May 03, 2015

Write from the Heart by Steph Beth Nickel

Years ago, a visiting missionary explained how he decided what to speak about when he was called upon to give a message. He said he simply looked to what God was teaching him in his own life and shared it with his audience. He figured if he needed to learn a particular lesson, others likely did as well.

I have never forgotten those words. When I’m looking for inspiration as to what I should write, I examine my own life and what God has been teaching me. This is reflected in my prayer journal, my blog posts, and my devotionals for HopeStreamRadio.

I ask myself, “What’s going on in my life? My mind? My heart?”

And most importantly, I ask, “What is God teaching me in the midst of it all?”

The Scriptures are the Living Word. I’m always amazed when I read a familiar passage and either something jumps off the page that I’ve never noticed before or the Lord drives home a truth I haven’t thought about in ages. The Bible always has something to say to our situation all these years after it was originally penned.

When I’m reveling in my discoveries and soaring high, the words spill out onto the paper—or the computer screen. My heart truly overflows and I can’t wait to share new discoveries with my readers.
But, like everyone else, there are times I plummet to the Earth. The world news is devastating. And sometimes, the news much closer to home knocks me for a loop. Just how can I write when I feel like curling up in a ball and pulling the covers over my head?

And then . . . I sit down at my computer and let the word comes. Just the other day, I was not in a good head space, but I decided to write a different kind of entry in my prayer journal than I’d ever written before. And the more I wrote, the more the ideas tumbled out, one after the other.
Here’s just a snippet of that entry:

So today . . .
I will love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
I will love others as I do myself and tend to their needs.
I will be anxious for nothing.
By prayer and petition with thanksgiving, I will make my requests to God.
I will trust Him with my whole heart.
I will not lean on my own understanding.
I will acknowledge Him in all my ways, trusting that He will make my path straight.
I will cast my care on Him, knowing He cares for me.
I will look more to the needs of others than my own needs.
I will repent of sin, turn and go in the opposite direction.
I will not serve money; the Lord God will be my Master.
I will do what I do as unto Him.
I will keep my eyes on the Author and Finisher of my faith.
I will make Him known.

Second Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Because this is true, I knew I could make the above declarations and rest in His power to follow through.

No matter how old we get, as Christians, there is always so much more to learn. And over the years I’ve learned that God’s ways are truly not my ways. He sees the Big Picture and I only catch the tiniest glimpse. The deeper truth sinks into my very being, the more I realize God is 100 percent trustworthy. Although I don’t know what good can come from certain situations, I have faith that nothing is too hard for Him.

I believe 1 John 4:8, which says, “God is love” (ESV).

I also believe Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (ESV).

So, no matter how I’m feeling, I can pour out my heart, examine what God is saying to me, and discover what He would have me share with others.


  1. Anonymous5:15 am GMT-7

    Yes, there is always much to learn, and often I find what I am drawn to learning, what God is showing me, my closest friends also are being shown the same thing! And we grow deeper in our individual relationship with God through our sharing with each other. Thank you for sharing your prayer journal entry. Beautiful!

  2. Steph, it strikes me that your 'I will..' list can be followed no matter what mood I'm in, what crisis is stirring, what's happening with those I love. And If I focus on the 'I will's', then God's got all the freedom to work in my life, in all those things I need him to deal with. Excellent Daily Task List!

  3. Just what I needed today. thank you for your encouraging words and prayer.

  4. I am surely with you on this one. Works for me every time. Keeps me going when I keep on writing.

  5. It is always good to ponder over what we are learning in our own lives, what God is teaching us.
    Whether that is something we are willing to share--if it's too personal or painful or humiliating--that is the question.

  6. Wise advice proffered by that preacher man, Stephanie! And thank you for giving us an example of a few steps on your journey to write from the heart.

  7. Wise advice proffered by that preacher man, Stephanie! And thank you for giving us an example of a few steps on your journey to write from the heart.

  8. I agree Steph. We can never go wrong when we share where we are at with God and what He has been teaching us lately. That is relevant. Thank you for sharing your heart too!


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