruth's kinsmen redeemer, just as Jesus is ours. If you don't know the story, I encourage you to read the book of Ruth. 

Esther - who doesn't love a story about a young girl who is nobody but who then becomes Queen of the Realm!  

And of course the ultimate love story.

Jesus, who loved us so much, He gave up everything to become nothing, who was beaten and scorched and crucified so badly, He didn't even look human. He was rejected by men, a man well acquainted with sorrows, belittled, mocked, spit on, and harassed. And He did all of that to win your love,. to save you from eternal fire. Now, there's a love story for the ages! 

In fact, many of the things Jesus said are idioms for a Jewish wedding. It's a fascinating study, and I encourage you to read this article about the Jewish Wedding and Jesus

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

Remember you are bought with a huge price--the death of the Son of God. It is the bride price God paid for you to become His Son's bride. That makes you the most valuable thing in all of creation. Highly loved and exceedingly precious!
                                                                       ***

Thanks for stopping by! Would love to read your comments about this post by a dear author friend, MaryLu Tyndall. Feel free to share by clicking on the icons below.

Be blessed,
Elva

Elva Cobb Martin is Vice President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI 
Coming Nov. 12, 2019  Marisol  Book 1 in Charleston Brides
          https://amzn.to/33Npc2L




Saturday, September 7, 2019

Guest Blog- 4 Keys to a Powerful Denouement

Guest blog by September C. Fawkes

4 Keys to a Powerful Denouement




Often as writers, we put a lot of our focus on the starting, climax, and middle of a story, and the denouement or falling action may be somewhat of an afterthought. If you grew up like me, you were kind of taught that the denouement should just be a quick wrap up that can end the story, and you weren’t given much direction on how to do that in a satisfying way. But when crafted well, the denouement can sometimes feel like the most powerful part of a story–not because it has heightened tension and conflict, like the rest of the novel probably has, but precisely because it’s the emotional release of all that. 
Here are some things to keep in mind when working with denouements. 

1) The Proper Length

Denouements are often short, and in fact, I’ve been in some creative writing classes where we were told that you can even cut them off completely, and while that might work for some rare stories, I argue that almost every story is better with a strong denouement than without. My advice? Don’t skimp on it. (Usually.)
Because some of us were taught that the purpose of the denouement is to get out of the story quickly, some of us actually make them too short. You might be able to get away with that, but you miss out on ending your story on a more powerful note. 
So what length should they be? Well, long enough to cover the important parts but short enough to keep them interesting. So let’s talk about what they need.

2) Its True Purpose: Validation

A powerful denouement doesn’t just “end the story.” It validates it. This means validating changes that happened during, or maybe rather, because of the story. Show evidence of what has been lost, defeated, gained, or won. So after a romance conflict, you may show the couple getting married. If someone died in the climax, you may show a funeral. If the protagonist completed a character arc, we need to see him acting as a changed person. Was the antagonist defeated? Show that he, she, or it is now gone from the world. 



Powerful validation, especially one after another, is what can often bring an audience to tears–it’s the release and outcome of all the previous hardship. It can also cement the theme into readers’ hearts. 
Validate what has changed, and sometimes, what hasn’t changed. A lot of powerful denouements do some of both, which is why you’ll notice it may be similar to the beginning of the novel, but different.

3) Tie Loose Ends (and Maybe Add New Ones)

This is usually what people think of when thinking of denouements, but when you validate changes, you are often tying up any loose ends in the process. Still, there may be some elements that need to be mentioned and addressed directly. If there was a side mystery, we may need to still get that resolved in the falling action. Any information that we are lacking, should probably be in the text. Smaller conflicts that weren’t handled in the climax, may be concluded here. 
And in some stories, you may actually be adding loose ends in addition to tying off others. This is particularly true for a book in a series. Maybe what happened in the climax opened up more questions and potential conflicts. Some denouements close all the conflicts of the book, and then at the very end, add a few loose ends. Installments in a series may acknowledge any ongoing loose ends that haven’t yet been resolved.

4) Convey a New Normal

In the beginning of the novel, you probably conveyed a sense of normalcy to the audience–what was normal for this character, this setting, this society. Most satisfying denouements establish a sense of what the new normal may be. This can be big and obvious, like a couple being married. Or it may be more subtle, like what a changed character is planning to do next in life. In some cases, you may be “hinting” at the future more than “establishing” it. 
Sometimes, the “new normal” may actually be the old normal you opened up with, but in most stories, that would probably undermine all the changes that took place. Still, it can work for the right kind. But even if the new normal is almost the same as the old normal, typically it’s a good idea to at least give us a hint of how the protagonist grew, internally.
                                                         ***

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed this guest blog on wrapping up our novels. Has it helped you? Feel free to share.

Blessings,
Elva Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is Vice President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI 
Coming Nov. 12, 2019  Marisol  Book 1 in Charleston Brides
          https://amzn.to/33Npc2L







Saturday, August 31, 2019

Writers' Devotion - Hallowing/Honoring the Names of God

by Elva Cobb Martin

Jesus said we should pray, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name."

Did you know God has revealed His nature, power, and purpose through various Hebrew names He gave Himself in the Bible narrative? As a writer I am much interested in names and their meaning. So I love studying and confessing God's wonderful Hebrew names and their meaning.

A great way for me to enter prayer times as a writer is to confess and thereby hallow or honor the powerful names of God and God Himself. This is a great way to enter into His courts with praise.

Here's a short list that I lift up my hands and confess at the beginning of my private prayer and worship times, before I list my petitions:

Yahweh - I AM the God who is present and active  (Ex. 3:14 to Moses)
Elohim  - the Creator of heaven and earth, might and strength. (Gen. 1-2)
El-Shaddai - the God Almighty of blessings (Gen.28:3)
Adonai - my Lord, Master, Owner, revealed in Jesus, the same yesterday, today                        and forever.
Jehovah-Jireh - Who sees my need and provides. (Gen.22:8 Isaac spared, ram                           provided)
Jehovah-Rapha - my Healer and who makes bitter experiences sweet.                                       (Ex.15:26)
Jehovah-M'Kaddesh - the Lord my Sanctifier. You've set me apart to Yourself
Jehovah-Nissi - You are my victory! When the enemy comes in like a flood,
                     You lift up a standard against him. (Ex. 17:15 Moses against the
                      Amalekites).
Jehovah-Shalom - You are my peace. (Judges 6;23,24 Gideon)
Jehovah-Tsidkenu - You are my Righteousness through Christ
Jehovah- Roi - You are the God who sees me and my need. (Gen. 16 Hagar)
Jehovah- Rohi - You are my Shepherd. I shall not want any good thing.
Jehovah-Shammah - You are always with me, and will never forsake me.
El-Elyon - You are the Most High God, the first cause of everything, the Great                   God, the Living God, the Merciful God, Truth, Justice and Perfection.

Thanks for stopping by. Do you have another favorite name of God to add to this list? Please share by clicking on the small icons below.

Have a blessed, safe Labor Day weekend,
Elva Martin


Elva Cobb Martin is Vice President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI 
Coming Nov. 12, 2019  Marisol  Book 1 in Charleston Brides
          https://amzn.to/33Npc2L










Saturday, August 24, 2019

Marisol is on Amazon for Pre-Orders!

by Elva Cobb Martin

I am happy and thankful to announce that Marisol, Spanish Rose, is now on pre-order sale on Amazon at this link:
https://amzn.to/33Npc2L
Marisol will be released Nov. 12 by Wild Heart Books.

This love story of Marisol and Ethan was an exciting adventure to write. I learned so much during all the research it took to write knowledgeably of the Spanish Main and Charleston during the 1700's and the age of  sailing ships.

Marisol is a woman who refuses to give up when terrible things happen to her and dangerous choices face her.



She had to keep her head and succeeded until she met our handsome hero, privateer/pirate Captain Ethan Becket. He struggles with problems of his own, and the last thing he needs is a lovely, desperate woman on his hands...

My premise for this novel is:
"Love, forgiveness, and determination can overcome the most horrifying experiences and poor choices when God is invited into the equation."

I actually was inspired toward this theme by a quote from one of my fave Agatha Christie characters--the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. He said to a troubled character: "There is nothing in the world so damaged that it cannot be repaired by the hand of Almighty God."  Isn't that a great quote from Agatha--or maybe just from the TV series writers?

Oh, and I need to mention, Marisol has an amazing talent she learned from early days on her father's Andalusian Stud estate in Spain. She can dance the Flamenco. But that gifting risks her whole future.



So happy you dropped by. How do you like Marisol? Feel free to share this blog by clicking on the small icons below.

Blessings,
Elva

Elva Cobb Martin is Vice President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI 


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Slipping out of POV - How to STOP Doing It

Great Guest Blog by Janice Hardy

Howdy Writer Friends and Readers,

I've just gone through line edits on my latest novel Marisol (to be launched on Amazon for pre-sales August 16 and released in November 2019). One of the things that cropped up was my slipping out of the POV character's head. Below is a great article about this. Hope you enjoy it! --Elva

Stepping Out: A Look at Point of View Shifts

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

A reader asked…
We always hear that if you slip out of POV you run the risk of jarring the reader out of the story. But is this really true? Surely we read published books that slip out of POV all the time? How can we spot slips in POV? Particularly in third person.
A point of view shift is when a POV character conveys something to the reader the POV character couldn’t possibly know. The most common one is when motive is attributed to a non-POV character, but having a non-POV character observe something about the POV is another one you see quite often. Sometimes they sneak by and readers don’t really notice them (we writers are far pickier on this topic than readers) but sometimes they do jar the reader out of the story because it’s clear the POV wouldn’t know that.

You have the super obvious shifts, where the reader is privy to more than one character’s thoughts and perspective in the same scene (or worse, the same paragraph):
John glanced down at his phone. Where r u? floated on the screen. Couldn’t that woman leave him alone? Stacy was his wife, not his parole officer. Stacy didn’t think so, and she waited with phone in hand, anxious for John to text her back. Why hadn’t he answered?
Feel that sudden yank there in the middle? Didn’t you think “Stacy didn’t think so…” was John’s opinion of her at first, then all of a sudden you were in Stacy’s head. This is a pretty bad POV shift, often referred to as “head hopping” because you’re jumping from head to head.

To keep the reader centered on the POV, you want to stick with one POV per scene or chapter. When you switch POVs, break the scene and start a new one.

Let’s look at the sneakier ones now:
John smiled at me, then reached over to brush dried leaves off my shoulder.
Can you spot the shift? The “to” implies motive, which the narrator couldn’t know until John actually brushed the leaves off her. There’s a good chance she hadn’t even known the leaves were there, so having that info is also a shift. Changing “to” to “and” shifts this back in to the narrator’s POV. She sees John reach over, and sees him brush leaves off her shoulder. Both are observable actions by the POV.

“To verb” is something that gets in there all the time, and yes, you see it in plenty of published books. Why if it’s a POV shift? Because there’s an inherent “the narrator knows the story and what happened” aspect to novels. Most people won’t even notice it because it’s so subtle. And like many inconsistencies in writing, not everyone will consider this a shift at all, because a farther narrative distance might allow for motive to be assumed. It’s the writer’s call on this one.

Implying motive also applies to third person:
John smiled at Lola, then reached over to brush dried leaves off her shoulder.
From this line it’s impossible to tell who the POV is, though oddly enough, both are shifting out of the POV. If John is the POV then it pulls back to the author telling motive (not showing it). If Lola is the POV, it’s a POV shift because just like in first person, Lola can’t know why John reaches for her.

Let’s look at some more obvious shifts:
I bumped into John outside the market. He looked at me and frowned, noticing the baby puke stain on my shirt.
The narrator can’t know what John notices. She can only see him look at her and frown. But here’s where it gets a little tricky. You could have something like…
I bumped into John outside the market. He looked down at the baby puke stain on my shirt and frowned.
If the narrator knows she has a stain on her shirt, it’s quite plausible that when she sees John look down at that area of her body he’s looking at the stain. The narrator observes an action and can guess the reason for it. That keeps the judgment of that action squarely in the POV’s head. If Lola didn’t know she had a stain, then the above example would have been a shift.

Same issues for third person:
Lola bumped into John outside the market. He looked at her and frowned, noticing the baby puke stain on her shirt.
John’s POV: The noticing is the author telling the reader what John notices.
Lola’s POV: The noticing is a POV shift.

You can also shift if you have your POV character noticing their own appearance or actions as an outside observer would.
Lola reached for the baby wipes just as the hot new stock boy came down the aisle. Her face turned bright scarlet.
This is another shift that not everyone would call a shift (and depending on your narrative distance, it might not be.) But if we’re inside Lola’s head looking out, she can’t know what color her face is. She can feel the heat of blushing, she can guess or assume her face turned scarlet, but she can’t know it. She doesn’t see it. You could also consider this telling as well, shifting out of Lola’s POV into the author’s. You can put it back in her POV by showing what she does, feels, and thinks:
Lola reached for the baby wipes just as the hot new stock boy came down the aisle. Her face flushed hot. Was it bright red? Gads, what if he saw her like this?

Spotting POV Shifts 


“To verb” is easy to search for and you’ll eliminate a lot of smaller shifts if you revise, in many cases, just using “and” instead. Other things you can look for:
  • Any judgment or opinion statements of non-POV characters that aren’t in dialog. A non-POV character will only convey information by what they say and how the act. That’s all the POV can observe.
  • Places where the POV states motive or opinion of a non-POV character. If the POV is guessing or basing their thought on what they can observe, then it’s probably okay. But if the POV is attributing a motive as if it’s fact (like in the noticing example above), you might be shifting.
  • Anything the POV character wouldn’t know, couldn’t guess by observation, or couldn’t see.
  • The POV referring to how they look.
It’s really up to the writer to decide how fanatical they want to be about subtle shifts (head hopping is a no-no). The tighter the POV and the closer the narrative distance, the more the shift affects how the text reads. The farther the narrative distance, the more acceptable a slight shift is because there’s another layer between reader and POV. There’s a sense that someone is relaying the info and they could know things the POV doesn’t.

Just think about what your POV can see/hear/smell etc. If it’s not something that falls within their senses, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t know about.

How do you handle searching for POV shifts? What words or phrases have you noticed frequently popping up?

Looking for tips on planning, writing, or revising your novel? Check out one of my books on writing:  Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, a self-guided workshop for planning or revising a novel, the companion Planning Your Novel WorkbookRevising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft, your step-by-step guide to revising a novel, and the first book in my bestselling Skill Builders Series, Understanding Show Don't Tell (And Really Getting It)


A long-time fantasy reader, Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her novels include The ShifterBlue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The Shifter, was chosen for the 2014 list of "Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read" from the Georgia Center for the Book. It was also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, and The Truman Award in 2011.

Janice is also the founder of Fiction University, a site dedicated to helping writers improve their craft. Her popular Foundations of Fiction series includes Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, a self-guided workshop for planning or revising a novel, the companion Planning Your Novel WorkbookRevising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft, your step-by-step guide to revising a novel, and the first book in her Skill Builders Series, Understanding Show Don't Tell (And Really Getting It).  
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Indie Bound
Hope you enjoyed this guest blog. Would love to read your comments and please do share this by clicking on the small icons below.
Blessings,
Elva


Elva Cobb Martin is Vice President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI 



Saturday, August 3, 2019

Writers' Devotion - The Best Day for a Wedding

by Elva Cobb Martin

Since I write romance novels anything about a wedding interests me.

Many times I've heard or shared teachings on the wedding of Cana and Jesus' first miracle of turning the water into wine in John Chapter 2.
Recently, reading this passage in The Passion Translation, I gained some amazing new insight from the notes.

John 2:1 reads: Now on the third day there was a wedding feast in the Galilean village of Cana... 

I assumed the "third day" had something to do with Jesus' travels. But that's not it. This was a Tuesday as counted by the Hebrew week beginning on the Sabbath (our Saturday). 

The "third day" was chosen as a great day for a wedding in ancient Judaism because:

1) It was only on the third day in creation (Gen.1:10-12) that God says "It is good" twice. So this day is considered twice blessed. (Wonder if that's WHY I personally get much more good writing done on Tuesdays? --Not just for the fact that my retired hubby has a long afternoon off with his music-playing buddies every Tuesday. LOL)

2) Tuesdays were ideal for Jewish weddings because it gave guests time to get there after the Sabbath and not have to hurry home.

3) The "third day" is also a picture of Jesus' glorious Resurrection.

Here are some other fast tidbits from The Passion notes on the Wedding of Cana:

  • Six stone pots represents the number of man made on the   sixth day
  • Moses (law) turned water to blood; Jesus (grace) changed water of the Word into wine of the Spirit.
Here's are a couple of my own notes: 
1) Mary expected something to happen when she told the servants "Whatever He tells you to do, do it." (Catholics should take note these are the LAST words of Mary in the Bible. She never dreamed she'd be worshiped.) 

We Christian writers, trying to write what He is telling us to write, need to keep EXPECTING something good will come from our efforts. Are you doing what He says do and expecting?

2) It took some FAITH ACTION for this miracle to emerge. The servants had to obey Jesus' instruction to fill the pots with water and then go and POUR it out for the guests. Can't you just hear some of them mumbling? "This is crazy. No one will like this water. The groom will beat us for doing this."
Yet, when they obeyed Jesus' Word, the water turned into wine.
If you obey and keep writing what Jesus' tells you, I believe you, too, will experience a miracle of success.


3) Was the wine fermented? I have TONS of notes about this but suffice it to say:

1) I believe it was new wine--wine that comes straight from the grapes, not fermented to make people drunk and like that which we believers will all enjoy at the coming Marriage Supper of the Lamb because:

2) We know medically now that alcohol consumption can cause birth defects, even during the 48-hour period of conception. It would be theologically absurd to think Jesus would serve this to a bride who could conceive that night or to the other women present at the wedding.  

Thanks for stopping by. Would love to hear your comments or have you share this by clicking on the small icons below.

Blessings,
Elva


Elva Cobb Martin is Vice President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI