Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
Most of you know I’m a freelance writer by profession (The above quotation from Philippians is my reference point for content). The inspirational book market spits out royalties just once a year, so I cultivate regular work with a handful of newspapers, news agencies, magazines and web sites. Additionally, I pick up “one-off” assignments where I can.
For years, my favorite job was the weekly “opinion” column I wrote for The Brandon News. Some weeks it ran in several local papers, and pretty much always Brandon, Plant City, South Shore and Sun City. The feature was dropped, unfortunately, as part of the Tribune’s widespread content cuts two-three years ago.
FOCUS Magazine picked me up. I'm grateful for the opportunity, but FOCUS is a monthly periodical with a limited circulation. I still grieve my regular column, and very much miss the sense of community that was fostered via my ongoing conversation with – often – more than 100,000 people.
But I had to chuckle this week when I received two separate emails from local residents who both wanted to know, “Why have you stopped putting your wonderful column in the paper?”
“I’d love to,” I replied, “but that’s not my call. It's up to the editors and the publisher. But, let me ask you, have you written a letter to the newspaper asking for my column to be reinstated?”
Reality is, it simply doesn’t happen. Interestingly, I talk with literally hundreds of people who complain to me about, “The Godless liberal media…” They go on to tell me how much they enjoy my writing and my values - which happen to appear in the "Godless" media. But few take the trouble to follow through and support what they say they value! So many people will take the time to copy and circulate inaccurate information (poorly written at that), urban legends, made-up propaganda and gossip... but then largely ignore what’s good, true, noble, right, and pure! Go figure.
So I’ve come up with a partial solution - that is until the editors and the readers come to their senses! I’m going to set aside one day a week of this blog to the column I would write for the Tampa Tribune if they started running it again. The column will run Wednesdays, because that’s when it used to appear.
- Look for the new feature, starting next Wednesday. “Derek Maul: reading between the lines.”
Then, if anyone follows through and actually takes the trouble to lobby the newspaper, the column will already be up and running.
Same verse as before – but this time the translation is “The Message" - Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Do you believe Paul was right as to his advice? If so, consider making an investment in what is true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling and gracious. The best - not the worst.
Let's put some good news on the best-seller lists for a change!
Click here for my Amazon Author Page - DEREK