On Writing

Often, many rude lies come against me when I write. This page serves to clear the path of such rubble so I might take some brave steps forward.  I pray it helps you remove the debris, too, so you might take some next steps on the purposed path set before you.

Lie #1:  You shouldn’t write because someone else has probably already written about it.

Truth:  Luke said in Luke 1:1-4, “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.  With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”

Luke is one of my heroes.  I try to imitate my heroes.

Therefore I Step Forward: Many have undertaken to edify those around them through blogs and books, giving an account of the truths that set them free with the hope they will serve to point others to freedom as well.  With this in mind, since I myself find the greatest joy and freedom in my time with Christ and through truths he reveals, I too decided to write for you, most excellent readers, so that you may know this great joy and freedom, build on it and find new joys and new freedoms in your own time with Christ.

Lie #2:  You sound like an arrogant idiot to name your blog after yourself.  I mean, really?  Who do you think you are?  Amy Burgin is nobody special!

Truth:  I kept a private blog since 2009 named “Grace Upon Me” as a record of my spiritual journey.   When I brought the idea of writing out into the light, I joined Hope*Writers, an online group that guides folks to be the kind of writer I want to be.  The coaches explained that I needed to start a blog and call it amyburgin.com. Even though it sounded strange and scary, I’m good at obeying trusted authorities in my life. When I tossed out a question about how to name my blog and the “dad” of Hope*Writers replied with a simple comment, “BTW amyburgin.com is available :),” I immediately bought the domain name and went to work creating this space.

Although I was compelled to action by “dad’s” trusted authority and ignored that accusatory voice, it kept repeating its case and wearing me down, “Really?  amyburgin.com is so dumb.  I mean, it makes sense for Sally Lloyd-Jones, but Amy Burgin?  Good grief!”

One day, when reviewing the list of books that comprise the Bible, I got instant freedom from that accusatory voice!  I noticed that approximately 25 out of 66 books were named after their author!

We have Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Joel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi in the Old Testament!

In the New Testament, we see Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and maybe James, also named after their author!

Y’ALL!  Hands down, I love, love, love the books of the Bible and their authors.  These guys and their books are my favorites, so even though I am no great published author, I have NO shame in imitating my favorites!

Therefore  I Step Forward:  Naming a blog after myself?  YES!   amyburgin.com IT IS!

Lie #3:  You shouldn’t write because you don’t have the background for it. You’re no spiritual giant.  You don’t come from a line of authors.

Truth:  When some guy tried to bully Amos into shutting up, Amos replied in Amos 7:14, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.  But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, …'”

Therefore I Step Forward:  I don’t have a degree in English, nor am I the daughter of an author, but I have a degree in Math/Computer Science and am a software engineer.  I also take care of my children and husband as a homemaker.  But the Lord invites me to write, and I will not despise his invitation!

Lie #4: You’ve said a lot of dumb and wrong things in your life, and you’ll just say more dumb and wrong things.  Shut up and be quiet.

Truth:  Yes, I have, and my heart heaves and tries to bury itself in my stomach at the thought of those things.  Yes, I likely will again. But, Jesus won’t leave me in wrong-thinking. He’s good to correct me.

Therefore I Step Forward:  Did I write something dumb or wrong? Tell the Teacher.  We don’t have to worry. He’ll take care of it.

Lie #5: You can’t even see the whole picture of what you’re trying to write. You really don’t have anything to offer.

Truth:  I don’t need to see the whole picture of what I’m writing today. In Luke 11:3 Jesus taught me to pray, “Give me today, my daily bread.” Jesus led the Israelites through the wilderness with manna and they were only to pick up enough for that day. If they tried to pick up more, it was no good. It’s not God’s way to give us everything we need in one day – it’s God’s way to give us what we need each day for that day.

Therefore I Step Forward:  Lord, give me today my daily bread. Give me what to write today.

Lie #6: You have so little to offer – only little fragments of writing for little bits of time. You are ridiculous to think you have anything to feed a crowd.

Truth:  In Mark 6:37, Jesus told his disciples to give a crowd of 5,000 something to eat. “What? Seriously? That would take way more money than we have to spend!”

“What food do you have?” Jesus asked. “Go and see,” he said.

“We have these five loaves and 2 fish,” they reported back.

“Prep and group the people to sit down and receive,” Jesus instructed.

Jesus himself took those five loaves and those 2 fish.

Jesus held these five loaves and these 2 fish up to God and thanked him for them.

Then Jesus broke what they brought to him.

Then Jesus gave the broken pieces back to the disciples and instructed them to distribute it to the people

So they did and everyone was satisfied.

Therefore I Step Forward: Lord, I don’t have very much. Will you please include me by taking what I have, breaking it, and giving it back to me? You told Peter after asking him if he loved you, “then feed my sheep.” Oh, Jesus, I love you, but I cannot feed your sheep without your blessing, your encouragement, or your help. I bring you what I have and trust you for next steps.

Lie #7: You don’t even know how to write a book.

Truth: So what. This doesn’t prevent my boss from asking me to do something. I need not know how. I need only to figure out how. That’s the job.

In “Chapter 4 There is No Moon” of Levi Lusk’s book The Last Supper on the Moon, he explains how when President Kennedy announced our plan to go to the moon, no one knew how. We didn’t have the infrastructure, the staffing, the technology, or the know-how. That didn’t matter.

Ann Voskamp said, “The mattering part is never what isn’t.” [1]

God said in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives generously to all, without finding fault.”

Levi went on to say, when you have a wall to scale, throw your hat over it to force yourself to scale it. Throw my hat over the wall? No problem. With my God, I can scale a wall (Psalm 18:29).

Therefore I Step Forward:  Lord, I don’t even know how to write a book. That doesn’t matter. You know. Will you please give me wisdom and show me how? I need blueprints – a design, a structure, an elegant solution. I need instructions. I need words. I need to know your heart. I need to know how to show your heart. Oh God, please give me the wisdom to do it. I’ve hired a coach. I’ve hired an editor. I’ve thrown my hat over the wall.

Works Cited:

  1. Voskamp, Ann. “December 1 It Is Advent: Come.” The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping The Full Love Story of Christmas, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, IL, 2014, p. 4.

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