Plowing Persistence

A Snail's Pace - Used for Plowing Persistence - Blog Aug 29, 2013When I saw this snail inching down our walkway, I couldn’t help but admire his tenacity in completing the journey set before him. What I didn’t envy was his speed.





I stepped over his slimy trail, a straight line of purpose and courage, thinking how hard it is to be persistent in plowing through the mundane days of life, much less the times of adversity. But the Bible warns us what happens when we don’t move forward with purpose and perseverance.


“Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.” (Proverbs 20:4, NLT)


The last thing I’d ever want to admit to is being a sluggard.


I don’t mind hard work. I believe in earning my wages and investing time to receive fair compensation. I certainly don’t want to take what I have for granted, or steal what doesn’t belong to me. I don’t even want to waste time pining over what I think should be mine, comparing myself to others or being critical of how God is using His chosen people.


When it comes to my spiritual life, though, being a sloth is easy to disguise.


We can look busy with a whole list of religious activities and be dying inside as we neglect our spiritual life.


But, we can’t fool God!


This year, He’s had me on a journey of longsuffering. The Lord’s been revealing Himself in amazing ways as He leads me through this season of plowing hard ground filled with rocks of adversity.


I recognized the spiritual attacks that were beating my family down in the areas of relationships, finances, and health.


Even though I wanted to work hard to keep the rows straight and the soil fertilized, I became weary and discouraged.


I realized I was relying on my strength, not God’s. But I had no idea what to do to fix it. So, I did nothing and felt like a total sluggard.


Through these months of affliction, I discovered several reasons for laziness. It was hard to admit I was stumbling over three of the worst stones of sloth-dom.


Yes, laziness could be a result of idle hands, a lack of motivation or an abundance of entitlement. But often, laziness is a defense mechanism, a response to fear, self-doubt, and unbelief in God’s ability.


Plowing is back-breaking, brow-sweating, hard work that requires commitment, diligence and divine intervention to ensure finishing well.


Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)


But He also reminds us we can do nothing apart from Him. (John 15:5)


When we surrender and trust God to be our strength, we’re empowered to shake off the shackles of sloth-hood and do our part. The Lord will plow through our brokenness, sift out our sinful habits and nourish the soil of our hearts, so His seed can flourish and transform us forever.


Only God knows the right season for plowing.


Only God knows how deep He needs to penetrate our hardened hearts.


He also knows if His blade should be flat or beveled, depending on the condition of our soil.


His goodness protects our tender spots.


“But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is a man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:23)


Like the snail, I want to be persistent and committed to my purpose. But, it’s my heart’s desire to rely on God’s strength, not my own, and trust Him with every moment of the journey, no matter how long it takes.


Lord, forgive us for shirking from doing our part during the plowing seasons of our lives. Forgive us for complaining when we don’t see the quick harvest we desire. Please help us identify the areas in our life where we may be content with laziness, no matter what the cause. Sift us with Your endless mercy and bring about abundant harvests of spiritual maturity and faithful obedience to Your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen



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A Series that Changed the Way I See: The Angel Eyes Trilogy by Shannon Dittemore

Shannon Dittemore Author Photo with Dark Halo August 2013Shannon Dittemore is the author of an amazing YA Fantasy saga. In the Angel Eyes Trilogy, Dittemore weaves supernatural truth into her vibrant storytelling. Her vivid imagery, intriguing character development, and powerful message of hope are only matched by her genuine voice and exhilarating plot twists.




Book Cover - Angel Eyes by Shannon DittemoreAngel Eyes, Dittemore’s debut novel, was published by Thomas Nelson in the summer of 2012. Brielle is given the gift of sight into the Celestial. Her dreamy boyfriend, Jake, reveals his secret power. And the couple fights for their lives as an evil human trafficking ring is uncovered.



Book Cover - Broken Wings by Shannon DittemoreI zipped through that book in a few days and waited anxiously for the February 2013 release of Broken Wings. In Broken Wings, Brielle and Jake question The Throne Room, their own motives, and the uncertainty of their relationship. Their adventure ends with a shocking twist that had me begging for a sneak peek at book three.



Book Cover - Dark Halo by Shannon DittemoreI was blessed to receive an early copy of Dark Halo, the brilliant conclusion of the Angel Eyes Trilogy. By the time I read the final page, I was inspired by Brielle’s courage to fight temptation and trust God’s timing, even though she would have to risk losing everything.



Dittemore will be celebrating the release of Dark Halo at Barnes & Noble in Citrus Heights, California, from 1-3pm (PDT) on Saturday, August 24, 2013.


I’ll be hosting a live interview with Shannon Dittemore on Twitter, Tuesday, August 27th from 6-7pm (PDT).


Shannon Dittemore - Kindle Fire Giveaway for Tweet Chat - Aug 2013During our live Tweet Chat, Shannon will be giving away copies of Dark Halo, gorgeous full-color posters and bookmarks, and a brand new Kindle Fire HD. To enter, all you have to do is chime in, during our interview, with relevant questions or comments addressed to Shannon, using the hash tag #DarkHalo




Please join us for an hour of with this intriguing author, with prizes announced every 15 minutes, and help us spread the word about this stunning saga!




I hope to tweet with you soon at #DarkHalo


Follow Shannon Dittemore on Twitter at: @ShanDitty


Follow me on Twitter at: @Xochi_E_Dixon



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A Writer’s Prayer: For God Is Who He Is

Cancun Aug 2012 253“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV




Almighty God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, we worship You.


You determine the boundaries for the land and the sea. You control each rolling wave and paint the skies with vibrant reflections of Your complete love for us.


Your mercies radiate through every sunrise.


“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3, NIV)


Nothing is hidden from You.

Nothing is impossible with You.

Nothing surprises You.


Help us reflect on Who You are as You reveal Yourself through the treasure of Your Word.


Through Abraham, You showed Yourself faithful.

Through Moses, You showed Yourself mighty.

Through Joshua, You showed Yourself sovereign.

Through David, You showed Yourself merciful.

And through us, You show Yourself still constant, unchanging, loving and always in control.


Remind us that writing is an expression of worship, a tool for ministry, a gift to be used for Your glory. Purify our motives, ignite our creativity, and help us trust You in our waiting seasons.


“For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” (Psalm 90:4, NIV)


We acknowledge You, Lord. You are Who You are.


You will make our paths straight.


You are always right on time.




In Jesus’ name, Amen


In what aspect or season of your writing journey has it been difficult to trust God? How did the Lord help you through that tough time?




Previously Published on the Inspire Christian Writers blog on April 22, 2012


For God Is Who He Is: A Prayer of Wholehearted Trust

By Xochi E. Dixon

Photo by X. E. Dixon



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