Outlines! Why are they so hard?

I have been trying to outline the 28+ stories necessary for this Christmas Children’s devotional and am getting bogged down in how to trace the Christmas story through the Old Testament. There are so many great stories in the OT. How many do I include? How do I show their relationship to our need for a saviour and God’s promise to send Jesus?
This may be the hardest part of the whole thing. Pray for me to get this right.

Christmas? Already?

Sometimes seasons sneak up on me. I just discovered a couple of days ago that we are in summer already and then I was reminded of a writing project for this upcoming Christmas. The writing group at my church wants to put together a Christmas devotional like it did last year. They also want to do a second one for children. Since I am the resident children’s writer, I am expecting to do the bulk of the writing for that one.

I have an idea already for how I want to do it. I just need to begin outlining it and then start working on it.

I want to present the whole thing as a series of short stories based on a grandfather telling the Christmas story to his two grandchildren and one of their friends. The story telling sessions will be broken up into as many sessions as we will have entries for. 

The grandfather will tell each story as though he and the children were actual witnesses to the events.

The grandfather will also start the story way before the start of the traditional story to show that God began His planning for Christmas long before the angel visited Zebedee or Mary. It was first foretold right after the fall and He undoubtedly planned it long before that.

I will report back with updates as I make progress on this project.

Father’s Day

“Hi, Logan!”

The girl jumped at the sound of the cheery voice from behind her and then turned to see a petite blonde with a big smile.

“What are you so happy about?” Logan said with a sneer.

“I just decided what to get my father for Father’s Day. What are you going to get yours?”

Logan stepped close to Susie and looked her right in the eye with an anger Susie had never seen in anyone before.

“Nothin’! That’s all he’s ever gotten me! All that loser ever does is drink and run around. Maybe the state ought to give 10 to 20 for knocking my mom around and leaving his kids to starve”

Shocked and confused Susie searches for an answer, “Oh, Logan. I’m so sorry. I…I…didn’t know. Can you come and sit with me for a minute?”

Logan looked around the crowded school hallway, “What for? So you can tell me all about your holier than thou, perfect family?”

Taking a deep breath Susie looked right back into Logan’s eyes, “I want to hear about you and your father and you family. I want to get to know more about you so I can…”

“So you can what? Feel sorry for us? No thanks! You can keep your sympathy.We’re gonna be alright now that that bum father of mine is locked up.”

Susie breathed a silent prayer for God’s help, “No, that wasn’t it. I want to find out if there is anything my family or my church can do to help you and your family. I want to find out if your father has always been that way or just recently. I want to help, sure, but mostly I just want to be your friend.”

“Yeah, right! You want to be my friend. You think I’m gonna believe that for a second. You and your do-gooder family are just looking for a project so that you can feel good about yourselves!”

Taking a step closer to Susie and looking hard into her eyes, Logan continued, “No thanks!”

Not backing down, Susie looked right back into Logan’s eyes and said. “That’s not it. I already knew that your father was in jail. I already knew that you and your family are having a real rough time right now. I also knew that I see something in you beyond your rough, tough exterior. I see someone who hurts inside and hurts a lot. I see someone who wants a better life for herself and her family. I see someone who just wants to live a normal life and to fit in here at school.”

Logan says nothing and just stares back at Susie who continues after catching her breath, “I also see someone who needs someone else to care what happens to her. Logan, I want to be that someone even though I know that it’s a hard job and you’re not gonna be easy to know. I want you to know that I care what happens to you but even more than that, I want you to know that God cares what happens to you and wants to see be safe and happy even more than you do. That’s what I want!”

Logan could not believe that anyone would talk to her that way. She could not believe that anyone would ever care about her at all. She just stood there looking at Susie. Her mouth began to move but, nothing came out. She felt as though the wind had been knocked out of her.

Susie realized she had struck a nerve, prayed for more help, took Logan by the arm and led her to an empty bench in the open courtyard and the two girls sat together.

Logan finally blurted out, “No my father hasn’t always been that way…” as Susie listened as hard as she could.

(This is a scene from my story “The Mystery of the Missing Bible”.)