If you want to be a better writer, learn to use a scalpel. See your words with the distance, the objectiveness, of the surgeon’s eye. Examine the work for nicked arteries. They reveal themselves quickly—the words spurt blood and reek of melodrama and overwrought characters.
A song from Elevation Worship contains the words, “There is a cloud, beginning to swell.” The lyrics exude vibrancy and warmth. It’s a nice enough song, but I find it hard to relate to. Perhaps it’s my deep-rooted pessimism or the understanding that “dry seasons” and seeds “buried in sorrow” may remain that way for a long, long time, sometimes a lifetime.
In the last year or so, the Austin Stone Worship Collective shifted from only monthly fellowship meals to alternating between fellowship gatherings one month and trainings the next. The trainings, held on Saturday mornings, cover almost anything related to artists and faith. Some months, the trainings look like breakout sessions. Other months, they involve guest speakers who range from film directors to storytellers.
If I were to conduct an informal poll of the audience and ask, “Does integrity matter?” I think I would hear almost all affirmative replies. Of course integrity matters. However, what is integrity truly? The word acts as some ideal — it appears in company value statements across the world— but it sometimes escapes easy explanation.
The more time I spend with the Bible learning who God is, the more I recognize the continuity between the Old and New Testament. God stays the same in both periods of time. While the Old Testament may recount more battles, sieges, and exiles than the New Testament, God’s call to man remains consistent.
“In order to own the narrative, you have to keep reciting it. Remind yourself that your messages only feel old and stale to you. They are fresh and unique to each new person you speak to. And consistency gives you a context in case your messages would benefit from a tweak or a teardown.” — Marianne Griebler