Tag Archives: power of story

“The Writing Table”

Not long ago, I imagined pulling up a chair at a writing-table that stretched out in both directions. It went so far I couldn’t see either end. I looked to my left and was awed by what I saw: all the stewards of story from the past were sitting at the table too. I saw C. S. Lewis, John Bunyan, Charles Sheldon, and many other fiction writers–some I recognized and some I didn’t.

No way I belonged there. I slid my chair back and started to rise to my feet, mumbling apologies.

A scraping sound caught my attention. I turned to my right and saw a man about twenty chairs down rising to his feet in front of the chair he just slid back from the table. Then, beyond him, another man stood. Then a child.

Suddenly everyone’s attention was drawn straight ahead. They went to their knees and bowed their heads. I looked, needing to see what had caused such a  reverent response. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Lord Jesus Christ approached the table. His kind eyes were set on me. I immediately dropped to my knees. My heart flooded with amazement. “Your Majesty!”

“Larry,” He said, “why are you leaving the table?”

He knows MY name! “I…I…I don’t deserve to sit at this table. I’m just a sinful man.” My heart pounded like a jack hammer.

Somehow, instantly, He was standing beside me. “Look at Me, My child,” the Lord said. Gentleness coated his words.

I lifted my face to see His smile beaming down at me.

“I must have misunderstood, Lord. I thought I was supposed to write for You. I thought…” My words trailed off. My mind swirled.

He reached His nail-scarred hand and brushed a tear from my cheek. “It’s okay, My friend. You don’t have to explain. I understand your heart.”

“But, King Jesus, You must be disappointed in me.”

“No, Larry.” He knelt beside me, then put His arm around my shoulder. “I’m not disappointed. I know you don’t feel like you deserve a place at this table. The only way I would have been unhappy was if you weren’t overwhelmed by this honor. Had you come to this table with pride and arrogance, My heart would have been broken.” He pulled me closer. “You are here by personal invitation from Me. Thank you for appreciating that.”

A river of relief poured from my eyes, tear by tear. I buried my face in His shoulder. Finally I regained my composure. “Thank You for inviting me here, Jesus.”

“Larry, to your left sits every person in the past that I have entrusted with the power of story. They have all finished the journey and have received their rewards. They wrote stories that helped many people draw closer to Me.” I felt him touch my chin. His gentle hand guided my face to look at him again. “People like you, Larry.”

He was right. To my left were people whose books had changed my life and deepened my understanding of truth. They had written stories that had helped me see the many colors of light.

Jesus motioned to my right. “And these dear servants…” He paused, then laughed with the purest joy I’d ever heard. “These are the writers who will come after you. Some of them have not even been born on earth yet. They will continue creating stories that will touch lives…and break the evil one’s chains.”

I looked down the row. “Master? Before You came, I saw a few of them standing…after I stood, that is.” I looked back at Him.

He nodded. His smile faded. “Yes. They are the ones who will be influenced by what you write. In fact, one of them will come to know Me…if you stay at the table. But if you decide to turn down My invitation to share in the power of creating stories that touch souls, they will not hear My invitation or feel My Spirit calling them to the table.”

He took my hands in His and stood, pulling me to my feet.

“Thank you for trusting me, Jesus.”

He grinned. “No one at this table deserves to be here by their own goodness. Each has been–or will be–called by grace.” He nodded toward my chair. “Now, will you sit at My table and write for Me?”

“Yes, My Lord and Savior. I will. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.”

He held the back of my chair as I sat back down.

What’s it like for YOU to have a seat at the writer’s table? How does it make you feel?

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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, Larry W. Timm, Writing

A One Volume Library

I keep a library on my desk. Sometimes I carry it with me. I’ve even been known to take the entire collection with me when visiting someone in the hospital. I have the same library at home too.

It’s handy and affordable.

The reason that I love this portable library is because it’s a gift from a dear friend. This collection of sixty-six books is more relevant than today’s newspaper. And I find out more about my friend, my world, and myself when I access this wonderful assortment of literal history, prophecy, poetry, and some of the greatest stories ever written.

My friend is a best-selling author. He knows a thing or two about communicating effectively…you know, the whole handwriting on the wall thing, just to name one. He understands the power and permanence of the written word.

My friend is God. The “library” of which I speak is the Bible.

Writer friend, understand that there is a unique influence that has been entrusted to us. No, I’m not suggesting that our words are on par to inspired scripture, but I am saying that God has entrusted us with a powerful tool. We have the honor of learning from God’s Word, and then teaching the great lessons in story form. Lets just make sure we’re staying in His Word while we’re trying to carry out this incredible task.

What are you reading in the Bible this week?

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Ambassadors for God!

     So far we have looked at the “Writer’s Prayer” and seen that writing Christian fiction (or any Christian writing) comes out of an intimate relationship with God. We can know the One that we’re writing about. Then we spent time considering the importance of remembering. May we, as Christian writers, never forget the privilege and responsibility of telling God’s story in the books that we write. And in my last post, we focused our thoughts on the first petition in the Writer’s Prayer: Dear God, help me remember WHO I am, for I’M YOUR CHILD. If you haven’t read the earlier posts, please take time to scroll down and do so.  

     The second request in the “Writer’s Prayer” is this: Dear God, help me remember WHAT I am, for I’m YOUR AMBASSADOR.

     Paul expressed the same idea in II Corinthians 5:20: “…we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

     An ambassador represents someone in authority. In this case, Christian writer’s must never forget that we represent Almighty God. We are on a mission to spread the good news. We have the incredible honor of writing stories that lead the lost and feed the saved. In a real sense, we are instruments of God. God calls us to tell stories that offer light in the midst of darkness, truth instead of error, hope in place of despair. Writing for God is serious business indeed. We’ve been entrusted with a unique and sacred stewardship. Old Testament Prophets used the power of story to deliver God’s message. Even our Lord used stories to get His points across.

     Ours is a mission of peace, and truth. We get to write stories that point people to the greatest peace treaty ever made–and it was signed in the blood of Christ. Because of that we can craft stories of faith, hope, and love. We can tell stories of redemption and forgiveness. And we can expose readers to the truths of scripture in engaging and memorable ways. Not only can we, we MUST.    

     Is there anything greater that representing the Living Word with our written words? Isn’t it inspiring when God uses what we write to draw someone to a deeper or renewed relationship with Him? Perhaps even help a reader come to know Christ for the first time? WOW!

     But I must remember this is about Him. It’s His story for His glory. He didn’t call me to write to make me a star. Don’t get me wrong, I want my books to be published, and purchased by as many people as possible.  But that’s because I believe I have something important to write about.

     I’m an ambassador for Christ, and so are you. Not because we are writers, but because we are Christians. Writing is one great way to spread the good news. Who are you writing for?

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