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A grace note

Pay your do’s

Notifying winners in our Pentecostal Evangel Writers Contest is a fun part of my job. I usually ask: "What are you going to do with your prize money?"

Bryan Phelps, teen-category winner, plans to pay for his parking sticker at the University of Northern Colorado. Patricia Miller, first-place winner, will contribute to her church’s building fund.

What should I do with my God-given talent? is a question every aspiring writer will eventually ask himself/herself.

For an answer, I asked Kristy Roberts Dykes, a frequent contributor to the Pentecostal Evangel and now a published book author. (Kristy’s first fiction story, American Dream, was released this year by Barbour Publishing. Set in the 1800s, the book celebrates the faith of American immigrants.)

Kristy, wife of Assemblies of God minister Milton Dykes, lives in Tampa, Fla. She says to aspiring writers: "Just pay your do’s."

• Do rest in your call. "He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24, NKJV). Even when rejection slips pile up, keep trusting that God will bring this ministry to fruition in your life.

• Do everything you know to do — diligently. "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Take courses; listen to teaching tapes; join a critique group; go to writers conferences.

• Do not want "it" above the Lord. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). Make your relationship with the Lord your priority.

And Kristy says, "Remember the three Ts — talent, timing and tenacity."

Talent is God’s responsibility. He gives it, but you must develop it.

Timing is God’s responsibility. He grants it, but you must wait until He does.

Tenacity is your responsibility. A synonym for tenacity is courage.

Because Kristy persevered with her call to the ministry of Christian writing, she recently received the Persistence Award from American Christian Writers. Early in her effort, she says she "checked out armloads of books about writing and studied them." After having some articles published (now more than 600), she went to college and earned a degree in mass communications/journalism.

As a result, Kristy’s new book is a page turner. "That’s music to an author’s ears," she says. "Readers comment again and again, ‘Once I started reading American Dream, I couldn’t put it down.’"

Your dream to write is doable … now do it.

— Ann Floyd


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