Today’s Scripture

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

— James 5:16-18 (alt. reading v. 16)

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Today’s Scripture

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 

— James 5:13-15

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Today’s Scripture

Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.

— James 5:9

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Today’s Scripture

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

— James 5:7-8

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Today’s Scripture

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

— James 5:1-4

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Extraordinary Coaching

Do you struggle with bitterness or anger?

Are you uncertain about God’s will for your life?

Do you long for renewed spiritual intimacy and vitality?

Do you need wise guidance about a career, a ministry, or a relationship?

Then take it from Chris Castaldo:

“For over fifteen years, Stan Guthrie has been a trusted friend to whom I go for wisdom and sound biblical advice. His ability to actively listen, ask insightful questions, and apply Christ-centered truth is an extraordinary gift-set, one which enables him to serve as a most effective coach.”

— Dr. Chris Castaldo, Lead Pastor, New Covenant Church, Naperville, Illinois, and author of Talking with Catholics about the Gospel

Please go here for more info: http://stanguthrie.com/links/

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Today’s Scripture

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

— James 4:13-15

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Today’s Scripture

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

— James 4:11-12

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Today’s Scripture

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

— James 4:6-10

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Advice to an Aspiring Author

A writer who aspires to be an author asked me for some advice, clearly frustrated by the barriers facing unknowns. She said, “I’ve talked to various people (including an agent) and done some research, and it seems to me that the current advice for aspiring authors is either (1)  write a blog, become famous, and then we’ll publish your work (maybe), or (2) already be famous or someone in a high profile job, like megachurch pastor, and then we’ll publish your work (maybe).  Not being famous or likely to be, I thought I’d ask you about your editing and/or publishing coach services, and whether you have time open right now.”

Here’s my response:

I’m not going to snow you. The advice you’ve received is pretty accurate–but there are always exceptions. Publishers are risk-averse these days and are looking for people with solid platforms (meaning: many people who know them and are eager to buy their books)–hence the emphasis on blogs and megachurch pastors. I have run into this problem myself, being an independent journalist (although I have a platform with BreakPoint).

There are two ways to look at this:

1. What is your platform?

I understand you are not famous; most of us aren’t! But are you able to connect with readers (and potential buyers) of your book? Publishers will look at your church, organization, conferences, websites, social media, etc., to determine this. Are you credible on this topic, and on the ability to sell the book? They want to know if they can sell enough copies to make the risk of investing in you and your book worthwhile. 

It is very much a bottom-line business, with little wishful thinking allowed. That’s why you’ll see a lot of questionable books and authors get published–because they sell. You’d like to think Christian publishers would have higher standards, but many don’t.

2. What is the book?

Is it something new, or a fresh take on a perennial issue? Can you demonstrate this? Is it worthwhile? Professional? Compelling? Comprehensive? Clear? In short, does it sing? 

Regarding the platform, if yours is weak, you might consider demonstrating to publishers that you can sell the book anyway. To do this, you’d need to consider self-publishing first and then trying to sell it through your channels, including but not limited to book parties. I can evaluate your platform and work with you to build it.

Regarding the writing, I can evaluate your manuscript, edit it, rewrite it, etc., to bring it up to professional standards. I cannot, however, guarantee that a publisher will take it.

The thing all writers have to think about is whether they write only to get published, or whether they write because they have a purpose and a passion. Getting published is a worthy goal, but it can be a long and hard road, with no guarantees. If you truly believe God has called you to write, you won’t be able to not write, if you know what I mean! It will cost you a lot of sweat equity and money, and only you can decide if it’s worth it.
I write because I have gifts in that area, love influencing people, and can make money doing it–although I’m not getting rich (few authors do). In one sense, I write because I can’t not write!

So I hope that gives you some things to think about. Maybe it gave you more than you wanted! In any event, I’m happy to discuss my services if you’re interested in proceeding. Thanks for contacting me.

Best wishes,

Stan

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