Ministry Book in the Making
By Katherine Swarts
Writers are a notoriously emotional lot, so we should particularly appreciate 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (New International Version): “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
When someone is wrestling with chronic depression or discouragement, one thing that’s not comforting is to hear, “Snap out of it. Count your blessings. It’s sinful to be unhappy when God has given you so much.” Many on the receiving end of such talk have already tried (and prayed) to the point of near despair for “straightening out” of a mind and heart that seem determined to remain perpetually miserable.
I know personally how it feels, having been there more times and over more years than I want to remember. Since starting my devotional/poetry blog, New Songs from the Heart, in 2007, I’ve used it not infrequently for self-therapy. Although I hope it also encourages others with chronic-unhappiness problems, lately I’ve wanted to do something more specific: a printed collection of the poems that most encourage when discouragement seems unbeatable, that most emphasize that God understands the worst of our weaknesses, that most lift eyes to look at Him rather than at lower-level worries. A “devotions for the depressed” project that could be placed directly into the hands of those who need it most—not so much those who have suffered crushing tragedies everyone sympathizes with, as those who seem always to feel bad and aren’t sure why. (And often feel surrounded by people who are constantly judging them or making the problem worse with every attempt to “fix” it).
I’d like to request the help of fellow Christian writers in preparing this project. If you are interested, please visit and study the New Songs from the Heart blog, and then e-mail me, Katherine Swarts with:
-- Your opinion on which poems from the blog would best encourage chronically sad hearts.
-- Suggested titles for the final book.
-- Samples or descriptions of any poems you would personally like to submit. (Selections will run up to 32 lines and fall into three categories: When the World Seems Hopeless; When You Feel You’re Hopeless; Looking at God. All contributors will receive an author bio and one free copy of the book.)
-- Names and contact information for ministries to the chronically depressed, the mildly autistic, and others who might find the book beneficial.
Responses are due on or before February 26. Thanks and blessings to you all!
Katherine Swarts is a full-time writer from Houston, Texas, whose credits include over 100 published articles and four textbooks. She also does freelance corporate writing, specializing in blogs and other articles for nonprofits, green developers, and wellness businesses. Her business Web site is Spread the Word Commercial Writing.