When I was a little girl, if a friend told me a secret, I thought I was pretty special. If I got to hear it first, I was even more special. And if I was the only one privy to the secret, I was super-duper special. Little girls are funny that way. It’s like we get a running start at learning how to be a gossip. Then we have to un-learn it when we grow up. Then we realize that the “special secrets” told to us about so and so weren’t so special after all, and our willingness to listen to it said more about us than it did about so and so who had been slandered.
Anyway. There’s no real point to that micro-sermon except to say that I’ve been holding in a secret because nothing was official, but now it’s official:
has invited me to come on board their website (on the Evangelical channel) as a contributing writer. I’m a firm believer in using very few exclamation points when writing, otherwise that last sentence would have at least five tacked on to the end of it. Like so!!!!! I am
super excited, but I don’t like yelling at people, that’s all.
Now, what this announcement means for you as readers is that when I post a blog on Facebook, the link will lead you to Felix Culpa (the new name of my blog), hosted by Patheos, which is what took place if you’re reading this. Whereas before, you would have clicked the link to The Broken Quill hosted by Brenda Renee Coats dot com. Don’t worry. If you forget where I am, just punch Brenda Renee Coats dot com into your browser, and you will be redirected to my new blog at Patheos. Clear as mud? In essence, Patheos has transferred Brenda Renee Coats dot com to their site. It’s kinda like they own me for the time being, but not really. But kinda.
What this announcement means for me as a writer is that I get an awesome opportunity to interact with others in conversations on faith. In their own words, Patheos is “the premier online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world’s belief.” If you’re curious about the name, Patheos (pronounced with a short a sound and a long e and o sound) is a linguistic blend of two words: path, and theos, the Greek word for “God.” As you know, popular belief says that there are many paths to God, but the Bible says there is one Way. That is, Jesus Christ.
As my readers, you can help by reading, of course. But also sharing anything that you feel is worthy of sharing. Being at Patheos has the potential to grow my audience, but it also has the potential to grow Patheos’ audience, and it would be a fib if we said we’re not both looking to do that. Having said that, growing audiences for the sake of growing audiences is not the main thing, in my book. The goal is to evangelize and encourage others toward deeper faith. Down the road, there may be some career success that comes with this, but I am not looking to promote myself. I’m looking to promote a Message.
I’ve struggled for the last few years with what exactly I’m trying to do as a writer, and God has been helping me develop a desire to become a simple, humble servant set on promoting Him. Writers are a funny lot. We write and when we hit “publish”, it’s nauseating because we know that not everyone will love us or our message. Trolls are real. Not everyone loves truth. Or the truth-teller. And we sometimes get hit with proverbial tomatoes that hurt our feelings and threaten to drag us into the depths of despair or maybe even Hades – so it feels.
Hannah More was a writer, educator, social reformer, and dear friend of the politician and slave trade abolitionist William Wilberforce. But she had some significant health problems, and when her writing was vehemently opposed or ridiculed, she took it so personally it negatively affected her health. I see myself in her a lot. Oh, I’m sure her character was far superior than mine, but I mean her writing is what God used, in part, to not only reform a society, but to fashion her character. Likewise, writing, for me, has been a tool God has and continues to use to shape my character. It’s been exhilarating and fun but also downright painful at times, like all pruning. Still, at other times, I know it has blessed others and helped them grow in grace. Maybe it has even helped to reform a society, if only in a miniscule way.
I not only identify with Hannah, I want to follow in Hannah’s footsteps. I determined that as soon as I read Amazing Grace
, by Eric Metaxas followed by Fierce Convictions
, by Karen Swallow Prior (books about the lives of Wilberforce and More, respectively). Both were transformational as far as determining a direction for my writing. As I’ve prayed about that direction, I’ve asked that doors be open, because in the publishing world, opening doors on your own doesn’t happen. It takes a village. And I’m elated that perhaps I’ve found the first few members of that village.
A special thanks to Anne Kennedy
who made the kind folks at Patheos aware of my blog. She’s a wonderful, intelligent writer and you can find her by clicking that hyperlink on her name, or searching for Preventing Grace at Patheos. Also thank you to the editor of the Evangelical channel at Patheos, Bart Gingerich, who had the gall to listen to Anne about a little known author living an obscure life on two acres of awesome Colorado dirt. I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to all the personal fame and glory that will come of this.
It’s just that all this serious talk has made my funny bone itch, and I had to scratch it. I will bow out now, as this is getting lengthy and I’m starting to feel as haughty as Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes Award Ceremony.
More in my next blog on why I chose the name Felix Culpa, but for now I will just say I have appreciated all who have supported my writing up until now, and I do covet your continued support and prayers in this new endeavor. May Christ increase, and I decrease.