Friday, February 4, 2011

DEVOTION: Who ARE you? - Shirley Corder

Many years ago, I listened to a tape recording by Mike Warnke, now a well-known Christian comedian. He shared his experience as a new Christian and speaker. He determined to be the very best of everything . . . and studied the top speakers in each field. A natural mimic, he soon managed to perfect a convincing imitation of many speakers.

He imitated Billy Graham as he thundered out an evangelical message. He spoke with the authority and passion of Kathryn Kuhlmann, as he preached to the sick and invited them to come forward for healing. He urged people to step out in faith in the style of Oral Roberts. Yet he had little or no response.

One day, in frustration, he asked the Lord, "Why don't I get results when I preach?"

To this, he said, the Lord replied, "I don't know. Who are you?"

We can laugh, but isn't that what we do as writers? We long for the inspirational writing ability of Karen Kingsbury, the gift of story telling of Jerry Jenkins and the creativity of J.K.Rowling. We try to use the poetic prowess of Helen Steiner Rice, the tension-creating techniques of Brandilyn Collins and the light-hearted approach of Max Lucado. And we wonder why we don't get results. Is God perhaps saying, "Who are you?"

Each one of us have our own abilities and gifts. We have strengths unique to our own writing style, and we have weaknesses. When we compare ourselves to other writers, we have no hope. We can't be as good as them. Chances are we won't make the same mistakes as them either. We can't write like them. We're not them.

God made each one of us in His own image. That's incredible - but it also shows us the immensity of the God we serve. Each of us is made in His image! And yet we're all so different.

He doesn't want us to imitate one another. He doesn't want a whole lot of clones. He wants Me to be the best me I'm capable of being. And He wants You to be the best you. By all means, let's learn from one another. But when we sit down to write -- let's write so that God (and our readers) know who we are!

Shirley Corder writes from the coast of South Africa. Visit her,  her site to encourage and inspire writers, or Rise and Soar, where she seeks to encourage and inspire those in the cancer valley. 


  1. Thank you so much, Shirl. Very timely.

  2. Super devotion, Shirl, thank you.

    I haven't heard of Mike Warnke before, but just love his story.

  3. Lovely post, Shirl. A message we can all hear over and over.

  4. I remember Mike Warnke. I laugh just hearing his name. He wrapped the truth in such a palatable package because you were laughing, but you got the point. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    PS I love the YOU God made.

  5. Isn't it great that he made each of us unique! Thanks for the reminder, Shirl.

  6. Thank you all for your comments. I often remember the message of this tape. I am a born mimic too, although unfortunately nothing like the standard of Mike Warnke (and not a comedian). But I often find myself reply to people in their tone of voice or accent, and realise they could easily think I'm mocking them. So it's something we all need to watch out for.