"For if the willingness is there, the
gift is acceptable according to what one has,
not according to what he does not have" (2 Cor. 8:12 NIV).
This is the page (on other sites) where most writers list their
degrees and formal education, qualifying them to write their books.
And this is also the page where I used to struggle with feelings
of inferiority. You see, I do not have a degree, even though I've
taken many courses from several colleges. And neither do I have
a lot of formal training in speaking, either, even though I was
a member and officer of Toastmasters for a short while. But what
I do have is a big God, who has been rather persistent, and at
the same time patient with me. He has finally convinced me that
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).
So if you think you aren't qualified to write a book, or that
your speech is not eloquent enough to stand before others to deliver
a message, remember it is God who gives the increase. God stands
in the gap for us. He fills our weaknesses with His strength,
and He is constantly looking for willing servants.
"Do not be afraid; keep on speaking,
do not be silent. For I am with you…"
If God lays it on your heart to pursue a college
education, then by all means go for it. But I like what Theodore
Roosevelt once said, "A thorough knowledge of the Bible is
worth more than a college education." For when our days on
this earth are over, the educational degrees and professional
titles won't much matter. What will matter is this: Did we know
Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior? And, what did we do with that knowledge?
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."
(Proverbs 3: 5-6 NKJV).
My Writing Background
In the early 1990's I felt God calling me to write. I assumed
writing for children would be easy, so I chose that route. I quickly
realized, however, that there was much to learn, and so I enrolled
in the Institute of Children's Literature home study courses.
These courses taught me how to craft stories and books, and how
to submit to publishers.
As my children got older my interest in writing children's books
lessened, but my desire to be a writer increased. After attending
my first writer's conference I was advised to write what I liked
to read. I loved reading short inspirational stories with God
at the center, and it seemed God was constantly revealing Himself
to me in everyday life situations. Thus, my inspirational writing
career was born.
I have been given a gift from God; a gift of expression in the
form of creative, inspirational writing. And you, too, have been
given a gift to serve God. If you don't know what your gift is,
I encourage you to seek the Lord and find out. True joy and contentment
come from knowing you are using your gifts and talents to serve
others, thereby serving Him.
Credits, Upcoming Releases, and Accomplishments
My credits include my first book, God's Gentle Nudges, and several articles featured in such publications as: Reader's Digest, War Cry, Woman's World, CBN.com, The Upper Room, Alive Now!, Evangel, The Lutheran Digest, and The Vision, among others. I have also contributed to the following compilation book series: Chicken Soup for the Soul, Cup of Comfort, and God Allows U-Turns.
My recent releases include: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings, A Cup of Comfort: Book of Christmas Prayer, A Cup of Comfort Women of the Bible Devotional: Daily Reflections Inspired by Scripture's Most Beloved Heroines, and A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters: Daily Reminders of God's Love and Grace.
I have had two stories receive Honorable Mentions in the Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competitions, both for the inspirational category. And, as part of the faculty of the American Christian Writers Columbus Conference, I have added another title to my resume, that of instructor.
My wonderful agent from Hartline Literary Agency is currently marketing my next book proposals. Be sure to sign up on my blog for updates.
I couldn't do any of this without the love, support, and encouragement from Chuck, my husband of 30 years. Together he and I have two adult children, Chase (Elizabeth) and Chelsea (Matt). In 2008 Chase and Eliz blessed our lives with precious little Elaina Sophia, and in 2011, sweet Leah Persephone came into the world. My stepdaughter Lori, has given us two more wonderful grandchildren, Nathan and Amber. And my deeply missed stepson, Conan, passed away in 1994 and is awaiting our reunion.
When I finally stopped arguing with God over becoming a speaker
for Him, I had one request after another come pouring in. And
just when I thought my plate had gotten rather full and that I
was as far out of my comfort zone as I could handle, God led me
to a jail and prison ministry. I am both humbled and privileged
to be allowed into the hearts of these hurting women. As you can
imagine, I have many God stories to share about what they've taught
me, and most are yet to be written…
But one story that has been written and is a personal favorite
of mine, is from my book, God's Gentle Nudges. You'll
understand my love for irises. Enjoy.
By Connie Sturm Cameron
"Never will I leave you; never will I
For fourteen years I had looked forward to the irises blooming
at the end of our driveway. It was a sign to me that winter was
officially over. Flanking both ends of the driveway and inter-mixed
in solid yellow and purple, they were always a welcome sight.
But also each spring I threatened to dig them up in the fall
and separate their colors, thinking they would look better grouped
by color. I went so far as to mark the stalks of all the yellow
The following fall, when it came time to perform the "operation,"
I grabbed the shovel from the garage, set it in the wheelbarrow,
pulled on my gloves and, determined to get the job done, headed
down the driveway.
"Mom, don't separate them – they're tradition,"
my son Chase exclaimed as I swerved the wheelbarrow to miss his
"Yeah," six-year-old Chelsea added, "I like waiting
for the bus and smelling the grape and lemon."
"Grape and lemon?"
Shaking my head and trying to make sense of this unexpected outburst,
I begrudgingly turned the wheelbarrow around, deciding I could
live with the mixed colors after all.
A few years later we sold that home and moved to an old farmhouse
in the country. I intended to dig up some of those "traditional"
bulbs before moving, but it never got scratched off my "to
do" list. There was such a frenzy of last-minute details
to tend to; there simply wasn't time for flowers.
The first spring at our old homestead followed a long, hard winter
– a winter of forcing myself to adjust to my "new"
surroundings. Not only was the farmhouse smaller than our previous
home, it had fewer amenities, including older appliances. As the
winter dragged on, instead of accepting my surroundings, I became
even more homesick.
One day in late May, I found myself gazing out the back kitchen
window, mesmerized by the sun glistening off our acre-wide pond.
Located just yards from the back deck, it lured me outside.
I had no sooner taken two steps off the deck when I suddenly
remembered the irises. I clamped my eyes shut and swallowed hard.
This was a mistake to come outside – there are no
irises to greet me.
For some unknown reason, though, my feet didn't want to move.
With my eyes still shut, I inhaled deeply. The air was poignantly
fresh and sweet, and I was so homesick for our other house and
those irises, that I could even smell a hint of lemon in the air.
When I opened my eyes, the glare off the pond was blindingly
bright. I had to squint and keep my head lowered as I strolled
downhill toward the dock, deeply inhaling that wonderful aroma.
Basking in both the sunshine and the peace that immediately engulfed
me, I finally looked up.
My eyes were instantly drawn to the edge of the pond and the
green spiked leaves that I had watched grow all spring from the
kitchen window. There was something yellow nestled on top of many
Strolling closer to the pond for a better look, I stopped dead
in my tracks. I couldn't believe what I saw! I bent over for a
Dozens of miniature, wild, yellow irises flanked the edge of
the pond, and . . . they even smelled faintly of lemons!
Elated, I wanted to share this new discovery with someone, but
no one was home. Too excited to go back inside, I joyfully picked
a few of the flowers and started for our mailbox, almost one-half
mile down our country lane.
After taking out the mail, I turned toward home.
Hmmm, what's that?
Across from the mailbox on the other side of our driveway, was
a large, gnarly oak tree. At the base of the trunk and nestled
in the weeds was something purple.
I strolled the few steps to where they were . . . and froze.
Standing transfixed, I watched as wild purple irises softly swayed
in the breeze, almost as if they were waving God's promise, "I
will never leave you or forsake you."