Click here to download the Spring 2016 themes. (PDF 146 KB)
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Freelance submissions due by April 15, 2015
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 in the Lesson Aims below.
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 and 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 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 email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quarter titles for Spring 2016:
Quarter titles for Spring 2016: Unit 1, Tests of Faith (Issues 1-4); Unit 2, Restorative Faith (Issues 5-8); Unit 3, Fullness of Faith (Issues 9-13).
Issue 1: Powerful Faith (Help My Unbelief)
March 6, 2016
Scripture: Mark 9:14-29
What to Write: Contemplate the faith it takes to use the power of Jesus Christ to minister to others. Prayers of the faithful are powerful and increase their witness to others. Explore "unanswered prayer," commonly held explanations for it, and biblical reasons. Tell how one can move from unbelief to belief in God's power to help people.
Issue 2: Simple Faith (A Generous Life)
March 13, 2016
Scripture: Mark 10:17-31
What to Write: It is difficult to give up all one's possessions to follow some altruistic goal. Jesus said that faith in God makes it possible for people to sacrifice all they have for the good of the kingdom and the benefit of others. Explore the concept of making sacrifices and receiving God's blessings. Submission to God is an act of the will and heart. Explore this concept: Is it possible that God will supply all our needs? Analyze the possible character and thinking of the rich man in his response to Jesus' request. Discuss the possible connections between possession of riches and the maintenance of faith in today's society. Are riches forbidden on the part of believers? To what extent, if any, might one be a rich person and a sincere Christian? What would Jesus say is holding you back from being totally committed to Him?
Issue 3: Struggling Faith (Failure and Remorse)
March 20, 2016
Scripture: Mark 14:26-31, 66-72
What to Write: People often overestimate their ability to remain loyal to a cause and bear witness to it. Peter was convinced of the strength of his faith, but he wept when he came face to face with the true weakness of his faith. Explore feelings and reactions when one fails to meet the expectations of those who are loved and respected. Discuss spiritual disciplines that encourage a stronger relationship with God. Explore ways to practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, and living in ways that express a loyal devotion to the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Issue 4: Resurrection Faith (Holding Strong to Beliefs) Easter
March 27, 2016
Scripture: Mark 16:1-8
What to Write: Explore the concept that faith in God enables the believer to survive devastating losses. Expound on what the Easter season means to the believer. Give reasons for believing in Jesus' resurrection. Consider ways that believers can share their beliefs about the risen Lord during the Easter season.
Issue 5: Amazing Faith (Good as New)
April 3, 2016
Scripture: Luke 7:1-10
What to Write: People have desperate needs at times that cause them to wonder whether any help is available. The centurion's faith in Jesus Christ made all the difference in meeting his need to see his servant healed. Explore the ministry of interceding in other's behalf. Believers approach God in prayer with confidence in God's power to answer prayers and with genuine humility, recognizing their unworthiness to approach a holy God except by God's grace. Compare and contrast the healing performed by Jesus and the healing Christians experience today in answer to prayer.
Issue 6: Shameless Faith (A Fresh Start)
April 10, 2016
Scripture: Luke 7:36-50
What to Write: Sometimes in life, people are remorseful to the point of tears about something they did or said. Where can they turn for help? Luke tells of a sinful woman who turned to Jesus and found forgiveness and peace. Expound on the practice of forgiving others for their failures, shortcomings, and hurtful actions. Celebrate the joy of forgiving and of being forgiven. How can Christians resolve the conflicts in their own minds when obviously godly people do things that make them uncomfortable? Discuss the question: Who is a "sinner" in today's world? Brainstorm ways to reach out to these people with the forgiveness available in Christ Jesus.
Issue 7: Recovered Faith (Thinking Clearly)
April 17, 2016
Scripture: Luke 8:26-36
What to Write: Sometimes when a person's mind suffers from an emotional or physical disorder, he might behave abnormally and may even be a threat to himself or others. Jesus once healed a man who was not in his right mind because of demon-possession; Jesus told him to go home and tell everyone how much God had done for him. Write what one of the apostles might have written in his journal or diary after this event. Include emotions, reactions, and conclusions drawn as well as the facts or details of the event. Share the story of a church that has developed a ministry to those struggling with mental illness or addiction.
Issue 8: Tested Faith (Back Home Again)
April 24, 2016
Scripture: Luke 15:11-24
What to Write: Family relationships become too easily twisted and broken. A Godlike love and forgiveness, given and accepted like the experience that happened between the father and the lost son, can mend differences and restore relationships. Expound on the concept that being restored to the Father (God) is a matter of grace and not works. Discuss why the father simply waited at home instead of going out to look for his wayward son-as the shepherd searched for his sheep and the woman searched for her coin (Luke 15:4, 8). What, if any, bearing does this have on resolving strained family relationships? on bringing longtime absent church members back to the "fold"? on missions? Explore the dynamics of reconciliation. What is involved in repentance, forgiveness, and acceptance of forgiveness?
Issue 9: Increased Faith (Facing Up to Failure)
May 1, 2016
Scripture: Luke 17:1-10
What to Write: Even when Christians do their best, they sometimes fail and require correction from someone else. Jesus teaches His followers that even the smallest amount of genuine faith will cause them to rebuke sin, and if repentance occurs, then the fullness of faith leads to forgiveness and restoration; this is the very least of what God expects of His followers. Expound on being empowered by God to love and forgive even your enemies. How can we emulate the forgiveness of Christ? How can we be loving and supportive of one another? Create a scenario in which a believer has occasion to correct the sinful behavior of a fellow Christian.
Issue 10: Grateful Faith (Saying Thank You)
May 8, 2016
Scripture: Luke 17:11-19
What to Write: Some people express their gratitude with sincerity; others find it difficult to express their gratitude; and still others are just plain ungrateful for what is done for them. By faith, one of the ten lepers that Jesus healed was able to express his gratitude and praise. Expound on pleasing God in every aspect of life. Explain the relationship between gratitude and growing faith. Discuss ways in which some people express and receive gratitude. What would be the most appropriate way to express gratitude? When does social convention require the sending of thank-you notes, and when doesn't it? What makes gratitude "mandatory" in some cases but "optional" in others? How can we be more thankful on a routine basis?
Issue 11: Humble Faith (Valuing Humility)
May 15, 2016
Scripture: Luke 18:9-14
What to Write: The faithful sometimes wonder whether their prayers, including those uttered out of desperation, will make a difference. Jesus taught that effective prayer is infused with power when offered with humility of spirit rather than out of self-righteousness. How should believers pray to God to help them overcome their natural tendency toward pride and self-righteousness? How have humble acts won others to the faith? Identify and discuss as many different characters as you can of persons who exhibit traits like those of the Pharisee and tax collector today. Expound on the teaching that those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Issue 12: Childlike Faith (Being Open and Receptive to Life)
May 22, 2016
Scripture: Luke 18:15-17; Mark 10:16
What to Write: Children's openness to life is a worthy model for everyone in society. Jesus taught that to receive the gift of the kingdom of God, the faithful must become as children: open, attentive, and receptive to what God has freely given. How can we exhibit an openness to learn about how to live to become part of the kingdom of God? Research the kingdom of God idea as used in both the Old and New Testaments. Describe the character and nature of those who would be expected to inhabit the kingdom in each case. Discuss childish versus childlike.
Issue 13: Joyous Faith (Getting Back on Track)
May 29, 2016
Scripture: Luke 19:1-10
What to Write: Most people have experienced a loss of direction in their lives and the inability to make necessary changes and new plans. How can they remedy this loss of direction? After Zacchaeus gladly welcomed Jesus with great faith and repentance, Jesus declared that His own mission was to seek and save the lost. Encourage the reader to be compassionate and loving toward those w¬ho are outcast and rejected. Explore and discuss as many examples as possible wherein Jesus carries out His ministry to the "lost." What types of persons fit this category in Jesus' thinking? Do these persons compare with anyone the reader knows of today in society? Discuss particular ways to carry out a mission today to those who are lost.