Writing for Day by Day with God

Writing for Day by Day with God - the contributors reveal how they do it:

Amy Boucher Pye

Amy Boucher PyeWhat could be better than digging into a passage of Scripture and mining some of its riches? For me it's a joy and a privilege when the time comes to write another set of Bible reading notes for New Daylight and Day by Day with God. For it affords me the reason to settle down with the Bible and a few commentaries and a blank computer screen. I like to read what the biblical scholars have to say, especially if they disagree over certain interpretations of things. I find I learn so much from their wisdom. But when it comes to the writing of the notes, I consciously close the commentaries and ask God to speak to me through his word. Now I'm certainly not claiming that what I write is The Revealed Word. Goodness no, and some readers spot my mistakes and errors that sometimes regretfully slip in. But at times I look back over the day's work and marvel at how my writing seemed to come together. How just a spark of an anecdote or verse from Scripture came into my mind just when I was wondering what I would write.

Recently I was giving advice to a friend who was just starting her first batch of Bible reading notes. I told her about my writing process, concluding with this most important element of writing: "I find I can be looking so blankly at the screen and the Bible text, thinking, Lord, please give me something to use because I'm blank! As I fight the urge to check email or Facebook one more time, a thought or verse pops into my head. An unformed thought, often, but just enough that I can take it and run with it, and then as I start to jot down the ideas it seems I'm hand in hand with the Lord and we're somehow writing together. Okay, I hope that doesn't sound too super spiritual, and it's still really hard work, but at the end of the day I can look back and often go, WOW! How did all of that come together?"

I appreciate the feedback from our readers, when they write to tell me that I've got something wrong or when they tell me that what I wrote connected with them. I know from experience how many times I think, "I should contact that author about so and so," but then fail to follow through as the press of life creeps in. So may I say thank you for making this a conversation!

Anne Coomes

Anne CoomesIt is a great privilege to write for DBDWG, and always interesting, because the writing assignments are so varied. Our overall 'brief' is to show how the Bible passage or theme in question is relevant to the life of the modern day woman. Sometimes this is clear, as in 'Jesus as the Bread of Life'. But once I was asked to explore Zechariah, who wrote after the fall of Jerusalem in 586, and the relevance to women today was not at first obvious!

My inspiration comes from a variety of things. It may be background knowledge in a commentary which gives me a new insight. It may be an incident which has happened to me or to someone I know, which I can share to illustrate what the Bible passage is saying.

I always begin by wondering: 'What can I say about...' - I always end up by realising that God has used the passage to help ME grow, by inspiring or challenging me. Then I can only hope and pray to pass on something of these spiritual riches with the readers of DBDWG.

Jennifer Rees Larcombe

Jennifer Rees Larcombe'I can't do that!' I said when they first asked me to write bible reading notes. 'I'm no scholar, all I can do is chat!'

'Just imagine you were sitting in your kitchen with a friend, sharing a pot of tea and telling them about your favourite Bible verses and stories.' I was told, so that's what I've done, right from the first issue of Day by Day with God - and oh how I've loved it!

Going right through the life of someone like Moses or Abraham has brought these men to life for me; and working on themes such as 'God's face' or 'The Secret of joy' have blessed and enriched my own spiritual life enormously. It makes me dig far deeper into scripture than I would ever do just for my benefit!

Sandra Wheatley

Sandra WheatleyFor me writing for DBDWG remains such a privilege and a source of utter amazement that some of what I write can have an impact on others and be of some encouragement and help to our Readers.

I'm sure, like many other Contributors my inspiration comes from God and His Word in the first instance, but then seeing Him in the daily, simple things of life can so often be the most profoundest of things. To see Jesus at work in those around me…to be on the receiving end of His love given through a smile a gesture, a note or a call can so often turn my day around completely.

I suppose by nature of my disability I live a fairly quiet, static life - but despite the constraints my spirit can soar on 'eagles wings' through knowing God's presence and being encouraged by reading what others have written in DBDWG too!

Wendy Bray

Wendy BrayIt's always an ordinary-but extraordinary-day on which somebody writes or telephones to tell me that God has spoken specifically to them that morning. 'Wonderful!' I say. 'But through the Bible Notes you wrote.' They say, 'how could you possibly know that I needed to hear just that today?!'

I didn't, of course. Because writing DBDWG notes is like being in the percussion section of an orchestra. I do my preparation, priming the instrument that is my brain, praying that it will tune up well. Then I sit at my laptop tapping away making small disconnected sounds with my words and thoughts- the odd 'tinkle!' and 'clang!' here and there- not really making much of a melody out of it all: at least not to my ears. Yet somehow, God, standing at the head of the orchestra picks up that cacophony and conducts it all together. With the editorial section, reader experience and the unfathomable mystery of the Divine, he produces a pocket-sized symphony that changes the hearts and minds of the DBDWG readers who tune in each morning. There's only one thing to say really isn't there? Bravo!

Wendy Pritchard

Wendy PritchardI always feel apprehensive before I start writing. I'm just a pretty ordinary person, with little theological training except for listening to my husband's sermons every week, and I always wonder if I'll find anything worthwhile to say. I sometimes randomly suggest a theme which fits with a time of year - and then wonder afterwards why I thought that would be easy to write on. At other times I go for one of the editor's suggestions. Both methods involve lots of reading round and finding the verses which would fit. I trawl through a huge old concordance, trying to locate partly remembered verses, and cover the floor with reference books. I learn a lot through this, and it shakes me out of my complacency, forcing me to study parts of the bible I know little about, rather than just the bits I like best. When it comes to it though, I just write 'off the top of my head', praying first that God will use the words to speak to someone. When I read my notes when they're eventually published, I hardly recognise them. Surely God must have had a hand in it!

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