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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Wanted: You!

by Kimberley Tagert-Paul

Godís Wanted Poster Has Your Name on It

Being an author means you live in a glamorous world. You are immediately famous, and you will be rich beyond belief. It’s also one of the easiest career choices you can make.

If you believe that, then don’t bother reading further. You’ll just be disappointed. If you want to find out what a writer is, what they do, and how God can use you in this field, come along with me on a little journey.

I knew I wanted to be a writer in third grade. Very competitive, I saw my older brothers reading from those wonderful things they called books, and somehow taught myself to read before kindergarten. I wrote my first poem in kindergarten, my first short story in second grade, and had my first piece published in third grade. By fifth grade I had won my first writing award. I wrote for my school newspaper and had my first solo poetry reading in eighth grade.
So being a writer was the only thing on my future job list, right?

I’m sorry to say it wasn’t. Even when it was clear that God was leading me along that pathway, I didn’t think it was enough. So I started college premed. I wanted to be a missionary doctor. Sure, I could do that during the day and write at night. I’d be a missionary doctor/writer. But love won me over, and I didn’t think I could marry and still follow that course. So I became a teacher/writer.
Then a journalist/writer.

You see, I didn’t realize that God was calling me to the ministry of writing. It took a long time to finally decide that writing for the Lord was sufficient in itself. I didn’t get the fact that God was placing His hand on me, and that He would work everything out for me to follow His plan. I had to live a long time before I noticed that God was hitting me over the head with His plan. Once I did get it, I followed His plan with abandon.

That’s when I became famous and rich. Then I had a glamorous life and an easy career path. Right? Wrong!

What happened was that I found peace and a great amount of joy. I was doing what God had wanted me to do all my life, but I was too chicken to believe it. God didn’t need my ability, just my avail-ability, and He took care of the details.
There is nothing like the feeling of writing and knowing that God is your partner. You don’t have to be the best author in the world for God to use your writing to touch others. Every time I get a letter or an e-mail from someone my writing has touched, I understand the power of God who uses my writing for His purpose. It may have encouraged a young person, brought hope to a parent, or made someone laugh for the first time in a while. It’s not about me; it’s about God! All I have to do is sit in my chair and let Him work through me. And you know what? If you let Him, He will do that with you, too.

So why be a Christian author? If the pay isn’t that good, or it doesn’t bring fame, why bother? Let me share my top-10 list of why you should be a Christian author:

• You’ll never have to worry about having to fly out to be on the Today Show.
• You can be completely anonymous, even in your own church.
• The IRS won’t hound you, because you won’t make enough money to be of interest to them.
• Because everybody will take you seriously. Really! (She said with sarcasm.)
• The dress code: pajamas!
• Because “writer” sounds so much more glamorous than “unemployed.”
• Your books will probably never end up in the dollar store.
• You’ll probably never be an answer to a Jeopardy question.
• You won’t have to worry about the paparazzi following you around.
• And last but not least, here is number 10. It’s the best one of all. The rewards are out of this world! Literally!

OK, let’s get serious for a moment. You want to write, right? What’s the best advice to allow you to do that? Three words. Read. Read. Read! It helps you learn patterns of speech, characterization, and plot formation without even realizing it. Read in the genre (the style of book) you want to write in.

If God calls you, He will equip you, and if He does, don’t be afraid to follow that path. Take classes, watch videos on the Internet, do all you can to improve what God has given you. Don’t hide your talent, make it grow. Remember the parable that Jesus told about the wise servant? Improve what God has given you, and then let Him reward you in His way for doing it.

Where can you get ideas for a story? Listen to what other people are saying, but ask permission to write about it. Carry a small notebook and pen with you everywhere you go. Write down things you like: names, ideas, settings. You never know when you might use them. Stay organized. A good place to start is a clean room. Another good idea, but you’ll have to wait a while for this one, is to have children. They provide a wealth of material.

God needs a voice in our world. It’s hard to hear with all the noise constantly buzzing around us. In the Bible, when Balaam wouldn’t listen, God stepped in. He used a talking donkey. And believe me, it worked! God doesn’t want to use a donkey to get His point across. He wants to use you. He is just waiting for you to let Him.

So take an idea, something you have experienced, and sit down at your computer. Start putting your thoughts down. Don’t worry about editing it—just write. Let God pour out through you something that will change another person’s life. (Go back and edit last—not while you are writing.)

Believe me, the first time someone tells you you’ve made a difference, you’ll be addicted. And that’s an addiction God can work with.

Kimberley Tagert-Paul lives in Muskegon, Michigan, and is a freelance writer. Her latest book is
Face Time: Bible Answers to Teens’ Toughest Questions.

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