July 31, 2023

Why Writers Should Garden ~ Guest Post by Allison Lynn


Today is a double blog celebration! Not only do I get to share my words on our beautiful Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship blog, but I’m also celebrating my first devotional with The Upper Room!

I normally wouldn’t mention something like that here, but I received my submission opportunity because of this wonderful ICWF group, and I always think it’s more fun to celebrate our successes together! 

My Upper Room devotional was born from my garden. In the chilly days that blend winter into spring, “the flowers appeared in the earth” (Song of Solomon 2:12). My delicate little snowdrops always inspire hope for a better, brighter season, so I just had to write about them.

For this, and for so many reasons, I believe all writers should garden.

I’m incredibly passionate about gardening. I have two of my own - a full flower extravaganza around our house and a large community plot for my vegetables. I’ve also worked on many family and community gardens over the years. I’m always happy to stop everything and spend time in the garden!

But you don’t need to be obsessed with green things to reap the benefits of spending time in the dirt. Whether it’s a few houseplants, some well-potted summer containers, or a simple veggie patch in the backyard, every person’s life can be enriched by loving and growing plants!

There are many reasons why writers in particular should garden, but let us consider this one today: 

Every writing workshop I’ve attended has, at some point, emphasized the need to write for, and be inspired by, the five senses. How do we use words - simple black markings on a white background - to bring alive the vibrancy of taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell?

Gardening is an activity rich in all five senses! 

And inspiration for writing is everywhere …


As your kitchen fills with summer harvests, fill your plates and pages with new creations. Don’t just write out the facts of your recipes! Use them to tell a story about your family’s great love of green beans, or wax poetically about that first bite of a freshly picked beefsteak tomato.


Put aside your garden gloves and run your arms through the long foliage of the Daylily. Rub your fingers along the silvery, furry leaves of the Lambs Ears. Let a butterfly land on your hand. Slip off your shoes and feel the grass between your toes. How can you translate such textures into lines and phrases?


My garden is awash in colour, but there’s so much more to see when you choose to look carefully … The Swallowtail Caterpillar with its sharp black, yellow and chartreuse markings. The streak of grey as a squirrel rips along the fence. The ever-shifting rays of sunshine piercing through the leaves. Stories and essays abound in the visual wonder of it all!


I invite you to close your eyes for a moment. Hear your breath. Listen for the rustle of leaves as birds hop from branch to branch. Catch a laugh from the neighbour’s little boy. What poems are drifting through the air today?


Don’t just smell the roses - smell everything! How do you describe the citrusy scent of a Mock Orange blossom? Or the butterfly-entrancing perfume of the Buddleia shrub? What memories are evoked by the earthy waft of freshly turned soil?

So please, spend some time indulging your senses in the garden today! With life - and stories - growing literally all around us, how can gardening not inspire great writing?


Singer, songwriter and worship leader, Allison Lynn, is drawn to the power of story to grow hearts and communities. Allison and her husband, Gerald Flemming, just released their 9th Infinitely More album - The Sum of All Love. Publications include The Anglican Journal (national newspaper), Taste and See (journal), Love STC (Niagara Tourism Blog), and five stories with Chicken Soup for the Soul. www.InfinitelyMore.ca

July 28, 2023

Garden of Weedin' -- life lessons learned in a garden by Mary Folkerts


From the fresh days of spring through the hot sticky heat of summer to the golden hues of fall, you can find me outside in my gardens. I combat mosquitoes, heat, and wind in the short but intense months of gardening, but my biggest nemesis is weeds. Most summer days, you can find me kneeling in my flower beds, slathered in bug spray, pulling weeds. It seems as soon as I finish one bed, I start the process again. The job is unending!

They say an author should research or become familiar with the topic they want to write about. Perhaps another way of thinking would be to write about what you are already immersed in. In my case, it’s gardening and, in particular, removing weeds!

To me, weeds depict all the things in life that slip us up or hinder our spiritual growth, otherwise known as sin. 

Here are some things I’ve learned about weeds. 

1. You have to remove weeds for a garden to flourish.

If you have neighbours that can see over the fence into your garden, you may want to remove the weeds for the sake of appearance. A weed-free garden is much more pleasing to the eye, but we wouldn’t be removing them for others, would we? (Check!) True gardeners keep a clean garden for the health of the plants they nurture. Weeds can quickly choke out the young bean plants as they vie for nutrients. 

So it is with our spiritual life. Sin left unchecked chokes out the health of our life in Christ. It’s hard to pray when sin stands between me and God. 

2. Waiting too long to pull the weed can lead to a plethora of more weeds.

Weeds are unwanted plants that also produce flowers if left unchecked. And when that flower dies, its seeds scatter across the garden, creating more of its kind! 

Sin left unchecked leads to more sin. We get comfortable in our state, not even realizing that sin is taking over the soil of our soul. 

3. You need to get the root. 

Cutting off the top of a weed will disrupt its growth for a while, but it will come back as the root is still intact. To ensure its proper removal, you must get the root.

Sin has deep roots, wrapping itself around the heart. It’s hard to eradicate, and only with the help of our Saviour Jesus, can we find strength and wisdom to do the hard work of deep digging necessary for removal. Behaviour modification is not the same as deep digging. 

4. You need to create barriers to keep weeds from establishing. 

Barriers, such as landscape fabric or mulch, inhibit weeds from being able to sprout.

We need boundaries and systems in place to help us in our spiritual life. We can never be too confident in our own abilities to keep sin at bay. Sin is deceptive, and Satan cunning. It is essential to have a Christian community and friends that hold us accountable. We cannot let the seed of sin germinate, or before we know it, it has established itself in our garden.  

5. Sometimes, quick action is better than perfect technique. 

Waiting for enough time to do a job correctly isn’t always the right thing to do. Sometimes that flowering weed just needs to be snipped so it doesn’t shed its seeds. True, you didn’t get the root, and the plant isn’t gone, but at least the seeds can’t do further damage. 

There may be things that need a quick removal from our life. You may need to return for deeper root digging at some point, but the quick snipping of the flowering sin is most important at the present. 

And these are some things I think as I push my knife into the dirt, loosen the soil around the roots, and throw another weed into my bucket. 

What are you currently immersed in? How can God use it to reveal Himself to you as He paints word pictures for you from your everyday life? 

Mary Folkerts is mom to four kids and wife to a farmer, living on the southern prairies of Alberta, where the skies are large and the sunsets stunning. She is a Proverbs 31 ministries COMPEL Writers Training member and is involved in church ministries and music. Mary’s personal blog aims to encourage and inspire women and advocate for those with Down Syndrome, as their youngest child introduced them to this extraordinary new world. For more inspiration, check out Joy in the small things https://maryfolkerts.com/  

July 25, 2023

Guiding the Next Generation of Writers ~ Valerie Ronald


Miss Burgoyne exuded enthusiasm as she taught our high school Creative Writing class. Her own creative spirit shone in the unique assignments she gave out. Her exuberance for writing was contagious, sparking the creative thinking of her students. Most memorable was writing, performing and filming our own short drama under the direction of a professional script writer, who happened to be serving time for fraud in a nearby minimum security prison. Somehow Miss Burgoyne was able to wangle a pass for him to show up several times a week in her classroom to give us the benefit of his expertise ˗˗ in script writing, not fraud. 

Miss Burgoyne communicated a passion for creative writing to many aspiring young authors. She expected us to learn the techniques of the craft, instructing us in how to use proper writing tools to improve our work. By reading the work of successful writers, she taught us about style and voice. What impacted me most was the writing assignments, critiqued by our peers and our supportive teacher. Because of her mentoring I realized that I had the potential to call myself a writer someday. 

Many of us have decades of writing experience under our belts, each page a hard-won step forward in our journey as a writer. We have a responsibility to pass on what we have learned from our successes and failures to the next generation of writers. Getting started on the writing path can be daunting, even discouraging when faced with the challenges of developing a unique voice, laboring over manuscripts, and navigating the publishing world. Good advice is more palatable when sweetened with encouragement and positive critique. As wise Solomon wrote, “For sound advice is a beacon, good teaching is a light, moral discipline is a life path.” (Prov. 6:23 The Message) 

More than receiving our advice, those coming after us look to our writing experience as an example. What worked for us is noted, perhaps even emulated by future writers. That is a weighty expectation, however, as writers who believe in Christ, there is more to it than just demonstrating how to write. They are observing how our writing reflects our faith. Not only are we writing mentors, we are also called upon to live out our faith in Christ through our writing. 

If a novice Christian writer were to ask you for the singular most important lesson you have learned in your writing journey, what would it be? There is no right answer, for each of us is on a unique path. After distilling the essence of my own journey, I would tell the young writer, seek God’s guidance, then write honestly from your heart.  

In the most recent edition of FellowScript, YA Editor Mary Anne Focht, shares how writing has helped her through the death of her brother.  

“I know my life without InScribe would not have been as successful without all the prayers and encouragement over the years. I am thankful for how He (God) keeps turning me back to Him through the words I write.”1 

Mentioning young author, Joshua Heath, she credits his love for InScribe in helping her be enthusiastic about joining. She includes Heath’s writing timeline, beginning with him meeting InScribe members Ruth Snyder, Bobbi Junior, and Tracy Krauss and deciding he wanted to be an author like them.  

I am proud to be a member of a writer’s fellowship that values and invests in young writers just starting on their journey. When we nurture their gift, we are entrusting them to carry the torch of faith-based writing forward after we lay down our pens.

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. (2 Cor. 3:2-3 NIV) 

1 FellowScript August 2023 p. 26

Valerie Ronald is a pastor's wife, mother and grandmother 
who enjoys reading, writing and taking photos of the
 beautiful prairies where she lives.


July 24, 2023

Grace Notes by Lorrie Orr


In this month featuring the letter G, I was certain that Grace would appear many times. And so, on this second day of July, while writing this post, I noticed a number of posts scheduled that will indeed talk about grace. Fortunately, grace is abundant and bears writing about many times. 

Grace notes are little additions to music. I felt so accomplished when, as a young piano student, I learned to play these soft adornments. While grace notes are unnecessary for the structure of the music, they add a fillip of delight and fun to a tune. 

I believe God delights not only in pouring out the necessary grace we need desperately, but also in providing grace notes along the way, little extras that make us realize how well he knows how to delight us. 

My eldest daughter and her family moved to a new-to-them house several months ago. In their former garden, they had planted a rose, Lady of Shalott, in memory of the loss of several pregnancies and their hopes for more children. The rose was too big to be moved, so they bade it a fond farewell. 

Nicely settled into their new home, they've been watching the garden unfold. This garden was planned by a professional who was happy to come back and walk through it with them, telling them about this and that plant. When the roses began to bloom, I noticed that one bush looked very similar to Lady of Shalott. 

"No," my daughter said, "I asked the landscaper and while she couldn't remember the name, she said it wasn't that." 

C was content in having a similar rose to the one she had left behind. However, several days later the landscaper called and said, "You were right, that rose is Lady of Shalott."

A grace note. A beautiful embellishment to the rich life C and her husband and daughter already had. A little gift from God, who knew just how to delight this family.

Grace notes - how has God delighted you recently?

Lorrie Orr makes her home on Vancouver Island, but will be driving across Canada to Newfoundland with her husband when this post is published. 

July 21, 2023

Grappling With G - Tracy Krauss

I'm loving this year's letter-inspired prompts! Inspiration for A Through F came almost instantly for me. Although there were many excellent words to choose from, I knew beyond any doubt what I would write about when it came to each of these letters. 

Then along came G. 

I ended up with a long list of possibilities (39 to be exact) but nothing felt quite right. 

I write in multiple GENRES, but a main theme that seems to crop up again and again is GRACE. However, GRACE has already been used more than once this month, so I didn’t want to repeat what was already said. My fiction has been called GRITTY in that it sometimes contains edgy elements, but I do this intentionally in order to create characters that are GENUINE. However, I draw the line at anything GRATUITOUS. If the content doesn’t have a purpose, I’m not going to include it for the shock factor.

I believe there is always room for GROWTH as an author. It’s why feedback is so important and why we must develop thick skin in order to see our own writing flaws and then learn from them. No one is beyond improvement, no matter how GUT-WRENCHING the criticism. 

I love what Barbara Fuller already said about GENEROSITY and all the “risks” that go with it. Joy Bailey’s post called “GO HOME!” made me laugh and also ponder its deeper spiritual implications. Bob Jones gave an amazing list of prompts to spur our GRATITUDE. In fact, every post so far in this series has been superb and worth the time it takes to read and respond. What could I possibly add that wasn’t drivel, just filling up the page? 

Then the one word I’d been searching for hit me--and it felt so obvious! 


That’s the bottom line. If GOD isn’t in it, then there’s little point in doing it. 

I’m beginning to see more and more that GOD must be my focus in all areas of life, including my writing. This doesn’t mean I only write about GOD, but that everything I do must GLORIFY Him and His purposes. 

In the end, it is really quite simple: Put GOD first, and everything else with fall into place. 


Tracy Krauss writes from her home in northern BC. (But she's still a Roughrider fan! Can't take that out of this prairie girl!) Visit her website for more on her thirty-PLUS books, and plays. 

"Fiction on the edge without crossing the line"


July 20, 2023

G is for Grief Poetry by Alan Anderson


The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18 NIV


“Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record?”—Psalm 56: 8


“Grief is the price we pay for love”—Queen Elizabeth

A Poetic Thought to Begin.


Land of Memories


A cemetery is a land of memories.

When we visit the grave of a loved one,

Memories hold us tight.

Waves of grief may wash over us,

Crash against our thoughts.

We ride these waves,

Still walk with God.

Our grief does not take the Almighty by surprise.


 Grief Poetry

For reasons, perhaps only known to God, throughout my adult years, I have been drawn to support people who grieve. For years I have come alongside people who were impacted by experiences which have left them with lifelong grief. No, we do not get over our grief. Perhaps we may adapt to it, but we never get over it.


Since I “retired” in 2017, God laid it on my heart to write about grief. This focus turned in time toward what people term “grief poetry.” This has not been easy, but I must say, I love to write on the theme of grief.



Grief Always Has A Place to Go


You might have read the view on grief with the following perspective.


“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give – but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”  ~  Jamie Anderson




Please allow me to say with all humbleness and respect, as a writer who is also a Christian, I do not follow this perspective. Grief always has a place to go. Permit me to express this in a poem I wrote after reflection on grief.


Grief Always Has A Place To Go

By Alan Anderson

January 12, 2021


Grief always has a place to go


This love ache,

Brittle, crushing,

Hidden by a clouded heart,

Human, yet broken.


Flowers planted by a gravestone,

A memorial of one still loved.

Tears of mourners,

Gathered to embrace fond memories.


Grief, love upside down,

Filled with longing of how life once was,

Now to wander alone,

Through a tunnel of dark unknown.


Grief always has a place to go but,

At least for a time,

We may not like where it leads,

Those parts deep within our being,

Parts we fear to embrace.


Grief is never vagabond,

On the move, to find a home,

For it has never left us,

Never been absent.


This winter of life,

May sting like sharp icicles,

Yet, spring holds a place for us,

A warm nuzzle,

Until the agony subsides.



Our tears are not wasted,

Kept in a bottle by God to be remembered.

Grief as love finds comfort in God,

He accepts our scars as part of us,

He is with us at every turn,

Grief always has a place to go.


 Give Rest to the Children

A few years ago, I heard a statement from an older pastor, and I remember it to this day. He said, “If we love deep, we must also be ready to grieve deep.” Perhaps simple yet profound counsel for us all. We will grieve deep perhaps more than at anytime at the death of a child. I wrote the following poem in memory of my grandbabies in heaven.


Give Rest to the Children

By Alan Anderson, July 5, 2021

(The poem is adapted from an Orthodox Christian funeral for a child.)


The sword of death has come,

my world has changed.

Sorrow steals every moment.

The sun has become cold,

evening is frozen darkness.

The death of my grandchildren…pierces my existence.


How shall I live, O God,

must I continue to breathe?

My tears drown me,

my sobs suffocate me,

life is still.


I will give my grief to God,

The Lord who loves all people,

He will not allow me to be ruined.

I can bear my stumbled steps,

begin to walk one foot before another.

I can face the day,

sleep in the night,

with peace.


Grant Your light to these children, O Blessed One,

for they have not sinned or spoiled creation.

Welcome them and give them rest,

where there is no sickness or sorrow or sighing.

They are but little ones,

have mercy on them, O God.


I remember the children with great love and playful memories,

for God has not forsaken me,

neither are the children lost.

For their memory is eternal,

in the mind of God.

With Him, I know my grandchildren live.

He opened the gates of heaven to them.


Give rest to the children, O Lord.


Ponder This

When we grieve, we also love. When tears pour from our eyes God collects them in a bottle. Dear, beloved ones, your grief always has a place to go.


Alan lives in Deroche, B.C. with his wife, Terry, and their poodle, Charlie. He contributed stories to Good Grief People by Angel Hope Publishing, 2017; Story by Story: The Power of a Writer, Unstoppable Writers Publishing, 2018; Easter Stories & More by InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, 2021. He is currently working on a book expressing the grief of grieving grandparents entitled “Hidden Poetic Voices: A Reflective Work of Grief, Faith, and Poetry.” Alan periodically writes articles for FellowScript Magazine. He has written posts for our InScribe blog since 2015. Blog: https://scarredjoy.ca.

July 19, 2023

Gentle Gifts—Two-way Grace ~ Guest Post by Ruth Smith Meyer


Words as gentle gifts,

 or gentle words as gifts,

 extended with generous grace 

and genuine sensitivity,

 generate insight, 


understanding and growth.

Gentle words, are gifts 

that I can grant to others 


Graciously accepting

 the words of others,

generously granting them time  

as I listen carefully with my heart, 

their expressed words 

become gentle gifts to me. 

Then my words 

whether written or spoken

become even gentler gifts, 

extended with

 genuine understanding, 

and graceful sensitivity 

that can better generate insight, 

acceptance understanding, 

growth and love. 

Gentle: calm, compassionate, considerate, fair, honourable, kind, lenient, peaceful, polite, sensitive, serene, soothing tranquil.

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. Proverbs 1:5

Let the wise hear and increase in learning.  Proverbs 2:2


Ruth Smith Meyer lives in her little house in the fairy-tale town of Ailsa Craig, Ont. Widowed twice, she finds comfort and companionship in her writing. She is part of a writers’ group that keeps her focused. She invites readers to visit her Facebook page: Smith Meyer Books

July 17, 2023

G is for Gratitude Journals by Carol Harrison



As I read through the Bible, I find so many references that command us to give thanks and not just when we feel like it or when life is going great. David in the Psalms knew what going through trials and hardships was all about and even though some of his Psalms are filled with laments, he ends with praise to God and giving thanks that God is God.

In Psalm 95:2 it says, “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”

I have no excuse for not giving thanks to God for all he has done; for his love, mercy, and faithfulness. Circumstances in life change and some are extremely difficult. There are times I don’t feel like being grateful and yet God commands us to be thankful or grateful.

I Thessalonians 5: 16-19 “Rejoice always. Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

David wrote out his thankfulness in Psalms, or songs of praise. Paul wrote instructions to the early church and to all believers, inspired by God, and included giving thanks or being grateful in more than one place.

So as I thought more about gratitude and thankfulness, gratitude journals came to mind. I looked up definitions of what a gratitude journal is. There were many examples of gratitude journals you could buy as well as various entries talking about what a gratitude journal is or what types of things you can write into one.

Really, gratitude journals are personal to you as a way to express your thankfulness for any and everything in your life. You can make a list, write a sentence, or even an entire journal entry. Sometimes you might want a combination of the three. Grab a notebook, a diary, or even go high-tech with an app as long as it is a place and means for you to easily keep track of things you are grateful for.

Why should we keep a gratitude journal? Being thankful and expressing our gratitude is commanded by God. Also keeping a gratitude journal is thought to boost your well-being and helps us focus on positive thoughts. The more regularly we do anything, the easier it is to become a habit, and keeping a gratitude journal is no exception. Imagine if we kept a journal every day for a year or every week for a year, how ingrained looking for things to be grateful for would become.

I must admit, that the idea of keeping a gratitude journal appeals to me and yet when I’ve tried to list things every day that I’m grateful for, I feel like I hit a wall. It isn’t that there aren’t things to be grateful for, I think I just balk at the expectation to write a certain amount of them per day. I don’t journal every day in any kind of journal. I am more sporadic at journal entries.

A couple of years ago, I made myself a junk journal whose purpose was to be a receptacle for the positive, the things to be grateful for, and the verses that meant a lot to me. I didn’t set out to call it a gratitude journal and yet that is what it really is. A place to record things I am grateful for. I need to make more entries into it.

A few weeks ago, our youngest daughter, Amee, wanted a gratitude journal. We looked at some in stores and on-lone. In the end, she decided she needed a junk journal, made by mom, to be hers. The first thing she put in it were Bible verses. What a positive challenge that was for me. First to make the journal and then to realize that we have the perfect reasons to be grateful. God and His Word.

How about you? Have you ever kept a gratitude journal or do you have one now? How often do you post an entry? What way do you record your gratefulness? I know this is challenging me to pick up my junk journal and make more entries of things I am grateful for.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the lord, all the earth, Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues though all generations.


Carol Harrison writes and creates junk journals from her home in Saskatoon. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and abilities find their voice and reach their full potential and encouraging them to find glimmers of hope and glimpses of joy in all circumstances.