Monthly Archives: August 2016

Seeds of Truth: Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged,

for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.

I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10, NLT

What makes you afraid? How do you turn your fear over to the Lord? How does that help you to not be afraid? What makes you feel discouraged? How do you turn away from discouragement and focus on God? How does that help you to not be discouraged? How does God strengthen you? How does He help you when you feel weak? How does God hold you up? How do you learn to trust God? How can you live a victorious life, even when you feel weak?

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 tips can you offer?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway 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 them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, adoption, relationship struggles, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, health issues, politics, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

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Abandoned and Neglected

bailey and taylorAbout a week ago, my neighbor asked me if I wanted their kitty. They were moving to a new place that didn’t accept pets. I lost my own kitty a few months ago and I wasn’t sure I wanted to take on a new one just yet. Besides, I planned to be gone this past weekend and knew I couldn’t take it in, even if it was temporary.

I offered them several suggestions of where they could put the kitty – shelters, local pet stores, vets, etc. I even asked friends of mine if they wanted a cat.

A few days later, I heard them moving out in the middle of the night. I looked for their cars in the morning and they were gone.

I serve on the board of directors of my homeowner’s association and called the office to report a light that needed to be fixed. I also told the property manager that my neighbors snuck out. Then, it hit me. I asked her if there was any way we could check the house. I said that it was possible they abandoned their cat. Sure enough, the maintenance men found the cat, hiding in the backyard.

This proves that some people shouldn’t own pets. They don’t weigh the cost of committing their life to take care of a pet. As writers, we can help people determine if owning a pet is right for them. We can also offer them resources so they don’t abandon their pets and help them know the proper way to take care of pets.

Pet Magazines

Pet magazines are the most obvious outlet for this type of writing. Different breeds of dogs have their own publication. There are publications for cats and horses, too.

You can address issues of health, day-to-day care, grooming, feeding, preventing abuse and help the readers find resources when they can no longer care for their pet.

Kids and Pets

Children and pets go together. You can write stories and articles aimed at kids about pets. Help them choose the right pet. Offer advice on taking care of a pet. Tell stories about the love of pets.

If you write fiction, include pets. They don’t need to be the focus but you can still share information on responsible pet ownership.

Write for parents. Parents set the example. Help them teach their children how to take care of pets. Give them insights into whether or not their children are ready for a pet.

As writers, we can’t end the neglect of animals. But, we can use our talents to show that God expects us to treat animals with love and respect. He gave us the responsibility to take care of animals. Let’s write about the issues to show others how to do that.

© Deborah Christensen

Friday Fun Facts: An Adventurer Comes Home

Jack London, known for his short stories, including White Fang and The Call of the Wild, and his novels, including The Sea-Wolf, wrote from his experiences. He searched for gold in the Klondike and spent months on a seal-hunting expedition. On this day in 1893, he returned to San Francisco from that expedition.

Random Trails: Creative Writing Prompts Inspired by the Seasons | Writing Forward

Today’s creative writing prompts are inspired by the seasons. Use these prompts to write a story, poem, journal entry, or blog post. Have fun and keep on

Source: Creative Writing Prompts Inspired by the Seasons | Writing Forward

Seeds of Truth: Psalm 39:7

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.

Psalm 39:7, NLT

What do you need hope for? What does it mean that our only hope is in the Lord? How can we live every day with our hope in the Lord? In what other things do we try to put our hope? What happens? How do these things give us false promises? How do we know we can truly entrust our hope to the Lord? What does a life of hope look like?

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 tips can you offer?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway 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 them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, relationship struggles, school, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, hope, health issues, national disasters, politics, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

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Plowing Together: School Memories — Please Comment

What is your favorite school memory? How can you use it in your writing?

Share your insights. You may inspire someone else.

School Daze

hibiscusMost students are headed back to school. You can see them walking to the bus stop with the backpacks strapped on. Right now, it’s all new – new teachers, new classes, new supplies. They’re excited.

Many publications run back-to-school issues. While they put them together months ago, you can get your ideas now for next year.

For the Kids

You can write things for students that help them overcome the pitfalls of school and make the most of their school year.

What do kids need to know before they start the new school year? How can they change their mindset from summer fun to school studies? How can they approach the school year with a cooperative attitude?

How can they make lasting friendships at school? What do they do when someone doesn’t like them? How can they handle bullying? What do they do when they want to bully someone else? How can they treat their fellow students with love? How can they combat loneliness?

How can they live out their faith at school? How can they share their faith with their friends? How can they show Christ’s love to their teachers? How does their love of Christ affect the way they behave in school? How does it affect the way they study?

How can they choose clothes that are appropriate for school? What does what they wear show their commitment to Jesus?

What is the best way to handle starting in a new school? What stories can you tell to kindergarteners or preschoolers who are starting school for the first time? How can students navigate attending middle school or high school for the first time?

For the Parents

With the new transgender bathroom and locker room policy that’s come down, many parents are re-evaluating their school choices. Other parents simply want to help their children succeed in school and do the best they can do. Parents want to help their children study, choose extracurricular activities they will enjoy, make good friends and enjoy school. You can write things to help them in all these areas.

How does a parent know when it’s time to rethink school options? What are the pros and cons of public schools? Christian schools? Other private schools? Home schooling? How can parents make a decision that’s best for their child?

How can parents get involved in the policies their school adopts? How can they stay on top of what their child is learning? What do they do when their child is being taught something that is contrary to their beliefs and morals? How can parents work with the school instead of creating an adversarial relationship?

How can they help their child make decisions about which classes to take? How can they help their child follow their passion? How can they challenge their child to grow in their weak areas?

How can they help their child deal with bullies? How can they know when it’s time to step in and get the school involved? How can they help their child love their enemies?

How can they teach their child about modesty? How can they help their child live out their Christian faith in an increasingly hostile environment?

How can they help their child adjust to a new school? What do they need to know about the new school environment?

These are just a few questions to start your creative juices flowing. Look for the answers to these and so many other questions, and help provide the answers to the students and parents who read your piece.

© Deborah Christensen

Other Olympic Stories to Inspire You

Olympic_Rings_clip_art_mediumThe Olympics are in full swing. We watched Michael Phelps break an Olympic record that has stood for over 2,100 years. It was set during the ancient Greek Games by Leonidas of Rhodes when he won 13 individual events. Michael Phelps won 15 individual events.

We also watched Simone Biles and the American gymnastic team soar to victory. Now, the track and field elites are taking to the track.

But, more inspiring stories keep coming out. They can inspire our writing long after the Olympics end.

Adoption

Simone Biles was born to a drug-addicted mother. After spending time in foster care with her sister, her grandparents adopted the girls. They are now Mom and Dad. Her life could’ve turned out very differently from what it is now. But because loving people surrounded her with love and stability, she’s an Olympic champion.

Adoption saves lives and changes them. Tell adoption stories, both from the adoptee’s perspective and that of the adoptive parents.

Go deeper. Why does a pregnant woman choose life for her baby? How does she decide which adoption option works best (open adoption, closed adoption)? What can you write to help her choose life for her baby?

How does an infertile couple deal with their infertility? How can they choose adoption? What are the advantages of adoption over other alternatives, including IVF? What are the pros and cons of overseas adoptions?

How can couples minister to children through foster care? What should they consider when choosing to adopt a child they fostered?

We can find so many different perspectives in the issue of adoption. It provides endless writing ideas.

Dealing with Injuries

Every Olympic athlete has faced some kind of injury at one time or another. It can break their career or make them stronger.

Tell stories of people who have overcome an injury. How did they do it? What medical steps did they need to take? What emotional toll did it take on them?

Again, go deeper. Help your readers know what to look for when seeking medical help for an injury? Give them guidance for when they can take care of themselves or when they need medical attention. Each injury is different. So is each medical approach.

When should they look into alternative medicine? What are the pros and cons? What factors should they consider when looking into surgery? What are the latest medical treatments for injuries?

Some Olympic stories can inspire our writing beyond the Olympics. We can find writing ideas in all aspects of the Olympics.

© Deborah Christensen

Friday Fun Facts: The Book that Changed a Life

Chuck Colson visited Tom Philips, the president of Raytheon, in his home. Philips read to him from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. The words convicted Colson but he didn’t want to make a “foxhole” conversion. Before he left, Philips gave him the book, telling him to read it along with the Gospel of John. However, he could barely get out of Philips’ driveway before he broke down and cried out to God. Colson served time for his part in the Watergate scandal. He went on to found Prison Fellowship, which ministers to prisoners around the world to this day.

Plowing Together: Inspiring Olympic Stories –– Please Comment

Yesterday, I talked about using the Olympics to inspire your writing. What Olympic stories have you heard that inspire you? How can you use them in your writing?

Please share your insights. You may inspire someone else.

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