Oh the goofs!

Several years ago I began writing “my story.” I thought if I wrote about my abusive background it might help others in some way to cope with their abusive past but in retrospect I finally realized it was to expose my abusers and “make them pay” for what they did. Much healing and forgiveness has taken place since then, Praise be to God! I remember the manuscript was quite thick and the postage was quite expensive when I mailed it to a publishing company. I was sure it was a story that would be received with great joy. It was for the benefit of others, right? I waited with excitement for my acceptance letter. I’d check the mailbox daily and be disappointed each time when there was no letter from the publisher. Hurrying to the mailbox about a month later I opened the mailbox and much to my surprise my manuscript was returned in a torn package. I couldn’t understand why it was sent back and thought maybe that was the norm for this new adventure I was embarking on. When I ripped open the package I was greeted by a sheet of paper taped to the top page of my manuscript prominently displaying, in very large print, one word. “LIABLE!” What does that mean? I pondered on it for several hours and just couldn’t seem to grasp why they would reject such a great human interest story so I finally called the publishing company and was told quite rudely, and in a very frank manner, it was “liable” and they would not publish it! The person didn’t bother to explain what made it liable. Several days later, still confused, I sat down to re-read what I had written. Oh my. I still didn’t understand the liable part because I had changed the names of my offenders but I can honestly say that I recall being quite embarrassed about how poorly it was written. Much of it didn’t make sense, even to me, the author! I could feel the anger, bitterness, and quest for revenge screaming out of the words with every page I turned. It was a manuscript that quickly went deep into the bowels of the box filled with rejected short stories, magazine clips, etc. that I tried my hand at over the years. It was only when I was going to submit the manuscript for, “Laying Down my Net-A Walk of Faith,” to a publisher many years later that I called before doing so. That book isn’t about abuse. It’s a journey of trusting and being obedient to the Lord. Because sexual abuse is talked about in the chapter on the support group, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t liable. That was when I learned what they meant by a story being considered “Liable.” To make it short and simple, be very careful what light you are putting actual people in. Living people can/will sue you! Dead people can’t. Even though the names are changed we must be very careful and also put in a disclaimer or have written permission from the actual person we’re writing about. In my new novel, “Dawn’s Light” there are first names that are the same as some of my friends and family. The characters in the book have nothing to do with the actual person with that name. There are many people named Sue, for example. We can’t avoid using a name that may be an actual person’s name. Hence the disclaimer. So remember that when we take up our pens we must write in a way that glorifies the Lord Jesus. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Colossians 3:23

Author Sue Cass – “Dawn’s Light”“Pursuit”“Laying Down my Net-A Walk of Faith”“Sacrifices of a Saint”“Seek My Face.”

http://www.elahministries.com

elah501c@bellsouth.net

www.suecass.tateauthor.com

I’d love to hear your comments. 🙂

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We’re all gifted

I hope that reading about my lack of skills in my last post was an encouragement to you and not taken as just a confession of how inept I am in some things. Basically I was saying that if I can do it, you can, too, with the Lord’s help. As I mentioned before people tell me quite often at book signings, “I’ve always wanted to write a book but I just don’t know how.” Honestly? I don’t either! But God does. God gives each of us a gift or talent, whatever you want to call it. I’m not saying I am particularly gifted in writing but He knew and has nourished my desire to write. It’s much like those He has gifted in singing, acting, doing crafts, or whatever the gift is. He’ll honor that desire in some way. Maybe you don’t have a desire to write a book. That’s okay. He has put on your heart something that He can use for His glory. He will use our life experiences in some way to help others. In my case He has, and still does, use the abusive background to help those who had similar backgrounds. Hence the support groups, the “Angels by Grace,” Elah Ministries, and  my books.  Maybe you lost a child, had a painful divorce, lived through a horrific car accident. Life has all kinds of situations and circumstances that the Lord can use to help others. If you will allow Him He will place you in a position to use whatever gift/talent He has given you. I have a dear friend, whom I don’t think was ever homeless, but has a heart for caring for the less fortunate, another cherished friend loves to sing and sings in her church choir, my cousin has a heart for animals. In todays society it’s all about me! Me, me, me. “Take care of number 1.” I’m no Bible scholar but from what I’ve read throughout the scriptures Jesus was not a “me, me, me,” person. He cared about others. Be it human or animal. “…not one of them is forgotten before God…” (sparrows) Luke 12:6-7  Whatever your hearts desire is He can use and if it is through writing then hey, have at it! Yesterday I was at the dentist office getting my teeth cleaned. My dentist is a Christian and in the short conversation we had I learned that he had read my book, “Laying Down my Net-A Walk of Faith” not once but twice! That tells me that he was getting something from it. That maybe the Lord was pointing out things within my story that encouraged him. That warms my heart! To me that’s what it’s all about! Each book I pen there’s a message, whether it’s in one that I call “serious reading,” like “Seek My Face,” or a novel. There’s a message the Lord wants to bring out. “Laying Down my Net-A Walk of Faith” is my journey in learning to trust the Lord and be obedient to His call. I learned from an early age not to trust, be independent, hide your true feelings, and don’t get close to others. “No-one’s going to help you so you better take care of yourself.” Talk about the world’s lessons! God was transforming me big time from the inside out. I had hard lessons to learn and with His love, gentleness, and not so gentleness at times, He has brought me far. If we allow the Lord freedom to work within us and through us we will be amazed at what He can and will do. An open heart lets the Light in. So sit down, pick up a pen, and ask the Lord what He wants to tell you. You’ll be amazed!

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Blessings to you.

Author Sue Cass – “Dawn’s Light” “Pursuit”“Laying Down my Net-A Walk of Faith”“Sacrifices of a Saint”“Seek My Face.”

www.elahministries.com

elah501c@bellsouth.net

I’d love to hear your comments. 🙂

Now what, Lord?

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Over a period of time I finally realized that I was not crazy and the voice in my head was the Lord Himself speaking to me. He drew me closer and closer to Him and gradually I formed a close relationship with Him. That’s what He wants, not for us to just believe in Him, but to have a relationship with Him. He was transforming my life even when I went kicking and screaming. He was teaching me to trust Him and the big tests were yet to come.

The Lord led me through a mess of emotional stuff from the abusive childhood I lived. Emotional baggage can stand in our way of a loving relationship with our Father. In my case I couldn’t even call Him “Father.” He took care of that problem by constantly reminding me that He is not like my earthly father.

In 1994 he told me to start a support group for women that were sexually abused as children. You must be kidding! I’ve never even been to a support group! Oh, have no doubts my friends, when the Lord calls us to do something He’s always faithful to provide what we need along the way and not just what we need, but guide us step by step if we allow Him to.

I was the facilitator of the support group for eleven years and the healing that so many attained was remarkable. All the glory goes to the Lord for I was gaining added healing through the support group as well.

What does that have to do with my eventual writing books, you ask? One morning I was awakened by a loud demanding voice. “Get up! We have work to do.” I shot straight up to a sitting position from a dead sleep thinking someone had broken into my house and was standing by my bed. When I saw no one standing in the room I flopped back down and thought I had dreamed it.

“Get up, we have work to do” was repeated and with a groan I recognized the Lord’s voice.  “You’re going to create a magazine” He explained. Now I couldn’t help it but the thought, “One of us has to be crazy” made its way through my mind. The magazine, “Angels by Grace” was born that day.

He showed me every step and it is one of the most cherished memories I have in my early walk with the Lord. The ladies in the support group wrote short testimonies and in no time people from several different states were submitting their testimonies, prayer requests, and confessions. The magazine was for survivors and by survivors and God’s blessings were pouring out. I published “Angels by Grace” for four years. Of course I had my own testimonies in there at times, too. The Lord continued to give me opportunities to write.

Have you ever thought what an amazing invention the pen is? Holding this skinny cylinder with a point with lead sticking out the end or a tiny rolling ball that spills ink on the paper, it can be a chew toy through deep thought or produce words that can be seen on a blank sheet of paper. Okay some use computers but still, the pen is a most fascinating creation. I pick up a pen, look at it, and ask the Lord, “What do You want to write, Lord?” It’s absolutely amazing! The darn pen starts skirting across the paper as though it has a mind of its own.

Ahhh, and you thought I write this stuff. Fooled you.

Author Sue Cass : “Dawn’s Light” (to be released Feb.) – “Pursuit” – “Laying Down my Net-A Walk of Faith” – “Sacrifices of a Saint” – “Seek My Face” – “Grace Defined”

www.elahministries.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.com

Blessings to you.