Friday, January 21, 2011

The Most Valuable Lesson Learned as a Writer/Speaker

It's official! I've been in"duck"ted into the Odd Duck Society. We're a growing group of authors who embrace the fact that writers are odd ducks and that is okay. This month I am their featured author answering the question, "What was your most valuable lesson as a writer/speaker?"

I hope you don't quack up at my answer:


It’s amazing how God uses odd ducks. He puts a passion in our hearts which becomes a thought in our brains. That thought travels through our fingers, arrives on a printed page, is read by a stranger, and changes their life. Now that’s something to quack about!

We may be odd ducks, but our words do influence people. If you are a Christian writer or speaker, the world is reading, listening, and watching you to see what Jesus is like and learn how Christianity works. We can write great books, prepare entertaining talks, be articulate Bible scholars; but unless our audience sees Jesus in us, unless they sense love in our hearts, our words are only resounding gongs or, if you’re a duck—annoying quacks. What we say, write, and do draws people toward Christ or away from Him. As representatives of Jesus, we’d better have all our ducks in a row.

The most valuable lesson I have learned as a Christian communicator is to examine my heart so no sin keeps my audience from seeing Jesus or hinders me from hearing God. As Luke 6:45 says, “What you say flows from what is in your heart.” I believe all Christians (and especially odd ducks) should examine what is filling our hearts because it is sure to eventually flow out of our mouths.

We need covered in prayer.

Pray for yourself. Pray for a pure heart, so you will not be deceived and distort His Truth. Ask Jesus to give you His Mind, His Heart, and His Eyes so you will love people as He loves them. Be so filled with Jesus that He shines through your life, your speaking, and your writing. Living a holy life means a daily surrender to God.

Pray for your audience. God is aware of people’s troubles. He knows what happened to them this week and what they face in the days ahead. Ask Him to guide you to the words your audience needs to hear.

Pray for your ministry. The world is not ashamed to promote evil. Christians should not hesitate to proclaim Christ. When asked if I was uncomfortable marketing my books, I responded, “No. God gave them to me. I would feel disobedient if I didn’t do all I could to get them into readers’ hands.” Pray for boldness in your message knowing that you are not promoting yourself—you are promoting your Lord.

If I have any doubts that God uses odd ducks, I remember the woman at a Barnes & Nobel book signing, reading Splashes of Serenity: Bathtime Reflections for Drained Wives. She read for about 10 minutes before making eye contact with me. Looking up, she said, “I have every intention of leaving my husband, but first I will read this book.”

Or the wife who decided on the spot not to divorce her husband after opening the same book and reading “…Don’t seek a divorce.” (1 Corinthians 7:27).

There was the mother who wrote to me after reading Splashes of Serenity: Bathtime Reflections for Drained Moms. Overwhelmed with concerns for her children, she was unable to sleep. Thanking me for my book, she said she had slept through the night for the first time in months.

I’ll not forget the mom who walked by my book table and spotted the chapter title “God Never Says, ‘Oops!’” With tears she told me her story. For years she got through her days repeating the phrase, God never says “Oops!” while caring for her brain-damaged son. She said, “Seeing those words in print, was like God sending her a message.”

We may be odd ducks, but we’re God’s ducks, and He desires to use our words to bring a lost world to Him. I hope we quack for Him for as long as He allows us to waddle. May we do so with grace and love and Christ-filled hearts.

You can read more about odd ducks on their website, Enjoy us! We're pretty quacked!

S.O.S. (Splashes of Serenity): Bathtime Reflections for Drained Moms, written by Elaine W. Miller, was released in April 2005, by Green Key Books. In these 30 five-minute meditations, Miller restores sanity with Scripture and shares poignant, often amusing vignettes to encourage mothers along their journey.

S.O.S. (Splashes of Serenity): Bathtime Reflections for Drained Wives, written by Elaine W. Miller, was released in October 2006, by Green Key Books. This book offers refreshment to wives with 30 five-minute vignettes and S.O.S. prayers to encourage them to give their vows, for better or for worse, another look when they feel like throwing in the towel.

Elaine would love to send you an autographed copy of her books. Please e-mail her at
with your order. Cost is $13.99 each.


  1. Thank you so much for this, Elaine. I really feel like an odd duck at times so it was good to hear that it's okay!

  2. Terri, if Christians won't speak and write for Christ, who will? Be blessed in your ministry, Terri. It makes a difference in this world and the next.

  3. Elaine,

    This was such an enjoyable and aww inspiring post ~ pointing out writers are "odd ducks" and it is okay! WooHoo! I like how you started with the ways we should be praying - prayer before words is always more productive. Thank you for permission to be an "odd duck" because I chose to write but the irony is this...depending on our gifts, we each are a little "ducky" in the unique designed way God made us. I'm blessed with a percussion playing theater off-spring, they are odd ducks too, but then again, she is always journaling too. Hmmm...

    Thanks Elaine!
    Lisa ;)

  4. Well, Lisa, an odd duck is bound to hatch another odd duck. Isn't it fun living with people who quack to a different drum! You are a blessing to me. Thank you.

  5. I enjoyed this blog very much. Diane Estrella gave me the heads up on your writing. I'm glad she did. I would love to do some speaking locally in the near future and you have some very good advice here between the chuckles.

  6. Hi Nancy,

    So good being your friend. I hope we can learn from each other as we strive to do our best writing and speaking. Be blessed.


I would love hearing from you! Thanks for sharing!