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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: A Personal Testimony
By Colin Swann


It all started when American prophets, who were called the Slagles, prophesied into my life that God wanted me to become a Christian writer.

I tried to prepare myself by enrolling on a writing course. It was a secular course and quite expensive. The lessons were geared to the secular media such as magazines and similar publications – to which I was required to submit articles.

I wasn’t aware at the time that there were Christian writing courses and internet sites available. In fact I didn’t own a computer then.

I soon found out whilst doing the course that it was going to be difficult for a British male to succeed in what seemed to be a field that was dominated by females; all of whom seemed excellent writers. Rightly or wrongly I got the impression that I was trespassing into a feminist controlled area where men in general weren’t too welcome.

My tutor suggested that I use a female Christian name for my byline as she agreed it was difficult for men to break into female dominated publications. I used the nickname Steph which was the first part my second Christian name Stephen. I’m not sure I pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes – but, if I can remember rightly, it was a little better.

I became so discouraged and disappointed with the situation that I threw in the towel. Over time I regretted it but couldn’t see another way ahead. For a few years I wondered if I had I made a mistake. Had I taken the prophecy too seriously? In my haste had I blown it and now there was no way back?

Eventually, I purchased a computer, and one day I stumbled over the Faithwriters’ site. After exploring it I started to use it and I could not believe that there was such an excellent Christian writers’ site available.

However, it wasn’t long before the old demons began to stir. I found the site was dominated by women. (I’m not anti women – I have the most wonderful wife that a man could wish for and she often tries to reassure me that the majority of female writers aren’t feminists). I hope that I can learn this lesson from using this site and lay down my old fears.

I am enjoying being among inspiring Christian writers, though I still struggle with the networking that seems to going on. Maybe it’s just friends trying to encourage each other and nothing more sinister that that.

However, one thing is sure; I will NOT make the same mistake twice. I don’t intend to put myself out in the wilderness again. In fact I’m jolly well going to stick my conk back on my phizog and un-spite myself!

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 774 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw02/21/08
Thank you for sharing from your heart. No matter what anyone tells you, male or female, you write as the Lord leads you. May He encourage you as you need to be encouraged, grow you when you need to grow, and fill you up when it seems your pen has run dry. This was a very well-written testimony.
Rebecca O'Connor02/21/08
Women are able to understand this same feeling in which you have expressed in your writing. With male dominated leadership in churches it is sometimes hard for females to be taken seriously in matters of being called of God. I agree with your conclusion! Never give up and stick your talent in the ground because the Master will be checking back to see what you've done with the gift.
Sara Harricharan 02/22/08
A very transparent testimony! You make this seem like it could be any one of us struggling with being accepted and breaking into a new market. I liked it. Nice job.
Sylvia Hensel 02/23/08
Don't allow yourself to give up. Male or female,l it matters not, God has given you a gift to be used for His glory. I was in grade school when I realized how much I loved to write. I didn't do anything with it till now thanks to Faithwriters. I am now 74 yrs. old and having the time of my life. Time is to precious and life is too short.
william price02/24/08
Very good example of cutting your nose off to spite your face. But, to ease your mind, no worries here at FWs. These ladies are a class act with both honor and integrity. You'll be very blessed here. God bless.
Jan Ackerson 02/24/08
Love your last sentence!

Don't worry about the "networking"--just jump right in! The men on this site are excellent writers and encouragers, and I trust that you'll soon feel fully a part of this wonderful community.
Laury Hubrich 02/24/08
I am very glad you shared your heart here! All of us seemed to have stumbled on to Faithwriters in unique ways and at perfect times in our lives. The good thing about FW is that gender/age/nationality really doesn't matter. We all are one in our interest and our faith! Welcome to FW!
Deborah Porter 04/09/08
Colin, I'm so glad you found us. I've been watching your entries each week and seeing you grow. You're a very good writer--don't ever let those inner voices make you give up.

As for the "women" thing, you are so right. The same is true when it comes to find volunteers to judge the Challenge--about 85-90% women. The same thing with the 500. So it blesses me enormously whenever I see brother in Christ serving the Lord through the written Word.

In His love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator and Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine)