Archive for the ‘Persecution of Christians’ Category

Storm over city

It’s been almost 30 years since Against the Night, Living in the New Dark Ages by Chuck Colson was published. He writes,

‘Dark Age’ is a strong term. I recognize that. Yet  in recent  years I’ve had a growing sense of storm clouds gathering on the horizon . . . The forecast is foreboding . . . We scan the horizon with unease.

We sense that things are winding down, that somehow freedom, justice, and order are slipping away. Our great civilization may not yet lie in smoldering ruins, but the enemy is within the gates.

The times seem to smell of sunset. Encroaching darkness casts long shadows across every institution in our land. . . . We do face a crisis in Western culture, and it presents the greatest threat to civilization since the barbarians invaded Rome.”

Chuck Colson – Against the Night, Living in the New Dark Ages

If you are not aware of  H.R. 5, known as the Equality Act, that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives March 13, you need to Google it – NOW! This bill, if passed, would end our freedom as Christians to live out our faith not just in our workplaces but in our homes.

Liberty Counsel says,

HR 5, wrongly named the Equality Act, is the most extreme threat to religious freedom, free speech, privacy, and to women’s rights that has ever been proposed by Congress. The impact of HR 5 will be widespread – affecting churches; religious colleges and universities; public, private, and Christian schools; curriculum; religious and private organizations; employers; employees; individuals; foster care and adoption; shelters; local, state, and federal entities; privacy; women’s rights; and more. Click here to read more.

Yes, we must “love without stopping” (1 Cor. 16:14 MSG). But that does not mean we can ignore what God clearly says in His Word.

If we have eyes to see, the moral fabric of our nation is not just unraveling – it’s being torn apart. How much longer can a righteous God withhold His judgment of a nation that has turned away from His Truth?

The 23 years the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and 36 years the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference has focused on the need for God’s scribes to “Write His Answer.”

Michael Gantt, who is again keynoting at both conferences, says:

MK gantt watchman

I urge you to subscribe to Michael’s blog at https://mkgantt.com and to read his post about the conference and why I’ve given him a standing invite to keynote. In part he says,

Writers have always been among the most feared by despots and dictators. Truth tellers have been imprisoned and executed, their writings banned and burned, their character brought into question by allegation and accusation. The written word is among the most powerful weapons of history. . . .

I realized this weekend that my part in standing before these conferences of writers and publishers is to represent the Word of God that it might not be bound; to communicate with a deep sense of urgency that we are not writers who are coincidentally Christians, but we are Christ followers who have been given a gift to write and that we bear a grave and dangerous responsibility to guard the deposit of truth that has been entrusted to us and to ensure above everything that the Word of God is not bound.

I also urge you to check out my blog post, “Write His Answer to Issues at this Year’s CCWC,” I posted on March 3. If you are unable to come to the conference, you can order a CD of one or more of the workshops in our Issues track:

America at the Crossroads
The Rocks Cry Out
Speaking Life to a Culture of Death
Answering Christianity’s Critics
The Burden of the Watchman
Make Some Noise!

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, for children or adults, God can use you to write words that, as Michael says, “can shape lives and maybe, just maybe, change the world.”

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I was certain I posted this on Saturday, July 7, but just discovered it in my drafts. You’ll discover the answer to the obstacles I faced in today’s post (July 9), “God Answers Prayer.”

Last night I lost ALL my files on my computer! Even if the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference was not just three weeks away, this would be a disaster. (If you’ve not yet registered, the price increases tomorrow.)

What happened? I’ve been having ongoing and intensifying problems since Lap Link  transferred files from my old laptop to the new laptop I purchased four months ago. A week before the Colorado Christian Writers Conference the stress landed me in the hospital for a day with symptoms of a heart attack. PTL I did NOT have a heart attack and our insurance covered all but $350 of the bill that was over $17,000.

Two days ago Quicken crashed. “Disk problem. Switch to back-up.” But a “Memorize address failure” would not allow me to restore the backup, and Quicken would not allow me to access the other 3 accounts that have not been recently backed up.

Why don’t I have a current back-up of everything? With 659 GB I don’t have space even on my external drive. I did purchase iDrive, but with the workload of directing two conferences I’ve not had time to set it up. I do have a huge amount of files in Dropbox, but I’m no longer able to access them.

Am I upset? Of course!

Discouraged? Oh yes!

Doubting my ability to fix this? Absolutely!

But am I doubting my God, asking Him why He’s allowing all these obstacles? NO!

Friends, we forget that Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow Him. The night before He went to the cross, He told His disciples, “Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. . . . I have told you these things so that you won’t be staggered [by all that lies ahead.]  For you will be excommunicated from the synagogues, and indeed the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing God a service” (John 15:20; 16:1-2 TLB).

And His words proved to be true.

The apostle Paul, in the process of trying to spread the Good News, encountered “suffering and hardship and trouble of every kind. We have been beaten, put in jail, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, stayed awake through sleepless nights of watching, and gone without food (2 Cor. 6:4-5 TLB).

He also said, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. . . .We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going” (2 Cor. 4:8-9 TLB).

I am absolutely convinced that God allows trials even when, and perhaps especially when, we’re seeking to do His work. Why? Paul said in Romans 5:3, “they are good for us.” Seriously? Yes! How else would our faith muscles grow?

Open Doors says, “215 million Christians experience high levels of persecution in the countries on the World Watch List. This represents 1 in 12 Christians worldwide.” For more sobering statistics see https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution.

You’d think persecution would cause Christians to deny their faith, but no. Persecution has strengthened their faith, and where the church is literally under fire, it is growing.

So, I’m not giving up. How about you? Will you allow God to use obstacles to grow you closer to Him? How can I pray for you?

P.S. I’ve got a 20-minute appointment at 1:40 today with the Geek Squad. I don’t think it’s a “20-minute” problem, but I’m praying they will amaze me with their expertise.


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Dan Wooding (right) with Brother Andrew – famous for smuggling Bibles into China.

I just received the following from my good friend Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST News. I’ve known Dan for many years and deeply appreciate him and his ministry. This is an exciting opportunity to work with him in making a difference.

Dan Wooding, founder of the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), a worldwide news service which specializes in stories on persecuted Christians, world missions, and believers who are making a difference for Christ in our world today, is looking for a volunteer who can work closely with him on sending out these many stories. That person would be trained by Dan over the phone, Skype or FaceTime, on how to input and format the stories from his team of writers, and also learn how to re-size and input photos and include the captions. Also, that person would need proof them in American English and punctuation. (Dan’s writers come from all over the world.) Although this in an unpaid position – none of Dan’s team receive a salary, but work as “Media Missionaries” — it would be an exciting way for that person to become part of a unique news service that goes out to some 2,000 media outlets each day. Age is no problem, so if you are interested and love news, just contact Dan initially at his e-mail – assistnews@aol.com – with your contact information and also some background on your writing, and he will then he will get back to you to discuss this further. This would be a wonderful opportunity for you to use your talents for the Lord and bring to the attention of many globally important material that they can act upon and prayer for.

I’m working on the May 17-20 Colorado and July 26-29 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. As always it’s so exciting to see Father’s plans come together.

Open Doors missionary Al Janssen, who with Brother Andrew (pictured above) works to strengthen God’s light in the Middle East, will hopefully keynote at both conferences on “A New Kind of Jihad.” Philly is a definite yes; Colorado still tentative because of a tremendous amount of international travel the first five months of 2017. His message will challenge listeners to join them in a new kind of jihad, leaving vengeance behind in favor of forgiveness, radical love, and unyielding payer. Al has authored or co-authored more than 30 books which have been published in 18 languages.

Literary agent, Leslie Stobbe, introduced me to his client, D.J. WilliamsExecutive Producer | Director | Author. I’m excited to announce that he will keynote and teach a continuing session at the Colorado conference.

With the DNA of a world traveler, D.J. Williams was born and raised in Hong Kong, has ventured into the jungles of the Amazon, the bush of Africa, and the slums of the Far East. His global travels have engrossed him in a myriad of cultures, and provided him with a unique perspective that has fueled his creativity over the course of a twenty year career in both the entertainment industry and nonprofit sector.

In his latest novel, Waking Lazarus, Williams has written an epic global adventure filled with riveting characters and page turning twists and turns. Think Jason Bourne meets Homeland. It is a brilliant follow up to his previous novel, The Disillusioned, that garnered the praise of Hollywood’s elite, including Judith McCreary, Co-EP, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and CSI, who said, “The Disillusioned is a fast-paced mystery…you won’t put it down until you’ve unlocked the secrets and lies to find the truth.”

With the release of Waking Lazarus, Williams is once again capturing the attention of industry veterans including Peter Anderson (Oscar Winner, Cinematographer), who has already endorsed this latest adventure, “Waking Lazarus is a captivating visual story with a colorful narrative. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down.”

Currently based out of Los Angeles, Williams continues to add to his producing and directing credits of more than 350 episodes of broadcast TV syndicated worldwide by developing new projects for television, film and print.

KEYNOTE – Second Act: Storytelling that Inspires Change
Is the story you desire to write moving you toward inspiring change? The second act in any story is where the main character gets in over his head, is pushed to innovate, to move forward in faith, and to act decisively so the story has a greater purpose. When an elephant charged his safari convoy in Africa, Executive Producer and Author D.J. Williams experienced split seconds of pure clarity about God’s calling on his life: to pursue God’s plan to share stories of the forgotten through social issues that inspire true change. D.J.’s story of faith in the jungles of the Amazon, the bush of Africa, and the slums of the Far East will inspire you to seek out God’s plan and purpose for your life, and move you toward becoming a storyteller who inspires others to embrace the pursuit of social causes in a world desperately in need of the Gospel.

A 5-part interactive workshop that dives into the structure that moves novelists and screenwriters to write stories that make a difference in the world. By the end of the workshop writer’s will have created a roadmap to chase their cause-driven novel.

Session 1: Defining Passion, Shaping Habits, Harnessing Raw Ideas
Session 2: Developing Plot, Timelines for Research, Flexible Outlines
Session 3: Creating a World with Characters that are Believable
Session 4: Building Visual Chapters and Dialogue filled with Mystery & Suspense
Session 5: Going Beyond the Last Page

More conference information coming soon!

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eagle and flag

“If my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV2011)

History, at least the history of our nation, is swiftly moving to a climax.

The sad fact for America is that
our sin has made God our enemy.
If there is no national confession of sin|
and if we cannot find a heart of repentance,
a Holy God will complete his judgment;
either by the complete annihilation
or subjugation of what was once a great
and godly people or by rendering it
completely irrelevant on the world stage. 

Michael Gantt

We have stepped over a line
   from which there is no turning back.
We have taken a paradigm leap
   from mere disobedience
      to open rebellion against God,
   thereby crossing the line
      from blessing to judgment
         and from God’s prior favor
   to His impending wrath. . . .

Mike Wolff

There is no doubt—
the TRUE hope for this world is Jesus Christ!
Our struggling nation and a lost world
need a fresh introduction to the message of Jesus!
This generation urgently needs to learn
of the new birth that comes through faith in Jesus!
A church that is committed to obeying Christ
and sharing the Gospel could … save this nation!

Focus on the Family, 9/3/15 email


Friends, please do not allow a spirit of complacency to cause you to suffer the fate of this frog in the kettle. I can’t urge you strongly enough to watch the video of Michael Gantt’s keynote address, “The Cross Is the Main Thing,” that he gave July 31 at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Or read the transcript at
http://growinggodlyseed.com/stand and subscribe to his blog. Mike Wolff’s September 3 blog post, “Sounding the Trumpet,” is also critically important to read.

I believe the days ahead are going to be very difficult for our nation. I don’t know if she will survive God’s judgment. As for Christians, persecution is coming. Indeed, it is already here, and God will allow it to intensify for it is the only way His church will again become strong.

Am I fearful? Yes! I long to be strong in His strength and to live and to write His answer.

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My friend, Rick Marschall, posted today, August 15, on Facebook:

The mainstream media — and certainly, sadly, the US government — has been ignoring the horrendous, growing, treatment of Christians around the world. In recent months it has been transformed from prejudice to persecution to slaughter. It is concerted, it is widespread… and it is prophesied in scripture. Greta van Susteren’s team has been working on a comprehensive report, which will air tonight, and will be repeated throughout the weekend. It will be troubling. It is essential viewing.

Don’t miss Fox’s live OTR special “CHRISTIANS UNDER ATTACK” this Friday, August 15 at 7pm/ET…set your DVR now and share this video to help spread the word about the horrific genocide in Iraq.

Lord Jesus, please help believers worldwide not to close our eyes and hearts to the horror of what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Iraq – and to the children. Move us to pray and to speak on behalf of the 100,000 Christians and 50,000 Yazidis who have been forced to flee for their lives. Help us to believe that we can make a difference through our prayers, through sharing the need with others, through urging our government to help, and through our gifts of financial assistance.

And friends, please also make time to visit Joel Rosenberg’s blog, to listen to his interview with an Iraqi pastor, and to pray with this pastor for “courage and wisdom.”

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Lord Jesus, please help believers worldwide not to close our eyes and hearts to the horror of what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Iraq – and to the children. Move us to pray and to speak on behalf of the 100,000 Christians and 50,000 Yazidis who have been forced to flee for their lives. Help us to believe that we can make a difference through our prayers, through sharing the need with others, through urging our government to help, and through our gifts of financial assistance.

Friends, please make time to read the article below by Joel Rosenberg, to listen to his interview with an Iraqi pastor, and to pray with this pastor for “courage and wisdom.”

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog


(Washington, D.C.) — Right now, we are witnessing horrific war and bloodshed and lawlessness in the epicenter. We are seeing some of the worst persecution in the modern history of the Middle East unfold before our eyes. Radical Islamic extremists are crucifying and beheading Christians, forcing followers of Christ to convert or die, driving Christians from their homes and looting all their possessions. This is particularly true in Iraq and Syria, where genocidal conditions are emerging.

Much of the world is silent, but the Church must not be. We must stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ — pray for them, love them, stand with them, encourage them, and help them in every practical way we can. We also need to love and care for Muslims and others who are being mercilessly attacked by the Radicals. They are sheep without a shepherd, harassed and helpless.

We must urge world leaders to take decisive actions to…

View original post 1,124 more words

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PUSH coverA writers’ conference
that is more than
a conference just for writers!

Do you share the growing sense of urgency I feel as you watch the news? I believe the following “Specials” the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference is offering July 31 and August 1 are critically important in equipping us to effectively “live His answer.” Please join us. If you live too far away, I urge you to order the CDs after the conference. The order form will be posted on http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com.

Living in the 11th Hour (Thursday, July 31, 10 am to noon) with a panel of eight including Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Association. The goal of the panel, in light of the urgency of the day we live in, is to engage the conference in a moderated discussion on how the Church in our nation can best prepare to stand its ground “in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Persecution is coming. Persecution is here.  How do we stand in Christ, with Christ, for Christ, and with each other in these darkening days—not letting our hearts grow cold or our ‘well-doing’ grow weary? If this IS the Eleventh Hour of earth history (and even if it is not)…how do we joyfully get up each day (while the world is falling down around us) and follow Jesus? (Moderated by Mark Ammerman, author of the end times novel, PUSH.)

Mining for Gold (Thursday, July 31, 1:00 – 3:00 pm) – Learn steps to studying the Bible that will provide exciting, fresh content for your spiritual life, writing, and teaching. Tap into the transforming power of Scripture! Bible teacher and author Julie Coleman offers hands-on instruction in digging deep into God’s Word. Come and find those hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

Reaching Seekers & Skeptics (Thursday, July 31, 3:30 – 5:30 pm) with Rusty Wright, award-winning author, syndicated columnist, and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. Learn how seekers and skeptics think and feel, what they want and why. Practical tools for finding common ground, understanding felt needs, grabbing attention, touching hearts and minds, and sensitively communicating spiritual truth verbally, in writing, and via the Internet even if you’re not a techie. God can use you to reach seekers and skeptics.

Save Our Children (Friday, August 1, 1:00 – 3:00 pm) with Rick Marschall, author of 74 books and hundreds of magazine articles. Christians are pilgrims and strangers in this world. Surely every believer senses that these times are darker, more dangerous than ever. Our culture has turned hateful toward Christians and children are the primary targets of the enemy. There are things we can and must do as Christians. Let us engage!

There is no charge for Save Our Children. The Thursday Specials are $25 for one, $40 for two, $55 for all three. Please use the registration form at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/specials. All of our morning and evening keynotes in Chatlos Chapel are free of charge. Following the Thursday and Friday evening keynote we will have a book signing. No registration is needed for the keynotes or book signing.

Of course the conference also offers a wealth of learning opportunities for beginning and advanced writers as well as an all-day Teens Write program on Thursday, July 31. For specific information check out our 16-page brochure athttp://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/brochure.


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ASSIST News Service (ANS)
PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA

Visit our web site at: www.assistnews.net — E-mail: assistnews@aol.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Writers for Such a Day as ThisWHA logo on Shaw guides

By Becca Anderson
Special to ASSIST News Service

ESTES PARK, CO(ANS) — It used to be that restrictions on sharing one’s Christian faith or writing and speaking freely about matters of faith were things that happened on the other side of the globe. Increasingly today, North American Christians find themselves muffled by politically correct demands on their speech.

The Colorado Christian Writers Conference, May 14-17 at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO, will challenge and train writers to take a strong biblical stand on the issues that confront our culture.The restriction on Christians to share what they feel compelled to speak and write about is no longer limited to “over there.” Writers increasingly put their very lives at risk around the world to bring the message of Christ to others. Every day in the United States and Canada, people are censored, jobs are lost, and legal action is threatened when the Christian message is shared. One answer is to cease to write and speak this vital message. The other answer is to continue to be bold, with improved skills and added determination.

“I feel a sense of urgency to encourage and equip Christians to ‘write His answer’ – now,” said conference director Marlene Bagnull. “I believe the day is fast approaching when we will not have the freedom to print or distribute Christian literature or to share our faith on the Internet. We need to be aware, and ready to take advantage of every media to get our message out as the ‘signs of the times’ become more apparent.”

In addition to a full schedule of 62 workshops covering all aspects of writing, eight continuing sessions, panel discussions, hands-on clinics, appointments with editors and agents, and general sessions, the conference also includes a special session on Compassion, Justice, and Advocacy. The topic is taught by Steven Lawson, a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and publishing consultant with a long career in Christian publishing. “The Christian writer is uniquely qualified to address many issues that confront every citizen today. Human trafficking, orphans, abortion, racism, the poor and hungry, the oppressed, and much more that is close to the heart and call of Jesus,” he said.

Writing well on topics of vital interest and importance to society as a whole is a valuable way for Christians to bring the message of Christ back into the marketplace of ideas. Offering real answers -His answers – to these perplexing issues takes courage, quality writing, and a sensitive heart. Lawson speaks to the issues and shows writers how to plug their passion for social justice into meaningful efforts.

Building on the theme of reaching the world through Christian writing, one of the keynotes addresses the sobering topic of “Write His Answer. Despite Opposition,” presented by Peter Lundell, pastor and author of Armed for the Battle. “Writers are on the front lines of an intensifying spiritual war,” he said. “We have an adversary who wants us to feel defeated. How do we silence his lies, which seem to be true, when our work is rejected and we feel overwhelmed with discouragement?” His presentation will answer those questions and leave attendees strengthened for the battle.

If you are a Christian writer who feels led to turn your words to the vast and urgent area of social justice and compassion advocacy, CCWC is a conference that could well launch you in a new direction with improved clarity on how to get the job done. Though April 15 was the deadline to register and still receive the greatest discount, if you mention that you saw this article through ASSIST News Service, you will receive the higher discount.

For more information, visit the website, colorado.writehisanswer.com/ where you can download the brochure and review all materials. Or call for the 16-page brochure, (484) 991-8581 (Eastern Time.)

Becca Anderson

Becca Anderson is a freelance writer, the editor of Fabricare Canada magazine, and has had two books published-both through contacts made at Colorado Christian Writers Conference. She can be contacted at banderson@cablelynx.com

See all ASSIST News articles at www.assistnews.net

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Yes, it’s been far too long since I blogged! I’ve been focused on mopping up the Colorado Christian Writers Conference (click here for a CD order form) and my garden and my house that are sorely neglected during conference season.

It’s time (okay, I admit past-time) to focus on the July 31 – August 3 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference (GPCWC). Some “News You Can Use” whether or not you’re able to come to the conference (although I hope you’ll prayerfully consider coming):

Looking for an agent? – This year’s GPCWC has five agents on faculty! Two are new agents with established firms: Sally Apokedak with the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency and Ruth Samsel with William K. Jensen Literary. Now is a good time to check out the genres they are interested in representing before their stable of clients is filled. You’ll find info at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/AgentsOthers.

Appointments – Of course, the very best way to land an agent is through meeting with them at a conference, and GPCWC offers more opportunities than most conferences for one-on-one appointments. And good news! Because we have such a large faculty this year, not just the first 75 conferees to register but the first 150 conferees will receive an additional appointment. Also, since I know it’s not possible for everyone to come to the entire conference, all who are among the first 150 to register will receive an additional appointment. That means:

One day conferees – Two appointments

Two day conferees – Three appointments

Three day conferees – In addition to the bonus appointment
for coming all three days (Thursday through Saturday),
will receive an additional appointment for a total of
FIVE 15-minute one-on-one appointments.

Keep in mind that the earlier you register, the better opportunity you have of getting your top picks. Bios and editorial needs for our 16 book editors and 13 periodical editors will be posted in the next few days. I’ll announce on the Facebook conference page when they are online.

CFOM June 2013

Encouragement and help for novelists – Check out the June issue of Bonnie Calhoun’s Christian Fiction Online Magazine. There is no charge to subscribe to this excellent resource that each month features 35+ columns by the best and brightest authors, publishers, and agents in Christian fiction. 

Bonnie’s “Publisher’s Choice” this month is yours truly with an article that highlights the opportunities for novelists at this year’s conference. From Dr. Ted Baehr’s “Breakthrough Scriptwriting” and Tim Shoemaker’s “Take Your Fiction to the Gym” continuing sessions, two clinics, and numerous workshops this year’s GPCWC offers more than ever for both beginning and advanced novelists.

Scholarships – GPCWC is offering two 50% off scholarships to readers of Christian Fiction Online Magazine. But scholarships are not limited to CFOM readers. If you need scholarship help, you’ll find the application at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/Scholarships.

Teens Write – You’ve heard the question: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! This year’s Teens Write answers a similar question: How do you write a novel/article, devotion, screenplay? One Word at a Time! Pam Halter has done a fantastic job putting together an exciting program taught by nine authors and editors for teens ages 12-18. For more info on the Thursday, August 1, all-day Teens Write click here Please ask Father if there is a teen He wants you to encourage to come and to mentor.

Let Freedom Ring” in our Churches– Important thoughts from Mike Huckabee in a five-minute video. I’ve chosen never to seek tax exempt status because I don’t want to be muzzled from speaking or writing His answer. And although I pack both the Greater Philly and Colorado Christian Writers Conferences with an outstanding faculty and tons of learning and networking opportunities, I will continue to offer special sessions that are not about the craft of writing or of selling/marketing/promoting our work but that instead focus on the critical issues of our day. If you’re coming to the GPCWC, please prayerfully consider tithing your conference time by attending one of the following two-hour Thursday specials or order the CD.

Prepare for Persecution with C. Hope Flinchbaugh
A Culture in Peril with Rick Marschall
Compassion, Justice, Advocacy with Steven Lawson

Father, I feel such a sense of urgency to “write Your answer” NOW, while the doors to print and distribute Christian literature and take full advantage of the Internet are still open. Help us not to hide our light under a bushel but to effectively and faithfully write what You’re calling us to write whether fiction or nonfiction, stories or articles, poetry or screenplays. Use each one of us, Father, to make a difference in the lives of our readers.

You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.
God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this,
as public as a city on a hill.
If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you
under a bucket, do you?
I’m putting you on a light stand.
Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!

Matthew 5:14-15 MSG


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Put on the full armor of God
so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.
Ephesians 6:11-12 NIV

My hands tied behind my back, I was dragged before a tribunal of cloaked men. They accused me of subversion against the government because of my faith in Jesus Christ. I could not deny the charges, for spread across the table were books and articles I had written.

The congregation’s singing brought me back to reality. Had I dozed off or seen a vision? I’ll never know for sure. But I do know the Lord spoke to me. “Do you realize, Child,” I felt Him say, “that the things you are writing may one day convict you? Are you willing to follow Me despite the cost?”

It was a sobering moment. I didn’t ask Him to give me a closer look at the titles of my published works. And I didn’t answer quickly or feel very brave when I finally said, “Yes, Lord.”

That was fifteen years ago. Societally, things were bad and getting worse; but Christians generally were seen as part of the answer—not the problem. We were not the frequent brunt of jokes on TV sitcoms and talk shows. Media coverage was not openly biased. Gays were not militant. People did not worry about being politically correct. The New Age was beginning to infiltrate some churches, but few discerned its danger.

Things are changing—rapidly. We can no longer ignore all the signs that point to the return of Christ. They challenge us to be actively involved in spreading the Gospel while the doors remain open to produce and distribute Christian literature. But we do need to count the cost. In a very real way, writing for the Lord puts us on the front lines where “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12 NIV). To go into battle without the “full armor of God” (Eph. 6:11 NIV) is dangerous.

“This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels,” The Message says. “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued” (Eph. 6:12-13). Having been defeated too often, I’m learning to pray on the armor every morning that I might “resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over . . . still be standing up” (Eph. 6:13 TLB).

“Lord,” I pray, “help me to gird myself with your belt of truth’” (Eph. 6:14 NIV). “Give me discernment that I might immediately recognize the enemy’s lies and half-truths. Help me to refuse to receive or believe them.” When a manuscript is returned and those insistent inner whispers threaten to defeat me, I buckle the belt of God’s truth more tightly around me. I affirm, often out loud, that the return of one manuscript (or dozens of manuscripts) does not mean I should quit writing. I know God has called me to write, but that is not a guarantee of accepted manuscripts. I must keep developing the gifts of writing and marketing and persevere.

The breastplate of righteousness (Eph. 6:14 NIV) protects my most vulnerable area—my heart, the home of my feelings and emotions. It is so easy for me to be wounded by others, to allow myself to be influenced by fear of what they might say or think. I need to be constantly vigilant against the temptation to compromise because “everyone else is doing it.” I cannot pad my writing expenses on my Schedule C. I cannot be careless attributing quotes or use copyrighted material without permission. Instead, I must handle every aspect of the business side of my writing in a way that honors the Lord. My first priority must be to bring glory to Him and not to myself. “Lord,” I pray, “help me today to consistently choose to do what is right in Your eyes.”

Putting on the shoes of readiness to share the Gospel (Eph. 6:15) protects me from the temptation to get sidetracked. There are often other things I can do and write that would require less time and effort, but if I am to be a soldier of the King, I must take my orders from Him. I need to follow His marching orders instead of asking Him to bless mine. When I walk in obedience, I find that my feet do not become bruised and weary from going places He never intended me to go. I also find that when I say yes to what He wants me to do, rather than yes to what others tell me I should do or what I feel they expect me to do, I am filled with peace instead of tension.

I prayerfully pick up the shield of faith to “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16 NIV). I ask God to make me mighty in spirit—to help me to walk by faith, not by sight. I also ask Him to help me not to lower my shield by nurturing doubts. A soldier can be fatally wounded if he lowers his shield for only a moment.

The helmet of salvation (Eph. 6:17 NIV) protects my thought life. Each morning I thank God that I do not have to be bound by old habits and thinking  patterns. I ask Him to continue His work of transforming me by renewing my mind (Rom. 12:2) and giving me the “thoughts and mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16 TLB).

Finally, there is the one offensive piece of armor. It is with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17 NIV) that we go forth into battle to confront the evil of our day. Doing so doesn’t mean we are supposed to hit our readers over the head with the Bible. Instead, I pray that God’s Word will so permeate my life that the principles of Scripture will be evident in all I do, say, and write.

“The enemy is within the gates,” Chuck Colson wrote in Against the Night (Servant Publications, 1989, p. 19). “I believe that we do face a crisis in Western culture, and that it presents the greatest threat to civilization since the barbarians invaded Rome” (p. 23). But God commands us to trust Him. Even when facing the spirit of the antichrist, we need not fear because “the one who is in [us] is greater than the one who is in the world” (l John 4:4 NIV). We need to “pray all the time” (Eph. 6:18 TLB) and to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Eph. 6:10 NIV) knowing that Jesus has already won the battle.

 Responding to God’s Call to Write

 Study Ephesians 6:10-18 in several translations or paraphrases. Ask the Lord to show you what each piece of the armor can mean in your life. List those insights below and begin to daily pray on the armor.

Belt of truth                                                                                      

Breastplate of righteousness 

Shoes of readiness                                                                          

Shield of faith 

Helmet of salvation 

Sword of the Spirit

From Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers by Marlene Bagnull. ACW Press. © 1990, 1999 Marlene Bagnull.


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