Monthly Archives: April 2012

From Watergate to the Gates of Heaven

Chuck Colson, Watergate figure and founder of Prison Fellowship, passed away last weekend. I admired him because he didn’t allow his failure and shame to define him. Instead, he gave his life to Christ and launched his ministry out of a love for prisoners.

I heard him give an impromptu speech at a writer’s conference several years ago. The conference was at Wheaton College. Chuck Colson was speaking at another conference at the college. Robert Walker, who ran the conference, saw him and asked him to stop by and say a few words to us. I don’t remember what he said but I remember feeling awe.

Years later, I served on the board of directors for the Evangelical Press Association. We held one of our meetings at Prison Fellowship because one of the other board members worked there. On a break, he took us into Chuck Colson’s office. Again, I felt awe.

He was a truly humble servant of God. From his service to prisoners to his many books, he changed hearts. God used him in so many ways.

The Humble Servants Around Us

Chuck Colson isn’t the only person who faithfully served God. We all know someone who tirelessly ministers where God put them. They may not be well known like Chuck Colson, but God knows them. He sees their service. They may be pastors, missionaries, ministry workers or people who serve in secular jobs.

Have you ever thought of writing a personality profile of them? What about interviewing them to get their perspective on spiritual issues? Can you write an article about their ministry?

Do they belong to a denomination? Can you write a piece for the denominational publication?

How do they inspire you? Can you use that inspiration in poetry? In fiction?

Many people serve God quietly. Yet, they make an impact. Your writing might introduce your readers to a unique humble servant and inspire them to serve God, as well.

© Deborah Christensen

Photo from Prison Fellowship website

Seeds of Truth – Ephesians 3:20

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Ephesians 3:20, NLT

What has God accomplished through you? Can you think of a time when He used you in an amazing way? How did you know it was God at work through you? How did He use you to touch the world for Him?

How can you use your insights in a meditation/devotional? In a how-to article? In a personal experience piece? In fiction? In poetry? In a children’s story?

Passion Fertilizes the Fields of Writing Ideas

I read a recent blog post from Writer…Interrupted on passion.  It got me thinking.

If I made a list of everything I’m passionate about, it would be quite long: my relationship with the Lord, my family (especially my niece and nephews who I love as my own children), my job, my kitties, politics, cooking, nature and science. This is just the beginning.

When I look for writing ideas, I usually begin with the first two areas. I write about spiritual issues and I use stories from my family as anecdotes. But what if I moved down my list to the other things that set my heart racing to look for writing ideas? I never think about it. For example, I’m a politics junkie. Yet, I never write articles on this topic. Facebook posts, yes. Articles, no.

Why? Maybe I feel unqualified. Maybe I feel like I have nothing valuable to say. You know – leave it to the “experts.” Maybe, I’m scared.

What are you passionate about? Make a list. Start with the obvious ones first. Then, move to the things that you never thought about writing about. Your list may surprise you. Those areas further down the list may require more work to use in your writing: interviews, research, legwork. But, it will be worth it.

Articles from Some of My Passions

I love natural science. I don’t have a scientific brain so I don’t understand a lot of it. But as the whole global warming debate began heating up several years ago, I followed it with interest. I filed away names of scientists, especially Christian ones, who might serve as possible interview subjects. I finally felt courageous enough to pursue it. I wrote “Is Global Warming a Myth?” as a children’s article.

I also love archaeology. In the past, I subscribed to Biblical Archaeology. I didn’t understand half of what I read but I still found it fascinating. I followed the story of the bone box that was discovered in Jerusalem. Some claimed it was Jesus’ burial box. I wrote an article about it for a high school take-home paper, entitled “They Found Jesus’ Bones. So What?” The bone box was debunked by reputable archaeologists. But, I used this tidbit from archaeology to build a case for Christ.

Have You Ever Thought About…

What magazines do you subscribe to? What websites do you regularly visit? Do you take night classes or workshops? Consider writing in these areas.

What are your hobbies? Where do you spend most of your time? What else are you passionate about? Look at all your interests from gardening to stamping. Whatever it is, if it’s your passion, you can write about it. And, you can turn your ideas into a how-to article, a personal experience piece, a children’s story/article, fiction, poetry or a meditation/devotional.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth – 1 Corinthians 13:13

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13, NLT

How has this been true in your own life? How have you seen faith at work? What part does it play in your life? How have you seen hope at work? In what experiences did it play a role? How have you seen love at work? How has God shown you that the greatest of these is indeed love? How has this verse encouraged you? In which of these areas do you need to grow?

How can you use these insights in a parenting article? Marriage article? Article on singleness? Christian living article? What kind of personal experience piece could you write? How-to article? Meditation/devotional? Children’s story? How can you incorporate these insights in fiction? Poetry?

He is Risen Indeed

He is risen. What does Easter mean to you?

Salvation at a Funeral

Today, we remember the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus Christ on the cross. We remember His tears and grief, His pain and sorrow. We remember how the disciples abandoned Him and the soldiers mocked Him. The religious leaders rejected Him as His mother wept.

Why did He do it? Because God loved us. Because only Jesus could make the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins. He sacrificed His life for you. Nothing else mattered.

A Personal Good Friday

Good Friday is a personal day. It’s a time to examine our lives and focus on what His death means to us. We will celebrate the resurrection on Easter. But on Good Friday, we can take an honest look at the state of our hearts.

Are you walking with Him? Is there any sin that stands between you and God? Have you allowed God into every area of your life to dwell and purify?

Today is the day to confess that hidden sin. Renew your commitment to Him. Grieve at the funeral of your Savior, knowing it’s not the end.

Share Your Journey

Nothing fits the soul-searching of Good Friday as well as meditations/devotionals. What was the most powerful insight you received from this Good Friday? How did it bring you closer to God? Did you see the cross in a fresh way? What gave it special meaning this year? What part of the crucifixion story grabbed you? Share your spiritual lessons with your readers.

Personal experience articles also fit well with Good Friday. When was the first time you realized the full significance of Jesus’ sacrifice? What does Good Friday mean to you? How did your view of Good Friday change after you committed your life to Christ? Do you keep any traditions for Good Friday? Do you use it as a time for confession and repentance?

Did God speak to you through the Good Friday service? Did you repair a relationship? Did you experience something that changed you in a significant way?

Finally, poetry can often express the depth of your emotion without offering any answers. It can also tap into your readers’ deepest longings. How can you share the power of Good Friday through your poetry?

Good Friday is a time to worship and remember. But, be sensitive to the writing ideas around you. Share your journey as you grow closer to God and you may help your readers, as well.

© Deborah Christensen

Random Trails

Another one of my favorite blogs is Writer…Interrupted. It’s for those of us who write in a life that’s full of interruptions: full-time jobs, families, caregiving, etc. This post inspired me and gave me writing ideas.

Writer…Interrupted

How do you renew your mind? How does this inspire you? How can you use these insights to write a personal experience piece? A how-to article? A meditation/devotional? How can you use your insights in fiction? In poetry?

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Are you a poet? You might be interested in this post from Writer’s Digest. It’s their Poem a Day challenge.

Do you need to get your creative juices flowing? Here’s another post from Writer’s Digest. It may spark your creativity.

Seeds of Truth – 1 Corinthians 13:7

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7, NLT

How has God shown His love for you in this way? How do you show this kind of love to others? How do they show it to you? What happens when you want to give up, lose faith or lose hope? How do you maintain a love that endures through every circumstance?

How can you use these insights in a personal experience piece? In a how-to article? In a marriage article? In an article about friendships? In fiction? In a meditation/devotional? In poetry?

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