Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Is it ever time to quit?

When is it time to quit?

Time evaporates. Tomorrow I travel again. And I only just got back.

The Write-to-Publish conference in Chicago was awesome. Fellowship was rich and inspiring both on the spiritual and the intellectual level. I made contacts for Orphans First that will hopefully generate more prayer for the children with more people considering how they can help them. I returned home with a long list of potential assignments as well as some exciting, new projects for O.F.—enough to keep me busy for a long, long time. Yikes! Now I need every ounce of God’s grace to get things done.

Why is that so important? Because there are millions of children being enslaved, abused and suffering. Getting the word out can make a big difference for them.

Tomorrow, I’ll do a women’s radio broadcast in Las Vagas, and another with my husband on Friday. Sunday, he’ll preach at a friend’s church and on Monday, I’ll teach a women’s Bible study. Great opportunities but I hate the thought of hot Vagas in June. Still, God never said the call would be comfy!

Returning to the conference in Chicago, I’d like to share some reflections about the call to write and whether or when we should quit.

A young, new writer I met was enthusiastic about writing but concerned about juggling family with two very small children, and writing. I encouraged her never to place writing above being with her children. Maybe she could write during their naps. But if it didn’t work out for some reason, then maybe the timing’s not right. If she couldn't write for a long season, it didn't matter. What matters most is her children because she only has so many years to invest in their precious little lives.
(I cover this subject—as well as many others—in my parenting book:
Heaven Help Me Raise These Children! -- Biblical Direction for Practical Parenting Issues.)

Sometimes God calls us to quit either a project or our entire career--even just for a season. He might need to re-prioritize our focus, such as when a career becomes our ambition, our goal, our (dare I say it) "idol". God and family come first. If not, then who are we writing? What is the purpose behind our words?

Sometimes God has us quit our piece because it's oozing with bitterness. We might need to come back to it later when some healing has taken place. (Sometimes, of course, the healing takes place as we plod on—which complicates our ability to discern whether we should or shouldn't quit).

But if we quit because it's tough, or because we haven't yet found a market for our "masterpiece", then we perhaps need to remind ourselves about spiritual warfare, about godly determination, about having gutz to press on when that seems to be what God requires of us. As has been said gazillions of times: writing is hard work. But worth it if He's calling us to do it. If God is calling us, quitting is not an option, no matter how bleak things might appear.

As my fellow compatriot once said: "Never, never, never give up!" Thanks Winston. I agree.

Janey L. DeMeo
Founder/director of Orphans First -
freelance writer, author of Heaven Help Me Raise These Children!
Biblical Direction for Practical Parenting Issues. /

Friday, June 01, 2007

Drawing Near To A Generous God, Embraced by Grace

OK, so where’ve I been? I told you in my last blog, but that doesn’t explain the silence since I returned. The thing is that life hasn’t stopped whirling around me and, frankly, my head’s spinning.

My daughter’s Master’s graduation was beautiful and we enjoyed renewing contacts with friends in Atlanta, one of my favoritist cities. The adoption awareness seminar in Daytona Beach, FL – sponsored by Embraced by Grace, a Christian adoption agency – went fantasticly well and was catalyst to several adoptions.

Here on the homefront, last week we enjoyed a special banquet at the Spirit of the West Coast with Peter Furler of Newsboys speaking, followed by a wonderful, God-exalting concert by the Newsboys. My husband, son and I had a blast just enjoying the Newsboys' great music, super performance and spiritual inspiration. Helping build houses for poor people in Baja, Mexico, this band lives what they sing and preach. Love 'em. And tomorrow we have Switchfoot, This Holiday Life & a bunch of other bands on Moonlight Beach hosting a surf contest. (Can you understand why I keep harping on So Cal-ers being so spoilt? It's the truth). Too bad Louis won't be there. Yes, Louis left yesterday to minister again in several countries in AFRICA. And I will be in Chicago next week for the Write to Publish conference—a Christian writer’s conference I highly recommend.

Talking of writing, I have an article in this month’s issue of Indeed magazine (Walk through the Bible) called: Expectant Squawking (Drawing Near to a Generous God). This is a great devo mag more meaty than most—a great tool to go deeper with God.

On that note, some great books I recommend are by Chris Tiegreen, Indeed’s editor: Chris’s writing is refreshingly deep. He doesn’t cater to the feel-gooders who formulate their doctrine based on what keeps them comfy. Chris, like many of my fave authors, knows about suffering and understands its value in our lives. And, whether we like it or not, pain has great value.

Speaking of suffering, this weekend features the Worldwide Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk (see details at The idea behind this event is to encourage churches, small groups and individuals to specifically put time aside to pray for the world’s suffering children. There are so many needs out there, it’s not hard to think of children who need our prayers. Sadly, there are still too few churches who implement this event on their premises or who even promote it for small groups. I hope it’s through ignorance and not through indifference. God forbid that we wouldn’t find it important enough to put aside our comfort for a while and give time to intercede for those who cannot speak up for themselves: Prov.31: 8,9.

This brings me back to the title of my article mentioned above: God is indeed generous. He waits to be gracious to us (Isa.30:18). And He waits for us to call on Him on behalf of others.

On that note, yikes, the clock is ticking me off. Must go. I’m hosting a prayer meeting at my home tonight and the house needs cleaning. Don’t want folks sneezing ‘cause of dust in the middle of praying right?

If I don’t blog before I’m back from Chicago, please know I appreciate your visits and especially your prayers for the suffering children of the world.

Janey DeMeo (copyright 31 May, 2007)