While I'm building my platform, God is building His own. Am I representing Jesus well? Read article at SJLittle.ca

Am I representing Jesus?

In case you don’t know, I’m an aspiring author. Currently, as of June 2019, I have not yet gotten a publishing contract for any of my books. I’ve been told it may take several years to get one’s first book traditionally published. While I wait, I’ll keep on writing. In the meantime, I am building my author platform.

What’s an author platform?

Essentially, an author platform is the author’s means of developing and connecting with a fan base. Picture it as their stage. The bigger the stage, the more people will hear what the author has to say. Having a large number of people cheering them on and eagerly awaiting their next book is evidence of a good author platform. The tools they use to build and sustain their platform can include email lists, websites, social media, and so much more.Building an author platform is like building a stage so that I can reach people. Read the article on SJLittle.ca

Building a platform is an important part of working towards becoming a published author. That’s why I created this website and began blogging – to build my author platform. It’s my prayer that you will be blessed by it along the way.

Building this website has been a big learning curve for me. It involved a lot of decisions. I had to choose which design, what colours, which style of font, what pictures to use, and the list goes on.

In all of these decisions, I had a goal. My goal was, and is, to gather and encourage a group of people who enjoy my writing and are excited to read the books I am in the process of making.

Building a Reputation

Another huge part of building an author platform is having a brand name and logo that people come to recognize as me. I hope you are starting to recognize mine.

S. J. Little - Author, Preschool Teacher, Blogger. Visit SJLittle.ca

Once I’ve got a name and logo nailed down, I begin to build a reputation. Through my writing, the quality of images I use, and the look of my website, I am building a reputation. Some websites instantly have you thinking modern and clean, others feel traditional and cozy. You may stumble across a blog that shares a delightful sense of humour. Unfortunately, there are also some sites which feel amateur and sloppy. The writing may be full of mistakes and the colours terribly clashing.

It is my aim to build a good reputation and one that will be reflected in the quality and nature of the books I write. (If you see something that isn’t working on my website, please let me know so I can improve it.)

God is Building His Platform

Being in the early stages of building my author platform, I was intrigued when I read 1 Peter 2:9 in my morning devotions recently.

All the while that I am working to build my platform, Someone else is working on His own platform, so to speak.

As a follower of Jesus, I am part of something bigger.

First, I am “a chosen people, … God’s special possession…” 1 Peter 2:9a NIV

Just as I have been intentional to choose this website and make it my own, God has chosen me and made me His own. Indeed, I have created this website, and how much more completely has God created me.

But why? My goal in creating my website is to form my author platform. What is God’s goal in creating and choosing me?

What’s the Goal?

The Bible tells us clearly.

“… chosen … that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9b ESV

Other verses explain it further, such as 2 Corinthians 5:20 NKJV:

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. “

Did you catch that? We are to speak about God’s greatness and tell others about Him.

Indeed, as you read through the Bible you will find over and over again this idea that we, through our words and actions, are building a reputation for Jesus. We are to be telling others about God, even pleading with them on God’s behalf.

Further Parallels

I could go on in this allegory. I could mention how I have intentionally designed each page on my website for a specific purpose. For example, my Gospel page looks very different from my Christian Resources page. Likewise, God has designed each of us for a different role in the Body of Christ (Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12). Or how I’ve laboured for hours to create this website, and will continue to improve it, just as God started this work in us and will complete it. (Phil. 1:6)

I will stop there and let you think of other parallels on your own.

Conclusion

How well am I representing Jesus through my daily life? Are my words and actions building a reputation that is honouring to Him?

As my grandpa once wrote on a picture of himself many years ago, we are “His to make Him known.”

 

(If you enjoy my writing and/or are looking forward to my books, please join my email list so I can inform you when I upload new posts and when I get published.)

A toddler pouting

Children often have trouble waiting for their turn. What about me? How do I respond when God asks me to wait?

I just got home from another day of teaching. My head is still ringing with “Teacher!” “Teacher!” “Teacher!”

If you work with young children you may understand. One of my classes today included several children who were eager for adult attention. It seemed any time I got down to play with them, more than five children surrounded me eagerly calling for my attention: “Teacher, watch me!” “Teacher, here’s ice cream!” “Teacher, I want to play!”

And then came art time…

Today we were using watercolour paint. I had four chairs at the art table and four paint brushes.

As I got four children settled and painting, others came by.

“I want it!”

I reply light heartedly “Okay. You will get to paint, but you have to wait until your turn. Why don’t you go play while you wait?”

The child groans and folds his arms.

Another child comes and takes the paintbrush out of another’s hand.

I return the paintbrush to the child currently painting, then turn to the second child. “Do you want to paint?”

The child nods with a frown.

“Okay, you will have a turn, but the art table is all full now, so you go play.”

The child begins crying.

A third child comes. “Me turn! Me turn!”

I ruffle her hair. “Not yet. You go play. I will call you when it is your turn. Don’t worry. I will make sure you have a turn.”

This child scowls and stands watching for a few minutes before moving elsewhere in the room.

I wrote this early in the school year. Thankfully, after a few months, they learned that there is no need to get upset if it isn’t their turn yet. It took time for them to learn that I mean what I say when I tell them that everyone will get a turn. They needed to learn to trust me.

Then I stop and think. How did I respond the last time God asked me to wait?

Honestly, I was frustrated. I didn’t see any reason for me to wait with the plan I had in mind. I wanted to do it right then, but God said wait so many times in so many ways I would have been a fool to ignore it!

I pouted, asking, “But why, God?” I was impatient and waiting made no sense to me.

The Bible mentions waiting for God many times. Sometimes it is the psalmist waiting for God to answer his plea for rescue. At other times it is a command to wait.

One of my favourite verses about waiting for God is Psalm 37:34: “Wait for the Lord and keep His way…”

This time, when God instructed me to wait, I felt incredibly impatient. I did not want to wait! Therefore, He led me across another verse which I then placed by my lamp as a daily reminder.

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”  Proverbs 21:5 (ESV)

I look forward to the day when I can join in saying:

“Look, this is our God;
we have waited for Him, and He has saved us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for Him.
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:9

For me, that most recent thing God asked me to wait for involved moving towards publishing a particular picture book. At this point, I really don’t know why He told me to wait. It makes no sense to me, but perhaps one day I will see the reason.

What is something God has asked you to wait for? What was the result?