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  • J. Randal Matheny 5:41 am on 2017-03-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: writing   

    Seven suspect words for writers 

    If you’re not willing to edit ruthlessly, you’re not a writer. Writing means, in large part, cutting out extraneous words and replacing weak ones with strong terms. Here are seven vague words to watch out for:


  • J. Randal Matheny 7:01 am on 2016-12-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , writing   

    Fake-news sites targeted by larger media outlets 

    Google, Twitter, and some traditional news media outlets are targeting what they call fake-news sites in an attempt to refuse them access to, or accounts in, their services. Twitter is shutting down numerous accounts of people they accuse of conspiracy theories and alt-right positions. Facebook has for some time been accused of tweaking their algorithms to give preference to left-wing news media.

    If ever there was a time when news organizations pretended to maintain neutrality and objetivity, it has long passed.

    Christians, of all people, nurture a special place in their hearts for truth—not only biblical truth, but truth in all its aspects and facets. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 11:06 am on 2016-10-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , new life, paragraph, , writing   

    A marvelous invention, the paragraph 

    The paragraph is a marvelous invention. Within a visual unit of words and sentences a principal idea is captured and featured. Over the centuries the size of paragraphs has shrunk, but some still protest over single-sentence blocks.

    Not all prescriptions for paragraphs function in all types of writing. But everyone works with some definition and concept of the paragraph. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 6:03 pm on 2016-09-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , writing   

    In the era of tl;dr, write accordingly 


    The common abbreviation in Internet language, tl;dr, means “too long; didn’t read.” It refers to an extensive text that the person did not feel like taking the time to read. The abbreviation sometimes prefaces a short summary of a longer text. (More …)

    • John T. Polk II 7:21 pm on 2016-09-13 Permalink | Reply

      Is one minute too long?

      • J. Randal Matheny 7:44 pm on 2016-09-13 Permalink | Reply

        Sounds like a great length to me, Johnny!

    • Danielle Smith 1:36 pm on 2016-09-17 Permalink | Reply

      I’m learning that now, unfortunately. I’m training myself to keep my articles short and straight to the point or do a follow up article as you suggested.

  • J. Randal Matheny 6:46 pm on 2016-07-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: writing   

    Something I saw that set me off. Tho. Sowell on writing. 

    Economist Tho. Sowell wrote some years back about writing. I just now stumbled over it.

    > The manuscript of Basic Economics sat around for about a decade. From time to time, something that I saw in a newspaper or magazine or on television would set me off and I would see an economic principle that it illustrated or a fallacy that needed to be corrected—usually the latter. But, once I had written whatever it took to deal with that particular issue, I felt no compulsion to continue writing Basic Economics.

    I identify with this statement. What I read spurs me, inspires me, enrages me. I best write when I have read something that, for good or bad, engages my mind.

    His piece isn’t short, but worth your time, if you aspire to write or are interested in the craft or the work of editing and publishing.



  • TFRStaff 2:36 pm on 2016-07-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , writing   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Why I Write) 


    I love to preach, I love to teach, and I love to write! The reason I love to write is because it is another way to preach and teach the gospel and to set forth the grand principles of Christianity. The preacher who writes greatly expands his “audience” and vastly extends his influence. His words may be read many years after his earthly demise. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:09 am on 2016-03-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , writing   

    The most important thing you write 

    This was my email to Forthright Magazine columnists today. It applies to all bloggers and online writers who seek to share the gospel.

    So says a BBC site to journalists: “The most important thing you write online as a journalist is the headline.”

    First, in journalism, it used to be, anyway, that editors wrote the headlines. Maybe that has changed.

    But the idea is true for all of us as well.
    (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:37 am on 2016-01-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , writing   

    Frightfully good 

    Note: We continue to pray for our good brother John Henson’s recovery. He continues in ICU in a Nashville hospital. He writes both for TFR and Forthright Magazine.

    Some frightfully good material is coming out of certain quarters among us. Some of it comes from people converted out of the world. They feel the sharpness of the gospel. They know the despair of the darkness and the freedom of the light. They do more than rail at the devil; they ramp up the beauty of redemption and the bounty of God’s plan. They do more than throw a verse at the reader only to launch into strange territory; they engage the text, explore its context, make pungent application.

    I confess to feeling embarrassed by the insipidity of some other writings, especially in the area of devotionals. (Perhaps it’s a case of this pot calling the kettle black.) In the presence of the Almighty God, why offer up pablum that has been repeated so often it only rates yawns? It is one thing to be simple. Simplicity recommends itself every time. It is quite another to be simplistic and bland. (It seems best not to muddy the waters with names and addresses.) (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 2:48 pm on 2015-10-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , writing   

    Write the verse again and again and again 

    Writing enhances memory. The act of writing seems to fix the information more firmly in the mind, say both the scientists and personal experience. So perhaps as a part of the process of storing up the word of God in our hearts — heart here representing the whole person including the mind — we might want to consider writing scriptures more often. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 8:53 am on 2015-03-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christian writers, , writing   

    When words fail to impress 

    This little poem-prayer slipped out after reading words by a well known writer who failed to impress. I earlier posted the first stanza on my Plink space, which not even my mother reads, so I thought TFR Fellows and friends might appreciate it, since so many of you are writers. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 11:33 am on 2014-06-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , writing   

    10 advantages to sharing your content on TFR 

    tfr-logoHere are ten advantages of posting to The Fellowship Room. These are mentioned here (a) to encourage our present Fellows and (b) to motivate others in the Lord’s church who might be interested in joining in our fellowship fest. (More …)

  • John T. Polk II 10:38 am on 2013-02-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , dogma, epistle, , , , , , writing   

    Where Was “Vatican Smoke” In The New Testament Church?. 

    Please read Acts 15:1-31, then read the following:

    1. There was NO appeal to Peter, but to “apostles, elders” and the “whole church” gathered to hear Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 12 (“all the multitude”), 22

    2. EVERY speaker proclaimed only the Word of God (Oral & Written):

        (1) Acts 15:2-4:  Paul and Barnabas proclaimed what God had been doing among Gentiles (before Acts 13-14 had been written);

        (2) Acts 15:5-11: Peter reminded them of the events of Acts 10-11 in selecting Gentiles to be saved (before it had been written down);

        (3) Acts 15:12-21: James preached God’s Prophecy about the goal of bringing in Gentiles, quoting Amos 9:11-12, THEN gave HIS “judgment”;


    3. The letter sent to the Gentiles with this Apostolic preaching (Acts 15:23-31) was an Apostolic “letter” (Greek: epistole). When copies are actually distributed to the Christians of a Gentile background (Acts 16:4), they are termed “decrees” (Greek: dogmata): The “DOGMA” was necessary and delivered immediately to the Gentiles!!!!  Refer to Acts 15:1-16:5 and notice that:

    (1) The church didn’t wait hundreds of years to know “dogma.”

    (2) This was an epistle of Scripture from the Apostles, and NOT from a Roman Catholic Church “Magisterium,” or “Vatican Council,” or “College of the Cardinals,” or announced by “smoke!” When Peter and the REAL Apostles of Jesus Christ taught and wrote Scripture, it was in writing that WAS “Scripture,” based upon Scripture, NOT the result of political “in-fighting” and out-maneuvering ,as is continually practiced by the Roman Catholic Church. People who “blow smoke” are NOT Apostles of Jesus Christ!

    (3) “So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” Acts 16:5. The churches of Christ are always strengthened by Scripture and always apostatize when following human commandments (1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:1-5). Wrong attitudes always produce and defend wrong doctrines(1 Timothy 6:3-5)!


    5. There was NO: supremacy of Peter, voting on doctrine; waiting hundreds of years to deal with controversy; multiple sessions to arrive at a conclusion; opposition to the views expressed; PRESENTATION OF ANY OUTSIDE “TRADITION;” “COMMENTARIES;” OR PREVIOUS “COUNCIL” CONCLUSIONS; BUT ONLY SCRIPTURE (BOTH WRITTEN & UNWRITTEN)!

    6. This was the ONLY council gathering like it in Scripture.

        (1) The gathering to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:13-26) did nothing to replace James the brother of John
    when Herod killed him (Acts 12:1-2);

        (2) The gathering to disprove Jewish heretics sent Gentiles their “dogma” (Acts 15:1-31) and never met again!

    —–John T. Polk II

  • John T. Polk II 11:19 pm on 2013-01-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , magazine in print, , , writing   

    First Issue of Gospel Gleaner is Available for Preview 


    An issue covering a variety of Bible subjects and activities in the churches of Christ may be yours each month for a nominal subscription fee. Information and address are available at: gospelgleaner.com

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:53 am on 2012-08-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Portuguese language, , writing, Zucchini   

    Thursday Thor 

    Soul bread

    A generic picture of bread like that The Missus makes

    Is it because Thursdays have been a day off of sorts that the mind today doesn’t want to get into gear for writing? After several attempts, I turned to other concerns, like eating some zucchini-nut bread and drinking some hot tea. No special concentration needed for those.

    • Our home Bible reading group was not large last night, but Titus 3 seemed to have good effect on us all. We five adults, three of whom are disciples, were impressed by the call to live, not as pagans, but as the people of God, thanks to his mercy. Amazing little letter, Titus.

    • Some Christian friends are coming either tomorrow or Saturday to spend a few days with us. This out-of-state couple are recent empty-nesters, like ourselves, and long-time friends. After so many years, it’s an easy friendship, no special effort needed to keep up conversation or to entertain. (I’ll not be online as much during their stay.)

    • For my birthday last week, a friend gave me a book on writing style in the Portuguese language. He knows how much I write, and how much I like writing. He made a big disclaimer that he was giving me the book, not because he thought I wrote badly, but because he knew I always wanted to improve and grow in the craft. But I confess that I picked up the Brad Thor thriller that his wife gave me before the writing book.

    • Speaking of writing, in an undiscovered corner of the Internet, I posted day before yesterday what I thought was one of my best pieces of poetry. Like sermons and Bible classes, it’s often the case that what the writer or speaker considers the best is not always the readers’ or listeners’ favorite. And, vice versa, the items one might wish to fall away into history forgotten can become among the most admired or preferred. Who’s to judge who’s right?

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  • J. Randal Matheny 7:20 am on 2012-08-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , writing   

    Recent posts, articles, prayers 

    Here’s another devotional just posted this morning:
    If you’re not signed up to the devotionals (or my website as a whole), feel free to do that while you’re onsite, since not every devotional gets linked to from here.
    Also, be sure to read my editorial from yesterday on Forthright Magazine, “What Everybody Knows About Religion.”
    It’s gotten more comments than usual.
    And, if your a glutton for punishment, there’s also the poem/prayer posted recently, “O Boundless Love.” (With another coming up shortly.)


    I don’t often post links to my writings here, but once in a while I figure your patience can endure my self-promotion.

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