Tag Archives: Remember

Endearing Characters

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Endearing Characters

The sweet, eighty-seven-year-old woman held my children’s hands and said, “You are so beautiful and so precious. Thank you for coming to see me.”

Kneeling by her wheelchair, I thought to myself, “I’m not going to cry…I’m not going to cry…” My wife did get a tad misty-eyed. I’m getting that way as I write these words. I’ll probably always get that way when I view the photos that someone took of our experience.

Then the dear lady–a national treasure in my book–shook our hands, called us all by name and wished us many blessings. She even signed some pictures for us.

It’s a day I will never forget. My family and I traveled from our home in Kansas to a small city in North Carolina. The city is Mt. Airy, but it’s probably better known as Mayberry. And the precious lady was Betty Lynn…better known as Thelma Lou. And that day at the Andy Griffith Museum was wonderful.

My children live in Kansas but have been raised in Mayberry/Mt. Airy. We intentionally don’t have cable or satellite television, but we do have several DVDs we love to watch, and the favorite is The Andy Griffith Show. The lessons discovered on that series are timeless. As are the endearing characters–like Thelma Lou.

Writers, I’m more convinced than ever that we can change people’s lives, not just by the plots we construct, but also by the characters we create. I want my readers to care for my characters to the point that they say, “I wish that character was real. I’d love to spend time with him/her!”

Recently a lady who read one of my unpublished books sent me an email in which she said, “All the characters are true to life and worth remembering. That sentence meant so much to me.

What characters have you found worth remembering? What characters have left you wishing they were real and could sit and talk with you? Writer, do you long to create characters that will last forever?

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

Lest We Forget

“I’m getting you that for Christmas,” announced my daughter, Jayne, as she pointed to something on a store shelf.

“Honey,” I said, “if you want to surprise me, you shouldn’t show me the present three weeks before Christmas, because now I know what it is.” My goal was to help my young daughter understand the joy of surprising someone with an unexpected gift.

It seemed to be a real hallmark moment…until she added, “I’m not worried, Dad. You’ll forget by Christmas.”

Out of the mouths of babes, huh?

One thing I’ve discovered about writing Christian fiction is that there’s nothing new under the sun. I’m not charged with discovering new truths to write about. However my task is nearly as hard (maybe harder). I’m called to reintroduce readers to truths that they’ve already seen before. And I’m expected to do it in a way that penetrates the walls of complacency surrounding their hearts and minds. I’m asking them to reconsider an old truth because I presenting it to them in a new way…wrapped in a story that captures their attention from both sides of their brain. And I’ve only got a few chapters…or pages…or paragraphs to do so.

What books have you read recently that caused you to think more about truths you already knew, but perhaps had forgotten about, or taken for granted?

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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, family, reading, Uncategorized, Writing

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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“Dear God, help me remember…”

     Holidays. Memorials. Observances. Anniversaries.

     All of these things exist to help us recall something. These important remembrances rekindle our allegiance, renew our awareness, and refresh our relationships. Old Testament believers built their lives around yearly activities that would remind them of God’s dealings in their lives. In the New Testament, Jesus gave us what we call “the Lord’s Supper” and told us to observe it in remembrance of Him. Even baptism causes us to recall the death, burial, and resurrection of our precious Lord. And Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter…please!!! Wow!

     The Writer’s Prayer that we are looking at is a way to keep a writer focused; to give our memories four windows through which we can view our incredible calling to write for God. We ask God to remind us of the Who, What, Where, and Why of the writer’s journey.

     The work of a writer can be hard, lonely, and often exhausting. We sometimes question our calling, and our value. But then God lets a drop of refreshment fall into our lives; gracious reminders of the things that cause us to love the task. And passion pumps through us again.

     And often times it’s not that we’re learning a new truth or experiencing an original eureka moment. Rather it’s that God is reminding us of a precious truth that has blessed our souls many times before, and, undoubtedly, will bless us many more times in the future. After all, God’s truths are timeless. It’s why we can read the Bible over and over and still find living blessings in familiar passages. It’s why ten writers can tell ten different sotires about the same topic.

     Writers want to tell exciting stories. We want to capture our reader’s attention, and hold it carefully. But are we doing that by revealing a new truth? Are we unveiling an idea that has never been seen before in the history of fiction? Probably not. And that’s okay. Our great task is to illustrate grand old truths in fresh ways. What an awesome calling and responsiblity it is to be a steward of story.

     Never forget how much God loves you. Never forget that He has entrusted you with something incredible. Never forget the reasons you wrote your first story, and the lessons you’ve learned since then. Never forget that someday we will see the One for Whom we write! Never forget that what we write REALLY does matter. And never forget that God will not call a person to write without also equipping them to do so.

   So as we move forward, and uncover the important truths in this Writer’s Prayer, let’s ask God to “help us remember.” I can’t wait until Monday!

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