Go For It

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? 

1. Determine why you desire to write. After you have completed that task, do an outline of your ideas.

2. Ask for help.

Don’t be overwhelmed by your lack of knowledge about writing or the publishing industry. Select an individual, group or organization with the knowledge or ability to help you succeed.

3. Educate yourself.

Do research to obtain information on how you can best leverage your knowledge and abilities to fulfill your dream of writing. The internet is filled with information of all sorts about writing, publishing and marketing your book.

4. Determine the genre of your book.

5. Benchmark against the best in the area of your writing assignment. Nevertheless, be a trend setter. Do not be afraid to break new ground.  

6. Research your publishing options (traditional publishing, assisted self-publishing, do-it-yourself publishing) before making the decision.

7. Remember to budget for editing and promotional activities. Create a marketing plan.

8. Create your author platform (website and social media) to connect with readers.

9.  Be enthusiastic about your book. It will help you to move forward when things are not going as planned.

10. Stay away from negative people and those who will talk you out of writing your book.

11. Celebrate the milestones you have achieved during the process of completing your book.

12.  Stay expectant. Trust God. He will bring it to pass.

Ready! Set! Go!

I would like to hear from you. What advice would you give?

Ann Marie Bryan

CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design

Author of the Encounters of the Heart  series

abryan@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/victoriousbydes

Do Not Bury It

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Is it going to happen?

How many times have you wondered, prayed, talked about it, imagined it completed… this dream of yours?

Will it ever come to pass? 

Well… if it isn’t dead, don’t bury it. Speak life over it. Don’t speak doubt and discouragement. Speak the blessings of God over it and expect a magnificent outcome.  If you sow seeds of negativity over your dream then you will reap negative results.

Be honest with yourself.  Is this your dream or someone else’s dream? Is this a part of God’s plan for your life?  If yes, then have faith in God!

You are the only one who can accomplish your dream. You will have to do it yourself… yes, you!  You will have help but this is your dream. You will carry the joys, the sorrows, the disappointments, and the triumphs of your dream. This is your “baby” so it is your responsibility to see it through to full development.

Here are a few tips to consider as you move forward, purposefully in the direction of your dreams:

1.  Waiting is a part of the process.  Yes, I know.  We all hate to wait.  However, we develop patience while we wait. Waiting stretches us to our limits and shows the “fibers” that we are made of.

2.  Put pen to paper and record your dream. Be clear and specific about your dream so you can identify workable ways to fulfill it.

3.  Make sure your timing is right; not just any timing, but God’s timing. Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Remember, if God has called you, He has equipped you with the skills necessary to complete your dream.

4.  Do research to obtain information on how you can best leverage your knowledge and abilities to fulfill your dream. The internet is filled with information of all sorts.

5.  Benchmark against the best in the area of your assignment. Nevertheless, be a trend setter. Do not be afraid to break new ground.

6.  It’s okay to ask for help.  Don’t be overwhelmed by your lack of knowledge about a particular area of your dream. Select a person or organization to approach, who you believe has the knowledge or ability to help you succeed.

7.  Stay away from negative people and those who will talk you out of your dream.

8.  Develop a plan with timelines to accomplish your dream.

9.  Dare to pursue your dream.

10.  Prayerfully take decisive actions.  Move the ball forward, step by step, brick by brick.

11.  Be enthusiastic about your dream. It will help you to move forward when things are not going as planned. Keep pressing along during the times of failures and hardship.

12.  Put a lid on your mouth. Bring “crazy” thoughts under the subjection of the Holy Spirit. Stay expectant! Trust God. He will bring it to pass.

13.  Celebrate the milestones you have achieved during the process of completing your dream.

Be excellent in whatever God has called you to do. Ask God for the strength and determination to pursue your dream with joy. So go on! Ready! Set! Go! Don’t you ever forget, you are Victorious By Design.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Ann Marie Bryan

CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design

Author of Shades of the Heart

abryan@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/victoriousbydes

Are you in the waiting room?

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In the waiting room, the Holy Spirit will examine your heart.
In the waiting room, you will be tested to purify our motives.
In the waiting room, you will develop the Fruit of the Spirit.
In the waiting room, you will learn to trust the Father’s heart.

Remember, He gave His only begotten son for you.
So, trust His ultimate goodness! Stay full of hope and expectation.
God is with you and it will work out for your good!
You are Victorious By Design.

Ann Marie Bryan

CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design

Author of Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along

Ann B

abryan@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victorious-By-Design/240086216046505

 

  

Be Intentional: Hit the Mark of Excellence

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“Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” Ralph Marston .

We all love to celebrate victories.  It is a signal that someone has hit a special mark, even a milestone.  But, what exactly does it take to hit a mark and to hit it with excellence so that you finish gracefully.

For sure, hitting the mark of excellence takes conscious effort.  It is easy to exercise little effort that will lead to mediocrity, at best.  But, hitting the mark of excellence requires that you go above and beyond the call of duty.

“Excellence is never an accident. It is the result of high intention, sincere effort and intelligent execution.” Aristotle

You are not going to hit the mark by accident.

You are going to hit the mark because you set out with everything in you to hit it.  To ensure the highest quality, you must purpose in your heart that you will give only your best to bring your assignment to fruition.

Sometimes, you will have to let go of good things to hit the mark that God has set for you.

For example, when I decided to write my novel, “Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along,” I had to cut back on my social activities among many other things.

Want to hit the mark of excellence?

Change the way that you run.

There is so much to do in so little time! You just must prioritize, making sure that what you are doing is of value and relevant for the time and season. You want to do your assignment and hit it with the desired mark of excellence that God has placed in you.

Take courage! 

God will not give you an assignment that you do not have the ability and capability to complete.   When your pursuits become what God has on His agenda for you then He will make provisions for you complete your assignment.

The following tips will help you to pursue your assignment with excellence:

1.    Prayerfully take decisive actions.  Move it forward, step by step and brick by brick. Remember, you are Victorious By Design.

2.    Research! Research! Research your assignment.

3.    Benchmark against the best in the area of your assignment.

4.    Be a trend setter. Do not be afraid to break new ground.

5.    Keep pressing  along during the times of failures and hardship.

6.   Don’t be overwhelmed by your lack of knowledge about a particular section of your assignment.  Ask for help.  Select a person or organization who you believe has the knowledge or ability to help you succeed.

7.    Stay away from negative people and those who will talk you out of your assignment.

8.    Practice temperance, that is, self-control. God will bring it to pass.

9.  Keep your blinders on everyday until you see your assignment completed.

10. Put a lid on your mouth. Bring every “crazy” thought under the subjection of the Holy Spirit. Speak life over your assignment. It will come to pass.

11.  Celebrate the milestones you have achieved during the process of completing your assignment.

Last but not least, be excellent in whatever God has called you to do. Ask God for strength and determination to complete your assignments with  joy and excellence.

Go on! Apply yourself to the plan and complete your assignment. Ready! Set! Go!

Let me hear from you.

Ann Marie Bryan

CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design

Author of Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along

abryan@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victorious-By-Design/240086216046505

 

Your Most Important Pursuit: Discovering Your Calling

Group of businesspeople having a meeting.

“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.” Aristotle

Just the other day, I was talking to two friends about the beautiful fragrance that is emitted when a person walks in his or her calling.

It’s attractive!

You want to abide in the presence of such a person…sometimes not understanding why.  But, it’s because of that wonderful aroma arising from God’s anointing on that person because he or she is walking in purpose. That person is on an assignment from God to benefit the right people, in the right place, during the right season.

What are you and I supposed to do with our lives?

I am persuaded that God has given each of us a distinct calling.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made, one of a kind. We are unique and blessed with many talents and abilities.  So, we are perfectly designed for our calling and we need to recognize and embraced this. I encourage you to step back from the routine and zoom out to get the big picture. The time is now!

How can you discover your calling?

Take your time! Do not rush to answer!

As you attempt to identify your calling, do first things first:

1.  Pray about it

God has prepared a path that we should walk in as stated in  Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)

2.  Evaluate yourself

This step is often the most difficult and requires time.  You must be willing to assess yourself and document the results.  You will have to do it yourself…yes, you!  While you can ask for help from a person or organization who you believe has the knowledge or ability to help you, it is your responsibility to discover your calling.  As you purposefully attempt to discover your calling, analyze your life by answering the following questions:

1.    What are your skills and talents?

2.    What are your core competencies?  

3.    What are your core values?  

4.    What are your strengths?

5.    What are you passionate about?  

6.    What do you absolutely love to do?

7.    What issues stir your heart?

8.    What makes you happy?

9.    What gives you joy?

10.  What makes you angry?

11.  What do others compliment you about?

12.  What do you do in your spare time?

13.  What needs around you do you have a strong desire to fulfill?

14.  What are your occupational interests?

Strategically put it all together

Be determined to discover your calling.  Do not let fear hold you back. It takes a whole lot of courage, perseverance, sacrifice, and practice.  However, you have a right to pursue your calling. 

Listen selectively to advice from others.  Do not let anyone convince you that your calling is impractical or too difficult to pursue. To embrace the calling on your life, you have to tune out the negative comments of others. 

Once you understand your calling, prayerfully set goals, and take decisive actions.  You are Victorious By Design.  Read “5 Empowering Steps Toward Fulfilling Your Purpose” by visiting  http://victoriousbydesign.com/?p=7526.

How will walking in your calling benefit you?

1.  It brings value and meaning to your life.

2.  You will be at peace.

3.  It allows you to stand in the joy, grace, protection, and provision of God

4.  It covers you with the blessings of God

I implore you to exit your comfort zone, discover your calling and watch your life soar.

Let me hear from you.

 Ann Marie Bryan

CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design

Author

 abryan@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoriousbydes

Sustain Your Prosperity


Favor! Favor! Favor! 

When God comes in your life, He comes to advance you. God’s favor on your life will open doors for you.

So, God opened a door for you! But, what decisions are you making to sustain your prosperity? Are you making a difference where you are to sustain your prosperity?

To sustain what God is doing in your life, you must make decisions that will:

  1. Advance you
  2. Rush you to your destiny
  3. Sustain God’s prosperity on your life.
  4. Sustain the favor of God in your life.

 

Ask God for wisdom to make wise decisions that will sustain your prosperity. Don’t you ever forget, you are Victorious By Design!

(Excerpts from a sermon on 08/11/2013 by Bishop John E. Baker, Lead Pastor, NHIOM)

&

Ann Marie Bryan

CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design

Author of Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along

abryan@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victorious-By-Design/240086216046505

Waiting For Your Breakthrough

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The other day, I found myself trying to hurry God.  Can you relate?

Waiting is not always fun and exciting. Our natural inclination is to hate waiting. However, I have learned that waiting is a good thing and an opportune time to prepare for my next level of unprecedented opportunities and success. 

You may feel like you are in the waiting room forever… time seems to stand still.

You are in the waiting room, waiting on God for your breakthrough.  A waiting room is usually the part of a building where people sit until the event they are waiting for happens. 

Thankfully your waiting room has no walls.

In the waiting room, you are waiting for God’s best for you.  What a wonderful day that will be when that thing comes to fruition! Your waiting period is not the time to shut down spiritually, emotionally, or physically.  While you wait, stay active and expectant and not passive. Do not sit around doing nothing.  Expect your situation to be resolved at any moment.

Expect it to happen…SUDDENLY!

Here is a question for you: Why are you in the waiting room?

At times, God delays fulfilling our requests or even gives us an out-and-out no, because:

1.  We need further development
2.  He has a better prospect for us.
3.  The timing is not right
 

You ask God.  He never works randomly but has a specific plan for each of us.  Do not circumvent the waiting process. God has His own timetable for our lives. Stay put and let God direct you and give you what is yours.  Remember, God has been with you through thick and thin; He knows what is best for you. 

So stay expectant! Trust God. He will bring your situation to pass.

“Wait for the Lord: be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 (KJV)
 

Let me hear from you!

Ann Marie Bryan

CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design

Author of Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along

abryan@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victorious-By-Design/240086216046505

Share Your Story


 

I choose to share my story. I like serving others and I want to make a difference.

Perhaps you have an idea for a book. It could be your first book; you’ve never attempted anything this huge and your life is already too hectic…a job, family, and many other activities.

How can you do this insurmountable task? 

I know you’ve heard it a thousand times but it is the truth.  There’s never going to be a perfect time. There is no magic formula!  Writing is a discipline!  Keep at it, day by day! Few words will soon turn into a chapter.

After approximately two years of planning, writing and editing, I joyfully published my inspirational novel, Unforgettable, My Love has Come Along.  Though, I must admit that I did not write consistently, except for the last few months of the two years.

To move yourself further along, ask yourself this question – “Why am I writing?”

Generally, people write for two reasons, either they are required to or they choose to write for their own reasons. I wrote “Unforgettable, My Love has Come Along” for the following reasons:

1. Everyone likes a great love story.

2. To reiterate that love is a decision.

3. To promote the Christian faith and values.

4. To encourage readers to apply Godly principles to their relationships.

5. To spread God’s Word and touch lives.

6. To share God’s faithfulness as the various characters deal with issues.

7. To show the striking contrast between walking in the Spirit and walking in the flesh as regards relationships.

8. To show the nature of God.

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I encourage you to get a notebook or your laptop and begin to write/type out your ideas for your book.  The entire process will be very exciting and you will learn things you never knew about yourself. Your writing journey will inspire, empower, educate, and challenge you and others.

Don’t delay. Go ahead! Write your story and share it with the world.

I would love to hear from you.

  Ann Marie Bryan, CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design

Author of Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along

 abryan@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victorious-By-Design/240086216046505

From Religion to Relationship

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Have you met Him?

If I told you that I wanted to introduce you to a very special person; one who will love you no matter what you did and forgives anything you do even before you confess; this person is very generous, kind, and compassionate and someone who will support you even when the choices you make are questionable.  Wouldn’t you want to meet that person? Wouldn’t you want to learn more about him/her, hoping above all that you could be meeting the person of your dreams?  Wouldn’t you want to talk with to this person frequently and spend quality time together?

The Sad Truth

That person is God and that is how many of us treat Him.  Still, He loves us so much that he waits patiently each day.  He wakes us up refreshed and rejuvenated, gives us the sun to warm us, protects us throughout the day, and gives us the moon for light during the night.

Still, we barely acknowledge him.

This is a friendship you should want to hold on to; after all, good friends are hard to find.  Friendships are built when we spend quality time with the people we care about.  Then, the friendship grows, blossoming into a life-long unshakable bond.

Yes – many times we go to church to give thanks because we were either taught to do so or introduced to it by someone.  Our minds tell us that there is a supreme being that cares and we should honor him but does that transfer to our hearts?  This is the inclusive bond we should endeavor to have with Jesus Christ.

God said it best to the people of Israel in Isaiah 29:13(KJV) “…. people draw near me with their mouth and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”

The difference between Religion and Relationship

Religion is a commitment to a religious faith, a personal set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices.  But  - a Relationship is a kinship, a dependence, an alliance, and a more intimate connection.

We must move away from religion and develop a solid personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Having an intimate relationship with the Lord means inviting Him into every part of our lives.

I would love to hear from you on this subject.

Paula Owen, VBD Contributor

feedback@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victorious-By-Design/240086216046505

Blending in or Standing out

I am blessed to go to one of the best universities in Canada, in a beautiful location, nestled between chains of mountains on the southern coast of British Columbia. However, as the only Christian (that I know of) on my floor at my residence, it is often easy to forget the beauty of the majestic mountains surrounding me, and to become discouraged by my circumstances.

The reality of my situation is that I am constantly confronted with negative influences and pervasive spirits such as lust, and selfishness, and although the opportunity to be a light to so many people should be considered a blessing to me, sometimes it feels like more of a burden.

To be honest, I often wonder if I truly have what it takes to be a light. I understand that in order to shine in the darkness, I need to allow God to shine through me, because my light alone is not sufficient, but sometimes I feel as if allowing myself blend into the darkness would be easier.

God has used my circumstances as an opportunity to test my faith in the same way that Jesus tests the faith of the disciple Philip in John 6:5-11.  A crowd of around 5000 men begins to gather after Jesus crossed over the sea of Galilee.  Jesus asks Philip, where they would be able to get enough food to feed all the people; but the question was not asked out of concern that there would not be enough, the question was asked with the knowledge that the only thing that the people lacked was faith.

When I read this verse, I realized God had been asking me the same question, here at my university in the mountains; He wanted to know if I thought He would be able to touch each and every life on my floor, in addition to the others that I came into contact with on a daily basis. God wanted to see if I truly believed that the light that he had given me would be enough to dispel the darkness.

John 6: 6 actually states outright that Jesus asks this as a test, however, Philip’s response in the next verse is not one of faith, but of practicality; Philip states that in order to even begin to appease the hunger of such a large crowd, it would take almost a year’s wages.

This practical answer was not the one Jesus was looking for; the fact of the matter is that our logic and practicality confines how we allow God to act in our lives.

If we look at our situation and realize that the odds are against us, that we are the only Christian on a floor of 25 girls, that we are the only believer in our group of friends, or at our workplace, we place God into a box, and we allow our circumstances to limit the work He is able to do in our lives.

The disciple, Andrew’s response was the opposite of Philip’s; Andrew saw that a young boy in the crowd had lunch box with five small loaves of bread and two fish; however, instead of being discouraged by the limitations of the resources he had, and immediately disregarding them as insufficient, Andrew chose to acknowledge that the disciples did have a means of providing for at least some of the people. He did not allow the restrictions of his resources to discourage him, and although the amount of faith he had was not incredibly large, Jesus was able to use his little faith, to provide for a multitude of 5000.

If we respond to the question, where will you get the resources you need to accomplish your God given mission the way that the disciple Andrew did, by realizing that, although the odds are against us, we still have some means of fulfilling the tasks we are given, we give God the opportunity to use our tiny step of faith to bless the people around us. This step of faith, in addition to perseverance, trust, patience and obedience are all it takes for God to begin to work, and God has been showing me that my efforts have been paying off. Although I haven’t been able to develop relationships with every girl on my floor, I was recently given the opportunity to share my faith with one person, and everyday I am able to share my light by being a blessing.

Although some people shy away from the light, I am confident that God will use me to touch the lives of each person in a different way. If the very least I do is brighten a person’s day, even if that is the extent of the blessings I am able to give others with the resources I have been given, I am confident that God will multiply everything I do.

All I need is to have faith that His resources are more than enough to feed the multitude gathered by my mountain.

Michee Hamilton, VBD Contributor

feedback@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victorious-By-Design/240086216046505

 

 

Do Not Bury It!

So, is it going to happen? 

How many times have your wondered, prayed, talked about it, imagined it completed… this dream or desire of yours?  

Will it ever come to pass? 

Well…if it is not dead, don’t bury it!  Speak life over it!  Don’t speak doubt and discouragement!  Speak the blessings of God over it.  Expect a great and magnificent outcome.  If you sow seeds of negativity over your dream or desire, then you will reap everything negative. 

Get up and get busy! Do your homework.   

Is this a part of God’s plan for your life?  Be honest with yourself!  Is this your dream or someone else’s dream? 

If this is your God ordained dream or desire, then, have faith in God! 

Are you ready?

CAUTION: You are the only one that can accomplish your dream.  You will have to do it yourself…yes, you!  You will have help but this is YOUR dream.  You will carry the joys, the sorrows, the disappointments, and the triumphs of your dream.  This is your “baby” so it is your responsibility to see it through to full development. 

Here are a few tips to consider as you move forward, purposefully in the direction of your dreams: 

1.  Waiting is a part of the process.  Yes, I know.  We all hate to wait.  However, we develop patience while we wait. Waiting stretches us to our limits and shows the “fibers” that we are made of.

2.  Put pen to paper and record your dream. Be clear and specific about your dream. Do not minimize your dream but allow yourself to find workable ways to fulfill it. 

3.  Make sure your timing is right; not just any timing, but God’s timing.  Surrender your plan to God and trust Him to bring it to pass. 

4.  Research, Research, Research! Do research to obtain information on how you can best leverage your talents and abilities to fulfill your dream.  The internet is filled with information of all sorts.  

5.  It’s okay to ask for help.  Select a person or organization to approach, who you believe has the knowledge or ability to help you succeed.  Read more at http://victoriousbydesign.com/?p=7277 

6.  Develop a plan with timelines to accomplish your dream. 

7.  Dare to pursue your dream.  

Keep your enthusiasm! It will help you to move forward when things are not going as planned.  Move the ball forward, step by step, brick by brick.  Last but not least, celebrate every victory as you work your plan.

Stay strong and victorious!

Ann Marie Bryan

CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design

Author of Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along

abryan@victoriousbydesign.com

https://twitter.com/victoriousbydes

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victorious-By-Design/240086216046505

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