Why do I write?!

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

“Why do we write” is the topic of this week’s assignment for my Excellence in Theological Writing class. Since there is no self-reflection question as to why I write, I find it necessary to share why I write with y’all!

In the event y’all cannot read my handwriting (I have NEVER had good penmanship either too small or too sloppy) my immediate answer was:

“I write for God, for the people who believe in me and for myself. I write to encourage others to love Jesus, to know Jesus and to make Him known to others. I write in accordance to Hebrews 10:24 which says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (ESV). I take this call seriously. Everyone likes to receive mail that isn’t junk or bills. I write to glorify God, it is my ultimate form of worship!”

[As to the thought of me writing for God, those who believe in me and for myself; I have recited that for every seminary paper I have ever written. Why? As a way to remind to myself that I have done my best and that I have learned through the researching and writing process, regardless of my grade. In essence, I am always reminding myself why I write. If this ever changes, I know something has drastically gone wrong!]

I write (and take pictures) every chance I get. From journaling, to sending prayer texts and emails, to research papers, to blog posts, to sending handwritten cards via snail mail, I love (and live) to write! Other than cards from ex-boyfriends (they were happily discarded to the trash!) I have saved every card I have ever received since middle school.

I have journaled almost every day since 2006. My mom always asks me, “what will you do with those?!” My hope and prayer is that people will read them and see how the Lord worked in my life. They will read my personal prayers, my triumphs and some bitter struggles. Yes, I have written VERY unkind things about people in my journal; however, I do mention in later dates how I was wrong for what I said! I do not cross out those entries because they are real.

For those who never read, “What is a Blue Collar Theologian?” the one thing I strive to be above all else is real, authentic and genuine. Meeting people right where they are. While I get it wrong ALL the time, I praise God for the opportunity to write and to leave pieces of Mandy flair wherever I go. I pray that I am doing so in a manner that points people to jesus more often than not! My professor for this class defines writing as, “marking the world with our presence.” May our presence (communication) glorify God, encourage believers and point the lost to Christ.

For anyone willing to share, I would love to hear your why you write!

Lord God, thank You and praise You that You created and know intimately every language that will ever be written or spoken! Thank You Lord that You bound communication in history and that You love and value words and history even when the people on the earth do not. Lord God, may we never diminish the gift of writing. May we never diminish how You have preserved Your Word through each generation. Lord God, may we impress on our young people today the importance of reading and writing (as well as history). Lord God, thank You for this reader! Thank You Lord for allowing us to live in the digital age where a written message has never before been able to be seen as quickly as it is today. Lord, with this privilege comes GREAT responsibility. Lord, may we use our words wisely on social media platforms! Thank You again Lord for this reader! May they take some time to write a prayer or praise to you and write a card or email for a loved one. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

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Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I graduated in May 2019 from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

78 thoughts on “Why do I write?!”

  1. Thanks for sharing your answer to this most important question. Your writing is a blessing to so many.

    Love this: “I write for God, for the people who believe in me and for myself. I write to encourage others to love Jesus, to know Jesus and to make Him known to others. ”

    That is so right on target.

    Blessings.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Mandy, this reflection on why (better yet, to Whom) we write is a good exercise and something to emulate. Thank you for reminding us on Whom we are doing this for. All for GOD’s sole glory! P.s. that journal seems intriguing…nah, all the best Mandylorian! A blessed week!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At some point I will write a post on my journals, Kent! I have a funny saying where I keep my journals!! Many of my posts start in my journal! I journal my time with God and so yeah I would love to share my journals with you! Plus, you’re in them in a good way! From the times we Skyped and stuff like that!!! Love you brother have a great night and sleep!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Barry! For whatever reason, when I click on your post, nothing comes up?! It shows up for me to write a new post! I am so thankful that all truth belongs to God!!!! You have permission to call me Mandylorian if you so choose!!!!

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      1. I hope the other readers will be as encouraged by this post as I was! There is practicality in writing it down! I am a read/write learner so writing it down helps me beyond measure!!! Thank you for sharing this, Barry!!!

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    1. Thank you, Frank! That means so much to me and I really appreciate it! Your authenticity and honest theological wrestlings and reflections shine through in your posts and responses to posts. I always enjoy reading your comments on Jimmy and Michael’s blogs. Enjoy the FL sunshine, brother Frank!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your openness that you share with your readers Mandy; it is this that endears you to so Nancy folk. After the primary reasons for our belief in God the reasons why we write are also important. I have been a writer from my teens, I was a poet first then a story writer. As I became a Christian and matured I found I could not write worldly stories with a good conscience…I gave up writing! That was a naive mistake, God wanted me to write for Him but I couldn’t see it then. Here we are several years later and I have come back to writing, but 100% for God my Father – I feel eventually I am in the right place serving Him. I thank Him for you Mandy, this encouraging post, and that He may continue to guide and bless you sister.
    p.s, how would you like a snail mail card from Scotland?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I would LOVE to send you and Susan a card and have often in email wanted to ask for y’all’s address but didn’t know if that would bother you!

      Ok, so I started off writing poetry as well. I was really good at it until one of the guys whose cards ended up in the trash said, “poetry is just nice words on paper.” Alan, that killed a part of me. When Dan said that, literally a part of me died. I wasn’t a believer for most my time with Dan and then when I became a believer I started journaling everything. My prayers have been documented for years and it is amazing to see what God has answered, how He’s changed me, etc. I shared with Kent that I need to blog on this!

      I am so thankful for your ministry, Alan! I love how you write and the authentic videos you’ve been making. This hurting world needs to see Christians are real people! I am so thankful for you!!! Thank you for your consistent encouragement, Alan! You and a handful of others here on WP are part of “those who believe in me.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love and kindness toward wee little me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! “Poetry is just nice words on paper. ” That is the most tragic line ever from anyone; poetry is words from the soul of a writer, regardless of beliefs. But when that poet becomes a believer, the poetry becomes Spirit lead and even more inspired. I am relatively new to journaling though.
        Thank you for your precious words of encouragement; at the end of the day I am just a forgiven sinner sharing where to find forgiveness and comfort. May God bless you richly sister.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Mandy, I’ll gladly respond to your request to tell you why I write. I write, like you, to spread the Gospel of Jesus, which is all about God’s love and His provision made through His Son, to those who would hear. I write to discipline myself to stay focused on Jesus and God’s Holy Word. I write and follow others, to stay in fellowship with other believers and to learn from them. I write and follow others, to be kept mindful of the realities that others face. I write and follow others, to encourage others and to be encouraged, because we, as His disciples, are all part of His Church and are asked to lift one another up. I write and follow others, to gain more sensitivity and greater awareness of God’s grace and the differences between us plus the power of the written word, guided in love through God’s Holy Spirit. I write and follow to be corrected when required and to be rooted in the doctrines of God’s truth. I write and follow, to acknowledge that I have not attained perfection and have yet far to go. And lastly, I write and follow others, because God’s Holy Spirit asks me to do so, while this means is available, until He tells me to stop or takes me home. God’s continued blessings on you and yours Mandy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bruce, I love this self-reflection! Sometimes the best sermons are the ones we preach to ourselves! This could easily be a blog post of your own, if you so choose! I do hope you will copy and paste this and read it on days when the political, social etc madness gets to you (not a judgment or anything like that!!!) of the internet world drives you batty (again, no judgment it drives me crazy too at times!). I appreciate the time and heart you put into sharing your thoughts with us on WP. Keep writing for Jesus, Bruce! Love and blessings to you and Peggy!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful! I love your reasons for writing, and I suspect you take such gorgeous pictures for similar reasons. If I were to answer the question, I would say it’s because God gave me a gift and desire to, and it’s my act of worship to Him–one that I pray He’ll use to draw others to Him. In other words, we have similar reasons. 😉 What a fun assignment! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Colleen! I wish my assignment would have allowed for self-reflection! The professor is coming from a different angle. I am in no way surprised that we have the same reasons for writing! Someday we will worship and pray either over the phone, Skype or in person and it will be glorious! Love you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello, Mandy. I appreciate your asking me why I write. I write because I want to help and encourage others in their Christian faith. I also write because I need an outlet for my pastoral skills. My first career was as a full-time vocational minister, but I don’t get to preach much as an elementary music teacher.😇 Anyway, I’ve noticed the more I write the more I want to write. It’s quite a cycle!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ooh, yes, the very important question! I have asked myself this more times than I can count as I come and go… and circle back again. 😏 Why do I write? I love and share many of your thoughts here, dear friend. But, to get down to the basic truth…Why do I write? Well…for one thing, it feels like something alive in me that refuses to ever really die. Not like an alien force or something, but just a presence inside that must be heard. Even when time and circumstance seems to kill it, it rises back up in me sooner or later, this voice that refuses to be silent. Something that determined just has to get my attention. 🙂 Of course, I know that is all a tremendous God thing right there. He is an ever patient and always persistent Father, nudging me to where He’d have me to be. Which brings me to the most important reason I write. For His glory. To make Him known. To share what He has done for me and what He can do for others. To hopefully see the lost trust in Christ, the downtrodden encouraged, and the body firmly (but gently) prodded to follow Him. Now, that is not to say I have always used this gift for this purpose. I have had my seasons of trying the world’s way and came across temptations that could have had my name on a lot of trash and more green in my pockets. But, thankfully, my Jesus kept me from that foolishness and proved He’d sustain me if I would go about this writing thing His way. Am I famous? No. Rich? Not so my bank account would be able to tell you. But, am I getting to share His light with others and fellowship with wonderful siblings in Christ such as yourself? Why, yes, I am. Is His purpose in me being served?
    Ah, another question I have posed sooo many times. 😏 Well, I have to reach beyond my self-doubts, past the worldly standards and head straight to the cross. And there I can say, yes, I think so. I am no saint, just a sinner in filthy rags He chose to cover in His beautiful grace. But, if His name be lifted high, then that is all the purpose needed. It’s all any of us really need. Thank you for this wonderful post, dear friend! You gave me pause to really think today. Blessings to you! Keep on writing, keep journaling, keep walking in and sharing His truth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marisa, this is a blog post itself. As I said to Bruce I say to you sometimes the best sermons are the one’s we preach to ourselves. When you are down, when life hurts and is painful and you feel insignificant remember this. What I love about writing is the visible track record of what God’s done for, in and through us. I am a verbal processor whether oral or written. I am so thankful for our friendship that’s fostered through written communication! Love you very much, Marisa!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A blog post in itself is pretty much what I was commenting to Joe as I typed. 😄. That is so true about the best sermons. He has reminded me so many times through the words He gives me. It’s amazing what God can do! Love you, too, Mandy! Very grateful for you!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading this, Andy! I am reminded through this post how good it is to self-reflect on why I do anything. Praise God for His grace and mercy! I am eager to read or listen to what you are led to share!!!! Love and blessings to you and your family!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve just finished editing a talk I do (GoDeeper with Andy B, part of our Endurance output)

        For our first episode of a new series we’re looking at Back to Basics, and your question reminded me of what I’d been saying – that if we’re doing something that doesn’t fit with the Great Comission, them we need to throw it out, in order that we can get back to the mission Jesus left for us.

        Looking forward to answering your question you posed, but that’s probably part of my answer.

        Andy B

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your reasons for writing, and I enjoy your posts and in depth studies. I learn so much. You are a blessing.
    I never wanted to be a writer, and had no writing aspirations. My writing journey began with God asking me to write a children’s book, which I really, really did not want to do. It took years of me avoiding what God asked of me, and being disobedient. God was unrelenting, and one day I stepped out with a notepad and a pen.
    Here I am years later sharing my personal stories of God working in my life through my failures and weaknesses. I write to encourage the believer and plant seeds of faith to the unbeliever. I try to think of that one person that maybe will be encouraged in some small way. There are great writers and I am not one of them. I just step out and let God shine through the cracks.
    God bless you Mandy as you continue to write your story for the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meghan, your heart for prayer and relatable personal stories inspire me. I absolutely love your humble heart and how you write for Jesus. I am so thankful to have come across your blog many years ago. Keep smiling and writing for Jesus. You are loved!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You know more about yourself than I know about myself on the why question Mandy. I have to push myself to share things through writing a post but feel it’s what God wants for now. I journal for the same reason and see it as a good discipline. Give me a choice between writing and fishing…well, what would Nate do?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, he wrote a comment that he writes only when he has too! He’s been out on the river trails the last few weekends even though it’s been cold. I appreciate you so much, Gary! I love your writings and your photographs! I am so thankful that God has led me to your blog and the wisdom you share!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I like your answer; and I like your question!

    As for me, it depends.

    1. Sometimes I write not necessarily because I have something to say, but because I have something to learn.

    2. Sometimes I write for Christian apologetic reasons.

    3. Sometimes I write because I have something to convey.

    4. Sometimes I write a particular piece because I feel led by God to write it.

    And many times these overlap—though 1 and 3 are mutually exclusive, of course. And no matter the motivations, I always learn something new when I write!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You are such a blessing Mandy. I am so thankful to our Triune God for you.
    I love this “ I take this call seriously. Everyone likes to receive mail that isn’t junk or bills. I write to glorify God, it is my ultimate form of worship!”
    We do everything for God’s Glory !! I love how you explain that it is your ultimate form of worship.
    Prayers as you continue to glorify and worship our God with your writing.
    Love and blessings dear sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for sharing why you write! You certainly are a genuine person and a very gifted writer! Also, to keep a journal since 2006 is super impressive! Sending much love to you, Nathan and PQ 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Mandy! The classes are going very well, we are learning how to speak in the past, using verbs in a past tense was my weakness so this is perfect for me. Let me give you and example… if I say “today I have a Portuguese lesson” I would say “hojé eu tenho uma aula Portuguese” but if I say “yesterday I had a Portuguese lesson” I would say “ontem eu tive uma aula Portuguese”. The verb to “have” changes. Hope that makes sense 🙂 God bless 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for sharing why you write Mandy. I love your posts and look forward to them.
    For me I never thought of myself as a writer, I always wrote down plenty of notes as I studied scripture and eventually when I began to lead a womens group I used to get so excited about sharing it with them.
    Later on I felt this urge to just share my thrill of learning something new with a wider audience. Hubby suggested I start blogging and I sat on it for quite a while and then eventually did it. The best thing has been how much I have grown closer to God and learnt in this process and through my desire to pen what I learn.
    BTW, keeping a journal since 2006, wow! I am impressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts, Manu! God has given you a writing gift and I love how you convey biblical truth! You and I both started blogs for the same reason! Praise God for our husbands! I am so thankful for you my beautiful friend!

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      1. Having a rough week, which I will describe more in a post tomorrow or Saturday. Meanwhile, just enough ice outdoors to close down the city for a day and give me time at home to catch up on things. How are you doing? J.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow, “I have journaled almost every day since 2006” – you must have a lot of shelf space!
    I had briefly journaled in graduate school but cringed when I re-read of my sinful blunders as a non Christian.
    As an imperfect believer, I prefer to “forget what is behind and press on toward the prize…”
    I write when I sense something needs to break forth from my heart. I hope to express how the Lord is moving in my life and encourage others.
    Well, this ends my writing comment!
    Good post sister!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Your writing is always crisp, clear and to the point and I appreciate that about you! My mom has the same response to journaling that you do and it makes sense! I will email you a picture where I keep my journals tomorrow! I am so thankful for you! Lots of love, hugs and blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good question! I saw that question in the end of your post and was pondeirng that…for the Glory of God. For the joy of organizing my thoughts and sharpening my arguments and observation! To learn God’s Word!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amen to your reasons! We can never out learn God, Word, Amen?!?! Have a wonderful Friday! Give Nancy and girls a hug for me! If either the first or second weekend in August works for Nathan and I to visit y’all (we would stay at local hotel I found!!) let me know!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I love this Mandy! I’m so glad I follow your blog and get to read your writing! It blesses many!
    I write because it feeds my soul and I can’t imagine not writing! I’ve journalled since 1987 when I came to the Lord. Writing feels natural to me. Last year was the first time I felt prompted to write publicly, and

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ok. So, this post has taken me a few days to fully think through. And the question you pose, is truly a great one!! And it’s one I wanted to properly reflect upon, before answering. It’s too important a question to be brief with!!

    And my answer to the question “why do I write” would be put, in it’s simplest form, like this

    “Because I can!”

    it isn’t meant to sound fickle. But that is the reason I write. That is the reason for our family ministry: we do it because we can.

    Yes, pray about it.

    Yes, check it is scriptural.

    Yes, check it is the Lord’s will.

    But I write (and record and film end edit and spend hours generating accurate transcriptions of our material) because I can.

    And I seek do it with all my heart, mind and soul.

    I just hope that is enough, because I am not good enough to do everything, and what I can do, I do not do as well as I know as others can.

    But, I can do what God has put in front of me to do, so I do that – and trust that what I do, if led by God, will be used by Him for His kingdom.

    And that is enough!

    It is more than enough, because it also lets me off the hook to not beat myself up for not doing enough, because if I’m doing what God asked me to do, then that makes me part of a larger family. And tens of millions of Christians all serving God, is very much more than enough, which makes my input, more than enough.

    So I do it because I can.

    The rest is up to the Holy Spirit and to God.

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “So I do it because I can. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit and to God.” Yes and Amen, Andy! What a great response! I am so glad that you follow the Lord and doing, writing, speaking what He puts in front of your path. This post has really helped me appreciate how God has wired and created all of us uniquely. In all things may we seek to glorify God. I have a friend who is a musician and she always says, “why must we rush the worship to get to the sermon?” The time you have taken on this question humbles me and requires me to slow down to see where I am rushing what He wants to teach me. I am so thankful for you and that God has brought us together! Love and blessings to you and your family!!!!!!!

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      1. I agree with your friend on the worship!!

        And yes, I agree it’s too easy to rush to the end, without enjoying both the process and the journey.

        I’m loving what this blogging community has provided me with, from countries I’ve never stepped foot in: brothers, sisters, mother, fathers…it’s such a blessing, and we are absolutely all so very different.

        And that is God’s family in a nutshell!

        Andy B

        Liked by 1 person

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