An Evening with James Scott Bell The Mental Game of Writing

Monday September 30Untitled Design (10)

6:00 – 8:30 pm


First Baptist Church of Universal City

1401 Pat Booker Road 78148

James Scott Bell is the author of the #1 Best-Seller for writers, Plot and Structure (Writer’s Digest Books), winner of the International Thriller Writers Award, and a highly sought-after speaker and teacher at Writers Conferences around the country. He is the author of several books on every aspect of the writing life, craft, and career. (Click HERE to see a full list of his writing books.)

The Christian Writers Group of the Greater San Antonio Area is pleased to host this opportunity for writers to get a glimpse into the mental game of writing. Because, no matter where you are–pre-pubbed, multi-pubbed, or somewhere in the middle–there’s always something out there to give you a jolt into the next level.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

James Scott Bell will have some books available for sale, but we also encourage you to bring those you already own for a signing at the close of his presentation.

Cost for the evening is $25. On-line registration available. (See above) Registration fee is non-refundable.





Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Angels in Disguise by Jill English Johnston

Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. (Isaiah 58:10 NLT(

Pounding hammers echoed in the cool December air and though unexpected sounds for Christmas, it must have been music to the ears of the recipients. The cheerful noise brought hope of restoration to those whose homes suffered hurricane damage. Even after many months, much work still needed to be done. But how does one rebuild an entire coastline of devastated communities?

greg-weaver-174103One does not. But many do.

And they did. A myriad of volunteers descended upon the neighborhoods to provide food, water, clothing, and temporary shelters. Next, they came to clean up and remove debris. Then, they were there to help rebuild.

When the Christmas holidays arrived, work did not slow down, as one would expect, rather it increased. In an amazing display of God’s love and compassion, people of all ages chose to spend Christmas vacation, not in the comforts of home with family and friends, but with strangers in need. Like the angels in the night sky bringing good tidings of great joy to the shepherds in the fields, so did these beautiful volunteers bring good tidings of great hope to those in hurting communities.

Prayer: Father of Hope, may we choose to obey your command to help others because kindness and compassion are beautiful gifts to give at Christmas and all year long.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Christmas Kaley by Allison Pittman

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.  (1 Peter 4:9 ESV)

We “met” her through a text message from our college son: Is it OK if Kaley spends Christmas with us?

Now, we’d heard Kaley’s name a few times in conversation. She was a girlfriend—not the first, not the last. Christmas is usually a private, family-centered time, but what could I say? Here was a girl with nowhere to go, no family in town.

Sure, I texted back. But you’re sleeping on the couch. Try not to scare off Santa!

We had a theme for that year’s gift exchange, and I spent a whirlwind day in crowded stores buying Kaley’s gifts: a glue gun, fuzzy socks, a book, chocolate. She was surprised—sweetly so—to open each one.

beverage blur candy candy cane

Photo by Pixabay on

Christmas morning we all went to church. Kaley, too. Outside, we flagged someone down to take a family picture. Kaley stepped to the side, but I said, “No! Get in here!”

A few weeks later, she wasn’t a girlfriend anymore.

I’ll always be glad that we chose to open our home to Kaley that Christmas. I hope she has fond memories of the day. I hope she read the book and wears the socks and has used the glue gun for fun, crafty things. Most of all, I hope she remembers the message of Christ and the warmth of family, and I hope she finds it again.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us opportunities to share Your love and our homes this Christmas.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Conquering Fear in Relationships by Paula Price

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 AKJV)

It was December 28th; I spoke with my new boyfriend about his Christmas gift I wanted to return. I was afraid to ask because he had purchased the most popular perfume that year according to the sales lady. I hesitantly asked if he would be offended if I did return it and to my surprise he said he was not. Relieved, I took the package back to the store.

cropped-igor-ovsyannykov-174017.jpgThe gift was an expensive bottle of perfume; I knew I would never wear it because I did not like its scent on me. I thought returning the gift would be better than avoiding a conversation about why I wasn’t wearing it, or giving the perfume to my cousin three years from now.

I had been fearful of asking him because I was afraid he would think I didn’t like the gift and it would ruin the relationship. I conquered my fear that day over thirty years ago and today he is my loving husband.

Prayer: Father, keep me honest, knowing that your love is long lasting. Help me remember your love is stronger than my fear.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Just Choose by Nancy Christy

For I will satisfy the weary soul and every languishing soul I will replenish.

(Jeremiah 31:25 ESV)

M.J. never got used to the sand. He had read of ancient cities erased by the desert. A fourteen-month tour and a six-month extension and he felt erased, too. His unit started calling themselves the Sandmen. On patrols, the grit and the sweat formed a shell that encased their faces like a mask. They looked like sand statues.

Lately, his Face-Time with Fran took on the remote quality of home movies. No conversation, really, just an awkward rehash of the same topics. When Fran told him she had miscarried, the words just weren’t there. She had not mentioned it again.

close up of christmas decorations

Photo by on

He searched the internet for Christmas toys and emailed the pictures to Matt. Fran said they were a hit. When M.J. asked what she wanted, she said, “Just get home safe.”

The flight home was a butt-buster. Bench seats and restraints down the sides of a transport, and ten hours to enjoy them.

He walked up to the door of 6210 Cedar. Dropping his gear on the porch, he stepped inside. And she was there and a boy, a bigger Matthew, looked at him with serious eyes.

“Hey, Matty. Did you pick the toys you want?” he asked awkwardly. “What did you choose?”

The big eyes widened in recognition. “Daddy, I choosed you.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to see your gifts are here always and we must but choose. AMEN

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Road Trip for the Lord by Jim Hopper

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. (Colossians 3:23 AKJV)

I love driving in any season, especially on winding country roads. The day after Christmas, my wife and I drove a van load of teenagers from the city to a winter church camp high in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Through raindrops on the windows, we looked out at the fields, farms, and orchards of the great Central Valley. Then up out of the rain, we drove through evergreen forests, boughs drooping with the recent snowfall. The roads were clear and driving was easy.

daniel-kainz-54652It had been twenty years since we had teenagers in the car. They were polite, well-mannered, and excited about their upcoming adventure. One of them commented that we were “crazy for driving all that way.” I explained that since we were retired, we had the time and resources to help with the church ministries. “Besides,” I added, “It’s a road trip for the Lord…. What’s not to like?”

God calls us to courageously step out, giving of ourselves, and choosing to serve others with our God-given gifts, talents, and passions. As we do, we find joy, and bless not only those we serve here on earth, but also our Father in Heaven.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for the many blessings you’ve given me, and the many opportunities I have to share your blessings with others.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Joy in Him by Linda Goldfarb

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines…, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18 ESV)

“They’ve found more lesions in my brain,” Bren’s voice quaked, just a bit.

My response sounded futile at best, “Surely something can be done. Right?”

How can someone be jolly when they’re living in a season of unknown? Yet, that’s exactly how my precious friend responded, with grateful joy.freestocks-org-461081

“No matter if there is or not, God has me exactly where He needs me to be. And I’m grateful for that. Everyday I get to tell people about Jesus and for however long that is, it gives me joy.”

We hugged.

I tried to think of something inspirational to say or a scripture verse to quote. Are you kidding me! I always have something to say, think Linda, think! Then it hit me, just listen and learn.

“This will be the best Christmas ever,” Bren’s voice was confident. “Everyone has troubles, but not everyone knows Jesus. I do, so I choose joy, His joy.”

There it was, a simple choice to have joy in Him alone. And she does, everyday.

Prayer: Abba, thank You for providing me with her friendship, a living example of Your mercy, love, and hope. Help me to walk out my life choosing joy over the circumstances of my life that others may come to know You, because they know me. Amen

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment