Friday 8 November 2013

Why I Write What I Write

Some inspirations for my books
My Writing Journey

I’d rather mow the grass or go shopping or do anything before reading. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t come naturally to me. Yet I believe in the power of the written word. How come? Through hearing about or reading stories of how words changed lives,. There are many stories showing the power of words for great good or terrible evil. Then of course being drawn into ministry by the Lord has made me appreciate the wonder and awesome transforming power of The Word!

My first effort in expressing myself in words was first year in Bible College. My turn came to give devotions for the faculty and students. So I wrote out my five-eight minute presentation. I then gave it to our English lecturer. Oh dear! She used a red pen and made it look like someone had been slaughtered over the pages. I still have that devotional from 53 years ago. It at least tells me I have learnt something.

Being a minister means reading. It also calls for writing sermons, reports and other material. However I never entertained being a writer. I did make one or two tentative ventures which were really puerile in storyline and conversation mode. So I would never be a novelist. It was Jock Hunting from then Jewish Evangelical Witness, now David House Fellowship, who encouraged me to write for the Vineyard magazine. These were articles from Scripture in the light of current or historical events. He or others must have had great patience in editing.

I remember sending an article to a particular Denominational Editor. I typed it in red ink because my black had disintegrated and we were too broke to buy another at the time. You will realise how uncouth was my foundations in literary understandings and appreciation. The editor replied graciously saying the material was okay but the presentation left lots to be desired. He did offer some hints which I took on board. Thank the Lord for sympathetic editors who don’t crush the spirit of the uncouth but keen.

I did undertake an Australian Writers course, very basic but helpful. What was the refining, should I say chiselling work on my uncouthness was God Himself through His word and giving me my wife. Mary loves to read. She writes well and is a helpful critic. It has taken time and perseverance but I think I’m a little less prone to such things as red ink these days.

It is because I believe in the power of the written (and spoken) word that I’ve stuck at the discipline of learning to write what I am able to write. I still am unable to write novels . I did write a biography of John Thompson a Churches of Christ missionary with the Kanakas. My good friend and fellow minister Graeme Chapman edited it and ran off a few copies for our Churches Missionary archives. So what do I write? Devotionals! These actually began through two sources. One was my Mary who said I needed to pen my thoughts. The other was our experiences on three short term mission trips to Africa. I wrote thirty–one day devotional in a book entitled ‘The Neurotic Rooster.’ It was a fund raiser privately published for Eagles Wings mission to street children in Zambia.
I believe God’s Word is alive and active and want to share it as best I can. My devotional books which Even Before Publishing ( ) have printed are all themed. God’s word offers challenges, blessings, instruction and warnings on life related matters. It is on such things I want to show in a devotional meditation manner how they work out in life. So far printed Children – God’s Special Interest, From Eden with Love (about Marriage), Captured by Calvary, Bethlehem’s Warrior Baby are available.  In storage or under construction are Signposts to Happiness (The Blessings in the Bible), Dynamic Aging, No Soft Option (re the Ministry), The Warrior Lord Returns and The Warrior Lord’s Sword (What the Bible says about itself).

I look back on my journey with words and writing and stand amazed at the patience and mercy of God. When I was in college I really felt overwhelmed by the brilliance, skills and wisdom of others. They had experience or views ranging from politics to secular and sacred history. Some had University and other training, I had none.

I remember talking to the Lord about it one starry night on the college lawn. I told Him what He knew.”Lord I’m no intellectual, I don’t have political skills or academic degrees but you have called me to be your minister. I can only offer you this, I’ll do my best to know your word, teach your word, love and live your word if you will help me.”

The latest in the series unveils the biblical understanding of the Babe of Bethlehem.
All books are also available as Ebooks.
So that is why I write what I write. I know I may never be a Spurgeon or a Watchman Nee but I can be Ray Hawkins – no longer uncouth but still being finely honed.


  1. Thanks, Ray--a lovely, honest blog. May God bless all your writing efforts!

  2. Thanks Ray, you have the one thing God requires for the work, I believe - an open and willing heart. Bless you in your writing pursuits and sharing the Word.

  3. One thing I've discovered amongst the Christian writers from the various genres is that you are gracious and encouraging. Thanks.

  4. I loved your post and the prayer at the end. I have read a couple of Your devotional books and enjoyed them, particularly Bethlehem's Warrior Baby. Thanks Ray.

  5. Hi Ray,
    I love the writing team you and Mary have going, with a variety of such different books between the two of you. Surely you've both added to the impact the written word can make.

  6. Amen to all the above comments. We have a few of your books Ray and enjoy them. Isn't it great we don't have to be an intellectual to write? Just have to get the story from our heart to the reader's.

    God bless you both

  7. Hi Ray, I love the red ink 'uncouth' story! Thanks for sharing it, and your writer's heart.

  8. Thanks all. Appreciate you all taking time to comment. I know each in your own way have experienced the fine honing of the Lord especially within the discipline of your writing. May you all know the blessing of the Lord as you give your words flesh.

  9. That photo of Mary should have been me (Ray Hawkins) That's what I get for using her laptop down in Hobart for a couple of days. RNH

  10. Ray, thanks for sharing your encouraging and inspiring writing journey with us. I've been challenged and encouraged by your devotion books and I look forward to reading your upcoming releases :)


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