Tip on writing daily devotionals

Since I publish a daily devotional my pages show up in searches people do who are looking for information on how to write a daily devotional.  In that case, they aren’t looking for a devotional to read.  Instead, they’re looking for help on writing their own devotionals.

So, here’s a tip: for me, a devotional has four parts.

1. The setup.  In it I tell a short version of the story that inspires the devotional.  This is often the larger portion of the article.  Here I give the background, leading up to the inspirational thought.

2. The crossover.  This is the most important line in the devotional.  At this point I’ve told the story, and I’m ready to apply it.  Usually, this is one sentence, but it’s what ties the first part to the third part.

3. The application.  Now I’m ready to describe how this passage applies to my life.  This is shorter than “the setup” and longer than “the crossover.”

4. The stinger.  This is a short, one liner that gives the reader something to think about.  It can be as simple as “how about you?”  However, it probably needs to be a bit more original than that.

That’s the basic outline for all my devotional writing.

I think I’ve found my life verse

I appreciate nice things people say about my writing (hint, hint) but I know there are some talented writers out there who’s “keyboard I am not worthy to plug in” (or something like that).

Still, I admit that I probably express myself in print better than I do with the spoken word.  Even as I just typed that last sentence I hesitated, hit the backspace key a few times and made it a better sentence than it would have been otherwise.  In fact, I can come back in a day or two and fix something I don’t like.

I don’t have that luxury when speaking!

This morning I thought of a verse of scripture that I’ve decided sums up my capability.  The first half of the verse must be taken with a grain of salt, but the rest is about right.

2 Cor. 10:10  For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.”