Thursday, April 27, 2006

Organizational Tip from Cyndy Salzman

Ready to organize your life and your writing? Every week writer, speaker, and organizational expert Cyndy Salzmann will offer a tip for writers. Her first tip is below. You can find out more about Cyndy on her website.

Today's tip:

Good intentions. For most writers under tight deadlines, when it comes to having a daily devotional time, the proverbial "road" is paved with them. As I struggled with this issue in my own life recently, a scenario began to form in my mind…

What if Jesus was making an appearance in town next month? How long would I stand in line for a ticket? What price would I pay? Would I be willing to interrupt my writing schedule to attend?

The answer to all of these questions was easy. I’d stand in the rain for a week to hear Jesus teach from His Word. I'd even risk missing a deadline to have the chance for a one-on-one session to chat about the things on my mind. But if this was true, why couldn't I find time for Him in my day?

If you are experiencing a similar struggle, I'll give you the same challenge a wise friend once gave me. She said, “Cyndy do you have seven minutes in your day that you could set aside to spend with God?” Here’s how she suggested spending it…

1. For the first 30 seconds ask God to quiet your heart and give you a teachable spirit. Ask Him to protect the next few minutes from interruptions.

2. Then -- spend the next four minutes reading the Bible. Read whatever you like. Start at the beginning and read a little each day. Or let the book fall open and start reading. Second Timothy 3:16 tells as that all Scripture is "God breathed" and useful for teaching and training in righteousness.

3. Then -- for the remaining time (2 ½ minutes) PRAY. Here’s a formula to keep you on track… it’s P-R-A-Y…

P - Praise. Praise God for who He is what He means to You.

R - Repent. Confess your sins – and accept God's forgiveness. It was bought by a high price – the suffering and death of God’s own son

A - Ask. Ask God to provide what you need. Pray about the big things and the little things. One time I asked for a better attitude about laundry (I hate laundry…) and God led me to Genesis 2:20 which says "They were naked and not ashamed." It made me smile and realize that getting the laundry done on time wasn’t the big deal I was making it.

Y – Yield. This is the hardest for most of us. Allow God to set your to-do list by saying Lord, THY will be done – not MY will.

So, how about you? Do you have seven minutes you can carve out of your writing schedule to spend with God? If your answer is yes, here's what your Creator -- the One who knows the number of hairs on your head – promises in return…

"I will always lead you. I will satisfy your needs in dry lands and give strength to your bones. You will be like a garden that has much water, like a spring that never runs dry." Isaiah 58:11

4 Comments:

Anonymous Hope Wilbanks said...

This is so timely! I've struggled with making a decision to renew my membership with a writing group. I felt like God has been telling me to step away for a while and really, truly get down to business. When I took a look at my priorities last week and realized that I have had absolutely NO time with God lately on a personal level, I knew it was time for a change. I started morning devotions that day, and I can't begin to tell you how much strength I gain daily from MAKING myself BE STILL for a few minutes and center myself in the word and prayer.

4:37 AM  
Blogger Jim Thompson said...

The struggle of time constraints plagues me daily. I am a con man, and my own greatest sucker. It seems I'll believe any lame excuse to waste time that I feed myself. Perhaps Cyndy's column will help to break my cycle of procrastination and discouragement. By the way; thanks, Tricia, for challenging us to comment daily on your Writer Quotes. Doing so forces me to think and write daily.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Tricia Goyer said...

Hope,

About seven years ago I started waking up early because I wanted extra time to write. It worked great, except my mind started to plague me. God gave me "Be still and know that I am God" over and over again.

So . . . I decided to read one chapter of my Bible before I wrote. Then, I decided to add a prayer journal. Then I added a devotional book or too. Before I knew it, I wasn't getting any time to write in the early mornings, but I was falling in love with Jesus all over again. My relationship with Him became my #1 priority. And now this is a "habit" that I look forward to.

I'm eager to see what God has in store for you!

Jim,
Two things came to mind when I read your post.

1. Pray about it. Pray for every little discouraging thought that enters your mind. I'm taking a Bible Study class at church, in which they ask attendees to go on a "fast" from negative thoughts. It was harder than I *thought* it would be! But, I've decided to take it one step further . . .

I've decided to cast those thoughts at the feet of Jesus through prayer. My thoughts usually center around worry concerning ALL I have to do (writing, family, life). Instead, I'm trying to THANK God for these opportunities and take one baby step at a time with rejoicing in my heart!

2. Keep commenting! "Community" is a gift!

Tricia

P.S. Also, if anyone wants to have pity on my personal blog, stop by for a visit at www.triciagoyer.blogspot.com

It's been comment-free for a while!

6:05 AM  
Blogger Pammer said...

This is great. I love the new look on your newsletter too. And I read about a contest on it?

I like this blog, so helpful and encouraging. Thanks.

10:27 PM  

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