Ask and You Shall Receive by Ann Malley

Hello dear readers. Happy 2023!

Ann Malley here, empty-nesting author of inspired romantic suspense, contemporary western romance, & clean romantic comedy. I hope the new year has already filled you with abundant blessings and hope for the coming months. I’m embracing the latter. Trying, in light of my empty nest, to count God’s many graces: good health with a few exceptions, a strong marriage of 35+ years, the absence of chaos, abundant time for reflection, hobbies, and…I’m building that list.

The Lord’s gifts are everywhere if one looks for them…. like this blog.

You may be new to Christians Read, or a regular reader, but I’m brand new. A fledgling in need of guidance. That said, I’m asking you all for help. Whatever wisdom you can impart or believe that you should, be it personal, professional, whatever strikes you. No shying away now:

JUST DO IT!

Matthew 7:7-8

King James Version

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

In return, I’ll eagerly supply whatever support and/or insights I have should you choose to comment and/or ask me. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do, sure, but also because of the last portion of the Parable of the Talents. Remember? The master gives his three servants varying amounts of gold to be used in his absence. The first & second servants did well, using their bags of gold to increase their master’s wealth, but the third servant who had received the least amount of gold??? Yikes:

PLANT SEEDS IN THE GROUND,
NOT GOD’S GIFTS !

Matthew 25:24-28

King James Version

24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

Who in the world reading that parable would want to be that guy? Not me. Still, I struggle with burying things. Hiding out. Squirreling away talents, time, etc when I know I’ll be held to account for what God has given me. When my children were home, I had the best excuse for staying focused on family only. But that’s hardly the case anymore.

Sure, the majority of my years have been spent as a homeschooling mother, moving from state to state as my husband’s job dictates. Attempting—and too often failing—to be the rock during his various deployments. Now? Those days are gone. A good thing, absolutely, but the quiet is often crushing.

At the risk of playing Devil’s Advocate, I feel somewhat sorry for the third servant, and I always have. The master goes on about putting the gold with the money changers, but what if?? What if this third servant had zero idea who the money changers were? A servant with so little talent may have scarcely known about money changers. Nose to the grindstone, focusing on his job, this servant may have been completely ignorant…as I know I am about a variety of outlets, callings, etc.

We humans only know what we know. Consider this. Had the third servant asked for help from the other two, his fate may have been different. Had the first two servants thought to help their fellow servant, matters may have been different. I don’t know about you, but I always took issue with the two successful servants, who worked in the same household, ignoring the demonstrable ignorance of their fellow servant. If those with so many talents are that talented, why was this poor man left to himself, burying his talent in the dark of night?

That shouldn’t have happened in my book. Again, Devil’s Advocate here. So, I’m asking for your help because I am that third servant. Feels that way often enough. But in truth, I’m fooling myself. There are talents I have that I likely haven’t assessed. I’m too close to see. There are talents that you possess that I absolutely do not. Talents you may not recognize in yourself.

So, the point of this article? Ask. Ask to receive. Ask yourself in order to give. Should you share your talents so that the master may realize an increase from all his servants. Ask so you might experience the soulful satisfaction of doing what you’re designed to do and fully capable of creating. A win/win for your fellow servants in all charity.

If you see something, say something. If you don’t see what should or could be there, speak up. My new friend Vicki Hinze asked me to join Christian reads. A blessing for me without doubt. A wake-up call to get out there. Mary Alford asked that I join the Small Town Danger Collection, an action packed thrill ride of ten full length stories due out this spring. My goodness. Gifts abound.

Can I say thank you enough? No.

Might I pay these kindnesses forward? I certainly hope so.

I hope to hear from you, dear readers. I’ll start off easy, asking you what tropes and scenarios you’d like to see in inspired romantic suspense. What haven’t you seen on the cyber-shelves. What’s your favorite? What theme should be explored more to help those who struggle? I tend toward darker themes myself, having been led from serious darkness. So, ask away and do tell if only to help our fellow servants make the most of their talents!

About Ann Malley

Honestly? I write about real women battling for their happily-ever-after. You know the kind. Look in the mirror. Deadly choices that demand faith feature in my romantic suspenses. Personal demons, defeated by embracing self, haunt my clean romances. My head, too. Kicking those snark monsters to the curb is a must do for every heroine. Heroes, too. I'm no sexist. Fun and frolic are what's for dinner in my sweet shorts. (Short stories, although my shorts have been known to frolic, but don't spread that around :^) When not writing, which is almost never, I get cozy with my forever friend. My husband Greg, aka: The Grinch Who Stole My Mattress. I also love to harangue my three grown and flown children. Wonder why they left home? I don't. But my spooky little kitty named Boo and her alter ego Peanut (Formerly known as the Anti-Boo) keep me feeling loved. They may be in it for the tuna. Follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter and you'll be able to clue me in soon enough. I can't wait!!
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