Category Archives: heroism
Writers tell stories. As we celebrate Memorial Day, let’s look for stories of sacrifice. Do you know someone who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom? Tell their story.
- Share your own experience of loss and help other people deal with the loss of their beloved service member.
- Write a poem about them.
- Let their story inspire your fiction.
- Write about the meaning of Memorial Day so that children can understand its importance.
- Write a devotion to help military families turn to God for comfort in their time of grief.
Honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Use the gifts God gave you to pay tribute to them.
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.
Who is the most courageous person you know? What can you write about them? Why do you want to share their story? Tell us your ideas. You may be able to inspire someone else. Or as a community, we may be able to help you hone your idea.
The killer targeted Christians. Reports say that he asked all the Christians to stand up and then asked them if they were a Christian. If they said yes, he shot them in the head. If they said no or didn’t answer, he shot them in the leg.
Chris Mintz is a veteran who was a student in the classroom. He rushed the killer and was shot seven times. He’s expected to live.
Imagine you were in that room. How would you have answered? What kind of courage does it take to proclaim Christ, even though you know it will cost you your life? What kind of courage does it take to rush an armed killer, knowing you could die?
Tell the Stories of Courage
Courageous people are all around us: the brave woman fighting cancer, the teenager who gives a pro-life speech to an antagonistic class, the businessman who refuses to buckle under pressure to cut corners, the bakers who stand for their religious beliefs despite the pressure to do otherwise. Tell their stories.
Interview them. Treat them with respect and they will share powerful insights with you. They’ll give you a story and take-away value to share with your readers. The personality profile you write on them may inspire someone else to live a courageous life.
Markets Want These Stories
Many Christian publications are looking for this type of personality profile. You don’t need to profile a famous person, just a person with an inspiring story to tell.
Let one of these stories inspire your fiction or poetry. Write a story for children to help them make brave choices. Write a how-to article and offer practical tips on developing courage and trusting God in the face of fear. Choose a Bible verse and write a devotion. Use the courageous person’s story as the opening anecdote.
Honor courage. It will elevate your writing to truly touch lives.
© Deborah Christensen
I can’t do a “Fun Facts” today. It doesn’t seem appropriate. However, I can tell you that on this day in 1773, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “There was never a good war or a bad peace.”
As you write today, remember the families of the people who died on September 11, 2001, and the families of the heroes who died in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Write something that honors them.
Stephen Crane’s book, Red Badge of Courage, was published in 1896 when he was 25 years old. The following year, on this date, he survived the sinking of The Commodore off the coast of Florida. He and four fellow shipmates spent a day in a life boat. It came ashore at Daytona Beach.
Crane wrote about his experience. It appeared in a newspaper. Months later, he turned it into a short story called “The Open Boat.” It appeared in Scribner’s magazine.
He died in June, 1900, at 28 years old from complications of tuberculosis.
PLEASE COMMENT: What experience have you had that you can use as the basis for a short story? For nonfiction? For poetry?
When you hear about such natural disasters, you can find ways to offer hope and comfort. Help people see the larger picture. Use your writing to encourage others to reach out to people in need.
The News Story
This is a news story. Contact your local newspaper to see if they want a story on the disaster. Do your research. Get quotes. If you’re close enough to the disaster, get photos.
Write about the disaster. Look at rescue/recovery efforts. Write about what churches and ministries are doing to help people in need. If people lost their lives, tell their story. Give the statistics a face. Help your readers see beyond the numbers.
Do it quickly before the story is gone. And remember, you need the who, what, where, when and how.
Where is God when everything is swept away in a flood? How can you turn despair into hope? How do you overcome fear? How do you deal with discouragement? How does God help you through grief?
You can write hope to people who face disaster. Help them see God’s love. Offer them comfort from His Word. Don’t give pat answers. Instead, show them that God’s care is real.
Tell your story or someone else’s story. Offer insights that you’ve learned along the way. Interview someone who’s faced trials and tell their story. Write poetry. Write a devotion. Help your readers see that God is bigger than the flood.
Teach Through the Disaster
Look for things you can teach. How does a flood begin? How powerful is the water? What is the history of floods?
This is an opportunity to write nature and history articles. Write for children, but think of adults, too. Many adult publications feature nature and history pieces.
You may even consider writing about the Great Flood and the archaeological evidence for it. Many ancient civilizations tell a flood story. Put it all in perspective of God’s Word.
When you discover a story like this, let it inspire your writing. Think of the story from all angles. Offer hope today. Then, think of the things you can write when the flood waters subside.
© Deborah Christensen
As writers, we can still find stories to tell and ways to help our readers remember.
You can use the writing ideas you glean this year to write the articles and stories for next year.
What Happened That Day?
What happened to you that day? How did it change you as a person? Did it bring you closer to God? How did it change your relationships with your family and friends? How did it change your workplace? What impact did it make on your life?
Share your story. Then, think about expanding it. How did it change the way you look at trials? How do you view trials differently from pre-9/11 times? What did you learn about the brevity of life? What did you learn about courage and heroism?
Do you know someone who was directly impacted by 9/11? Do you know anyone who lost someone that day? Interview them and tell their story.
Share your experiences through a poem or devotion. Think of a way to tell the story to children.
What’s Happening Now?
The world still feels the ripples of 9/11. Military people are deployed to protect our freedom. Our nation’s leaders face decisions that could change the course of world history.
What can you write on current events? How can we prepare for and deal with terrorism? How can we assess the decisions coming out of Washington? How can we make sure that our leaders make responsible decisions in fighting terrorism? What can you write on the challenges and joys of military life? How has military life changed since 9/11?
What is God’s perspective on the events of the world? How does this time fit into God’s plan? How can you view current events from a Christian perspective?
As you remember the events of that terrible day, glean writing ideas of hope, courage, God’s love and history. Use your gifts as a writer to make sure that no one ever forgets.
© Deborah Christensen