Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Ready Writer

I always had a knack for writing. During second grade, I was inspired by the TV show “Sesame Street” to create my own stories based on a letter of the alphabet. Apart from class assignments, I dabbled in other writing projects throughout my childhood but didn’t get serious about it until college. I wrote a few Letters to the Editor that got published nationally in Billboard magazine. That inspired me to write a music column called “The Listening Post” for Moorhead State University’s newspaper.

Seven years after committing my life to the Lord, I started writing a monthly newsletter that was eventually named “Signs & Wonders.” During a season when I briefly stopped publishing the newsletter, the Lord spoke to me about resuming it again. Later that same day, I found out someone who got saved as a result of one of my articles died a few months later. That person might have gone to hell if I hadn’t written that newsletter! Other ideas for articles led me to start a weekly blog and later daily sermonettes that I post on Facebook.

I’ve also written ten books. My first one “Evangelism 101” (later renamed “Fishing for Men”) was released in 2002. Since then, I’ve self-published nine other books mostly in a digital format for people to download. I give God all the glory for how my writings have ministered to people.

Two days ago, a friend of mine asked how I publish my books. Currently, I use Kindle Direct Publishing through Amazon. Previously I used Although I’m a Mac user, I haven’t yet released anything using iBooks because they don’t allow authors to insert hyperlinks in the table of contents section.

Maybe God has put it on your heart to be a writer. If so, I encourage you to step out on that. Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” This verse is often used to encourage goal setting, but can apply to things the Lord wants us to write out such as dreams, visions, personal prophecies and revelations we need to share with others.

Before making your material public, be sure to check for spelling and grammatical errors. Despite readily available tools like spell-checking and Grammarly, I’ve seen Christian books that looked terrible and needed serious editing. Anything done for the Lord should be of high quality and excellence.

It’s also helpful to have experienced writers examine your work. In recent years when returning to the Twin Cities area, I’ve attended a group called Write Now that meets at my home church once a month. Christian writers share portions of projects they’re working on for feedback. 

Psalm 45:1 says, “My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” Until Jesus returns, God will continue using writers to communicate with the brethren and those who don’t know Him. If you’re one of those He’s called to change people’s lives through the written word, then I’ll quote the exhortation the Write Now group posts at the end of their monthly announcements: “Go home and write something wonderful.”

“And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” - 1 John 1:4

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