Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What's Up With This Blog?

One of our main blog writers, Pam, has moved away (we miss you, Pam!), so 1st Writes blog has suffered. I haven't been writing much, so I haven't had anything to post. I am, however, leading a teen writing group, called 1st Writes - Teen Edition. We meet weekly and write on writing prompts, usually for about seven minutes and then we share with each other. The teens have been begging me to "publish" their stories. Perhaps, this blog is the place to do it. I'm going to think and pray on it. Perhaps, new life will soon some to 1st Writes blog. Blessings to you, friends.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tips for Christian Bloggers

Are you a Christian Blogger?  Whether new to blogging or a seasoned veteran, these tips from Christian blogging sites are good reminders. Enjoy!

Theology and Medicine: Tips: Notes in Relevant Christian Blogging

iwanttobelieveinGod: Christian Blogging Tips

Godly Writers: 3 Mind-Blowing Tips On How to Get Traffic to Your Blog

The Blog Critic: 17 Tips for Christian Blogs and Bloggers

Rock4Jesus: 7 Tips to Increase Your Christian Blog Performance

Sunday, September 8, 2013


by Patti Clugston

40 years it was home.

 How many people lived there over the years?
How many friends slept over, or  crashed on the couch?
How many foster kids called this house a home, even if only for a while?
Who sat on the front porch swing, who swam in the pool,
who called 5665 a million times?
From gray shingles, to white siding, a sidewalk & a Pepsi machine.
Mike & Carolyn's house. Welshes.
Dee's house, Patti's house..
across the street from Erma, next door to Shirley & Rodney.
By the sewing factory.
 Cars speeding by too fast, Agape strangers driving past every summer.
Doors are never locked, there never were any keys.
Come on in..who ever even knocked?
Nobody. Always somebody there.

A pot of coffee on the counter, cigarette smoke hanging in the air.
There was always time to have a quick chat, or most likely a deep, spiritual discussion about God & the Bible.
Bobby would drop the F bomb, Dad would say “Not in front of my girls”. Bobby never had daughters.
Although, he might have thought of us that way.
Barb Rutter stops in to sell Avon.
She always wears too much make-up & perfume.
Mostly, she & Mom just gossip, drink coffee & smoke cigarettes.
I loved the lip glosses shaped like a cookie, or a hamburger.
She would buy Dad the cologne in glass bottle that looked like a car, or mailbox. They collected dust on his dresser.

 Many people have visited that home.

It wasn't because of the fancy furnishings,
meticulous housekeeping, or the big home cooked meals.
There was none of that.
It was because friends & family knew it was a safe place to come to, 24/7.
You would never hear Mom & Dad fighting.
You would never see Dad falling down drunk.

Someone was always there to put another pot of coffee on.

Sit around the kitchen table & make connections

that would last a lifetime & then some.

What a blessing to have grown up in this home!

I always felt sorry for those that didn't have parents that never fought.

When we went to sleep at night, we felt protected & safe.

What a secure place it was, with no locked doors.

Even when money is exchanged & the deed is transferred to another name,

it will still be the house we were raised in.

Mom & Dad made it a home.

 They are in our hearts always.

So, is home really a piece of property that will be bought & sold?

I say, no.

Goodbye old house.
I have home in my heart.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blog Book Tour

To kick off my blog tour for A to Z Devotions for Writers, I wanted to start right here at 1st Writes. So many in this group helped me with the developmental, copy, and final editing of the book that it is only natural for me to want to begin here with a sample of what you will discover within the beautiful covers of A to Z Devotions for Writers. (available from Amazon)

K is for Kindred: Writing Buddies

“People learn from one another just as iron sharpens iron.” –Proverbs 27:17

Read: Romans 15:14

With whom do you share kinship--that special connection stemming from like-minded beliefs and interests? My kindred spirits, (as Anne of Green Gables would call them), not only write, but share my Christian faith.

I found Christian kinship in my www.Ed2Go.com creative writing courses. Many fellow believers gravitate there, striving to become better scribes for Jesus. In “Write Your Life Story”, classmates shared personal needs and prayer requests. Encouragement flowed from one writer to another. In this nurturing environment, everyone’s writing blossomed and flourished.

I enjoyed a similar experience during a recent blogging challenge. Kindred spirits humbly admitted their vulnerabilities, boldly proclaimed the Good News about Jesus, and excitedly shared how they saw God working. Through comments, we cheered each other on and ended up developing lasting friendships.

Without a doubt, Christian writers’ groups have provided the best place for me to gather with kindred spirits. I love the motivation to write, the encouragement to hone my craft, and the helpful critiques that I have received there. Local writers’ groups afford the opportunity to meet face-to-face, forge friendships, and arrange to gather outside of the group meetings.

God’s Word sheds light on why it is so important to gather with Christian writers:

  • It is a place where we can receive correction for our work. (Proverbs 28:23)
  • Two working together is more efficient than one. (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
  • Jesus is present. (Matthew 18:20)
  • We can encourage and help one another. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  • We can share the fellowship of faith. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for those who share my passion for writing and my love for you. Help me to encourage and challenge my fellow writers as we travel this path together. Amen.

Writing Application: If you are not yet involved with a Christian writers’ group, write 100 words about why you need to find one. Then search the Internet, call local libraries, and scan the community events page of your newspaper for opportunities to gather with Christian writers.

1st Writes would love to read your comments about the positive influence a writer's group has had on your writing life!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Burn With Us - A Poem

One of our teen writers shares a Christian poem.  I asked him to open with a little history.

The Christians of ancient Rome were, for the most part, allowed to practice their faith openly until the Emperor Nero came to power in the year 54 AD. He blamed the Christians for starting the fire that burned down most of Rome in 64 AD. He then drove the non-Christians of Rome to hate the followers of Jesus. Nero began to persecute the Christians by feeding them to lions and burning them alive. He was soon to be called "The Beast" by all who knew of his crimes towards the Christians. He then turned to crucifying Christians in mass, lining them along the many roads of Rome to show all who passed the evilness of the followers of Jesus. This is a poem of those Christians who confessed their faith openly and didn't hide it; that tried to gather other followers to stand against Nero. The children of God stand strong in their faith and show no fear towards evil. They may have relied on Scripture like Psalm 23:4 to sustain them.

Adolebit Nobiscum (Burn With Us)
By Cohen Wildeson

Can you hear us?
Our screams echo across valleys
as the beast tears us apart.
Our children cry out as they share our pain
we can do nothing to save them.
But our voices are strong.
We give off light and shine across the seven hills.
Though our bodies die, our memory lives on.
Burn with us.

Can you see us?

Oh, one called faithful,
do you see the trees in rows along the paved roads?
Our bodies cling to them
as the radiant sun beats down on our faces
Those loyal to the beast do not look up.
We are invisible to them.
But you, child, can see us clearly.
Burn with us.

Can you feel us?
Our faith stands strong in his light.
We show no fear

We stand our ground
But you, why do you hide?
Are you not like us?
Do you not follow the Carpenter, the Beloved,
the Counselor, the creator?
Then come now,
burn with us.

Can you love us?
Follow us to the trial
We do not hold in our love
It is shown to all of our people
and the beast alike.
Though some may question us,

our faith stands strong.
Burn with us.
Burn for him.