Biblical Fiction Fans by Bethel Burton/Kate Hodges

This week, I’m excited to introduce y’all to two important people in my life, Bethel Burton and Kate Hodges. They are the co-coordinators of my BFF Team–the team of committed Biblical Fiction Fans that helps promote my books and provide prayer support and encouragement throughout the year.

Bethel and Kate are new coordinators and bring unique gifts to share with the team. Bethel will work primarily with our private Facebook group, and Kate will write the bulk of the devotionals for our team newsletters. Here’s a little message from each of these dear ladies:

A Message From Bethel:

bethel-burtonMy favorite scripture is Ephesians 3:20:

 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us. (NIV)

I grew up singing this verse (anyone else familiar with the group Acapella?) Lately, I have been reading the NLT and it’s amazing to me how moving words around a little can have the same meaning but impact me differently. Here is the same verse:

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

This verse keeps me grounded in humility, since God is the one doing the work, and soaring with hope that he can do more that I could even dream.

Around the time that Mesu sent out an email asking for help with coordinating the BFF team, I was finishing a book by Bob Goff called Love Does. Bob’s life is a series of acts of love and he challenges the reader to do the same. The type that takes faith into action and shows the world how to love like God loves us.

As a new stay-at-home mom, I was struggling to find my new identity as a person apart from my professional life. While my daughter had my physical attention, my mind was free to be searching for something else. I am a social worker by trade, used to finding ways to help other people in hard places. I still wanted to make an impact for the Kingdom and be a part of something outside of my little corner of the world. (And, I admit, a little concerned that I would be creating my own issues to “fix” in the lack of other’s to focus on.)

Enter Mesu’s email! A perfect challenge to put what I had just read about putting love into action, and I found myself volunteering to help!

The private Facebook group is a great way to keep everyone informed and connected about Mesu’s book happenings, but I hope to see it grow as more than just an informational page. Our members live all over the world. Biblical fiction is our common interest. I’ve begun privately “friending” each of our members, and many have shared prayer requests. The more we share, the more we become people instead of just names on a list.

Obviously, our overarching goal is to be promoters of Mesu’s books. But that will continually tie in with our community. In fact, the FB group will have special ways to promote. There will be some “share suggestions” that you can copy & paste into your own social media. There are already relevant articles shared that can be re-shared. There will be encouragement and excitement for Mesu’s new release, Miriam, in March 2016. I am really looking forward to being part of this community of Biblical Fiction Fans.

A Message From Kate:

Mesus-BFFs-Coordinator-KateIn the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Ps 5:3

I stumbled across this verse a few years ago and it quickly became a favorite of mine. Well, to be honest, not the morning part. I’m not fond of mornings, but I trust that the Lord is OK with me waiting until a little later in the day. The part I like best, that hit me the hardest, is ‘and wait in expectation.’

I am very good at asking, not so good with waiting. This verse reminds me that he will answer, in his perfect timing. My other favorite verse, which I put on my stationary, is:

He has made everything beautiful in its time.’ Ecc 3:11.

I can trust God to make things beautiful no matter what they seem like now.

Case in point … I am an aspiring writer and photographer. I love anything historical, but my passion is biblical fiction. I have written and self-published stories taken from the gospels, each one sweated over and prayed for. Then, last year I found (and joined) this group.

Imagine my shock when Mesu asked me to consider becoming a co-coordinator when one of the other ladies had to step down. I didn’t even know she knew my name … it was like having a Hollywood movie star come and ask me to help with her hair and make-up. A chance to share my passion with others and get a behind the scenes look at the publishing and marketing process. Of course I said yes, albeit with much trembling and feelings of unworthiness.

I soon realized that there was more to it than rubbing elbows (or emails) with the stars. One of my duties was to contribute devotionals to the weekly newsletter. The only problem was I had never done it before.

But I grit my teeth, took a deep breath, and agreed.

It quickly became my favorite part. A dyed-in-the-wool introvert, the social aspects of the group (like Facebook) were a stretch for me, although I enjoy them. Writing the devotionals became my way of sharing my heart with like-minded people.

Like my first verse says, while taking the dogs for their morning walk, I would pray for words to share. Then a few hours later, with the kids off to school, dogs settled and a fresh cup of coffee at my elbow, I would sit down to write.

More than once, I would have a uplifting and spiritual piece all planned out, but when I sat to write it, something else emerged. Maybe a verse would pop out at me as I scanned the pages looking for a different one. Maybe a thought from that morning, or even the night before, would weigh so heavy that I had to get it out.

Whatever it was, God would use it. Have you ever heard that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else? Without fail, each one of the devotions I have written for the newsletter ended up being more than I imagined.

He makes all things beautiful …

Each one of us in this group has a love, a passion, for God’s word. It is a big part of the reason we love Mesu’s books, she brings the Scriptures to life in an amazing way. Yet our God speaks to all of us, has taught all of us, through the years and through our experiences. By participating in this group, we can share all that, on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and beyond.

For me, the devotionals take it a step farther, a bit deeper. Whether you become a member of Mesu’s BFF team or not, I would encourage you to try writing down your thoughts–a devotional, journaling, blogging, whatever–even if you file it away and never share it. I wonder if you might be as blessed by it as I have been. You might be pleasantly surprised.

To Team or Not to Team…

Regardless of whether you are contemplating joining the BFFs, I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing how God can use two very different ladies in complementary roles in a fun and vibrant ministry. Their encouragement and enthusiasm makes the upcoming months and Miriam‘s release even more exciting!

If you feel the Lord nudging you to get involved, and you’d like to fill out an application to join our BFF Team, CLICK HERE. The deadline to apply is September 25th (only one week left!). Our new team will be announced on Friday, Oct. 2nd.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for letting me be apart of the BFF team. I love the devotions and looking at the Facebook page when I can get to them. Having a husband with Alzheimer’s, I devote my time to him which God put us together 33 years ago. He served in Viet Nam and was exposed to Agent Orange and came down with prostate cancer and now Alzheimer’s. God is great and we will get through this time being a child of God. Amen!

    • So glad to have you as part of the team, Marsha! God is great, and He places us in just the right place at the right time. I pray we can be an encouragement to you as you walk through these tough days. 😉

  2. So excited to start on this journey with Mesu, Kate,Bethel and all the BFFS! ! What fun it will be again to be apart of Mesu’s journey in her next book!! May the Lord bless all three of you along with the BFFs as we come along for the ride.x x

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