Note from Donna: I don’t remember the first time Tisha Sledd of New Castle, Indiana, came on my radar, but our paths cross all the time and have for years. I’ve always been impressed by her creativity, homemaking skills, entrepreneurial bent, and the love she has for her husband, two sons – and for God. She’s also a frequent contributor to the newspaper where I work and won one of our annual recipe contests.
The Disaster Prepared Kitchen Cookbook is a fantastic how-to guide to stretching a dollar and I have a copy on my shelf, as well as a copy of her new book, The Battle for Peace: Who Is Your Master? In fact, I plan to suggest that my church life group read it when it’s time for a new study.
Today, we're swapping blogs. If you'd like to read mine, head over to her website, listed in her article. She welcomes you today and every day.
Given how well Tisha writes, and the strong messages she conveys, I’m astounded that picking up her pen is not something she enjoys. Here, she explains why she writes anyway.
By Tisha Sledd
I remember dreading when our fifth-grade teacher gave us creative writing prompts. Does anyone else remember that?
She wrote a prompt on the chalk board and we had to take it from there and write a several-page story.
It might look like this: Imagine you woke up and saw a dinosaur in your backyard. Write a story telling what you see and do.
Or this: Would you want to visit the moon? Why or why not?
Ick! It makes me sick thinking about it. I am not sure why I didn’t like it, except I thought it was boring. It was work to make my brain be creative – and I felt like there was little payoff.
I think God probably smiled at my reaction to those writing prompts, considering what He knew He would call me to do.
In high school, I took an advanced-placement English class that gave me college credit. There was a professor who came from our community college to teach the class three times a week. He was a little, odd fellow with a dog. He was probably in his late fifties, almost completely bald with horn-rimmed glasses. He lacked interpersonal skills and as a snarky high school student I thought he dressed funny. I don’t know how he got that dog passed the administration but it came with him to class every single time.
I forget his name but I wish I could remember it because I probably learned the most important skills of my life from this peculiar fellow.
He pounded into our heads about how to write reports and themes. He was a stickler and didn’t let us get away with anything. I am sure I rolled my petulant teenage eyes a thousand times at having to go back and rewrite something. I find it humorous that 25 years later I am so thankful for this professor’s heavy-handed teaching. I learned to write as a senior in high school … because of a funny little professor and his dog.
He would tell me that I was a good writer, but I dismissed him. I didn’t like writing.
I was surprised to find that a year later when my future husband was in a college writing class with this professor that he used one of my papers as an example of how to write a good paper.
Later in my college career I had to write a report on the history of opera. My professor was so impressed at what a good writer I was. I told her thank you – but I dismissed her. I didn’t like writing.
I have been in ministry for 14 years. Every once in a while over the course of those years I wrote an article for the Religious Perspective column in our local paper. I always got great feedback from people who read my articles. Sometimes people would really touch me with their stories of how much my articles meant to them.
But that is as far as my writing had gone - until June of 2015.
God began to press me about writing articles for a blog. I argued with Him a little bit. I said, “God I don’t like to write. I don’t understand why you would want me to do this.”
His answer came one day while I was reading Paul’s letters in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul wrote two-thirds of the New Testament and the Church has been strengthened for thousands of years because of it. God spoke to my heart and said, “It is the words that are written down that last for centuries.”
This touched my heart because I could remember reading books that impacted me as a young person (outside of God’s word). A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle was inspiring to me. I cried for an hour after finishing Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I hated having to read Shakespeare but who could not be impacted by Romeo and Juliet?
I have a message inside of me to give to the world. It is a message of hope and it is a message of correction. But how can the world receive the message if it is not written down?
So I write.
Since June 2015, I have written over 200 blog articles at www.TishaSleddMinistries.com. AND I finished my first book about spiritual warfare called The Battle for Peace: Who Is Your Master? (You can find it on Amazon by following this link.) I previously wrote a cookbook called The Disaster Prepared Kitchen Cookbook you can also find on Amazon HERE.
I have also finished two thirds of my next book. It is a work of fiction called As in the Days of Noah, a Sci-Fi thriller set in the time of the unfolding events of the last days. It will be launched in 2017.
Here is the funny thing about the past year - even though I have done all of this writing, and even though I have a book and I’m writing the next one - I still don’t enjoy writing.
I am not sure why except that I much prefer talking with people rather than typing on a computer. But I understand why I must write.
I want to help people get closer to God. I want to help people understand who He is and why He came. I want to help people understand the Kingdom of God and how it works.
So I write.
If it is not written down – how can people learn? The Lord has given me Habbakuk 2:2 many times. It says this:
The Lord gave me this answer: “Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance.” (GNT)
This is why I use my gift of writing. Not because it’s fun. Not because it’s fulfilling. I write because God has asked me to.
Maybe God has given you a gift that you don’t necessarily enjoy using. I want to encourage you that there is a reason that He gave it to you. You may not understand but it will make sense when your story is all done.
Your talents and giftings are meant to glorify Him. Begin to use them just because He’s asking you to.
Tisha Sledd is passionate to see transformation on earth by putting Jesus Christ on the throne in every area, beginning with the hearts of individuals, thereby transforming entire communities, which is then reflected in the heart of our nation. She and her husband Tom established Tisha Sledd Ministries to give hope to the hopeless and equip the Body for works of service. Fnd out more at www.TishaSleddMinistries.com. Contact her at email@example.com.