Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. – Jude 1:3 NIV

A guest minister at our church told us how, when he chose his former profession, he knew he\’d made the right choice. Wrong. God had other plans. This man had a congenital birth defect. The Lord not only healed him, but also called him to preach. He said God set him on ‘a new path I didn\’t know was there.\’

When he made that statement, it reminded me of one of the original Nintendo games. My favorite part of the game entailed finding a secret path or a hidden door. I could play that game for hours – becoming the best player my son knew and sort of a hero when I beat the game. One day he brought his friends to our house after school. It seems he\’d bragged his mother could beat the dragon. They came to get the proof.

I became far too obsessed with the game. No matter how I try to justify all the time wasted on the game, I cannot make an excuse for most of it. Oh, it was fun, and relaxing, and my son and I had something in common, which is a good thing, but it bordered on an unhealthy obsession.

At times, I feel I\’ve traded one obsession for another – writing. I scribble notes all over the place. I jot down ideas. I visit sites with tips for writers.

But in order to maintain balance, I pray daily asking the Lord to anoint my writing, and that this endeavor won\’t be a waste of time. God has been gracious. I\’ve received many notes of encouragement, and I do feel the Lord is blessing. I\’m on a ‘new path.\’

When Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, he advised them, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

Even if you aren\’t a writer, in your chosen profession, you can still heed this advice. Speak words of faith and healing, words which edify and build up. May our words meet needs and benefit others. And are there dragons to slay? Yes! I believe the Lord can use our words to banish discouragement and slay doubt.

I bought a new computer game recently, but I haven\’t gotten carried away this time. I have poems and articles to write, and devotionals to share.

Perhaps God is leading you to a new path. Are you ready?

Prayer: I praise you, Lord, for your goodness and mercy. Help me, O God, to be a vessel of honor building up and a blessing to those whose lives I touch. In Jesus\’ Name, I pray. Amen.

Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, looks at everyday life and finds God's fingerprints everywhere. From bird watching to the Beatitudes, Donna's writing touches the heart with wisdom and humor while feeding the mind with daily portions of God's Word. She is currently a columnist for The Dabbling Mum and a staff poet for The Inspiration Station. Her articles and poetry have appeared in Reminisce Extra, Just Between Us, Guideposts for Kids, Penwomanship, Sisters in the Lord, and many more. Her devotionals appear in Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul (Honor Books), and Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms (Warner Books).