The Downton Abbey Guide To Writing

Welcome to Writing Wednesday.

Today I was going to write an inspired post. Then I saw this awesome article on Copyblogger by Matthew Gartland.

Then I said screw it.

Leave here and go read that article. It talks about what I wanted to in a much better way, and it tied it into the marvelous Downton Abbey. Seriously. Whether you’re a copy writer, a novelist, or some other content creator, that article is boss.

That reminds me, I still haven’t seen the Season 3 opening yet. No spoilers please!

Thanks to Rachelle Gardner for tweeting that article out.

Mission Monday Reources

Hey all. Mission Monday has taken a hit the last few weeks due to schedule issues. I’ve got some resources for people today.

This year has thrown a group of us into a wild adventure with God. A small group of us separated from our previous church and came together to see what the Lord had for us. Through this we started meeting at a local park to reach out to a nearby apartment complex, and thus the Outreach Saga was born.

I’ve been spending time on the internet looking for resources to help us understand this journey and the new way we feel Jesus is leading us. We’ve stumbled by accident into a way of doing things that has been called organic church or simple church. We’ve gained a heart to really see people discipled in Kingdom ways. So here are some resources that I’ve found to be helpful in our six-month adventure.

Alan Knox is a PhD student in theology who writes very gracious but challenging posts on New Testament practice and how it relates to modern church practice.

Frank Viola is a prolific author. He has written numerous books and keeps up a daily blog. He’s written a lot about organic church but has moved to a fuller study of the person of Jesus. His book, Jesus: A Theography is on my Christmas wish list.

A book recommended to me a year ago became very helpful when we started this summer – The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch. It is a thoughtful challenge to the body of Christ and a book that I would highly recommend.

I’ve followed CMA Resources on Twitter and found many encouraging links and articles posted through their work. They have a whole training setup there for people interested in organic church.

Neil Cole is associated with CMA Resources and is another frequent author passionate about organic church and seeing multiplication of disciples. His book Church 3.0 was another intriguing read with some practical advice for those investigating this way of doing church.

The Verge Network has a subscription required for premium content, which I haven’t done yet. Still, there have been free videos released from the likes of Francis Chan and Neil Cole that have been challenging and exhorting for the church to really reach out.

I’ve begun to pay attention to the blog Church In A Circle. Would it be better for the body to interact in a circle than with one person in front speaking to a bunch of rows? That question and more on organic church is discussed here.

There’s a wealth of wisdom and insight above. I hope if any are curious about what we’ve doing will check some of those out. I believe God can use any church for His purpose, from a traditional style of meeting to one that meets in a park with a free-flowing format. It is up to us to be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us and be willing to take risks for our Lord Jesus. That’s my prayer for all of us in the coming year.
Hope this helps!

If you have any feedback on this, please share below!

The New Top 5 Ways To Pass Time In An Airport

I posted a handy guide to passing time in an airport last year. But after so much time has passed, the old list may be passe.

The internet needs a NEW list of things to do in an airport.

Without further ado:

5. Jockey for the best place to park. The ideal spot? Comfy chairs, plug-ins for your laptops and other electronic necessities, and a TV playing something better than CNN Financial. I’m parked in front of a football game, in a black lounge chair, with multiple plug-ins. I win.

4. See if you can find someone watching a movie on their laptop and find a way to get close enough for the free entertainment. Disclaimer: if you get in trouble with people for peeping – you didn’t have to take my advice.

3. Get your exercise. Power walk up and down the concourse. You may want to find deodorant for this option.

2. Bonus points for this one – get your fellow passengers to join you in doing the Gangnam Style dance. Seriously, if you post a video link here doing it, I’ll send you a pack of gum or something.

1. Write a blog post. You can give people hints on how the pass the timeā€¦ (Recycled from last year, but classics never go out of style)

Arrrr Ye Ready?

Welcome aboard mateys, as this blog’s flagship holiday approaches.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

As this intrepid explorer will be working and flying off to Dallas (a shame, as there are no oceans nearby), it seemed prudent to offer up the traditional pirate resources. Although piracy is not usually associated with prudence.

Every pirate needs a good source of navigation. How else do they find rum?

The age old question: pirates or ninjas. This landlubber writer makes his choice, and he’ll be paying Davy Jones a visit real soon.

Or, ye can settle the dispute yerself. Heave ho with the dodgeballs!

If ye are not proficient in yer pirate lingo, here be a handy translator.

There even be some food merchants who are forthcoming with plunder if ye speak to them winsomely.

Here some photographic evidence of piracy and plunder be revealing the buccaneer among ye.

Cutlass versus rum…cake

Tell A Story

I’ve been following the Verge Network on Twitter (@VergeNetwork) all summer. They post some thought-provoking articles on missional life and discipleship. You have to pay for full access, but some gems have popped up on the free side.

This inteview by Rick Warren of Asian church planter Ying Kai is eye-opening and simple. When doing evangelism:

  1. Tell a story
  2. Don’t ask for permission to share

Check out the video in the link below for the explanation. Makes sense, and I’ve tried it. It works!

http://www.vergenetwork.org/2012/05/29/simple-ways-to-share-your-faith/


What say you? Have you found any successful ways to share your faith?

Link On Writer’s Block

Okay, due to personal circumstances this week is kicking my butt. BUT, all is well or will be soon.

I missed Monday’s post and didn’t have time for an orignial Writing Wednesday post.

However, I can point to an excellent blog post from Rachelle Gardner, 9 Ways To Outwit Writer’s Block. It is a keeper, and I highly recommend it. I’d like to see what my two main characters would do during an alien attack.

Link On Writer’s Block

Okay, due to personal circumstances this week is kicking my butt. BUT, all is well or will be soon.

I missed Monday’s post and didn’t have time for an orignial Writing Wednesday post.

However, I can point to an excellent blog post from Rachelle Gardner, 9 Ways To Outwit Writer’s Block. It is a keeper, and I highly recommend it. I’d like to see what my two main characters would do during an alien attack.

“B” Your Character

Sometimes you just need to know when to shut up and let others talk.

There was an excellent article today on Novel RocketĀ about characterization by Cindy Woodsmall. She has four “B”s to use: Before. Behind. Between. Begin.

This is a succinct yet very insightful way to understand your characters. Here is a quote:

Begin your novel armed with the full knowledge of who your characters are – the before, the behind, and the between. Then ask yourself, what would this person do – how would he or she react – when caught in the emotional or physical destruction in which your plotting places them? Once you’ve completed these steps, you won’t have to know the answer to how they would react when placed in different circumstances. The character – who that person is – will dictate what he or she will do in any given situation. Each character will be true to himself or herself, because you know who they are and from where they have come.

I’ve got nothing to add. Just go read the article. If you’re a writer, you’ll be glad you did!

“B” Your Character

Sometimes you just need to know when to shut up and let others talk.

There was an excellent article today on Novel Rocket about characterization by Cindy Woodsmall. She has four “B”s to use: Before. Behind. Between. Begin.

This is a succinct yet very insightful way to understand your characters. Here is a quote:

Begin your novel armed with the full knowledge of who your characters are – the before, the behind, and the between. Then ask yourself, what would this person do – how would he or she react – when caught in the emotional or physical destruction in which your plotting places them? Once you’ve completed these steps, you won’t have to know the answer to how they would react when placed in different circumstances. The character – who that person is – will dictate what he or she will do in any given situation. Each character will be true to himself or herself, because you know who they are and from where they have come.

I’ve got nothing to add. Just go read the article. If you’re a writer, you’ll be glad you did!

Recent Writing Links

Quiet week on the blog front. I’ve been busy the last three weeks with family, vacation, a medical conference (always good fodder for story ideas), and this weekend a family camp for church. To make up for a lack of content, I present the articles I’ve been able to read that have helped me in the last week or two.

Kristen Lamb is a major encourager for writers, and she helps put self-discipline in context.

My friend Nicole helpfully pointed out this post, which gives tips for helping family understand the quirky needs of a writer (and if all else fails, there’s always the flamethrower).

I’ve heard Scrivener talked up as a great writing program, but it has only been available for Mac. Now there is a beta version for Windows us PC users can check out.

Even the seat of the pants writers need structure at some point.

Finally, my friend Athena Grayson has a simple but effective exercise to help us writers “find the time”.

If you find any of these links particularly helpful, please let me know!