Jesus – Lord of the Past, the Present, the Future

tatumlight

Past Present Future.

The three diamonds in jewelry these days are given to represent those three ideals in a romantic relationship. But when I received a silver cross with three diamonds across the center, I began to ponder how those three diamonds applied to the cross and Christ.

I had the verse “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” in my head. Of course, Jesus was the agent of creation according to Col 1:15-16. He is the victor at the judgment. But what about the center diamond?

The present. He has been present in history. He was present in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He was present in the lion’s den with Daniel. During His incarnation, He walked with the disciples in Galilee, Judea, and Samaria. He healed in the present for those who sought Him. After…

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Jesus – Lord of the Past, the Present, the Future

Past Present Future.

The three diamonds in jewelry these days are given to represent those three ideals in a romantic relationship. But when I received a silver cross with three diamonds across the center, I began to ponder how those three diamonds applied to the cross and Christ.

I had the verse “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” in my head. Of course, Jesus was the agent of creation according to Col 1:15-16. He is the victor at the judgment. But what about the center diamond?

The present. He has been present in history. He was present in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He was present in the lion’s den with Daniel. During His incarnation, He walked with the disciples in Galilee, Judea, and Samaria. He healed in the present for those who sought Him. After His death and resurrection, He was present. He walked the road to Emmaus. He appeared in the Upper Room and on the beach to the disciples. He was present as the disciples watched Him ascend into heaven.

After His ascension, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide. Doesn’t that make Him present daily? He appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, changing his name to Paul and sending him out as a missionary, not a persecutor.

So I searched the Scriptures and discovered that Revelation 1:8 says, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'” In Revelation 4:8, the cherubim cry out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who is, who was, who is to come.”

Past. Present. Future. Three diamonds that remind me that He is always the God who is present for me and for us all.

How does someone publish their writing?

One of my friend’s children (30 years old!) wrote me with this question about writing curriculum for children. Here’s the answer I sent her:
Publishing is a tough game. I would start by getting a 2014 Writer’s Market. I also get the deluxe, online edition because then you can do an online search of their database. Many education type publishers are available. You may need to narrow your search to a Christian or homeschool publisher. This has been the most difficult route for me to find a publisher, but if you have something they want (or decide they want), you can be a traditionally published author!
Be aware that you can find a publisher, find a self-publisher, or self publish yourself. It all depends on how much money you can put into the project. I worked with Tate Publishing to publish Gold Earrings. Tate is called an “author investment” publisher. Basically you pay a flat fee (was $4000 which my mom paid for me!). Tate then has editors, layout people, cover people, printers & marketing reps. You then buy what you hope to sell yourself. They place it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, etc. They did a great job creating the print copy and Kindle version. The marketing was not as aggressive as I would have hoped, but that is becoming true throughout the publishing world. The writer is expected to promote the book. I felt Gold Earrings (begun when I was in high school) needed to finally see the light of day. Tate gets a bad rap online if you google them. Basically you just need to be aware of what they do and don’t do.
There are a myriad of self publishers and a myriad of book publishing packages at different price points. The publishing industry is more accepting of self publishing now than it was when I was looking for a publisher originally. American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) gets a list of accepted publishers, those that are traditional publishers by their definition.
Another option is creating the Kindle version yourself through the KDP Select program. This puts your book out at Amazon within a month or so. You get great royalties on purchased digital versions. Again you end up being the primary marketer though Amazon does what they do to suggest books to Kindle customers. You can then work with their partner CreateSpace to produce print copies. The Kindle part is basically free to cheap. CreateSpace is a “print on demand” publisher. Not sure how much all that costs.
So this is my basic knowledge of the publishing world. Pretty scary and frustrating, but we write because we are called to write. Publishing is still in God’s hand in my mind. God’s timing is never my timing though!

Why Lighthouses?

When I taught middle school, my classroom was filled with lighthouses. Inevitably some student would ask me, ”Why do you have so many lighthouses?” My short answer, depending on the time and situation, was, “Ask me after class.” The actual answer involves several ideas.

1) The purpose of a lighthouse is to guide ships to safe passage and to warn them away from the shallows and rocky shore. As an educator, part of my goals was the guide students into learning and keep them safe while doing so. Education is light for the future. Without it, my students would be crippled in their path to success in life. It was my job to hold that light of knowledge high. That reason is also why I was the sponsor for National Junior Honor Society at my middle school.

2) In John 8:12, Jesus said to the people following Him, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Those lighthouses reminded me that I never stood in that classroom alone. Come what may – storm, disruption, fire, shooter – Jesus would guide me in protecting my students and protect me as well.

3) In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus told his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bushel. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Isn’t that what a lighthouse does? God put me in the classroom to be light in the lives of my students, to reflect His Light. The path of knowledge was important, but more important was the impact I made on their lives because I was His lighthouse in that classroom.

So, those three reasons were why my classroom was awash in lighthouses.That’s why I proudly go by the user name “tatumlight”.