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Believe him to be the Son of God,
and you will find him wonder upon
wonder, counsel upon counsel.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A few years ago, I was introduced to Dietrich Bonhoeffer through a play that depicted an interaction between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Ever since that introduction, I have read something by Bonhoeffer at least once a year.

Recently, I continued reading Life Together by Bonhoeffer.  Undoubtedly, it reminds me of the kindred spirit that Bonhoeffer offers me through his discourse on the concept of community to people of faith.  In all fairness, Bonhoeffer shares some inspirational words that should cause us all to pause for a moment and realize the true value of our Christian community despite the shortcomings and mistakes of our humanity.
I also started reading I Want to Live These Days with You, a daily devotional by Bonhoeffer.  I had read through it previously back in 2006 and 2009.  As I prepared for 2013, I decided to return to the devotional once again.  I had done the same with My Utmost for His Highest by Chambers and Morning and Evening by Spurgeon.

I suggest that most believers could glean something from Bonhoeffer’s writings.  He provides the reader with both inspiration and insight.

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WizzleyI write all sorts of content as a freelance writer.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.I have no real niche.  I write poetry and fiction.  I write about religion as much as I write about sports and community activities and events.  I blog, journal, present, teach, and edit online as a freelancer.

 I write e-zine articles and post to multiple blogs.  I write for a wide variety of audiences.

You can join me on my freelance journey at iWriter, too.

I have published articles on Squidoo and HubPages, too.  My articles include content related to writing grants and freelance writing opportunities.  I also publish my own books of inspirational poetry on Lulu.

Get a copy of one of the Bible studies offered by Life Path Ministries & Services.  Subscribe to get inspiration from one of my other blogs either Rev Bruce or Life Path.

Bruce Jackson, EzineArticles Basic Author

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Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

I have spent a few days mulling over publishing another book while still preparing for a 2013 full of events and activities that will fill my schedule and almost wear me down.  I have spent some time writing some articles online and feel that it is time to share with some of my blogging audience this side of both myself and Life Path.

My latest article has been posted on Wizzley about MLK.  It is one of those new ventures that I havebeen working on since I started freelancing online in 2011.  Post comments online and share your sentiments.

Wizzley
See more articles that I have posted online:

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2002 sales of books and products through all channels: just under $4.2 billion, up from $4 billion in 2000.
$2.4 billion sold through Christian retail outlets; $1.1 billion through general retail; and $725 million through direct-to-consumer ministry channels.

First 6 months of 2003: CBA member store sales were down 2%.

Books increased 8%, Bibles increased 2% but music and gifts decreased 9%.

–Christian Booksellers Association reported in Publishers Weekly, August 4, 2003

http://www.PublishersWeekly.com

(Cited from http://parapublishing.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm)
 
In addition to studying book-buying habits, the project also explored what types of material people read. The results showed that evangelical adults (86%) and evangelical teens (97%) were the groups most likely to read Christian literature. Other segments with deep penetration by Christian publications included teens and adults who attend a Christian church regularly (65% and 71%, respectively).

(Cited from http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/114-half-of-all-americans-read-christian-books-and-one-third-buy-them)

Look at the statistics.  Christian literature, whether for study or otherwise, sells at enormous rates to a large following.  That makes sense.
 
What would really make sense would be for you to get yourself busy writing something for the Christian literary market.
 
Think on it.  Take some time and think it through.  You can make a real impression with some simple strategies for breaking into the Christian information market.
 
Christian Article Sites
Write on your business, ministry or industry.  Write about what you know and use your professional experience to help guide others with your lessons learned and best practices.  Use sites like Bukisa or Gather to publish online articles.

Blog
Make some noise in the blogosphere by posting pointers or mini articles on a variety of topics.  Look into WordPress and Blogger.  Beyond this blog, I also post to Rev Bruce’s Blog on WordPress that contains more inspirational Christian postings.

E-Books 
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.If you have enough content on a particular subject matter, consider writing an e-book on it.  Self-publish your own e-book and place it on an online storefront and your website as well as your blog.  Make it available for download in multiple marketplaces.  Use Lulu or CreateSpace.  My e-book of inspirational poetry entitled Broken Pieces is available on iTunes through Lulu.  Self-publishing allows you to publish and promote your material, then profit from it as well. 

7276414-17971825Merchandise Your Material
Use some of the top online merchandise sites to sell customized products related to your writing.  These span from t-shirts to coffee mugs and iPad cases.  If you are going to build it, you better brand it, too.  Think about WWJD, Purpose Driven, and Jabez’s Prayer.  These all swept through the Christian marketplace with loads of merchandise like keychains and Bible covers to follow behind the success of the books.  Look into CafePress, Zazzle and Spreadshirt to launch your own merchandising craze.
I Love My Neighbor!! Button

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Nuts and Bolts

“Drive thy business or it will drive thee.” – Benjamin Franklin

Think about it.  Benjamin Franklin, one of the famed Founding Fathers of America, shared these words regarding business.  Consider Franklin the businessman and inventor, even the philanthropist, not the diplomat and ambassador.  Franklin was a publisher of Poor Richard’s Almanac as well as a printer, author, painter and inventor.  Franklin fanatics have plenty to aim at as objects of their affection since Franklin was involved in all sorts of venturesHe knew both prosperity and failure.  Experience taught him and taught him well.
Learn from Franklin’s words.  Get in the driver’s seat of your own business.  Start running your business before your business runs your life and runs you into the ground.  Drive your business.  Do not let your business drive you.  Get your rear back into the driver’s seat and get in control of your business.

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“Prayers never die.” – E.M. Bounds

“God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it.” — John Wesley

“If you are too busy to pray then you are too busy.” -W. E. Sangster

Some of the top Christian writers on prayer would have to be:

  • E.M. Bounds
  • John Wesley
  • Andrew Murray
  • W.E. Sangster
  • R.A. Torrey

I say that these names are among the top Christian writers on the topic simple due to the expansiveness upon which they wrote on prayer as well as the depth that they wrote on prayer.  Some of their titles that may be of help to you are listed below.

  • How to Pray- John Wesley
  • Teach Us to Pray- W.E. Sangster
  • Andrew Murray on Prayer– Andrew Murray
  • The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer– E.M. Bounds
  • The Power of Prayer-R.A. Torrey

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“We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.”

 
Let me put some things in perspective for the would-be or wanna-be entrepreneur.  Simply put: talk is cheap.  You either need to put up or shut up. 
 
That being said, let me go a step further.  You need to have a plan and a strategy before you foolishly go full speed ahead with your small biz launch.  Think it through and get your ducks in the row.  However, you better get busy doing what you have to do. 
 
Remember: talk is cheap.
 
I chose the Maxwell quote because it strikes right at the heart of most start-up issues, particularly the barriers.  The biggest barrier is usually the person who is starting the organization or business. 
 
They know how to cook well, but they are satisfied baking cakes for the women’s auxiliary at church and the PTA’s annual bake sale fundraiser.  They have heart without drive.  They are in their own way much like the guy who can research and find every single thing from books and quotes to grants and special programs.  That type of person may be viewed as an asset to those who do not feel like paying for such a service, but he needs to get on and get into business for himself as a researcher and perhaps an evaluator if he wants to succeed.  Otherwise, he can sit back and keep getting stepped on and stepped over by others who will use him for nothing.
 

These are just examples of people full of potential.  They have the ability to do something special
that is of value to others, but they have yet to set out for success.  I urge you to read John Maxwell’s books on successMake Today Count and The Difference Maker are great books to start out with for potential entrepreneurs.  Also, I would recommend Your Road Map for Success as a jewel that will offer you some keys to staying the course on your journey.
 
I share this because my desire is for others to succeed- in business, in ministry, and in life.  That’s my hope and aspiration.  That’s why I post such items as this with others.  It weighs heavily on my heart that so many people have skills, experience and all sorts of talent, but they lack the drive or initiative to take the risk and make more out of their lives than simply sit and wait for an opportunity to come their way.
 
Below, I have added Maxwell’s “Seven Steps to Success.” I suggest that you truly stop wishing about starting and succeeding in business and start working towards success in business.  The key word in start-up is start.  Get started off the right way.
 
Seven Steps to Success

1) Make a commitment to grow daily.

2) Value the process more than events.

3) Don’t wait for inspiration.

4) Be willing to sacrifice pleasure for opportunity.

5) Dream big.

6) Plan your priorities.

7) Give up to go up.

― John C. Maxwell

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