The Challenge for Christian Writers – Hebrews 10:22-25

Communicating comes so easily with my writing friends. We sip our favorite drinks, or like yesterday, dive into lunch, and catch up on each other’s news. At some point we pin each other down with the question, “How are you doing with your writing?” This follows with tons of encouragement and suggestions, and sometimes a gentle kick in the pants for motivation when we’re lagging.


We can be a little hard on each other, but it’s good. We speak the same language. We share the same goal—to offer our readers new ways of understanding the truth of God’s love.

“. . . let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings . . . Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess . . . and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another . . . ” (Hebrews 10:22-25 NIV).

Here’s something to think about

While my critique friends and I may relate to each other perfectly, the challenge we face is in communicating faith concepts in new ways to others. Believers get tired of hearing things explained the same way over and over, and not-yet-believers can’t always grasp the importance of what we’re trying to convey.

In Dan Balow’s post on the Steve Laube Agency website, “You Say Tomato, I Hear Guacamole, Parte Dos (Part 2),” he reminded me of how our words can have different interpretations.

For instance, Dan wrote that someone might say,

“We are all going to die in a climate change catastrophe unless we do something!” I hear, “I don’t trust God. He is not in control. We are.”
“The Bible says not to judge,” really means “I don’t want anyone to tell me I am doing anything wrong. I refuse to admit I am in error.”
“Jesus was just a good man,” should be translated, “If I admit he was more, then I need to do something about it and change my life. I don’t want to change.”
“The terrorists just need good jobs,” indicates, “I want the solution to everything to involve something we can control. If the problem was sin and evil it would need a spiritual solution and I want to avoid it. We are in control of this world, not God. ”

Love wins the day

One thing I remember about my pre-following-Jesus days is that admitting I was a sinner made no sense. How could it be reasonable to accept I was without hope and would suffer forever? I was struggling enough as it was, and I thought I was far ahead of most people.

Instead, what drew me to him was his unrelenting, undeniable love. He won me initially, not by argument and reason, but by love. It was after I felt secure in his embrace that I could look at the darkness in my soul and accept his help.

Hallelujah, he made a way!

My prayer: Lord, help me remember that without love, my attempts to communicate your truths are just loud, irritating noise (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). I want to love others as you do. I’m so thankful for the gifts of love and truth, and for your patience in teaching us your ways.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Why I Love my Critique Group

My friends cluster around me at the coffee shop every Thursday morning.  They lean their heads in close and wait for me to say something, anything, as though I’m harboring golden nuggets of insight for their lives (or hiding chocolate in my pocket).  A sweet component is that we’ve circulated in the same community for many years, and have a long history of shared relationships and memories.

OCW summer conf. board lunch 6-2015

They’re wonderful listeners, and that’s what makes them valuable critiquers. They kindly sharpen me, humbly correct me, and thoroughly encourage me.  With them my writing has improved and my goals are being reached.  It’s just plain fun to experience their gentle admonitions and raucous exultations.

It’s been more than a month since my last blog post.  I’ve been taxed with working on my novel and my home commitments – and honestly, I’ve allowed Facebook to pull me away.  I was prepared to announce today that I’m not going to work on my novel for the month of December, and call it something clever like NoWriNoMoFoNow.  (Instead of NaNoWriMo which is National Novel Writing Month). But I don’t think that’ll stick.  My friends are waiting to see what’s in my pocket.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis