You Can Count On One Thing

Autumn is my favorite season of the year. How about you? To me, the fall weather is perfect. I love the cooler temperature, for one. Not too hot and not too cold. Just perfect. With the change in the season comes changes in our daily activities. Summer fun ends and turns to the excitement of a new school year and making new friends. To evening strolls so I can appreciate the amazing colorful leaves. Autumn also brings with it the anticipation that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner.

Can you believe it’s October already? I can feel the excitement in the air. But all too soon, this too will come to an end and the leaves will drop, leaving the trees bare, and winter will be here before I’ve gotten my fill of autumn. I have no choice but to accept the change and the fact that all things must come to an end.

Well, maybe not all. . .

There are endless ways in which I could spin this blog post, but today I’m leaning toward God’s love. His love is unconditional, everlasting and will endure forever. There is no end to God’s love.

So this is a reminder that no matter what else is changing in your life, no matter what you’ve been counting on only to be disappointed, remember that God’s love will not fail. That is the one thing you can count on.


Psalm 136:26 “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”

I have a small addition to my devotional. This week is book release week for me. SUBMERGED releases this week. Though it’s a fall release, it’s a Christmas book. SUBMERGED is book 4 in Mountain Cove.Submerged Cover

With Christmas just around the corner, Cobie MacBride wants closure in the case of her missing father. But when a visit to the last place he was seen leads to an attack by a masked assailant, Cobie knows she’s in over her head. Running for her life, she never expected to find safety with Adam Warren—the man she blames for her brother’s death. Seeking answers leads them to a treasure ship, buried secrets…and deadly danger. Christmas could find them starting a new future—if they can avoid getting trapped in the perils of the past.

MOUNTAIN COVE: In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide

You can purchase SUBMERGED anywhere Harlequin Love Inspired books are sold, but here is the Amazon link. For more purchasing options, visit my website

And please, if you’d like information about upcoming releases sign up for my newsletter while you visit my website.

goddard-LR-new-4 (2) blackandwhiteElizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty-five romance novels and counting. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated with a B.S. degree in computer science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dream of becoming an author. She currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and children.


It’s that time of year when my royalty statements come in, from four different companies. Believe me, it cost more to send a couple of them than the amount printed on the statements.

What’s the best royalty statement (or check) you ever got?

Many of us are disappointed, or begrudgingly shake our heads with acceptance of a small or non-existent royalty because we’re still earning out our advance.

It’s easy to wonder… is it worth it? And when e-book publishers give royalties only, “No advance” doesn’t motivate like a contract with at least a small advance.

We don’t write for money? No… but if we don’t get money with writing, we have to get a paying job, so yes we want money so we can write.

Sort of reminds me of “good works don’t save you, only acceptance of Jesus” and yet, if we are saved and have Jesus then good works follow. James says, “faith without works is dead.” The two go together.

How nice if writing and money could go together. Other professions in which Christians work pay money, including the ministry/work of a pastor. The primary purpose isn’t for money, but without the money how does one survive?

My first published piece was seven rhyming lines of iambic pentameter for which I received $2.57 (strange amount) – was it worth it? Oh yes, happiness galore, great joy. I became a published writer, a professional making money, and that’s before I even attended a writers conference.

When I am penniless (almost) and bewail my plight of poverty, I get a letter or email saying how my book changed a life.

My book, In Shady Groves (story of Hosea and Gomer), helped save a marriage. A man called me and thanked me (later sent me a gift). His wife could not forgive herself for her actions and this book helped her realize God forgives her, her husband forgave her, and she could forgive herself. There’s no amount of money worth that!

One of my novels had a main character who visited the young woman she had sponsored when they both were young. Other of my stories included mention of sponsoring children in other countries. Readers have written to say those stories influenced them to sponsor a child. Maybe the money on the royalty statement didn’t show a lot of sales, but if one child was given a chance in life by a reader, because of the story, then that’s the payment.

A woman wrote to me, saying she was not a Christian but my book made her think, and she was going to read it again. That’s a better reward than a few dollars.

Most writers have stories like that to tell. That’s why it makes me wonder about the phrase, “don’t self promote.” I have yet to hear a writer promote self. We promote our books, articles, devotions, etc. that God has enabled us to create, and these stories touch other lives. The product of our profession needs to be promoted.

But… at those times of the year when royalty statements come and they are a disappointment we can thank God we are in a profession that ministers and touches the lives of others in positive ways. And as I write, I probably learn the faith message embedded, and need it, even more than my readers.

Through the years I’ve probably bemoaned my failure about royalty statements more than I have thanked God for the surprising ones and even a couple abundant ones (never got rich!).

Eventually, I think about my best royalty statement. Galatians 3:26 says, “You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Jesus Christ is King of kings, Lord of lords. I’m his child. That makes me a princess.

What better Royalty Statement could there be?

YVONNE LEHMAN is author of 56 novels, founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, and is now director of the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat held October 18-22. Registration now ongoing. Click Novel Retreat or Great faculty: DiAnn Mills, Lynette Eason, Eva Marie Everson, Eddie Jones, Torry Martin, Edie Melson, Robert Whitlow, Diana Flegal, Lori Marett, Ann Tatlock. We’ll see Robert’s movie, Mountain Top, have a six-hour class on Social Media, have critiques, contests, classes on craft of writing including writing scripts. Also private appointments with faculty and half a day on Brainstorming. Would love for you to join us!

Time goes by!

I was recently reminded of the time one of my clocks stopped working. I put a new battery in, and immediately it started ticking again—backwards! When I showed it to my husband he laughed and said he was feeling younger already.

Snow_White_CostumeThe memory was the perfect accompaniment to another task I’ve been doing lately: cleaning out cabinets, separating trash from treasure. One of the treasures I came across was this old picture of my mom, taken when she was a teen. She and her own mom made the Snow White costume for my mom to wear to a Halloween party they were hosting. I have pictures of people dunking for apples with a table filled with scads of food in the background, a decorated basement and various costumes typical of the time. Girls dressed like old men in their father’s then-stylish suits, topped with ties and bowler hats, others posing as Betty Boop or hula girls. Innocent fun compared to some of the depictions of Halloween today, I guess!

My mom’s been gone over eight years now, and as I recall her life it’s hard to imagine her as the teen of this picture. It’s fun to remember that both my mom and her sister, after raising families of their own, would sometimes dress up when answering the door on Halloween to hand out candy. On another occasion I remember my mom gathering all us six kids, our spouses and kids for another Halloween party. Although this time she was dressed as a fairy princess, she told me her all-time favorite costume was Snow White. With the wistful tone of her voice, I totally believed her, and finding this old picture with the same smile on her face confirms it.

I guess this is all on my mind because despite today’s hot weather, it’s nearly the start of another new season. Regardless of my faulty clock, time never goes backwards. Today I’m getting together with a woman who has been my friend since we first met back in fourth grade. I’m blessed to say we have one of those timeless relationships that during various seasons when life took us in different directions, we were always able to pick up our friendship again no matter how much time has gone by. These days we live less than an hour apart, so we’ve made it a point to meet on a regular basis. We’ve both learned if you don’t prioritize time, other demands too easily waste it away.

Today’s post is a bit of a mind-ramble, but I think it comes with this reminder: time goes on faster than we think, so make sure you’re spending it in a way you can look back on with a smile!


When my great-American, best-selling, internationally-acclaimed novel was rejected, resulting in my becoming physically ill and spiritually deficient, I had to re-think what this writing life was all about. Perhaps God wasn’t going to put a novel in my brain, let it flow from my fingertips, and maybe He didn’t really want to work for me as my agent and earn 10%.

Thinking I might have more to learn, had only a high school education at the time, I began taking one literature, then English, course at a time and discovered there was more to writing than my inspired thoughts. I needed the review of basic grammar. I needed the rules of good writing, the confirmation that I did some things right, and the challenge of becoming like published writers who had experienced rejection and disappointment, but never gave up although it took many years before they were published.

I learned that Writing is a profession and my goal at that beginning and early stage should not be instant publication. My goal should be learning the craft, just as anyone must learn the craft of whatever job or profession he enters. One may have a certain expertise, natural inclination, or tendency but there is still the requirement of learning the craft and practicing what one learns. There should never be a time when one stops learning.

I became delighted with everything I learned and could incorporate into my writing. I started the Blue Ridge Conference, then began to teach classes, critique students materials, and mentor because those who have gone before me had taught me. They encouraged, motivated, challenged, and inspired me. I want to pass it on.

I want other writers to reach their potential, have the joy of the writing journey, and find where God leads them in this profession. That’s why it’s so thrilling to me when students make comments like these:

“My first article was just accepted. I wanted you to know. Thank you for the conference.”

“Thank you for your encouraging critique. I believe that I am learning a good bit and that gives me a great deal of happiness. I realize there’s still a long way to go, but I am enjoying the journey.”

“I cannot thank you enough for your time and feedback. I have moved forward on several projects.”

“A week and a half until Christmas! I am thankful for the instruction and encouragement because it has kept me writing a bit more than I might have otherwise through this busy season. Good to remember that I CAN make time to keep writing through December.”

Ah, I think, it is I who am blessed to have the privilege and opportunity to be used by God and give back a little of what others have given to me through the years.

After directing the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, I turned it over to Alton Gansky, who is doing a magnificent job with it, as I expected. Now I’m directing the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat held annually, (October 18-22, 2015) at Ridgecrest Conference Center (western NC).

Along with classes on novel writing we’re offering a six-hour course in the all-important Social Media (taught by the experts: Edie Melson and DiAnn Mills).  This is an opportunity to talk with faculty, editors, agent, enter contests, get critiques, hear Robert Whitlow and see his movie, Mountain Top. There’s the opportunity to learn from Eva Marie Everson, Lynette Eason, Eddie Jones, Torry Martin, Lori Marett, Ann Tatlock and Diana Flegal.

And it’s not all novel. There’s script writing, brainstorming, private appointments, critiques, contest awards, prize drawings, book signings. Other than having 56 novels out there, I’m now into non-fiction with my series of Moments books (50+ articles in each). Some of these authors do not claim to be “writers” but have stories they want to tell. Come and learn about that!

To register for the novel retreat got to: http://ridgecrestconferencecenter/event/novelist, or call 800.588.7222. For additional information contact me:

How’s Your Acting Ability?

This is one of the most off-beat pieces I’m going to write because I’m so NOT an expert in the field of behavior control–or acting, as it’s called in one book I’m studying. I’m still learning. I did dream of becoming an actress when I was about ten years old, but I don’t think that counts.

Did you know that feeling one way and behaving a different way can be stressful? Yeah, I know, everyone knew that but me. For instance, if you’re angry with your boss or coworker or client, but you have to put on a happy face, that’s hard on you emotionally.

Now I know why I’m so stressed when dealing with the public, introvert that I am. I once broke out in a storm of perspiration when faced with a long line of readers at a book signing. It was great to see all those people lined up to get a copy of my book, but I still felt the stress when I pasted on a bright smile and took pictures and hammed it up. Remembering that stress helps me identify with the staff that works with us at our clinic.

Whether we deal with the public on a daily basis or hide away and work in seclusion most of the time, I think we occasionally find ourselves forcing a smile we don’t feel. Those of us who work in service fields are especially susceptible to burnout. The medical field is a very difficult one. It helps to be an extravert when working with others, and most of our staff members are extraverts, but it isn’t vital.

I’m taking a self-taught course in managing a medical staff, and I’m learning a lot. Among other books, I’ve been reading one titled Organisational Behaviour For Dummies, which, as you can probably tell by the spelling, was written by someone in the UK. I’ve been intrigued to learn that there are two different kinds of behavior upon which to draw when you want to leave a good impression in public.

There is a form of acting that is merely “faking it,” which means you paste on a smile you don’t feel, which looks obviously fake to others, and you tough it out. I read that this leaves you with the most amount of stress, and leaves the client/patient/customer with a poorer impression of you. In other words, with most people it’s obvious you’re faking. If you find yourself doing this often, check your stress level and see if you can learn a different way of dealing with people.

A business in the service industry thrives on meeting the needs of others with kindness and consideration. No matter how we feel about our lives at the moment, strangers on the street, customers, patients, and clients all need to see a face of genuine compassion and kindness from us, so forcing a fake smile doesn’t help anyone.

The other form of friendly behavior when dealing with the public is deep acting, when you dig deeply into your heart and try to identify with another person. Although this, too, is stressful, it apparenly isn’t as damaging to the psyche. Sure, you can take on so much of another person’s pain and suffering that you’re affected long after she’s gone, but genuine compassion and kindness goes a long way toward helping not only your own stress, but it leaves the other person feeling validated. Feelings of kindness and compassion far surpass feelings of resentment and impatience.

Working in the medical field calls for sincere compassion for people, and I can see the stress in the faces of our staff when we’ve had a busy day, or when we’ve had patients in a lot of pain or are even facing death. That stress is worse when we have antagonistic or demanding patients, and it makes for a stressful work environment for everyone. Calling up compassion for bullies is very difficult, indeed–and something for all of us to remember when WE become the demanding or angry patient. Keep in mind that a gentle answer turns away wrath. It’s just difficult to bring up the compassion to keep that answer gentle in the face of animosity.

A well-known psychologist recently remarked that if you work in the service industry–especially if you’re responsible for staff in the medical field–you need to learn how to physically leave the problems of others at the door as you walk out. When I take my badge off and prepare to go home at night, I try to physically leave the stressors, the pain, the staff worries and upsets with that badge on the desk. It’s a work in progress.


Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Christian Novelist Retreat
Retreat for writers wanting to learn more about the craft and creativity of writing novels – all genres – contemporary and historical

October 18-22, 2015

Theme: Hope in the middle of faith and love. – I Corinthians 13:13

It’s HOT, HOT, HOT – unseasonably so – right now in these mountains

but… this too shall pass

And all that will be HOT in a few months is that book you’re working on

– or thinking about –

Time to improve it, work on it, brainstorm it, get it critiqued,

enter it into a contest, and/or show it to an editor/agent!

October is the peak season for leaf color in the mountains of western North Carolina and the perfect time for novelists to gather for inspiration, encouragement, improving skills and practicing creativity. If you don’t have an idea in mind, we’ll help you find that too.

Small, intimate group. Please register early. – Ridgecrest: 1.800.588.7222 –


Ridgecrest/LifeWay Conference Center, Ridgecrest, NC

(twenty minutes east of Asheville—home of the famous Biltmore House and Gardens)

All sleeping rooms and classes for the Novel Retreat are in Mountain Laurel Hotel

Ridgecrest Novelist Pricing:

Program Fee – $325 full time

Program Fee – $120 for one day

Program Fee – $60 for one-half day

Mountain Laurel Lodging (per room, per night:

Single $69, Double $69, Triple $79, Quad $89

Meal Package – $96 per person (Sunday dinner – Thursday lunch)

TEACHING FACULTY: They don’t come any better than these!

Lynette Eason (widely-acclaimed suspense writer,speaker,award)

Eva Marie Everson (FCWC director, best-seller, pres.WordWeavers,editor)

Eddie Jones (author, speaker, publisher Lighthouse of the Carolinas)

Yvonne Lehman (conference director 30+ years, 56 novels, 5 non-fiction, editor)

Torry Martin (anything creative!author,actor,speaker,you name it!)

DiAnn Mills (50+ best selling novels, suspense, multiple Christy winner)

Edie Melson (best-selling books, Guideposts blogger, Social Media expert)

Robert Whitlow (best-selling thrillers, movies, we’ll show his movie Mountain Top)

Diana Flegal (Hartline agent, speaker, author)

Lori Marett (award-winning scripts, DVD movie Meant to Be)

Ann Tatlock (adult and children’s books, multiple Christy winner, editor LPC)

Deborah Harvey (music and worship leader)

(in addition to novel classes, we offer Social Media instruction, script writing,



(for discounts:


Mythic structure, archetypes, ideas, senses, social media, compelling protagonist & antagonist, scenes, scriptwriting, movie making, cozy mystery, point of no-return, writing as extended ministry, seat-of-pants suspense, top ten mistakes, comedy for stage & screen, romance, query letter, cover blurb, changing state of publishing, character arc, plot, tension, Goodreads/Pinterest/etc., write for your life, dialogue, successful critique groups, advanced characterization, synopsis, dialogue that sings/dances/plays piano, genre & brainstorming


Inspiration, encouragement, association, great food (you don’t have to cook and wash the dishes!), classes in one building, beautiful spacious rooms, indescribably beautiful views, maybe a black bear or so, bookstore, signings, Moments presentations and opportunities, one-on-one with faculty whether or not you pitch…just discuss,

writing time, worship, music, fun, laughter



Summer Reads and Movies

11424659_577268585748361_8873474521910097599_oI think summer is passing me by and I haven’t started having fun yet. How about you? I’m a home schooling mom and also write novels so the summer gives me a break from the toughest part of my day so that I can focus more on writing my novels. But this girl also wants to have fun! (I’m hearing Cindy Lauper in my head now)

Since I have a little more free time in the summer, of course we do the usual activities of swimming and hiking and picnicking. But I can also watch more movies and read more books–all part of having fun and part of my job. That’s right–I have the best job in the world.  When looking for new inspiration or ideas it helps to watch lots of movies and read widely.

Recently I considered revisiting some classics and thought about the old Alfred Hitchcock movie,  North by Northwest with Cary Grant. I had used a similar Frank Lloyd Wright house used in the movie for a setting in my last novel, after all, I might as well watch the movie. But I never got around to watching it. And the next thing you know, I was heading with my family to Rapid City, North Dakota for an impromptu trip that had nothing at all to do with the movie! My husband was speaking at a church there, doing his sermon on the potter’s wheel. In the meantime, we were able to visit the sights including Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Custer State Park where we saw buffalo herds and prairie dogs. I’ve never seen prairie dogs before. Cute!

We didn’t get time to see any of the movie-related sights for North by Northwest or Dances with Wolves, but when I got home, I put both movies on Netflix and I watched North by Northwest last night. The movie was slower than I remembered, but that’s how old movies are. We live in such a fast-paced world and want stories to move along quickly these days. I enjoyed watching Cary and his damsel in distress climbing on Mt. Rushmore or at least a set, since I had just visited.

I decided to make a list of classics to watch this summer so I’m asking for suggestions? What are some of your favorite old and recommended movies?

Experience Jesus

When was the last time you read a book that stayed with you, that reminded you over and over again that there’s a better way to look at life? As readers, we likely get tidbits from any kind of book we read that opens our eyes to something inspiring, or we probably wouldn’t be avid readers. Those of us who blog on this site always hope to touch hearts and change lives, which is on reason why we keep writing. Sure, there are other reasons, but for most of us our high comes from knowing we’ve touched the lives of others with the words we’ve written.

Thanks to a friend’s recommendation a couple of weeks ago I dowloaded the latest release by Bill Myers entitled The Jesus Experience: Journey Deeper into the Heart of God. The message I received from this gifted man was profound and life changing–even though I’ve learned the lesson multiple times before: Get to know Jesus. Love Him before you do anything else. Love God with all your life. Out of that love will flow the fruits of the Spirit that God calls us to utilize, but first we must love. I know the others who blog on this site have been saying the same thing–Love God. Love others. Love must be in our hearts before any of our works for Him can be meaningful.

I found it interesting that the Sunday morning after I completed reading Bill’s book, our Sunday school class discussed the difference between faith and works, the differences between the sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. We agreed that the reason we gathered together at church was to love God–before anything else. Church attendance means nothing to God unless we meet together to love Him.

But of course, Bill writes the words in such an interesting way, at times humorous, at times heart-rending, and because of his own walk with Christ and his journey into knowing Jesus more completely, his words resonate in ways I fear mine haven’t always done. But I plan to start, and the way I’ll start is by drawing closer to Him, by loving Him above all things, by clinging to Him in everything, and considering all trials, all joys, to be something I’m sharing with Him.

I highly recommend The Jesus Experience. I think if you read it you’ll be glad you did.

Be Ye Kind

Rocky Waters

Rocky Waters

Once upon a time I had an English teacher who criticized the class for using the word “nice.” She felt we needed to be more creative, that the word was overused. Most of the class members could not have cared less, but being a lover of English I remember that specific word all these years later. I still disagree with her even though I understood her concern. My own concern, however, is that there simply isn’t enough nice in the world these days.

Here in the Midwest you will find courteous people everywhere, but there are just enough instances when someone is having a bad day that he/she can make the whole week worse for everyone.

Now that I’ve entered the world again and am no longer working at home, I’ve discovered, to my chagrin, that I don’t handle discourtesy well. It makes ME discourteous. I will hang up if a caller becomes verbally abusive, and have also told our employees to courteously disconnect to avoid abuse. If a store clerk–or worse, a store manager–is discourteous to me, I will not enter that store again. I realize some people simply don’t know how to behave in public, but I’m sorry, I might pray for that person, I will try hard to be courteous as long as possible, but someone who is hateful, mean, abusive, or simply takes his or her frustration out on others is like a creek bed filled with rocks. Those rocks affect the waters, and it makes for a very rough ride if you’re floating down that creek. In order to protect myself and employees from the rough waters, I disconnect.

The Bible says “Be ye kind one to another…” Boy, ain’t that the truth. When we aren’t, it makes life rough for everyone. Please think about your behavior toward the people in areas of service when you’re out shopping, eating, seeing the doctor, exercising. Another teacher of mine once taught our class members to smile at one another. A smile portrays kindness. Let your eyes fill with the warmth of a true smile when you encounter others and spread some niceness. Maybe that’s a trite word, but it makes a world of difference in the world.

I wish you a peaceful, nice-filled week. Try a smile or two and see if it doesn’t lift your spirits.


The third book in the Moments series has been released. Twenty-four of the forty-two authors who contributed their stories were presented with their one-free-book at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference last Monday evening, May 18.

Many of the authors have their first publication in these Moments books. Others are multi-published. The content is stories about the power of words—negative, positive, and God’s words.

The first spoken words we have recorded are God’s words, when…in the beginning he said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. Then he sent Jesus to be the light of this world in a different way. When Jesus returned to his heavenly home he left us with the instruction to be, “the light of the world.”

As authors of these Moments books, we hope to entertain, inspire, encourage, and relate as we share our joys and failures and the presence of God in our lives. The authors joyfully relate their experiences, get no monetary compensation, and donate all royalties to Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.

Spoken Moments Front Cover (1)

 Other books in the series are Divine Moments and Christmas Moments. Now, Spoken Moments has fifty-two articles about the power of words. They can hurt, they can heal, but most important these stories lead to Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, who saves.

Some of the stories are wonderfully entertaining. Others impress upon us the importance and impact of words, whether we speak them, write them, or show them in action.

Other Moments books to be released this year are Precious Momentsby, with, about Children and Christmas Moments Book #2.

I am now acquiring articles for Stupid Moments. Not that I think any of you readers are, um…stupid, but many of us have times when we were in embarrassing or humiliating situations that we like to share that make others laugh and help us laugh at ourselves. Then there are times when we feel ridiculous. Other times our foolish moments might have that faith element, such as having resisted accepting Jesus or allowing him to be Lord of our lives. We may have yielded to temptation, or held onto unforgiveness which hurt us more than it hurt the one we should forgive.

If you would like to contribute to Stupid Moments, send your “moment” which may be as simple as saying you can’t find your car keys and you’re holding them in your hand. Or these may be articles of 500 to 3000 words. Content is more important than word count. If you dare share…send your moment or article attached to an email, Times New Roman, 12 point type, to Many of us like to hear about others’ “stupid” moments, whether funny or serious. Christmas stories are also welcomed for a future book.

Please let others know about these books. They have life-changing qualities.

Oldies But Goodies

We love movies at my house and why not, I’m a storyteller and my children have the bug too. Have you ventured into the movie theaters lately or watched at home some of the recent “Bible” movies such as Noah or Exodus? I was excited to see more Biblical movies made and hoped for inspiration such as I saw in The Prince of Egypt animated film, which was filled with an inspiring script and music to stir my spirit.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for these recent Hollywood films. I was okay with Noah (even the angels turned into rock people) until that last act and I could hardly stomach watching Noah trying to kill his grandchildren in what he thought was obedience to God.

But then we rented Exodus with Christian Bale. Rare is the movie that I can’t watch to it’s conclusion, but the director took artistic license to an entirely new level with his re-imagining of Moses and the Exodus story. I would have been okay with watching it if there had been any sense of anointing. Something that I could see God in–but this movie not only lacked inspiration, it was downright debasing, in my opinion. You might have seen it and loved it. I could no longer stomach it and went to my room to watch something else. Eventually my husband followed. He didn’t finish it either.

And what did the kiddoes have to say about it? “Mom, can we watch The Prince of Egypt to get the Exodus movie out of our heads?” Now that is saying something.

So not only did we watch The Prince of Egypt, and cried with the music (me, mostly) but we ordered the TWO DVD’s of The Ten Commandments (Charleston Heston) on Netflix. I used to own the anniversary special edition, or whatever it’s called, on VHS, but alas, I no longer have the VHS player or tapes. The kids did not watch The Ten Commandments years ago when I put it on. They were too young to remember anyway. I’m thinking we should start watching it again once a year on Easter, like I did growing up when it was on TV–back before we could watch anything, anywhere, anytime.

It took us two evenings to watch the movie, and even though it was made in the 1950’s and has obvious inaccuracies to the true story, it still inspires. We chuckled over the Hebrews’ use of King James English, but all agreed that the scene of the Red Sea parting is by far the most moving, and the best in terms of drama and inspiration, compared to other movies tackling the same event. I also enjoyed the beginning where filmmaker Cecil B DeMille stepped from behind the curtains to introduce the movie, explaining the texts they used to research in creating Moses’s missing years.

And in his voice, I heard an awe and reverence for God. I heard “the fear of the Lord.”

It saddens me that we seem to have lost that and hence, we must return to the oldies, but goodies, to find it in movies made by God-fearing directors.

How about you? What oldies but goodies have you watched lately? What Biblical movies have you enjoyed?


Elizabeth Goddard

Do Not Worry, Part 2: Eagles

On my last post, DO NOT WORRY,  I shared that when I wake up in the morning I dread the day, and that I’ve made a conscious effort and have chosen to celebrate the day, and give God the glory. I’m happy to report that my days have improved as long as I choose to “think on these things,” and have a grateful heart. That, instead of letting all the burdens of life weigh me down.


I’m a pastor’s wife, writer and home schooling three boys, which means I simply have too much to do. But isn’t it that way for most modern women? We want to do it all. Everyone expects us to do it all, or at least try. So I have my fingers in too many pies and I’m trying to eat them all. No wonder I’m overweight! Sorry for the bad joke. I’m leaving it in the post though to keep things transparent. Ha!


Today I’m taking my previous post deeper. I had a dream the other night. In the dream, there were eagles everywhere on the walls. Carvings and paintings and mosaics, you name it. I thought nothing more about the dream or the eagles until the next day when I saw a bald eagle on Facebook then the dream came rushing back at me in full detail. Has that ever happened to you?



Bald Eagle soaring high above the Mississippi River

And I knew there was something about those eagles.


I tromped down the stairs to the office and booted up the old clunker desktop. This detail is important because on the way down the steps, I started humming that old song, “They that wait upon the Lord. . .” You know the one. It’s basically the Bible verse about eagles.



But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 



Over the years, I’ve heard many teachings about this verse, but decided to do some research on my own as a reminder and possibly  find a new truth or a new spiritual nugget.  I read about how eagles have heavy wings and how they patiently wait for the thermal that they can ride so they can conserve their energy, and soar even higher.


They don’t have to use their own energy.  They simply spread their wings and ride the wind.


And I realized, that’s what God wants from me—to wait for that thermal. To wait for Him so I, too, can spread my wings and ride the thermal. So I can soar even higher than  is possible on my own.


I’ve taken on so much, in fact, more than He ever would have wanted from me. It’s all in my own power and strength, and not in His power and strength. Sure, we have to work hard, but there is a better way that doesn’t require striving.


I admit, I’m still trying to let go of the burdens, and I’m still trying to figure out how to “wait” on Him, but the realization that there is a better way. . .well, that has already shifted much of the burden from my shoulders.


Now, I’m going to wait on that thermal. Join me?


goddard-LR-new-4 (2) blackandwhitebackfire coverElizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty romance and romantic suspense novels and counting. To find out more, visit her website at

COMING SOON: Backfire, (Mountain Cove book 3) Fleeing Alaska and cutting all ties could be the only way to survive…but it would mean leaving her heart behind.





Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Christian Novelist Retreat

Retreat for writers wanting to learn more about the craft and creativity of writing novels – all genres – contemporary and historical

OCTOBER 18-22, 2015

Theme: Hope in the middle of faith and love. – I Corinthians 13:13

October is the peak season for leaf color in the mountains of western North Carolina and the perfect time for novelists to gather for inspiration, encouragement, improving skills and practicing creativity. If you don’t have an idea in mind, we’ll help you find that too.

($25 discount on tuition if register by May 31). – Ridgecrest: 1.800.588.7222 –


Ridgecrest/LifeWay Conference Center, Ridgecrest, NC

(twenty minutes east of Asheville—home of the famous Biltmore House and Gardens)

All sleeping rooms and classes for the Novel Retreat are in Mountain Laurel Hotel

Ridgecrest Novelist Pricing:

Program Fee – $325 full time

(save $25 if register before May 31)

Program Fee – $120 for one day

Program Fee – $60 for one-half day

Mountain Laurel Lodging (per room, per night:

Single $69, Double $69, Triple $79, Quad $89

Meal Package – $96 per person (Sunday dinner – Thursday lunch)

TEACHING FACULTY: Lynette Eason, Eva Marie Everson, Eddie Jones, Yvonne Lehman, Torry Martin,

DiAnn Mills, Edie Melson, Robert Whitlow – MENTORS: Diana Flegal, Lori Marett, Ann Tatlock

CLASSES on craft, creativity, beginning writing, advanced writing, social media,

and showing of Robert Whitlow’s new movie, Mountain Top



On a writing loop I saw where a writer friend’s book was a finalist in a contest. I emailed him and copied the section showing his being a finalist and wrote, “Don’t you think you have something to tell your writer friends?”

He answered that he rejects any possibilities of bragging.

That totally surprised me. I wasn’t asking him to brag, but to share.

Of course, anyone has the right to reveal or keep quiet about their accomplishments. Then I recalled another friend who recently received a book contract after learning, trying, writing, re-writing, being critiqued for several years. She emailed me and asked if I would let our writers group know.

I said, “Absolutely not. For years we have supported you with prayers and effort and you weren’t quiet about what you were trying to do. Now, don’t be quiet about having one of your dreams come true. You tell it…with excitement and joy.”

She did, and we all rejoiced.

I remembered that she, too, had been reluctant. Is it because we hear phrases like, “shameless promotion” of one’s published books? It’s often said as if shameless means shameful. I think the shameless should mean we may promote without shame. Writing is a profession. What business or profession doesn’t promote?

That prompted me to look at DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS:

BRAG: pompous or boastful statement; arrogant talk or manner; cockiness, braggart; to assert boastfully – BOAST: assert with excessive pride (I would not recommend that!)

SHARE: to partake of, use, experience, occupy, or enjoy with others; often used with with; to talk about one’s thoughts, feelings, or experiences with others (I like that!)

PROMOTE: to contribute to the growth or prosperity of; to present (merchandise) for buyer acceptance through advertising and publicity (Who wouldn’t recommend that?)

And then, there’s further explanation. BRAGGING RIGHTS is entitlement to boast about something. BOASTING may imply a claiming with proper and justifiable pride (my note: such as finally meeting your goal or dream)

Pride may be negative or positive. We certainly need to guard against false pride or lack of humility. But hiding our light under a bushel is not humility. Jesus says to let our light shine.

A runner in town has medals hanging in his Running Shop of about 50 races in which he’s participated. I don’t know if he won. He ran the races. And he sells racing clothes, shoes, water bottles, accessories, health products to use while running. Is he bragging? No, he’s saying he’s qualified to help you. He knows something about what a runner needs on his feet, on his body, in his body. He’s saying, “I know from experience what it means to work at something and succeed (whether or not he got first prize).

As a Christian, I am well aware that all I have, including the air I breathe, comes from God. I cannot write one word without his allowing it. But he doesn’t write one word of my books without my hands on the keyboard. We work together. That’s the wonderful joy of it. I’m thrilled to announce that God has blessed me, worked through me to accomplish something and to bring a little meaning into the lives of others. That isn’t pride. To me…that’s worship.

So when we say we won’t brag – is that saying I am thinking about me and what others think about me? I want others to see the product produced from my trying and accomplishing.

Scripture tells us, without Him I can do nothing.

It also says, I can do all things through Jesus.

I love to hear about the accomplishments of my friends. I believe they love to hear of mine.

I feel that sharing what God has allowed me to do, or he does through me, gives glory to God.

What are your thoughts on this?


“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25)

This is a scripture that Christians are more than familiar with. We gather together at church on Sundays or Wednesday nights, or in our homes for Bible study and fellowship. Relationships with other Christians are important so that we can pray, share each other’s burdens and talk about the commonality we share—faith in Jesus Christ—and we should have a deep abiding love for one another. Meeting like this brings encouragement and keeps us marching forward, holding our heads high in the midst of a brutal world.

The same can be said for writers, and especially Christian writers. I recently moved to Minnesota from Texas. Most of my life I’ve lived out in the country, or in a region that made it difficult to meet with other like-minded people with any meaningful frequency. But now I live close enough to meet with other writers. And not just any writers, but Christian writers, many whom I’ve known from online writer’s groups and conferences. Through virtual meetings and once-a-year conferences, I’ve developed deep friendships, and grown as a writer.

But nothing can compare with meeting with others in person. Face-to-face.

Now I understand the meaning of the scripture from Hebrews completely. Meeting with Christian writing friends in person since I’ve been in Minnesota has bolstered me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Encouraged and inspired me. I believe that I will grow as a writer like never before. (I hope)

And this is the whole point of the scripture in Hebrews. Gathering together for encouragement and prayer and talking to people who understand you like no one else is an essential part of a Christian’s walk. An especially important part of a Christian writer’s development.

So if you’re dreaming about writing the great Christian fiction novel, I implore you to meet with others. It’s vital to your spirit, Christian walk, and your work as a writer.


Elizabeth Goddard


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