Journaling is behind-the-scene content creation. That was last week. This week is about publishing what you create.
Publishing is hitting send. It’s submitting a paper or manuscript. It’s delivering a message.
And we are all publishers, by the way.The picture you share on Instagram. The words you carefully choose to go with your Insta-story. That Facebook post. How you craft your message. The story you use before you get into your three points. The group presentation. The weekly newsletter or the email to the team.
In case, we’re new friends: I’ve written a book published with a traditional publishing house. I co-authored a book with a friend and together we used proceeds to help build a home for trafficked girls in Africa. I took a compilation of blogposts happening in real time and organized them into an e-book for a church planting organization. Most of my publishing is in written content, but many of my friends create content for video and use pictures to tell stories.
The truth is we all have something to say.
The lie is that it’s for everyone to hear.
The lie, when wrapped around the truth, keeps us from even using our voice and our gifts because we think that not many people care to hear it, to read it.
But what is it we have to say?
Wise words are filtered words run through the mind once more, certain they are true and helpful.
For even one person to read what you have written, to hear what you have spoken, can that be enough?
Not if we’re keeping up with the person on our feed who has thousands of likes within 60 seconds of posting.
I’m hearing this phrase more and more. Our church staff talks about creating content for small groups, sermon series, announcements, and videos. Friends in the marketing world tell me it’s what they do. Even though my book is out, I find myself writing parallel content for podcasts and articles and talks.
Everyone is creating content and most of it is being stored online. When you write a post on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. When you write your notes for teaching. When you construct an email, business plan, or essay.
We’re all writers.
This week I share what I’m learning about content creation, but specifically - journaling.
Journaling is behind-the-scene content creation.
Writing thoughts down in a journal may or may not become anything for the world, but maybe it will. Journaling, drafting is a huge part of content creation. So is brainstorming, research, and experience. Next week I’ll share about publishing content. Publishing is hitting send, delivering, submitting your content.
So where do people store their content before they publish it?
40 days of fasting and prayer leading up to the most remarkable days in the Christian faith, Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection is Lent.
Because Easter is a moveable feast, so is Lent and the other holy days of Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Palm Sunday, and Good Friday. This year, Lent is observed from March 6 – April 18. It’s not found in the Bible, but has been observed by followers of Christ for centuries as a spiritual discipline and remembrance.
I’ve learned from some scholars that the 40 days imitates Jesus’ fasting in the wilderness before He began His public ministry. I’ve read that “like all Christian holy days and holidays, it has changed over the years, but its purpose has always been the same: self-examination and penitence, demonstrated by self-denial, in preparation for Easter.” (Christianity Today)
Secular theories of Lent involve Fat Tuesday and giving up something for selfish reasons, selfish gain, or out of religious obligation.
From my findings, observing Lent is intentionally setting aside time to remember Christ's life and death and resurrection and to discipline oneself to fasting, prayer, and studying of the Scriptures.
I recently read that “if Lent is not about getting to know Jesus Christ better, it is a waste of time.”
Therefore, I don't feel pressured into observing Lent, but consider it an opportunity to know Christ more.
Anytime I make a goal or set out to do something, I’m also looking to the other side of the accomplishment or journey. Looking at Lent, I wonder, what will come of us after 40 days of fixing our gaze on Jesus and less on the things of this world as we deny self more than normal? What could happen as we develop a stronger discipline of prayer, or at the very least an awareness that we’ve given something up to gain more of Jesus? (put this in the email to those who participate)
What if the gain is greater than the sacrifice?
“No matter how deep you are now, wade in deeper still. Don’t worry about what’s going to get wet. Don’t stop at the point where you can keep your feet underneath you. Get swept away. What are you holding onto? What are your hesitations to living a more Spirit-led life of faith? What illusion of control are you clinging to? Go all in. Pray today that this fast will be just the beginning of a deeper relationship with God.” (21 day fast, You Version)
“What you would call mundane and ordinary, God calls significant and sacred.” This is somewhere in the book, but it was fun to hear Ben quote me on stage!
Seriously, if you can grasp hold to the reality that when Jesus left earth, He left earth to us, then you’ll start to see that everything we do and say impact one another for the good of mankind and for the glory of God.
It’s been an absolute BLAST to teach with Ben in this series! I’m certain he’d say the same! What I love now that the series is over…
Who knew Ben and I would have so much fun teaching together!? We couldn’t have seen this reality years ago, but with what God has done in each of us individually, and in our marriage, we have delighted in working together, praying together, studying Scripture, and using our unique gifts to share this series with you.
This week, the focus is on you and your story! We’ve heard from many of you in the lobby at church, through texts and emails, how you are telling your story! Let me leave you with one…one that is proof that it doesn’t take eloquent speech or years of being a Christian to share your story…
With great joy and months of anticipation, I got to speak to our church family, the very people who fill the pages of the book and the ones who fuel my faith. But the message is for all of us. Join me for the next few weeks as we discover why we are exactly right where we need to be!
For more information about Epic Church, San Francisco, visit www.epicsf.com
3,650 sunrises. That’s my story. It’s the side I’m standing on and there’s no going back. You know that moment you tried french fries in your frosty and you’d never dip them in ketchup again? That moment you laughed so hard you snorted, the embarrassing moment passed, and you knew your friendship just went to another level?
Life is the way it was intended to be lived on this side of obedience.
Well, how do I get there?
What will it cost me?
Is anyone else doing it?
What’s in it for me?
Let me check my calendar.
If I’ve got nothing else to do, I’ll think about it.
Yeah. You’re not ready.
The basic definition of obedience is submission to another’s authority. Our another being the Perfect Son of God, who, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)
You’re ready when you submit. Submission - it’s been deemed an old-fashioned word because our world gets more and more selfish, so anything requiring obedience or submission gets ridiculed. So you have to get over that first.
But standing on this side of obedience, submission is worth it! It’s the most freedom I’ve ever experienced. If you know Jesus, you know He does everything backwards and upside down from this world. He says bow low and He’ll lift up. He says last will be first. He says to be rich become poor. I’m still progressing on my faith journey learning from my Maker, but I’ve gotten a few years behind me to taste and see that the Lord, He is good and He is worth following. He’s worth obeying.
And since obedience is active, to stay bogged down with our self-filled questions keeps you on the side of disobedience.