Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday Snippet: What’s your memoir’s ultimate purpose?

The Bible records—often—God’s reason for acting on behalf of His people: so that they’d know Him—“Then you will know that I am the Lord your God” (Exodus 6:6-7, 1 Kings 20:13, Ezekiel 37:5-6, and Joel 2:19-27), and so that people would see Him and praise Him.

God does the same today: He assures us of His love and faithfulness by doing things for us, sometimes in earthshaking ways, but usually in everyday ways.

So here you and I are, writing stories of what He has done for us—writing so that our readers will see Him, know Him, and praise Him.

Let this sink in: Your memoir can stir up a response similar to accounts told in Bible times.

For instance, think of yourself as the man in Mark 5:1-10, “So the man [insert your name] went away and began to tell the Decapolis [insert your readers’ names] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”

You want your readers to respond the same way: You want them to be amazed at God!

The beauty of memoir is looking back, examining, and making sense of the past.

When we invest time in sifting through the past, and looking at it from a distance, we see that in even the worst of times, God was always on the scene, in our midst, working on our behalf.

The following Bible passage captures my vision—my prayer, my heart’s desire—for the memoir classes I teach and for this blog:

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of
the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.”
Psalm 145:3-7, NIV

Keep working on your WIPs (works in progress, rough drafts) and as you do, make a conscious decision: write your memoir as a celebration—a celebration of God in all His goodness, faithfulness, holiness, and splendor.

Your ultimate goal: Write celebrations of God!
Like George Herbert said in the illustration above,
consider yourself
a secretary of God’s praise.


  1. Linda - I can't thank you enough for this wonderful post. And all of your encouraging words, here and on my blog and I'm sure countless others out here in blogland who are stumblingly finding our way to some kind of writing voice. You are such a strong encourager for us all! I wish I lived close enough to you to take one of your classes - I would love to do that. Hope your holiday weekend is blessed in every way, friend. I am grateful for you.
    Diana @

  2. How nice to hear from you, Diana! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. I pray each day about my blog and what to post and how to encourage, and if you've found some encouragement and guidance, God's the one behind it all! Your blog posts, Diana, are a joy to read! You are doing that introspection, retrospection, that pondering, and you are writing down those gems. Your stories are real treasures. Keep up the good work! And yes, it would be nice to live close enough to get together in person. I think we'd be good friends. :) You have a fun holiday weekend, too!


  3. P.S. That's a picture of my daughter Karen and her boy Finn a few years ago. Dear, dear ones!