Book Proposals

Giving Thanks for Lessons Learned

Throughout my life in the church, from earliest Sunday school lessons to the current day, whenever I encounter Bible stories about people who have done less-than-good things, I have grown less judgmental of them than I might have in the past.

The Israelites in the desert for forty years are actually a picture of just about every believer I know, including me. God does great things, but at the first sign of trouble, we forget them in a flash and commence the grumbling about our lot in life.

Maybe the period of time between grumbling and recognizing trials as part of a refining process becomes shorter, but the whining and complaining are always there for a time.

Poor us.

So, this week, I am thanking God for lessons learned this year. Christians are supposed to be lifelong learners anyway, right?

As a Christian man, here’s what I am thankful I learned (again) this year:

  • I am not God.
  • God provides grace for each new day.
  • God makes everything work together for good for those called according to his purpose.
  • Following Christ is the only totally true thing in this world.

By the way, this was the same list as last year. My hard head is getting in the way of spiritual growth.


As a literary agent, here’s what I learned this year:

  • Just when I figure out what a publisher wants in a proposal, it changes. Deal with it.
  • Publishing is like trying to predict the weather. It is never a perfect science.
  • Author platforms built on social media can be either good or not so good. It is better to have 200 committed, responsive followers than 20,000 who are using you to puff up their following numbers by reciprocal following. Effective social media use is about follower interaction, not only numbers.
  • Great proposals get published, or not.

Come to think about it, this is also the same list as I made last year, and the year before and the year before. You’d think at some point the lessons would stick.

I have an open mind for anything new for the next year.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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