First of all ... kudos to all of you who have made prayer and Bible study a high priority! It has been my goal to do so, but it hasn't always worked out as planned.
I am so thankful for the Christian community, many of whom I have never met in person. Both those I rub shoulders with and those I only connect with online have a tremendous impact on my life.
Recently, for instance ...
I have connected with a well-known Christian humorist and author and we have become friends. So much so that we've become one another's accountability partner as we seek to memorize the book of Philippians. (Feel free to check in with me to see how I'm doing from time to time.)
Our pastoral intern challenged us to (re)read the gospel of John during the month of December. While I confess I didn't read through it last month, I have committed to doing so in January. I used to wake up and head to my computer first thing each morning. However, I now grab my phone and read a chapter in John and another in the Psalms.
This is still something I need to focus on more consistently. Perhaps it's time to take the one-minute challenge again. It begins with praying for 60 seconds a day and gradually increasing until one is praying for an hour each day. I don't know if the Facebook group is still active, but I think I'm going to check into it.
I know memory work, Bible reading, and prayer (among other spiritual disciplines) are crucial. However, sometimes I need a nudge in the right direction. Yet another reason the Christian community is so vital.
What does this have to do with writing? Lots actually.
The Lord is to be first in all we do. He is to be the focus. If we give Him His rightful place in our life, it will affect our writing in the following ways:
We will be better able to cope with the challenges that come our way, which makes it easier to develop a positive and authentic "voice."
We will begin to recognize recurring themes and, perhaps, gain inspiration for our writing.
We will learn to discern His leading in all areas, including our writing.
We will come to realize He really deserves first place in our life, increasing our desire to honour Him, whether we're writing for the Christian or secular market ... whatever we're doing.
And as we develop our relationship with Him, it's likely ...
We will begin to make connections with other believers who will affect our perspective, our writing, our lives.
As we seek to give Him first place in every area, twenty-eighteen is bound to overflow with insights and opportunities we may never have imagined possible.