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Archive for February, 2013

With the age of the internet (e.g. websites, social networks, and blogging) booming, being online and connected is now more important than ever.

Christian authors, leaders, bloggers, and generally anyone who wants to reach the world with the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ, have a unique opportunity to reach billions of people online (over a billion people on Facebook alone!).

A website or blog has the potential to reach people 24/7/365. Your site works for you even while you sleep. If the world uses the internet for their purposes, shouldn’t we as Christians also take advantage of this wonderful tool for the Kingdom of God?

I started out when the only applications available to help build websites were basically just glorified text editors. You were responsible for writing the HTML code yourself. WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) wasn’t coined yet, at least as far as I know. Creating a website from scratch was a hard road, real hard.

Create Maintain WordPress Website Blog Easy Way

I experimented with creating websites in the early days of the internet but I never really got very far because of the complexity of building them from raw HTML code and the further pain of having to maintain them.

On one occasion, I remember building a website using a free template that I had downloaded. The website looked very nice and used Java script. I was proud of it. The only problem was, since I didn’t understand Java scripting, it was extremely difficult for me to create any additional content and make the website look like I wanted it to look. Thus, I quickly became discouraged and never finished it.

When the age of blogging began, I experimented with different blogging platforms (mainly Google’s Blogger.com but perhaps one or two other platforms). Blogging platforms offered a nice alternative to a full-blown website. I found them very easy to build and maintain and the nice part was that you didn’t have to understand HTML code.

However, the problem was that they looked, well, like a blog, and not a website. Even with the myriad of themes that were available, none looked professional enough to call your homepage.

Enter WordPress.com. I was first exposed to WordPress through a pastor friend’s website. His website was a WordPress.com blog but there was something different about it – it looked very professional. I also noticed that his website did not have the standard xyz.blogging_platform.com naming convention. His website was in this format:  his_name.com. I was quite impressed.

It wasn’t long after this that I decided to give the whole blog/website thing another try. I signed up with WordPress.com and garyleemillner.wordpress.com was born.

I found that WordPress.com made the domain name registration process very easy and even included this functionality within their web-based blog administration software. All I had to do was enter some information, click through a couple of screens, pay $17.00, and before I knew it, I had officially registered garyleemillner.com as a domain name for a year.

I now had a very professional looking blog/website that was relatively easy to build and maintain. I was a happy camper.

I have used my new site for several years now and have been extremely happy with it.

WordPress.com is a viable option for folks who want a blog or website that is professional looking, yet easy enough to build and maintain themselves.

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With the age of the internet, social networks, and blogging booming, being online and connected is now more important than ever.

Christian authors, leaders, bloggers, and generally anyone who wants to reach the world with the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ, have a unique opportunity to reach billions of people online (over a billion people on Facebook alone!).

A website or blog has the potential to reach people 24/7/365. Your site works for you even while you sleep. If the world uses the internet for their purposes, shouldn’t we as Christians also take advantage of this wonderful tool for the Kingdom of God?

I started out when the only applications available to help build websites were basically just glorified text editors. You were responsible for writing the HTML code yourself. WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) wasn’t coined yet, at least as far as I know. Creating a website from scratch was a hard road, real hard.

Html-source-code

I experimented with creating websites in the early days of the internet but I never really got very far because of the complexity of building them from raw HTML code and the further pain of having to maintain them.

On one occasion, I remember building a website using a free template that I had downloaded. The website looked very nice and used Java script. I was proud of it. The only problem was, since I didn’t understand Java scripting, it was extremely difficult for me to create any additional content and make the website look like I wanted it to look. Thus, I quickly became discouraged and never finished it.

When the age of blogging began, I experimented with different blogging platforms (mainly Google’s Blogger.com but perhaps one or two other platforms). Blogging platforms offered a nice alternative to a full-blown website. I found them very easy to build and maintain and the nice part was that you didn’t have to understand HTML code.

However, the problem was that they looked, well, like a blog, and not a website. Even with the myriad of themes that were available, none looked professional enough to call your homepage.

Enter WordPress.com. I was first exposed to WordPress through a pastor friend’s website. His website was a WordPress.com blog but there was something different about it – it looked very professional. I also noticed that his website did not have the standard xyz.blogging_platform.com naming convention. His website was in this format:  his_name.com. I was quite impressed.

It wasn’t long after this that I decided to give the whole blog/website thing another try. I signed up with WordPress.com and garyleemillner.wordpress.com was born.

I found that WordPress.com made the domain name registration process very easy and even included this functionality within their web-based blog administration software. All I had to do was enter some information, click through a couple of screens, pay $17.00, and before I knew it, I had officially registered garyleemillner.com as a domain name for a year.

I now had a very professional looking blog/website that was relatively easy to build and maintain. I was a happy camper.

I have used my new site for several years now and have been extremely happy with it.

WordPress.com is a viable option for folks who want a blog or website that is professional looking, yet easy enough to build and maintain themselves.

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For an unknown new Christian author like myself, the Christian marketplace can be a hard place, real hard. Not only did I have to write the book and do much of the editing and layout myself, I’m also primarily responsible for marketing it.

Since the market is now inundated with books due to the low cost of self-publishing, it can be quite difficult to land book reviews, for example. The book reviewers are flooded with way more books than they can possibly review.  This is driving the demand for paid book reviews.

In my effort to get our book reviewed, I sent emails to many different book reviewers.  Only two responded.

Friendship_Quotes

The first, Kathleen Samuelson, Director of Publications for CBA Retailers+Resources Magazine, responded that she couldn’t guarantee a review due to the number of books that she received. Nevertheless, I proceeded to mail our book to her attention and sent a follow-up email asking her to confirm receipt. She promptly responded that she had received it. The email correspondence alone was HUGE considering the number of folks who didn’t bother to respond to my emails.
The second, Margaret Lukasik, informed me that she would create a book promotion webpage for free. For free! Really, what’s the catch? There is no catch. Ten days later she delivered the page as promised.
She also explained that for a small fee she would do a guaranteed book review and much more!
The first package for $19.95 offers the following:
  • 1 full page review of your book on this site, Life Purpose Books.com.
  • 1 review with different keywords on my Christian Book Review Blog.
  • 1 announcement of my review on my blog for this site.
  • Reviews will be written with specific keywords placed strategically for SEO ranking.
  • Announcements in my two monthly newsletters
  • Free banner advertising on specific pages of this site (I will make the banner free if needed).
  • Announcements posted on three of my Facebook pages
  • Broadcasts posted on my Twitter Account
  • I will include your email and website address if you wish to promote them and any other information you may have such as interview links for example.
The second package for $49.97 offers even more:
  • Page construction for Search Engine Optimization to achieve great page ranking
  • 1 full review on this site, Victory Bible Studies (click on examples below) with specific keywords placed strategically for SEO ranking with a post on it’s blog
  • 1 full review on my popular Christian Money Growth.com site which will be slightly different than for this site to achieve better page ranking and to target a larger audience. It also includes a post on it’s blog.
  • Announcements in my monthly newsletters
  • Announcements posted on four of my Christian Facebook pages
  • Regular broadcasts posted on my Twitter Account and the major social networks.
  • Your other books will be listed.
  • Amazon.com ads on my websites to sell your book if you have your book listed on their site.
  • Free ads created to advertise on my Victory Bible Studies and Christian Money Growth sites
  • 1 free ad for your book on my Victory Thru Christ site.
  • I will include your email and website address if you wish to promote them
  • I will continue to promote your book!

I decided to go with the second option and, thus far, she has delivered all of this:

Book Review Pages:
http://lifepurposebooks.com/Christian-life-book.html
http://victory-bible-studies.com/books/slaying-life-s-dragons-and-beasts.html
http://christian-money-growth.com/reviews/spiritual-growth-book.html

Blog Posts:
http://lifepurposebooks.com/blog/christian-guidance-book-by-gary-millner/
http://christian-book-review-blog.blogspot.com/2013/02/new-christian-book-slaying-lifes.html

http://christian-money-growth.com/blog/spiritual-growth-book/
http://www.victory-bible-studies.com/blog/slaying-life-s-dragons/

Pages that Contain an Ad for your Book:
http://victory-bible-studies.com/child-abuse-victim-recovery.html
http://lifepurposebooks.com/tools.html
http://christian-money-growth.com/free-Bible-study-notebook.html

When I do a Google search for the title of our book, one of her pages comes up first even before Amazon’s or my own website’s! Impressive!

Due to the small fees that she charges, she certainly isn’t in this to get rich.

Margaret Lukasik provides a priceless service to Christian authors for very small fees.

Finally, I would like to mention Sarah Bolme, author of the book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. Sarah also provides valuable services to Christian authors. Her book is an excellent resource that very practically describes what the author should be doing in every step of the book publishing process.

Sarah has been very helpful to me. In fact, she even referred me to my publisher, Tate Publishing.

In addition, for an annual fee, she offers membership to Christian Small Publishers Association. This service is very valuable, especially to self-published authors. She offers book distribution and many other invaluable benefits to members.

I would love to hear from you. What has been your experience as a Christian author? Have you found it to be hard? Who has helped you out along the way?

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Sure, it would be cool to find the real Noah’s ark.  It would be neat to see it’s remains, to touch the wood, ancient. But then, would we need faith if we had the physical proof? noahs_arkIf “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” then why do we need the physical proof?

If having a piece of aged ark wood in our hands is not an important part of the true ark story, then what is?

Faith is certainly an important part of the ark story, however, I submit to you that another important part is this:

“This is the history of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time. He consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with him.” — Genesis 6:9

Noah enjoyed a close relationship with God. Is there anything better than that! I submit to you that there is not. 

However, a close relationship with God comes at a price, a high one, one that most of us hate and are unwilling to pay — obedience.

“So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.” — Genesis 6:22

Noah consistently, patiently, and obediently followed God’s will. He did exactly what the Lord told him to do. He built an ark to God’s exact specifications. He loaded it with two of each kind of animal, male and female. He then took his family into the ark and waited for God to close the door and start the H2O inundation.

So, the question becomes, if we as Christians earnestly desire a close relationship with our Lord, then why are we so unwilling to be obedient? Since we know His yoke is easy and the burden that He gives is light and He wants to give us rest for our souls, why do we refuse to come to Him and enter into His rest? Why do we refuse to obey Him?

Perhaps its because even though the Bible says His sheep know his voice, we still struggle to hear and know His voice? We still struggle to know who’s voice is speaking to us, Satan’s, our own, or God’s.

Perhaps His yoke seems hard and His burden heavy, too heavy for us to bear, crushing. Perhaps we have mistaken His yoke for the yoke of the law?

Perhaps we don’t feel that we love God properly, as we should, with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength?

The Lord is teaching me that the reason I, the second worst sinner – right behind the apostle Paul, have such a hard time being obedient is because I don’t truly understand how much God loves me.

I don’t truly know in the depths of my being the depths of His love for me. I need a greater revelation of His love.

Joyce Meyer, in her wonderful book Battlefield of the Mind, says that the Lord spoke to her on one occasion and said, “Very few of my people really know how much I love them. If they did, they would act differently.”

She continues:

“I studied in this area for a long time, and I became conscious and aware of God’s love for me through thinking about his love and confessing it out loud. I learned scriptures about the love of God, and I meditated on them and confessed them out of my mouth. I did this over and over for months, and all the time the revelation of his unconditional love for me
was becoming more and more of a reality to me.

Now, his love is so real to me that even in hard times, I am comforted by the ‘conscious knowing’ that he loves me and that I no longer have to live in fear.”

This “conscious knowing” only comes by revelation from the Holy Spirit. With that said, I will conclude with what Jeannie Fulbright says about God’s love in her blog:

“God loves you so tenderly. He loves you exactly like you are, with all the unsanctified thoughts and deeds you do. He has a plan to change you that is slow and steady and full of peace and joy. His plan will prevail. You are predestined for it. And it’s not you that will do it… it’s all him. You don’t have to work. God does the work. The Christian life is not too hard. It’s not hard at all. It’s about cuddling up in the arms of the father who loves you. The father who accepts you just as you are today. He isn’t disappointed in you. That’s the lie of the accuser. The Lord wants you to quit listening to those lies and take back your inheritance–the peace he purchased for you. It’s yours. You are acceptable to God.”

Do you really know in the depths of your soul how much God loves you? If not, are you willing to try what Joyce recommends above? Which of them could you put into practice right-away?

If you like, I invite you to pray the following prayer with me:

Dear Holy Spirit,

I pray that you would fill me and give me a “conscious knowing” of God’s great love for me as demonstrated through His son Jesus. Make His love so real and tangible that my love for Him would bubble up and overflow. Then, may my willingness to obey flow out of this close relationship with my Lord, the only true lover of my soul.

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen.

I would love to hear from you. Please leave your questions or comments below and I will do my best to respond to as many as I can.

[Some of the above text was taken word-for-word from our new book, Slaying Life’s Dragons and Beasts: A Practical, Biblical Guide to Overcoming Life’s Pains, Obstacles, and Addictions.]

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