On this day in 1928, Andrew Greeley was born in Oak Park, Illinois. In 1954, he became a Catholic priest. He was 26 years old.
While teaching sociology at the University of Chicago, he wrote nonfiction books. Then in 1978, he wrote a short story entitled “Ms. Carpenter.” It was about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and took first place in the Catholic Press Association’s short story contest.
The first fiction book he wrote was The Irish Cup, an Irish Legend. His books that followed include Cardinal Sins, Thy Brother’s Wife, Angels of September, Wages of Sin and Irish Gold.
Although his books contained sexual content, according to History.com, he said that he “attempted to portray real life, while subtly demonstrating the influence and power of religion.”
His successful writing, including more than 100 nonfiction books, earned him a significant amount of money. He donated most of it charity.
He passed away in 2013.
You might feel creatively stumped but writing ideas are all around you, if only you will open yourself up to their possibilities.
My relationship with the Lord is a source of the deep joy in my soul. It isn’t a feeling but the utter security that God is in control.
However, the external sources of joy are my great-nieces and nephews. Seeing the world from their little perspective fills me with wonder.
What about you? What gives you joy? What can you write about it?
Let’s take another look at this post from 2015. The second fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is joy. Joy isn’t the same as happiness. We can have joy in the midst of pain and sadness. Godly joy is the assurance that God is in control and we can trust Him.
How have you seen that in your life? Was there a time when life was falling apart around you but you were able to live in the joy of the Lord? What does joy mean to you? What is your struggle to find joy? How have you helped others find joy?
Joy is a popular topic for Christians. Everyone wants to feel so secure with the Lord that we feel joy instead of anxiety. You can help your readers.
Personal Experience Articles
Telling your story is a great way to encourage your readers. For a personal experience article, keep the focus on the story. Then, pull it all together with what you learned, how God touched you or how joy came through.
Give your readers tips and practical suggestions on how to cultivate joy in their lives. Use your own experience but also tap into others. Talk to your pastor or a mature Christian you know. Ask for their insights, as well.
Look to Scripture. You’ll find guidance there, too.
Joy is a great topic for a devotion. Use an anecdote to start and focus on one Bible verse. Write about the struggle to find joy. Talk about connecting with God in joy. Help your readers grow spiritually in joy.
It isn’t easy to live in joy. Use your poetry to honestly deal with the struggle.
Writing for Children
Joy may be a difficult concept for children to understand. However, they do understand trusting God. Start there. You can do this through fiction or an article.
Get creative. Show the struggle for joy. Create a character who exudes joy. Design a theme of finding joy in the middle of pain.
We all want to feel the joy of the Lord. As we grow in Him, the Holy Spirit develops joy in our lives. Let’s take our readers by the hand and guide them into joy, as well.
© Deborah Christensen
Discover your superpower with this fun exercise from 101 Creative Writing Exercises.
Sixty years ago today, five missionaries were murdered by the Waodani (we used to call them “Auca” but that name no longer applies). Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming and Roger Youderian were attempting to reach out to the people. After their deaths, some family members and wives, including Rachel Saint and Elizabeth Elliot, contacted them and helped the Waodani come to Christ. Elizabeth Elliot wrote about their deaths and the aftermath in her book Through Gates of Splendor.
What is creative nonfiction? We’ll explore nonfiction genres and sub-genres of this emerging form of creative writing.
And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power
until you receive this salvation…
1 Peter 1:5, NLT
What role does your faith play in the way God works in your life? How does God protect you? How do you see His power working in your life?
How can you use this verse in your writing:
- What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
- What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
- What story can you tell in a person experience piece? What take-away value can you give?
- How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
- How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
- Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on the?
- How can you explain this verse to children?
- What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
What are practical ways to show love to other people? What can you write about it? What works better for you: fiction, nonfiction or poetry?
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23, NIV (1984)
Once again, I’m starting over. I posted this blog last January and in January 2014. I had decided to tackle the fruits of the Spirit both years. However, I put the blog on hold both of those years because things got difficult. I lost my full-time job in 2015. I devoted my time to trying to find a new job. The theme went on hold, again. So, let’s start over. This year, we’re going to glean writing ideas from the fruits of the Spirit. What better place to start than love?
Our Love for God
The fruits of the Spirit refer to the qualities that the Holy Spirit builds in us. It begins with our love for God. We can never love God the way He deserves and, at times, our love for Him wanes. But, the Holy Spirit fuels that love to keep it alive. The more we connect with God and spend time with Him, the brighter our love burns.
When was a time when your love for God burned bright? Where were you spiritually at that time? How did you sense God’s love? How did you return His love?
When was a time when your love for Him flickered? What was happening in your life at the time? Where were you spiritually? How did you reconnect with God?
Our Love for Others
God calls us to love others. He is love and He wants love to characterize our life. It’s not always easy but the Holy Spirit can help us as we grow in Him.
Love in Marriage: What is your love story? How do you love your spouse? How do you show love when you don’t feel like it? What role does sacrifice play in your love?
Love in Parenting: How do you show love to your children? What role does discipline play in love? How do you building loving memories? How is your love different for each child?
Love for Friends: How do you love your friends? How does an authentic friendship deepen love? How do you handle conflict in a loving way?
Love for the Body of Christ: How do you show love to your fellow believers? How does serving together strengthen your love?
Love for Unbelievers: How do you show love to unbelievers? How does love affect the way you serve them? How does love affect the way you share your faith with them?
Love plays a part in every relationship. Share your story of the highs and lows of love. Offer tips. Use love in your fiction and poetry. Share biblical insights in a devotion. And, help children understand the truths of love in stories and articles.
© Deborah Christensen