Do you struggle with hate? My new book is on Amazon!

Do you struggle with hate? I confess that I’ve battled this evil thing for my entire life. 

Can someone who is a Christian hate someone? Of course! 

You may be surprised to know that Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and others in the Bible addressed this topic of hatred with God’s own people! We are all just human, and we struggle every day with sin. That is WHY we need Jesus! I’m so thankful for His grace and mercy that He showered upon me!

God is Love and He will teach you and me how to unconditionally love others.

I’m so excited to announce that my newest book, Metamorphosis: Transformed From Hate to Love, is now live at Amazon, as an ebook for your Kindle! 

https://www.amazon.com/Metamorphosis-Transformed-Hate-Beth-Jones-ebook/dp/B07BTYBB8G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

This book is about my life-long struggle with hatred. You may think, “What in the world? Christians aren’t supposed to hate! Especially a Christian speaker and author!” But I keep things real! 

In this book, I share spiritual warfare tactics and practical tips for overcoming one of the enemy Satan’s powerful weapons against God’s people–hatred.

Hate is what made Satan deceive Eve, bringing sin into the world. Hate is what nailed Jesus Christ to the Cross. Hate is rampant in the world today, because Satan is doing all he can to steal, kill, and destroy in the lives of God’s people.

You can find out more or buy the ebook by clicking on the link at Amazon below. Please be sure to share with your family and friends. If you buy this book, please leave a review as reviews help authors to build credibility and make more sales.

https://www.amazon.com/Metamorphosis-Transformed-Hate-Beth-Jones-ebook/dp/B07BTYBB8G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

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When you lose it

This past week I joined the Ultimate Blog Challenge and life happened, so I missed Days 2 and 3. Today is Day 4. They offered topics on “fours,” but I didn’t like any of them, so I’m choosing instead to blog about losing it.

Image resource: Pinterest
Image resource: Pinterest

Last night I lost it with my husband Ray. Yelled and said things I shouldn’t have. Yes, me, a Christian speaker and author.

My family and friends IRL (in real life) know all too well that I’m not anywhere near perfect. Those who have heard me speak and read my books and my blog know it, too, because I’m very open about my sins and mistakes, much of which I share in my new book, Promises In The Dark. You may not know this about me and may be shocked and surprised.

Beth & Ray Jones
Beth & Ray Jones

My entire life, I’ve struggled with a temper. I hate it. I’ve prayed and prayed, begged God to take it from me, asked God to kill me so I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore (or my family), fasted, renounced it, received deliverance and inner healing, had counseling, taken a variety of medications prescribed by doctors, walked, exercised, changed my diet….and still struggle with anger at times. 

To make things worse, Ray has a temper too. So we often butt heads. And we have children with tempers, too. It often runs in families. (Exodus 20:5, Exodus 34:6-7)

I’m not alone in this. Others who have battled a temper are Moses, Naomi, Job, Elijah, Jeremiah, Joyce Meyers, Lisa Bevere, Russell Crow, Justin Bieber, Nicolas Cage, and many women I know (yes, Christian women. Yes, we love Jesus passionately but we aren’t immune to losing it.)

Penelope Trunk, who has founded 4 startups, lives on a farm, homeschools her 2 sons, and who blogs a lot about careers, college and Generations Y and Z writes about yelling at her kids in the morning using the “F” word.

Unhappy couple
Unhappy couple

I usually lose my temper with Ray, not my kids. (And vice versa. Ray says I can push his buttons faster than anyone he’s ever met.) But I don’t want to get mad at him – or anyone. I don’t want to be known as an angry woman, or for “greasy grace”, but this is my desire:

God wants to use our mouths as channels of His life and blessing, but we will never be His prophets if we talk like the world. Let God clean up your conversation.” (J. Lee Grady, Why I Don’t Use the F-Word, www.charismamag.com/blogs/fire-in-my-bones/18379-why-i-don-t-use-the-f-word

Here’s some other things that tend to set off my temper. Do you relate?

  • people who drive slow or who drive on  my car tail
  • slow bank or grocery lines (which I always seem to get in)
  • computer problems, like my printer eating paper yesterday
  • techy issues on webinars and teleseminars (this actually happens frequently to people, because technology isn’t perfect)
  • loud noises in the morning (often Ray)
  • burned food or other strong smells (again Ray)
  • women or children being controlled, manipulated, abused, neglected, or mistreated
  • when I’m hot, hungry or tired.

Anger, by definition, is “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility; belligerance provoked by a wrong; pain; grief; trouble.” 

The Greek surgeon and philosopher Galen and Greek statesman and philosopher Seneca regarded anger as a kind of madness. (Source: Wikipedia) I can relate to this. Billy Graham’s wife said it well when asked if she’d ever thought about divorcing Billy. “Divorce? No. Murder, yes.”

Buddhism teaches that anger brings misery and confusion rather than peace, happiness, and fulfillment. (Source: Wikipedia) 

In Hinduism, anger is believed to be packed with more evil power than desires. (Source: Wikipedia)

In Islam, anger is considered to be instigated by Satan, stemming from selfishness, arrogance, and excessive ambition. (Source: Wikipedia)

I think anger is often provoked by the enemy Satan. He knows it will steal our peace and joy, and render Christians ineffective for the Kingdom of God. The Bible tells us that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities. (Ephesians 6:12) However, we can’t go around always blaming the devil when we get mad. Many times it’s just the flesh! Sometimes there are other factors involved, too: fatigue, lack of sleep, illness, stress, hormonal problems, worry, etc.

In Judaism, anger is seen as a negative trait “denying the hand of God in one’s life.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Psychologists view anger as a primary, natural, mature emotion experienced by almost all humans at times, and something that has functional value for survival. But psychologists say that excessive anger can increase your blood pressure, and other physical changes associated with anger make it difficult to think straight and harm your physical and mental health. It can cause problems at home and work. (Source: American Psychological Association)

Overall, anger isn’t generally viewed as a good thing. 

frustrated woman
frustrated woman

Unless anger is a holy, righteous anger – like Jesus displayed driving out the money-changers in the temple and with the Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ lack of love and religious hypocrisy (which most of us rarely experience) – anger is destructive.

What does the Bible say about anger? The Bible most often warns us about anger.

“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry – but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry.” – Ephesians 4:26, The Message

“Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry.” – James 1:19, Good News Translation

“A foolish person lets his anger run wild. But a wise person keeps himself under control.” – Proverbs 29:11, New International Reader’s Version

“But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” – Matthew 5:22, NKJV

“Also get rid of your anger, hot tempers, hatred, cursing, obscene language, and all similar sins.” – Colossians 3:8, God’s Word Translation

“Human anger does not achieve God’s righteous purpose.” – James 1:20, Good News Translation

If you have a problem with unrighteous anger, what can you do to overcome it?

Joyce Meyers
http://media.photobucket.com/user/harobed216/media/People/joyce-meyer-02929.jpg.html

 Joyce Meyer says to get to the root of it and deal with it. One of the primary roots of anger is the family. Angry people often have angry children. Children learn and mimic what is taught and modeled.

Joyce says to confess to God that you’re not able to conquer your temper by yourself and that you need His help.

God created us with emotions. He allows us to feel anger when we are being mistreated. But even when we’re being treated wrongly, it isn’t right to vent our anger improperly.

Joyce’s suggestions are:

  • Anger often stems from unmet needs. Go to God with your needs and desires. No one, not even your spouse, can fill you up. Let God satisfy you and fill that black hole inside of you. Spend time in God’s presence and let His love wash over you.
  • Talk (when you’ve calmed down) to whoever you’re angry with so the conflict can be resolved. It helps to pray for yourself and the person before talking so clear, positive communication can be achieved and some type of peaceful resolution. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree for the sake of peace. At times you may even need to fast and pray before talking with someone about the conflict.
  • Forgive. Unresolved anger and unforgiveness results in bitterness. Unforgiveness makes you the prisoner. Set yourself free by making a decision to forgive. That doesn’t mean you won’t have the feelings…the feelings often come after you choose to forgive.
  • Deal with abuse. God doesn’t want you abused and treated like a doormat. Abuse of any kind, whether it’s sexual, physical, verbal, or mental, leads to anger. Deal with it to be free of it. No one should ever be abused. Set firm boundaries and leave if necessary. Seek counseling if needed.
  • Stop strife. The Bible says that strife opens a door to disorder and every evil thing. (James 3:16) Strife results in arguments, bickering, resentment, and angry undercurrents. At the Branson, MO, marriage retreat Ray and I recently attended, the Trevors taught whenever strife raises its head, for a couple to stop and pray. Great words of wisdom. Also if you pray for your spouse, it’s hard to stay mad at him or her! (Frequent, passionate sex helps, too!)
  • Confess jealousy and envy as sin. Cain killed his brother Abel out of jealousy. Jealousy is just plain ugly and it destroys relationships. God has a specific plan and purpose for your life. There’s no need to compete or compare, or feel “less than” others. Ask God to forgive you of your jealousy and/or envy and help you to see yourself through His eyes…and to discover and walk in your own, unique calling, using your gifts for His glory. He has a plan for you that you can’t even begin to imagine! 

If you struggle with anger, keep going to God, crucify it daily, when you fall, get right back up and repent, and ask God daily to help you with “keeping a watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3 – The mouth is usually where anger shows up!). 

What about you? Do you struggle with a temper? What makes you mad? Leave your comments below.

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Authors Anonymous movie review

 

art-woman writing
art-woman writing

This post contains spoilers.

Speakers and writers are a different breed of people from the rest of the human race, and the very stereotyped yet funny movie Authors Anonymous captured a glimpse of that. Yes, it was stupid and predictable in parts, but I’ve already watched it twice (once with Ray, who dryly said, “Yes, it’s sort of amusing. I can see why you like it.”)

Being a non-traditionally-published author of several books, I objected but still laughed at the way this film poked enormous fun at struggling writers and the self-publishing industry, such as Danny Farina playing a tough war veteran, Tom Clancy-wannabe, getting his book self-published through U R The Publisher.

His botched printed book had a dog graphic on the cover instead of a lion, for his book Roaring Lion – and the back cover copy was erroneously in the Chinese language instead of English.

But self-publishing is changing the face of publishing. Writer, novelist and journalist Marcia Coffey Turnquist writes that most sources say if self-published books aren’t outselling the traditionally published already, they will very soon – and personally, she bets that it’s already happened. What do you think? 

 Rejection as a new writer/author

In Dennis Farina’s role as John K. Butzin (he says his own name a lot throughout the movie), he reeks of the pride of amateur writers who think more of themselves than they ought (Romans 12:3, NLV)…but when he has his first book signing at a hardware store, with no one buying his book and looking so deflated and rejected, I felt so sorry for him! 

I think many new writers can relate to these moments of rejection when you’re first starting out. Rejection letters from agents, editors, and publishers. No one or very few showing up at book signings. Sales barely trickling in after a much-anticipated, exciting book launch. Yet John K. Butzin’s strong trait is that he doesn’t quit and he believes in his book (even if he is delusional about his “success”). I envisioned him eventually succeeding from his sheer determination!

Opportunities falling into your lap

This movie combined 2 things I love: writing and a chic flic. The movie is really a love story between Fitzgerald enthusiast/pizza delivery guy Henry Obert (Chris Klein) who’s crushing on Hannah Rinaldi (Kaylee Cuoco-Sweeting), disguised in a plot about a writer’s group of wanna-be-published-authors, who critique each other’s writing.

 

Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and husband Ryan
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and husband Ryan

The newbie writer to the group Hannah (Kaylee Cuoco-Sweeting, the hot, blonde woman who Ray immediately recognized as the star of The Big Bang Theory) stars as an airhead writer who’s never even heard of Jane Austen ~ and who, of course, gets a fantastic agent right away, her book published immediately, and movie deal interests out of it. The opportunities just fall right into her lap, while the other writers struggle with even writing and get doors to publishing slammed shut in their faces. Ugh.

Yet in real life, sometimes it really does seem this way, doesn’t it? Someone in the right place at the right time…sometimes it is “in who you know.”

It’s just too much when Hannah/Kaylee is sitting cross-legged on her bed in her cute pj’s in her new stylish glasses, her hair fashionably up in a ponytail/bun, eating a banana, and writing her first- book/immediate best-seller on her laptop, with the Apple logo prominently shining on the back. I wanted to scream.

“What’s too much?” Ray asked when I said it aloud, groaning. This perfection, of course, is how I am supposed to look when I write. (Eyes roll.)

In real life, Kaylee is just as annoyingly perfect: she was homeschooled and earned her high school degree at 16, she was a nationally-ranked, amateur tennis player before she acted, she has rescued dogs, she’s a vegetarian, and her last name means “cook” in Italian. No wonder Ray likes her!

 

envy
envy

Writer’s envy/jealousy

The rest of the writer’s group struggle with writer’s envy and jealousy, and aren’t great at hiding it. Big fake smiles break across their faces as Hannah announces, coming in late to group, that she has an agent and is being published. They cheer, with their writing group’s motto being the 3 Muskateers’ motto, all for one and one for all.

They break out the champagne to celebrate her victory, and then John K. Butzin loudly and proudly announces that his manuscript Roaring Lion is being looked at by an editor right then. More champagne. The competition…oh yes, we all feel that and do that sometimes, try as we might not to.

As everyone leaves the restaurant, the writing group leader Alan Mooney (Dylan Walsh) and Colette Mooney (Teri Polo) agree that Hannah must have slept with her agent. Self-comfort for their own, unpublished – and obviously crappy – writing.

Writer’s (and speakers’) envy/jealousy is very real. You want to be happy for your friend, you really do. But as she or he tells you all humble that her book is actually being published, and isn’t God good, a terrible, selfish pain slashes through your petty, black heart: “What about me? I’m not a real writer! I’m a failure! And besides, I thought my book was better than hers!”

Yes, it’s ugly. But we can’t pretend we don’t envy or feel jealousy. What we need to do, when those dark feelings come to the surface, is rise above when you are slammed by another’s success, as Robin Black writes in The Green-Eyed Writer: On Literary Envy. Remind yourself that her success takes nothing away from you.

I was glad this movie showed how real writer’s envy/jealousy is. And how some writers can be self-serving, like the character William Bruce (Jonathan Bennett), who wants to walk in Charles Bukowski’s shoes and leeches money off the group members.

I had to google Bukowski on Wikipedia because I’d never heard of him before. He wrote about his home city of Los Angeles, addressing the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work.

 

woman-writingYour writing space and writing dreams

 The movie setting is in Los Angeles. You sense the modern flavor of the city throughout the movie, from the gluten-free care basket that Colette brought Hannah to Colette’s new-age guru that Colette asked to cleanse the “icky rejection” in the air in her “inspirational” writing space (which is hilariously noisy, from loud construction nearby and a barking dog. I so related to this part, when I try to sit down and work and there’s so many distractions!).

One of the funniest characters in this movie was Alan Mooney (Dylan Walsh). He created and is the writer’s group leader, and everyone must adhere to the function of the group. Alan is an eye doctor and goes around with a recorder to capture his great writing ideas – his novel’s character names like “Banjo” and a dog named “Woof.”

I’ve encouraged my coaching clients to record their ideas for writing a book, especially if they have trouble with the physical part of writing: you can always hire a transcriptionist to actually write it (type it) for you.

I felt the movie brilliantly captured creative writers who talk about writing a book and are always getting inspired ideas, but procrastinate and never write it.

Alan says his wife Colette is his dream – and she winds up crushing those dreams. That is very real life, too, isn’t it? 

But I believe in my heart that God wants our dreams to come true, and He will help us to achieve them with hard work and if we don’t give up!

While the movie didn’t end the way I wanted (I won’t spoil this part!), it did have a satisfying ending. Yes, the movie is silly, greatly exaggerates writers’ struggles and writing success (although sometimes it happens the way it did to Hannah and Henry), and I don’t advise it for families since there’s some crude language in it.

But overall, I give it a 2 thumbs up and will probably watch it again for laughs. I recommend it especially for writers. 

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