Calendar of Events
Going to Heaven
2004 Beth Ann Ziarnik
to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
~ Proverbs 16:3, NIV.
When the dream began, I was twelve years old and a new Christian.
My best friend and I met inside her family's screen porch every day
that summer to write our great American novels in spiral notebooks.
The summer ended, and we put our novels away.
I returned to the dream as a juniorthis time writing news stories
for our high school paper. I enjoyed it so much that I later wrote
for my college newspaper.
I married, had a child, and was teaching high school when the dream
gripped me again. I typed and wept my way though the love story I
was writing about Helen of Troy, but I didn't know where to go with
The dream persisted. Now a stay-at-home mom with two children, I wrote
nearly every day. This time a romantic suspense novel inspired by
my favorite author, Phyllis A. Whitney. However, when I renewed my
love relationship with God, I suspected that my novel may not be entirely
pleasing to him. I chucked the whole thing in the garbage.
A year later, my friend Betty urged me to buy Sherwood E. Wirt's book,
Getting Into Print to help me learn how to write for Christian
publication. My dream sprang to life again!
I threw myself into learning how to write, studying the markets, and
submitting short manuscripts. I subscribed to The Christian Writer
(now The Christian Communicator) and started Word & Pen
Christian Writers Club. I also began attending a Christian writers
conference each year. A few of my manuscripts appeared in local magazines
and newspapers, but the next level --- publication-for-pay --- remained
out of my reach.
Though trapped in this dark tunnel, I still believed God had called
me to write. I registered for the 1988 Green Lake Christian Writers
Conference and signed up for its continuing class on fiction writing.
Yet the first night of the conference, I knew in my heart that I was
to switch to the class on devotional writing. Happily, that strong
urge proved to be God's leading. John Barbour, our instructor and
the then editor of The Quiet Hour, taught us how to write for
his quarterly publication. Before the end of the week, he bought my
devotional entitled "True Bread." The next year, he took
me on as a regular writer for The Quiet Hour.
God had confirmed my call to write for him. He also drew my interest
to an intriguing verse from the Bible that helped me to understand
what had happened at Green Lake.
Proverbs 16:3 tells us, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed." Digging into its original language,
I was amazed to find clear instruction and a promise of success for
Exhaustive Concordance explains that "commit to the Lord"
means "spread out before the Lord." To discover what a writer
should "spread out," I looked up "whatever" in
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.
interesting items came to light. As his writers, God would have us
spread out before him our:
- good or bad (thanking God for his blessings and confessing our sins
- not only our necessary writing equipment, books and supplies, but
our unique qualities and traits as children of God and as writers
called by God.
- such as prayer, the study and practice of writing, any writing-related
appointments, the organizations we belong to; also the writers' workshops,
seminars and conferences we attend, writing courses we take.
- our writing goals, what we plan to accomplish this year, five years
from now and beyond
- our proposed courses of action to reach each of our writing goals
- our action plans for bringing about a desired end, like learning
and practicing a new writing skill, getting a manuscript published
or breaking into a new market
- our manuscript outlines and marketing strategies
- the literary devices we use for dramatic or poetic effect within
- the elements of our prose (like plot, theme, characters, word choice,
- story lines for our true narrative or fiction pieces
- query letters, proposals, manuscripts, books, speeches, Web sites
- any actions involving two parties (proposal or manuscript submissions,
contracts for writing projects, book promotions and speaking engagements)
we writers spread these out before the Lord, seek his guidance and
follow his plans with a heart of obedience, he promises that our plans
will succeed . . . because by then, our plans have now become his
I was curious about his promise of success. Again using Strong's
and Webster's, I explored that part of the verse and was pleased
to find seven ways we writers could expect. Our writing will be:
- made ready beforehand in written form for some purpose or activity.
(At the nudge of God, I recently polished and resubmitted an old,
applied - put to use
(The manuscript I couldn't place long ago was snapped up and scheduled
- officially fixed or set
(We find our God-given niche in writing.)
- made stable, grow and multiply in a favorable position and gain
recognition or acceptance
(In God's timing our writing matures and becomes publishable.)
up - provide a means to begin or establish a business (Our
writing may become a part-time or full-time job.)
sure - become firmly established
(If we keep at it, we will become well-published servants of God.)
proper - become excellent
(We will eventually reach the level of skill that we long to achieve.)
prosperous - become marked by success, enjoying vigorous
and healthy growth
(God will enlarge our writing opportunities far beyond the original
All this God promises, when we allow his plan for our writing to become
our dream. But first and always we spread out before him all that
hope to be
hope to do.
we truly commit our all to him, he will faithfully do what he has
Lord God, may our hearts be open to your plans now and in the days
to come. May we faithfully commit to you whatever we do, knowing that
in your good time we will see our writer's dreams come true. Amen
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright
1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of
Zondervan Publishing House.
2015 Beth Ann Ziarnik