Become More Spiritually Literate

“You are today who you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.” –Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Did you know that December is Spiritual Literacy Month?

December is Spiritual Literacy Month

This annual December observation was started by two authors back in 1996. Their goal was to encourage people to read spiritual texts.

What exactly is spiritual literacy? Literacy is the ability to read and write. It also refers to a person’s possession of education or knowledge in regards to a particular subject or field; such as being “computer literate”.

Therefore, spiritual literacy refers to possessing knowledge of “spiritual” things. This is something that people need, especially in our current culture.

You can use this Spiritual Literacy Month observance to promote the reading of your Christian book. After all, your Christian book can help people become more literate about spiritual things.

National Day Calendar reminds people that reading a book about spirituality, faith, or religion can have the following benefits:

1. It is good for your soul.

Reading a spiritual book will open your mind in ways you probably didn’t realize it could, and offers an uplifting, refreshing view of the world and universe we live in.

2. It will lower your stress levels.

Studies show that reading spiritual literacy can improve mental and physical health, as well as help keep you calm in stressful situations.

3. It will introduce you to a whole new world.

Reading these types of books can awaken you spiritually and mentally, and will open up your range of thinking and imagination to an entirely different level.The Women of Christmas

You can participate in Spiritual Literacy Month by reading a spiritual book, snapping a photo, and sharing it on social media using the hashtags:

  • #SpiritualLiteracyMonth
  • #SpiritualLiteracy

Encourage your friends and fans to do so also.

For Advent this month, I am reading The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs. What will you read for Spiritual Literacy Month?

Related Posts:
Why Reading the Bible Matters
Hope: The Vital Message
Christianity and Book Sales in America

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Photo by Geralt.

Promote Your Book as a Gift This Month

Procrastination. It’s a problem for a lot of people.

Procrastination

Did you know that there is even an organization for procrastinators? It’s called The Procrastinators Society. The Society has a creed for procrastinators. In part, the creed reads:

The Procrastinator’s Creed

  • I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.
  • I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.
  • I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.
  • I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.
  • If at first I don’t succeed, there is always next year.
  • I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.

When it comes to Christmas shopping, many people procrastinate buying gifts until the last minute. A survey by PriceGrabber found that 41% of consumers shop for holiday gifts between December 21 and December 24 each year. One study found that 26 percent of these people admitted to procrastinating.

Promote your book as a gift.

This means that you still have time to promote your books as Christmas gifts and reap some holiday sales. In fact, experts estimate that 25% of books are purchased as gifts.

Spend this month capitalizing on those shoppers that procrastinate gift buying. Capture their attention to buy your book as a gift by offering one or all of the following enticements.

1. Free Shipping

Everyone loves free shipping. Some studies indicate that 58% of people purchase more items just to qualify for free shipping and 83% of people are willing to wait an extra 48-hours for delivery to get free shipping. Offer free shipping on book purchases for the holiday season.

2. Flash Sale

A flash sale is a special discount that lasts for a very short period of time. This type of sale creates a sense of urgency, helping your readers act now to buy a book. When offering a one- to three-day flash sale, include a countdown timer on your website. Make the countdown timer prominent to increase urgency, encouraging visitors to your site to buy.

3. Bundling

Offer gift bundles. You can offer your print and ebook together as a bundle. If you have authored more than one book, then bundle two or three of your books together and offer these for sale for the holidays. You can also bundle your book with a gift card or other item to entice Christmas shoppers to buy the bundle as a gift.

Studies show that many last-minute shoppers are hunting for bargains. In fact, 43 percent of last-minute shoppers said that they believe the best discounts can be found during this time period. So, offer an irresistible bargain on your books this month and grab some Christmas sales.

Related Posts:
Six Ways to Promote Your Books as Gifts
Promote Your Books as Christmas Gifts
Market Your Book as a Gift

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Photo by Ylanite Koppens.

The Benefit of Thanksgiving

Psychology has come to understand what God has always known and told us in His word—that giving thanks is good for our mental health.

In Psalm 42:5, King David says “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Thanksgiving is a form of praise and it lifts our spirits.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today, on our national day of Thanksgiving, I invite you to give thanks to God for all the blessings he has bestowed upon you. You can ponder some of those blessings through the words of this hymn “O Give Thanks to Him Who Made” by Josiah Conder.

O give thanks to Him who made
Morning light and evening shade;
Source and Giver of all good,
Nightly sleep and daily food;
Quickener of our wearied powers,
Guard of our unconscious hours.

O give thanks to nature’s king,
Who made every breathing thing;
His, our warm and sentient frame,
His, the mind’s immortal flame.
O how close the ties that bind
Spirits to the Eternal Mind!

O give thanks with heart and lip,
For we are His workmanship;
And all creatures are His care:
Not a bird that cleaves the air
Falls unnoticed; but who can
Speak the Father’s love to man?

O give thanks to Him who came
In a mortal, suffering frame—
Temple of the Deity—
Came for rebel man to die;
In the path Himself hath trod
Leading back His saints to God.

Related Posts:
Counting Blessings
Giving Thanks to God
Thanking God

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Do You Need Inspiration?

A woman I know was charged with the task of writing a formal, yet difficult, letter to a government entity. She, along with a group of other parents, are making a formal complaint hoping to change the way a certain demographic of students is treated in public schools.

Writing inspiration

This woman was not sure how best to phrase and format the official complaint. She told me that in this advocacy process, she was learning to wait on God to guide her. So, unsure how to proceed, she waited and prayed.

A couple days later, she opened her Bible and happened to read the beginning chapters of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was the cup bearer to King Artaxerxes, in the land of Persia. Nehemiah had received a report that the walls of Jerusalem were in disrepair.  As a Jewish man, this news saddened him. The King noticed his demeanor and asked him what was troubling him.

Nehemiah told the King what was troubling him and made a serious request of King Artaxerxes. He asked the King to allow him to return to Jerusalem to oversee the repairing of the walls of that city. The woman charged with writing a formal complaint to the government, told me that as soon as she read this passage, she knew how she was to phrase and format her letter. She knew she needed to follow the same outline that Nehemiah had used to make his request to King Artaxerxes.

Often, as writers, we face this same issue. We wrestle with the best way to present an idea, frame a conversation, or illustrate a point as we write. We also struggle with the next actions we should take to take to move our works to publication. Sometimes, we lack direction for the next steps in promoting our books.

As I listened to this woman’s story, the words from a song I learned as a teenager played in my mind. The lyrics go:

I must wait, wait, wait on the Lord.
I must wait, wait, wait on the Lord.
And learn my lesson well.
In his timing, he will tell me where to go,
What to do, what to say.

Are you following this advice? When you struggle with the best way to write or present something or the next action to take with your book, do you pray and ask God for guidance—and then wait for his response?

A regular discipline of writing or marketing activities is an important practice. However, this practice should never replace waiting on God for inspiration and guidance. Putting something aside for a time as you wait to hear from God can bring better results than pushing through in your own strength.

If God has called you to write or publish something, give yourself the time and space to allow God to direct with divine inspiration. When you allow God to inspire and direct, your writing and marketing activities have more impact and produce more fruit.

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Photo courtesy of John-Mark Smith.

Your Christian Book Is Crucial

The United States is steadily becoming less Christian and less religiously observant, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

Only 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christian today. This represents a 12-point decrease in the past decade. In 2009, 77% of American adults identified as Christian.

65% of Americans are Chrisitan

In this same period, those who describe themselves as having no religion, referred to as “nones” in the United States have grown. Currently about 17% of the American adult population identifies as “nothing in particular” when asked about their religion. This is up five points from 12% in 2009.

The Pew Research Center data shows a wide gap between older Americans and younger generations. More than eight out of ten members (84%) of the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) describe themselves as Christians, as do three-quarters (76%) of Baby Boomers. In contrast, only half of Millennials (49%) describe themselves as Christians, while four out of ten are religious “nones”.

The need for Christian witness in the United States in great. Christian books are needed today as much—if not more—then they ever have been.

Christian books are lights—shining beacons that accomplish two important purposes:

1. Christian books point people to God.

Studies show that Millennials read. In fact, adults aged 18 to 35 purchase and read more books each year than those in other age groups. Your Christian books can be a tool in proclaiming the Gospel and drawing people to God.

2. Christian books strengthen believers.

Christian books reveal truth about God’s Word to believers. Your Christian book serves to encourage and strengthen Christ followers so that they can shine the light of Jesus to the dark world around them.

Christian author, don’t give up. Your Christian book is needed in America today. Our country (and the whole world) needs to know God and his son Jesus.

My prayer is that your Christian books would touch people’s lives. I pray the Caleb Prayer for our country. I invite you to pray it with me.

O High King of heaven,
Have mercy on our land.
Revive your church;
Send the Holy Spirit
For the sake of the children.
May your kingdom come to our nation.
In Jesus’ might name.
Amen.

P.S. If you live in or around the Capital of our country, I invite you to join me at the Capital Christian Writers Fellowship Conference on January 25, 2020. I will be presenting a keynote talk on “What Makes a Book Christian?”

Related Posts:
Hope: The Vital Message
The Law of Unity
Bible Reading in America

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