Poetry: Oh, Lord, Where Ya Been?

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

Oh, Lord, Where Ya Been?

Poem by Doc Dalton

Been hiding out, lost, and confused for some time now,

Not knowing which way to turn, or what to even say.

Hurt by life’s bumps and bruises, struggling more every day,

Hanging on by the tips of my fingers so I won’t slip and fade away.

Sadly, I’ve been stumbling while searching for a clue,

Screaming like hell to the Heavens above in search of You,

Looking for a sign while taking life’s shots on the chin. What have I done that was so wrong? How bad was my sin?

The road has a been long one, and my journey’s been dark,

One that I felt would betray me and tear me apart.

This same journey I never dreamed I would be taking,

I beg of you, Lord, please don’t let me be forsaken.

Oh, Lord, where Ya been?

I’ve been crying out in search of You once again,

Standing here worried and scared, waiting just for You,

Lord, I beg of You one more time, please pull me through.

Sometimes God takes us on a journey to bring us where He wants us to be,

One that is long, confusing, and, at times, blinding to where we cannot see.

While the journey may be long, the travel is worth it—at least it was to this old fool,

Now I know You’ve been with me all along, even when life seemed so cruel.

Oh, Lord, now I know where Ya been.

Beside me all the while, guiding me once again.

Thank You for Your love, and thank You for pulling me through.

Please know, Jesus, this old fool always needs You.


About Doc Dalton

The Depressed Poet Doc Dalton has suffered from depression for over 30 years. Doc says poetry was a gift from the Lord because, while writing, his mind relaxes from the craziness and lets the calm walk in. Dalton is also the host of the podcast The Coffee and Prayer Series, “Where a Good Cup of Coffee, and Some Quiet Prayers Can Change the World.” Visit Dalton on his website for more information.


For more inspirational content, please visit our Lost Pen Pub Blog page. To download Lost Pen Magazine, visit our Magazine Issues page.

How You Can Support What You Love

My church often uses the phrase “You support what you love” when it wants to remind us that people often find the means to give of their time, money, and resources when they care deeply about something. In this same spirit, I’d like to encourage you to support an important project that the Christian Creative Nexus has been working on since last year: the Lost Pen Magazine.

 

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In order to fund the development, production, and distribution of the Lost Pen and it’s parent, the Christian Creative Nexus, we are hosting a fundraiser. Interested parties can support our mission by purchasing an original speculative fiction short story called Dead Wood on Kindle.

The story will available as of October 4 for $3.97 USD. The theme and content is perfect for this time of year. 🙂 Find Dead Wood here.

 

Copy of Come and get it!

 

Here’s the blurb for Dead Wood:

Following the trail of his errant dog, Jim enters the overgrown field bordering the Dead Wood—a shady area steeped in urban legends. Under the light of the moon, a tower appears, and its bewitching inhabitant draws Jim into a nightmare that he, and his dog, might not survive.

 

For more information about the Lost Pen Magazine and the upcoming Winter issue, click here.

Also, for fun, visit our Six Questions interview, hosted by Jim Harrington, for info about our purpose and an editor’s view on what it’s like to manage a magazine.

Thank you for your ongoing support!

-Delia

Fanfiction Feature: Part 2

An excerpt from Sehnsucht, a Harry Potter fanfiction by M. Street, based on Chapter 35 of The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.

 

Harry yawned and stretched, reaching automatically for his glasses on the bedside table. But his hand felt only air. Turning to look, he saw nothing but white all around. Harry rubbed his eyes and blinked to clear them. The white slowly shifted, creating tracks and platforms and the great domed ceiling and old stone columns he was familiar with. Kings Cross Station. He looked around and under the bench where he was sitting for his glasses. They were nowhere to be found, but then he realized he didn’t seem to need them anyway. Everything looked perfectly clear.

A soft sound caught his attention, and Harry rose from his seat to look for it. A quavering kind of whimper came from under one of the other benches, and he bent to see if there was a lost animal there. Instead, a disturbing sight met his eyes: a shriveled and bloody body looked carelessly shoved underneath—a child-sized creature, flailing frantically as it struggled to breathe. Harry thought he ought to try to help it, but he had no wand and was loathe to reach out his hand and touch the thing, fragile and hurt though it seemed.

“It’s all right,” a gentle voice called. “He will be taken care of.”

Harry leapt backwards as a huge figure knelt down beside him. The giant silver knight reached out and tenderly scooped up the ravaged body, pausing to nod briefly at Harry before turning away and carrying the creature off into the white expanse where Harry would have expected to see the train station’s escalators.

“I expect you’re quite tired, aren’t you?” This time, the voice was accompanied by a hand ruffling his hair, the way Sirius sometimes did, and Harry felt tears spring unbidden into his eyes. Yes, he was. So very, very tired. Weary of the fighting and anxiety and struggling to act like he had it all together and wasn’t afraid.

Harry blinked back the tears and looked towards the source of the voice—white robes, white beard—but he couldn’t quite focus on the face. “Professor Dumbledore?” he asked hesitantly.

“No,” the voice said with a soft laugh. “Although I must admit the beard is similar. You know, I once had a moment like this. Just about this time of night, too. Like you, I was asked to accomplish an important task that, at times, seemed impossible. And at that moment just before the end, before that last push for victory…you have to ask yourself if it’s been worth it. Was it worth it giving up everything to do what you were born to do? Giving up so much for other people’s freedom? Shouldn’t there have been an easier way?”

This time, as Harry looked, the face grew clear. It seemed too young to have such a white beard, and the eyes were a rich warm brown that looked as if they crinkled with laughter much of the time.

“Who are you?” Harry asked. “What was that body? Who took it away? Where are we? Am…am I dead?”

The man laughed again. “All reasonable questions. Where do you think we are?”

“It looks like Kings Cross Station,” Harry replied, looking around at the pristine white space.

“It does, doesn’t it? What you see is supposed to look like something that makes you comfortable. And I think you picked the train station because you’re ready to move on, aren’t you? Ready for all this to be over?”

 

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Photo by Sarah Ehlers on Unsplash

 

Harry nodded, feeling the weight of exhaustion and emotion once again press down on him. “So I am dead, then?”

“No,” the man said firmly. “Not yet. We are in the pause of a moment, the space between heartbeats.” He walked over to the bench and sat down, patting the seat next to him for Harry to come sit.

“And what about that…that thing under the bench?” asked Harry with a slight shiver, as he sat down. “What was that?”

“Ah,” the man sighed, looking sad. “That is a travesty of Tom’s own making. That spell you call the killing curse doesn’t kill someone the way you might think. It doesn’t stop their heart or do anything physical. That spell separates the soul from the body. And so, that night in Godric’s Hollow when the curse rebounded and separated his soul from his body, a piece of his soul latched itself onto you. And in trying to kill you tonight, Tom has inadvertently done you a great service by separating that remaining piece of his soul from your body.”

“I was the accidental horcrux,” Harry murmured. “But that piece of his soul…it…” Harry made a face. “I didn’t know whether I wanted to help it or not. It seemed helpless, fragile, but so…awful. What’s going to happen to it?”

“What do you think should happen?”

Harry looked surprised. “I don’t know. I want him to be finished. I want all this to be over. But…Dumbledore said he might still be saved, that he could put his soul back together if he just felt remorse for what he’d done. So part of me wants that for him too.”

The man grinned broadly, proudly, as though Harry had won all his House points single-handed. “You have recognized an important truth. Justice will be done, you don’t need to worry about that. In the end, justice is always done. But justice without mercy is a sad affair. So yes, remorse and repentance are always options. To see what a mess you’ve made of something and try to set it right.”

Harry was quiet for several moments as he tried to decide what he really felt about that. What would it look like for Tom Riddle to feel remorse for what he’d done? Was that possible? He’d sunk so deep and so willingly into darkness.

“I tried to warn him,” the man said, giving Harry a sad smile, as though he knew his thoughts.

“Warn him? How?”

“Your prophecy. The darkness can not be allowed to rise unchecked.”

“But why wasn’t he stopped a long time ago? Before things got this bad?”

“I like to work with free will,” the man said, frankly. “That’s the way things were set up a long time ago. Give people a chance to change. But if something is free to be good than it is also free to choose to be bad. This has made evil possible. It is also what makes love and joy and goodness possible. But I was very clear that someone would be sent to oppose him.”

“Me,” Harry sighed.

“You were raised up for such a time as this.”

“But…Dumbledore said Voldemort chose me, that he decided the prophecy was about me.”

“Free will again,” the man shrugged. “Tricky business. You see, the question of blood status is a wound that has been festering in your people for far too long. And sometimes the fever that accompanies an infection must rise and then break before a wound is healed. So we let the rebellion play itself out, and give people time to choose to do the right thing.”

Harry sat there for a moment mulling that over.

“You’re worried about something,” the man said, a fact, not a question.

“Will it matter?” Harry finally burst out. “I was willing to do whatever it took. Willing to die so that he could be defeated. Now I have to go back and face him again, face dying all over again. And when it’s all over, is anything going to change? Will any of this matter to how wizards treat Muggle-borns or argue about blood status?”

“Are you worried about dying or worried about the world you will leave behind?”

“Well…um…both, really. I guess.” Harry ran a hand through his messy hair in frustration.

“As to the first, you have been able to witness first-hand something many people never understand. In dying to ourselves we become truly free. You being willing to give up your life is what finally freed you from the evil of Tom Riddle’s soul. So in that sense, you didn’t come to die. You came to live.”

“And the second?”

“It is almost impossible for humans to recognize the ties that bind them together—those elusive threads that connect people and stories and destinies. If it weren’t for you, Hermione could very well have been killed by that troll your first year. If it weren’t for Hermione, you wouldn’t have been able to free Sirius. Without Sirius, Remus Lupin would have probably given up hope for his own life. Without Remus and Artemis falling in love, Lina wouldn’t have joined the Order and fought so hard to ensure the werewolves were freed from the reservation. Without Lina, Severus would have continued his work alone and would never have been forced to face what was truly keeping him in bondage. You were appointed to face Tom Riddle, but each thread is important in its own way. Each person reaching beyond themselves and being willing to sacrifice. That is what will change the world, Harry. As Professor Dumbledore once told you, choices make all the difference! After this battle, there will be quite a few who are finally able to recognize the innate treasure in all people, whether they are magical or not, no matter their blood status or House, if they’re a werewolf or a House Elf, because they all chose to fight together.”

Harry nodded, though he thought that sounded very optimistic. “I…I guess if you’re sure things can change. If you’re sure it matters. Then I guess I’m ready to go back,” he said, taking a deep breath of resolve and running his hands over his jeans restlessly. “Thank you.”

“Time to go then,” the man said encouragingly as he and the white station began to darken and fade away. “And remember, I will always have others fighting with you and for you, even when they are unseen.”

“Wait,” called Harry. “Do you mean those warriors? And you never said who you actually were!”

A warm laugh echoed around him. “It’s Christmas Eve, Harry,” he heard the man call back. “I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”

Harry blinked his eyes and found himself lying uncomfortably on the castle floor. Drops of salty water were falling onto his face, and he peered up to see Sirius, face crumpled in grief and tears falling from his eyes as he grasped Harry by the arms and began to drag him away, out of the chaos erupting around them. Harry closed his eyes again, trying to stay as limp as possible, thinking through what he had to do next.

 

See part 1 of M. Street’s submission called Fan-Fiction and Faith:God Can Use ALL Things here.

About Monica Street

Version 2I believe in stories. Some stories are real, some are imaginary, but all have power. I believe God is a story teller. He uses stories to help us understand who He is and who we are. I believe we are created in the image of God and, as image-bearers, our stories cannot help but reflect facets of God, of His creation, of His stories. My desire is that my stories reflect those facets accurately.

On a lighter note I love tea and chocolate and music and old things. I’m a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mama of four, and I am the parent who has introduced her kids to Hogwarts, Narnia, the One Ring, the Avengers, the Justice League, and the ways of the Force. My husband shakes his head and smiles.

I post stories on the mobile app Texties as M Street, fanfiction.net, and Wattpad under the profile MamaStreet.

Feel free to email me if you want to talk stories at mamastreetstories@gmail.

Writing Coaches: Do We Need Them?

Article submitted by S.D. Howard

 

There are many pitfalls when it comes to writing, and as indie authors, it can be hard to avoid all of them, especially when you’re going it alone. Which is why it’s a good idea to have someone showing you the ropes and guiding you as you go. 

This post is to help you better understand the role a coach has in the process of helping you with your book, and why it is worth investing in. Shall we?

 

Why Do I Need a Coach?

Whenever I tell someone “I’m a developmental editor and story coach,” I usually get a blank stare in return. I don’t blame them since many of them don’t write or are brand new to writing, and they probably haven’t ever heard the terms before. Let’s face it, their main focus is keeping the coffee flowing, and the writing muscles moving while they work on their story; they’re not even thinking about editing, let alone a coach. 

However, they should, and here’s why:

Writing is HARD!

That’s right, I said it. Writing is hard, and because of that, very few make it to the point of publishing a book. I know many Christian authors who have given up and called it quits because they felt like they couldn’t do it. That’s the farthest thing from the truth in my experience! The truth is they didn’t have anyone in their corner to help them or to tell them that they have what it takes; they didn’t have anyone to show them how to avoid pitfalls or to work past writer’s block. To help them find editors and cover designers.

This is where a writing coach (also known as a story coach) can help: two heads are better than one. A coach is someone with a little more experience who can help you take your story to the next level. How do they do that? Well, since I cannot answer for other coaches, I’ll go through how I have been helping my clients with their stories.

 

Worksheets

After working with teens who were struggling to finish their stories, I decided that they needed something that would help get their ideas out of their heads. Now, I don’t do well with academic-style language, and I wanted to avoid it as much as possible. I created the Getting Your Story Started Worksheets in a conversational style for people who don’t learn well from more formal tools, like a textbook. I also made it a point not to have them take themselves too seriously by making jokes, puns, and silly (but effective) examples. That’s why the teens loved them! The writing tool connected them and helped them get their stories going again.

The worksheets were designed to be easy to follow, even if you don’t have much time. They help you start getting your story ideas out of your head where you can work on them, which is why, I have continued to implement them in my coaching to help my clients, who range in age from the early twenties to late forties with great success.

With the way these worksheets have resonated with writers, I believe that the Holy Spirit inspired them and put them my heart as a way to help authors bring their stories to life. How that looks in the future, I don’t know, but I’m excited to see what happens!

 

Writing Process

One of the biggest things that I see in the clients I’ve coached is a lack of a writing process that works for them. They don’t have any writing goals, times blocked out to plot or write their story, or they edit as they go, thus stifling their creativity. That’s why the first call I have with clients is all about getting a writing process in place for them. I cannot stress how important this is!

The first thing I ask my clients is how many words per hour can they write/type. I ask this because it will help them figure out how to structure their writing goals. If they can bust out 1500 words in an hour and they have a first draft chapter goal of 3000 words, then they know that they’ll need at least two hours to write up a single chapter. 

I used this method in January when I started a new Christian fantasy novel and pumped out 50k words in twenty-nine days. Never before had I gotten so much writing done in the thirteen years I’ve been writing!

You see, by doing it this way, you’re able to set up your chapters more effectively for the first draft, which in turn will make you more productive!

 

Is My Story Good Enough?

I get this question a lot from clients, especially the ones who are newer to writing. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you want to know if you have what it takes. Is your story good enough? The answer is, probably.

Probably!?

Yes, probably. I’m not putting your story down, but I am acknowledging that a story can change and transform into something completely different if you see a new way to take it. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve done this same thing since I started writing at sixteen. And it’s okay!

Something to keep in mind when wrestling with this is, who are you trying to please? Is it family? Friends? Are you writing the story you feel like God has put on your heart, or are you looking at what’s trendy so you can make a quick buck?

When a client contacts me about coaching, and we get to talking about their story, I can usually tell within ten minutes whether it’s a good one or not. How do I know this? 

I read the author.

Are they passionate about it? Do they have an idea of where they want to take it? Is the plot a copy/paste of something else, or did they take an idea and turn it on its head? Do they see the “big picture”? 

I help them figure out what it is they want to write about, what they’re passionate about, and that is usually the one that God has placed upon their hearts. Not because of anything I did, but because that’s where their passion is. Their eyes light up when they talk about that idea, and that’s where I hone in to affirm them on it.

That brings me to the #1 one thing I help authors with: confidence.

 

The Essence of a Coach

If you’re looking for a coach, not only should they be helping you with your story, creating a writing process, and be invested in your story, but they need to invest in you. More than anything, this is my number one focus when working with my clients. 

As I get to know them, I challenge them and push them to do things that they may not have done before, and I do this because I see their God-given talent, the skills (even if it needs refining), and the passion for their writing.

As believers, we’re called to uplift one another, bear one another, and affirm one another. That is at the center of what I do as an editor and a coach; it’s a part of who I am, who I try to be, and how I want to run my business.

I believe that everyone has a story to tell and that storytelling is something that can be learned in time and through practice—which is why I don’t think you don’t have to have a degree in creative writing. You don’t need to know every rule of grammar and punctuation. You don’t need to “write what you know” or stay inside the box. 

You don’t need these things to make you an author. Are they important? Of course! However, these do not an author make.

If these don’t, then what does?

Grit. Perseverance. Determination. Willingness to learn.

Remember what we talked about earlier? Writing is hard. It will feel defeating at times. You will want to give up. 

It may be during the first draft or when you start sending it out to agents, or when copy editors rip your story to shreds. It could be while doing line edits, or when you become frustrated by the lack of character development in the story. You’ll wonder why you even bothered and might even be tempted to throw it in the trash and burn it.

Don’t.

Rely on God to be the source of your inspiration because He’s the one who put the story in your heart! He’s the one who called you to write it, so don’t pawn it off on someone else. He’s given you a voice; find someone who will help you foster it.

You don’t have to go it alone. Find a coach who will walk with you through the fires, the valleys, and the dark times. Find a coach who will uplift you and give you an encouraging word when you need it most. Find a coach who will be your biggest fan and help you take your book from good to great.

 

About S.D. Howard

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S.D. Howard, developmental editor & story coach

Howard started writing at the age of 16. Since then, God has revealed Himself to Howard through writing in many beautiful ways. Howard’s passion for writing has led him to developmental editing, story coaching, and writing book 1 in a Christian fantasy series.  

Visit Howard at his Website (The Editing Bard) and LinkedIn.

 

 

Interview with Author and Coach Joké Solanke

Once again, we are blessed to welcome a dynamo of a Christian woman—I grew tired reading about everything she has done! Whether you’re looking for inspiration, motivation, or just to be encouraged by discovering how a sister in Christ is serving her Lord with passion, please take a few minutes to meet Joké Solanke.

Hello Joké. Can you begin by telling us a little about yourself?

My name is Ibijoke, but people call me Joke (Joo-kay). I am a Nigerian by birth, an American by naturalization, a Jew by covenant. I am an adventurous person with a belief that there is an answer to every question, solution to every problem, and hope for all situations. I am a mentor and coach, and I love pioneering new initiatives. In the workplace, I have been in management for about a decade and have also served in different leadership positions at local churches both in the United States and Nigeria.

What is your educational and spiritual background?

My educational background includes: two bachelor’s degrees (Mathematics and Nursing), a master’s degree in Nursing and a couple of certificate programs in Leadership. I am also a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with practice privileges in the State of Georgia. I have been in some sort of Spiritual leadership since my teenage years, having served as a zonal pastor during my undergraduate years at Ogun State University in Nigeria and then as a member of the Redeemed Christian Fellowship Executive in the capacity of the treasurer. My first experience of salvation happened in 1988 during my high school years through my Chemistry teacherMrs. Orowale. She took an interest in me and invited me to a Sunday evening Bible study group at her residence, and that was the beginning of my spiritual journey. My faith is anchored on the finished work of Christ on Calvary. I believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his second coming. I believe in the supernatural, and I have experienced the supernatural.

How did you get into ministry? How do you share your mission or vision?

I see ministry as an opportunity to serve your gifts or talents. Based on my perspective, I have been in ministry since my teenage years. My philosophy about ministry means that you do not have to be officially ordained before you can serve. You only need to discover your giftings and be willing to share with others. Specifically, I have been opportune to serve my gifts on the platform of teaching, administration, and intercession as a teenager. In the course of my journey, I was ordained as a Pastor and have served as a co-pastor for 15 years, led youth groups, women’s group, couple’s forums, Christian education, Intercessory groups and have always volunteered in any area of ministry with needs on a temporary basis. Although I don’t see myself as a choir or kid’s minister, I have served in those capacities to help lead and grow the departments until the church was able to get on board people with a specific calling in those areas. Recently, I founded Blossom Life Outreach with the purpose of helping people find the meaning in every challenging life situation and circumstance. In 2014, we launched out as Thy Kingdom Come (TKC) Outreach with a focus on women. Our experiences led us to the discovery of a universal need to help others navigate the maze of life, irrespective of age, gender, race, religious affiliations, or any other differentiating human-constructed standards.

 

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What genre do you write and why are you drawn to it? 

Writing was a discovery I made in an attempt to solve a work-related problem. I needed an authentic answer to the question of how to effectively manage the performance of other people despite all the numerous imperfections. I was struggling with building the type of team I envisioned. I did not see a prototype of the team I wanted around any of my mentors, so I decided to conduct research on the leadership style of Jesus. My findings were more than the issue of team building. I ended up with a 12-chapter book that has an answer to various leadership issues like vision, succession planning, mentoring, conflict management, information management, networking and much more. My writings are purpose driving, with a focus on either solving a problem or providing insights into life issues. My second book titled The Problem of Identity was written to help people struggling with identity see how they arrived at their current situation and the way out of identity crisis. My third book, which is scheduled to come out, was written at a time I was going through life changes that I did not anticipate. I used nature to provide the reassurance that no life situation is permanent. I also emphasized the consequences of indifference, if we are not intentional or prepared, we can become a victim of life’s seasonal changes and circumstances.

Do you think God has a purpose for your work, and if so, what?

I know that God has a purpose for my work, and as I said earlier, my purpose is to help people find meaning in life no matter how hopeless things may appear. We have recorded testimonials from people we have been able to impact, and this is a motivation to continue the assignment.

 

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What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned about yourself and/or your ministry since you decided to walk this path?

One of the lessons I have learned about myself is my uniqueness. I have discovered that God called me to carry out a specific assignment, and he has deposited within me all the necessary resources needed for me to get it done. I have discovered that I do not have any limitations besides the one in my mind based on my belief systems. This has really helped me to know how to remove some of the things that appear as limiting to my progress—to change any behavior, I have to change my belief system, and I have been able to accomplish this by looking at things from the perspectives of the Word of God. Another lesson I have learned is that I cannot do life alone. My gift is not meant for me, it is for other people, and I also need other people to serve their gifts for my survival. The survival of a mango tree hinges upon things in its environment, if the environment is right, the mango tree will be able to produce and serve its fruit. The same way, I am very particular about the environment I position myself because I can either be enriched or impoverished through my interactions with the environment, especially other humans.

Who/what are your biggest influences?

My biggest influence is Jesus Christ, and sincerely, my relationship with Him has helped me find meaning in my life even when things seem to be upside down. I have multiplied numbers of people who have been great influences in my life. One thing about everybody’s influence is the fact that they are transient in nature based on situations and needs. However, there are some that stand out over time, such as the late Dr. Myles Munroe; Pastor Obed; some biblical characters: Joseph, Esther, Deborah, Mary, Elizabeth, Abigail, Paul, Daniel, Jeremiah, Solomon, Job, Elijah, Elisha, The five daughters of Zelophehad; my kids; some of my siblings; my work team; and generally people I lead or I’m responsible for, to mention a few.

What are your goals when you write an article or book? How do you hope your readers will respond?

My goals when I write are to see people glean wisdom from my writings that can change their perspectives and help them implement necessary changes that can improve their lives.

Do you have another job or do you write full-time? Other hobbies or interests?

Writing is a passion that I developed along the line, and I’m still cultivating the art of writing. For the past decade, I have overseen two outpatient dialysis centers as the facility administrator for a Fortune 500 company. More recently, I became a board-certified family nurse practitioner. I am actively involved in coaching, mentoring, team building, professional development, and offering guidance to staff in those clinics. In the past, I have worked as a high school mathematics teacher and a bedside nurse in acute and chronic settings.

Some of my hobbies include hiking, which I do at least two to three times a week, sightseeing, listening to music, writing quotes, coaching, and reading. I also love to travel.

What do you find is the most difficult aspect of your ministry and how do you cope with it?

The most difficult aspect for me is keeping up with time. I believe there is a timing for everything, and opportunities can be missed if things are not done at the appropriate time. Learning to prioritize what is most important and making sure I don’t compromise the needful is a task especially when everything seems important.

Do you attend a church? Can you tell us about it?

I am a member of West Cobb Church in Powder Springs Georgia under the pastoral leadership of Pastor Stan and Terrisa Coleman. WCC is a family-friendly church with something for everyone. I love everything about this Church, and the most impressive for me is the ministry focus on the Youth and Children. There is a very intentional and dedicated effort in grooming the next generation for Christ. This is lacking in most Churches I have interacted with over the years. The community focus is also commendable. WCC has adopted neighboring schools and routinely sponsors and support some of the school events. I currently serve as a bible study group leader and at the Welcome Center to greet new members.

 

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What advice would you give to aspiring writers or those wanting to develop a ministry?

My advice to aspiring writers or those wanting to develop a ministry is to first of all resolve the problem of identity and be on a quest to discover purpose. It is very important to address these core issues because there is a tendency to be confused when you step out before a clear understanding of who you are, what you can do, and the why behind what you are doing. A clear vision will save you from confusion; it will keep you grounded during opposition and trials and also help you keep your focus on your goal. Another important thing to consider when launching out is the fact that there will never be the right time for anything you want to do—you will have to make the time right.

Can you tell us about your future goals?

I am working on releasing my third book, Understanding the Seasons of Life, by spring 2019. I have four other books that I am currently working on: Depression, Purpose, Leadership, and Marriage. I will be hosting Blossom Life Conference 2019 in Atlanta from September 20 to 21 and continue the weekly life group with young adults age 18 and above.

How can our readers contact you?

Website: 

Email: blossomlifeoutreach@gmail.com

Phone: (404) 618.6300

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I hope you enjoyed meeting Joké as much as I did. Please leave her a message below or visit her directly on one of her social media/contact platforms. 

Blessings!

— Delia

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