September 27, 2012

The Value of Christian Book Reviews

Does your opinion matter?

It's one of the easiest things in the world to do - write a review of a book you've read, and with just a few clicks of the mouse and a bit of Copy and Paste, you can post it to any or all of a dozen consumer or literary websites for all the world to see.
But does your review, all by itself, make a whit of difference amid the buzz and glare of the internet? What if you're the 100th... or even the 1000th person to review a book? Will anyone ever read your review? Will they care? Will your review have any effect at all on their buying or reading decision?
It's a multi-faceted question with a multi-faceted answer. I'm going to share my thoughts and observations on the subject in what I hope will be a helpful fashion.
As a volunteer reviewer for several different publishing houses, and an avid all-around reader, I have a lot of books pass through my hands, I read a lot of reviews, and I post a lot of reviews. On a few occasions I've been the first one (presumably in the world) to post a Barnes&Noble, Amazon, or CBD review of a particular title after its release. In cases like that, it's pretty safe to assume that my review will be read and that it will have a hand in someone's buying or reading decision. But there have been times when I was that 20th or 70th or 100th person to post a review, too, and in those cases the odds aren't as good. So does it still matter?
My personal opinion is 'Yes', and here's why:
Every individual is just that: an individual, with a unique sense of perception - a unique lens through which they view the world and everything in it. So, while the Christian community as a whole may see the same general flaws or virtues in a particular title, the individuals within that community will have unique opinions on the details surrounding those virtues or flaws. And, while each of us is unique, there will always be someone out there who has a perspective similar to ours, and those are the people who will benefit most from an honest, specific, and detailed review of a book.
We've all seen the whooping, giddy, rave reviews that say absolutely nothing specific about the book itself, just about how much they loved it. (I'll be honest and confess that I've written a few - only a few, mind you - of those myself. *cringes* Sorry.) And we've all seen the enraged (usually profanity-laced) reviews that say only how much the reviewer hated the book, and nothing at all about the details of why.
Those reviews are not helpful.
Most of us don't have unlimited book-buying funds, and can't afford to spend precious book money on dreck, so we depend on detailed, specific, and well-thought-out reviews to make our buying and reading decisions. So the first step in making sure your book review matters is to make it a review worth reading.
Be specific. Give details about scenes or characters or concepts that appealed to you - or that turned you off. Explain your reasons. This can be difficult to carry off without including spoilers (something you do not want to do) and might take a little practice to get the hang of, but it can be done. Saying a book was awful doesn't mean a whole lot. Saying that a book contains language, gory violence, or illicit sex is helpful. Saying a book is wonderful doesn't mean much. Saying that a book contained a beautiful message of heroism and sacrifice and exciting action and great character development is helpful.
Be generous with star ratings. And I mean generous in both directions. I've heard many people insist that that magical fifth star should be saved only for the best, the greatest, the book with which you could find absolutely no fault. Or that the one-star review should be reserved only for the vilest, most treasonous, blasphemous filth under Heaven. The trouble with that approach is that, if you avoid the extremes, you're left in the middle. Reviews in the middle generally don't get read. Sites like Amazon provide a list of the five-star reviews, and a list of the one-star reviews. No list of three-star reviews. Readers want to know why other readers loved or hated a book, not why they were rather indifferent. I'm not saying you should give a book a one-star rating just because it failed to thrill you, or that you should give it five stars just because there was nothing obscenely wrong with it. Some books are just mediocre, plain and simple, and deserve a mediocre review. But if a book genuinely delighted you, why not give it five stars? And, since most of us probably try to avoid reading vile, treasonous, blasphemous filth entirely, we need some other landmark for the low end of our opinions. So if a book made you angry, or offended you (even without being vile, etc.), go ahead and give it that one-star rating if you feel that's what it deserves.
Don't be afraid to judge a secular book on a Christian scale. This one is touchy, and I can just see people winding themselves up to pounce on me for saying it. I am not saying that we should expect a secular book or author to conform to Christian standards. Why on Earth would or should they? But remember what I said earlier about viewing the world through your own lens. As a Christian reader, you're writing reviews for the benefit of other Christian readers. If a book contains something that might be offensive to another Christian, say so.
Don't be afraid to stand alone in your opinion. It might be just what someone else needs to hear. Anyone who knows me knows that I relish going against the flow (comes from too much Wallace ancestry, I guess). But even so, when a book's page on the consumer website boasts 70+ reviews averaging four-and-a-half or five stars, and you're sitting at your desk preparing to post your one-star review, it can be a little unnerving. You almost have to wonder "Is it just me? Am I just looking at this in the wrong way? Was I just in a bad mood when I read this book?" and it can be tempting to 'tweak' your review - just a little.
Certainly you don't want to be unkind or rude in your review. But if you have solid, definable reasons for disliking a book, then don't be afraid to stand up and dislike it for all you're worth. I can think of two particular instances in which I vehemently disliked a book, but was starkly alone in my opinion. In one of those instances, I posted a very indignant one-star review on a webpage beside over 70 five-star reviews. It was a 'Christian' book being praised by scores of Christian readers, and needless to say I felt a bit like a duck in a hen house. But I had solid, biblical reasons for disliking it, so I posted the review anyway. 
In the other instance, I was part of a ladies' discussion group and had some very serious issues with the book we were reading through. Again, it was a Christian book by a Christian author, but I strongly disagreed with many of the assertions and ideas it contained, and I said so openly to the group. Most of them brushed me off or tried to explain to me how and why I was wrong. It was only weeks later, after we had finished the book, that one of the ladies thanked me for expressing my opinion so strongly. Come to find out, it had encouraged her to look more critically at the book's content, to rethink and weigh it carefully rather than taking it at face value. It made me realize that many times, we as Christians see a 'Christian' book by a Christian author, so we drop our guard and assume that the content must be biblical and agreeable. 'Speak Friend and enter,' as it were.
So if your review of a book is rational, well-thought-out, and biblically founded, don't be afraid to stand out and voice your opinion.
Reviewing old books is okay, too. The hottest new releases are the ones getting most of the attention, but the old books (whether old means a year old or a hundred years old) still get read, and readers still like being able to hear other people's opinions of them. I've had many people find my book review blog not because they were looking for a Christian book review blog to follow, but because they were looking for a review of a specific book - most of the time an older one. Old books need reviews too.

Book reviews are extremely important to maintaining balance in the literary world. I know that sounds lofty, but in a lot of ways, it is. Your perspective is important, and your opinion does matter.

Your thoughts?

September 25, 2012

Autumn Plans and Happenings

Hello again! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, a delightful Hobbit Day, and a glorious beginning to the autumn season!
Personally, I am very excited to be moving on into fall. It's my favorite season anyway, but this fall in particular there's a lot going on that I'm excited about and looking forward to. There's going to be a lot happening here at the Lair too, so here's a quick update of what's going on and what's coming up:

- Many of you have been lifting up my friend Andrew in prayer, since he lost a finger in a farming accident a week and a half ago. His finger is healing well, but he could still use our prayers. He spent this past Thursday and Friday in the hospital having his appendix out. Yeah, it kinda stinks to be him right now. So continued prayers would be appreciated.

- The book trailer for Son of the Shield is in the works! God has provided me with a group of very willing and capable friends, and with their help and His blessing the trailer is going to be awesome! Right now I'm in the process of casting people in roles as my characters - a surprisingly difficult undertaking. There is no shortage of willing volunteers, the trouble is just finding people whose appearances are appropriate for the characters they'll be portraying. They're slowly coming into place, though, so all is well.
On that same note, thank you to all those who shared their opinions and advice in the poll I held recently regarding the teaser for the trailer. It looks like we'll just be making versions of the trailer instead of just picking one (since the votes never really singled out one teaser), but that's perfectly alright with me.

- Work is continuing on Empathia's Hope, my current WIP. It's been a bit draggy for a while, but things are finally starting to fall into place and pick up speed. The characters are opening up and starting to cooperate with me (and each other), which is a tremendous help. I'm not going to set a goal date for completion yet, but I'm hoping to have a very sizable chunk of it finished by Christmas.

- Falls the Shadow, the futuristic/steampunk novel I've been posting with friends H.A. Titus and Elynn W. Marshe over at The Lost Scribes is wrapping up. The final segment will post October 15, and we'll be pulling the story from the website shortly after that to begin editing, start thinking about publishing, and start working on future Lost Scribes projects. Don't worry, there will still be plenty going on at The Lost Scribes. Those of you who've been following it can still expect something on the 1st and 15th of each month, as usual. More details on that to follow at a later date!

- October is going to be a very exciting and busy month. Most of the plans are still classified so I can't give out details just yet. But I will give you two clues. One is: a first-time meeting including myself and a very special person whose name I won't disclose... yet. The second is: The Writer's Lair is going to have its first-ever book giveaway contest, and friends, it's gonna be good. You will not want to miss it.

- It dawned on me today that NaNoWriMo begins in 37 days. Which is so not what I wanted to think about today. I've competed the last two years and would love to do it again... but I have absolutely no idea at all what story I'll write if I decide to compete this year. So, as if I didn't have enough to do, I have to start thinking about that now. *Note to Self: Start now, stocking up on chocolate-covered pomegranates.*

Those are my plans for this fall - at least, as we say here in the Ozarks, 'Lord willin' and the creek don't rise'.

What are your plans or hopes or goals for this fall?

September 22, 2012

Happy Hobbit Day!

Spend the day well, friends!

If you know a Hobbit, hug him or her.

Enjoy a second breakfast... or two.

And remember: Let sleeping lost jewelry lie.

What are you doing to celebrate Hobbit Day?

September 19, 2012

Review: 'Revolution' Series Premier

*Warning: Contains Spoilers*
After seeing the previews for the series premier of 'Revolution', a futuristic drama about what happens after some unknown force takes out everything electrical- or battery-powered on the planet, I was somewhat intrigued (plus it sort of falls into a speculative genre) so I decided to watch it when it premiered Monday night.
Early on, while we were getting the backstory, there were some hair-raising shots of airliners falling out of the sky, cars coming to a halt on the interstate and their lights going dark, and a scene from a satellite's perspective of the planet going dark as cities shut down. That whole idea is very thought-provoking, considering the way most people in our culture depend on electronics of one form or another for everything. What would happen if, for whatever mysterious reason, those devices suddenly stopped working?
Unfortunately, in spite of the intriguing premise, I have to say I was underwhelmed with the show as a whole, the main reason being its predictability.
The main character Charlotte (or 'Charlie') watches her father die while her brother is dragged off by the henchmen of whatever evil regime has clawed its way into power. Her dying father sends her on a quest to find her uncle, who can help get her brother back. So Charlie and her (almost)stepmother set off towards the ruins of Chicago, along with a geeky friend. What she doesn't know is that before his death, her father passed a device to said geeky friend and asked him to keep it safe - a device that could restore power to the world.
Along the way Charlie bumps into a stranger - a tall, dark, and handsome one - who later reappears out of nowhere just in time to save her and her companions from the marauders attacking them. Since they're in his debt, they allow him to travel with them. Charlie's almost-stepmother does use the incident with the marauders to prove herself smart and cool-headed, by the way, taking out half of the bad guys with poisoned whiskey before tall-dark-and-handsome ever shows up.
They make it to Chicago, which is now a trashed, crime-ridden wreck, and walk into what used to be a very high-end hotel. Charlie asks the man behind the bar if he might know someone named Miles Matheson. After a few minutes of cryptic denials on the barkeeper's part and a lot of tearful insistence on Charlie's, the man admits that he is Miles Matheson. Once that's revealed, tall-dark-and-handsome turns out to be working for the evil regime and runs off to inform them of Miles' whereabouts. Miles runs Charlie off, regime soldiers show up to arrest him, he single-handedly takes out at least fifteen people (in spite of all, I will give credit for some pretty good fight scenes), and what he misses, Charlie reappears to finish off for him. When one soldier gets Charlie cornered, tall-dark-and-handsome mysteriously appears again to save her life, then disappears again. Charlie doesn't tell anyone, though, and since Miles now owes her his life, he agrees to help her.
Meanwhile Charlie's captured brother has escaped, but collapsed in the woods from an asthma attack. He wakes up in the house of a woman who happens to have inhalers on hand from her deceased son's asthma. Soldiers show up and re-arrest him, the woman goes into a 'secret' room (barricaded by no less than three heavy-duty locks on the door - like that's not suspicious) and plugs in a device exactly like the one Charlie's father gave his friend. She plugs it in, the lights in the room come on, and she uses a computer to send a cryptic message to some unknown person somewhere. End of episode.
Usually I can enjoy a book or movie or show in spite of some predictability or lack of originality, but this one really failed to grab me. Everything was just way too easy. When they arrive in Chicago, the first person they meet in the first building they walk into happens to be the person they're looking for. The brother's escape from the soldiers was completely cliche. And there were way too many other elements that 'just happened' to fall into place just perfectly.

Another issue I had was with the wardrobe. Half the time I wasn't sure if the characters were supposed to look like they were wearing handmade clothes, or if they were dressing in rustic-style clothes 'just because'. And I'm pretty sure that the unmistakeably machine-manufactured clothes I saw many characters wearing wouldn't have survived fifteen years - at the very least, not in that kind of condition. And I'm sorry, I know the TV costume people have to make the main character girl look all rugged and sexy and woodsy and all that... but there is no way in the world that anyone with a brain would set off on a long trek wearing fitted leather pants. Just sayin'.

In all fairness, I should say that my brothers - both of whom are intelligent adults (more or less : P ) - both thought the plot was exciting and intriguing, and they're both dying to know what happens next. So if you see it, you may like it. Personally, I just found it cliche, unoriginal, and lacking that 'grab' factor.

Did you watch the Revolution premier? If so, what were your thoughts?

September 18, 2012

Stories ~ Conduits for Unexpected Blessings

I was twelve years old when I read Jack London's Call of the Wild for the first time. It was then that I discovered just how deeply a story could pull you into itself. Call of the Wild was the first book to spend the night under my arm or steepled over my face because I simply could not put it away. It was the first book to engross me so completely that I felt cold even though it was warm outside. There have been many, many books to do that since then, but Call of the Wild was the first.
My little sister is eleven years my junior, so there's a bit of a generation gap between us and we're in very different stages of life. She doesn't remember 9/11; I was the age she is now when it happened. She's an orchestra student; I'm an orchestra teacher. She's in seventh grade; I'm running my own business. Her friends are still marching under the 'Girls Rule and Boys Drool' banner; my friends are getting married and having children. And then, of course, she has to go and ask me what a VHS is. (Yeah - I feel old.)
But this past week, my sister was introduced to Call of the Wild. Suddenly, the generation gap disappears. We're both absorbed in an animated conversation about Buck's adventures, comparing notes and discussing favorite scenes. She's begging Mom to let her postpone bedtime just a little bit longer, and asking me if I can believe that such-and-such happened. No generation gap, just two girls sharing the magic of a fabulous story.

During the last days of her life, my late grandmother experienced a severe decline in her mental faculties. I had moved in with her as one of her primary caretakers, so the confusion, restlessness, hallucinations, and deteriorating memory made things difficult for me as well as for her. One day, though, she saw me reading The Secret Garden - another one of my enduring favorites - and asked about it. I told her a bit about it (she had read it before but due to her mental state was unable to remember it) and asked if she would like to read it. She said that she would. Over the next few days, as she slowly worked her way through the book, she was much more at-ease. The time that she usually spent trying to figure out whether I was her granddaughter or daughter or sister, she instead spent reading. Instead of trying to help her combat hallucinations of long-legged lizards and strange men and little horses, I got to see her relaxed and at peace, sharing in the joy of one of my favorite stories.

Call of the Wild and The Secret Garden have both been on my 'Favorites' list for years, and they've both been considered classics for much longer than that. But it's things like these - bridging the age gap between myself and my sister, or bringing peace to the troubled mind of my dying grandmother - that make those stories even more precious, more priceless, to me.
And it's things like these that make the concept of a wonderful story even more wonderful: the way God can use it as a conduit for unexpected blessings. It's part of what makes stories such powerful tools, such incredible gifts. It's things like these that remind me not to take writing lightly.

Is there a book or story that has provided an unexpected blessing in your life? Tell us about it.

September 17, 2012

News and Announcements

Time for a general update.

First off, thanks so much to all of you who prayed for my friend Andrew this past week. Your prayers were heard and answered. Andrew is up and around and, most importantly, in great spirits. The first night after the accident was really tough for him emotionally, but God has given him abundant peace and a great attitude about the loss of his finger. He even says he'll be playing his viola again by Christmas, using his little finger in place of his ring finger. His optimism says a lot about the power of prayer!

Second: I'm now on Pinterest! At the insistence of several friends, I took a long hard look at it and discovered that it is an amazing source of inspiration, ideas, and a great place to collect and organize my favorite photos and art with ease. So, I'm now a member! Click Here to visit my page or follow me!

Third: Saturday, September 22, is Hobbit Day. Of course the day will be observed here at the Lair, but I thought I'd mention it in advance too, in case some of you weren't aware it was coming up. Some friends and I are planning a Hobbit-themed picnic in observance of the day. I'll try to make sure some pictures get taken and shared!

Fourth: Thanks so much to everyone who chimed in with their opinions and preferences regarding the choice of a teaser for the upcoming Son of the Shield book trailer. If you haven't voted yet, it's not too late, so please Click Here to see the options being considered and share your thoughts! So far, the opinions already offered in your comments along with those offered personally by friends and family have added up to nothing conclusive, unfortunately. The camps are pretty evenly divided. Hmm... perhaps there should just be multiple/alternate trailers? (Feel free to share any thoughts on the matter in the comments.)

And lastly, I thought I'd leave you with something that just made me smile:

Just too good not to share. : )
Get your week off to a great start, everybody!

September 13, 2012

Prayer Request

(I seem to be having a lot of those lately!)

I would like you all to please pray for a friend of mine, a young man named Andrew. Yesterday evening he had an accident on a farm tractor and tore the ring finger off of his left hand. He got out of surgery a little before 12:30 this morning, but sadly the surgeons were only able to reconstruct about half of his finger.
Please pray, obviously, for his physical recovery. He broke his little finger on top of losing his ring finger, and he's going to be in for a long and painful healing process.
But also, pray that God would keep him in good spirits. This would be a big loss for anyone, and Andrew is only 17. Please pray that he won't let himself become angry or bitter about this, but that instead he will let it grow and strengthen his faith in Christ.
Please pray for his family and friends too, that they (and we) will be able to give him the comfort and support and encouragement he needs as he comes to terms with this new and difficult aspect of his life.
And of course, join me in thanking God for protecting Andrew, and that a single finger was all he lost! Believe me, there is so much that can go wrong with farming equipment, and it could have been much, much worse.

Thanks in advance for your prayers.

September 11, 2012

Work Begins on SotS Trailer! Opinions and Votes Needed!

Yep, it's that time! After getting a crazy summer behind me, I'm finally buckling down to get production of the Son of the Shield book trailer underway! And just as I promised, I'm letting my loyal blog followers in on all the behind-the-scenes action.

Today I started work on the trailer opening. It starts out as a black screen with white text that fades onto it. That's where you all come in: I've come up with a few different teasers that I like, but I need your help choosing which one makes the cut and goes into the trailer. I've labeled them A, B, and C. Use the comments box to let me know which one(s) you like or dislike, and provide a bit of explanation for your choice as well. This will help me determine how best to achieve my aim, and what changes, if any, need to be made.
FYI - The teasers will not appear as a block of text. Each line will appear on-screen by itself.

The Fate of a Nation
The Faith of Its People
The Destiny of a Traitor

The pursuit of a dream...
The value of a promise...
The cost of loyalty...
... the call of destiny
How far would you go?

A man's search for home...
A woman's dream of peace...
A nation's fight for freedom...
A betrayal that could destroy all three.

Well, what do you think? I understand that without having read the book it's impossible to know which one fits the best, but which one of these would be most likely to catch your interest? Which one would make you want to go get the book and read it? Which one makes you want to know more?
The Comments box is open, y'all. Have at it!

September 7, 2012


Many of you have been joining me over the last few months in praying for rain for the mid-west. This has been the driest, hottest summer I have ever seen, and we've been desperate for some moisture.
Well, I'm very pleased to report, we have finally had some rain! Yesterday afternoon we were blessed with a regular toad-strangler. (For those of you not familiar with the hillbilly dialect, imagine standing in the shower with the water going full blast, while someone sprays you with a garden hose. That's a toad-strangler.) It only lasted a few minutes, but it was a huge blessing. We also got some hail, but it was only pea-sized - not really large enough to arouse anything beyond mild interest.
Today was the real excitement: more rain, but rain that brought straight-line winds of up to 80 mph with it. My family and I were all stranded in town and a bit worried about what we would find when we came home, but fortunately all the animals are okay and there is no damage to our house or outbuildings. Some huge tree branches came down in our yard, barely missing my parked car and the family four-wheeler, and a barrel of glass canning jars was flung across the yard, leaving a trail of (amazingly, unbroken) jars in its wake. But we got rain!!!
The creeks aren't running yet, but there are at least puddles in them, which is more than we've had since the end of May. This is a huge, huge blessing. We're not out of the woods completely yet, as far as the drought is concerned - we have a lot of rainfall to catch up on - but we are so blessed and so thankful for what we've received the last two days.
Thank you all so much for your prayers.


September 6, 2012

Albert Einstein Quotes

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole live believing that it is stupid."

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction."

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." (I love this one!)

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves." (This one just made me laugh.)

"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."

"True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist."

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

I was really surprised to discover how many of these can be applied to writers and their work. Dr. Einstein had a great understanding of the importance of imagination.

Do you have a favorite Einstein quote? Did any of these resonate with you?

September 4, 2012

How Do You View Christian Ministry?

I've recently been giving a lot of thought to the way Christians in our culture have come to view the concept of Christian ministry, so I thought I'd share those thoughts with you. My main concern is that we have come to neglect many vitally important aspects of ministry as our understanding of its definition grows narrower and narrower.

I very frequently hear people say that "Your single years are a blessing because you have so much more time to serve God and be involved in ministry without the responsibility of a spouse and children".
While I agree that being single is a blessing in many ways, I take issue with the idea that a family somehow ties a person down and renders them unable to serve God. People who make statements like this are overlooking the fact that having a Christ-centered marriage and raising a family, instructing your children in godliness, is serving God. Especially so in the world we live in today.
Divorce rates have been climbing for years, even as marriage rates fall.
Christian children are not, by and large, being raised and trained to be strong soldiers of the faith or to be strong leaders of the next generation, and statistics show that by the time they reach middle school age, 2/3 of them will have turned their backs on the faith completely. Without these warriors and leaders of the faith, the next generation will perish spiritually.
Training children in godliness is the foundation of all other ministry. If we aren't doing that, everything else is for naught anyway.
Singles, don't let well-meaning people's attempts at encouragement twist your perception of what ministry and service to God are. Yes, you can serve as a single too. But your service will not stop once you marry and start a family. It is only beginning then.
Parents, don't let yourselves get caught in the trap of thinking that ministry is something separate from what you're doing, that just because you're not going on missions trips or preaching you're not serving God. Raise your family according to God's instructions. That is serving God.

Another misconception I often see in Christian circles is that there are only a small handful of vocations that can be considered ministry.
My late grandfather often pointed out that twelve of his sixteen grandchildren and grandchildren-in-law were in full-time ministry, occasionally alluding to his disappointment with the four who weren't. I was one of the latter.
Don't get me wrong - I adored my grandfather - but his perception of 'ministry' was too narrow. In his mind, if you weren't a pastor, a professor at a Bible college, a missionary, or the wife of one of those, you weren't 'in the ministry'.
But, as I often told him when he brought it up, I know I am doing what God wants me to do, I strive (even if I don't always succeed) to make Christ the focus of every aspect of my life, and I share my faith with others every chance I get. I consider my life to be full-time ministry for that reason. As the Bible says, if the whole body were the ear, how would we smell? If the whole body were the eye, how would we hear? 
If all of Christ's sheep were pastors, who would they shepherd?
Don't let your view of what Christian ministry is become too narrow. I've heard pastors weeping over how few people commit themselves to full-time ministry, when right in front of them sit families who have dedicated their lives to raising godly children, to training the next generation of faith warriors, to sharing the gospel with people they meet in their day-to-day life.
God hasn't called all of us to be pastors or missionaries. He's called some of us to be construction workers. He's called some of us to be doctors. He's called some of us to be home-school moms. He's called some of us to be writers.
And if we do what He has called us to do while striving to make Him the center of every aspect of our lives, we are serving Him. That is ministry.

Your thoughts?