Category Archives: biography

Plowing Together: Summer Reading — Please Comment

What is your favorite thing to read in the summer? Have you ever considered writing in that genre? How does your summer reading inspire your writing?

Please comment. You may inspire someone else.

Seeds of Truth: Psalm 60:12

With Gods help we will do mighty things…

Psalm 60:12, NLT

What help do you need from God? How do you learn to rely on God to take care of your needs? How do you put your faith in God to take care of you? What miracles have your seen in your life? How has God helped you to do mighty things? How do you trust Him to do mighty things through you? How does He help you when you feel insignificant? How do you learn to live in His power?

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 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, aging parents, death of a loved one, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, health issues, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

 

Plowing Together: Staying Faithful to God — Please Comment

How do you maintain a faithful walk with God? What tips can you offer your readers?

Please share your insights. You may inspire someone else.

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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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.

The Thrill of Victory

Olympic_Rings_clip_art_mediumThe Summer Olympics 2016 opened on Friday. Did you watch the opening ceremony? How did you feel when Team USA walked into the arena?

As writers, we can view events like the Olympics through different eyes. We see stories to tell, we find character qualities to share, and we find inspiration to help our readers grow in the Lord and as people.

Athletes Who Put God First

Numerous articles have come out about Olympic athletes who are Christians. Can you interview any of them? What would you highlight about their Olympic journey?

Look for stories you can tell. Get below the surface of the Games themselves to how their faith influences the way they approach their sport.

Even if you don’t have the opportunity to interview the athletes, you can still use the way they play their sport as a testament to their faith. Those stories make excellent anecdotes in how-to articles and devotions. This means research. Read what you can on the athlete to make sure their faith story is real. Christianity Today and the Christian Post have run some of the recent articles on Christian Olympians.

Courage, Humility and Perseverance

Last night, I watched the medal ceremony for the 4×100 meter relay. Michael Phelps was on that team. His comeback story provides an example of overcoming bad choices. He trained harder for the 2016 Olympics than he did for the 2012 Olympics.

But, there was another story on that podium, as well. Ryan Held swam in his first international competition in that relay. It was the only event he entered in the Olympics. During the “Star Spangled Banner,” Held broke down in tears. He clearly felt humbled by the honor.

But, the story doesn’t end there, Phelps, who is the most-decorated Olympian ever, reached over and wrapped his arm around Held. This is an example of humility from both of them.

Other stories introduce us to athletes who summoned courage to overcome obstacles: One of the refugee athletes practiced for her race as she ran without shoes. An American swimmer started swimming after facing a life-threatening illness.

Look for examples of character qualities that come out in the Olympic athletes. You may not focus on the athlete but you can use their story as an anecdote. It can inspire your fiction and poetry, as well. And if you write for children, look for ways you can teach these things to them.

As you watch the Olympics and cheer your team, let the stories inspire your writing.

© Deborah Christensen

The Good in Goodness

hibiscusWhat does goodness mean to you? We know it’s a Fruit of the Spirit, but we need to look at how we can cultivate it in our life and use it in our writing.

Some people view people who live out goodness as “goody-two shoes.” That’s now how God sees it. He is good and He calls us to be good. That means He wants us to do the right thing, to obey Him, to love Him and to love others. It means we choose His way and turn away from the world’s way. We practice justice, use honorable speech, encourage others and live a pure life. We spurn evil.

Living a good life pleases God. After we give our life to Christ, goodness grows in our life. It shows we belong to Him and that He makes a difference in our life.

Encouraging Others to Goodness

It’s easier to sin. Cut a corner here, make a compromise there, and soon you’ve forgotten about goodness. But, goodness often requires sacrifice. In Galatians 6:9, Paul tells us not to become weary of “doing good.” And as writer, we can pass that message on to our readers.

When was a time you grew weary of doing good? How did you find the strength to keep going? How did you choose to do good instead of giving up?

Tell your story in a personal experience piece. Offer tips you learned in a how-to article. Give your readers practical advice that they can follow. Get them thinking about the importance of goodness.

Write a devotion and give your readers verses that they can turn to. Goodness pulls in issues of perseverance, trust and loving others. Find verses that encourage your readers in these areas, as well. Open the devotion with an anecdote.

Interview someone who works with the poor, fights for persecuted Christians, saves the unborn or helps the elderly. What can they share about goodness? How do their good works make a difference in the lives of the people they serve? How does God use them? How did they decide to make goodness the focus of their life?

Children need to grow in goodness, too. Help them see the value of making the right choices and making God happy. Guide them in the struggle to do the right thing.

Other Writing Arenas

Poetry is the perfect vehicle for a discussion on goodness. Poets have a way of viewing something from a different angle. You can offer a unique perspective.

In fiction, you can write a character who struggles with goodness. Put obstacles in your character’s way that prevent them from choosing to do good. How do they overcome it? You can feature the classic fight of good against evil in your fiction.

God values goodness. We can value it in our own life and help our readers see the importance of it for their lives, too.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth: Genesis 18:14

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Genesis 18:14, NLT

What are you facing that’s too hard for you? How can you turn it over to God? What does trust look like? How do you know when God is working in your life? What helps you stop trying to fix it yourself? How do you patiently wait for God to work?

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, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, forgiveness, unplanned pregnancy, new baby, health issues, national disasters, politics, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

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