The Curse of Editing

By Yemima Adi

Being an editor can be a blessing and also “a curse” for me. I am really grateful for eyes which can find mistakes in a text. Then my fingers can dance over the keyboard to make it much better to read. But this unique talent can be a curse too since my eyes automatically find mistakes first rather than details to praise.

I encounter this fact every time I deal with our graphics team. Whenever they create a Asian woman reading freedigitalimages by a454draft, I always look for mistakes first. No words of praise burst from my lips.

One day the graphics team made a design for a particular project. As usual, my eyes wandered, looking for mistakes in the draft. Later that same day, I took the draft to our project coordinator, whose first words were: “It’s really beautiful. The design, the color…I never thought that the text could be put so nicely.” After that, she started to examine the design. Though she found several mistakes in the sentences and gave suggestions for revisions, her attitude stunned me.

It reminded me of Proverbs 15:23, “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!” When I read all of chapter 15, it guided me to control my words, whether in giving an answer (verses 1, 28) or a response (verses 2, 4, 18).

What a beautiful lesson I learned from our project coordinator that day. I told her that I want to have an attitude like hers whenever I deal with any kind of draft. I have also learned that giving a word of praise is not a one-day lesson, after which I can be “a master.” It is a process, a hard one for me with my editor eyes. But I want to learn it day by day. Not just giving perfunctory praise, but sincere compliments.

Lord, please help me to lighten a heart today with a sincere word of praise.

This article by Yemima Adi is published as “A Word of Praise” in MAI’s Light_Writers_Soul_MAI_2D devotional book, Light for the Writer’s Soul: 100 devotions by global Christian writers. Read more inspiring articles in this unique devotional book.

Yemima Adi of Jakarta, Indonesia, is a freelancer who loves to play with words, especially in the Indonesian language.

Image above courtesy of a454 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Inconvenient Truth

By Josil Gonzales, Philippines

Like many Christians today, first century Corinthians believed that adversity was inconsistent with the Spirit-filled life. Paul needed to remind them that affliction, hardship, persecution and being struck down are part of the normal Christian life (2 Cor. 4:8-9).

Paul’s opponents claimed that God’s power is manifest best through signs, wonders and miracles. Paul maintained that God’s power is shown most effectively through hardship and distress. All our risks, dangers we confront, humiliations we face, and trials we endure are but opportunities for Christ to demonstrate His power in and through us.

This is a hard message for 21st century believers. But we Christian publishers, editors, writers and designers should share this inconvenient truth. We like to be in control and operate from a position of strength, not weakness. But Paul reminds us that “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).

In parts of the world, Bibles are still being confiscated, churches are still being closed, believers are still being arrested and imprisoned.

Does God always bring deliverance in times of persecution? I wish I could say “yes.” Our brothers and sisters in the Persecuted Church tell us, “Yes, we go through suffering, but God is always with us and that enables us to press on.”

That is the way of the cross. Jesus walked the hard and narrow road. Paul walked the hard and narrow road. We too need to walk that hard and narrow road, and share the inconvenient truth.

Josil Gonzales IsraelPilgrimageJan14d 001Excerpted and adapted from a devotional message by Josil Gonzales at LittWorld 2015. Josil has been serving the Persecuted Church for the last 20 years. He works in two creative access countries in South Asia as country manager. A graduate of AB Journalism from the University of the Philippines, he also served as publications manager for OMF Literature Inc, and managing editor of Alliance Publishers Inc’s monthly pre-evangelistic magazine, Sidestreets. He is the founding chairman of Christian Writers’ Fellowship. An avid runner, Josil has joined numerous races including two 42k runs.

<<Take Action and pray for the Persecuted Church. Download a monthly prayer guide to pray for persecuted Christians around the world.

 

I Knew Nothing

Meet Nur Un Nabi, one of many worthy candidates for whom we are seeking to raise scholarships to attend LittWorld 2015, our unique Christian publishing conference.

By Nur Un Nabi, Bangladesh

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” –John 15:7,8

My father worked for a Christian mission as a maintenance worker. He swept the floor, cleaned the toilet, watered the trees, prepared tea for the staff and ran errands. The mission had a publishing department. I visited the office when I was 13. At that time I was a new believer from a Muslim background. I learned that the publishing department invited writing submissions for its Christian magazine. My father did not tell me to write for the magazine, rather a voice invited me to try.

I returned to our small and shabby hut. I started writing an article on Adam and Eve. I knew that neither my father, grandfather nor anyone in my family tree was a writer, let alone a Christian one. I knew nothing of the ways of writing. I had read nothing except textbooks from school. The voice just told me to start, and I followed. I wrote and cut, I cut and wrote. I thought and rethought what I had to write. I read and reread what I wrote.

IFB is publishing a free monthly magazine for MBBs called Omega Nur is a regular contributor He is showing his article in the September issue entitled Why are you called a Christian

Today Nur contributes articles regularly to Christian magazines besides serving as an editor and translator for a Christian publisher.

At last I finished my article and gave it to my father to submit to the editor. The editor graciously published my article, and I along with my father was very happy to see it published. It had been edited a bit but the publishing of my article ignited me to continue writing, especially for our Mighty Lord Jesus Christ.

Since age 13, I have remained in Jesus and His Word. I have not written a book yet but I have proofread, edited and translated many books. I regularly write articles for a monthly Christian magazine and believe that I am heading toward writing big things in His time, for Him. He is my master, speaking and guiding me continually in my publishing work. I am just His follower and agent of glory. What about you?

O, LORD, nothing is impossible for you. Make me your disciple as a writer. Amen.

Nur Un Nabi has been working for a Christian publishing house in Bangladesh as editor and translator for over 20 years. He contributed this article for MAI’s forthcoming devotional, “Light for the Writer’s Soul: 100 devotions for global Christian writers”.

Will you help worthy scholarship candidates like Nur gain valuable training at LittWorld 2015 in Singapore this November? Donate online now or email [email protected]

Rewriting Is Rewarding

LawrenceBy Lawrence Darmani

It took me a long time to write the devotional article I had been assigned. When I submitted it, I was sure I had done my best, but my publishers pointed out several weaknesses and asked if I would rewrite it.

In my writing life, I’ve discovered several secrets about rewriting:
(1) Never think what I’ve written is without blemish or that it is so divine it cannot be improved;
(2) After every rewrite, my manuscript gets sharper, easier to read and communicates better;
(3) The process of rewriting teaches me patience, humility and consideration for the reader who deserves the best; and
(4) Every rewritten manuscript stands a better chance of getting published.

Reminding myself of these time-tested lessons, I lost no time in looking over my devotional article and making the revisions, taking into account the editor’s suggestions. When I saw the article in print, it was indeed a stronger devotional piece with a more solid message for the reader. Grateful to the editor for pointing out the weaknesses, I toughened myself for another opportunity when rewriting may become necessary.

Of course, to be asked to rewrite a manuscript is not altogether palatable. It wasn’t easy when God told Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke” (Exodus 34:1). Chiseling out two stone tablets must have taken days to accomplish, but Moses obeyed, knowing that unless what had been written before was rewritten, he would lose the precious Word of God for himself and for the people he had been called to lead.

The “rewriting” process for Moses gave him great privileges: “the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him” (v. 5); the Lord passed in front of him (v. 6); he learned great attributes of God (vs. 6-9); the Lord made a new covenant with him (v. 10) and he received great divine instructions for God’s people.

If rewriting does not appeal to you, remember God himself requires that this be done. If it is tough, remember Moses chiseled out stone tablets. Not only that: God asked him to do the rewriting himself. “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel” (Exodus 34:22).

Those who detest rewriting risk having their manuscript rejected.

Thank you, Lord, for helping me to see the relevance of having to rewrite and hone my manuscripts. Take away every form of reluctance and laziness and help me to work hard at my manuscripts in order to better them. Amen.

Meet award-winning author Lawrence Darmani and take his workshops at 141124LittWorldPosLittWorld 2015. He is an entrepreneurial publisher, author and managing editor of Step Publishers in Ghana. Lawrence is also managing editor of Step and Surprise magazines for young people.

>Improve your rewriting. Register now for our free webinar on Tuesday, July 16, “Is Less More? The discipline of self-editing” with veteran editor Alice Crider of the US.

LittWorld leads to published book

By Yahya Djuanda, Indonesia

The LittWorld 2012 conference in Kenya had a really big impact on me, especially on my writing goals. I also learned much from other participants about how committed they are in writing with Christian values.

I met four people who really reignited my writing passion. They were from d1_014 indonesian greeting AfricanMongolia, China, Egypt and India. Their countries are similar to mine, Indonesia, where Christianity is a minority religion. They live their writing careers as a small light sparkling in the darkness of the country. They write a lot and help people without using Christian jargon. They are very inspiring to me. After Kenya, I continued to email with them.

Back in Indonesia, the conference experiences and inspirations slowly but surely made me stronger and more confident in my writing goals. I must be a light for my country through my writing. During my service as an editor at Berkat Christian magazine, I started to write a general book about fathering and a husband’s calling and responsibility. By “general book” I mean not an explicitly Christian book.

Why am I writing the book? Today in Indonesia there are some 220,000 legal divorces per year as noted in the Religion Office, or about 700 per day! These happen for various reasons, mostly disharmony, followed by economic reasons and domestic violence, and divorce occurs among young couples with low education.

My wife, a Sunday school teacher, also mentioned how many of her kids’ parents have problems. She was visiting kids’ houses to get to know the families deeper, and often found that the parents had problems in their marriage, such as living separately, not talking to each other, and domestic violence, but they were still in a legal marriage. In most of the families’ cases, the cause was the husband.

These cases will negatively impact soul development, mental strength and the religious lives of the kids. It will affect the kids’ personalities and characters, and impact his/her own future family. I heard a call in my heart to write about the issue.

I was a participant of a book writing camp in November (4 days and 3 nights, a year after the Kenya meeting), and during the camp I wrote the wholeYahya-book-cover-An draft of my first book. The camp was supervised by Edy Zaqeus, a Catholic best-selling author, ghost writer and writer coach.

My book title is: Andakah suami keren itu? (Are You A Cool Husband?). The book is about a husband’s calling and his responsibility as the head of family. The draft is finished, endorsements are there, and the quotes and jokes are in place.

We congratulate Yahya! After he wrote this article, one of Indonesia’s large general publishing houses released his book in October 2014. It’s now available on Amazon.

141124LittWorldPosHave you considered attending LittWorld 2015? Join us in Singapore, November 1 to 6. Don’t miss our triennial conference for Christian writers, editors and publishing staff from around the world. Invest in your publishing ministry and the readers you serve. You will gain fresh skills, vision and networks and become part of the global LittWorld “family.” Register today.