The following are a few suggestions I’ve collected over the past weeks for self-published authors to market their books. I’d love to hear if you’ve tried any of them and if so, how they’ve worked.
That’s it for now. I’ll pass on more marketing tips as I gather them. In the meantime, never stop writing and never stop marketing your book(s).
“So using only a sling and a stone, David proved to be stronger than the Philistine. David struck down and killed the Philistine, even though David didn’t have a sword in his hand.” (1 Samuel 17:50 NOG).
The Philistine had defied David and the God of David. “…’Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?’ Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, ‘Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the heavens and to the beasts of the field.’” (Verses 43-44 MEV).
David didn’t shrink back. He said to the Philistine, “‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a shield, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have reviled. This day will the Lord deliver you into my hand…’” (verses 45-46). David knew he had a covenant with God and the Philistine did not. David said, “…For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (Verse 26). David had seen God work before when David killed the lion and the bear. “…”’The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.’..” (Verse 37).
You know the account. David put a stone in his slingshot and struck the Philistine in the forehead. The Philistine fell on his face to the ground and David took the Philistine’s sword and cut off his head. “…When the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.” (Verse 51).
The God we serve doesn’t rely on natural means to bring victory and deliverance. He is a supernatural God. One meaning of supernatural is something that departs from the usual, or what is normal, especially so as to appear to transcend nature’s laws. Remember the widow of Zarephath? Even though she was gathering sticks for her last meal when she encountered Elijah, he asked her for some water and bread. Contrary to logic, she made a cake for Elijah first, as he requested, and then for herself and her son. True to the word of the Lord, “the barrel of meal did not run out, nor did the jar of oil empty, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke by Elijah.” (1 Kings 17:16 MEV).
Or another widow, the wife of one of the prophets. Her husband had died and a creditor was coming to take her two sons as slaves to repay a debt. Elisha, the servant of God, asked her what she had in her house. She told him she had nothing except a jar of oil. Elisha told her and her sons to gather as many bottles as they could. “Then go in, shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour the oil into all these vessels. When each is full, set it aside.” (2 Kings 4:4 MEV). The oil kept flowing until they ran out of bottles. Elisha told her to sell the oil to repay the debt. I believe that oil would have kept flowing as long as they brought containers for it to fill.
There are so many examples I could give but I’ll just mention two more. In 1 Chronicles 14 (MEV), the Philistines had come against David again. David asked God what to do. God answered and said, “’Do not go up after them, but turn around behind them and come to them in the front of the balsam trees. Whenever you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, you will advance the battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” (Verses 14-15). David did as God commanded, “…and they struck the camp of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer.” (Verse 16).
David could have told God he didn’t believe Him or that it was a crazy battle plan. But David listened and obeyed and that brought a supernatural victory.
In the New Testament, Paul and Silas were in jail, fastened in the inner prison with their feet in the stocks. As they prayed and sang hymns to God, “…there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s shackles were loosened.” (Acts 16:26 MEV). As Paul and Silas praised God, in spite of the predicament they found themselves in, God gave them a supernatural victory.
I’m sure most of you reading this blog know these accounts from God’s Word. But I’ve put them down to remind us when we face difficult circumstances, not to look at the natural, what our five senses perceive, but to expect God to show up with His supernatural. Our God is an awesome God.
What do you do when you’re faced with a problem? Do you hide your head in the sand and pretend it isn’t there? Do you run out and tell everyone and ask for their advice? Do you become depressed and discouraged? Today, I’d like to look at how a king in the Old Testament, named Jehoshaphat, responded to a major threat. Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah, who, at age thirty-five, succeeded his father Asa, the first good king of Judah.
The account is found in 2 Chronicles chapter twenty. Jehoshaphat was told that a vast army of Moabites, Ammonites and some Meunites was coming against him. I’d say that’s a pretty big problem. The Scripture says that, “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.” (2 Chronicles 20: 3-4 NIV). Jehoshaphat was wise. He didn’t consult his neighbours, or his friends, or his relatives. He and the children of Israel consulted the Lord.
Then he stood up and prayed and rehearsed what God had done for Israel in the past. We are emboldened in the Lord when we remember how He has delivered us in previous times. He told God what he was facing. God already knows our struggles, but it can help us clarify things in our minds when we lay them out before Him.
In verse twelve, he humbled himself. “…For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” Sometimes it’s challenging for us to admit we don’t have the answer. But the truth is, we often don’t. That’s why God’s Word tells us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).
Verse thirteen says all the men of Judah with their wives, children, and little ones stood before the Lord. They waited. Sometimes this is the hardest part – to wait. We want to run ahead. We want the problem solved. We want it out of our way. But Proverbs 3:7 GNT says, “Be patient and wait for the Lord to act…” Jehoshaphat obeyed the Scriptures and his obedience was rewarded. The Spirit of the Lord came upon a man named Jahaziel and through him gave the Israelites a battle plan. God told them where the enemy would be. Then He said, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” (verse 17).
Then they did something I know we often find thorny. They praised the Lord BEFORE the problem was solved. “After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army…” (verse 21). Verse twenty-two goes on to say, “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated…” No one was spared. “When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.” (Verse 24).
Remember Paul and Silas in Philippi, chained in prison with their feet fastened to the stocks? At midnight they prayed and sang hymns to God. “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” (Acts 16:26 NIV). Praise brings VICTORY!
Just two more things about Jehoshaphat before I finish. Firstly, God gave Jehoshaphat and his army a GREAT victory. They spoiled their enemies.” So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.” (Verse 25).
And secondly, the kingdoms around Jehoshaphat were affected by the victory. “The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.” (Verses 29-30). Your neighbours, friends, and relatives will take note when they see how God fights for you.
What to do when problems arise? Follow the example of King Jehoshaphat.
In closing, this is my prayer. “Dear Lord Jesus, the next time Satan throws obstacles and enemies in our way, help us to remember Jehoshaphat, Paul, and Silas and that You are ALWAYS faithful. In the precious Name of Jesus. Amen.”
In my writing blog dated September 23, 2021, I promised as soon as I unearthed more writing tips, I would pass them on. Well, I’ve been doing some digging and here are the most recent ones I’ve extracted:
“But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (Galatians 3:10-11 NLT).
In Deuteronomy 27:26, it says, “Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” The Book of the Law refers to the covenant laws God made with the children of Israel during the time of Moses.
The law demands perfection, which is impossible because we are all sinners. “For there is no distinction to be made anywhere: everyone has sinned, everyone falls short of the beauty of God’s plan.” (Romans 3:23 Phillips). That puts everyone of us under a curse. That’s the bad news.
The wonderful news is that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” (Galatians 3:13 NIV). As believers in Jesus, we are no longer under the curse. We live under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. “For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2 Berean Study Bible).
Because Jesus became the curse for us and took the punishment we deserved, He exchanged His righteousness for our sin. “God made him, who did not know sin, to become sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 EHV). Think about that. When God looks at you as His born-again child, He doesn’t see your sin. He sees the righteousness of His Son, Jesus.
You’ll sometimes hear people say, “I’m just an old sinner, saved by grace.” It is true – you WERE a sinner, but when you made Jesus the Saviour and Lord of your life, you became the righteousness of God in Him. Instead of living in sin-consciousness, we need to live in who we’ve been made in Jesus.
As those who have been delivered from the curse of the law, oppression is far from us. “In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.” (Isaiah 54:14 ESV).
If we abide in the secret place of El-Shaddai, “He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse. His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you…” (Psalm 91:3-4 TPT).
The next time we’re tempted to fear or to doubt, we need to remember who we are – a child of the Most High God, delivered from the curse of the law, and made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. God’s massive arms are wrapped around us.
What do you do when you find yourself walking on untrodden ground, in a place you’ve never been before? Joshua in the Old Testament found himself in that situation. Joshua 1:1-3 MSG says, “After the death of Moses the servant of God, God spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant: “Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel. I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised Moses.”
In the above translation, God told Joshua to get going. Don’t hang around on this side of the Jordan. It didn’t matter to God there were enemies in the land because He was with them. Their job was to walk and take the land.
Recently, God gave me a task I find daunting. How can I do it? It seems too big. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have all the information I need. Others will criticize. Then I was reminded of Joshua chapter one where God told the children of Israel He was giving them “every square inch of the land you set your foot on.” In order to possess the land, though, they had to move their feet. In order for me to do the task, I have to take that first step and walk.
In Joshua 6: 1-27, the Israelites had to do more walking. Joshua 6:2-5 NIV says, “Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.’”
I’m sure the Israelites felt foolish, walking around the walls of the city once each day for six days and then seven times on day seven, not saying anything until Joshua told them to shout the battle cry. But they did it. “So the people shouted, and they blew the trumpets. When the people heard the trumpet sound, they shouted a loud battle cry, and the wall fell down…” Joshua 6:20. Obedience brought victory.
When the Israelites went in to take the Promised Land, they had to walk in by faith. Faith in what? Faith in the Word of God. Joshua 1:3 MEV says, “I have given you every place that the sole of your foot shall tread…” “I have given…” It was a done deal. All they had to do was obey and walk.
The same is true for us. The Word of God is the foundation for each step we take. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 BSB. And when we obey His Word and trust in His promises, He guarantees our success. “This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night…For then you will make your way successful…Be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 MEV.
What could be better than that? I speak to myself and I speak to you, the reader. Pick up your feet and walk. Go in and possess the land.
In Judges chapter six in the Old Testament, the Israelites had done evil in the sight of the Lord by worshipping other gods. The Lord gave them into the hands of the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people from the east. Whenever the Israelites would plant crops, the Midianites would ruin them and take the livestock. The account says the Midianites and Amalekites covered the land like a swarm of locusts, too numerous to count. The Israelites hid from their oppressors in caves, mountains and strongholds. Not a great situation.
The Israelites cried out to the Lord and He sent them a very unlikely deliverer. We find him threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valour.” (Judges 6:12 MEV). Mighty man of valour? It sure didn’t look like it. In verse fourteen, the Lord said to Gideon, “’Go in this strength of yours. Save Israel from the control of Midian. Have I not sent you?’”
Gideon made excuses and said his clan was the weakest and he the youngest in his family – how could he save anyone? God answered him in verse sixteen, “‘…But I will be with you, and you will strike the Midianites as one man.’” (Italics mine).
You probably know the rest of the story. Gideon defeated the horde of Midianites with only three hundred men, so the Israelites wouldn’t be able to boast and say they did it in their own strength.
The part that interests me the most is the angel of the Lord calling Gideon a mighty man of valour when he was hiding in a winepress. The NLT translates ‘mighty man of valour’ as ‘mighty hero’. In essence, the angel was saying, “don’t let this situation scare you, Gideon. You’re stronger than you think.” And why was he stronger? Because he had God on His side. It wasn’t about Gideon’s strength. It was about God’s strength in Gideon.
The same is true for you and me. No matter what our situation, whether it's a bad report from a doctor, a financial problem, or rocky relationships, God is making a way where there is no way. The Scripture says if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). Proverbs 28:1 MEV says that “…the righteous are as bold as a lion.” We are the head and not the tail, above and not below (Deuteronomy 28:13), more than a conqueror, (Romans 8:37), surrounded with God’s favour, (Psalm 52:12) and able to do all things through Christ Who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).
In short, God’s Word tells us we are victors, not victims. “Now thanks be to God who ALWAYS causes us to triumph in Christ and through us reveals the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 MEV. We are the overcomers, not the overcome. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12:11. With the power of God, we can scale a wall. (Psalm 18:29). With God on our side, we are stronger than we think!
Under “The Joy of Writing” portion of my blog, I would like to list some of the writing tips I’ve gathered along the way. They are not listed in order of importance. Here we go!
I’d like to begin today by looking at Genesis 17:1-5, NKJV.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.”
Note first of all that God appeared to Abraham as El-Shaddai, God Almighty. Shaddai means the breasty one, the nurse, the full supply. In other words, the God of more than enough.
Secondly, the man and woman God made the covenant with couldn’t fulfill their part of the promise. Abraham was one hundred years old. Sarah ninety and had been barren all her life. That’s the contradiction to the promise God made to them. They couldn’t do it but God could.
Thirdly, God said He had made, not would make, Abraham the father of many nations. It was a fait accompli.
Next, I would like to look at what Paul wrote in Romans 4:16-20 NKJV.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai— ‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”
“At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.
“Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God…”
The key is found in verse seventeen – the” God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did…” Abraham didn’t look at the contradiction. He didn’t consider his own body or Sarah’s dead womb or age. He looked at the covenant and did not waver at the promise.
I think as believers we often waver at the promise and concentrate on the contradiction. For example, if I am facing a financial need, do I look at my negative bank account or at God’s promise to provide for all my need according to His riches, which are limitless? (Philippian 4:19). If I am sick, do I look at my symptoms (the contradiction) or at the Word of God in Isaiah 53:5 NKJV, (the covenant): “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” In the New Testament, Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:24 TPT, “He himself carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we would be dead to sin and live for righteousness. Our instant healing flowed from his wounding.”
As born-again Christians, we must not yield to the contradiction but stand firmly on the promise. We must be determined to stay on the God side of everything.
Where do you live – in the land of barely enough, just enough, or more than enough?
For 430 years, the Israelites lived in the land of barely enough. “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field…” (Exodus 1:8-14 NKJV).
You know the story. When Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh to tell him that the God of the Israelites had told them to hold a feast to Him in the wilderness, Pharaoh asked who this God was that he should obey Him. Then he decreed that the Israelites would have to gather their own straw to make bricks and still fulfill their daily quota. In the land of Egypt, the children of Israel barely had enough to get by. When Moses told them God would deliver them, “…they did not listen to Moses on account of their anguish of spirit and for cruel bondage.” (Exodus 6:9, MEV).
After plagues and the death of the firstborn, Pharaoh let the Israelites go and God led them out with a strong hand. However, when it came time to go in and possess the Promised Land, they feared the giants living there, disobeyed God, and failed to go in. For forty years, they wandered in the desert, until the unbelieving generation passed away. But God was gracious to them. “For all these 40 years your clothes haven't grown old, and your feet haven't blistered or swollen." (Deuteronomy 8:4 TLB). The Israelites were no longer in bondage in the land of barely enough. They had entered the land of just enough.
But all along, God’s plan had been for them to live in the land of more than enough. “The Lord your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. (Deuteronomy 6:10-11 NLT). God had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey – the land of more than enough.
So where do you live today? Are you still living in the land of barely enough or just enough? If so, God wants to lead you into the land of more than enough. The God we serve owns every animal of the forest and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), the treasures hidden in darkness (Isaiah 45:3), and has promised to supply all our need, not according to the world’s faltering economy, but according to His limitless riches.
Everything in God’s kingdom is based on the law of sowing and reaping. “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your store of seed and will increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous on every occasion…” (2 Corinthians 9:10, Berean Study Bible). So sow your seed today and trust God to bring in the harvest. Stand on His promises. “Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1 NKJV).
And remember, it is through faith and patience we inherit the promises. “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11-12 NKJV). Go ahead – possess God’s Promised Land of more than enough. He wants you to have it.
In this Blog, I want to share with you some of the things I've learned from many years of following Jesus.