Creator God made the world in which we live. He placed the moon and stars in the sky, the rivers and ocean on the earth. He also created seasons throughout the year. Each season is defined by specific features and attributes that are common, although the degree varies depending on where one lives. In winter we think of cold weather. In spring, blooming flowers take center stage. In the summer, we enjoy warm weather, and in the autumn, beautifully colored leaves.
As Christ-followers we also experience spiritual seasons. In the same way that nature’s seasons serve a purpose on earth, so do the seasons in our spiritual lives. God provides, cares for, and sustains the earth, and in His faithfulness, He does the same for us.
This devotional is focused on spring—both calendar and spiritual. During our spiritual springs, we catch a glimpse of the new life we have in Jesus Christ and the renewed life that He gives us.
Enjoy a season of rebirth, thirteen weeks of inspiration, full of God’s great love for us.
Shirley Crowder was born in a mission guest house under the shade of a mango tree in Nigeria, West Africa, where her parents served as missionaries. She and co-author Harriet E. Michael grew up together on the mission field and have been life-long friends. Shirley is passionate about disciple-making, which is manifested in and through a myriad of ministry opportunities: biblical counseling, teaching Bible studies, writing, and music.
She is a biblical counselor and is commissioned by and serves on the national Advisory Team for The Addiction Connection. Several of her articles have appeared in “Paper Pulpit” in the Faith section of The Gadsden Times, and in a David C. Cook publication. She also writes articles for Life Bible Study, Woman’s Missionary Union, and TheAddictionConnection.org. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to ten books.
Shirley has spiritual children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren serving the Lord in various ministry and secular positions throughout the world.
Harriet E. Michael was born in Joinkrama, Nigeria, deep in the African jungle in the Niger River Delta, where her father served as the only missionary doctor at that station. A few years later, the mission moved the family to a larger hospital in Ogbomoso. Co-author Shirley Crowder and her family lived right across the dirt road. The two children became constant playmates. Today they continue to enjoy their lifelong friendship.
Harriet is a multi-published, award-winning writer, and speaker. She has authored or co-authored eight books (seven nonfiction and one novel), with more under contract for future release. She is also a prolific freelance writer, having penned over 200 articles, devotions, and stories. Her work has appeared in publications by Focus on the Family, David C. Cook, Lifeway, Standard Publishing, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Upper Room, Judson Press, Bethany House, and more. When not writing, she loves speaking to women’s groups and teaching writing workshops on freelance, devotional, and memoir writing.
She and her husband of over 40 years have four children and three grandchildren. When not writing, she enjoys substituting at a Christian school near her home, gardening, cooking, and traveling.
More from Shirley and Harriet
From time to time someone will comment on how difficult it must be to co-write with someone.
Guess what? It isn’t!
Including the books Harriet and Shirley have written together, both have collaborated with others to write books..
The most important thing in co-writing, after both of you being Christ-followers, is to share very similar theological beliefs and understanding. If these are too dissimilar, the final manuscript will be choppy and inconsistent in presentation of biblical truth throughout the book.
Practically speaking, there are a few things that help make the co-writing process work well.
Pray for each other.
Agree in advance who will write what portions.
Leave your pride behind.
Have the person with the most expertise in Word compile, make changes in, and maintain the combined document.
Be sure to turn on “tracking” so it is easy to see what edits the other person made.
Defend/explain why you think something you wrote should not be changed.
Explain why you think something the other person wrote should be changed.
Flexibility—be prepared for rewrites, edits, and delays.
As you work together, you read and edit each other’s work. The changes you each make in the other person’s writing will help give the book a more consistent writing style and presentation.
Finally, while there are portions of this process that can be tedious, like galley corrections, it is fun to work with another person. And, when you get stuck, they can help make suggestions that jump-start your thought processes and make completing the piece easier.
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