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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writerís Skill/Craft (04/22/10)

TITLE: Wednesday Writer's Worthiness
By Coleene VanTilburg
04/28/10


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Aspereen Ryder and her friend Rita-Anne Editsome quickly discovered their common love of creative story-telling and inspirational writing. Fairly new with discovery of her skills, Aspereen began sharing her stories with friends. Her positive reviews and God's continued inspiration gave her a sense of purpose after years of feeling unworthy. Rita-Anne, on the other hand, knew she was gifted, but had abandoned her dream for many years. After surviving some serious health issues, she knew God wanted more from her and she felt a new freshness and purpose as well as Godís perfect timing. Dusting off the keyboard she opened up her word document and began filling it with word pictures of redemption and grace.

"I think I want to start a writing group at church," Rita-Anne expressed one day to her pastoral staff.

They gladly reviewed her idea and gave her their blessing. She confided in Aspereen to partner with her in this potential ministry adventure. During the fall kick-off of programs and small groups, the two set out their table between services and with a hope, a prayer and a journal entry, a few weeks later, they recruited a few more willing souls ready to express themselves and their experiences in words. The quaint church library sequestered these literary hopefuls.

Assembled around the table, the group soon bonded. Graham Moore, the only male participant's quirky sense of humor, led to silliness at times. Artistic and sensitive, writing challenged every bone in his body, yet he wanted to learn and grow in the Lord. Glad to have his male perspective in the class, the woman members took him under their wings. An English professor, Ms. Emily Matafore was like a simmering stew, tired of reading studentís papers and bubbling over to write her own. Ally Terashon had been in the mission field, eager now to formulate family facts as well as missionary miracles. The youngest member, a busy social worker who dealt with God's special little children, Chantil Von Atkinsworb, wrote and shared honestly and transparently, though at times her strong German accent kept us quite attentive to her stories. A newly separated mother and new visitor to the church. T.Ruth Rimeswell, came not knowing anyone yet wanting to connect. Afraid of her own words, Ruthie overcame fear, began to accept her own gift and in time, shared with the others. Letís not forget the caregiver of the group, Joy Na Ling and the Hawaiian airline stewardess, Ono Mata Poiia. A total of nine scribes, wide open to the Spiritís leading, gathered round on Wednesday night, their devotion flowing onto paper.

Christmas time came and the group fellowshipped together at Onoís home. The husbands now had a chance to inquire about what was going on in the library on Wednesday nights. Questions were answered putting to rest any suspicion what transpired there; God had a mighty hand in this. At closing of each class, a challenge writing assignment became homework. The assignment meant to be shared at this holiday gathering: to write about a minor character from the Christmas story telling about the birth of the Savior through that characterís point of view. Surprisingly, Joy shared frustration with her creativity and expressed as much to her husband. He went secretly into his room and typed out his own thoughts. While she read her husbandís story, the character in question was not revealed until the very end, keeping the attentive listeners guessing. Even the ant anticipated the birth of the King. The rest, as they say, is to be continued.

That continuation to learn, grow and inspire one another developed into a legitimate writing project. A time to share became apparent. Aspereen and Rita-Anne, under God's divine direction, further challenged these gifted individuals to go outside their own writing circle and write for the greater good, to write for the Kingdom, to write for the children. Stories formulated along this same challenge idea. Applying to advent; the group would write a story for every day until the Christ Child was born. With the church's support, self-publication and creative marketing, A Glorified God in word and deed became a tangible ministry.

A few directed souls, wanting to corporately write in their journals, found that God's tiniest bit of inspiration tendered with obedience brings the hope of imagination to more than this group could ever fathom. Their dreams are only a glimpse of what God aspires in all of us.


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This article has been read 233 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/10
I enjoyed the whole piece, but the last paragraph really rang true for me.
Marilyn Schnepp 04/30/10
Thanks for sharing your viewpoints on the craft of writing.
AnneRene' Capp 04/30/10
Effective illustration of the power of group encouragement and inspiration.
Barbara Lynn Culler05/02/10
You made me feel as though I knew these people.:)

I still think the character, Joy, should have been from Brooklyn.

I know you had fun writting this- it is fun to read,
Joshua Janoski05/07/10
I remember you saying that you started a writing group at your church. Could that real life experience have been your inspiration for this story? :)

Thanks for sharing. I think it's a great idea to start groups like these to discuss and motivate each other. Writing can be a lonely craft otherwise.
Coleene VanTilburg 05/07/10
Hi Josh, Yes this IS my writing group. I knew not many would appreciate the different characters, but my writing group sure loved it. Barbara (above) is also a FW and is a member of my writing group. She wants to be from Brooklyn...lol...I am Aspereen Ryder...(aka Aspiring Writer), the name of our group.
thanks for your comment. I loved your story!