Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--December 30, 2013--Leads

A Step in the Write Direction

December 30, 2013

Update: Such a good sermon this morning. Will pass on some of the highlights. In talking about the disciples being in the boat and Jesus walking on the water toward them:

1) (my thought) They were where Jesus had told them to go, but the storm still came. Christians aren’t immune from storms.
2) When God comes in the midst of a storm, it scares us because He doesn’t come the way we expect Him to.  3) Too often we’re locked into the past, but we’re not who we used to be. Old things are passed away; we’re now a child of the King.
4) Our self-esteem is wrapped up in our ability, not on His love for us. It’s not who we are, but who we are in Him.
5) He will keep that which we’ve committed—our money, our life, our children—unto Him against that day….

This was a good service for us as my husband still hasn’t been feeling good, and I’ve also been helping my sister who is losing her eyesight. It’s so good to know that the same Jesus who stilled the storm for the disciples is still the same today and will still the storms in our lives. Someone has said, “Sometimes Christ stills the storms in our lives, and other times He chooses to walk through the storms with us.” Either way, we won’t be walking alone into this New Year—which I pray will be a good one for all of you!

Thought for Today: “Ultimately, nostalgia can be dangerous to the life of faith because time does not lean backward toward the good old days. Time leans forward to something we have yet to experience.”...So God beckons us, not to the past, but to the future, God’s future” (Martin B. Copenhaver, “It’s About Time,” Journal for Preachers, Advent, 2013, 15).

Laugh for Today: My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, “I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.” I bought her a bathroom scale. And then the fight started…. (If you want more of these, email me at:

Song for Today: The following was the favorite song of my lifelong friend (his mother was my mother’s best friend) who we said good-bye to yesterday:

But “I know whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that d He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”
            —Daniel W. Whittle, 1840–1901

Writer’s Tips:

(The following is taken from Cecil Murphey’s “Writer to Writer” newsletter and is used with his permission):

Within the past five years, I've published five compilations. The submissions arrived, and I rewrote them for a consistent tone and voice.  Too many of them started badly. Here are two examples:

1. "It was the saddest Christmas of my childhood with no food and no presents until an angel named Harry Reeves brought us a large box on Christmas Eve."

2. Many patients die during surgery, rush through a dark tunnel, see a brilliant light, then find themselves at the pearly gates. I suffered from cancer, was pronounced brain dead, and found myself in the company of angels.

In both instances, the writers summarized the story in the opening sentence, so why would I want to read them? Good stories grab my attention and emotion with the first words and beguile me with what lies ahead.

"We won't be able to celebrate Christmas this year." With tears in his eyes, Dad turned his face away from us.

That's a good beginning because the opening
* grabs our attention;
* shows tension—a problem;
* makes us care.

I like to think of beginning sentences as earning the right to receive readers' attention. Readers owe me nothing—so my first task is to interest them enough so they'll continue to read.
Good beginnings entice readers to continue reading.

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

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