For the past two years, the Lord has been speaking to me about the pioneer life. Not that I'm rolling the clock back and homesteading with a backyard full of chickens, garden fresh veg, and a cow in the barn. I will leave that to my daughter who has crossed the threshold on that score.
No--I mean pioneering in the Spirit, blazing Kingdom trails into this new era of restoring all things as the Glory of God covers the earth. What new things has He prepared for those of us bold enough to take up our pen and tell His Story through our story?
“For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets." Amos 37 ESV
Prophetic voices worldwide have been blowing the clarien call to hear the Word of the Lord speaking to the churches. We must not harden our hearts to His voice speaking loud and clear. In this critical moment of world history--His Story--that we have the privilege of living through, prophetic Scriptures literally jump off the page in both the Old and New Testament shouting much like Horton's Who's in Whoville, "We are here! We are here! WE ARE HERE--in this prophetic fulfillment season!"
But "here" is not just some Suessian story and neither is the Body of Christ a speck of dust seeking significance. The voices of the prophets of old join with the rising tenor of prophetic voices today and have reached a crescendo of agreement that is unprescedented in world history. We are watching biblical patterns repeat, but this time, all the fire power of Heaven has our back as God judges the wicked and delivers the righteous and called according to His purposes from evil--because, as you know, the Kingdom, the glory, and the power belong to Him.
To that end, the pioneer spirit is rising in His people to blaze trails in domains neglected or those thought to be out of reach.
Welcome Independent Publishing
Technology advanced in the 20th century as in no other century before it. The rise of the internet and desktop publishing put tools in the hands of good and evil. We've often lamented, "Why should the devil have all the good tunes," remaining stuck in complaint and criticism at new things rather than forging ahead first in the freshness of our creative and innovative Father God.
God's people must take the reins of their pen and saddle up their laptop, so to speak, and publish tunes that drown out the drone tones of the enemy. Our stories declaring His Story must fill the earth with His glory and crush demonic narratives with supernatural effect.
And they will . . . IF . . . we actually tell the stories!
False Starts and Turning the Wagons Back
I used to teach Little House in the Big Woods as a literature study for second and third graders. It was the first of Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved books documenting, as an adult, her memories of childhood pioneer days in the1880s American mid-west.
When Pa and Ma packed up the covered wagon with all their earthly possessions, they closed the door to their cabin and comfortable life in the Big Woods and bid farewell forever to their family--parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Following the reports of those who had gone before, they steered into the unknown to set their mark on greater territory, root into it, and build upon it. They took with them the tools they had from their past and a willingness to innovate for what would need to be created in their future, in order to expand in a new place of occupation with goodness and peace.
Fearless. Brave. Committed. No false starts. No turning back. Pa and Ma laid a foundation for their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and beyond.
Pioneers conquering the plains of a young nation or pioneers writing the deposit of the Holy Spirit impressed upon their heart for publication lay foundations upon which to build something that will produce good and nurture peace for generations to come.
Innovate--Don't Turn Back
Are you a pioneer with a pen? Is there a prophetic stirring in your spirit to forthtell His Story through your story and affect this generation and those to come for the glory of the Lord? Do you know how to pack a wagon with the tools you need and saddle the horses to sallie forth into the unknown territory of manuscript completion and publication for your sphere of influence?
Today, more than ever, we all have publishing tools at our fingertips--literally at our fingertips. But, do you know how to use those tools? And with historic transition into the promised victories secured for us through Jesus Christ, are you ready to innovate into the NEW THING God is doing in this NEW ERA of NEW WINESKINS?
New wineskins are not just for church structures and governmental entities. They are for every institution of man--including the world of independent publishing.
Keep the Vision in Focus
On every step of my personal journey in writing, publishing, and influencing--which began in my childhood--I have encountered obstacle upon obstacle. Others got in my way, certainly. But most often, I tripped over my own inadequacies and fears. My focus could easily be blurred by the jostling of the wagon as it encountered potholes in the road, and my vision would be blocked when I followed misguided trails into dark valleys.
Praise God that He never let me stumble too far off the path and stirred me with inner resolve to stay the course. He provided what I needed along the way--inspiration, opportunities, mentors (Thank you, Jesus, for my mentors!), finances, and circles of support. Sometimes only one or two of those things, which meant I needed to innovate to fill voids. New strategies. Outside-the-box thinking to reach the next rest area on the pioneer map.
And there are rest areas.
But, don't linger there too long, or you'll get stuck and lose vision--your most valuable provision in any venture for the Lord in this life. It is to be heavily guarded and returned to whenever your focus strays to bunny trails and sticky mud pits that derail and stop the forward progression of wagon wheels and axles.
After 20 years of seriously setting out on my writing and publishing journey--leaving my comfy cabin in the Big Woods--I currently entered a pioneer season unlike anytime before in my life. When my dearest Ed, husband and ministry partner, transitioned to Heaven last year, it would have been easy to lose my vision in grief and wonder if I'd been on a bunny trail for 20 years, after all.
Instead, the Lord taught me how surrendering a seeming setback to Him can actually sharpen vision, rather than destroy it.
Ed would never want me to dumpster the 20 years we both invested in the calling of Pageant Wagon Productions and Publishing. He left earth and left me a legacy to steward--not the least of which is the publication of his close to 40 years of biblical storytelling through his Clementine Jones gold prospector character. Read more about the coming debut of Gold Nugget Chronicles Chapter Books here.
The writing and book shepherd mission vision of Pageant Wagon Publishing has only sharpened in the wake of both his loss and that of my writing mentor and original co-leader of the Good News Christian Writers, Janice Hall Heck. Seeing them both off to Heaven within two years felt like two legs being hacked off a four legged chair. Down I go--BOOM! On my butt!
But God, my ever present help in time of need, was a close as I allowed Him to be. For me, I could do no better than to run to Him, my comforter and the lifter of my head.
Yes, I feel Ed and Jan's absence in my life keenly. But I feel the presence of the Lord moreso and therein, my Vision Wagon rolls on--sharper than ever and focused sure as a compass on the territory ahead to be occupied.
Restoration on the Road
So here I am at this moment in history--His Story--anticipating the my destination stops in 2023:
God's restoration in my writing life manifested through the provision of the Good News Christian Writers--Stacy Lee Flury, Christing Strittmatter, Tabatha Scheffler, Trish Weldon, and Linda Slomin. What Jan and I started as a writers critique group ten years ago, transformed over the past three years into a secure wagon train on this writing journey. And, if you know your pioneer facts, the best mode of travel when setting out as a pioneer was to connect with a wagon train of other pioneers on the path.
We all need our support group. Traveling in tandem with those of like vision and calling, we build each other up, undergird in times of need, restore that which is broken, and empower for the miles ahead.
In essence--my fellow Good News Christian Writer pioneers lifted me up from where I fell off the chair and restored my broken support legs to stability, vision, and refocus in God's calling, once again. And stronger for it.
God is so good!
Pioneers with Pens Retreat and Workshop 2023
Earlier I asked if you feel called to the unknown pioneer territory of writing and publishing His Story through your story. If you answered YES to that question, then I invite you to join our Pageant Wagon Publishing Good News Christian Writers Retreat and Workshop 2023: Pioneers with Pens on October 27-28.
We'll help you pack your wagon and saddle up the horses to your writing and publishing purpose with an emphasis in three areas:
Check out all the details, download the Registration Form, and use our online Pay Portal to attend, then plan what you'll bring to the retreat and workshop as an interactive participant. Over the two days of the event, you'll get help to reach your writing and publishing territory:
We have territory to possess and restore for His Kingdom to come and will done on earth as it is in Heaven!
NOTE: The quote meme at the outset of this post is from Christa Elisha Joy .
How About Some Good News!
Pageant Wagon Publishing is delighted to present this publication opportunity for the many authors we have the privilege to work with through our Good News Christian Writing Workshops.