REFORMATION TODAY: How I Created a Digital Magazine

 

In a departure from the general spiritual-warfare topics of my blog, I’d like to take a moment to share with you all how I created a digital magazine. I hope this will be a useful, easy-to-use guide for any inquiring minds who’d like to launch digital magazines of their own.

 

THE CONCEPTION

For those of you who don’t know, my magazine is REFORMATION TODAYThe first issue was released in June (Summer 2017), and the sophomore issue came out earlier this week (Fall 2017). I’m currently planning the Winter 2017 issue.

SUMMER 2017

SUMMER 2017

 

REFORMATION TODAY (referred to as “RT” from here on out) was something I’d been wanting to do for some time now. However, I have to lay much of the blame on Perry Stone. I’ve heard him discuss the origin of his publication, Voice of Evangelism (highly recommend!), several times. The presently high-quality issue that comes out five or six times a year and features articles mostly by him (`~ four or five per issue) as well as one by his wife, Pam, was not always the professional work that it is today! He started it as a very young man – a teenager, I believe, and with ZERO experience! If memory serves correctly, he created a small publication, plagued with errors (that were mocked by many), and sold his drum set to a man to get it published!

Well, that was before I was even born. And I knew that I had skills as a writer as well as an editor. And these days, with all of the programs and apps out there, one doesn’t have to be a graphic designer to get the layouts and so forth done in a sleek, professional manner. I knew I could create a magazine, and do it well! So I did!

Editorial History

I’ve written/edited for various magazines in the past: Boudoir Fashion Magazine, DENIM Fashion Magazine (celebrity stylist Jason Bolin), Extant Magazine (no longer in existence), Shulamite Women Community MagazineGlobal Prophetic Voice, and Gospel Today. I wanted a publication of my own that would be a continuation of the topics already discussed on my blog; that would have a strong emphasis on the prophetic and apostolic; and would discuss topics such as prayer/intercession/spiritual warfare, the prophetic, the apostolic, revival, and last but not least, reformation. One of the words declared over my life on multiple occasions was that I am a reformer. Just call me “Martin”! *smile*

Writing from a prophetic vein was not always a liberty I was afforded in the past, and it was very restricting, suffocating to my passion and ability. I wanted to build a team of prophetic and apostolic writers, known and unknown, whose voices could be heard without unnecessary restriction. REFORMATION TODAY was the happy result.

WRITE FOR REFORMATION TODAY!

Below, I will share some of the programs, apps, etc. that I used to put the entire magazine together, start to finish.

TOOLS & SYSTEMS

Google Docs

I am an intense advocate of Google Docs! I’ve lost too many documents over the years by accident using Microsoft Word so I RARELY use it, if ever. With Google Docs, I can access my documents from any location so long as there is Wi-Fi, and you can download the offline version(s) as well.

Of course, you can use Microsoft Word, Open Office, or whatever document program suits your fancy.

Canva

Canva is my lifeline!!! I use it for everything! Book covers (i.e. Judging the PropheticThe Days of Noah and LotDeborah: The Ultimate Jezebel-PreventativeBlogpreneur 101, as well as my notebook covers), Facebook/Twitter cover images, email headers, Instagram/Facebook/Twitter posts, ads, digital thank you cards, PDFs, and more! Honestly, if my magazine was under 30 pages total, I could do the entire project on Canva instead of having to implement Google Slides. But y’all know I’m long-winded and the list of writers is growing, so the magazine currently sits around 50 pages.

How Canva works is that you:

  1. Set up an account.
  2. Complete the quick, initial Canva how-to training.
  3. Select the template of your choice. (There are now two specific magazine layouts. And if you want another size beside 8.5×11, then you can enter your own dimensions in the upper righthand corner.)
  4. Select your layout. All layouts are either free or $1. (I haven’t paid for a layout yet!)
  5. Edit the current template’s image or upload and edit your own. You can edit and manipulate these images in various ways.
  6. Write or copy and paste your content.
  7. Download your Canva document. You may download it as a JPEG, PNG, PDF-Standard, or PDF-Print. I download all documents as JPEGs. You’ll learn why in the next section.

READ THE FULL POST AT DESIREEMMONDESIR.COM!

 

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Martin Luther Had Pamphlets, You Have Manifestos

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Over the past few months, I’ve been studying reformation. The historical figures Martin Luther and John Knox. The not-so-distant Nazi opposers, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and those involved in the White Rose Movement. They had one main thing in common: their reformation came through information. And that information was printed on pamphlets.

When the rebellious Benedictine monk acted on his righteous indignation over the travesties enacted by the Catholic Church, he nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Castle Church door.

Manifesto2

They were soon printed—along with many other works—on pamphlets distributed far in wide to the German masses.

The young people who headed up the White Rose Movement made their non-violent protests against the inhumane acts of the Nazi-powered Third Reich distributed their righteous beliefs in the form of leaflets.

These were short works, manifestos, expressing their beliefs, values, and guiding principles. When a reformation occurs, it often comes with manifestos that outline its belief system.

Manifesto3

Some not-so great examples are The Communist Manifesto, The Homosexual Manifesto, The Humanist Manifesto, and a worldwide “favourite,” Mein Kampf.

However, there are some other excellent, godly manifestos as well such as A Christian Manifesto  by the late Dr. Francis Schaffer as well as The Reformation Manifesto by Prophet Cindy Jacobs. (I own both of these and they are EXCELLENT, RIVETING reads!)

We may not all be reformers in the areas of religion and government, but maybe you are a thought leader in another area. Business, writing, dancing, whatever! God gives us all ideas for our spheres of influence. It’s our job to share those ideas and belief systems with the world.

With the advent of eBooks in iPad, Kindle, Nook, and PDF formats, it is now easier than ever to express these ideas through eBooks and manifestos.

Manifesto1

I won’t pretend to be Luther, Bonhoeffer, or Jacobs, but I do have the mind of Christ!

Write your manifesto today! Nail your theses to your walls on Facebook, tweet them on Twitter, pin them on Pinterest, and share them on Tumblr!

You have no excuse.

Get to writing!

P.S. Check out this Google Image search on manifestos and find what piques your manifesto-writing interest!

 

Write the Vision

I was sitting at my computer one night saying God, “show me what to write.”  And He simply said, “write the vision.” Now some of you may not be familiar with this phrase but it comes from the Book of Habakkuk in the Bible. It reads as follows:

“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3)

Now, we know that when we hear wisdom—whether Biblical or otherwise—we should not just listen to it and say “that’s wonderful”, but actually apply it to our lives. Therefore, the first instruction of this verse is to “write the vision.”

Writing the Vision

Some of you may be wondering what the vision is that I speak of. In the literal translation, it is the word which the prophet was given. However, since this is not a theological blog post it we’ll focus on the, metaphorical application that will benefit your life.

What is your purpose in this world? What dreams has God given you? What visions do you desire to achieve? That is the vision I speak of. That is what you are to write down. Writing the vision, dreams, and goals of your life is not only an encouragement to you, but an act of faith.

The passage itself is entitled “The Just Live By Faith.” As Christians, we know that it is impossible to please God without faith. However, we also know that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20 & 26). Therefore, this means that when we realize our vision for our life that the first action we should take is to write it down.

Writing it down encompasses creating personal as well as professional vision/mission statements, goal lists (daily, weekly, monthly, annual, etc.), business plans, and more. Whatever literature and lists, etc. that you can create to help organize your vision and goals, create it. They are the act of faith that will propel you forward emotionally and professionally.

In writing your vision and goals, remember that it is an act of faith; not perfect. The chances are very high that what you plan will not happen exactly the way or time in which you planned it to happen, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. I’ll give you an example. I made a move from Tulsa, OK to Charlotte, NC believing that I would follow a particular plan which entailed me focusing largely on Desired Assistance, my virtual writing and editing company. However, mere weeks later, I was led to create DA Weddings blog and now, this one. It was been a most wonderful turn of events! Step out on faith to write your vision and God will perfect it to align with His purpose and timeline for you.

Run with It!

The next part of this verse states “…that he may run who reads it…” As we started to touch on in the last section, faith without works is dead.  In other words, you can’t just write the vision and forget about it. Keep it before your eyes. Meditate on it. Speak it out loud. Then do what you’ve planned. Run with it! If you can’t expect to lose weight without eating differently and working out or having the perfect wedding without planning or hiring a wedding planner, than you cannot expect to succeed in business without making an effort as well.

If your business—like many nowadays—thrives on referrals, then network in person and on line to make contacts. Create the actual plans and literature for the next phase of your business. Start writing that blog or book. Whatever you vision is, act on it. As Marshawn Evans would say, “God’s anointing [ability to function in your specific gift] is attached to your appointing [what you are purposed/gifted to do].” When you discover what you are purposed to do, you will have the ability to “run” and do just that.

Wait for It…!

This is probably the most frustrating part of the vision process. We can write and we can work, but ultimately, we always have to wait. Tarrying is an old school term for waiting and in English, we typically define it as a passive act. However, it is actually an authoritative act. In short, we are empowered to do what we must until the God-given visions come to past.

We must be patient. There is always a perfect timing for everything whether it’s the writing and release of that book, the promotion of yourself or your business, that million-dollar contract. Whatever it is, do what you know to do—don’t be passive—and if it’s meant to happen, you can absolutely guarantee that it will happen at the perfect time.

I encourage all of you today: go, write the vision! Be specific as possible and do it in good faith knowing that if it is for you and if you work at it and towards it, it will happen!

Note: If you have visions and dreams that God has given you for your life and or business, create a Promise Journal. Make a list of everything He’s said chronologically if at all possible. Add to it when He tells you something new and comment on it like you would in a text book or essay when you start to see things come to past. It’s a source of encouragement to you and, I believe, it is an affirmation that you trust God, acknowledge that He is keeping His promises to you, and encourages Him to keep doing what He’s doing in your life. It’s a wonderful thing!