Writing Opportunities

Train Up a Child
Devotions for Parents and Grandparents

Compiled and edited by Marlene Bagnull

NOTE: This project is presently on hold. Because of the volume of submissions I've received, I am unable to acknowledge receipt of your submission and will respond only if your manuscript is selected for publication. You are free to submit your manuscript elsewhere (both before and after acceptance/publication) as long as you do not offer anyone all or first rights. Although I do not yet have a publisher, several have shown strong interest in the idea. As soon as I have a publisher, I will post this information on my website and, of course, contact those whose work has been accepted to make certain it is still available.Please pray with me that God will open the right door at the right time.

As our nation slides down the slippery slope of no moral absolutes, it is vitally important that Christian parents teach their children, by word and example, to follow God’s absolutes given to us in the Ten Commandments. Train Up a Child, a devotional book written by parents, for parents of children of all ages, will be divided into ten sections for each of the Ten Commandments. Its purpose is to encourage parents to train up their child in God’s way.

In preparing a devotional for consideration (poems of less than 24 lines are also welcome) please keep the following guidelines in mind:

PAYMENT - Since I am hoping to again have over 100 contributors as in My Turn to Care - Encouragement for Caregivers of Aging Parents (Thomas Nelson, 1994 and Ampelos Press, 1999) and For Better, For Worse - Devotional Thoughts for Married Couples (Christian Publications, 2004) I am not able to offer payment for accepted manuscripts but expect to negotiate one free book and the opportunity to purchase additional copies at a reduced price for gifts or resale (other than to a bookstore) in exchange for non-exclusive book rights. Your byline, of course, will be included as well as a short bio.

Sample devotion for Train Up a Child

Truth and Prayer
by Jamie Cummings

People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy. Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)

    Being a teacher at the school your children attend is a blessing but is not without awkward moments. One such moment came when my son was in kindergarten. For five days he greeted me after school, pockets stuffed with hot wheels cars.
    “Where did you get these, son?”
    “My friend Tommy.”
    “Hmmm. That’s okay with his mom?”
    “Uh huh.”
    “Are you giving Tommy some of your toys?”
    “Why not?”
    “He doesn’t want any.”
    Growing suspicious as the collection grew, I replied, “That’s great you’re making a new friend. Tell him I’d like to meet him tomorrow after school.”
    Three o’clock brought us together for the showdown. “Where’s Tommy?”
    Suddenly my son spewed out the truth, holding nothing back, including the tears spilling down his pudgy little cheeks.
    “There is no Tommy. I took them from the toy box in the classroom.”
    C.J. had plenty of his own cars. The ones he stole had obviously had a few previous adventures. As we drove home, my usual non stop conversationalist sat in solitary silence. I was upset that he stole, but furious he had lied to me. His great imagination was venturing into dangerous territory.
    I prayed for the words to speak to my son and the punishment that would end his desire to lie and steal. The discipline would have to be swift and effective. Gently, I was reminded of my past indiscretions. I prayed for patience, wisdom, and control over the anger that was welling up inside me.
    What came to me was the one thing my son loves more than cars and leggos: dessert! Lies were a bitter thing coming out of his mouth so he would be putting nothing sweet inside for each day he lied. Gulp. Five days with no ice cream! Eyes wide in disbelief told me he understood the severity of his crime. As for stealing, he would return what did not belong to him.
    Clutching my hand tightly and thrusting the brown paper bag of contraband forward, he whispered to the teacher what he had done. She graciously forgave him and his whole body collapsed in relief outside the door. Locked in a hug I couldn’t pry him loose from, I kissed his velvety cheek as he dried the tears sliding down mine.

    Lord, you tell us that if we love you, we will keep your commandments. Please help my child not to give into fear and pride that could lead to dishonesty and theft. Keep the bitter taste of lies off his tongue and let the words of his mouth be pleasing to you. If he does stumble, help him to confess his mistakes quickly so that Satan cannot have a stronghold on his soul. Help me to discipline him quickly and fairly. Thank you Father, for sending your Spirit of truth, and for your amazing gift of mercy for all who
are willing to abide in you. In your precious son’s name, I thank you for the privilege of raising this little boy. Amen.

Jamie Cummings is a graduate of the CLASS seminar taught by Marita and Florence Littauer. She serves on the writing/drama team on the Interactor’s Drama Troupe at The Church at Rancho Bernardo and has a contribution in Doug and BJ Jensen’s recent publication: Famous Lovers of the Bible. She is currently a member and associate of the Christian Writer’s Guild. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Education. Jamie teaches 3rd grade and lives in San Diego with her husband and two children.

Copyright Jamie Cummings