My eldest son headed off to Middle School today! Hard to believe but true. 🙂

Anyway, while getting him all pepped up for the school year, I realized he was a bit understandably nervous. So, Christian writer that I am, I shared experiences from my life and the Bible, but I thought go a little further and share a quick-write with you about another man who had to face a new challenge of his own.

I hope Nehemiah’s story inspires you. If you have back-to-schoolers in your life, may it inspire them as well.

JP Robinson

It was the scariest day of my life! At least, that’s what I thought then. Why, you ask?

Here’s what happened.

 King Artaxerxes, the sole ruler of an empire that spanned more than 2 million square miles, had just asked me a question.

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that talking to such a powerful man was scary. I am his cupbearer after all, and he trusts me enough to ask my opinions from time to time.  The problem today was the question itself. You see, he looked right at me and asked, “Nehemiah, why are you sad?”

To you, that might sound like something nice. To me … it sounded like a death sentence.

You see, as the guy that made sure the king’s wine wasn’t poisoned, and spent a lot of time in his presence, it was pretty much against the rules for me to be sad when around the king. Artaxerxes thought of himself as so important that he banished all sadness from the life of anyone around him. Everybody had to be happy in his presence.

Weird, I know, but that’s the way things were.

Well anyway, even though I knew I shouldn’t be sad around the king, I just couldn’t bring myself to smile. Not today.

 Some of my relatives, who lived near the Lord’s city, Jerusalem, had come with news. Bad news.  They told me the city was in ruins and the gate still broken down. I knew that I had to do something. But what could I do? I was a thousand miles away from Jerusalem. I was just a lowly servant to the king. I was no Joshua that could command the sun to stand still or a David that could kill a giant!

I was a cupbearer. A soon-to-be-executed cupbearer.

But then I remembered that yesterday I had asked God to allow me to make a difference for my people back in my home country of Israel. This was my chance! I could either let things go as they were and pretend everything was okay, or I could take the plunge.

Scared stiff, I whispered a prayer in my heart for God’s help. Then I licked my lips, straightened my shoulders … and asked for permission to go back to my home country and rebuild the city.

Yes, I thought that was the scariest day of my life. Little did I know that things would get even scarier. But I learned an important lesson that day. God can use cupbearers as well as conquerors.

No matter who we are, kid or adult, once we trust Him, we can tackle the biggest challenges—and win.

I had a FANTASTIC time at Philly. What a blessing to reconnect with friends and be with so many talented authors from across the US. I even ran into an acquaintance from Canada!

Thanks to Marlene Bagnull​ for organizing and to all who attended my workshops called TURN YOUR WRITING INTO A BUSINESS, and How to write historical fiction,memoirs and biographies. Your questions and enthusiasm made it a great event. 
Photo below courtesy of Carol B Amos. Check out her blog for books on helping loved ones with Alzheimers.

Whether or not you were able to make it to Philly, If you wanted to get the notes, join my email list in the next 24 hours here:

It’s been a pretty intense weekend going over author manuscripts and offering marketing tips, so I’m planning on taking a few days off then jumping back headfirst into a YA thriller that’s due to editors by 12/1.

Have a great day all!

I’m busy making last-minute preparations for what’s going to be an OUTSTANDING writer’s conference in Philadelphia this week. I’m teaching two workshops: Turn Your Writing into a Business and Resurrect the Past (writing historical fiction, biographies and memoirs).

This conference is special to me because I’ll share a revolutionary approach to marketing for Christian authors as well as debut my latest writers’ self-help guide: Write Business.

Haven’t registered yet? Sign up here:
Join me in praying for a successful, helpful, conference. Thanks!

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13
Each of us has the power to change; to make choices today that will set us on the road to positive living. Yes, we may be confronted with or surrounded by less-than-desirable circumstances, but the past does not dictate our future.

What do you want?

It all starts with a desire to improve. Desire must be transformed into a willingness to work. The will to improve must then formulate an action plan. After planning you must go into action. All of the above must be supported with prayer and faith in Almighty God. Without His help, the past will prove very difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. As a nation and as individuals, the power to change our lives is within us if we acknowledge the source of strength—Christ.

In daily life

If your dad wasn’t a provider, purpose to be one for your children. If you grew up in poverty, purpose to rise above its challenges, not give into them. If you’ve been overcome by bitterness, today’s your day to forgive. Today’s the day: redefine your future. In the Shadow of Your Wings An unforgettable historical thriller. Watch the trailer. Read the book.