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Memorial Day

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.

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Friday Fun Facts: Triumphant Return

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn criticized Stalin in a letter he wrote to a friend in 1945. For that, he received a sentence of eight years of hard labor. His experiences in prison inspired his first novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. He also wrote The Gulag Archipelago, which dealt with the Soviet totalitarian system. In 1970, he received the Nobel Prize in literature. He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974 when Gulag was published outside of the USSR. The Soviet Union collapsed and became Russia once again. And on this day in 1994, Solzhenitsyn triumphantly returned to Russia amid the cheers of thousands of his countrymen.

 

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

Plowing Together: Protecting Our Children – Please Comment

Just six months ago, no one ever thought that it would be OK for men to use women’s bathrooms. Common sense, right? Suddenly, the world is turned upside down. We’ve given sexual predators access to innocent children and the OK to invade our privacy without any consequences. Common sense no longer exists.

How can you use your writing to address this issue? Please comment. Together, we can help to protect our children.

Random Trails: From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: What’s Your Superpower? | Writing Forward

Discover your superpower with this fun exercise from 101 Creative Writing Exercises.

Source: From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: What’s Your Superpower? | Writing Forward

Friday Facts: Through Gates of Spendor

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.

Plowing Together: Celebrating Courage – Please Comment

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 Face of Courage

fall imageLast week, we again heard the shocking news of a school shooting. This time, it was at a community college in Oregon.

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

Seeds of Truth: Joshua 1:9

“…be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged.

For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9, NLT

What makes it difficult for you to be strong and courageous? What makes you afraid or discouraged? What does strength look like to you? What does courage look like? How do you keep your life focused on God’s constant presence in your life? How do you remember that He’s always with you?

How can you use this verse as inspiration for your writing?

  • Write a devotion based on this verse. What opening anecdote could you use?
  • How could you use this verse when writing about marriage, parenting, illness, finances, divorce, job loss, fear, discouragement, trusting God, prayer?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? In articles? In fiction?
  • How can you use this verse in your poetry? Fiction?
  • Do you know someone you can profile who lives out this verse?
  • How can you use this verse in a mystery or thriller?

Seeds of Truth: Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1, NIV

How is God a refuge to you? How does He give you strength? How is He an ever-present help in trouble for you?

What can you write that features this verse?

  • How can you use this verse in a devotion? What anecdote can you use to illustrate your point?
  • What personal experience can you use with the verse? What take-away value can you offer at the end of the personal experience article?
  • How does this verse inspire your poetry?
  • How would you explain this verse to children, using a story?
  • How does this verse inspire fiction, either a short story or a novel?
  • What kind of mystery can you write, based on this verse?
  • How can you use this verse in writing about health issues?
  • How can you use this verse in writing about a job loss?
  • How can you use this verse in writing about relational issues? Marriage struggles? Dealing with a wayward child?
  • How does this verse inspire courage? Trust? Peace?
  • How can this verse impact your prayer life?
  • Who can you interview and feature in a personality profile? How do they live out this verse?

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