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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Writer’s Skill/Craft (04/22/10)

TITLE: The Debt we Owe
By Lucile McKenzie


All too often, as we struggle to express ourselves with paper and pen, we fail to realize that this desire to write is our gift from God. We get so wrapped in the attempt to express ourselves even semi-coherently, but hopefully also with power, grace, and clarity, that we forget He has granted us this gift, and therefore we must trust that He will find a way to use it. Not only that, but He has ordered us to share this gift as best we can. “As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” I Peter 4:10 KJV. We never know when, or how, this gift will impact someone’s life.

For instance, as church historian, I recently wrote a book about the history of our church, which, is 158 years old. That won’t sound so old to those who live n Europe or even the east coast of the U.S. But here in Oregon, it is a decent age and the history was interesting because the founders of the church were slave owners when they lived back in Missouri. On the Oregon Trail as they were coming to Oregon, they were captured by members of the Latter Day Saints due to incidents that happened in Missouri before they left. Once here, they had a difficult time getting settled. The frontier was wild, temptation flourished, and, in such a lonely place, it took a long time to get the church up and running. Today the church has over 2,000 members.

My goal was simply to get the scattered bits and pieces of the church history written down in one place. It took two years, much prayer, and a certain amount of, “wailing and gnashing of teeth. “ But, to my surprise, the congregation loved this book, simply because the knowing of its history drew them closer to their church. It seemed to fill a need that I didn’t even known existed. And, I realized later, it taught lessons about God’s grace, His help in time of trouble, His steadfastness in the face of adversity. It’s not a big deal, writing a church history. When I started, I had no idea what an astonishing impact it would make.

I learned many things from this writing project. I learned to pray often for help in the writing, and to have faith that help would come. I learned perseverance, patience, hope, gratitude, and humility.

Whether amateur or professional writers, we must continually strive toward the goal of serving God through our writing. We must practice, submit, receive critiques, and pray that God will accept this, our small talent, as a contribution to His great work.

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This article has been read 282 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon04/29/10
Thnak you for sharing such an interesting article. Yes, I do believe that writing is a gift from God. Keep writing
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/10
You make some wonderful points and reminded me of some lessons I have learned but forgot. I also enjoyed the history.
Phee Paradise 05/03/10
This was a nice inspirational article. The story of writing your church's history had enough detail to interest me, and made the point without being too long. Thanks.
Jan Ackerson 05/03/10
Your paragraphs 2 and 3 were very compelling--I'd love to know more!