By Craig Macartney
As a Christian journalist, my head is always in the news. Whether I’m scanning the latest headlines, interviewing contacts or working my network, looking for potential stories, I’m immersed in the latest events. Truth be told, I’m a bit neurotic about it – I even skim through headlines when I’m up feeding my four-month-old at 3 AM.
The trouble is that for a story to make the news it generally has to be sensational and most of the time that means the latest tragedies. Reading accounts from the earthquake in Nepal to the latest Middle Eastern civil war, or details of the next shooting or terror attack to take place, it’s easy to get bogged down in discouragement. The symptoms of the Genesis 3 Fall are everywhere; something the news never lets you forget.
Writing Christian news sometimes proves to be a powerful antidote. I get to speak to influential leaders across the country and hear first-hand how God is moving. Other times, however, writing from a Christian perspective means sharing stories of tremendous suffering, persecution, or researching the horrors of abortion and human trafficking.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to write Inspiring Ideas for Faith Today. The name says it all – it’s all about sharing encouraging ideas from Churches across the country.
My first month, I scrambled to find ideas, making cold-calls to churches from coast to coast. It wasn’t until after sending it off that I really found my groove, and realized how great this new project was.
I started a running list on my phone of every time I came across a church group with a creative outreach, innovative solution, or a story of hope. As my deadline approached I had more than enough and my list was still growing.
I stumbled into the best part of the job by mistake. I was carrying that list with me everywhere, so I could add ideas I came across before I forgot, but after a hard day at work, it’s amazing the boost you can get from by flipping open your phone and scanning such a list. There’s even a verse for that: Philippians 4:8 exhorts us, “whatever is true, whatever is noble…whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things,” and that’s what I found myself doing.
Sitting on the crowded bus, I was deep in thought, working through the best way to concisely share encouraging story after encouraging story.
In a world overcome by evil, so in need of The Saviour, I feel blessed to be able to spend part of my day sharing a few simple stories of victory and hope. In God’s grace, I stumbled into an accidental attitude adjustment and now I get to do a small part in counteracting the negativity that saturates today’s news – and that’s an inspiring idea.