Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Do I Write in the Christian Market? ~ Guest blogger Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins, a former teacher and principal in the Tennessee public schools, writes mystery and romance for the inspirational market. She is married and has four children and five grandchildren. Sandra and her husband met when she was still in high school and he came to the college in her hometown. They met in the church where they were married three years later. They’re still members of that congregation and have seen their four children baptized and married there. Without the help of her wonderful husband, four children, and five grandchildren who’ve supported her dreams for many years, it would be impossible to write.

Why Do I Write in the Christian Market?

For as long as I can remember I had a dream that one day I would write a book. I didn’t talk about it, and no one in my family knew that I harbored such a wish in my heart. I’d worked for years as a teacher and had advanced to the position of school principal. I had a good job. I had a family. I had responsibilities. But I had a dream.

When I finally announced my news that I was going to write, I had a decision to make. What market did I want to pursue—the secular or the Christian market? Most of my reading had been mainstream books, and I assumed that’s the path I would follow. However, God had other plans for me.

At the time I was principal of an elementary school. One of the teachers brought a book to my office one day and told me I had to read it. It was by Terri Blackstock, an author I’d never heard of, and the title was Private Justice. When I started reading that night, I couldn’t put it down and went on to read the other books in the series also.

Something happened to me during the reading of those books. God revealed to me that these were the kinds of books I wanted to write. I wanted to craft stories that told of Christians who struggled with the bad things in the world and how they could find strength and peace in knowing that God walked with them each day.

Dreams can come true, and mine did. I sold a manuscript, and then reality set in. I was no longer writing for my own pleasure, my book was going to be read by people I would never know or see. I would know nothing of their lives, and they would know nothing about me except the words I wrote. Writing for the Christian market was more than telling stories to entertain people, it was a ministry.

The word scared me. What qualified me to minister to people who were struggling with problems I knew nothing about? Sure I had a college degree and was an educator, but wasn’t ministry for preachers? And then God humbled me with words from II Corinithians 5:18. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation.

As a believer, I had a ministry to tell others about God’s love whether I was a writer, a teacher, or any one of a thousand occupations. When I accepted Jesus, I became a new creature who was given a mission to reconcile the world to Jesus Christ. Now God was telling me to use my writing so that I could be an ambassador who spread His word to those in the world who had not believed.

What an awesome responsibility! But it’s not mine alone. He gave the same command to all His children. It’s not an easy task, but it is one that is expected of us. Sometimes the going gets tough, and I become discouraged. When I do, I think of my life verse in Isaiah 40:31. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

So, why do I write for the Christian market? God has impressed on my heart the need for a hungry world to know more about Him. One way I can do that is through my writing. I have often said that I pray the words I write will be like tiny seeds that I am sending into the world. I don’t know where they’re going, but I pray they will find fertile soil wherever they land.

The Columns of Cottonwood

She grew up there; she lived through the war there; she lost her parents there. Even in its burned out condition, it’s still home to Savannah Carmichael. But now it belongs to a stranger—a foreigner!—who paid the back taxes on it and bought it right out from under her.

Dante Rinaldi never expected that the culmination of his dream—to own some of Alabama’s rich farmland—would mean the destruction of someone else's. He hasn’t done anything illegal; in fact he’s worked hard for the privilege of land ownership. So why does Savannah Carmichael’s plight affect him on such a deep level?

Both believe in the sovereignty of God, but how can this situation be orchestrated by Him? Can they find a solution. . .a compromise to benefit both?


Clella said...

Sandra, We share much the same story and I can relate totally to what you have experienced. Thanks for sharing. Will be reading more of your books. Clella

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Clella. I'm so glad you stopped by. You sound like a kindred spirit. I praise God for those who follow His calling to show His love to the world. I'm praying for you.


Carol J. Garvin said...

Thanks for sharing this, Sandra. I didn't intend to write Christian fiction. My first two novels were from a Christian worldview but that's all, and God kept nudging me. There were occasional Christian characters in my stories but apparently that wasn't enough for Him. I couldn't get the last book right and it wasn't until I finally left it and went back to rewrite an earlier one with an open mind and prayerful heart that I saw where He was leading. It's not where I expected but I love exploring the new direction. One day I hope my stories will be published but at least now I know I'm on the right road. There is joy in obedience!

Sandra Robbins said...

Carol, it thrilled my heart to read your post. Isn't it wonderful that God knows where we need to go and leads us there? With your attitude of obedience, I know he's going to lead you to publication. I hope you'll keep me informed so I'll know when it happens. Bless you for sharing your heart today.

Lynn Squire said...

To read what I write most would say I write for the Christian market. But I would say I write to glorify God.

Some would say I write to evangelize. I would say the most profound thing that has ever happened to me in my life happened when I called upon the name of the Lord and He saved me. I want to share this life-changing event in as many ways as I can to bring Him glory and to bring Him honor. And if He so chooses to use it to bring another to Him, then all praise and glory and honor go to Him.

So great is my compulsion to write about God and what He has done for you and me that I can't help myself . . . even when others don't want to hear. Because it isn't about them or me, it is about God and honoring Him. And by lovingly sharing with others what He has done and will do for them, I am loving Him.