When I wrote my devotion “Isn’t It Glorious?” I was having a break between writing projects. I had finished a nature book but was feeling drawn to using my writing gift explicitly for God’s glory. I discovered The Upper Room and thought I’d have a little dabble. Around that time, I also wrote my first overtly Christian short story. A Christian writers association had a competition for stories to be included in a Christmas anthology that they would publish. I wrote a story based on Mary’s perspective on her pregnancy and the birth of Jesus. I enjoyed doing this very much and wrote a second, this time speculating on the reactions of the angels in heaven to the news of Jesus’ planned incarnation. While only one story could be submitted per writer for consideration, I realized I had found my niche. And so began my manuscript of tales imagined from the point of view of characters in the gospels, starting with the angel scene that I’ve mentioned, following a chronological path through when to the angels celebrate Jesus’ return to heaven. The book is being published by Faithbuilders, a UK Christian publisher, and we are aiming for release this spring.
This has been a very exciting journey for me. I have found that the process of writing has deepened and strengthened my faith as I have spent extra time in God’s word. It has felt like I am meant to be doing this, and it’s been such a joy to write something with eternal consequences. I don’t think this feeling should be especially unusual in the church, and I’d like to encourage readers to think about using their creative skills in a new way. After all, we have an infinitely creative God. It’s who God is, and as we’re made in God’s likeness, I think we’re designed to be inventive. Do you paint, sew, or bake? Are you drawn to the idea of writing? Whatever your creative outlet happens to be, it’s my suggestion that you pray about how you might use it as an act of worship. It might be a one-off or an occasional creation, but you may also find that you have a new purpose. Not only will it deepen your walk with God, but it will bring you a sense of personal fulfillment that’s hard to describe.
I’m sure that worship isn’t all about singing songs, though I enjoy this very much! When we use our lives to explain our faith, or to express God’s love, I think it will bring a sense of satisfaction to God as well as to ourselves. Finally, perhaps you think you’d like to pursue your talents, but you worry you’re just not good enough. Like all skills in life, it can help to have a bit of training. Why not treat yourself to a course or a learning handbook as the new year gets underway? I’m sure you won’t regret it!
We have small groups and an occasional Sunday class that uses the material for Bible study. We also have a Wednesday night group that reads all four of the lectionary passages and then follows lectio divina methodology in discussing and applying the passages. The Disciplines help in each of these as part of individual devotions but also as material for these group discussions. Our Pastors also preach the lectionary and use Disciplines to help craft the worship experience. It is also a part of our recommended discipleship pathway for all congregants. Many people in the congregation tell me how they love the devotional and it is helping them in their faith walk. Read more...