Monthly Archives: February 2014

It’s just an angel — settle down!

If you’re looking for some levity in the Bible, an honest-to-goodness laugh, read Acts 12:12-17. Stories like this cannot be made up. Let’s track it: The apostle Peter, fresh off a divine jailbreak, makes his way back from the Big … Continue reading

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Knowing your enemy

Last week, a missionary friend and I got together for coffee. In the course of a conversation about story and book ideas, we got talking about suffering and perseverance. That’s a topic familiar to most missionaries, but his next statement … Continue reading

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The PowerPoint of the Prodigal Son

Sometimes the truth has to be dissected to be understood. But big truths don’t get communicated that way — they are best viewed and absorbed as a whole picture. That’s why art works. That’s how art works. And I think … Continue reading

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Emotional interviews, Part 2

Back to our conversation from last week, about ethics and interviewing. At Crossfield News, our interdenominational mission news agency, we’ve developed a set of ethical guidelines for reporting, based on three goals: We will observe without obstructing, we will report … Continue reading

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Keep asking until he cracks

If you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics this week, you probably saw that cringe-worthy interview of Alpine skier Bode Miller by NBC’s Christin Cooper. Cooper asked Miller about his emotions and about his late brother. Then asked again. And again, … Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Boats

The other day, on my way back from Haiti, I had the surreal experience in Ft. Lauderdale of looking across the channel at one of the most expensive pleasure boats in the world. It was Seven Seas, Steven Spielberg’s mega-yacht, which … Continue reading

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The one-man band

Last Thursday was a good reminder to me of how much reporting has changed. I do some communications work for our local rescue mission, and Thursday I covered an event where they were receiving a major donation check. Not that … Continue reading

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Cliches make bad stories

OK, maybe it’s a bit cynical, but this video about Christian cliches can be instructive to storytellers: Just don’t. If a phrase is commonly used, and sounds churchy, then don’t use it in your writing or your video. Cliches are … Continue reading

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Die, monster!

We see a lot of missionary newsletters / prayer letters. Some are great. The majority are not so great. The writers don’t tell stories well, and we’re convinced that’s because they don’t put enough thought into the elements that comprise those … Continue reading

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Why storytelling from the field matters

Culturally insensitive missionaries of the past always draw attention, but they’re not the larger story. The cover story in the current issue of Christianity Today reveals missionaries’ work as “the single largest factor in ensuring the health of nations.” Without effective reporting … Continue reading

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