Take the Indie World by Storm!

Join us Saturday, February 25, for a one-day workshop that will give you the tools and insight you need to bring your book through the doors of independent publishing and put it into the hands of readers!

Our presenters are 4 accomplished authors from the Writers on the Storm ACFW chapter.

Date: Saturday, February 25

Time 9:30 – 4:00

Place: First Baptist Church of Universal City


Show up for the Writers on the Storm, and leave with clear skies ahead!

1401 Pat Booker Road, Universal City TX 78148

Cost: $40 — includes all workshop materials and lunch. You can pay on line here, choose CWG and enter $40 amount. Registration at the door on Saturday will be $45.

The Speakers: (please visit their websites for a glimpse of their success!)

Linda Kozar will tackle the differences between traditional and indie publishing, and provide  information about distributors and formats: ebooks, print, and audible.

Kathrese McKee will take us through a list of resources writers need in their toolboxes–everything from Scrivener and Windows Office to the major digital retailers like Amazon, Apple iBook, and Kobo.


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Crystal Barnes will cover the some of the more technical aspects of creating a book, including the basics of book formatting and cover design for both print and digital editions.

Linda Yezak will walk writers through the editing process–how to survive the sticker shock of an editing fee, and how to keep the price down by capitalizing on critique groups and self-editing.



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Cradle to the Cross by Jill English Johnston


20161216_160922.jpgI bring you good news of great

joy… Luke 2:10 (ESV)


A cross made of twisted branches stands near the front of the country church’s sanctuary. Each season, it is draped in different colored fabrics and this morning it wears a rich Christmas garment. Next to the cross sits a similarly crafted manger, with entwined branches framing its shape and hay filling its trough, signifying the coming birth.

Other decorations proclaim the joyful season. Poinsettias crowd around the pulpit, greenery and candles trim the windowsills, and an enormous wreath hangs on the back wall. Christmas music fills the morning air and everyone sings along to “What Child is This?”

As the last chorus fades, sunlight breaks through the clouds and streams through the windows. Warm light floods the front of the church, creating a cross-shaped shadow that falls across the little manger.  The hushed moment gives testimony to something greater to the season than the expectation of a little baby.

Jesus, our Immanuel, fulfilled God’s promise; however the shadow of his purpose fell across him from the moment of his birth. The angels sang, “Peace on earth, goodwill to men,” but eventually Jesus would set his feet resolutely toward Jerusalem, faithfully obeying his Heavenly Father, even to death. Yet that was not the end. Like the sunlight beyond the cross, life lies beyond his birth and his death.


Thank You, Father, for Jesus who came to be our joy and peace, through His birth, His death, and His resurrection. Amen


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The Gift–The Most Powerful Force in the World by Van S. Mabrito



For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NKJV)


The newborn babe lay in the animal trough surrounded by smelly critters and awestruck parents. Unknown to the world, the most powerful force on earth rested in that rough crib: the love of God.

We who have been transformed by Jesus’ love know its power.  Besides restoring my shipwrecked life, many instances of the  power of His love come to mind.

I love attending the National Day of Prayer where Christians gather to worship and pray together. Often protestors—usually atheists—come to display their displeasure. While some Christians are intimidated, I love to engage the protestors with Jesus’ love. One day,  I was privileged to pray twice for apparent atheists by showing kindness and interest in them. On another occasion, a  protestor became belligerent when I said to her, “God bless you.” When I gently replied with “God loves you,” her anger melted under the kindness of Jesus.

I’ve seen the down-and-out, the lonely and broken-hearted, the comfortable but quietly despairing made new by this love of  Heaven.

This love of God in Jesus: the gift we can receive and give away to change our world.



Father, teach us to overcome the fear, hate and anger that confronts us often daily with the love of Jesus—the power to overcome evil with good and change our world. Amen


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The Joy in Life by Christine Henderson



You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever – Psalm 16:11 NASB



20161216_160831.jpgAs a young child, I would squeal with delight rushing downstairs to see what gifts were under the tree for me. I couldn’t wait to discover a dress for my favorite doll, the latest toy or new game. I felt those moments of sheer joy could never be topped.

As I grew into an adult, other events brought me joy — like the heart-fluttering day I married the love of my life. How could any Christmas gift top that sweet joy?

Being a Christian, I know that one day those joys will pale compared to one new morning when I celebrate a very special Christmas (or Festival of Jesus according to its Old English meaning) as I am re-born into a new life in heaven with my Lord. There, every day will be a festival as we sing praises to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.



Lord Jesus, I thank you for the daily blessings you send    my way to bring me joy. I look forward to the day when     my life will be complete as I stand in your presence           full of everlasting joy. Amen


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At Christmas by Paula Price


blue star

There are different types of gifts, but the same  spirit distributes them all. 1 Corinthians 12:4 (ESV)


My brother married into a very disciplined home, but it has been fun!


Each Christmas they settle around the Christmas tree “the giver of gifts” passes out the presents.  Then, one at a time, starting with the youngest child, each one shows their gift, says who gave what gift, and what it is. This is followed by the oohing and ahhing, and some laughter.


When the middle child opened a pair of pajamas, her face said it all! When you have a family of four kids with breaks for going to the bathroom and for eating breakfast, this can last for three hours, but the kids of all ages seem to enjoy it!




Please Lord make me as grateful for all my gifts    as these little ones are. Amen.


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Birthday by Terry Beard


cropped-20151130_174714.jpgToday a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.” Luke 2:11 (HCSB)


The music plays so softly

Twinkling lights aglow

Waiting for His birthday

The children love Him so.


With much anticipation

Decorating has begun

Patience is an attribute

For even the smallest one.


Paper chains encircle

The large green Christmas tree

Homemade decorations

The best I’ve ever seen.


A pause—oh so important

Amidst decorating fun

Remember why we celebrate

Jesus Christ has come!



Dear Lord, thank You for sending Your Son!  Please help us see   Your birthday through the loving eyes of a child.  You are our        only link to heaven!  Amen


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Kindness for Strangers by Marie C. Senter


Be kind and compassionate to one another…

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)


Combine kernels of oats with wild honey, finely-chopped nut meats, add mashed dates, roll out, allow to dry―ta da! In the future, this combination of ingredients will be named pemmican, granola bar, survival food. Ancient nutritionists were inventive in combining basic, commonly-grown food stuffs to construct energy sustaining bars. For Mary, this simple gift of fruit, grain, and nuts was a strength-saving gift of the innkeeper’s wife

cropped-20151130_174714.jpgIt took the mindless power of government to insist on in-person presence for the census body count to be precise. Of no consequence, distance or physical danger in travel. Joseph and Mary had little choice. They arrived in Bethlehem only to be told, “No room in the Inn.” We can imagine the shock of being told there was no room as the first birth pangs of delivery started. Now, surely, if you think—or ever thought about it—Joseph, a carpenter, would not be first on call to deliver a baby.

Concatenation and d.D.i. (direct Divine intervention) were alive and well that night. Rejoice in a Heavenly Father who would provide a qualified person to appear at that crucial hour. The innkeeper’s wife was likely the local curandero, doctor, midwife. The stable, crude and unheated but secure from the elements, became the ultimate birthing suite.



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