Freelance submissions due by February 14, 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 Winter 2017–2018: Unit 1, The Early Church Proclaims Faith in Christ (Issues 1–5); Unit 2, A Living Faith in God (Issues 6–9); Unit 3, Self-Controlled, Upright, and Godly Faith (Issues 10–13).
Issue 1: Faith in Jesus (Seeking Wholeness)
December 3, 2017
Scripture: Acts 3:11-21
What to Write: People who are broken want to be made whole. How and where do they find wholeness? Peter proclaimed that faith in Jesus restores people to wholeness. Emphasize the need for bold witnessing to those who are spiritually sick. Suggest ways to testify confidently to the truths about Jesus Christ that are reinforced in your life Share stories of physical healing and the impact it has on one’s faith. Give a personal testimony about finding healing and wholeness through faith in Jesus Christ. Discuss why most church prayers focus more on physical healing than on spiritual healing. What are some ways that we can look forward to a coming day when God will restore all things?
Issue 2: Faith to Discern (Facing Opposition)
December 10, 2017
Scripture: Acts 13:1-12
What to Write: Sometimes we are at a loss when unexpected events interfere with our goals. How can we keep our commitments and forge ahead? Empowered by their faith in Jesus, Paul and Barnabas preached and taught about Jesus despite a false prophet’s efforts to deter them. Explore true stories about perseverance in the face of opposition. Christians facing opposition encourage one another with the words, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4), referring specifically to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Discuss why the perceptions of others can make it difficult to take a strong stand against opposition like Paul did. Give examples that show the extent to which today’s Christians tend to rely upon the Holy Spirit in their ministry and daily lives in comparison to the extent to which the disciples and people in the early church did. Is there a difference, and if so, what accounts for the difference? How do prayer and fasting prepare us for ministry? Tell how negative circumstances (such as a physical affliction) can open a door for faith.
Issue 3: Faith to Persevere (Persevering Through Opposition)
December 17, 2017
Scripture: Acts 14:8-11, 19-23
What to Write: Sometimes the good things we do are blocked by an unexpected obstruction, but we pick up and go on anyway. What gives us the strength to keep going? Even though he was stoned and persecuted, Paul’s faith in his message impelled him to continue to proclaim the good news of God. Research and write about people who asked God for strength in the face of opposition to the gospel. Explore ways to develop the courage to stand up to strong challenges to faith. Tell how opposition may open the door to other opportunities. Describe the situations of missionaries serving in difficult fields and suggest ways to support them.
Issue 4: Faithful Seekers of the King (Giving Gifts of Honor)
December 24, 2017
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
What to Write: People often search for the best ways to honor someone they look up to and revere. How can we best honor a special person? The Magi traveled a great distance from their own country to Bethlehem in order to give gifts and pay homage to Jesus, the child born King of the Jews. Expound on how we can worship Jesus with a commitment no less than that demonstrated by the Magi. Use the word CHRISTMAS to make an acrostic of words that describe ways we honor Jesus. Discuss situations in which commitment is required today to remain faithful in allegiance to Jesus. Suggest ways that people can give gifts that honor Jesus and His birth. How can Christians resist the societal tendency to celebrate Christmas in inappropriate ways?
Issue 5: Faith to Unite (United We Stand)
December 31, 2017
Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-16
What to Write: Many people search all their lives for something that will make them feel grounded, whole, and in sync with life. Where can they find that something? Paul told the Ephesians that, even though they had many different gifts, their faith in Christ would bring them unity and help them grow together in love. Explain how the diversity of spiritual giftedness contributes to Christian unity. Compare Ephesians 4 to Jesus’ prayer in John 17, where Jesus calls for the unity of believers, especially John 17:11, 20-23. As believers, how do we realize the meaning in actual practices of achieving and maintaining unity of the faith? Discuss how certain conflict situations can be handled with truth being spoken in love. How can we learn to value the gifts of others that are different from our own, especially when there are areas of conflict?
Issue 6: A Sincere Faith (Living Your Convictions)
January 7, 2018
Scripture: Daniel 1:8-21
What to Write: People find themselves confronted by contradictory requirements from different sources of authority. How do we resolve such conflicts? Daniel’s active faith combined with tact helped him resolve his conflict and remain obedient to God in terms of dietary requirements. Encourage the reader(s) to aspire to have the faith of Daniel when confronted with contradictory directives from different sources of authority. Explain how to identify situations that call for the exercise of faith as Daniel and his companions exercised theirs. Believers today need problem-solving skills in day-to-day living. How can those skills be developed? Expound on how a person today can remain true to his or her faith in a hostile or secular environment. Compare the pressures Daniel faced in Daniel 1 to those we face in our lives. Discuss: How can those pressures distort our decision-making process? How can we avoid such distortion?
Issue 7: A Bold Faith (No Matter the Cost)
January 14, 2018
Scripture: Daniel 3:19-23, 26-28
What to Write: Sometimes people are challenged to endure great trials and tribulations because of their convictions. How can they face such challenges and remain faithful? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego boldly disobeyed the king’s command and were delivered from a fiery furnace by the power of God. Expound on how to identify situations that can call for exercise of faith in the face of martyrdom. Tell true stories about individuals who have struggled to remain faithful to God despite strong opposition. Write about guidelines that help believers to reject contemporary idols that draw them away from God. Compare and contrast stories of Christians who suffered persecution for their faith with Daniel 3. Answer this question; does it require more faith to trust in a miracle or to do what is right without a miracle guaranteed? List ways in which the three Jews were vulnerable in this situation. Contrast this vulnerability with their bold refusal to worship the king’s statue. Explore how acknowledging one’s helplessness (in human terms) can free one to rely on God’s help.
Issue 8: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith (A Cry for Help)
January 21, 2018
Scripture: Daniel 9:4-8, 15-19
What to Write: People want release from feelings of shame that may result from past mistakes. Where can they go to find such relief? Daniel prayed to the Lord a prayer of confession, seeking forgiveness, mercy, and strength to obey. Is it possible to be reconciled with those that we have hurt? Explain that wrongs can be and are forgiven. Develop the theme in Daniel 9 of trusting in God’s righteousness despite defeat and suffering. Daniel’s prayer has two divisions: (1) confession of sin (vv. 4-14) and (2) a plea for God’s help (vv. 15-19). Could this be a prayer for America? How can we use Daniel’s prayer as a model to compose our own prayers of confession and intercession? Believers trust that God will remain faithful, even when we do not.
Issue 9: A Strong Faith (Faith When You Need It Most)
January 28, 2018
Scripture: Daniel 10:10-19
What to Write: Sometimes circumstances of life cause us to feel like we can’t go on. Where can we find strength to do so? Daniel found strength in prayer and from the angel sent by God to encourage him and answer his prayer. Focus on how God’s people always receive from God exactly what they need to know at the time—no more, no less. Explore what the Bible says about angels. Discuss feelings that are associated with times when it seems God is absent or unresponsive. Help participants imagine what Daniel was feeling during his three-week fast and how his feelings changed when the angel finally appeared to him. Discuss 2 Corinthians 5:7, “We walk by faith, not by sight,” in light of Daniel’s anxiety in the face of an uncertain future, followed by the encouragement to press on that he received from the angel. How does this apply today in our world of uncertainty?
Issue 10: Faith Without Works Is Dead (Actions Speak Louder than Words)
February 4, 2018
Scripture: James 2:14-26
What to Write: People know that talk is cheap and that actions speak louder than words. How are we to live in this regard? James says that our professions of faith must be matched by accompanying action. Expound on the relationship between faith and works. Discuss how James 2 relates to Paul’s teaching about justification by faith, specifically that James’s topic is not about having a saving faith but how to be a doer of God’s Word, most importantly the works of faith (James 2:14-17). Write about modern day people whose faith is/was demonstrated by their actions. Tell of a time when it was difficult to live in conformity to one’s expressed beliefs and values. Compare and contrast people who live out their faith in their lives with those who don’t. Suggest projects that would exemplify faith in action.
Issue 11: A Disciplined Faith (Taming the Tongue)
February 11, 2018
Scripture: James 3:1-12
What to Write: Everyone knows the pain and destruction that result from hurtful words. How do we keep from causing such pain and destruction? James says that we should control our tongue so that only blessings come from it. What is controlled speech? Encourage the reader(s) to use their tongue in ways that only result in blessings. Explain the difference between speaking truthfully and tactfully. Discuss how the tongue is a might tool that can spur others to action—both for good and for ill. Write the testimony of someone who has struggled with anger and/or foul language, and name ways they found to deal with these issues.
Issue 12: Faithful Disciples (Looking for Help)
February 18, 2018
Scripture: Acts 9:36-43
What to Write: In times of crisis, people look for help. What qualities do they look for in a helper? When Tabitha died, faithful followers of Christ sent for the apostle Peter for help. Identify key elements of an active faith. Develop a list of coping skills for those who experience feelings of deep loss when someone dies. Discuss how the raising of Tabitha points to the promise of “rising” to the new life that believers will eventually share with Christ. Explain how active faith and prayer go hand-in-hand. Tell ways that believers can follow Tabitha’s example in actively working for the good of others.
Issue 13: The Good Fight of Faith (Be Strong)
February 25, 2018
Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:11-21
What to Write: We are surrounded by all kinds of advice. What is the best advice to follow? Expound on attitudes and actions that a believer needs to develop in order to strengthen his or her faith. Timothy is given a list of six virtues to pursue: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. Expound on these positive commandments and what they mean to a believer today. Give the example of a congregation that does a good job of passing the baton of church leadership to the next generation of leaders. Discuss the difference between enjoying wealth and putting one’s hope in wealth. What can leaders do to avoid falling prey to self-destructive behaviors? Tell a personal story of someone who mentored you and helped you develop as a Christian leader.