Theology

A Writer’s Fears (a prayer)

Save me from fear, Lord.
Give me courage to write;
make me “bold in our God” (1 Thessalonians 2:2) to write for you,
whatever the obstacles or blockages the Enemy may throw in my way.

Save me from the fear of rejection;
let me write today for your approval first and foremost,
and if I receive it, let me be satisfied with it.

Save me from the fear of inadequacy;
remind me that “all my springs are in you” (Psalm 87:7),
and that you are wholly sufficient no matter how inadequate I may be … or feel.

Save me from the fear of failure.
I know, as Samuel Logan Brengle said, “Fear is a fruit of selfishness.”
I confess my selfishness, my desire to amount to something.
Destroy that desire in me, and replace it with boldness and bravery.

Save me from the fear of success,
from all the “what ifs?” the future may hold.
As long as you are with me, I will not fear (Isaiah 41:10).

Save me also from the fear of criticism and ridicule. 
Grant me willingness and boldness to think and work under your mighty hand,
and to do it “as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23),
in Jesus’ name, amen.

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Can Silence Make You a Better Writer?

Decades ago, when I was barely out of diapers, I started taking annual (sometimes twice-yearly) prayer retreats at the Abbey of Gethsemani in the hills of central Kentucky. It’s a silent Trappist monastery, and it’s been a boon to my prayer life. A lifeline, sometimes. It’s also been a boon …

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Prayers of a Literary Agent

I prayed about becoming a literary agent. My friend and agent, Steve Laube, had asked me to consider it. So I told him I’d pray and think on it. Doggone it, I did; and just over three years ago I joined The Steve Laube Agency as not only a client …

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A World of Similitudes

Please indulge my ponderings today. I was recently reading a novel where the author* was describing the dream-state of the main character. As part of his musings, the phrase “a world of similitudes” was used. I had to stop reading for a minute; think about that phrase; and ask the …

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Misunderstanding the Written Word

Back on June 8, I wrote “Barriers to Effective Communication,” attempting to look at some things that get in the way in relationships, business, and writing. I’ve continued to reflect on this topic, particularly with regard to the written word. Not only in books and articles, but also in our …

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The Industry Changes but Seems Unchanged

I recently came across an article I had saved from 2004 predicting “Book Trends 2005” by Sally E. Stuart in an issue of Advanced Christian Writer newsletter. Reading through the article makes one realize how different things are but also how much they are still the same! Isn’t that a …

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Instrument (A Writer’s Prayer)

God, from ancient days to modern times, you have chosen human language to communicate with men and women; in fact, you are a writer yourself, having written your commandments in tablets of stone, my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and your Word in my heart. You have also …

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How Are You Reading?

by Steve Laube

I collect books. I graze through them like I’m at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I sample this tidbit and that. Eventually I get enough to eat or have found the right morsel to consume until it is finished.

It helps make me an eclectic sort. But there are days, even weeks, where I must discipline myself to become immersed in extraordinary writing. It is there where the soul can be fed and nourished.

I came across a quote from the great Charles Bridges, a well respected pastor in the Church of England whose Exposition of Psalm 119 (published 1827) is a masterpiece. A couple years later he wrote a book directed at those in the ministry. But I thought it applicable to everyone who reads. Especially in our modern era of content consumption without digestion.

Ardent minds wish, and seem almost to expect, to gain all at once. There is here, as in religion, “a zeal not according to knowledge.”— There is too great haste in decision, and too little time for weighing, for storing, or for wisely working out the treasure. Hence arises that most injurious habit of skimming over books, rather than perusing them. The mind has only hovered upon the surface, and gained but a confused remembrance of passing matter, and an acquaintance with first principles far too imperfect for practical utility. The ore of knowledge is purchased in the lump, but never separated, or applied to important objects.

Some again need discretion in the direction of their study. They study books more than themselves. They lose themselves in the multiplicity of books; and find to their cost, that in reading as well as “making books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” Bishop Wilkins observes, “There is as much art and benefit in the right choice of such books, with which we should be most familiar, as there is in the election of other friends or acquaintances, with whom we may most profitably converse.” No man can read everything; nor would our real store be increased by the capacity to do so. The digestive powers would be overloaded for want of time to act, and uncontrolled confusion would reign within. It is far more easy to furnish our library than our understanding.

May you be inspired to think about what you are reading and why you are reading it.

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He Is Risen!

He is risen indeed! Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching …

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