Category Archives: Fruits of the Spirit

Mom’s Special Place

Yesterday, we celebrated Mom. Some people did it with picnics and cookouts. They laughed and hugged their mom. Others did it with tears, as they grieved a mom who is no longer there. Still others faced painful memories of a mother who hurt them in a variety of ways. What does Mother’s Day mean to you?

What is a Mom?

What did your mom teach you about being a mother? Did you learn what to do, or what not to do? What did you learn about God, love, sacrifice, cooking, organization, how to handle money, how to balance family and work, grief, making choices, etc., from your mom? If you’re a man, what did she teach you about choosing a wife who would be the mother of your children?

What memories did she create in your family? What was unique about her that made you want to be a better person?

The Practical Side of a Mom

Moms model so many things as we grow up. Did she show you how to sew, start a business, create a budget, play music, speak in public, serve in the background, etc.? How did she model the fruits of the Spirit? Did you see her on her knees, praying for you? Did you watch her make time with God a priority?

How did she create a loving home? How did she love your dad? How did she show you that she loved you? How did she punish you? How did she defend you when someone wronged you? How did she show you to face the world?

Our moms influence our lives in so many ways. Use the insights that Mother’s Day stirred up and write about it.

© Deborah Christensen

Advertisements

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.

Faithfulness for a Lifetime

hibiscusWhen Paul listed faithfulness as one of the fruits of the Spirit, he knew we can live out faithfulness in many ways. First, we must be faithful to God. Second, we must be faithful to each other. As writers, we can help our readers understand the role of faithfulness in their lives.

Faithfulness to God

The world pulls us in so many directions and, sometimes, it drowns out God’s still, small voice. Our readers look for ways to remain faithful to God.

Have you struggled with this? What helped you? What didn’t work? How did other people help you remain faithful to God? What emotions did you feel as you struggled? How did becoming faithful to God change you?

How can you use faithfulness to God in fiction? In poetry? Who can you interview to show people how to live in faithfulness to God? Do you know someone who lives it out who you can feature in a personality profile? What can you write for children to help them understand what it means?

Faithfulness in Marriage

In our sexualized society, faithfulness in marriage is often treated as old-fashioned. But, God calls us to remain faithful and committed for the rest of our lives.

Have you experienced infidelity? Are you the one who was unfaithful? What helped you heal? How did you heal your marriage? What tips can you offer to help your readers remain faithful? What help can you offer to help your readers protect their marriage before there’s a problem?

What about writing for singles? How can you help them prepare for a faithful marriage? How can you help them build a faithful character before they get married?

Faithfulness to Others

How tips can you offer to help your readers be a faithful friend? A faithful parent? A faithful child? How can they faithfully pray for others? How can they faithfully serve others?

Faithfulness affects every area of our lives. As writers, we can share tips, guidance, stories and examples of faithfulness.

© 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

A Cup of Kindness

hibiscusKindness is an action. It’s the hand that lifts you up when you fall. It’s the person who brings over a casserole for your family after you’ve come home with the new baby. It’s the gentle word of encouragement when you feel like you can’t go any further. It’s help and caring.

The next Fruit of the Spirit that we will talk about is kindness. We know what kindness looks like but, sometimes, it’s difficult to describe. God considers kindness so important that He seeks to develop it in our life as we grow in our relationship with Him. It defines the way He relates to us and He wants it to define the way we relate to other people.

A Character Quality

What does kindness look like in marriage? In parenting? In friendships? With strangers?

In nonfiction, we can write to help our readers behave kindly to each other and help them recognize kindness. How do you choose to treat others with kindness? How do you respond to kindness?

Obviously, we’re fallen people. What do we do to repair the damage when we behave unkindly? How do we handle it when someone is unkind to us?

In fiction, we can create characters who are kind. How can a character realistically live out kindness without appearing too perfect? How do your characters struggle with being kind? What happens when your characters treat someone unkindly? How can you strengthen their relationships as they face the struggle?

Kindness in Other Genres

Kindness fits well in a devotion. It’s usually easy to find an anecdote from our own life to use in the opening of the devotion. And, the Bible offers many verses that show us how to be kind.

We can write poetry to express the joy of kindness and the despair of unkindness. Poetry is not my forte. But for many of you, it’s the way you express yourself. Use kindness to inspire your poetry.

We start teaching children about kindness when they’re young. As writers, we can reinforce these lessons through stories and articles. You can also write help parents

Kindness inspires us and we can inspire our readers to live it out. In the process, we can grow in kindness, as well.

© Deborah Christensen

Patience – Right Now!

hibiscusWhen my nephew, who is now an adult with kids of his own, was a little boy, he got excited during a family party. He started jumping and spinning for joy. I don’t remember what got him so excited, I just remember his childlike enthusiasm.

He accidentally bumped into another family member, who got angry. He lost his patience and started yelling at my nephew. Of course, the rest of us jumped in to defuse the situation but I will never forget it.

Patience vs. Temper

Patience is the next fruit of the Spirit that we will discuss. We all know someone who has a hair-trigger temper. We may even be the one. But if we belong to the Lord, He works in our life and forms His character in us, including patience.

How does it feel when you’re about to lose your temper? What triggers your temper? How do you control your temper?

How do you develop patience? What verses help you? How does patience look different from losing your temper?

Patience in Waiting

We need patience as we wait for God to answer our prayers or change our circumstances. If you’re single, you may be waiting to meet the person you will marry. How do you know when you’ve met the right person? What do you do if that person never comes? How do you remain patient and wait for God’s timing?

If you’re married, you may be waiting for your family to begin. How do you deal with infertility? When is it time to begin looking at other options, such as adoption or foster care?

If you’re unemployed, you may struggle with finding a new job. How do you develop enough patience to trust God in your search? How do you know if you’re truly following God’s will or taking the search into your own hands?

Patience in Relationships

Relationships can get messy. We lose patience in our marriage, with our children, and with family and friends.

How do you develop patience with your spouse? How can you extend grace to your spouse? Do you honor who God made your spouse to be or are you trying to change them?

How do you develop patience with your children? When should you allow your children to express themselves? When is it time to rein them in? How do you enjoy your children instead of losing patience with them?

If you’re single, how do you refrain from pushing a relationship to the next level in your own timing? How do you allow a relationship to develop naturally? Do you overlook red flags in your quest to get married?

How do you respect your friends and other family members? How do you love them in patience instead of treating them disrespectfully?

 

We all need patience. Use it to inspire your writing. Write a how-to piece and offer insights on how to develop patience. Write your own story in a personal experience piece. Write a devotion or a poem. Use patience as a theme in your fiction. Write something that will help children understand patience. Interview someone who exemplifies patience and write a personal profile on them.

Developing patience is a lifelong struggle. We can walk beside our readers as we develop patience together.

© Deborah Christensen

Plowing Together: God’s Peace – Please Comment

What does God’s peace mean to you? Talk about a time when you experienced it and you can’t explain it any other way than it came from God.

Please share your story. You may inspire other writers.

Peace that Passes All Understanding

red budsThe third fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is peace. Paul isn’t talking about world peace or the imitation peace that surrounds the infamous “peace” symbol. He’s talking about the peace that believers experience when they know God is in control, He loves us, we can trust Him and He holds our eternity in His hands. It’s the peace that doesn’t make sense – it passes all understanding. It’s the peace that banishes fear and anxiety.

Have you felt His peace? What about in times of turmoil and pain? How do you hold onto His peace and let go of the fear and anxiety? What is the difference between true peace and denial? What do you do when you can’t find His peace? How do you help others find peace?

How does His peace change your prayer life? How does it impact your marriage? How does it affect the way you parent? How does it help you deal with your financial situation? Your work? Your relationships? Health issues? Your past? Your future?

As a writer, you can guide your readers through the turbulent waters of finding peace. Think of stories and insights you can share.

Personal Experience Piece

Tell your story. Show your readers a time when you struggled with anxiety but God’s peace took over. It might be an answer to prayer or a friend who helped you carry your burden. It’s the story of a time when your life shook with uncertainty but you held onto God’s hand anyway and felt His peace. Then, give your readers take-away value. Help them understand the peace that passes understanding so they can find it in their lives.

How-To Articles

Give your readers tips and practical suggestions on how to cultivate peace in their lives. You might find those insights in your pastor’s sermon or in the life of a mature Christian you know. Interview people you respect to find step-by-step guidance you can share.

Look to Scripture. You’ll find guidance there, too.

Devotions

Peace makes a powerful topic for a devotion. Use an anecdote to start and focus on one Bible verse. Write about the struggle to find peace. Help your readers live in peace instead of living in fear.

Personality Profile

Do you know someone who lives in peace? Do they trust God and remain unflappable, no matter what happens? Feature people who genuinely live out peace.

Poetry

Use your poetry to express the real-life struggle between trusting God and caving to fear.

Writing for Children

Children don’t really understand what peace is. However, they do understand trusting God. Start there. You can do this through fiction or an article.

Fiction

Get creative. Show real characters struggling to live God’s peace. Create a story about finding God’s peace and trusting Him in the middle of pain.

We all want the peace that defies understanding. As we grow in Him, the Holy Spirit develops peace in our life. Let’s take our readers by the hand and help them find His peace, as well.

© Deborah Christensen

Joy of the Lord

hibiscusLet’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.

How-To Articles

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.

Devotions

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.

Poetry

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.

Fiction

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

The Gift of Love

…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

%d bloggers like this: