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"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." - Colossians 3:15
Being thankful isn't always easy, is it? Especially when things aren't going exceptionally well for us. Maybe the economy has deeply affected your pocketbook. Maybe you've been battling illness or depression or your in-laws. Maybe a dream fell through or your plans failed. Maybe you're going through a divorce or dealing with rebellious kids or have a job you can't stand. Well, the bad news is, as John tells us, that in this world, we will have trouble. But the good news is that Jesus has overcome the world! And one of the best ways to NOT let the troubles of this world take us down is to be thankful for the things we do have. And believe me, if you lift up your head long enough to look around you, the blessings in your life will become clear pretty quickly.
Be sure to read the Out of the Mouths of FaithWriters section at the end of this newsletter to see what some of our members are thankful for this year.
WEEKLY WRITING CHALLENGE
Last month I mentioned that instead of a variety of Challenge judges, we are now using one small team of professional editors as judges each week. Apart from ensure consistency from week to week, this change takes the Challenge to a whole new level. It also means that any rating feedback provided through the Ratings Feedback service will now be equivalent to an abbreviated professional assessment.
Speaking of the Ratings Feedback service, let me pause to remind you of this wonderful tool! If you're a regular Challenge entrant, this service offers a great opportunity to get expert advice on what areas you are personally excelling in and what areas you could stand to improve on. If you've ever wondered if there's anything you can do to increase your chances of placing in the top 10, the Ratings Feedback service is the perfect way to find out. For more information, visit this link:
Another recent change to the Challenge is regarding the judges' rating categories. Two categories have been removed and a new one has been added. Judges are now weighing each entry as to how publishable it is for its target readers. The eight categories on the judges' score sheets are:
1. How well did this entry fit the topic?
2. How creative, unique and fresh was this entry?
3. How well crafted was this entry (overall crafting of the writing, including grammar and predictability)?
4. Did the entry start well?
5. Did the entry come to a satisfying conclusion?
6. Did this entry have a clear point or message?
7. Did it flow smoothly?
8. How publishable is this entry for its target audience?
For complete descriptions of each category, click here: http://faithwriters.com/blog/2010/10/28/new-and-improved-ratings-categories/
The new quarter of the Writing Challenge began last month. In case you haven't yet entered or checked out the new topics (gasp!), they all seem to revolve around one subject. With topics like "Conversation," "Writing a Letter," and "Gossip/Rumors," can you guess what that subject is? Hmmm…could it be communicated any more clearly?
As always, this quarter promises lots of fun, exceptional reading, and loads of winners! For all the details on how to enter, visit the official Challenge page: http://www.faithwriters.com/writing-challenge-intro.php
The Weekly Writing Challenge is available to GOLD and PLATINUM members. To upgrade your account and see what benefits you receive when you join, click here: http://www.faithwriters.com/upgrade-gold-platinum.php
I am happy to report that the FaithWriters' Down Under Conference was a huge success! In fact, this conference received excellent feedback from everyone who attended. I encourage you to check out this blog post written by one of the conference speakers, Janet Camilleri, the editor of Footprints magazine:
Keep watching the Conference Page for details on the 2011 conferences. You won't want to miss out!
OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF FAITHWRITERS
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this month, members were asked to answer the following question: WHAT ARE YOU MOST THANKFUL FOR THIS YEAR?
Here are some of the responses:
"My husband of 56 years has been in the hospital 5 times in the last 9 months. Each time, he has returned home and is currently doing well. Our God is soooo good us and I am to thankful to Him." - Emily Swanson
"I am most thankful that God is true to His Word He say's 'He will never leave us or forsake us' (Hebrews 13:5). I am always amazed at how often He has proved this to me!" -Valda
"What I'm most thankful for are the changing colours of area leaves, the home-cooked turkey dinners with other Christian diners, and the crisp, cool air that permeates these "Indian summer" days." - Ian Dennison
"I am MOST thankful that I was there to hold my dad's hand and feel him breathe his last breath as God came and took his hand from mine." - JoMarie Grinkiewicz (writing as: April Star)
"I am most thankful this year for God's wonderful provision for us. My husband was removed from his job of 28 years in Dec. 2009. So far he has taken care of us financially. Whenever we have had a specific need, it has been met just in time." - Diane Skeldon
"It has been exactly one year this month that I joined FaithWriters and life has never been the same. I am so blessed to be a part of this community and feel such a bonding with the folks who participate in the Forums. I have grown very fond of people I have never met! I thank God for bringing FaithWriters into my life at just the right time." - Barbara
And now for the December Question:
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS OR HOLIDAY SPECIAL (Movie or on Television)?
Submit your 1-2 sentence answer to Faithwriters.firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to check the December newsletter to see if your response was selected to appear.
THIS NOVEMBER (AND ALWAYS!) WE ARE THANKFUL FOR YOU! WISHING YOU A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!