The Lifeline in the Deep

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Steve Laube Literary Agent

09 – The Lifeline in the Deep

Literary Agent Steve Laube talks frankly with Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young about a writer’s most valuable resource in the deep: God’s Word. It’s as alive, powerful, and applicable in today’s world as it was when first written. But for many believers, the words and truths in Scripture have become…routine. Join us as Steve’s insights from his years-long study of Scripture refresh us and help us discover the wonder, the healing, and the counsel that await when we meet God in the deep.

Show Notes

We’ve been exploring the deep places of struggles, and today we have Steve Laube, one of the most respected literary agents in the Christian publishing industry, here with us to talk about the deep place of being immersed in God.

Most writers know about Steve’s terrific work in publishing, first as an editor with Bethany House Publishers and then as the founder of the prestigious Steve Laube Agency. But what many people don’t know about Steve is that he’s been leading a chronological Bible study at his church for 9 years now. Every week they’re digging in, going deep with God, and discovering things they’ve never seen.

Wisdom from the Bible study

“As the years began going by, and as we were working through the harmony of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, and inserting the prophets into their appropriate places, we actually started seeing a bigger picture of how God moved in His people.”

“There was this constant dynamic that I think is missed by most of us…[we could] see the hand of God in history.”

“Despite humanities efforts to derail God’s plans, Gods hands are still there in everything we do. His purposes are accomplished.”

The Demoniac

“The demoniac became the first missionary to the Gentiles…Jesus had never been [to the region of the Gerasenes] before. He was there for less than 24 hours. And He was there for one reason, and that was to heal one man. One man…And I look at that and I say, writers, if you think God has abandoned you, if you think you’re a demoniac and that everything is terrible and horrible and all that…God has you in his sights…”

On Success

“I keep going back to that if you’re faithful in the calling to write, to work within the confines that you were granted, then you define success differently.”

“It’s frustrating when [people] define success monetarily…Those of us who are truly grounded in the word of God, and truly understand what God’s purpose is, our success cannot be defined monetarily.”

“Writing is not a profession for those who wish to be wealthy. It just doesn’t work that way. That’s not the point.”

Our Lifeline

“If any writer who is in a deep place is not searching the scripture, they’re not going to find their lifeline. They will be lost at sea…”

Final Words of Wisdom

“Look in Lamentations 3, where you have the phrase, ‘Great is Thy faithfulness.’ Realize the context in which that was written—while Jerusalem was burning. And Jeremiah says, ‘Great is Thy faithfulness.’ As writers who are in deep places, and dark places, and struggling, and it feels like everything is coming apart…If you can stand with Jeremiah, and look at your dreams on fire, and you can say, ‘Great is Your faithfulness,’ you can survive anything.”


“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.” Micah 7:7

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

We’d Love to Hear from you!

Have you ever watched your dreams go up in flames?
How did you cope?

Got a topic you’d like us to cover? Let us know!


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  1. Linda says:

    Lots of wonderful insights in this one. Writing in secret and trusting that is what God wants for me – maybe forever – is a hard place. Yet, I will praise Him because past experience has shown me how faithful He is.
    and thanks to Steve for sharing his wonderful insights from scripture. Sounds like an awesome study.

    • Karen Ball says:

      He is faithful, indeed. Sometimes I wonder why the path to trusting that is so difficult at times, but I’m coming to believe it’s along the lines of what David said in 1 Chronicles 21:24, to Araunah: “I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!” Surrendering, enduring, trusting…those all cost us. And yet the reward that awaits the faithful is so beyond any price we could possibly pay.

      Keep on trusting, Linda.

  2. Thank you for pointing us back to God’s Word and especially for the verse from Micah 7:7. This year, I’ve been struggling as a writer, because even though my last novel received good reviews and won an award, it didn’t sell well, so my publisher is not interested in my next book. And I lost a son this year due to PTSD, so my world is in flames. But like Job, “Tho He slay me, I will praise Him.”

    • Joan, thank you for your faithfulness in writing that book. You were obedient to do as God asked, and He is using it for His glory.

      Micah 7:7 is one of my favorite verses, as is the one after–Micah 7:8. You may find that one a great comfort as well: “Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.”

  3. Leola Ogle says:

    My writing has been a roller coaster of emotions, but I have felt peaceful about it this year. It has been a very difficult year for us in some areas. I’ve had my moments of despair, but mostly, I’ve chosen to focus on all the blessings in my life and in our family. The presence of God and Word of God has been my strength. This post blessed me so much. I didn’t know Steve is a Bible teacher. No wonder he’s such a nice man.

    • Karen Ball says:

      He is a nice man, isn’t he? 🙂

      I love how Words written so long ago are so active today. Words of life, indeed. May they continue to bless and guide you.

      Praying for you.


  4. Belinda Dorsey says:

    My current project is Writing While Waiting – A Bible Study On Waiting for Leaders. It’s one of my deepest places yet. It’s also spiritual warfare as I cling to God’s Promise. I love this topic – “Write From the Deep.” As a worshipper of God (I sing), a leader in the house of the Lord, and a writer, I get that God wants us to go deeper still. He even gave me a song about it. Though I was only in a bath. But going deep is a scary place. It’s good. But scary. Forcing me to get real. To face my fears. And to embrace my God dreams that I thought had gone up in flames, only to recently discover it was all just a matter of timing. Hope is reborn.

    • Karen Ball says:

      This is a truth I’ve heard over and over: I thought my dreams were dead, but God brought them back to life.”

      He is amazing how He gives back when we feel as though He’s taken away, and we realize the “taken away” time was really a time of refinement for us as His children. So glad to hear your hope is taking wing again!


  5. J.J. says:

    This podcast has really helped shift my focus on writing, moving away from stories I want to tell, to telling the stories God has been moving me to tell. It’s helped me refocus my calling, and really narrow down my faith in God through the process. I love the quote in this episode “I keep going back to that if you’re faithful in the calling to write, to work within the confines that you were granted, then you define success differently.” All these episodes have been great.

    • Karen Ball says:

      Thank you so much, J.J., for your words of encouragement. There’s nothing more valuable than having the right (write?) focus in the tasks God has given us. Kudos on being able to do that!


  6. Jeanie says:

    This podcast really resonated with me. As you said in the podcast, the demoniac was not known by name. In fact, he was only known by his sin…by the demonic possession that led Jesus to him to save him. He shared the story of the mercy he received and he helped prepare the Gentiles for Jesus’ return a year later. I think for me this means that we should use everything in our writing. Even the dark episodes where God’s mercy was the only thing that could have saved us.

    • Karen Ball says:

      Amen, Jeanie. We MUST include the difficult and dark times we experience, otherwise how can we help those in the difficult, dark places. Thanks for the insight.


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