How are we as Christians like an mp3 player?
It's purpose is to play music, and it's built with the capacity to play music, but in itself, it has no power or music of it's own. By design, it must charge by plugging into a computer, and the music must be transfered from the computer as well.
We're much like this with God. But too many, myself included, thinking we're expected to do it on our own or whatever, feel ashamed when we have to go crawling to God for our music and our power, when this is not a shame at all, it's the way He designed us!
We're also only as good as what we're putting into us, and only as good as who's pushing our buttons, so to speak.
If you're reading this, you probably feel your purpose is to write. So what's your most valuable tool as a writer? What you're plugging into.
My MP3 player takes it's files in through a usb cable. We take our "music" in through our eyes and our ears (and technically all the senses). Our writing is only as good as what we're putting into us. It's only as good as the power source we're plugging into, what we trust and rely on to get us through the day.
What are you plugging into? What are you putting into you?
If you view writing as a ministry, the obvious answer given almost without thought is God. We know we have to be eating of Him, connected to him via prayer and the Word if we want our work to reflect Him.
As Christian writers of speculative fiction, we often face a unique challenge. We love speculative fiction and we love to read it. The ubiquitous advice is if you want to write a genre well, read all of it that you can get your hands on. Most of us read secular speculative fiction and watch the equivalent at the movies and on TV; most of us are well aware that much of what is put out in the secular counterparts to our genre is spiritual garbage. That's one reason we strive to "redeem" the genre for Christ. The danger is keeping abreast of our genre without having the mp3 player of our heart tainted with tracks downloaded from the world rather than from God.
At the same time, some of us don't write what we normally think of when we hear "Christian fiction" Some of us write what is normally classified as "Secular." The danger here is that since they're not into writing a "sermon in disguise" and/or since their motto is the ever-popular, "if you want to send a message, use Western Union" that they don't need to "plug in" to God when it comes to their writing. This forgets, or fails to realize, that when we serve the Lord Jesus Christ, no work we do is secular. Rather, it's all for His Kingdom and His Glory. No matter how the publishers, bookstores, or any other human judge classifies it. That's the life we're all called to, both in our overtly religious work, and the "secular" day job that so often pays a writer's bills.
We are Christ's ambassadors, representing him wherever we are, whatever we do, whatever we write. To represent Him accurately, we must plug into God--and God alone. In the bible (Hosea comes to mind off the top of my head), God was as blunt as Grace Bridges' last post in stating what he considered doing otherwise as: adultery.
Be aware of what's out there in the world, by all means. In a war, it certainly helps to know what your enemy is up to and what lies he's spreading. Just don't download the stuff into your heart.