Wednesday, October 26, 2011


By Molly Noble Bull 

Halloween was first practiced as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) and pagan to the core. According to an article by David L Brown, Ph.D., for wiccans, pagans and Satanists, Halloween is one of their most important holidays. He quoted Margot Adler, a witch, with the following information.
"All the Great Festivals of Paganism, wherever they may be found, correspond in common with Solstices, Equinoxes, and other natural annual cycles of life. Most of these ramain with us today in more of less disguised form as the so-called Christian holidays of Christmas (Yule) Easter (Ostara) May Day (Beltane) Thanksgiving (Harverst Home) Halloween (Samhain) and even Groundhogs Day (Oimelc.)"
He also quoted the late Anton Szandor LaVey, a Satnist, as saying, "Halloween and Walpurgisnacht are celebrated by the Church of Satan." 
The Celts of Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France celebrated their new year on November 1st, the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the cold and dark of winter. It was also associated with human death.

As I child I went to a Christian denominational church every Sunday with my parents, and I loved everything about Halloween. I will always remember my first Halloween costume. I was in the second grade, and there was to be a Halloween carnival at my elementary school.
I wanted to be a witch, and my mother made the costume from black material, complete with a black witch’s hat. I can’t remember if it had a point at the very top of it or not, but I remember the black hat. I think I recall wearing a black mask that only covered my eyes. 
At the time, nobody connected anything really bad with Halloween. It was thought of as merely a kid’s deal where children dressed up in costumes, ate orange colored candy and went around saying, “boo,” a lot. 
What could be more innocent?
Little did I know.
Years later, I starting reading the Bible, and I learned God’s opinion of pagan holidays and witches in particular. The Lord’s thoughts on this topic are pretty clear in the Book of Deuteronomy chapter 18 and verses 10-15. 

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination or an observer of times or an enchanter or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits or a wizard or a necromancer.
For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee.
Thou shall be perfect with the Lord thy God. 
For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.
The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me, unto him ye shall hearken;      

As soon as I discovered those scriptures, I got my dictionary and looked up all the words I didn’t know, starting with necromancer. If you will do the same, you might come to the same conclusions I did.
Halloween is about as innocent as a rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


The Divided Kingdom

by Molly Noble Bull

In my opinion, certain Bible facts are not clearly explained in Christian religious services today. Yet a lack of knowledge of these scriptures prevents Christians from fully understanding the Bible. One of these topics is known as the Divided Kingdom.  
The Book of Genesis explains in chapters 22 to 50 that Abraham begot Isaac, and Isaac begot twin boys, Jacob and Esau. Of the two, God loved Jacob best.
Jacob fell in love with a lovely young woman named Rachel, and her father promised to give her to Jacob in marriage, if Jacob worked for him for seven years. Jacob agreed to these terms, but at the end of the seven years, Jacob was given Leah, Rachel’s older sister, instead. He had to work another seven years to get Rachel. 
So Jacob had two wives, Rachel and Leah, and he also had some concubines. But he loved Rachel best. Therefore, it is not surprising that he loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph’s mother was Rachel, and he gave Joseph a coat of many colors. Later, Jacob and Rachel had a second son, Benjamin, but Rachel died in childbirth having Benjamin. His wives and concubines gave Jacob twelve sons plus Levi, and Levi headed the priestly tribe. 
And God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. (See Genesis 32: 28.) 
Each of Jacob/Israel’s sons headed a tribe—called the twelve tribes of Israel.
You might also want to read Jacob/Israel’s prophecy concerning his sons found in Genesis, chapter 49. 
Jacob’s descendants were called the children of Israel—later called the Nation of Israel. 
The Nation of Israel’s first king was Saul. But King David soon replaced Saul as King of Israel. When King David died, his son, Solomon, became King. But after King Solomon died, his son Rehoboam reigned as king. 
During Rehoboam’s reign, the twelve tribes were divided—the result of a sort of civil war. (1 King 12: 1-43 and 1 Kings 13: 1-10) The southern tribes were made up of Judah, Benjamin and the Levites. Since Judah was the main tribe in this group of three, the southern tribes were called Judah, and their capitol was Jerusalem. Rehoboam remained king in the southern tribes, and later, the name was shorted from Judah to Jew or the Jews.
The tribe of Joseph was the main tribe of the ten northern tribes, and Jeroboam reigned as their king. In the Bible, the northern tribes are called Joseph, but they are also called Ephraim and Israel. Some from the northern tribes turned away from God and worshipped at Bethel instead of at the Temple at Jerusalem. (1 Kings 12: 16-33) 
Both the tribes of Judah and the tribes of Israel were eventually captured by their enemies and led away into slavery. Israel was taken to Assyria, and Judah was taken to Babylon— modern day Iraq. The tribes of Judah (the Jews) were eventually released and allowed to return to Jerusalem to build the second Temple. But the ten northern tribes were never seen again—until fairly recently when some (but not all) were found. The recent discovery of some of the lost tribes is another reason we know that Jesus is coming soon. However, most of the ten tribes are still lost. Only God knows where the descendants of the northern tribes are located today. 
Knowing the facts about the tribes of Judah and Joseph/Ephraim/Israel makes it easier to understand Ezekiel chapter 37 and other scripture verses.

Ezekiel 37: 15-17 says,
And the word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,
Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write on it For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for the House of Israel his companions. 
And join them together into one stick, and they shall become one in thine hand.

Ezekiel 37: 20-22 says,
And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. 
Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 
And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Selling Yourself--Create a compelling proposal

posted by Teresa Slack
Anyone who knows me knows I can be long winded. It’s the reason I can easily slice and dice about ten thousand words, minimum, after I finish the first draft of a manuscript. Convoluted writing doesn’t generally hurt anything during first drafts. Writing is all about rewriting. Tightening. Making the story better. Writers can spend years doing this.

But meandering and taking forever to get to the point is the worst thing a writer can do when creating a proposal. The toughest part about writing is taking the shortest route to saying the most about your book in a way that will have editors and agents begging for more.

I was recently told my proposals do not do my writing justice. A little discouraging but good to know. It isn’t a lagging plot or poorly drawn characters or lack of style that has kept this particular book from finding a home. I have a product worth buying, I’m just not doing a good job selling it.

Besides writing I am also a Scentsy consultant. Scentsy is a product I believe in so it’s not hard to sell. The question is, why haven't I translated my amazing sales prowess to selling my writing? What's holding me back? Do I lack confidence in the quality of my writing? Or, and I suspect this is the real reason, have I not taken the time to craft a succinct, compelling proposal that will make editors take notice?

What about you? Does your lack of confidence in your writing keep you from approaching editors and agents? Or is your proposal like mine and so convoluted and confusing no self-respecting editor would slog through it to find the diamond in the rough?

This week I challenge you to go over your proposal all over again. Ask yourself if someone who has never seen it before might get confused or just plain bored with the premise. You have a product worth buying. All you have to do is sell it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011



by Molly Noble Bull

Today I am interviewing Lena Nelson Dooley from Hurst, Texas, a multi-published author as well as an old friend. Lena writes Christian fiction. Welcome, Lena, it's great to have you here.   
“Thank you, Molly. It’s my pleasure.” 
“I just bought a copy of your newest novel, Maggie's Journey, and can hardly wait to read it.”

Maggie's Journey by Lena Nelson Dooley

“So, tell us about Maggie's Journey.” 
Maggie has grown up an only child. Her parents came west on the Oregon Trail, and finally settled in Seattle, Washington Territory. In 1885, near her 18th birthday, Maggie finds information that turns her world upside down. She journeys to find the answers about this information and discovers what’s really important in life and love.
Sounds great. Now, briefly tell us about each of the other books in the series. Are these books connected in some way? If so, how?
My McKenna’s Daughters series is about identical triplets who are separated at birth and the different directions their life paths take. The girls are close to their 18th birthday before they know they have sisters. Books 1 and 2, Mary’s Blessing, are about the girls who were adopted. Book 3, Catherine’s Pursuit is about the girl the father kept. There are a lot of issues that have to be dealt with as well as the search for their sisters.
Now I really want to read the books in this series.
So, Lena, tell us a little about your Christian walk. 
I was raised in a Christian home. Accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was seven years old. As I traveled toward adulthood, I made many mistakes, but God never took His hand from me. In my twenties, I had a dynamic experience with the Lord that strengthened my walk with Him. I can’t imagine not having Him as the focal point of my life. He has taken me to many amazing places both physically, spiritually, and in my career.
What is your web address? Who is publishing your book? And how can we get a copy?
My blog is . There are tabs at the top of the blog that take you to pages that tell about me and my books.
The McKenna’s Daughters series was contracted by Realms, the fiction line at Charisma Media. I’ve also signed another 3-book contract with them for after this series is finished. The books are available in Christian bookstores, at Barnes & Noble, and on other websites, such as and The titles come in print and as ebooks.
Great. How do you decide where to set your novels?
When I wrote for Barbour Publishing and Summerside Press, the publisher pretty much chose the settings, but I did have input into the choices. With the Realms books, I’ve chosen the settings myself. McKenna’s Daughters books are set in Seattle, Little Rock, Oregon City, Portland, and San Francisco.
With the next series, the first book starts in Colorado, but books two and three are set in Texas. I’ve only had one other book that was completely set in Texas—Wild West Christmas.
I’ve visited or lived in some of the places where I set the books. In others, I do a lot of research to make the setting authentic to the time period, whether it’s historical or contemporary.
Thanks again for coming by, Lena. And come back real soon.
Anytime, Molly. I always enjoy connecting with you and your readers.
To find Lena's books in bookstores or online, write Lena Nelson Dooley in the search slot.
Molly Noble Bull’s first non-fiction book, The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities, will be published by Westbow Press in early 2012. Besides Bull, the book is by Ginny Aiken, Margaret Daley, Jane Myers Perrine and Ruth Scofield, and all five are Love Inspired authors.
Brides and Blessings, Bull’s modern day western set in Texas, came out from Love Inspired in paperback and is now also available as a kindle e-book. Click below to learn more.

Please scroll down and continue reading Molly's articles on the roots of our Christian faith. 


Thursday, October 13, 2011


by Molly Noble Bull 

As a Christian, I like to learn about the Roots of my Faith, and the Feast of Tabernacles is the third of three fall Feasts of Israel mentioned in the Book of Leviticus—chapter 23. This year, that seven-day feast begins on October 13th.  
The Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkoth is Israel’s Thanksgiving, also called the Feast of Booths. In some Bible translations, it is called the Feast of Shelters. This feast required a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple there. 
During this seven-day feast, the Children of Israel were to gather corn stalks, reeds, sticks, tree branches and wooden planks and build temporary shelters called booths or tabernacles. They were to live in these shelters for seven days to remind them of the days after Moses led them out of Egypt when they lived in tents in the wilderness. During  the Temple services connected with this feast, the Jews tied the branches of palm trees, myrtles, and willows together with a golden thread and waved then at certain times during the worship services. 
According to the Book of Zechariah (chapter 14, verses 16 to 19) during the thousand- year kingdom when Jesus reigns on earth, the people must gather in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles once a year. To refuse to do so would result in a lack of rain and a break out of certain diseases.  
Christians are sure to recall that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, the people waved Palm leaves as mentioned above.
The Feast of Tabernacles is normally celebrated in October while America celebrates Thanksgiving in November. Was America’s first Thanksgiving a delayed celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles? 
Scroll down to read about the other two fall Feasts of Israel. Day of Atonement and Feast of Trumpets.
Please leave a comment. We want to hear from you.

Friday, October 7, 2011


by Molly Noble Bull 

The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is second of the fall feasts of Israel, mentioned in the Book of Leviticus—chapter twenty-three and beginning with verse twenty-seven. In 2011, the Day of Atonement begins at sunset on September 7th and ends at sunset on September 8th.
For the Jews, Yom Kippur is a High Holy Day and the most solemn day of the year. The theme of this very special and Holy day is atonement and repentance, and secular Jews who might never attend services otherwise go to synagogue on You Kippur. Synagogue services on this day include a public confession of sins and fasting.
The first four Feasts of Israel were known as the Spring Feasts and were fulfilled with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, the Day of Atonement is the second of three Fall Feasts of Israel, and many believe that the fall feasts are yet to be fulfilled.     

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What I learned at the ACFW conference

Desperate to get a publishing contract, I spent the better part of 2011 writing a contemporary romance that I was sure would awe every editor at the ACFW conference in St. Louis. The first night in the conference bookstore I was discouraged to see most of the titles on display were nothing like mine. I know it’s good to have a distinct style, but if you want to get published you must write what the reading public is buying. The stories I wanted to write didn’t fit into what I saw on display.

After the book I had worked so hard on this summer was firmly rejected by my dream editor, I began to rethink my publishing strategy. Was I missing the point? Was I writing for the market instead of writing the stories the Lord had placed in my heart, even if they weren’t the most popular topics and genres of the day?

At a mentor appointment on the last day of the conference, my suspicions were confirmed…and validated. Andy Meisenheimer from The Editorial Department advised I write what I am passionate about instead of writing for the market. Who knows? I could be the forerunner for the next big trend in Christian publishing.

“Give it two years,” Andy said. “Write your dreams first. If after all that time, you have no success, no one says you’re growing or headed in the right direction of achieving your dreams, then sell out.”

Good advice, Andy, and something I’ve taken to heart. Instead of working on projects that don’t speak to me, I’m going to write the stories that burden my beleaguered writer’s heart. The projects that excite me. Not what might be the hottest trend on the market today, but the stories that speak to me.

What about you? What did the Lord teach you at the ACFW conference? Did a meeting or encounter impact your life or career? How has your writing focus changed since the conference? Most importantly, how have you put it into action? Please share that we all might learn and become better writers and disciples of the Lord we serve.