April 29, 2018

My Writer’s Why by Bob Jones

I write to be read.
There, I wrote it.

A quick perusal of my writing practices clearly shows intention for my prose.

Aside from using writing prompts (thank you Sarah Selecky), my body of work has a clear purpose. Ninety-five percent of my writing time is used to blog, write book reviews, craft articles, contribute chapters to anthologies, as well as authoring a book with another in the works.

My admission (confession?) makes me feel vulnerable because its sounds soulless. Work. Not pleasure.

So what is it people are reading in my writing? Stories. Stories that inspire people, build faith in Jesus, and offer lasting purpose.  

Hope grows through my writing.

My latest blog post is about an eight-year old girl, facing a rare form of brain cancer. Inoperable. Terminal. She was given less than twelve months to live two months ago.

And she has a bucket list. An eight-year old. Eight-year olds should be using buckets for making sandcastles or collecting Saskatoons, not preparing to die.

Her name is Janaya. I’ve haven’t met her yet, but on May 1st, strangers to Janaya and her family will help make three of her bucket list wishes come true. Janaya wants to sing on a New York stage with a band and become world famous. Our church, North Pointe, isn’t NYC but we’ll do our best to give her the “Big Apple” red carpet treatment. Janaya and her family will arrive in a limo driven by a friend of mine. The event will be recorded for broadcast by CTV and 630CHED. A crowd of fans will welcome her and cheer her every note. And then she’ll autograph photos.

So why write Janaya’s story? I prayed for a miracle for her. I expect a miracle. In the meantime, anything that will tell this precious little girl who loves dinosaurs, that she is loved by the Creator of dinosaurs, is worth the effort.  

I hope my blog is read and shared and informs people to take action. To support Janaya by showing up, and praying for her and her family. To hold their own family members a little closer and treasure the health they have.

So, now you’ve fulfilled my purpose by reading this post. And if you would support Janaya, please leave a comment on my blog.

Thank you.
Bob is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.

Follow his writing at Pointes Of View.

April 28, 2018

My Compulsion to Write - Bruce Atchison

Pierre Berton, in his book The Joy of Writing, put it well. A writer should write because they must. I agree with him on that point since very few people make a living from their prose.

I've always liked making up stories. Even as a boy, my sister Diane was lulled to sleep by the stories I told her each night.

I also used to gather a crowd of girls who laughed and giggled at my silly stories during Recess. Since I had poor sight, the boys wouldn't let me play sports with them.

Having stories read onto tape was a real boon for me. I spent many happy hours engrossed in the adventures and misadventures created by authors.

Now I'm the one creating those stories. None have won me any fame and money but I still write them occasionally. There really is joy in writing for those of us gripped by the compulsion to write.

April 26, 2018

I Write, Therefore I Am - Marnie Pohlmann

CCO license, courtesy of Pexels.com

I have the right to write,
To tell a story;
A fairytale
Or fantasy,   
Perhaps biography  
Of someone famous  
Or even unknown,
Whose life has meaning.    

I have the right to write
For my own heart's pleasure;
Clever wordplay
Or quick satire,    
Perhaps long essays         
On your politics              
Or my religion,
What gives us meaning. 

I have the right to write
For money and profit,
Or short-lived fame,    
Perhaps self-publishing,    
Traditional print,
Or in magazines.
Careers with meaning.    

I have the right to write
My very own story;    
As comedy
Or tragedy,        
Perhaps reality –
Survivor, Thriver,         
Or Overcomer. 
My life has meaning.

I have the right to write
But is right my reason
To stain white sheets
with sweat and words,
Perhaps reflect your life          
In creative lines
Or imagery
That gives you meaning?

I have the right to write,
Just as the wind blows here;
Sometimes softly,
sometimes harshly,
Perhaps completely wild.
This wind of nature,
My nature to write,
Right with no meaning
But that I am.

Marnie practices her right to write from her home in Northern BC, where her writing and the wind blows softly, sometimes harshly, and sometimes completely wild. 

April 25, 2018

The Write Reasons By Vickie Stam

Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." NLT

This verse can truly serve as the very first stepping stone into my world of writing. 

I started pouring my thoughts onto paper back in the late eighties. I was a young mother, twenty four years old with two sons, aged five and three. My youngest son, Jason was diagnosed with autism in 1989 at the age of three. I was devastated but not so much by his diagnosis but by the way it was presented to me. 

I remember keeping a close eye on my beautiful blonde haired boy, Jason as he ran around the doctor's office. I wished he would just sit down. Sit still. He couldn't. He fluttered about the room like a gently butterfly. His hands flapping like wings in time to his own rhythm. He really was in his own little world running about on his tip-toes, completely oblivious to the fact that his father and I were getting ready to talk about him. We wanted answers into the strange behaviour he possessed and his lack of speech. 

My attention was suddenly diverted when
Jason's doctor  slid a blank piece of paper across the table at me and said, "Your son has autism. He looks at you no different than that piece of paper." 
"Your wrong." I snapped. "He knows exactly who I am."

Tears swelled in the corner of my eyes. I had no idea what she was talking about yet it didn't sound good. This was the answer we had been waiting for - autism. I said the word over and over in my mind all the while looking at the doctor.

Doctor N as I will call her in this story, was not the warm and fuzzy type. She never blinked after I barked at her. She never apologized, hugged me or even shifted uneasily in her chair. She simple broke my heart and wanted to move on. It was as if this was just another routine day for her. 

For me, it marked the beginning of my first journal. A book filled with heart-ache and pain. It served as more than a glimpse into the world I never asked for. If someone were to have read it, it would have been more like a window.

It was there in my darkest hours that I penned just how broken I felt. How inept I felt as a mother. How my planet had just been turned upside down. How the hopes and dreams that I had for my children immediately disappeared to a place I was no longer allowed to go. My life had abruptly changed.

I needed somewhere to transform my pain. Bury it. I began to put it down on paper. Each time I closed the cover I tried to make the hurt go away. Sometimes that worked. I felt relieved. Other times - the words only seemed to pollute the pages. Still, I continued to write.  

ventually my journal served as a healing tool. A learning tool. I began to write about Jason's progress and not only his struggles. His laughter and not only the sadness in my heart. I could see the sparkle in his eyes. I penned his first words that came much later than other children his own age. Most of all - I wrote about everything that I loved about him. And I hoped that he and Matt would one day be close like brothers should be.   

With a crushed heart, I needed to find a way to persevere. Little did I know that it was God who had provided a way for me to do that. In my suffering he opened the door for me to write. 

To this very day, I love to write. It's not as if I'm saying that I enjoy writing about the unpleasantries I've experienced over the years but more about the freedom I felt and still feel when I write. I feel at liberty to express myself in a way that I never imagined. There are times when writing takes the place of speaking out loud. It's less complicated. It's peaceful, relaxing and most of all safe. I can choose to write for my eyes alone or for others to see. 

When people learn that I am a writer, some simply smile at me. They don't know what to say in return. I've even rendered some people speechless. Their eyes widen and their mouth drops. I guess they can't picture me as a writer. For the most part people are quite curios. But they never ask me 'why' I write. They really want to know..... what I write.

I have a
story. It's my life. I write because God gave me a way to express my thoughts and feelings. And I just can't stop.  

Psalm 139:1-4
"O Lord, you have examined my heart 
       and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up
       You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.
You see me when I travel
       and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
       You know what I'm going to say
even before I say it, Lord."

April 22, 2018

My Reason to Write by Alan Anderson

2 Corinthians 3: 2-3, You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

A gentleman I spoke with told me of his desire to write. He said he found it painful and hard to get things on paper. I agreed with him. The thing is he gave up. He still has a desire to write but is afraid in some way of how challenging it is.

Perhaps you will agree that writing is challenging. It can indeed be hard to put words to paper at times. It can even be bit scary. On the other hand, it is also alluring. It captivates those called to write in an almost teasing seduction. It is as if the words in our mind and heart dare us to write them down. Writing can be oh so cheeky.

My reason to write may not sound the most spiritual. I write because I have to. When I was a boy and young man I was quite withdrawn. I would only talk with certain people. I found it hard to trust people. I wasn’t sure if I could confide in anyone. Perhaps not only was my introversion holding me back but also I was shy. I’m not as shy now but I do tend to be introverted. It can still take me a while to get to know people and them to know me.

Writing has helped me gain confidence about my place in God’s world. For years words swam around in my head almost screaming to be let out. All they wanted was for them to be listened to. They wanted to comfort readers and give them hope. The tricky thing is they wanted me to be their spokesman and scribe.

As I was growing up I came to a realization the words screaming in my head were part of me. I realized I also needed comfort and hope. The words locked in my head wanting to get out would speak for me and to me.

I write because I am given the time, health and ability to do so. That will come to an end some day. A couple of days ago I was reminded of the brevity of life. A woman my wife has known for a few years died of a massive heart attack. I won’t go into details but it is one of the saddest situations I have ever heard of. Oh, what fragile creatures we are.

The situation I just mentioned brought home to me how final our ending is in this life. It caused me to reflect on why I write and also what I want to write. I write because I love to. I write because my mind and heart and hands are healthy. I write for my words often cause me to weep over the frailty of people. I write because there are stories that must be told. If I don’t write them, who will?

While we have our moments in this life, let us write. While we may have different writing “voices”, let us write. While our hands and fingers listen to our mind, let us write. While our hearts are open to God’s call, let us write.

My dear friends, we are written on the heart of God. We are His. He knows our stories. God has called us to write. That is wonderful and true.

I have read some of the posts for this month. I come away thankful we are in this calling together. Dear readers and fellow writers you are written on my heart. I love your words. Know too that I love you.


April 21, 2018

Stories From The Crutches Table ... by Jocelyn Faire

It was The Crutches Table ... earlier this month my husband and I attended a Samaritan's Purse medical recruitment brunch. This was his event, but I joined him, assuming that I would sit quietly on the sidelines, not knowing anyone there. To my delight and surprise, that was not the case ...
As we entered the church basement, I noticed a man on crutches standing at an empty table. Only twelve days earlier, I had a downhill ski accident that resulted in a fracture, and ligament damages. A G-2 brace from ankle to upper thigh was my new best friend, and I was trying to adjust to walking with crutches. The other man invited us to join he and his wife at the Crutches Table. Camaraderie developed over injury stories. Apparently I had had more fun attaining mine; he was four weeks post surgery with a walking cast, much more mobile than I.

People mingled as we waited to begin. A lady of similar age was looking at me ... I think I should know you, she says. I did not recognize her immediately, but as I introduced myself, a knowing smile spread across her face. I'm Olive, and you spoke at Providence two years ago. Her husband Randall had invited me to speak on the topic of 'Through Thick and Thin,' at the Bible College my son had attended. It was a delight to reconnect with her, and introduce her to my husband of sixteen months. She was absolutely thrilled to hear that my story had taken such a positive turn from the tragedy I had spoken about that day. When I met Olive at the speaking engagement, it had been by divine appointment. Olive had also been a nurse in the Emergency Department years earlier, the day of the accident that claimed three lives. (The thick and thin of my topic) This day, I felt her warm caring as she beamed with each word I shared. Wait till I tell Randy that I met you, he will be so happy to hear this. We chatted for a while and then Olive rejoined her group as I sat down at our table.

Other people at the table continued the joking about this being the crutches table. A lady whose husband was chatting with mine came to my end of the table and asked me if the seat beside me, occupied by my purse, was vacant. I nodded setting my purse on the floor. She leaned over and whispered, I probably fit in here as well ... I am going through my final treatment for ovarian cancer ...

As a nurse I knew that her type of cancer often does not have a happy ending. I am so sorry, I say.

Then she leans in close and in a conspiratorial voice says I've read your book. And I know she knows more about me. She knows I have gone through deep pain, she knows I know of some of her pain. She knows that I have gone through my questioning period. We share a common thread of a deep disappointment with life events. We also share hope.

Two hurting daughters of the king. She said that many days she was ok, but many days she was not. I told her I had many, many days I thought I could not make it through. But I had to speak myself into the place I wanted to be. There was a lot of self-pep-talk that happened. She nodded in agreement. I found that I was not always at the place I wanted to be, but I chose to believe it would be better, I chose to believe that God's hand was present, even when it felt absent. I spoke words before the conviction took root. I told her I firmly believed that we speak ourselves in the direction we want to go. Many times the strength and courage came after speaking myself in the direction I hoped for. Many days I heard myself speak, and I wondered Who is talking out of my head? (That became the title of my book on grief.) It was like being outside of myself, but there was someone inside me who knew what I needed to do. Tears glistened in the corner of her eyes. I think I was meant to sit in this chair, she said. Coming from you those words have meaning. To change the tone she asked: Do you like my hair? Her modern hairstyle was a very well done wig. She looked fabulous, one would never guess her story. Before we parted we had a quick hug and prayer.

Thirteen years earlier I had been obedient to write down my story, that morning I received affirmation through these women of the fruits of earlier difficult seeds. God tells us to cast our breads upon the water. When we are willing to share our stories, He uses them to bring hope.

You have all this evidence confirmed by your own eyes and ears. Shouldn't you be talking about it?
Isaiah 48:6 The Message.

Jocelyn is the author of Who is Talking Out of My Head, Grief as an Out of Body Experience.  She is offering a complimentary copy of her book, contact her at jbmarietalking@gmail.com  and she will mail it to you, or someone who has gone through a serious loss. She also blogs(sometimes) at https://whoistalking.wordpress.com

April 19, 2018

Why do I Write by Eunice Matchett

Why do I write? I need to sit and ponder the reasons. If I can.

To be truthful, I haven’t entertained thoughts as to why I write. Until now. Writing has always been a large part of my life, and a larger part of who I am. It is my best friend, and to whom I seek when the events in my external world are impossible to fathom. It is my Teddy Bear and fuzzy, warm blanket.

When my throat swells, and I am unable to produce appropriate words, my fingers quiver, encouraging me to find quiet corner and allow my feelings to express themselves on the paper pad I always carry in my purse.

Since I give worship a whole new meaning when I try to sing, I worship my Heavenly Father through my words. Doing so allows me time to pause and dwell on each word or thought, not just as I write it, but in the future as well. Often, when I reread my worship words I pause, and wonder did I write that?

  I am an introvert. I do not do well in large groups. I never learned the art of small talk, nor do I enjoy listening to it. If I have something to say, I’ll say it, which often gets me in trouble. After years of getting myself into deep water, I’ve learned that I write much better than I talk, and by doing so, my life is much smoother and less regretful.

I am also the middle sibling, and the second daughter in our family, which made growing up with a voice extremely difficult. Sometimes it felt like forever for me to get a word edgewise into a conversation. When screaming “I’ve got something to say,” or stomping my foot in frustration didn’t get me voice time, I turned to pencil and paper. It worked like magic. I could finally state my opinion uninterrupted. Not that it did me much good, because no one read it, but it did leave me feeling smug.

For me, writing is a privilege. It is my calm in a storm, a bridge across deep water. Experience has taught me it is the safest way to express myself. It fills hours in my day, and always makes me smile when I type ‘the end’ of my latest story.

April 18, 2018

Writing to be Real - Gloria Guest

I think I basically write to be real. If I’m not going to be real, what’s the point? Writing is where I am at my best in expressing authenticity.
As someone who can sometimes have too quick of a tongue or be a bit too blunt in my personal conversations, I love the fact that in writing my keyboard has a delete button. Something sounds not quite right? Delete. That wasn’t said the way I intended? Delete. Start again and this time say it better.
I find that writing has far more grace for my particular  communication foibles than talking does. In my conversations I’ve had many times where I wished that I could take back a word, or two or more. With my written words, I can. Delete. It’s great. J
My personal blog is based around the theme of Hope. As someone who came from a difficult childhood and has spent my adult years recovering from it, I have found hope to be my anchor. And so in finding that hope it is my desire to share it with others. Hope is the solid cord that is found woven through all of my writing and that cord leads to the source of my hope which is God and His faithfulness.

In talking about being real I would like to add that I don’t always feel hope or even follow its light. I have dark days and times where I wonder if God cares or is listening or has forgotten all about me. I have days when I look around at the world and wonder the same thing. Is God even with us or has He just wound up the world like a giant clock and is letting it tick down?
The Chaplin of the Humboldt Bronco’s hockey team, Sean Brandow, spoke about this in his message after the tragic bus crash on a lonely Saskatchewan highway,
#Humboldt Strong
 that took sixteen lives and injured all remaining.

‘Where was God?’ he stated at the vigil. He had been on the scene and saw the twisted wreckage and the dead and wounded. He felt as if he was in the valley of the shadow of death. And he was. But then later in the week he was reminded of the other half of the verse that states, “I will fear no evil for thou art with me.” His message went around the world. He was real and that’s what drew people to want to listen. He didn’t hold back his raw emotions and his questioning of God. I believe his message drew many to God.
May my writing be as real as that Chaplin’s heart felt words were.

May I allow people more than a just a tiny glimpse into my soul and then a quick cover-up. May my writing reveal a deep gaze into who I am and where I’ve been because I don’t have to give in to fear. Sure, people will see my pain and failures but through that may they see God, piercing through the fog of my life as the light from a lighthouse searches out the waters saying, ‘This is the way. Come home.’
May it lead them home too.

Gloria shares messages of hope from the small hamlet of Caron, Sask. You can read her blog by clicking here.  

April 17, 2018

Write to Ignite - Lynn Dove

In my opinion, the hardest part of writing, is typing that very first sentence for an article, blog or book.  A blank page is my nemesis.  It begs to be filled with word pictures that will somehow illicit an emotional response from the reader.  Once I have agonized over that very first sentence and my page is no longer blank, I can start to formulate my thoughts and start the creative process of actually writing.  The word "ignite" by definition is the first step of fire-lighting.  Once the flame is lit, the task then becomes keeping the fire stoked. That first sentence is the initial spark, and the story builds upon that to become an inferno.

I don't know if it's a conventional way to write.  I have attended writing workshops where I was taught that characterization is paramount.  I've also been taught that plot structure is the essential component to writing a story.  I am not negating either as important, but I liken the way I write to the way I paint, haphazardly and with wild abandon!  I choose my colours with carefree spirit and splash them on abstractly.  Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason to my activity and then surprisingly a pattern develops and as more word colours flow, or drip over the white canvas, I become more and more frenzied and inspired to complete the word painting inside of my head.  (It is my editor's job to add the finishing strokes so that as an artist I am kept humbled :)

Just like a painting should invoke some kind of an emotional response from whomever looks at it, inspired writing should ignite a passionate response from readers.  Reading should never be a boring activity.  If the reader is not engaged emotionally with the writing in some way, negatively or positively, then a writer has failed in their attempts to write to ignite. 

It is my passion as a writer and as a Christ Follower to use words to draw people to respond to Christ.  To ignite their interest by sharing my faith openly in my books and in the articles and stories I write is of great importance to me.  I have tried to write in the secular realm, but have failed miserably.  It's not my passion, Christ is, and so I write to ignite that same passion in others.  To do otherwise goes against the specific calling I have as a Christian writer.

 Lynn Dove is the award-winning author, of the YA “Wounded Trilogy”- a contemporary Christian fiction series with coming-of-age themes.  A wife, mom, grandmother, and free-lance writer with articles published in several magazines and anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul books, her blog, “Journey Thoughts” is a Canadian Christian Writing Award winner.  Readers may connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and at lynndove.com  

April 16, 2018

My Reasons for Writing by Nina Faye Morey

So, why do I write?

To gain a greater understanding of God’s Word

One of the main reasons I enjoy writing is that it helps me develop a better understanding of God’s Word. Through my Christian writing, I’m able to grasp more meaning from Bible verses and gain greater insights into the Scriptures than by any other means. When I open my heart and mind to Jesus’s words, I feel like His apostles must have felt listening to His teachings. It’s as though His Holy Spirit is inspiring and guiding me, prompting me to write the words that flow through my pen and onto the paper. So many times I’ve been searching for just the right words or the right Bible verse, and suddenly the words magically form in my mind or I open my Bible by chance to the perfect Scripture. But my experience isn’t unique. I’ve heard other Christian writers express these same feelings and experiences.

And let us consider how we may spur
one another on toward love and good deeds.”
~ Hebrews 10:24

To use God’s gift for the good of others

I can’t imagine not using this great gift that God has given me (Ephesians 2:10). I know that many Christian writers feel this way regardless of whether they write for the Christian market, the mainstream market, or both. Whatever and wherever we write, we feel impelled to uphold Christian principles because we wish to serve our Lord and use our gift for God’s glory. We want to reach out to our readers and have a positive impact on their lives, comforting, encouraging, and inspiring them. We want to help and uplift them in times of tribulation. We want to bless and heal their hearts and souls with God’s Word. It’s true that the pen is mightier than the sword, so we must choose our words wisely so we never lead our readers astray or cause them to stumble (Matthew 12:36). We must always remember that our words are capable of inciting love or hate, good or evil, violence or peace.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”
~ Flannery O’Connor

To gain a better understanding of myself

I write to find out what I’m thinking. It’s as though I don’t know what I really think about something until I’ve written down the words and read them on paper. It helps me express my ideas, insights, and emotions. Writing helps me answer questions and work through problems. It helps me process my thoughts, feelings, ambitions, and motivations. It helps me embrace my hopes and fears. It provides a cathartic release whenever the floodgates open. Writing helps me unravel the mysteries of life and discover what is truly important.

To indulge my love affair with words

Ever since I first learned to read, I’ve desired to participate in and find my niche in the writing world. I never tire of the thrill of capturing an idea that’s in my mind or an emotion that’s in my heart with just the right words. Writing is never easy. But that’s also part of the attraction for me. It can be very difficult to craft a well-written article, story, or poem that reaches readers’ hearts and minds and stirs their emotions. If you write for publication, there is not only the need to write well but the additional pressure of meeting the editor’s expectations and deadlines. But even if no one ever read a single word I wrote, my love affair with words would impel me to keep writing them down on paper.

So, why do you write?

Photos: Pixabay Free Images

April 15, 2018

Answering the Call to Write - Tracy Krauss

Why do I write? 
I've spent quite a lot of time, over the years, thinking about this question. The simple answer is, I feel called to write. I suppose I view writing as a form of ministry, even though my primary avenue is fiction. A few years ago I attended several one-on-one sessions with a marketing coach. One of the first things he had me do was fill out an extensive profile about myself - genre, target audience, marketing plan, future goals etc. It was an excellent exercise in learning to focus instead of using what he called the "spray and pray"method of marketing. Among the questions was, "Why do you write?" I came up with five reasons:

1. Entertain – I write to entertain and provide an escape for the reader. Although some may not find this to be the most noble reason, I believe entertainment has value - even spiritual value. Proverbs 17:22 - A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (NIV)

2. Encourage – Through my stories, I hope to encourage others in their Christian walk. I write primarily for a Christian audience, so the expectation is that most are already saved. However, people still need encouragement along the way and that's what I want to do. Philemon 1:7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord's people. (NIV)

3. Enlighten – I like to bring a potentially difficult or controversial issue to each book I write. Examples include racism and prejudice, native spirituality and cults, pornography, substance abuse and addiction, and physical and sexual abuse. Every one of these topics is relevant in the church. My experience in ministry has taught me that Christians still struggle with each one of these issues, although not always openly. Galatians 6:2Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (ESV)

4. Expand the reader’s viewpoint. This is tied to number three, since my purpose is not always to offer a definitive answer. (Other than Jesus !) I try to stay away from a ‘hardline’ legalist viewpoint and focus instead on grace. I intentionally try to leave some loose ends and unanswered questions for the reader to ponder. 2 Corinthians 12:9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (ESV)

5. Evangelism - not my primary focus since my assumption is that my target audience is already Christian. However, the gospel message is there, so someone could potentially come to Christ. Romans 1: 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (ESV)

The above list focuses on writing as a ministry, but I do have more selfish reasons as well. As an artist, writing is one avenue of self expression and fulfills that need for a creative outlet. As well, writing - specifically journalling - is a way to make sense of my world. It helps me to process my thoughts and feelings and I often use it as a form of prayer. 

So there you have it! Do any of these 'reasons' resonate with you? 

Tracy Krauss is InScribe's current Vice President and writes from her home in northern BC. Visit her website http://tracykrauss.com - fiction on the edge without crossing the line - 

April 14, 2018

Ruminating about Roots: Why I Write - Ruth L. Snyder

According to the calendar, it's Spring. In Alberta, that means it could be warm enough outside for the snow to melt into puddles, but also cold enough for fresh snow and freezing wind, still making it feel like Winter. When I was younger, we used to joke that Alberta is the only place you can slip on ice, fall into a mud puddle, and get up and dust yourself off—because the weather changes so quickly in the Spring.

We do know that warmer weather will come to stay sooner or later (Genesis 8:22). Then we will see shoots of green pushing through the sod, pussy willows, and fragile crocus blooms. Everything that grows has roots.

"Roots have two main roles—anchoring street trees in the ground and collecting minerals, oxygen and moisture to supply the tree." (citygreen.com/solutions/managing-tree-roots/)

In other words, roots provide a strong base from which a plant can grow and roots also enable the plant to gather what it needs to grow. As I thought about it, the reasons we write are like roots. Having a clear defined reason to write provides a strong base for our writing. Knowing why we are writing also enables us to sort through material that comes our way and select only those facts, anecdotes, and explanations that will help our story or article grow, blossom, and bless. If we are unclear about why we are writing, we end up with writing that is rambling and ineffective.

This week my husband and I had the opportunity to watch I Can Only Imagine, the story behind the popular song by MercyMe.

The quote that jumped out at me was, "Write about it—Let that pain become your inspiration." 

My first published piece, Gifts From a Loving God, shared how God led my husband and me through infertility and a miscarriage to the place where we adopted our children. My book, Twitter Decoded: Tips and Tools for Authors, shows writers how to use social media and do it without using up precious time they need for writing.

God has been showing me that lately I have been hiding my pain. I choose not to be authentic, because it hurts too much. The problem is, when I hide my pain, my writing comes across as trite and phoney. People around me are hurting. They are hungry for authentic words. The reason I write is to give hope. God wants to use my pain to minister to others:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
I'm working on sharing and being more authentic in my relationships and my writing.

What is God teaching you? Why do you write? Please share in the comments below.

FYI: I wrote this post in a hotel room with four kids around me. Frequent interruptions, a pillow fight, and kids asking me when I would be done.

Ruth and her husband are enjoying the transition to grandparenthood, are working through the struggles of transitioning their twins, who have developmental delays, into the adult world, and are continuing to encourage all five of their kids to grow in grace.

April 13, 2018

Reason for Writing - Wendy L. Macdonald

     I remember the moment I realised my reason for writing: It happened when a Bible verse jumped off the page of a Beth Moore book I was studying with a group of ladies at my church. Before that moment, I suspected I was supposed to head in that direction, but I hadn’t experienced a specific word or leading until then.

     Although I already had an arsenal of favourite Scripture verses I memorised for my battle against eating disorders back in the 1980’s, I hadn’t found what many call a “Life Verse.” And although I enjoyed selecting a verse of the day and a verse of the year, I hadn’t chosen my forever one.

     But as I recently worked on a podcast draft for HopeStreamRadio, the verse I noticed during the Beth Moore Bible study came to mind and reminded me it not only applied to Jesus, but to all who believed on His name, because we’re to be filled by Christ, empowered by Christ, and imitators of Christ.

      A Christian is defined as one who follows Jesus. To follow Him is to do as He did, which is to be a fisher of men—as He called His disciples to do. Part of being a Christian fisherman is to instruct and build up the body of believers.

Are you curious—yet—as to which verse I’m alluding to?

     Here it is: Isaiah 61:1 NIV

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
 because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
 He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives
 and release from darkness for the prisoners.

     When I read this verse in the context of Christians being called and anointed to do as Christ did, it sent shivers of inspiration though my spirit. I long to live as one who binds and builds up broken people because I’ve been blessed with healing through the Word and through the words of those God used to help me overcome darkness. And as a result of my own rescue from eating disorders, depression, and infertility:

 My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep.

     There are a lot of people drowning in disorders. There are a lot of rescues still in need of happening. I write because I want to be part of the rescue efforts. Sure it’s humbling—even humiliating at times—to share my story. But I thank God for the brave people who didn’t just recover from the darkness and hide the Light under the pew they sit on each Sunday. We’re to share what the Lord has done for us so that others may believe and glorify God too.

I’m glad I needed a rescue because now I know the Rescuer.   

     This is the reason I write. I’m nosey-to-know what yours is?

 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted 
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 NIV

     Rescued from the deep blessings ~ Wendy Mac

a white down feather
 fluttering in surrender
 I kneel before God
 for He comforts broken hearts
 and lifts the low in spirit
~ wlm


Wendy L. Macdonald is an inspirational blogger and podcaster who loves to photograph nature on Vancouver Island. She hopes you’ll visit her “Daily Bread” style Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Her byline is: “My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep.” Her main website is wendylmacdonald.com where she enjoys interacting with readers.