Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Christian's Writer's Manifesto -- Part 2 by Lisa Phillips

The Christian Writer’s Manifesto – Part 2: A word from our forerunners. By Lisa Phillips

“I wrote my first novel, a romantic saga, in 1981. It was published by Leisure Books in 1984. Little did I realize, as I launched into this career, that God had something else in mind for me beyond writing romance novels for the general mass market.” (Robin Lee Hatcher http://www.robinleehatcher.com/why.html )

Robin Lee Hatcher’s story is not an uncommon one. Several writers in the general market have come to realize their calling to write for the Christian market. Among them are Francine Rivers and Terri Blackstock.

I, myself, had to go through a period where I needed to cement in myself the decision to give this writing thing, whatever it would bring, over to God for Him to do what He wanted to do with it.

Robin goes on to say this: “Slowly but surely, God began to place in my heart a desire to write for Him. Still, I had a hard time believing that my talents were good enough — or that I personally was good enough — for Him to use. But God uses who He will, even flawed, imperfect me, and His grace is sufficient.”

Each of us must decide, yes or no, and mark the moment and choose. I made this decision, largely, because of a verse God gave me many years ago, a ‘life verse’ if you will.

“Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart;
 for consider what great things He has done for you.”
1 Samuel 12:24

To me, it means simply, “Don’t ever forget”. God has brought me further than I could have imagined and blessed me more than I can count. Sometime I’ll share my testimony with you. But for now, I urge you to look back at what He was done and be in awe.
Sometimes our lives feel like the book of Esther. We’re under threat of death, standing on a cliff edge about to step off and where’s God? He’s not even mentioned. Not one word about Him, about heaven, hell, eternal life, any of it.

And yet, He is in the shadows, controlling the situation and governing the circumstances.

Look for Him…He’s right there. Not only in the past, but in the future too. So do you want to live your plan, or His?

“When I became a born-again Christian in 1986, I wanted to share my faith with others. However, I didn’t want to offend anyone and risk “losing” old friends and family members who didn’t share my belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior. I found myself hesitating and keeping silent. Ashamed of my cowardice and frustrated by it, I went on a quest, seeking the faith of a martyr.
I learned that courage is not something we can manufacture by our own efforts. But when we surrender wholeheartedly to God, He gives us the courage to face whatever comes. He gives us the words to speak when we are called to stand and voice our faith.”(Francine Rivers http://francinerivers.com/about/testimony )

God gives us grace and strength to face each day. His Spirit was the guide for all the writers before you who called on Him to empower the message of their books. Will you let Him be yours?

“I hope that reading my stories will make you hunger for the read Word, Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. I pray that you will finish my books and pick up the Bible with a new excitement and anticipation of a real encounter with the Lord Himself.” (Francine Rivers http://francinerivers.com/about/testimony )

What a calling.

Is that your calling too?

Lisa Phillips can be found on the web at www.lisaphillipsbks.com or on Twitter @lisaphillipsbks

I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below, because feedback (good or bad) is always helpful.


Sydney Avey said...

This is an issue I continue to struggle with. I don't want to preach to the choir, I want to lure people into the mystery of God, Christians and non Christians. Thanks for your thoughtful commentary.

Lisa Phillips said...

Thank you, Sydney. It's tough, when you have something to say, to have to 'hide' it in the story so that it comes across subtly.
Stick with it!
I'll keep you in prayer.

Robin Lee Hatcher said...

Sydney, I resisted and used the excuse of not wanting to preach to the choir. And one day God pulled me up short by telling me "the choir is sick." The choir still needs to hear the message. The choir still needs to mature and grow. In writing Christian fiction, you can be as overt or subtle as you desire. Just write what God puts on your heart.