Thursday, May 24, 2018

We Don't Fight Alone

by Emily Conrad



How I wish running from things that intimidate and overwhelm me were an option. 

I have to do what to make this happen? Forget it! 

Unfortunately, running is rarely a viable out because escaping from difficulties often would also mean surrendering pursuits I love.


Writing career, I'm lookin' at you.

I love to spend my days crafting stories and the occasional blog post, but hand-in-hand with that privilege are the responsibilities of managing a website, taxes, and complicated submission guidelines.


Whatever your line of work or the things you're passionate about, you face tasks that intimidate you, too. And if you're anything like me, sometimes those tasks will intimidate you right out of moving forward.

We might not be retreating, but we are hemming and hawing, peeking out at the enemy and refusing to step forward to engage in battle.

We find the army of Israel in a similar situation in 1 Samuel 17. They've set up across from the Philistine army. Goliath taunts them, and obviously, dealing with the enemy means fighting their outspoken warrior.

Only, the Israelites did what I tend to do: they watched and waited without taking action.

But why?

We're afraid. We can't run away because we know the battle must be fought, but we also don't advance because the enemy is bigger and stronger than we are.

The most recent of these "enemies" for me was the new legislation going into effect in Europe called the GDPR. A LOT of writers were worried about how to comply with the new laws, and to what extent because the laws come with consequences--fines for those who violate them.

But were we even violating them? Conflicting opinions and advice ranged from us needing to do next-to-nothing to adding policies, banners, and new email sign ups

It was a confusing, intimidating mess.

Some authors said they were thinking of taking down their sites over it.

Though I wasn't ready to go that far, I did lose some sleep over what to do. I was overwhelmed and out-matched.

Just like the Isrealites who were camped out, listening to the threats of the enemy and paralyzed in their sandals. In their case, God sent someone to them with a very different way of thinking.

Enter a shepherd boy named David, who said he'd take on the giant because, “The Lord who delivered me from the lion and the bear will also deliver me from the hand of this Philistine!” (from 1 Samuel 17:37, NET)

If only God would send me a David. Someone who is both a legal expert and an expert at HTML formatting to fight this battle for me.

But did I need an expert?

The Israelites didn't. Let's remember that David wasn't quite an expert in warfare. He had some fighting experience, yes, but he hadn't trained for battle formally. He didn't have the fancy armor or shield-bearer Goliath had.

I trust that if Israel had needed an expert, God would've provided one. If I needed one, He would've provided that, too. Same goes for you.

More than we ever need formal knowledge, we need godly wisdom. And so, instead of a David to fight for me, God sent a David-like thought: I'm not alone in this.

That's the thought I offer you, whatever you're facing.


This is beyond you and me, but it's not beyond God.

With Jesus, we are not in this alone. Join with me in refusing to operate like the whole thing hinges on human action and knowledge.

Challenges that have the whole army cowering in their tents and shaking in their sandals needn't worry us.

Rather than retreat or cower, we can quietly steal away and gather stones with our Savior. We can walk out and do battle in the name of our God on the fields He's called us to.


This is the last time I plan to mention GDPR on the blog, because I've fought that battle and am comfortable with the outcome. I did more than I believe I needed to, but I'm happy that this prompted me to follow through on a project I'd been meaning to tackle for weeks: cleaning up my email subscriber list.

If you haven't yet updated your preferences with me, you must do so or you'll stop receiving my emails.

At first, I was hesitant to take this step, because I know I'll lose a significant portion of my email subscribers this way. But I also know that the needs of some of my subscribers have changed. No hard feelings or guilt trips implied, but I can see what percentage of subscribers doesn't open my emails, and I don't want to send inbox clutter.

My goal is to inspire and encourage, and I believe that's what God has called me to, a battle He's fighting for me as I show up to it.

So, if you want to sign up, you can do so here. I believe if you're a current subscriber and would like to keep receiving emails from me, you can also do it by filling out that same form or with the "update preferences" link in the bottom of any emails from my mailing list.

Either way, you must select the "email" box toward the bottom of the form under "marketing permissions" in order to receive my emails.

If you have any trouble, shoot me an email at emilyconrad@sbcglobal.net, and I'll do my best to help you through!


So, there it is, my last little stone thrown at updating my email list. The result is in God's hands, as it's been this whole time, and I'm completely comfortable with that.

We never fight alone.








Running from a challenge is rarely a viable option because escaping from the hard things often would also mean surrendering things I love. So what's left to do? via @emilyrconrad

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday Spotlight and Email List Housekeeping--Important for Subscribers

by Emily Conrad



I posted last week my new plan to move from creating two blog posts a week down to just one. As you can see, I've been busy since then!

Today, a fellow Pelican author is featuring an excerpt of Justice and offering the opportunity to comment to win an e-copy over on her blog. I'll tell you about that in a bit.

But first, I want to lead with an important reminder: I need your help updating my email list.

Email Subscriptions - Pretty please stay on (or join!) my list? 


I want to be sure I'm only sending emails you want to receive, and it's been a while since I've cleaned up my subscribers.

Because of this and some changes to laws in Europe, I sent an email to my subscribers asking you to confirm you'd like to stay subscribed. I'll send one more reminder about this next week to anyone who hasn't confirmed.

If you are a subscriber and want to continue as one, please do update so I can keep sending you emails! It should only take a couple of seconds.

Not sure how to update? If you receive this post via email, just use the "update preferences" link in the footer and be sure to check the "email" box under "Marketing Permissions."

If you're a subscriber and choose not to do this, I'll take it to mean you'd like to be unsubscribed and will follow through with that on 5/25/18. As sad as that will be, everyone's needs and priorities change and again, I don't want to be sending emails that clutter your inbox!

If you're coming across this post some other way and either want to subscribe (I'd love it if you did!) or update to stay on my email list, I believe you can do both from here.

If you run into any trouble, shoot me an email at emilyconrad@sbcglobal.net and I'll do my best to get you all set!

Whew! Okay!

With that done, you can probably see at least one of the other projects that have been keeping me busy...

 

The New Look of the Site 


What do you think of the changes around here? Click around, let me know what you think! And oh, look at all those free short stories if you haven't already! I'm so happy to have consolidated my website and blog into one page--I've been meaning to do so for a long time.

Now, if you go to emilyconradauthor.com, you'll end up here, where you'll find the same great material.

Stay tuned, because the changes aren't over yet.

I have an outing set up with a photographer friend to take some updated headshots. We chose a location in a Wisconsin state park because I keep setting my books in Wisconsin and usually near some kind of lake or natural area. So looking forward to this!

Also, I received the rights back to a short story I wrote a couple of years ago. It was slated to be published in an anthology. Sadly that fell through. Happily, with some edits, I hope to share it with you on the site! I'll mention it in a blog post (and a newsletter) when I do!

 

Read an Excerpt of Justice 


As for that excerpt I promised, Justice is featured on fellow Pelican Book Group author Pamela Thibodeaux's blog today. Because it's her birthday (happy birthday, Pam!), she's giving away an e-copy to one person who comments over on the post on her blog.

Click here to read an excerpt in this Saturday Spotlight and to comment!

Okay, that's it for this week--it's been a busy and different one! I plan to be back with a normal devotional-type post next week.

I hope this finds you well. And happily surrounded by fresh picked spring flowers and steaming cups of locally roasted coffee--if you're as into those things as I am.










Title image designed on Canva, photo by Maarten Deckers on Unsplash