The Wednesday Writer’s Pad

Welcome to the Wednesday Writer’s Pad where I’ll explore writing as a Christian and Christian writing.

Recently, I took over as the leader and facilitator of an online writing group-“The Christian Writers Circle” hosted on Scribophile. My new role has led me to re-ask a ton of questions as I examine writing as my ministry in our lost, fallen world.

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Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty

What defines a Christian writer? It’s a question I’ve asked myself more than once. As a Christian, am I called to write according to specific paradigms? Am I called to write on certain subjects while avoiding others?

Certainly, there is more to being a Christian writer than meets the eye. It’s not simply a matter of being a believer and writing. Or is it?

Some questions to ponder…

  • What do you want to write? Is there a common thread in what you write about?
  • What’s your God-story?
  • Are you and expert on a particular subject that gives you special insight?
  • Who are you writing for?
  • Is there a target audience you are trying to reach through your writing?

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By the Grace of God

I started writing as a young boy. The stories I write today are different from the stories I wrote then. I’ve got a lifetime of experience shaping my perspective and worldview. This experience influences my writing. I’m sure the same is true of you.

A lot of Christian writing is extremely wholesome. The characters are pure, even though they grapple with challenges. Characters in Christian stories rely on their faith to see them through a crisis. That’s all good.

But what if that’s not your story? Maybe you took the long road home. I believe that shapes your writing voice. You didn’t come to faith at an early age and you didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but by God’s grace you’re redeemed now. And…you feel called to write. There’s a place for you. God gave you a creative gift to use for His purpose. Let God be God and trust that He will work through whatever you create to speak to those He has called to hear the message that He wants them to hear through what He has called you to do.

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Where the Rubber Meets the Road

You have to be a good storyteller. Your stories must have engaging plots, intriguing characters and solid writing. This is true regardless of whether you’re penning a secular novel, a Christian Christmas fable, or a non-fiction historical epic. Writing is hard work. Like anything we do, we should strive for excellence because excellence glorifies God. It honors the gift He gave us. Just as Abel gave God his best offering, we should strive to give God our best work through our writing. God delights in us. He is most satisfied when we delight in Him. Through our writing, we can express our satisfaction in how and when He has revealed Himself to us through the supernatural work He has performed in our lives.

As Christians, our faith informs our writing. It does not constrain it. Our characters can be wholesome. They can also be flawed. Both reflect the people we have encountered in our lives. At church, I am in awe of how well some people have lived. I also relate to those, who like me, haven’t always lived well.

We live in a world filled with harsh realities. Evil lurks at every bend. Death eventually calls us all home. Life is difficult. It’s not always pretty. This is not news. When we write about these things, we must attempt to shine a light of hope through the foggy mist so that others can see the hope that we have in Jesus. The hope we have in Jesus is news. As a matter of fact, it’s the best news ever.

Write on. I’ll be praying for you.

God Is Trustworthy

It has been a rewarding eight days of ministry collecting over 12,000 love-filled, prayer-covered shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse. Terri and I are so incredibly thankful for the great volunteers who helped receive box after box and for all the fantastic donors who delivered a seemingly endless sea of boxes.

We had a great time celebrating Thanksgiving with our family even though our hometown Cowboys got smacked around on Thursday afternoon.

Unfortunately, we also learned that a dear friend suffered a massive seizure on Thursday after celebrating with members of his family. Doctors have found a number of tumors throughout his body, some of which are cancerous. Several years ago, this friend had the courage to ask me the question “What do you believe about Jesus?”

Terri and I would ask that you offer up praise for the magnificent work God did through thousands of OCC volunteers between November 13-November 20. We would also like to ask you to pray for our friend who will have brain surgery tomorrow (Monday). God is the greatest of all healers. We entrust our friend into His trustworthy hands.