For the last couple of months I’ve been silent. I know I’ve told most of my readers that I’m working on getting back to writing, but that I’ve been reading for a while, which is true. Something has changed in me. It’s not the desire to write, but somehow I can’t get butt in chair to get it going. The events of the last few months have really troubled me and I’ve still been quiet, not out of not wanting to ruffle feathers or concerned with opinions. Those who know me know that I can speak my mind. I just couldn’t do it.
I think I’ve grown. When I started writing seriously back in 2008, I said that part of the reason I was starting this blog was to share my perspective on things. I wanted to share the truths that God had revealed in my life. The things I’ve learned. I did so nonstop for several years. I also wrote some pieces of fiction that you have enjoyed and I did too. Ministry called me to work and my time to sit and write was not there, so I entered into a semi hiatus in which I reached out to check on all of you from time to time. Once that season was over, I couldn’t get back in rhythm and I think it was because I was trying to force myself to go back to finish those fiction projects that I have not yet completed.
This morning I woke up with a heart full. I’m full from all the events of the last days. I want to write about it. I want to write about my pain and my heart for what’s going on. When I started writing fiction it was in part because there were certain events in my life that I wanted to share on an indirect level. Every author tends to do that. But I know that when I’m most passionate is when I speak from my heart. So to my novel lovers, they will come…but for a while I think I need to stick to my blog and some nonfiction ideas that are burning in my heart.
I’m going to start a series called Perspective: In this series I’m going to talk specific about : Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Dallas Police Shooting, Racial Bias, Election 2016, Social Media in Current Events and other topics as they come along. Yes they are hot topics, but these are conversations that need to happen.
Expect the first one of these later today.
I want to stress that my writings are my own. Those are my opinions, views and perspective and they do not reflect the views of my employers or any organization that I belong to. I also plan to not censor comments on these posts. I really never do, but I do require pre-authorization because I do not allow profanity, hate speech, or insults to me or other posters. Any comment with that content will be deleted. Disagreements in a civil way are more than welcome.
Let’s get the conversation started.
I was having an interesting exchange with a gentleman on social media the other day. His wife had responded under an article regarding debating with people in social media about values. Her position was that she felt that defending her values and point of view was basically was she was called to do.
I decided to reply. I had recently read Proverbs 23:9 “Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words”. No, I didn’t just post this scripture and moved on. I said that after reading this I had changed my point of view.I explained that sometimes I felt like defending my values in social media, but I took a step back and started observing before speaking. I realize that there are people who like to say outlandish things just to get a raise out of others and actually enjoy debating with people just for the fun of it. While your blood pressure rises, they are laughing on the other side until they burn you out and they move to the next victim. The exchange is futile and fruitless.
I shared my experience and observations. I said that I had opted for demonstrating my values and beliefs in my daily life. I post things I wish to share and if anyone approaches me I’m always willing to share my testimony. That arguing in social media, in my opinion was not an effective tool of evangelism. That’s when the fun began.
Her husband came to the thread and asked me why was I against people speaking about God publicly? He said that my scripture was out of context and that I was trying to impede the furthering of the Gospel. For a little over an hour, that I will never get back, I attempted to explain to him that I was doing nothing of the sort. Until a light finally went off and realized that I should have followed my own advice to begin with and I walked away.
One of his challenges was that we as Christians needed to defend God. I honestly laughed. Me, little human dirt is going to defend the Alpha and Omega, Almighty God. Yes, to me it was funny. God doesn’t need defending in my mind. As far as I’ve read in the bible, he’s asked us to remain in his Word and love others while speaking the truth in love. He’s asked us to defend, protect and provide for the orphan, the widows and the needy. I haven’t found a single request to defend him. If someone has the scripture I’m always open to learn something new.
As I was meditating about this post I remembered that he doesn’t even ask us to defend ourselves.
- In Matthew 5:39 Jesus tells us, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek”
- Then in Luke 12: 11-12 “When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
- Matthew 10:19 “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say”
Yes, 2 Timothy 4:1-22 tells us “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. ..”
So yes, we are called to reprove and rebuke…but keep reading; it says with complete patience. It calls us to be sober minded, and endure suffering. How much teaching can we provide when we’re spending our energy defending our points of view? How do we model Christ in our interactions; face to face or online ? How attractive (and by that I don’t mean putting a dog and pony show) are we making the Gospel to the lost? Does my life shows something that they would want for theirs?
I have to ask that myself that every day to stay focus into what God has called me to do.
Starting the third month into the year I was prompted to evaluate how my writing goals have worked so far. Kind of assessing if I actually kept my new year’s resolutions or if they were already been postponed. I feel closer to my writing than I have ever felt. Writing has slowly snuck up on me and it’s a need like eating and I love to eat! Every day I feel the need to write, but not every day I think I have something relevant to say.
I’m pushing myself to be a better writer and what are some of those things that I have put in place to accomplish that in 2011…?
- I’ve returned to my reading roots. Last year I dedicated a lot of time to writing, but not enough to reading. I believe that a healthy balance is important for any writer.
- I’m actually following my calendar. In December I created a calendar of contests I wanted to participate (if you’re interested in peaking at that calendar it’s on the publication and achievements page). Last year I created the calendar but actually did only a few of those. So far I have submitted to each and every one of those competitions that I committed to participate in. It doesn’t matter the outcome, it’s about the exercise of meeting deadlines and writing more.
- Joined wordpress post-a-week challenge where I’m committing to at least post on my blog once a week. I’ve been trying to post more than that. At my current rate I could have joined post-a-day, but at least once a week still gives me the necessary breather for days when things get complicated.
- Accountability- I hired a proofreader who is aware of my deadlines, so the expectation of the workload I have to provide for her it’s a constant reminder that I have to come through with my committed contests. Also, I have some readers who have decided to contact me when I go without posting for more than two days to ask when the next post will come. I’m flattered that they enjoy this blog, but also the feedback gives me the sense of responsibility to keep it up.
- Class- I have committed to be part of at least one writing workshop before the end of the year to improve my skills. I have invited a teenager aspiring writer to take the workshop with me. Have you been able to promise something to a teenager that they will forget? Trust me we will go to the workshop!
- Social Media- I’ve subscribe to the Kristen Lamb’s Blog. She not only gives great advice for writers but also advises about how to utilize social media more efficiently. I just found this blog last week and I’ve learned a lot.
So these are some of the things that I’m doing to take my writing to another level and so far so good… Have some tips of your own? Share them!!!