Five Minute Friday — Story

Here’s this week’s installment of Five Minute Friday. You might remember the task is to write for five minutes on a specific prompt word, post it,  share it with others at her place on Facebook at and read the remarkable stories from other writers in the group.

As an extra enticement, I’ve been using testimonials about the group and the exercise from other members as collected in Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Flat. This week’s it’s Barbara. I encourage you to listen to the words and visit Kate and her wonderful corps of writers … and maybe be inspired to join in!

“My journey with the FMF family started Oct. 30, 2014. Why do I remember the exact date? Because I had connected with so many others during the 2014 ‘write31days’ challenge, and was looking for something that would encourage me to continue writing. Many of those I had connected with during October were participants of this amazing group of writers. I won’t say I am faithful to write every week; it always seems by Thursday evenings I am just wiped out and forget to look at the prompt! But in 2015 I wanted to join with the other writers for the ‘write31days’ challenge again, but didn’t have a topic. I was excited to find the Free Writes through FMF and wrote every single day. My favorite word was BACON! Hopefully I will get back to joining the FMF family and write more. In the meantime, I have enjoyed being a part of this amazing group!”

To be honest, I remembered a similar post on the prompt … STORY. Sure enough, we did write on the prompt back in 2013. Normally, I don’t read other posts {or my own} before sitting down, but this time I did. I was also drawn to a post written a couple of years ago, “Sharing the Story.” So, some of the words may sound familiar, but the message is the same.

The timer is set … so here goes. {clock starts now}

Everybody has a story, each one unique to them. Some off them are good stories. Some of them are bad stories. Some have a happy ending, others not so much. Regardless, each one of us has a story … and a story to tell.

Believe it or not, sometimes the hurts and aches and falls we experience can help someone else avoid them or deal with them better. Other times, a positive experience on screen {it used to be on paper} might be the message needed at just that time for someone stumbling upon our work.

Of course, we also have a spiritual story to tell … definitely a Good News story. It’s a chapter — an ongoing chapter — of our story.

I remembered a conversation I had with Dan Ring, then-pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Oregon, OH. During the transition from Illinois to Ohio — while the family was still in Illinois — I spent the week living in the parish rectory and commuting home for the weekend. With crazy schedules, Dan and I didn’t see a lot of each other, but one night after a late meeting, I noticed the light in the study was on so I popped my head in to say “Hi” and “Good night.” He motioned to me to come in.

“I need a break. I’m working on my homily and it’s just not coming together,” he said as … STOP

… I sat in the chair across from his desk. And we spent the next half hour just catching up.

Somewhere in that conversation, I said I couldn’t write a homily. He laughed and said, “Sure you could … and you would be good at it.”

He then explained a good homily isn’t about the texts. It’s about relating those words of Scripture to today, to today’s Christians, to today’s events. If you show the congregation HOW Scripture relates to them, they become interested in it.

It’s the hallmark of writing and storytelling, so let me repeat that with a slight variation. If you show the your audience HOW your story relates to them, they become interested in it.

I don’t know how successful I’ve been, but I do know I’ve always tried to keep my writing down to earth. As I say in my blog intro, I’m just an ordinary guy walking along this journey called life. I try not to preach, but rather to relate. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I invite readers to search for themselves. I nurture my audience one-on-one and in small groups. In short, I try to show my faith — through words.

You can too … through your story.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm — Winston Churchill



About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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6 Responses to Five Minute Friday — Story

  1. miccahmarie says:

    This word prompt was so good, I think we all could have written 15 minutes today! As tough as it is to go through the dips and valleys in life, it is so encouraging that we aren’t alone. God has impressed on me that most often we don’t struggle because we ‘deserve it,’ but because God wants to use us to encourage others going through the same things once we come through the other side. Pain is never wasted, thank the Lord!
    Your FMF neighbor at #49 this week.

  2. Love this and love the quote from Winston Churchill. Thanks for posting. #50. I bet you write a great homily! I think you do every week.

  3. You do a very good job of relating your heart. Wish I had a fraction of your writing wisdom and spiritual savvy.

    #2 at FMF this week.

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