One of the reasons Christian authors can run out of things to write about is they write only from personal experience. Personal experiences are finite, and you are bound to run out of material.
Your personal experiences give you one thing that can be used to write a hundred books: a perspective on God and living the Christian life, not only the actual things to write about. So, Christian writers should never run out of ideas for books or social-media posts. Proverbs 20:12 (ESV) says, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.”
Since Christ-followers have God-made eyes and ears, they see the glory of God in every direction. Others look around and see something different, likely just bad news and despair; but Christian writers see and hear with redeemed eyes and ears.
It is not a coincidence that the following themes are common on viral social media:
- A foster parent asks a child or teen if they can adopt them. Tears and hugs follow. This is a small glimpse into the process of God adopting each one of us as we are happily accepted into a new family. There is joy overflowing from both the child and parent.
- A deployed soldier makes an unannounced return to a surprised parent, spouse, or child. Again, a glimpse of heaven, with angels and heavenly hosts rejoicing at a homecoming.
- A small child is fitted with a cochlear implant, their mother speaks their name, and a sweet “I love you” is heard for the first time, to their mutual delight. The look on both faces is like that when God might call you by name and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
- A color-blind person puts on special eyeglasses that allow them to see all colors for the first time. I envision the look on their face as a momentary glimpse of what will be on our faces when we see heaven, however simplistic of an example this might be.
- Long-separated friends or siblings who never met one another are a shadow of heavenly reunions.
To a Christian, everything in the world points to an aspect of God’s work. God is in everything.
- All of creation shows the power of God, and no human has an excuse not to see it and acknowledge the Creator. Those who don’t are intentionally ignoring it.
- Experiencing great art, writing, and music stirs the heart and mind and reflects God’s glory. That soaring feeling you get is only a speck of what awaits a believer.
- Seeing God in other people is easy since they were made in his image.
- Worship is when God’s people acknowledge his sovereignty over all and for a time the pre-Fall order of things is experienced.
Maybe all these things are only shadows of heaven; but to a Christ-follower, these shadowy stories are everywhere, if you just look and listen for them.
This world needs some heaven sightings, even if for a brief moment.
From sit to stand requires thought,
and balancing against the pain,
and fighting that urge that I ought
to just place bum in chair again.
And next, of course, an order tall,
for in the first steps of a walk,
it’s even odds or more I fall
and get myself outlined in chalk,
but these are now the least of things,
for God gave me the path to joy,
without the need for eagle’s wings,
without requirement to employ
life’s pride in the fading story
which days are spot-lit by His glory.
For what it may be worth, I take much comfort, under present circumstances, from the song ‘Do Or Die’ by Thirty Seconds To Mars. I hope it’s acceptable that I offer the YouTube link.
I’m not familiar with Thirty Seconds to Mars, so thank you for sharing the link! The song is interesting. Like, you need to listen to it several times to really REALLY get it.
I’m going to share it with my youngest daughter. She’s one of the worship leaders in her church in AZ (which is waaaaaay too far from me here in NJ!!). I think she’ll like it, although there’s an excellent possibility she’s already familiar with the group. haha!
G Dwight Larson
Every day and night creation testifies of the Creator and poets (Frost) have filled volumes. Tolkien and Lewis added morality fantasy worlds. It’s low-hanging fruit! Father, open my eyes and hands.
Thanks for this wonderful post, Dan. Perfect examples of the glories of God’s creation and mercy. And then highlighted by Andrew’s real like daily experience. We praise you, Lord, and we thank you in humility and devotion.
Thank you for your inspiring post, Mr. Balow. As I read it, I kept thinking of Colossians 3: 2: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” As we do, we experience hope instead of despair. That hope then carries through our writing out to a hurting, hopeless world so in need of hope.
Thank you for the pep talk. It’s encouraging and a great reminder.
Just finished reading GOD OF ALL THINGS: REDISCOVERING THE SACRED IN AN EVERYDAY WORLD by Andrew Wilson. Great ideas to develop an awareness of God in our surroundings.
That “soaring feeling” of using the imagination inspired me. Thank you for the encouragement.
Carol Nicolet Loewen
I so agree, Dan. When we look for God-moments in nature and in our lives, we see His truth all around us. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.
How I love these thoughts. As a Christ- follower, what I observe & experience each day is translated by the Holy Spirit into just the Truth I want to convey as I write to encourage others. 🙂
Great ideas on paying attention to see God in His world. Words from a hymn popped into my head as I read this, and its words make a good prayer for us: “Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me>”
“Shadowy stories are everywhere, if you just look and listen for them.”
Dan, your inspiring words provide enough to write about through life on earth, and into our sun laden infinitude in heaven, with futuristic Macs, and artificial intelligence forever.