September 29, 2023

Imitation by Mary Folkerts


What comes to mind when you think of the word imitation? 

Imitation leather that cracks, 

fake Gucci handbags, 

knockoff watches that try to 

look expensive, 

cheap reproductions–

the express purpose being to

impress without cost.

Maybe it's imitation in the arts–

someone tries to replicate another's 

sound in music,

copying a style of painting,

using a respected author's way with words.

But imitation isn't just about replicating expensive items and reproducing famous works of art. It's also a way in which we learn. 

Children, for example, learn by following what is patterned for them. Younger siblings watch older ones to learn a new skill, and kids emulate their parent’s actions and attitudes for better or worse.   

We learn by example. 

Who do we learn from? Where are we getting our inspiration? Even as adults, we are continually being inspired by others. We read an author’s work and love how the words fall on our ears, catching our imagination and igniting our own thoughts and words. We read many different books to find our own voice and learn to write by imitating what we enjoy. Our writing style grows out of what inspires us. This is more about being inspired and less about replicating another’s work. 

But there is One who we are told to imitate.

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT).

 Jesus left us a perfect example to follow, but the enemy of our souls and minds provides us with many counterfeit promises that seem easier to attain and require less from us. When life gets hard and the schedule demanding, we can forget where our strength comes from. We dig deeper within ourselves but find that the well is empty. 

Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, we often read that He would find a quiet place to be alone with his Father to pray and find strength (Luke 5:16). If Jesus needed that time, I must realize how much more I need to prioritize time alone with God.

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished, and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NIV)

Can people notice that I have been with Jesus? Am I allowing His heart and strength to saturate me so that I begin to resemble Him more and more?  

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  


September 26, 2023

I is for Illiterate ~ by Michelle Strutzenberger

Imagine if, as you stared at this page on your computer screen, all meaning in the letters leaked away. The page had slowly mutated into a design of random dots and circles, curls and twisted stems.

Throughout my time of teaching English as a Second Language to adults, I’ve met several people who never learned to read and write in their first language. As they begin to master a new language, we also teach them how to decode letters for the very first time in their lives.

I’ll never forget Latifa, a delicate-boned Afghani woman, with kohl-lined eyes, and a soft, high-pitched voice. She came to us at the age of 60, never having read or written in her first language. Most days, she arrived in class with a faint herbal-citrus scent wisping from the sprig of basil she held in her tiny hand. After months of working with her, one day I realized she was picking out her name from among a choice of words I had printed on small slips of paper. Slowly, she scanned the dots and circles, curls, and stems. A small up-curve to her lips and glint in her eyes were all that hinted at her self-satisfaction as her finger pressed on her name again and again.

My spirit sprayed happiness that I had been able to help her discover the mystery of some of those printed dots and stems.

I don’t know why God allowed this Middle Eastern woman to be born where she was, unable to learn to read and write until she reached her 60s. I don’t understand why I received the blessing and privilege of growing up in a home and place where I was taught to decode letters as a young child.

But maybe God brought Latifa to me when He did to allow each of us to give one another a gift. I have been able to teach her to read. And she has illuminated a valuable detail about the gift of writing – that sometimes the very smallest manifestation of that gift, like the spelling out of someone’s precious name, can be just as meaningful in a person’s life as the most eloquent book in someone else’s context.

I have always leaned towards the view that God most delights in the latter types of written works – many-paged, beautiful, bestselling, “viral” on social media.

I need the reminder on occasion that He can make “masterpieces” - works that help to change people’s lives for the better – of the teeniest things.

My experience with Latifa has inspired me to wonder about the potential in other types of “mini masterpieces.” I’ve started a list of what these masterpieces might look like:

1. Story bookmarks. What if the cardboard that marks our book pages is the actual conveyor of a full, albeit very short, story?
2. Story business cards. What if we pass out our stories full and complete on small business cards?
3. Story labels. For those of us with other hobbies, such as cooking or crafting, what if we include a story on our creations? For example, a jar of our homemade jam could be shared complete with a label inscribed with our latest story.

This InScribe writer’s group is so very creative and thoughtful, I’m wondering if people might wish to share other related ideas they’ve experimented with or plan to try.

Michelle is an instructor and Braillist. She and her family enjoy hiking trails and mountains. She recently launched the series, "What Growing Up in a Mennonite Family of 10 Taught Me About Survival." To learn more, visit

September 25, 2023

Imago Dei ~ by Valerie Ronald


I do not see what God sees when I look in the mirror.

                    I see a woman weighted by decades lived,

                                            outwardly wasting away.


God sees Genesis perfection

                    inwardly renewed day by day

                                a finite likeness of His own nature

                                                Imago Dei ˗˗ image of God.

From Adam’s hand flew a stone of sin

                                shattering the image

                                        splintering the reflection

                                                stretching a chasm between divine and mortal.

Perfection came walking

            Christ, the Chasm-healer

                        His arm round my shoulders

                                we look in the mirror together.

                                            My likeness melds into His˗˗

                                                    conforming to the image of God’s Son.

I am Imago Dei ˗˗ intended to reflect His image

                    the same way the moon reflects the sun.

                            When I make choices, when I create, when I love

                                                a glimmer of Him shines out,

                                                            changing me from glory to glory

                                                                    until it is His face I see in the mirror. 


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

September 22, 2023

Interior Richness by Lorrie Orr


"A good person brings good things out of the good 
stored up in her/his heart." 
Luke 6:45

Writers think a lot. We imagine, we ponder, we observe, we untangle thoughts and emotions. We must pull these stories out of ourselves, sometimes at great effort, in order to transpose them into words on paper. Developing a rich inner life is crucial to writing. 

This "rich inner life" phrase is a bit trendy these days. A simple definition is a personal life where one is attuned to one's dreams, talents, emotions, and so on. For a writer of faith, it also includes being in harmony with God's spirit within us. It's a delicate balance between being self-aware and self-absorbed. Having richness of heart and soul is allows a writer to understand herself as well as understanding others and their stories. 

Developing heart of richness takes time and intention. It's so important to spend time with God and his word. Sipping at Scripture slowly allows time for thoughtful deliberation.  Alternatively, gulping whole books of the Bible at a time allows for an overarching story to emerge. The Holy Spirit can use both to build richness into the soul. 

Other practices such as reading widely, knowing your own needs for society and solitude, understanding why you might be feeling a certain way (threatened, angry, sentimental, etc), and taking time to think and pray also contribute to the treasure chest of your inner life. 

One practice I find especially valuable is appreciating beauty. While we live in a world scarred by sin, there is still so much beauty all around us. My husband and I have spent the last two months travelling across Canada (we're currently in Quebec, heading home to BC within a couple of weeks). Everywhere, from the tip of Newfoundland to the red shores of Prince Edward Island to the immense prairies, I've found beauty. Not only in the landscape, but also in people. As the old song goes, "everyone is beautiful in their own way." Beautiful because each is created in God's image. 

Beauty sinks deep into my soul, enriching me via all of my senses. When I take time to observe a caterpillar inch its furry way across my path, or catch snippets of a conversation between two friends at the table next to me, or watch a young couple with their baby, the glorious beauty of it all fills me with an ache that is not of this world. I store these things in my mind and know that they contribute to what I have to offer to others through my life and my writing. 

How do you develop your inner life? I'd love to know. 

Currently writing from her camping trailer in Quebec, Lorrie is looking forward to being home on Vancouver Island soon. She writes a blog at, and loves beauty in many forms. 

September 21, 2023

I is for... INSCRIBE! by Tracy Krauss

When the idea for this blog post came to my mind, I literally laughed out loud! It just seemed so obvious! I had been tossing other great “I” words around, and then it hit me!

INSCRIBE starts with I! 

InScribe has played a major role in my writing life since 2010. At a recent ZOOM meeting with some other members, I said how I felt such a deep connection to InScribe. I view this organization almost like I view my church. It has truly been a place of fellowship for me and I love the people and the organization dearly. When asked what it was that made me feel this way, I had to think for a moment, but then it came to me: the connections I’ve made over the years. Yes, I have learned A LOT at conferences and WorDShops; I’ve poured over FellowScript magazine; writing consistently for the blog has taught me about consistency. But far outweighing everything, I feel connected to the people. I’ve made deep, lifelong friendships. 

These are my PEEPS. This is my TRIBE. 

I first “happened" across InScribe in 2010 after reading Marcia Laycock’s bio on another blog. I was fairly new to the world of the “published”, (although not new to writing… I’d been clacking away since 1985.) I hadn’t known I was expected to do much of my own marketing. I didn’t even have a facebook account! Yet, suddenly, I was expected to put myself out there. Talk about being thrown into the fire! 

I started blogging and tried to find some author networks where I could interact and hopefully get some advice. (Ning, anyone?!) That’s when I came across a blog for “International” writers and low-and-behold, a Canadian Christian was part of their roster! Further, Marcia Laycock had also lived in the Yukon, so I felt an instant connection to her. However, she was a celebrity in my eyes, so I don’t think I reached out. I did notice a reference to InScribe Christian Writers Fellowship so I looked it up. I was ASTOUNDED! An organization for Canadian Christian writers? Who knew?!

I joined, of course, and soon afterward went to my first conference in Edmonton. Rudy Wiebe spoke at the banquet, Sigmund Brouwer was the keynote, and Marcia Laycock was President. I was in the presence of ROYALTY! Seriously, I was awe-struck at that first conference. I’m sure I looked like it, too. I didn’t know a soul, but everyone was friendly. Of special note was Brenda Leyland. Brenda was so gracious and invited me to sit with her at the banquet. She’d also presented a workshop, so I felt very honoured. (Brenda often contributes to this blog and was the moderator at one time.) Turns out, Marcia was a real, down-to-earth person, too! LOL!

I think the secret to feeling connected is getting involved. I started blogging on this very blog and got to know many members through their writing, both here and through FellowScript. I discovered a writing group near me in Taylor, BC, where I met my now dear friend Marnie Pohlmann. The next conference I attended was in Wetaskiwin in 2012. Somehow, at that conference, I connected with Sharon Espeseth, and she suggested I take over her position as Writing Groups Coordinator. That was my first “official” position. Since then I’ve been blog moderator, writing buddies coordinator, on the fall conference committee, WorDShop coordinator, done many workshops at conferences and WorDshops, been Vice President, and even President! What a journey from the awe-struck newbie to chairing executive meetings! 

I encourage you to get involved. It is one of the best ways I know to really feel like you are part of something—because being part of INSCRIBE IS SPECIAL!  I have come to love and appreciate so many individuals that I’ve met through Inscribe. I’m looking forward to seeing some of you this very weekend in Saskatchewan. Woot! Can’t wait!

Tracy Krauss lives and works in northern BC, but she's still a prairie girl at heart! Visit her website for more on her many books and plays.

September 20, 2023

Intimacy in Words by Alan Anderson


Writers and readers of our InScribe blog will notice how much we love words. This writer will go as far as to say there is an intimacy we enjoy with words. We indulge in a closeness, a passion, a deep affection, for words. Words are our loyal companions as we carry out our calling as writers.


Here are a few Scripture verses for writers and readers to meditate on to nurture intimate words.


Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

John 15:3 “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”

Matthew 12:35 “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”


A Personal Example of Intimacy in Words


Here is an excerpt from my May 22, 2021, InScribe Blog Post to offer an example of intimacy in a use of words. The context of the words relates to my experience with depression in 1997.


The fog came down first and gripped me. Before long, the grey of the fog led me into the black of a tunnel. I am trapped. No, I am lost.


I look at my words, and they look at me. None of us speak. There is no urgency, only stillness. I smile, and my words wink at me. A thought keeps going through my mind. “What do I do? Where do I take these words and care for them?” Suddenly they move. My words sit beside me, then embrace me. Their embrace sweeps over my thoughts and emotions. I realize my words care for me. They listened to me in the stillness. My mind clears and I know what to do. I too must listen. My words came to me unhurried, quiet, gentle, and changed me.



Include Intimacy in Whatever Genre

These days the focus of my writing is poetry. The points to follow are what I keep in mind when I write poems, but they can also apply to other genres.


Be Authentic and Real

Whatever I write in poetry I strive to show what stirs within me. I hope this doesn’t sound egotistical. Like other writers, however, I want to use my voice in my writing, not a voice of someone else.

For instance, when I see a reflection of a sunbeam light up the still surface of a lake, I want to express my wonder at such beauty. When I hear the loud cries of someone clinging to the body of a loved one who has died, my words try to show this level of agony.


Be Confident

Write with the full assurance the message of a poem will cause a response within a reader. I may not be able to predict a response, but I pray one or more will be expressed.


Be Bold

With the poetry I resonate with one must express a sense of boldness. I do not make a habit of being politically correct neither does my poetry hold back. We can be bold in how we write because the passion of our words caresses our soul. This unquenchable passion builds in us to the point our readers feel their lives will never be the same. This is a hope I long for about my poetry.


Be Responsive

Allow the words of a poem to touch you deep within and don’t be afraid to express your response. Feel the words. Allow poetic words to cause your brain to break through its comfort zone of the ordinary. Whether this is a response shown through a giggle, a cascade of tears, a huge hug, or a shout of joy, allow room for your expressive response.

In the context of my grief poetry, the poems reflect real life experiences of people. The tone of the poems offers words intended to capture the intimacy of grief experiences.


My prayer for my words.

Included in my blog post of July 20, 2022, readers were given an insight into how I pray for my poetry. Please allow me to repeat it here.


I pray there will be times where my words are tears. May they drip down a page where every letter, every word, holds on to each other. They will remind readers they are not alone. I also pray there are times my words will present as puppies eager to put smiles on faces. Other times I send my words out into the world in hopes they will bandage gaping wounds which are a result of a broken world.


Until Next Time

Dear friends, encourage your words to show healthy intimacy. Writers, alive with the salvation message of the Lord Jesus Christ, can have no part in crassness. Our use of intimacy in words are a light able to scatter darkness. We owe apologies to no one for our message. We must, however, be authentic and bold, with no compromise, yet exude love. May our words also show how we should then live.




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:

September 15, 2023

I is for Impact by Carol Harrison


I is for Impact

The driver of the large old model car ran the red light and pieces of my car scattered over three lanes of traffic on impact. Even though this happened years ago and no one was injured in the accident except my car, the memory remains. The physical impact also impacted my emotions and left me reliving the moment for awhile after.

As I thought about I is for impact and its obvious memory of an accident with one vehicle slamming into another, we impact the people in our sphere of influence every day with our words, attitudes, and actions. Our impact in their lives can be positive or negative but it’s there.

The words we write, whether a short piece or novel, poetry or devotional, reach beyond our immediate circle of influence. We may never know the impact our words have on a reader. They may be intrigued to read more of our writing. What we write might instruct someone else, inform others, inspire them, or allow their imaginations to take flight and land them in another time or place.

I know reading has always left an impact on me from the time I first learned to read. I loved to escape and live vicariously through the adventures of others. I even enjoyed reading the encyclopedia set to increase my knowledge. I guess some would have called me a nerd or whatever slang term was in fashion at the time.

There have been times when life is difficult or illness keeps me from reading anything too deep. Studying is out of the question when my asthma flares up. Yet I have picked up a light Christian fiction and seen truths portrayed through the characters' lives. I’ve taken a look through their eyes at the world around and found myself having those ‘ah ha’ moments. Have you experienced that as well?

Sometimes looking at life through a character’s eyes brings new insights into our own lives. We are given a moment to apply what we learn to our own situations. As I contemplated how I is for impact, I was reminded of the responsibility we have with our words, whether spoken or written. We need to write the truth even in our made-up stories or other worlds we imagine and bring to life. Once words are out there, we can’t take them back.

At camp I’ve used the illustration of a tube of toothpaste. It’s easy and quick to squeeze out the contents but getting someone to try and stuff the paste back into the tube is an impossible task. So it is with our words. We speak them and they encourage others or knock them down. We can apologize for pain they inflict but the memory remains. Our written words remain for many to read. What they say will impact them in one way or another.

May our prayer be that of the psalmist in Psalm 19:14
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”


Carol Harrison writes from Saskatoon, SK. She wants to encourage others to look for those glimmers of hope and glimpses of joy in all the circumstances of life.



September 14, 2023

It is.... by Sharon Heagy


       There is a popular turn of phrase these days that makes me cringe. What’s worse is that I have caught myself uttering it from time to time. ‘It is what it is.’

            I’m not even sure what it means, to tell the truth. When I looked up various definitions the most common thread seemed to be a situation which is immutable and unchangeable, and you just need to accept it. What I find in usage is, that it is rarely used in a situation that is unchangeable but rather is used as resignation to given circumstances. It is either not worth the effort to try to change it or one cannot see the hope needed to move forward.  Though there are some, there are very few things which are unalterable, and sometimes even if the situation can’t change, often our attitudes and reactions towards it can.

            Change is a constant in our world and even though “there is nothing new under the sun,” [i] present events can seem new to a generation or to the realm of our experience.

            For those who follow Christ change is expected as we are transformed by His word and conformed to His image. The work began in us moves forward to completion.[ii] He who never changes requires change in us.

            The inspiration for this post came during a church service while we were singing, ‘My Life is in You Lord.’ Repeating the lines ‘In You, it’s in You, it’s in You’ struck a chord. It is….in You.

            In Him, where we find our inspiration.

            In Him, where we find compassion.

            In Him, where we find love unequalled. 

He who knows all, is present in all and has power over all. It is…in Him. The Alpha and Omega. Where our projects need to begin and end.

            Perhaps we can give words of encouragement and hope to folks who are stuck in an ‘It is what it is’ phase. To help them see light in their darkness and lift them out of the pits we all experience sometimes. Our words under His touch can be a balm – “a crown of beauty for ashes, oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”[iii]

            Perhaps you are stuck in a writing project and just want to give up. May I suggest that you read or re-read this month’s blog posts which are rich with ideas, suggestions and encouragement for those in just such a situation. When I began to type a list, I found I had named every author so far. Rather than list them here, I leave it to you to discover nuggets of gold in what they have written. What a treasure trove! Your wisdom is appreciated beyond your ken. 

            The letter ‘i’ proved to be a difficult one for me but has obviously been an inspiration to others. For me, this is my offering for the month, and…. ‘It is what it is.’


[i] Ecclesiastes 1:9

[ii] Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:29


[iii] Isaiah 61:3