Darlene Osborne, Publisher
HOLD ON TO JESUS
—and HE won't let nothing go wrong!
August Issue Vol. 16 No. 2 The Christian Online Magazine™
Welcome to our August Issue!
by Paula Mowery, Staff Writer
Paula's Writing Column: Character Development
This month for our writing column I want to talk a bit about characters, suggesting a few pointers on how to create them.
The first tip for creating characters for your story is don’t get stereotypical. You want your characters to be unique. A good practice is to write out a bio for each of your characters, telling the background as well as physical features.
Paula's Book Nook: Sky Zone
This month’s book review is Creston Mapes’ Sky Zone. This book delivers suspense and a plot that could be plucked straight from today’s newspaper headlines.
The characters are distinct and far from stereotypes. The reader will immediately feel a camraderie with the struggles of the characters, especially when faced with trusting God in all situations.
Paula's Books are sold at Amazon
SnapShots of Grace
by Danny Woodall, Staff Writer
Life is a constant battle. There is no atomic bomb to wipe out the devil once and for all. That’s later. For now we are in hand-to-hand combat. Like Israel, we rely on our strength, cunning, and yes, our own princes. Fasting and waiting in prayer is too slow, but quick solutions often lead to shallow results. The prayer warrior is God’s secret weapon. Battles won in prayer have lasting results. If we wait, then we renew our strength, but often the wait is longer than we would like.
Joy Through the Storm
This morning, I remarked to my husband that I have to turn in my article tomorrow and still didn’t even know what I was going to write about. His suggestion… “Write about the new house.” At first, I kind of rolled my eyes, but as the day went on and I unpacked more boxes, I began to ponder on his idea. The seed had been planted, and since I had already asked God to give me the words, a tiny shoot made its appearance and began to blossom.
So, I humbly share with you excerpts from our moving adventure. They may seem random, but the more I think about it, the more I see how every single tiny detail points me back to my Savior.
.Lisa's books are sold at Amazon.
by Jane Morin, Staff Writer
As I have been somewhat hibernating and working on my latest book release, “The Weapons of Our Warfare,” I have naturally encountered several spiritual attacks which have indicated to me, that I am on track. At the time of preparing to write for this month’s column, I had basically finished my chapter on the part of God’s Armor in Ephesians 6:15 that says, “…and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” encouraging my readership to not allow anything to steal their peace. Suddenly, my peace in Him became sorely tested!
by Shelley Pierce, Staff Writer
Jesus said the two most important rules for living are Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Let's discover together a few of the tools our children need so the words of Jesus will become a part of who they are.
The Joy of Baking
This Month's Recipe: Simply Lemon Pie
with Lisa L. Hnath, Staff Writer
by Darlene Osborne
To do the things
You need to do.
Wait for His leading
Allow His timing
To work for you.
Visit Again Soon!
The Joy of Baking
with Lisa Hnath
This month's recipe is for
Carol Meek: To Be Content
Ashley Vitale: So Much Love
Lanette Kissel: Unknowing Mentors
John Knox: The Light of God
If you need prayer
God wants to help!
Pray without ceasing!
New! In this Issue
Debuting this month. A new column called HOPE etc. The column, written by Shelley Pierce, will appear each month in our magazine.
Q&A with Darlene Osborne
by Paula Mowery
Q: Explain your calling and how you received it.
A. The main focus of my ministry is to encourage and teach others about the goodness and the integrity of God. Sometimes my calling involves a lot of advising, writing, and praying, but I enjoy every moment. When someone tells me that they have been encouraged by something I have said, or written, I know it is God, not I, that is doing the encouraging. I am only the instrument. I humbly and joyfully yield to HIM.
Below are a few tools/talents God has given me to use to help encourage others.
Writing: I share as much encouragement as possible in my writings—articles, quotes, poems, and songs.
Publishing: I try to encourage other writers by publishing and promoting their work through The Christian Online Magazine, which God has allowed me to publish almost fourteen years now.
Singing: I have been singing all my life—singing in many places including, but not limited to—churches, schools, county fairs, nursing facilities as well as on radio for eleven years and on television for a short period. (I like radio best)
My call to sing: It all started with God using my mother to encourage me to sing at a very young age. She was a talented singer and sang with Bluegrass Legend, Jimmy Martin, on some of his radio programs when his career was just taking off. It was her musical influence that motivated me to sing. So with her encouragement, and my own discovery that I could actually carry a tune, I started singing. My mother and I made a record together back in 1976. However, the official call to sing for God, didn’t come until I was around twenty-three. It was then that I was told—by the Lord—to sing only for Him. So for over thirty years now this is what I have been doing. Most of the songs I sing are personally written by yours truly—me. And, since the main focus of my ministry is to encourage, I try to make sure all my songs fit into that category. (My musical heritage is bluegrass and country. However, I have since developed my own style.)
My call to write:
In my early to mid twenties I found I had this talent to put words together and make them rhyme. I found that I could also set the words to music. So I started writing songs and arranging them to my own original music. I also started writing poetry. But, if you can write a song, you can write a poem. I eventually took some of my songs to a reputable music company. They were interested in a few of them. They sent me a contract to sign after I returned home, but I never felt any leading, or encouragement, from God, to sign it.
I started writing articles in my early thirties. Being a Christian, I enjoyed reading articles that encouraged me in my faith so I decided that I would try my hand at writing. I found I enjoyed writing my own articles even more. So I started writing regularly. God would give me an idea, the title, and the first few lines of the first paragraph. I would get a pen and some paper, anything that I could find to scribble on, and I’d quickly write down what God was saying. It still works the same way. An article or a quote always starts with a thought and then a scribble.
The call to publish: Somewhere around 1989 I set out to publish a Christian magazine locally. It was just something I wanted to do. However, when things didn’t work out I decided to let it go. I thought, maybe someday, just not now. Fast-forward ten years later. I was on the Internet one night when a thought, yes, another thought, came to me. Why not put the magazine online? So, on July 1st, 1999 the first copy of The Christian Online Magazine was published. And not only was it available locally, it was available worldwide. Anyone with Internet access could read it. God had done exceedingly abundantly above what I had asked. (Ephesians 3:20)
Q. Did your call involve stepping from a comfort zone? Explain.
A. Yes. But, so far, I have had no problems stepping out of my comfort zone. I have always found great comfort in serving the Lord. So whatever He has laid on my heart to do, I have always found a certain amount of peace in achieving it. When I receive His leading to do a particular task, I have found that as long as I stay in step with Him, I will always be ready for the next step. With His Anointing comes the ability to do whatever He is asking. And He will never ask us to do anything without first Anointing us.
Q. In what ways has God shown you that following His call has produced results?
A. Feedback and comments from others. When I receive comments from people—and I receive quite a few—telling me that God has used me to encourage them, I know I have accomplished what God has called me to do. When people say things like, “I didn’t think I could go on, but after reading your article, I know I can now” or “I enjoy reading your daily quotes. They encourage and bless me.” I know that I am doing exactly what God has called me to do and it’s working. To God be the glory.
Q. Have you experienced a time when you have doubted your calling? How have you overcome?
A. Yes. When the results aren’t coming in as fast as I think they should, I start asking God questions. Are you sure this is what I am supposed to be doing? It doesn’t look like it’s working? Where are the results? I overcome by getting my mind back ON God and OFF what I think should be happening. The moment I step back over into faith and I quit worrying about what it looks like, feels like, or seems like, God reassures me. He has His way of letting me know that I am where I am supposed to be and doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. It is then that the results start pouring in.
Q. What words of encouragement or challenge would you have for other Christians to step from comfortable to compelled in their lives?
A. I would say to other Christians—do not sweat it. Do not let discouragement get a hold of you and spoil what God has planned for your life. And do not go on your feelings. Feelings are deceiving. Just because you don’t feel comfortable doing something God has called you to do, doesn’t mean you can’t do it, or even that you won’t feel comfortable doing it in the future. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Philippians 4:13
I challenge you to give ‘it’ a try. Whatever ‘it’ is that God is calling you to do. If He has given you a talent—use it. If He has given you something to say—say it. If He wants you to sing a song—sing it. If you do what God wants—He’ll let you do more of what you want. He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
Whatever God has called you to do, He will Anoint you to do it. His Anointing will give you the ability, the confidence, and the courage to move from comfortable to compelled.
Take Darlene’s words as a challenge to follow what God wants from you no matter what comforts you may have to step from. Follow His compelling voice to discover adventures like you’ve never known. Who knows who you alone can touch for God with your own unique gifts?