Pebbles is a wonderful, reflective collection of devotionals with modern-day parables suitable for readers in their mid-teens written by one of our Write2Ignite bloggers, Leah Meahl. Girl readers in particular may be more inclined to draw similarities between their everyday life situations and the parables. It is particularly helpful to Christians who desire to apply and learn deep spiritual principles to their walk with Christ.
One of the most memorable parables was the twist on the parable of the sower and how God cares so deeply for each one of His children. It gave me a deeper appreciation of how we as believers need to keep walking and persevere in seeking God. One of the lessons I learned from this parable was that God is patient with us and even when we fail him through our own weaknesses, he is still in full control of our lives. In addition, the comfort that God is watching over us to enable us to succeed and fulfill the calling that he has placed on us as believers.
Another interesting parable is the story of how a boy is treated by two brothers named Fear and Terror and the insights that are offered about how to overcome these fears. 2 Tim 1:7 is a verse that was mentioned in the scriptural reference. I hold onto that verse dearly especially in the fight against fears that our invisible enemy throws at us. I think this aspect of dealing with fear is one that believers struggle with but can overcome through relying only on the Holy Spirit’s power.
There are many lessons to learn and apply from these devotionals as they are important reminders to stand firm and trust God in the middle of challenging circumstances. There are application questions at the end of each devotional which draw the reader deeper into the main spiritual lessons and biblical references.
Here is a link to Meghan White’s interview with Leah on what prompted her to write Pebbles.
Leah is offering a “Pebbles Package” for one fortunate reader! You will receive:
– A signed paperback
-A card designed by my illustrator, Allison Starling
-2 Scripture verse teabags
-Pebbles for you
-A little bag of Fruity Pebbles
WINNER’S NAME WILL BE DRAWN ON OCTOBER 28!
Ellice Wong is a radiographer in Melbourne, Australia and our newest Write2Ignite blogger.She is passionate about writing devotionals to encourage and inspire people to seek God. Please visit her blog, Living Stones.
As storytellers, we love to share what we’re passionate about, what concerns us, what plays out in our imaginations, and how they all come together in the real world. Many of us can’t help but include our love for Christ and our desire to bring His truth to the ones who need it the most. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get swallowed up in the typical Christian tropes that deems our words “cheesy, tired, and unrealistic.”
As a Christian fiction and nonfiction writer, I spend a lot of my time trying to bring my faith to life in a way that will both draw and minister to people. Here are my top 5 tips for how you can freshen up your faith-based writing to best cater to your Christian audience.
Put Your Character(s) in Unfamiliar Territory
Sometimes, we need to separate ourselves from what we know in order to come to new conclusions. Take your characters and put them in places that are unlike what you usually find in Christian themed stories. Church is only one example. There’s nothing wrong with church, but church can be a very comfortable way of expressing the power and love of God.
Ministering to people can take many forms and can happen in many places; take a chance and explore that. It could look like seclusion in a bunker underground, or a family boating trip, or in a spaceship. Once you’re in unfamiliar territory, you’ll have the reader’s attention quicker and they might just appreciate the different approach.
Hit Uncomfortable Topics
Nothing attracts attention like controversy. The world is filled with it, now more than ever. But BE CAREFUL! Don’t be afraid of cultural, political, and spiritual topics that make people squirm, but address them in love. It’s never good to bash someone over the head with your opinion, even if it’s backed up with the Bible. But you’re a creative writer! You can work through some of these conflicts creatively disguised for one simple purpose: to make people think.
It’s not your job as the writer to change minds or to force action. Your job is to first explore these topics creatively and provoke thought rather than to immediately turn the reader off with your beliefs screamed in the words of your story.
Minimize Christian Lingo
The Word of God is powerful, but we don’t want to overuse it so much that your story becomes preachy and boring. People don’t read to receive a sermon. They want to feel invited into a world, taken on a journey, and experience emotional connections. Address them like a normal person. You can still express the same truths, just recognize the popular phrases of the Christian culture, and tweak a little. Your work doesn’t have to be void of Jesus, the cross, or faith, but maybe downsize the words and phrases that your readers (assuming most are believers) are already familiar with. Give them something fresh to bite into and they might just go in for a second helping.
Handle Conversion with Care
Of course, we want our fictional friends to be “saved”! But, not everyone who hears the Gospel, will accept it. People reject it or sometimes feel unworthy of receiving it. People who start off as strong Christians fall away and maybe don’t come back. Your writing could explore all these stories even though they can be heartbreaking. If everyone finds God and gets saved in your writing, then it relies on the happy ending and falls into the predictable and not unique category. The key is to still provide hope. Because while we still have breath, we still have hope
This is important and encapsulates all points. Sometimes, as Christians we tend to impose how we believe Christians should be on our characters. They come across very nice and friendly with few flaws. On the other extreme, sometimes Christian characters are the villain because of his or her legalism. Either case isn’t wrong, but practice humanizing characters, Christian and non-Christian.
Be real. We have ugly sides, we have bad habits, we don’t always treat people well. After all, we’re all sinners! Write how people actually speak. Feel how people actually feel. Vices and all. Christianity isn’t always pretty, and the more we can portray our stories with that mindset, we can be more authentic with the joy and pain that comes with a life that’s intertwined with Jesus.
I truly believe that no moment compares to the beauty of the deepest part of your heart reaching out with the extended love of Jesus. I also believe that no adventure is greater than the one you walk hand in hand with The Father. You have the privilege to make that real for someone else.
I assure you, if you keep these tips into consideration when you sit down at the keyboard, you will catch someone’s attention and touch someone’s heart.
Do you have any helpful tips to add? I would love to hear them! Happy Writing!
Leah Jordan Meahl has recently joined the Write2Ignite blogging team. She has a degree in Writing and Theater, and has pursued both passions longer than she can remember. She loves to journey with new adult Christians through her blog at www.meahltime.com. In addition to publishing a few daily devotions and stories, she’s featured in the fiction and nonfiction anthologies of America’s Emerging Writers. She’s beyond thrilled and thankful to be sharing her debut novella The Threshold. In her spare time, you’ll find her with a song on her lips, a cat on her lap, and a cup of coffee in her hand. James 4:8