Blog Archives

Standing Up for What You Believe

Recently, a senator claimed that a nominee was unqualified to serve in the government because he believed in “Christ alone” for salvation. Business owners took their case all the way to the Supreme Court and won the right to only offer health insurance that complied with their faith. Christian florists, bakers, photographers and calligraphers have been sued because they refuse to do work for same-sex weddings. These weddings go against their deeply held beliefs that God designed marriage for one man and one woman.

How can you, as a Christian writer, support fellow believers who take a stand for their faith? How can you encourage other believers to stand strong when their faith comes under fire? What do Christians need to know about the law and their freedom of religion?

Devotions

To stand strong for their faith, Christians need to be strong in their faith. What verses can you use for your devotion? What anecdote can you share? How can you remind Christians that we will face persecution? How can you help them stand strong in the face of persecution?

How can you remind your readers to love their enemies? What does that look like? How would Jesus respond? How can they react in Christlike ways while refusing to back down?

How-To and Personal Experience

Share your own story or someone else’s story. What takeaway value can you give them? What worked? What didn’t work? Where can they find the resources they need to protect themselves when they face opposition? What practical steps can they take? How can they build a support group during their trial?

What experts can you interview? What organizations can you research? Share the insights these specialists offer.

Writing for Children

Children and teens are told they can’t pray in school, use school facilities for Bible meetings or mention God in graduation speeches. What does the law say? How can you help children and teens stand strong when “authorities” deny their rights? How can you encourage them to demonstrate Christ’s love in the face of trials?

The Founders of this country wanted to protect our religious freedoms from the government, not protect the government from people of faith. As writers, we can help them stand up for what they believe.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth: Proverbs 3:6

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:6, NLT

What does this verse mean to you? What does it say about God’s will? What does it say about following His guidance? How do you find God’s will? What role does His Word play? What role does prayer play? How do you know if it’s God’s will or your own will? How do you hear His voice? How do you live each day for Him?

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 trusting God, God’s sovereignty, prayer, healing, illness, salvation of loved ones, marriage, parenting, pregnancy, singleness, family relationships, relationship struggles, work, finances, unemployment, current events, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, persecution, trials, etc.?
  • What other issues can you apply this verse to?

Plowing Together: Targeting Innocents — Please Comment

Last night, a terrorist targeted children at a concert. As a writer, what can you write to help protect children?

Practicing Civility with Freedom of Speech

In the last six months, people have shut down the freedom of speech of others simply because they disagreed with it. They protest, riot, destroy property, shout others down, and attack people who hold opposing views. The most recent example occurred this weekend at Notre Dame. Vice President Pence spoke at the commencement. Supposedly, he holds the same values as the students of the Catholic university. Yet, dozens of students rudely walked out, disrupting his speech.

As writers, we thrive on the freedom of speech. It fuels our writing. It enables to do what we do. So, what can we write to protect the freedom of speech?

Opinions are Everywhere

How can we encourage our readers to respect the opinions of others, even if they disagree with them? How can we show them how to be respectful when they express their own opinions? How can we help them “agree to disagree”?

If you’re a conservative, you probably won’t write for Mother Jones. If you’re an atheist, you won’t submit your work to Christianity Today. However, the readers of all publications span a wide array of opinions. What can you write about civility? What opinion do you want to share? How can you do it in love? How can you treat your readers with respect while you practice your free speech?

Conflict at the Core of Fiction

Conflict drives fiction. What conflicts can you include in your fiction? How can you show your characters resolve it civilly? What personal opinions do you want to convey through your fiction? How can you gently persuade your readers to come to your side?

Turn to the Bible

What does the Bible say about loving one another? How can we love one another even when we disagree? How do we prevent anger and disagreements from destroying relationships? What kind of devotion can you write? What Bible verses can you use?

We can lead the way to civility. We can encourage our readers to listen to each other instead of shutting down opposing opinions.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth: John 14:13

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.”

John 14:13, NLT

What does this verse mean to you? What does it say about prayer? What about when God doesn’t answer a prayer the way you think He should? How do you respond to an answered prayer? How do you respond to an unanswered prayer? How can you bring glory to God through prayer? Through answered prayer? Through unanswered prayer?

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 the prayer, healing, illness, salvation of loved ones, marriage, parenting, pregnancy, singleness, relationship struggles, work, finances, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, current events, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, persecution, trials, etc.?
  • What other issues can you apply this verse to?

Plowing Together: Is It True or Not? — Please Comment

In this age of “fake news,” many writers get their ideas from the news and current events. How do you assess whether it’s true or not?

Please comment. Your insights may help someone else.

Plowing Together: The Election — Please Comment

Today is election day. Did you vote? On what issues did you base your vote? Please comment.

Then, gain inspiration from those issues and write. And, pray for our country.

Gleaning Writing Ideas from Election Issues

stars_and_stripesTomorrow, we head to the polls and vote. The policies that each candidate supports couldn’t be more different from each other. I’m not here to influence your vote. I want to help you look at some of the issues and find writing inspiration there.

Abortion

What can you write on this issue? How can you encourage your readers to protect the unborn and choose life? What stories can you tell?

Do you know a couple whose doctor suggested they abort their Down’s Syndrome baby but they didn’t? Tell their story. Do you know a woman who chose life for her unborn baby, even though it brought difficulty? Share her story. What about a woman who gave her child up for adoption in order to give the child life? Or, someone who was adopted? What about someone who survived an abortion? These are all stories you can offer to your readers.

Write about what really occurs during an abortion. Help readers know that the unborn baby is more than a “clump of cells.”

As Christians, we’re called to respect life. As writers, we can help our readers respect it, too.

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion hangs in the balance for this election. What can you write about this issue? How can you encourage your readers to fight for their Christian values?

Do you know anyone who was forced to violate their faith in the name of “tolerance”? What price did they pay if they refused? Tell their story. What value did the Founding Fathers place on religious freedom? Teach your readers how important it is and what consequences we face if we lose it.

We can help our readers fight for what belongs to us constitutionally.

Respect for the Military

Both active-duty military and veterans face issues that will be impacted by this election. From care at the VA to military readiness, they need our support.

Do a researched investigative report. Tell a personal story. Interview a military family. Help your readers understand the issues they face.

 

What are the issues that you’re passionate about this election? Supreme Court? Taxes? Immigration? Healthcare? The economy? Education? Write about these issues. Use them in your fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Don’t forget about them after the election is over. Continue to write and encourage your readers to stand up for what they believe.

© 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

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

%d bloggers like this: