In FellowScript, Summer 2018 edition, Ruth Snyder wrote her last message as InScribe President. She passes the torch to us to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds [and God-honouring writing!]…encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:23-25).
The prompt for our blog writers this month is: “How are you spurring others in your faith and writing? And/Or how are others spurring you towards love and God-honouring writing?”
A Community of Grace and Growth
I come from rodeo and ranching country near Calgary, and “spurring” has both a positive and negative connotation for me. Spurs can be a fashion statement for cowboys and cowgirls. Spurring a horse can be more than a small tickle in the ribs—it can be a painful dig.
So when I began this blog, I looked up how other Bible translations explained “spur”. Words such as stimulate, encourage, activate, excite or arouse, were common.
Now I could relate to these words.
I thought of how the members of my local writers’ group have encouraged each other—and how they have encouraged me.
Bonding as group members – When I re-started our writer’s group two years ago, most writers didn’t know each other, although I knew almost everyone. We were a group of strangers. It has been exciting for me to watch, month by month, vitality begin to pulse. New members joined us. Group members discovered common interests and formed friendships. Friendships have spilled over into some one-on-one bonding outside of meeting time.
Life-giving – As we’ve bonded, we’ve shared our needs. This has grown into a ministry of prayer and caring for one another, both at group times and during the month. I was particularly encouraged last month by how engaged everyone was as I described my upcoming mission trip to Haiti, where I will be leading the healing prayer training and ministry. How much I value their prayers. (My trip is February 3-14—and we were instructed not to take our laptops or cell phones—so I won’t be answering y our comments or reading your blogs during that time.)
Sharing perspectives – Part of our meeting time is devoted to exploring Julia Cameron’s book, Right to Write. Each member takes a turn leading the discussion. Cameron has inspired us to delve into our own writing motivations and to give ourselves permission to write from the heart. I love her exercises, where she encourages us to light a candle and celebrate personal strengths, write in certain moods and let our writing be free-flowing, etc. We add an important component to Cameron’s ideas as we integrate creativity with our faith.
Growing as writers– Our members have a wide variety of writing interests. We have several poets, a song writer, a journalist and a publisher (including publishing of Native writing). Some write fiction, op-ed pieces/letters to the editor, devotionals, blogs, personal experience stories, essays and books. Over the last two years, I’ve watched our writers gradually take risks with more projects. One of our members inspired several to participate in NaNoWriMo this last November. Where will our writing take us in the years ahead?
Critiquing – I have received such valuable input from others—from correcting my theology to affirming the depth of my writing to clarifying my ideas to enhancing the nuts and bolts of my articles. My team is making a better writer out of me. (Thanks, group!!)
I could go on. But the deadline to post this blog is inching up on me and I must finish.
I now turn it over to you. How are you spurring others in your faith and writing? How are others spurring you towards love and God-honouring writing?