calling, discouragement, encouragement, God, Jesus, Sherrinda, spiritual

The EN and DIS in COURAGE

Photo by Stuart Miles
freedigitalphotos.net

A nugget from last Sunday’s sermon has stayed with me all week. It had to do with the root word COURAGE. We all need courage in our lives. Courage to stand up against the evil one. Courage to take a step of faith wherever God is leading. Courage to do something we have never done before. Courage to live in joy in the midst of a world prone to burrow in the mud of politics and other worldly views.

But COURAGE is just the root word of a couple of other words that we deal with daily.

DISCOURAGEMENT – We have all dealt with discouragement. But let me tell you, Satan puts the DIS in discouragement. He is the one who steal our courage, instilling fear and doubt. He doesn’t want us to live boldly in this world. He was to rob us of a life of freedom in Jesus. He want to enslave us to fear and discouragement so that we are ineffective for God’s mission in this world.

ENCOURAGEMENT – There is nothing sweeter than encouragement from a friend. But the Holy Spirit is a friend that gives us encouragement like no other. The Holy Spirit is the one who fills us with COURAGE, giving us hope and a reason to live bold for Jesus. When we soak in His words, His teaching, His love, we can be filled to overflowing and have something to offer the world…the knowledge of Him who is able to immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.

Friends, let’s be ENCOURAGED. Let’s let the Spirit of God fill us so that we have the COURAGE to live boldly for Jesus, becoming more like Him, spreading His love around to all we come in contact with. Let us throw off the devil and his schemes, letting DISCOURAGEMENT roll off our backs and not be entangled by fear that ensnares us in its grip.

Now go out and ENCOURAGE someone today. Someone out there needs you to be Jesus to them, sharing love and joy in the midst of discouragement.

calling, journey, prayer, spiritual, writing

A Writer’s Prayer Life

I was going to talk about my foray into plotting this past weekend, but it sounded boring even to me. So I began reading blogs in my Google Reader this morning, procrastinating like a good Queen of Procrastination does, and I read a post by Paula Boire at the MBT Ponderer‘s blog.

Paula Boire talked about faith and the writing life, but it wasn’t the faith part that struck me. It was when she talked about her prayer life. She spoke about praying over her writing life. She mentioned specific verses she prayed over her writing, bathing the gift that God had given her with His words of promise, peace, and strength.

I was convicted.

Big time.

I think because I’ve questioned whether God has called me to write, I feel guilty praying over it. I kinda feel like I’m saying “Lord, this is what I want to do, now please bless it.” instead of “Lord, you have called me to write for Your glory, what is it you want me to write?” That is a simplistic way of looking at it, but I wonder if that is what I’m doing.

This morning I’ve come to the conclusion that whether I’ve been called to write or just want to use some of the creative gifts He has given me, I should bathe my writing journey in prayer. Not just a “bless me, Lord” prayer, but specific prayer, using scripture to direct my prayers.

How has God convicted you lately?

p.s. Here is a prayer for writers I found by Mary DeMuth. May it bless you like it did me. A Prayer For Writers.

calling, Christian, writing

A Christian Writer?

Many of you may have read yesterday’s Seekerville post by Francine Rivers. If you haven’t, hop over and read it, because it was amazing! What really struck me was Francine’s explanation of the difference between a Christian who writes and a Christian writer.

Basically, a Christian who writes can write anything, whether it glorifies the Lord or not. They write for a market. A Christian writer focuses their work on Jesus Christ. He is central to their story. Christian fiction is supposed to stir up a longing for the real thing: a relationship with Jesus Christ. Of course, both want to sell books, but it is all about the focus. Not that one is better than the other, but it is a different calling.

I knew from the very beginning that I did not want to preach in my stories. I wasn’t sure I wanted to write conversion scenes. Maybe that stems from being a preacher’s wife and having a wall go up every time I am introduced to people as a “pastor’s wife”. I don’t want to throw up walls. I want to break them down. I want to be real, flaws and all.

But is it good enough to write an entertaining story that is not centered on Christ? Shouldn’t my heart’s desire be to write with Christ in mind? Maybe my focus is not where it should be.

My friend, Pepper, is an encouraging soul. As I wrestled with this line of thinking, she had some wise things to say.  She says, “People are drawn to Him because of what they see in our lives – how they see HIM in our lives. We don’t have to preach with words. His joy in your life will come out in your stories, even if you never quote a Bible verse.”  She went on to say, “Just because a story doesn’t have loads of ‘preaching’ in it, doesn’t mean it still can’t be life-changing. The acts of the characters and their transformation – the way they respond to their difficulties, should reflect Christ. Isn’t that how it is in real life? What is it that Francis of Isisi wrote? “Preach the Gospel and if necessary, use words.”


Isn’t she smart?


I suppose, though, that if the Lord living in me shines through in my writing, then in some small way it IS Christ centered. Whatever we do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord, right?


So what are your thoughts? Is there a difference between a Christian who writes and a Christian writer?