Freelance submissions due by May 15, 2017
All about us: SEEK® is a magazine created to encourage adults in their walk with Jesus Christ. SEEK® corresponds to the topics of Standard Publishing’s adult curriculum line and is designed to further apply these topics to everyday life.
Dos and Don’ts of writing articles/stories for this theme list:
DO read the Scriptures (these will be studied in class), as well as the suggestions of What to Write.
DO dig in deeper. DON’T use obvious material the students will likely have studied in class.
DO employ supplemental Scriptures beyond the most well-known passages.
DO quote from the King James Version.
DON’T put words in God’s mouth or suggest what God thinks. Quote what He says.
DON’T submit your first thoughts.
DO some research (include the sources that verify your information).
DO stick to the desired word count: 850 words minimum, 1000 maximum.
DO use good grammar and spelling.
DO rewrite, tighten, and proofread your work.
DO include a suggested title on your manuscript.
DO put the intended issue number and its date at the top of your manuscript, or it will be rejected.
No decision will be made on any manuscript prior to the submission due cutoff date. Please e-mail your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quarter titles for Spring 2018: Unit 1, Follow in My Ways (Issues 1–4); Unit 2, All Glory and Honor (Issues 5–9); Unit 3, Give Praise to God (Issues 10–13).
Issue 1: The Lord Will Provide (A Test of Truth)
March 4, 2018
Scripture: Genesis 22:1-3, 6-14
What to Write: Write about instructions that make us cringe (maybe humorously from a little kid’s perspective: “5 Orders Kids Hate to Obey”) and parallel how hard it is for us to obey God sometimes. // Verse 8 reminds us that “God himself” provides. Talk about specific ways of taking time to recognize that our provision comes from God. // Explore other Bible situations when God required things that seemed odd. Show how those played out and what we learn from them.
March 11, 2018
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 6:12-21
What to Write: Read the parallel passage of Solomon’s long prayer (1 Kings 8:22-53) and paint a picture of a modern-day leader appealing to God in this way. // 2 Chronicles 6:15 says the Lord has kept His promise. Highlight other Bible spots where God kept an earlier promise—and encourage readers that “there is no God like our God.” // Note the posture for prayer in verses 12, 13. Explore other prayer postures in the Bible and encourage readers that it’s the “posture” of the heart, not physical posture that counts. // Focusing on verse 18, analyze the truth that God is everywhere but not to be confused with the Eastern/pagan idea that God is (or is in, not separate from) everything. // This passage is about God’s temple. If God’s “temple” is now in/with believers (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Peter 2:4-8), why are so many people drawn to visit so-called sacred places? // Relate a true, modern-day story of someone’s promise being fulfilled years later.
Issue 3: The People Gave Thanks to God (Finding Inspiration)
March 18, 2018
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:1-9
What to Write: Is it possible for Christians to make/consider ALL their celebrations (not just “religious” ones) a form of worship? How? // What kinds of things fall under the category of “it’s so glorious we can’t stand it!”? // Detail how the different elements here (the place, sacrifice, music, large group together) related to praise, and describe what this looks like today. // Compare this account to other “fire from Heaven” accounts in the Bible. What’s their significance? What do we learn about God through these? // Share the details of an unusual, inspirational worship service you experienced.
March 25, 2018 [Palm Sunday]
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:12-22
What to Write: Today’s key verse (14) reminds believers that we wear the Lord’s name. Discuss the “get it together” topic of this lesson in terms of our sometimes loose “spirituality”: we want God to do things for us though we’re casual about obeying Him. // Related to the previous idea, caution readers that because we are visible to be an influence/witness, it’s extra ugly when we are bad reps for God; that somehow becomes even more visible. // Give reasons why people balk at flawed human authority (boss, parent, country’s president, teacher), and contrast God’s perfect “Father knows best” position. // Explore the concept of legacy. // Research and expound on modern-day idolatry—not just materialism, success, etc., but literal idols (like good-luck charms, pagan statues as decorations). // Contrast the importance of obedience over ritual—use real examples.
Issue 5: He Has Risen (A Promise Kept)
April 1, 2018 [Easter Sunday]
Scripture: Luke 24:1-12, 30-35
What to Write: Report on phony “resurrection” stories from cults, etc., that show our fascination with that (perhaps these indicate our fear of death, hoping someone will find a “cure”?). Contrast with truth/proof of Jesus’ resurrection. // In verse 32 their “hearts burned within them” in the presence of Jesus and His opening the Word. That reaction is similar to the reaction Jesus got at other times in His ministry (ex: Matthew 7:28, 29; John 7:45, 46). How can we imitate Jesus to impact the people we’re with? // Interview hospice workers and report on the difference they see in patients/families who don’t know the Lord vs. those who have hope because of Jesus’ resurrection. // Write an article titled “I Want Proof!” Profile various atheists who came to believe (people like C. S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, J. Warner Wallace. Report on what changed their minds). Documentation for such an article needs to include references and in some case(s) may require permission.
Issue 6: The Risen Lord Appears (Taking Directions)
April 8, 2018
Scripture: John 21:1-14
What to Write: Write a humorous but thought-provoking fictional piece titled “But I Thought You Were Dead!” Choose a Bible character or two who were raised from the dead (ex: Lazarus in John 11, the boy in 2 Kings 4, etc.) and create dialogue between that person and a surprised friend. Or compose a fictional journal entry by the subject of the account. // Though we sometimes don’t like “surprise visits,” celebrate those by recalling the results of some surprise visits in the Bible (like the Lord’s appearing to Saul of Tarsus). // Round up several people who can testify to personal events in which the Lord was active but they didn’t realize it till later, and report their stories—including their advice to people who are in the middle of trouble right now.
Issue 7: Follow Me (Feeding Time)
April 15, 2018
Scripture: John 21:15-25
What to Write: Share details about a church you know that has innovative ways to “take care of” and “feed” the Lord’s sheep. (Or call several churches and ask, writing an article titled “5 Churches That Care for the Lord’s Sheep.” // When Peter was concerned about John’s future vs. his own, Jesus basically said, “What’s it to you?” This might be a good spot to showcase sports stories about athletes who must focus on their own roles without worrying that someone else gets more credit. // Base an article on the idea of “How many times do I have to tell you?” // Write about the characteristics of compelling, well-known leaders (president, general, coach, parent). Documentation for such an article needs to include references and in some case(s) may require permission.
Issue 8: The Lord God Almighty (Give Honor to Whom It Is Due)
April 22, 2018
Scripture: Revelation 4:1-6, 8-11
What to Write: Delve into the sensory implications in this passage. The article could go humorous—in Heaven might we need sunglasses, earplugs . . . ? // What the angels say sounds like song words. Write about the various styles of Christian music that move us (classic hymns, kids’ action songs, country Gospel, Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, etc.). Emphasize the praise aspect. // Research how Hollywood did special effects for the latest blockbuster movie, and explore the dynamics of the “special effects” in this passage from Revelation. // Write an article titled “I Pledge Allegiance.” Emphasize the worthiness of the God “who was, and is, and is to come” (v. 8).
Issue 9: Blessing, Glory, Honor Forever (A World of Joy)
April 29, 2018
Scripture: Revelation 5:6-14
What to Write: In this passage the whole earth worships the Lord, but Revelation 13 shows whole world following the beast/antichrist. Help readers experience the shocking contrast. // Verse 9 says we were purchased with Jesus’ blood. Research the 2013 news story about song writer Keith Getty’s refusal to remove words from the song “In Christ Alone.” Help readers understand the atonement of Jesus and its importance. // Dig into one of the symbols in this passage, along with other Bible equivalents. // Create a picture of believers of all ethnic groups, under today’s topic of “A World of Joy.” // Get missionary input about Christian worship practices in various international cultures.
May 6, 2018
Scripture: Exodus 35:20-29; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
What to Write: What is it that makes GETTING appear to be more fun while in the end it’s GIVING that really satisfies? // We believe that if we give generously, God gives to us generously (2 Corinthians 9:6; Proverbs 11:24; 22:9). But how? What does that really mean? And how do we avoid giving with the express intention of getting something back? // Interview to learn true stories of how people had times when they were later blessed though at the moment they may have been sacrificing “too much.” // Research how many self-storage units, etc., there are in the United States, and discuss hoarding vs. the freedom of having given away (and having less to maintain/worry about). // Provide a true story about unusual ways a modern-day church sanctuary got furnished.
Issue 11: Bringing First Fruits (Reasons to Give)
May 13, 2018 [Mother’s Day]
Scripture: Leviticus 2:14; 23:9-14, 22
What to Write: Write a tongue-in-cheek piece about the “worst gifts ever” that are described in the Bible (like, Mary got frankincense when she really needed diapers!). And then go serious about giving God our best. // Identify modern-day parallels to gleaning (such as the giving of tax breaks to businesses that give away excess inventory rather than try to make additional profit from it). // Our tendency to be selfish rather than generous can be explored with a top 10 list of “things I can’t live without.” Then remind readers that God gave Jesus—his best! // Tie this lesson about giving with Mother’s Day: moms sometimes get “worthless” gifts when they really just want their kid to love/respect them; God wants the same.
Issue 12: Remembering with Joy (Creating an Equitable Economy)
May 20, 2018
Scripture: Leviticus 25:1-12
What to Write: Sometimes college professors take a sabbatical (a year off). Do you know someone in another profession who has taken “a Sabbath year”? Tell us about it. // Americans tend to applaud those who run 24/7, but Christians understand that God’s economy is different. Or do we? // Research science/medical stats/surveys and report on the importance of rest . . . tying it back to being God’s original idea after all. // Jubilee has the sense of a fresh start, a do-over. Tell a modern-day story of someone who “had to start all over,” which sounds negative, but had blessed results—and looks back on it all with joy. // Thinking of popular board games like Monopoly, create a game based on Leviticus 25 principles—and highlight problems the players might have.
Issue 13: Rejoicing in Restoration (More Than Good)
May 27, 2018 [Memorial Day Sunday]
Scripture: Psalm 34:1-10; Hebrews 2:17, 18
What to Write: Psalm 34 is an acrostic poem. Write an acrostic article (not poem) based on Psalm 34, using contemporary images and situations. Take a key word/thought from today’s lesson (like magnify) and define it. Then use subhead categories to write about each letter (like, M is for__, A is for___, etc). // Teach readers how to REALLY lean on/trust/take refuge in the Lord in the face of loss, hurt, danger . . . Maybe a specific list “5 Ways to Really…” // Describe how someone you know praised God during struggles and how that became a witness to others. // Help readers rejoice in the significance (and superiority) of Jesus’ being “a merciful and faithful high priest”—as opposed to lesser mediators who can supposedly connect us with God/the divine (like priests in certain religions and occult mediums).