Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Writer of Things Nobody Reads

For several years after earning my undergraduate degree in English and professional writing from Portland State University, I worked as a technical writer. Whenever someone asked me what I did for a living, I would proudly say, “I’m a technical writer.” And more often than not, the reply would be: “You’re a typewriter?” Haha – I guess I was a bit of a mumbler before I became a professional speaker (teacher).

Do you want to know what a technical writer does? I wrote proposals, press releases, instructions, and manuals – I was a writer of things that nobody reads. Do you doubt that bleak assessment? I’ll challenge you to look for your VCR manual – or that wonderfully colorful booklet that came with your cell phone. Did you read them? How about the instructions of Microsoft Word or Excel? Those booklets are full of really useful information and techniques that would revolutionize your world (if you’re as geeky as I am).

There is another instruction manual that is undervalued: the Holy Bible. I used to try to read it, but it really frightened me to do so, because I would come across something that struck fear in my heart (something I was failing to do or doing that I shouldn’t be). I would read a few sentences and close it with a quick (and heartfelt) prayer of repentance for whatever I had just become convicted of.

In my late twenties, when I decided it was time to finally plough through the Old Testament, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe some of the laws and rules. I was confused and sometimes even horrified. I prefer to stay in the New Testament, going to the Old Testament for Proverbs and Psalms and getting my OT stories from Veggie Tales movies (I wish I were joking about that) and church sermons from men who’ve spent their lives studying the scriptures.

Seven years ago, I challenged myself to spend more time in God’s word than worshiping the television. Rather than spend four hours a day in the word (I wish!), I stopped watching television. I still don’t spend enough time in God’s word, but the more time I spend with God (reading and praying), the better my days go. I know that God’s word is true and useful and relevant and having experienced the blessings that come with walking in communion with God, it’s something I want more of.

Are you having a bad day, week, month, or year? It’s time to open the instruction manual. It won’t always make your problems go away, but getting an eternal perspective will do wonders, as does the peace that comes from time with the best friend a person could ever want.


  1. I agree! Sometimes when I feel depressed or like my life is a bit "off-kilter" I know that I just need to spend more time in God's word. It is full of blessings, even if there are some difficult things, too.

  2. This is so not what I expected, but love it! I spend so much time in the Old Testament that the New Testament has taken on a different perspective for me. You might be shocked at how Greek the New is when compared to the Hebrew of the old, not talking about the languages here but the perspectives through which both are interpreted...Love your tag line it fits well with what you have written here ;)

  3. I love the old testament stories! Noah, Adam & Eve, Joseph, Moses, Sampson and Delilah! They are stories of people, doing things wrong, (just like me) who still are shown God's unfailing LOVE!

  4. The parallels between the Old and New Testament are amazing.
    How blessed we are to be on this side of the Cross.Under the LAW it was do this do that or else.
    The "NEW COVENANT" is based on Grace and Mercy.
    WE don'have to follow a bunch of rules to become Saved,we become Saved and we want to do GODS will.
    Thank you LORD for conviction rather than condemnation. Often it is not easy but at least we don't have to do it alone.
    We not only become convicted for ouselves but for others. So next time you read that scripture or devotional that compels you to think of another,"DON'T" hesitate to share.
    "LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THY SELF".We are allin the same boat, PRAISE GOD it's on it's way to HEAVEN

  5. You're right about the ammount of time we waste watching television. In the 70's, when the Back to the Earth movement was popular, our family gave up television. Only thing was: young teenage children were required to watch certain programs for the next day's discussion. They had to view them on friend's TV's.

  6. Who ever reads directions? Not many, unless there is a problem.
    Similar to what we seem to do with lifes problems and trials, except when things are particularly burdensome.
    James 5:16
    1John 1:9
    Galations 6:2 & 16:10
    Ephesians 4:32
    Sincere prayers for all, in JESUS name


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