This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Qualify Article that needs to get Personal

Here is a qualifying article in the Muskogee Phoenix by Barrett VanLandingham, titled “God consistent in seasons of change.”

Barrett writes:

Unless you're someone like my brother who likes to brag about riding his motorcycle in the cold, wind, and rain, most of us “casual bikers” are looking forward to at least a few days of consistent weather of the drier variety.

Sometimes I wonder how such a consistent, dependable, un-changing God can be the God of such inconsistency, especially when it comes to Oklahoma weather. After all, the apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace.”
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As you can see, Barrett’s article starts out with a solid opening, but like may Christian writings do, the story takes a turn away from the personal, i.e., Barrett as a “casual biker,” which is what drew me into the story, to tell the biblical story of Jonah.

I know the story of Jonah; it inspires me (even this week I was considering the biblical account, wondering if I am satisfied with God even when bad things come my way). But as a reader, I want to know how Barrett deals with “inclement weather” in his life.

I want to know how he handles problems at work or at home or when a child that doesn’t follow after God after “raising him up in the way he should go.” It’s in Barrett’s life that God’s Word comes to life, and I want to see it.

I am going to write Barrett and congratulate him on winning the battle and getting published with an Amy Writing Award-qualifying article. I am also going to encourage him to draw the reader into his life and make his point by personal example.

Keep up the good work, Barrett. You accomplished the hard work of getting published with God's Word promeniently displayed. Now bring it home by making it personal.