Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--December 28, 2015--OK, one more Advent devotion

A Step in the Write Direction

December 28, 2015

Update: I sort of dreaded December 25 this year, my first Christmas without my husband. I thought it would be hard for me, as well as the rest of the family. But it was a good day. It was especially good to have our daughter and family back “home” from Texas. The only tears came from her as she was mashing the potatoes as “that was Dad’s job.” We opened presents, shared some humorous memories, and had a good meal together. Later that evening we watched “War Room.” So we survived! I knew a lot of friends were praying, so that really helped. Don’t ever think that your prayers are prayed in vain. They’re not!...We are really enjoying our new pastor at church. He has a real heart for winning souls, and we’re all looking forward to good days ahead.

Thought for the Day:  (some thoughts from this morning’s sermon, Pastor David Caudle)
·        Am I am better shape with God than I was a week ago, a month ago, or a year ago?
·        Jesus knew who He was and what He had to do. He knew what God’s mission was for Him.
·        God is love, and love listens. Sometimes we’re so eager to speak when God wants us to listen.
·        God’s healing goes as deep as our wounds.

Song for the Day:
We rejoice in the light, And we echo the song
That comes down thro’ the night From the heavenly throng.
Ay! we shout to the lovely evangel they bring,
And we greet in His cradle our Saviour and King!
            “There’s a Song in the Air,” Josiah G. Holland

Laugh for the Day: It was Christmas day, and we had all gathered for the holiday meal at the home of my husband's parents. After dessert, my mother-in-law left the table and returned carrying a bowl filled with slips of paper. Each adult was instructed to take one. Excited, we did so, wondering what surprise she had thought up for us. My slip of paper instructed me to dry the dishes; another person was told to wash them. Others had to do pots and pans. Then, with all the parents out of the way, grandma and grandpa went into the living room and enjoyed their grandchildren (Sheila Heil, The Gospel Greats newsletter, December 22, 2015).

Writer’s Tips:             (OK, one more Advent devotion)

The Year Christmas Was Late (8 years ago)

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27) .

December 25—Christmas—and our family gathered around my husband’s bedside in ICU. I set up a tiny tree and a miniature Nativity set, and our daughter hung tinsel and a red bow
around the mirror. We opened one gift apiece, not wanting to tire him out.

On December 27 Gary had surgery. The doctors told us he was “very high risk” and “might not pull through.” Several days later my husband of forty-seven years looked up at me
and said, "I think it’s time.”

“What do you mean?” I asked him, fear gnawing at my stomach.

“Don’t you know what I’m trying to say?”

“I do, but I don’t want to.” I leaned over and hugged him, tears running down my face.

“I’m sorry,” he replied.“I love you more than life itself, but I’m just too tired. It’s time for me to go.”

But it wasn’t God’s time! Ten days later, on January 7, we brought my husband home, and the next day the family gathered again to celebrate Christmas a second time and open the rest of the gifts. This proved to us once again that it’s not the date, but the spirit of joy and peace that the holiday represents.

In his 1927 Christmas message to the nation, President Calvin Coolidge wrote:

Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and
good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If
we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will
shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.

Thank You, Lord, for that spirit of hope I have today because of the birth of Your Son, Jesus.

May God bless you in 2016 as you spread the
gospel through the printed page.

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--December 21, 2015--Christmas devotion

A Step in the Write Direction
December 21, 2015

Update:  Had a good week. Finally got cards out (usually try to get them out by Dec. 1, but not this year (Christmas letter at end) and sent out packages—again a little late. Praise that our daughter and granddaughter who just moved back from Texas both got jobs at local schools. Other granddaughter still looking (she enjoys working with animals) and son-in-law looking for church or staff position at a church….On Wednesday we all saw the Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo. Beautiful! One tree alone had 48,500 lights….I don't have a big tree (not much room in a mobile home), but have a flat one that hangs on the wall and twinkles, plus small Nativity sets on the divider, lighted electric candles in the window, and a Nativity set in the front yard that lights up….On Friday our family took flowers to my husband's grave at the Veteran's Cemetery, then picked up my sister on the way back and drove around looking at the Christmas lights in Mesa. Saw the neighborhood in Gilbert that won the $50,000 prize for the best decorations in the U.S. (was on TV the other night). Bumper to bumper traffic, but pretty to see….Wishing a Merry Christmas to all of you, and a blessed New Year!!

Thought for the Day: Christmas isn’t about how big the tree is or how many presents are underneath it. It’s about who’s gathered around it.
Song for the Day (for you who are tired of the holiday hustle and bustle):
Come, all ye weary and oppressed,
O come and I will give you rest;
I’ll bid your anxious fears depart,
For I am meek and lowly in heart,
For I am meek and lowly in heart,
And I will give you rest.
Ye that labor and are heavy laden, come to Me,
Come, come, come, and learn of me.
My yoke is easy, my burden is light.
My yoke is easy, my burden is light.
Come, come, come, and I will give you rest.
            “Come Unto Me,” Eliza E. Hewitt

Laugh for the Day: Four-year-old to her two-year-old sister: “Let’s play Christmas. I’ll be Santa Claus and you can be a present and I’ll give you away.”
Writer’s Tips:                                   Final Advent Devotion

Running for Help

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened That it cannot save Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear (Isaiah 59:1).

It was the day before Christmas and our eight-month-old daughter, Janet, had a temperature of 104 and a croupy cough. This was just another of the series of events that had plagued her since birth. “Colic,” the pediatrician pronounced at our newborn’s piercing screams. “She should outgrow it in three months.” Four months later he said it could be a six-month colic.

Her crying had no pattern. Sometimes she would wake up screaming. Other times she would be playing, and without warning, she would break into a scream. Then she began losing weight, and at seven months, a specialist diagnosed her with a kidney infection. She also had symptoms of cystic fibrosis.“She might not live till kindergarten,” our doctor told us somberly.

Now this crisis. Our regular doctor was getting married that night so we took Janet to a friend’s pediatrician. It was noon when I walked into the office.

“I’m sorry,” the nurse said. “We’re closed.”

“Please,” I pleaded. “I know my baby has pneumonia. Her temperature’s 104.”

Her voice grew louder. “I said we’re closed!”

Just then I saw the doctor in the hallway. Bursting through the door I ran up to him. “I know you’re already closed and it’s the day before Christmas, but please, can’t you look at my baby. She’s so sick.”

He reached out his hands, took our baby, and held his stethoscope to her chest.“Call the hospital and reserve a bed,” he instructed the nurse. Then he told me, "She has pneumonia.”

So instead of celebrating at home with her brother, our little girl spent her first Christmas in the hospital in an oxygen tent.

I was so glad I ignored the nurse and insisted that the doctor see her. (P.S. This daughter is now married to a minister and has two girls of her own!)

Do you have a need this Christmas? Whether it’s physical, financial, or spiritual, God’s Son came to this earth to meet that need—and to bring life. Don’t let anyone stand in your
way. Run to Him today and tell Him, "I need help.”

Jesus, thank You that Your hands—those same hands that were nailed to the cross—now reach out to me in my time of need.

Goodrich Christmas Letter – 2015

     What I’ve Experienced This Year:
     “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Psalms 116:15).
·         Said good-bye to 10 friends, including 4 from our church, 3 neighbors—2 we’ve
 known since 1974, 2 from my hometown, and an extended family member.

·         Had mold removed from mobile home, which also required tearing up carpeting and replacing with laminate tile. Have to admit, I like it better.

·         Replaced air conditioner (which went out on a 115-degree day).

·         Daughter Patty and I both in the hospital with pneumonia and both tore rotator cuffs.
I got by with injections, but she had surgery and was off work 10 weeks. Is back now
on light duty at the hospital where she and Robert, our son, work.

·         Robert was off for 6 weeks with a heart problem, but tests turned out okay.

·         Daughter Janet, son-in-law Ned, and granddaughters Heather and Lindsay moved to Texas in June, BUT they moved back to Arizona on December 6. Lindsay
completed her first semester of college, and Heather will go back to attending Nazarene Bible College on-line.

·         Hardest of all, however, was on March 7 when I said good-bye to Gary, my husband of almost 55 years after complications from a fall in the driveway in which he split his spinal column open. He had a five-hour surgery, then 24/7 kidney dialysis, feeding tube, breathing tube, oxygen, etc. He was one of the kindest, godliest men I’ve ever known!

What I’ve Learned This Year:
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday; and to day and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not…for the Lord thy God…will not fail thee, 
nnor forsake thee” (Deuteronomy 31:6). There has not been a time this year when I
hhaven’t felt God’s presence and an unbelievable peace!

“A friend loveth at all times” (Proverbs 17:17), and I’m especially thankful for my friends—
uknown and unknown (on Facebook)—who prayed for our family daily!

As Kirk Franklin’s song says, “With Jesus I can take it. With Him I know I can stand. No matter what 
may come my way, my life is in Your hands.”
II’m looking forward to 2016 and pray it will be a good year for all of you.

Donna Goodrich.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction, December 14, 2015--Advent devotion

A Step in the Write Direction
December 14, 2015

Update: A good week: Christmas party with my critique group; finished proofreading a book for a publisher, had lunch with my sister, went shopping with my two granddaughters who just moved back from Texas, went shopping Friday with my daughter, and finished a 2012 income tax for a customer. Have most of my Christmas gifts wrapped, but cards not out yet (usually out by December 1) but envelopes addressed and letters ready. Just need stuffing and personal notes….Good service yesterday with our new pastor, but he announced that our minister of music is leaving to take a church in Kingman, Arizona. Also said good-bye to a couple who will do missionary work. But God is good. He has restored the joy I had sort of lost the last few months!

Thought for the Day: God will help us to be, then it’s up to us to do (Dr. David Caudle, our new pastor).

Song for the Day:
From God, our Heav’nly Father,
A blessed angel came;
And unto certain shepherds
Bro’t tidings of the same:How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy!
O tidings of comfort and joy!
            “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen,” English Carol, 18th Century

Laugh for the Day: A minister was preaching his farewell sermon, and all during the service an elderly saint was in tears. At the door the pastor said to her, “Don’t cry, Sister. The conference will send you a better preacher.” “That’s what they said last time,” she sobbed.

New Book

I was surprised to receive copies this week of my children’s book Rhyme-Time Bible for little ones: 15 Bible stories all in poetry for preschoolers up to about 7 or 8. It wasn’t due for release until February. I sold out my first order at church this morning, but have more coming this week. Will make a great gift for parents or grandparents or Sunday school teachers to read to their children or students. $14.99, plus s&h (don’t know that amount yet, but I’m sure it’ll be less than the Step book which is $3.22).

Advent Devotion

(from Preparing Your Heart for Christmas)

The Joy of Giving

It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)

I had always looked forward to Christmas but this year was special. Through the high school co-op program, I was allowed to leave school at noon and go to a job for which I received credit. Now I could buy gifts for others.

For one brother, I bought a used trumpet. For my older brother and his new wife, I gave a gift certificate to buy bricks for the house they were building. I bought a set of dishes for my sister’s family, and a chrome dinette set for my mother. I also had fun picking out toys for my nieces and nephews.

What a joy it was that Christmas morning. I was actually more excited watching everyone unwrap their gifts than I was opening my packages.

    I gave gifts…because I loved.

    God gave His Son…because He loved.

    Jesus gave His life…because He loved…

    And we’ve all been blessed.

Lord, may You be my example this Christmas—and all through the year. May I continue to give…because I love.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction, December 7, 2015--Christmas devotion

A Step in the Write Direction
December 7, 2015

Update: I’m celebrating tonight (Sunday) as my daughter and family arrived from Texas, coming HOME! Asking for your prayers that God will lead my pastor son-in-law to just the right ministry He has for him….I’ve been telling friends the last nine months (nine months today) that I have peace, but that I hadn’t reached the joy stage yet. I’m glad to report that I’ve now reached that stage. At the beginning people were surprised at how much I was doing. I don’t know if I felt I had to keep busy, but I did—sorting, cleaning, getting rid of stuff. Then came the hospital stay with pneumonia and the torn rotator cuff, followed by mold removal, new flooring installed, and a new air conditioner. After that it seemed there was a letdown, and some mornings I found it hard to get out of bed and face the day.

But this week, things took a sudden turn. Wednesday morning I woke up, and the first thought that came to my mind was, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I jumped up, rarin’ to go, and that has continued all week. So I can say that mentally I’ve found joy again….Wish I could say the same for physically as the pollution level has been high which really has affected the COPD, but I’ll take the mental and spiritual joy over that any time. I know most of it is due to all my friends’ prayers for me and, believe me, I have felt them! Thank you all! Any of you who send prayer requests can be sure I’m praying for you too.

Thought for the Day:
His grace is great enough to meet the great things,
The crashing waves that overwhelm the soul,
The roaring winds that leave us stunned and breathless,
The sudden storms beyond our life's control.
His grace is great enough to meet the small things,
The little pin-prick troubles that annoy,
The insect worries, buzzing and persistent,
The squeaking wheels that grate upon our joy

Annie Johnson Flint (from Wes Tracy’s “Manna Morsels” 12/2/15)

Laugh for the Day: A wife texts her husband on a cold winter morning: “Windows frozen, won’t open.” Husband texts back: “Gently pour some lukewarm water over it and gently tap edges with a hammer.” Five minutes later wife texts back: “Computer really messed up now.”

Song for the Day
I know that I failed You, Lord, time and again,
But each time you always stayed true;
And that’s why I kneel at the cross once again,
And ask to draw Closer To You.

Lord, I surrender all that I am,
For whatever You’d have me do;
I’ve faith in Your promise, I know that You’ll show
A way to draw Closer To You.

Closer To You, Lord, closer I pray,
Help me draw closer to Your will today;
It doesn’t matter what others may do,
I want to draw Closer To You.
            “Closer To You,” Dave Clark, © 1978 Emmanuel Music

Writer’s Tips:             For this month I’m going to share some Christmas devotions

The Designated Gift Giver

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Although my mother didn’t have much money for Christmas shopping, she always seemed to know what gift to buy everyone—because she listened carefully all year. Her gifts
ranged from a sewing box for my niece who made her own clothes, to blank tapes for my songwriting nephew, and a piano bench for my sister.

Through the years, I’ve tried to carry on her tradition, and today I’ve taken on the enjoyable task of designated gift buyer for our writers’ group. I’ll search for hours—in stores,  in catalogs, and on the Internet—for just the right present for a particular person. Sometimes I buy things as much as a year early when I find the perfect gift. Then I wrap it in beautiful paper and give it to the only person that gift will fit.

I am acquainted with another Gift Giver. At the beginning of time, He looked ahead and saw millions of people who were in need of a gift. He listened to their cries, and thought, “What can I give them?” Then He said, "I know. I'll give the best Gift possible—My Son.” So He wrapped this Gift in swaddling clothes and gave Him not to just one particular person, but to the whole world. And the neatest thing about this Gift is that it fits everyone—even me!

Lord, at this Christmas season, may I remember the Gift and the Giver. Let me love as You loved—and give as You gave.

(Taken from my Advent book, Preparing Your Heart for Christmas, now half price--$5.)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--November 30, 2015--Sources for Quotations

A Step in the Write Direction
November 30, 2015

Update: Good news: Colonoscopy over with only one small polyp….Not so good news on Shag, my little doggie. First vet said hip dysphasia—surgery between $7-8,000. Dog chiropractor looked at x-rays Saturday and said no dysphasia, torn cruciate ligament in leg. MRI $1500-2000, and unknown cost on surgery. So I have a decision to make. He can be very loving, but also has bitten me a number of times the last few days. Pain pills don’t seem to help. He’s walking on 3 legs….Memory that came to me today. One of my nieces, Sally, was born (years ago) on April 22. In the middle of July that year my mother and I were sitting in the fifth row of the tabernacle at our district camp meeting. Hearing a baby cry, my mother said, “That sounds like Sally.” Sure enough, after the service we saw my sister, husband, and their three-month-old daughter sitting near the back. It amazed me that my mother would recognize that cry. But isn’t that just like the Lord? Out of all the people crying out for help on any given day, He recognizes mine and yours and comes to help.

Thought for the Day: An international gathering of youth met for a week to discuss how better to share Christ's message with the world. Those assembled for the conference read many essays, heard many speakers, watched videos, and discussed ideas with each other. As those attending packed to leave, a young woman from East Africa arose and said, "In my country when we hear that a pagan village is ready to accept the gospel we don't send books, videos, a Bible or even an evangelist. Rather we send the best Christian family we can find because we have found that the example of a good family speaks louder and more clearly than all the books, speeches, and videos in the world" (adapted from, 11/18/15).

Song for the Day:
He knows my name
he knows my every thought
he sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call
“He Knows My Name,” Francesca Battistelli

Laugh for the Day:
Rules for a Good Marriage

1. Two times a week we go to a nice restaurant, have a beverage, good food, and companionship. She goes on Tuesdays, I go on Fridays.
2. We also sleep in separate beds. Hers is in California, mine is in Texas. 
3. We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.
4. Remember, marriage is the number one cause of divorce.
5. If you are about to marry Miss Right, make sure her first name is not Always.
(From Wes Tracy’s “Manna Morsels,” attributed to Red Skelton)

Writer’s Tips:                         Sources for Quotations

·        A number of articles I found listed the website Profnet at—a service provided by Business Newswire—as a good source for information. Sign in as a “journalist,” then post your query and e-mail address so experts can respond.
·        Jot down names of organizations in the Yellow Pages that can be sources of articles or quotations.
·        Check the Encyclopedia of Associations.
·        Get on mailing lists of various state and federal departments such as health, education, and so on, or check www.govspot.
·        Talk to professors at local colleges and universities.
·        Write to authors who write on the same subject as your article or book.
·        Talk to friends and relatives.
·        Purchase books of poetry and quotations.

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

Donna Clark Goodrich

Now is the time to order Preparing Your Heart for Christmas, an Advent book with 31 devotions leading up to Christmas. Just $5, $2.62 s&h. Makes a nice gift too!

Also, The Little Book of Big Laughs makes a great gift for speakers, pastors, and even teens in your family. $5, can order up to 4 for the same $2.62 s&h.

And for your writer friend, the revised A Step in the Write Direction with assignments throughout, $19.95, $3.22 s&h.

The cooks in your family or circle of friends will like the Michigan or Ohio cookbooks, half  price, at $5.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--November 23, 2015--Editing Hints and Using Sidebars

A Step in the Write Direction
November 23, 2015

Update: Installed our new pastor and wife yesterday. I really like them and am looking forward to good days ahead for our church….Have a decision to make on my little doggie I got from the pound. X-rays showed “hip dysplasia” and the vet said a surgery would cost between $7-8,000 (which isn’t in my budget!). However, a friend shared that she took her dog to a “dog chiropractor.” He gave him 3 massages at $50 each, then showed her how to do it and her dog is better. So I have a name to contact in this area. Praying that it works as I don’t want to take him back to the pound….Getting ready today for a colonoscopy tomorrow. I have one every five years as my mother and dad both died of cancer of the colon….HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OF YOU!! The hospital where our two children work put on a big spread for visitors, staff, and families of staff so will probably go there for dinner. MY THANKS TODAY is that our daughter and family are moving back here from Texas on December 6th. Praying that our pastor son-in-law can find a church in the area.

Thought for the Day: Don’t expect to make a lot of money at your writing. The difference between a writer and a park bench is that a park bench will support a family of three (Reg A. Forder, publisher, The Christian Communicator, October 2015, p. 9).

Song for the Day:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!
            ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” Louisa M.R. Stead (italics added)

Laugh for the Day:
Fresh out of business school, a young man answered a want ad for an accountant and was interviewed by a businessman who ran a small business that he had started himself. "I need someone with an accounting degree," the businessman said. "But mainly, I'm looking for someone to do my worrying for me. I worry about a lot of things," he said, "but I don't want to have to worry about money. Your job will be to take all the money worries off my back." "I see," the accountant said. "And how much does the job pay?" "I'll start you at eighty thousand," said the businessman. "Eighty thousand dollars!" the accountant exclaimed. "How can such a small business afford a sum like that?" "That," the businessman said, "is your first worry." (, 11/18/15)

Writer’s Tips:                        More Editing Hints, and Using Sidebars
Don't Say the Same Thing Twice
It’s often possible to cut large chunks of material from your article or book because you've repeated the same thought in several paragraphs. Combine these into one strong paragraph. Repeating the same thought over and over says to your reader, "If you didn’t get it that way, maybe you’ll get it this way.” We once had a pastor who said, “I only said this to say that,” and I thought, “Why didn’t you say ‘that’ the first time?” If you’re working on a book or article now, reread it and see if you’ve repeated thoughts that could be reworded and combined into one paragraph.
Use Subheads, Lists, and Sidebars
Break up your chapters and articles by inserting subheads at appropriate places. Or place facts in a bulleted list instead of in a long paragraph. This will make it easier for your reader to remember what you have written. You can also use sidebars; for example, “10 Ways to Break the Plastic Habit.” Sometimes if an editor can’t use the entire article, he or she may purchase the sidebars. Are there places in your manuscript where you could insert a subhead or put some of your points in a bulleted list to make them stand out?

Now is the time to order Preparing Your Heart for Christmas, an Advent book with 31 devotions leading up to Christmas. Just $5, $2.62 s&h. Makes a nice gift too!

Also, The Little Book of Big Laughs makes a great gift for speakers, pastors, and even teens in your family. $5, can order up to 4 for the same $2.62 s&h.

And for your writer friend, the revised A Step in the Write Direction, $19.95, $3.22 s&h.

The cooks in your family or circle of friends will like the Michigan or Ohio cookbooks, half  price, at $5.


Monday, November 16, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction, November 16, 2015--Keep It Simple (continued)

A Step in the Write Direction 
November 16, 2015

Update: Question that’s been on my mind lately: Where do you draw the line between helping and enabling? When I grew up, one of the things the church kept stressing was that to have JOY, it was Jesus first, Others next, and Yourself last. A few years ago I realized that yes, it’s fine—and necessary—to put Jesus first, but if you continually put others next and don’t care for yourself, soon you’re no good to Jesus or to others. I read two books that helped along this line. One is Boundaries by Dr. John Townsend; the other is When Helping You Is Hurting Me by Carmen Renee Berry. The Thought for the Day below sort of relates to this. The more we give to others, the more we have to spend time in prayer and the Scriptures, or we’ll have nothing to give. Even Sally Stuart, in a talk at a writer’s conferences, said “You can’t write from an empty cup.” I’d be interested in hearing your comments on this subject!

Thought for the Day: One writer said, “If you keep going to the well to fill up your bucket, eventually you pull it up empty unless you find ways to fill the well.” (From Cecil Murphey’s “Writer to Writer.”)

Song for the Day:
Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord! 
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul; 
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more 
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole! 
            “Fill My Cup, Lord,” Richard Blanchard

Laugh for the Day: An elderly gentleman who had serious hearing problems went to the doctor to be fitted for a hearing aid that would return his hearing to 100%.  He went back for further tests a month later and the doctor said, "Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again." To which the gentleman replied, "Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I've changed my will three times!"

Writers Tips                                     Keep It Simple (continued)

Charlie Shedd speaks of using “gobbledygook” and “Protestant Latin.” We may know theological terms, but we need to consider our audience. If we're writing for a preacher's magazine, that's one thing, but most of us aren't.
I love the following story shared by Larry Mowrey in the Come Ye Apart devotional booklet:

People tend to get all phony when the preacher is around. There’s a story about a little boy who came home in the middle of a pastoral call. He didn’t realize that the pastor was there. He just saw his mother, and he came running into the house, holding a dead rat by the tail, exclaiming, “Look, Mom! Look at this rat I caught out behind the barn! I smashed its head in with a baseball bat! I threw rocks at it! I stomped on it! I spit on it, and I…I…” He looked up, saw the preacher, cleared his throat, and said, “and…and…and then the dear Lord called it home!”

“Jesus doesn’t require us to be eloquent in speech,” Mowrey reminds us. “If He has done anything in your life, all you have to do is share that with other people. You’ll always find a way to get the story told. Let’s allow God to use us to touch the lives of others.”[i]
Someone has given this good advice: “Write it quickly, then go back and make it half as long and twice as readable.”

Go through the manuscript you’re working on now and see if you’ve used any words that may be familiar to you but that may confuse your reader.

[i] Larry Mowrey, Come Ye Apart, Nazarene Publishing House, Kansas City, Missouri, November 30, 1996.

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

Donna Clark Goodrich

·          100-Plus Motivational Moments for Writers and Speakers – half-price $5, $2.69 s&h (This is free if you purchase 5 other books.) (I’ve now purchased the remaining inventory from the publisher. The book has been out-of print for a number of years, so this is it! If you buy FIVE copies, I’ll throw one in free. This will make a great, inexpensive gift for members of your writers’ group.)
·          A Step in the Write Direction—the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers—NEW edition with assignments throughout! $19.95, $3.22 s&h
·           A Step in the Write Direction—the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers (the original)on sale--$10.00, $3.22 s&h (only 29 left)
·          A Step in the Write Direction—Student Edition with assignments throughout—on sale—$8, $2.72 s&h)
·          The Freedom of Letting Go (new one coming out will have discussion questions; can be used in S.S. class or small group); original copies without questions now on sale for half-price--$7.50, $2.69 s&h
·          Healing in God’s Time (story of Dave Clark, composer of 26 songs that have gone to #1 on the charts); was $15; now $10, $2.69 s&h
·          The Little Book of Big Laughs—105 purse/pocket-size book of clean jokes—$5; up to 4 for same s&h—$2.69. Great gift for writers, pastors, and teens.
·          Preparing Your Heart for Christmas (31 Advent Devotions) half-price—$5
·          Michigan and Ohio Cookbooks; half-price $5 each, plus s&h (depending on number ordered)