What Can I Say?

What Can I Say?

by Rev. Dr. R.J. Lightsey

Exodus 4:12
“Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

I will get right to the point. There are times when I don’t know what to write about or what to share with others so they may be encouraged or challenged. There are days when I don’t have a clue what God wants to speak through me. Believe me when I say I sometimes feel I don’t have anything at all to say. As I began to pen this article, I realized today is one of those days.

But I know (as I have known for years) that what I have to say to uplift my brothers and sisters in the Lord does not begin with me. My Father gives me what to say at the right time and for the right reasons whatever pleases Him. As God said to Moses, “Now, go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say” (Exodus 4:12).

I understand my responsibility is to stay prepared and focused to hear from God at any and all times (of course there is still room for improvement). Also, I must write by faith, literally seek God, trust God, and then sit at my desk and allow the Master to speak to me through the keyboard. Truly, a message, the right message for the present time, will come forth.

I must remember and you must remember our words are not our own. God will instruct and anoint us as we position ourselves to be used. No need to worry about what to say or what will be received or rejected. We just need to open our mouths or start stroking the keys on the keyboard and trust God to do the rest.

Now for the testimony. What can I say? There have been countless times I have witnessed God perform this as He is doing now. He has and continues to take me from not knowing what to say to trusting Him to give me what to say as I step out on faith. I am encouraged to “position” myself to be used by Him at all times. It’s not enough to know that God will instruct us in what to say, but as He told Moses, He will be with us as we speak. It is so comforting to know I never speak or write alone. The Almighty God is always with me (and you).


Rev. Dr. R.J. Lightsey has over thirty (30) years in active ministry as an anointed pastor/preacher, teacher, exhorter and leader with the ability to clearly and passionately communicate God’s Word. Dr. Lightsey is experienced in planning and implementing church conferences, workshops and seminars, church planting, public relations and networking (faithandfavor.org).He is the author of Living in Praise, A Collection of Christian Poems.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com

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11th Annual Page Turner Contest is Open!

FaithWriters.com and Breath of Fresh Air Press are pleased to announce the eleventh annual Page Turner Writing Contest. If you are a member of the FaithWriters Platinum 500, you are invited to enter this very special contest created just for you.

Maybe you’ve got a half-written manuscript gathering dust in the bottom of your wardrobe. Perhaps it’s something you wrote during NaNoWriMo last year. It could even be an idea that’s been brewing in the back of your mind for years. Whatever the stage of your manuscript, this contest is the spur you need to write and polish-and we will give you until the end of September to get your entry ready.

Sound good? Well, here’s what you need to do:

1. Write, edit and polish at least one chapter of your manuscript. You may seek professional editing input to polish your chapter.

2. Prepare a book proposal, including such things as the synopsis or book overview, the target reader (e.g. adult/young adult/women/new adult, etc.), the genre, similar books already on the market, and what makes your book different. Think of this as your pitch to a publisher. In other words, be concise, clear, and attention grabbing.

3. When you have a book overview and a polished first chapter, combine the two as one Word or RTF document (book overview first, followed by the chapter), and you’re all set to enter the 2017 Page Turner Contest.

This year, there will be one Page Turner champion-the highest rated entry overall, chose from either the Fiction or Nonfiction categories. This one champion will win:

1. A fabulous cash prize of $400 (US);
2. The offer of traditional publication of their winning manuscript by Breath of Fresh Air Press (which includes editing of the manuscript, if published by Breath of Fresh Air Press);
3. Free publicity and marketing of their book on all FaithWriters’ sites for twelve months following publication; and

Two Page Turner runners up will be chosen (one from each of the two categories-fiction and nonfiction). Each runner up will receive:

1. Two x one-hour, live online, mentoring sessions with Deb Porter through Finesse Writing and Editing Service.
2. Consideration for possible publication by Breath of Fresh Air Press

* Please see terms and conditions at this link.

Brief feedback on your entry by Deb Porter (Breath of Fresh Air Press) will be available after the contest is concluded. However, this feedback will only be provided at the entrant’s request (which should be indicated by checking the appropriate box on the entry form). Many people enter the Page Turner purely for this very helpful feedback.


Once again, we’ve thrown the door wide open, with entry open to both fiction and nonfiction writers; however, your book should be suitable for Christian readers. Other than that, let your creativity and passion be your guide. We will be looking for the freshest fiction and nonfiction concepts with the greatest page turning appeal and publishing potential.

Chapter books for children are acceptable for entry; however, picture books do not suit the Page Turner concept.

We also regret that poetry collections do not suit the Page Turner concept. However, novels written in creative free verse are acceptable.

There is not a set word count for Page Turner submissions, but keep in mind that entries will include the first chapter only and a succinct book proposal. So although your finished manuscript may end up being the size of Gone with the Wind, don’t try and cram it all into the opening chapter.

So, what are you waiting for? You still have until SEPTEMBER 30, 2017, to prepare your entry. GET BUSY!

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Congrats to Writing Challenge Fourth Quarter 2016 Winners!

A HUGE congratulations to EVERYONE who entered the FaithWriters Writing Challenge this past quarter.  Just by submitting an entry, you are a winner. But some pieces rise even higher than that to place – while others go even higher than that.

And that is what the quarterly cash awards are meant to recognize. The highest scoring entry in EACH LEVEL over each entire ten-week quarter is recognied. This past quarter  had a variety of topics – from phone to fussy to calendar – and these four entries (one from each level) came out on top. Be sure to check them out!

LEVEL 1 The Escape by Simon Davis (Phone topic)

LEVEL 2 Reboot by Art Westefeld (Easy as Pie topic)

LEVEL 3 The Joy of Crying by Karen Dick (Fussy topic)

LEVEL 4 Just So, Aunt Jessie by Ann Grover (Fussy topic)

The Writing Challenge starts up again on Thursday, January 5 with a new quarter of topics. Be sure to enter – you could be one of these winners!

Congratulations, Simon, Art, Karen, and Dick!

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Meet Nonfiction Page Turner Runner-Up Sherri Stone!

This year, we have two Page Turner champions – one in fiction (see Meghan Andersch’s interview here) and one in nonfiction (Nicki Jeffery’s interview is here), along with a runner up in each category (the fiction runner up Sylvia Young’s interview is here).  Join interviewer Joanne Sher as we learn more about non fiction runner-up Sherri Stone.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on being the runner up in the Nonfiction Page Turner! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?

SHERRI STONE: Thank you, Joanne! I was scrolling through my emails over a BLT in a little café when I saw the announcement. It took a minute for it to sink in and then I think I just sat there with a big grin on my face. I was eating alone so it was a nice quiet celebration. I got to just bask in it for a while.

JOANNE: Sounds lovely. When do you first remember developing a passion/love for writing?

SHERRI: I’ve always loved to write, but just in the last ten years started to focus on actually finishing a story and doing something with it. If you’ll excuse a bit of shameless self-promotion…I actually self-published my first fiction book last year. It’s called Sacred Ashes and you can find it on Amazon. End of commercial!

JOANNE: Good for you! Is writing a hobby or potential career for you? Or something else?

SHERRI: I would like for it to become a full-time thing one day. Don’t know what God has planned for that, but I know that whatever gifts he gives us to use, he will use in the right time and place, so I am learning to be open to whatever he has planned, and trying to be faithful and disciplined to write on a regular basis. Continue Reading…


Meet Fiction Page Turner Runner Up Sylvia Young!

This year, we have two Page Turner champions – one in fiction (see Meghan Andersch’s interview here) and one in nonfiction (Nicki Jeffery’s interview is here), along with a runner up in each category.  Join interviewer Joanne Sher as we learn more about fiction runner-up Sylvia Young.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on being the runner up in the Fiction Page Turner Contest! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?

SYLVIA YOUNG: Let me first say that this contest was very important to me. I believed it would confirm whether or not I should focus on writing as a long-term career goal. I have been a short story ghostwriter for nearly two years now, and I thought that if I won, it would be a sign to turn my attention to writing novels.

When I saw that I was the runner up, my heart did a funny kind of flip-flop, and I felt a little lightheaded. Coming in second is winning to me, and so I believe that this is the sign from God that I was looking for!

JOANNE: Fascinating how God speaks to us, isn’t it? When do you first remember developing a passion/love for writing?

SYLVIA: I started writing stories from about the age of 9 or 10. I remember a teacher telling me how much he enjoyed my story (I even remember the plot!) and that he was looking forward to reading more of my work. This kind of situation was repeated a few more times throughout my school years. Continue Reading…

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Meet Nonfiction Page Turner Champ Nicki Jeffery!

This year, we have two Page Turner champions – one in fiction (see Meghan Andersch’s interview here) and one in nonfiction.  Join interviewer Joanne Sher as we learn more about Nonfiction winner (and Aussie) Nicki Jeffery, her family, her book and her dreams.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on winning the Nonfiction Page Turner! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?

NICKI JEFFERY: It was about 6 one morning. I am a morning person and wake early, especially since I have young children. I pressed the home button on my iPhone to check the time, and it appeared I had $250 waiting for me in my PayPal account (from the few lines of Gmail that came up on my screen). I woke up my husband, exclaiming, “I think I’ve just won the Faith Writers Page Turner competition!”

JOANNE: What a fun way to find out! When do you first remember developing a passion/love for writing?

NICKI: In primary (elementary) school. I remember being in Year 6, about 11 years of age, and loving story writing. We used to have other tasks to complete each morning, like spelling, handwriting, and reading. When these tasks were completed, we could move on to creative writing. I used to rush through my other tasks because I loved writing my stories.

From about that age, I knew I wanted to become a teacher and an author. Continue Reading…

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Meet Fiction Page Turner Champ Meghan Andersch!

For the first time in FaithWriters/Breath of Fresh Air Press Page Turner history, TWO different manuscripts have been selected as winners – one fiction and one nonfiction – in celebration of the first chapter contest’s tenth year. Over the next month or so, you will have the opportunity to hear about and meet four different people and their books – the champions and runners up in both categories. First, the Fiction Page Turner winner: Meghan Andersch.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on winning the Fiction Page Turner! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?

MEGHAN ANDERSCH: Thanks, Joanne!  I first found out via Paypal notification with a congratulatory note from Mike and Bea.  I figured there must be a glitch, especially since it was a month early.  Then the announcement went up on the FaithWriters site, and it slowly started to dawn on me that this was for real.  I was absolutely floored.  I called my husband, mom, mom-in-law, and sister (I am blessed with a great group of encouragers) and then just basically floated around the house for the rest of the evening.

JOANNE: That early announcement took ALL of us by surprise – and I’m glad it DID sink in ;) . When do you first remember developing a passion/love for writing?

MEGHAN: I fell in love with books as soon as I learned to read, and dabbled in writing early on.  I wrote a lot of (terrible) poetry in elementary school and started getting more into writing fiction in high school.  I got serious about writing later when considering a career change.  My husband and I were talking about adopting through the foster care system, and with the state government job I had, it was considered a conflict of interest for me to become a foster parent.

I participated in some of the writing challenges at FaithWriters and completed my first novel rough draft during NaNoWriMo 2012.  It was during that November I discovered I absolutely loved writing.  It was hard for me to switch my brain from my fantasy world and go to my other job!

Continue Reading…

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Congratulations: Page Turner Winners!

After almost 11 months of excitement and nail-biting suspense, it is time to announce the winners of the tenth annual FaithWriters.com/Breath of Fresh Air Press Page Turner Contest.

The 2016 Page Turner Writing Contest began on January 1, and for the first time, entry was open to both Fiction and Nonfiction manuscripts. Entrance to the competition was open to all members of the FaithWriters Platinum 500.

Entries comprised a book proposal, outlining the planned work overall, together with the first chapter of the manuscript. Judging was based on how well each entry worked in a number of key areas, including creativity, freshness, craftsmanship and, most important of all, page turning power and potential for publication.

The 1st place winners of the 2016 Page Turner Contest receives:

” A fabulous cash prize of $250 (US);
” The offer of traditional publication of their winning manuscript by Breath of Fresh Air Press;
” Free publicity and marketing of their book on all FaithWriters’ sites for twelve months following   publication; and
” A special Page Turner Champion award plaque.

The two Page Turner runners up each receive:

” A special Page Turner award plaque.

So, it is with great pleasure we announce our 2016 Fiction Page Turner winners:


Such a Time as This by Meghan Andersch


Encouraging Mums: 31 Days of Hope by Nicki Jeffery


The Long Lost Son by Sylvia Young


Aging Graced-fully: Women Who Honor Their Lord by Sherri Stone

Watch for interviews with the winners and runners up here on the blog soon.

The 2017 Page Turner Contest will open during the first week of January.

Congratulations, Meghan, Nicki, Sylvia, and Sherri!

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Congrats to 2016 Page Turner Finalists!

Entries for the Page Turner Contest have been in for about a month – and we have about the same amount of time until winners are announced. So what do we do in the meantime? Why, congratulate the finalists, of course!

If you entered the Fiction and Nonfiction Page Turner Contest this year, you should be congratulated. You didn’t sit back and let it slip by. You rose to the challenge, and that is commendable. Whether you made it into the top contenders list or not, you all deserve a big WELL DONE! If you are not on the list below, don’t give up. Every entrant requested feedback, so you will receive that after the winners are announced. Keep honing your skills, seek manuscript assessment and structural editing, or talk to Deb Porter about her one on one writing coach/mentoring service. Most important, keep aiming for excellence because we serve an excellent God.

But for now, here are the finalists in both categories for the 2016 Page Turner Contest

Please note, both lists are in alphabetical order only.


Convenience Story by Lori Othouse
Such a Time as This by Meghan Andersch
The Angel’s Pen by Jackie Wilson
The Girl Under the Porch by Leola Ogle
The Long Lost Son by Sylvia Young
The Trap of the Game by Renee Gingery
To Rise Up by Tisha Martin


10 Things I Hate About God by Susan Barnes
Aging Graced-fully: Women Who Honor Their by Sherri Stone
Call to Courage by Beverley Birks
Embracing Average by Belinda Peoples
Encouraging Mums: 31 Days of Hope by Nicki Jeffery
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Winners in each category will be announced on December 1.

Congratulations to the finalists!

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The Ministry of Silence (Devotional)

When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. Job 2:11 NIV

The book of Job for many people, is a tough one. It frustrated me for a long time – but as I begin to understand it a bit better, it has grown less confusing and aggravating.

One thing I’ve noticed, especially in my most recent time reading, is how many windbags there are in this book. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar have plenty to say – and so does Job. Even “friend #4″ Elihu gets his words in edgewise. There is a lot of talking in this book – and very little of it accomplishes its purpose.

And it’s like that in our own lives sometimes, too. We argue with folks, and they don’t change their opinion. We defend ourselves, and the others don’t trust our words. We seek comfort and get criticism. We ask for confession and get insults.

We often talk about what poor comforters and sympathizers Job’s three friends were (and if you look at the verse quoted at the top of this post, you’ll see that WAS their initial purpose). But they didn’t start out that way. Not only were their intentions good, but one of the first things they did when they arrived, reported in a single verse in this book of forty-two chapters, is something many need in struggle, and so few provide.

Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. Job 2:13

Sometimes, when someone is suffering, we don’t know what to say. Have you ever considered that it is because we aren’t supposed to say anything? That our presence is the greatest comfort we can provide? That our silent prayers are more helpful than our spoken suggestions? That silence is a ministry – one even the Holy Spirit practices.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26

Sometimes, God gives us the words to say (Mark 13:11) to comfort, and other times, He wants us to use the gift – the ministry – of silence.

Heavenly Father, help me to know the best way to comfort my struggling friends, whether it be with words, admonitions, or silence. I want to listen to your guidance so I can bring Your comfort to those who struggle. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) In the name of Your precious Son I pray. Amen.

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