Category Archives: Writing

Miracles: Handle with care

“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” That jarring statement used to hang in Chicago’s famed City News Bureau as an admonishment to reporters. In the rough-and-tumble world of Chicago journalism, it simply meant to verify all … Continue reading

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Says Who?

At the missions organization where I work, we’re moving toward using “says” rather than “said” most of the time for attribution in stories. The reason is part of our gradual change in voice. “Says” helps build drama. It helps build … Continue reading

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Starry, Starry Night

I spent Monday and Tuesday visiting a friend and his wife at their mountain home above Taos, N.M. They live almost 9,000 feet above sea level, and one unexpected highlight was stepping outside about 10 p.m. The sky was clear. … Continue reading

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A Writer’s Mission

Quick: What’s the goal in any story we write about ministry? Show readers what God is doing in a particular place? Further the mission of Bible translation? Further the Great Commission? Engage people? Inspire more prayer and funding for a … Continue reading

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Creative fuel

Sometimes when I need a creative boost as a writer, I’ll get around people who are hyper-creative in other fields. Photographers, videographers, artists, musicians, designers, inventors, entrepreneurs. People who look at life differently and deeply … who see things that … Continue reading

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Wonder in a Butterfly’s Wings

This is a blue morpho butterfly, native to Central and South America. My wife and I spent part of Saturday at Texas Discovery Gardens, next to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The gardens’ featured attraction is the two-story Butterfly House and … Continue reading

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The Old Man and the App

Among the best self-editing tools I’ve ever seen is “Hemingway,” an app that helps you write like Ernest Hemingway. Well, sort of. The app — $6.99 at http://www.hemingwayapp.com — analyzes any piece of writing for simplicity. Short sentences. Plain language. … Continue reading

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These books go on the top shelf

During lunch conversation Tuesday at the Evangelical Press Association convention, I was asked, “Other than your own book, what are your favorite books on writing?” Here’s what came to mind, in no particular order. They aren’t all about writing. Some … Continue reading

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‘Who is this man?’

At the heart of Luke’s gospel – after Jesus feeds the 5,000, heals many, raises Lazarus from the dead and calms a stormy sea  – lies the central question of all history: Who is this man? Luke builds the suspense … Continue reading

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Write it the way you’d tell it

Here’s a fascinating TED Talk about the impact texting is having on our language. You’ll be surprised. http://www.ted.com/talks/john_mcwhorter_txtng_is_killing_language_jk.html Writers can learn from this. The best journalistic stories aren’t written in texting shorthand, but they’re not written in formal, English class … Continue reading

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