Click here to download the Winter 2015 - 2016 themes. (PDF 146 KB)
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Freelance submissions due by January 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 e-mail your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quarter titles for Winter 2015 - 2016:
Unit 1, What We Bring to God (Issues 14);
Unit 2, Four
Weddings and a Funeral
(Issues 59); Unit 3, Holy Days
Issue 1: The Sabbath Day (Holding on to Principles)
Scripture: Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-16
What to Write: Explore the
history of observing Sunday as "the Lord's Day" and the differences between
that and the Sabbath in the Jewish tradition. How can we maintain spiritual stability in a
rapidly changing world? Address the physical and spiritual benefits of rest.
Issue 2: Acceptable Offerings (Choosing the Right Gift)
Scripture: Leviticus 22:17-25, 31-33
What to Write: Enticing ads and commercials convince people that
substantial material gifts give evidence of one's love toward another. Leviticus
informs us that the best gift one can give is obedience to God's commandments.
Explain the connection between obedience to God and sacrificial giving of self
and possessions. Expound on Psalm 51:17-the sacrifice acceptable to God is a
broken spirit. (Also read: Romans 12:1, 2; Isaiah 1:10-20; Hebrews 13:15.) Create
and promote a "money-free" gift-giving experience for families. Is it possible
to give God "money-free" gifts? Explain.
Issue 3: Dedication of the Firstborn (Excitement of Celebration)
Scripture: Exodus 13:13b-15; Luke 2:22-32
What to Write: People today
celebrate holidays and special occasions as if they are routine and ordinary. How
can we recapture the awe and joy when we first experienced what the birth of
Jesus means to us? How can we pass this excitement and reverence on to future
generations? Write about modern-day "Simeons" and "Annas" and ways they have
expressed their faithfulness over the years. List scriptural evidences of the
giving nature of God. Discuss ways that giving gifts to one another honors God
by reflecting the divine nature. How can we emphasize this aspect of gift
Issue 4: A
Generous Gift (Giving from the Heart)
December 27, 2015
Scripture: Matthew 23:2-12; Mark 12:38-44
What to Write: Contrast the arrogance of religious leaders with the
piety of a humble poor woman in today's Scripture text. How do we become
selfless in our giving? Why do adults struggle to do what they know is the
right thing to do-especially when it involves personal sacrifice? Discuss
tithing and stewardship. Expound on how to promote a proper understanding of
the importance of giving what you can out of a pure heart within your church.
Discuss to what degree it is appropriate to seek recognition for "a job well
done." How can we avoid the attitudes of the scribes and Pharisees, which Jesus
denounced, while still wanting our work recognized for what it is? Is any
desire for recognition improper? Why or why not?
Issue 5: A
Bride Worth Waiting For (Bait and
January 3, 2016
Scripture: Genesis 29:15-30
What to Write:
Laban tricked Jacob into marrying his
older daughter, Leah; Jacob willingly agreed to work for seven additional years
in order to marry his beloved Rachel. Marriages can be marred by unforeseen
circumstances. How might husbands and wives patiently work through tradition
and undesirable circumstances to reach their personal goals? How does a healthy
relationship with God become the foundation for enduring relationships with
others? To maintain healthy relationships with others, one must acknowledge and
practice the power of forgiveness and love. How do relationships survive and
thrive even in the midst of difficulties? Describe ways to handle conflict so
that positive changes are made in relationships.
Issue 6: The
Most Beautiful Bride (The Eye of the
January 10, 2016
Scripture: Song of Solomon 6:4-12
What to Write: When marriages
are grounded in love, adoration can become the lens through which a couple
perceives one another. The writer of Song of Solomon eloquently describes
mutual adoration for the matchless inner and physical beauty of one another. Provide
a how-to article on expressing appreciation for the inner and outer beauty of
the ones you love. Why is it important to express our
love (to a spouse, a child, or anyone else) in a "language" they can
how praising God for the beauty one sees (whether it be a natural vista, a
human being, or any other created thing) gives a proper, godly perspective by
which to appreciate it.
Issue 7: An
Unfaithful Bride (Broken
January 17, 2016
Scripture: Hosea 1:1-11
What to Write: Unfaithfulness in
covenant relationships leads to brokenness and alienation. God uses Hosea and
Gomer's marriage and the naming of their children as symbolic of Israel's
alienation from God and God's plan for restoration. How does one survive and
heal the hurts of brokenness and alienation because of marital unfaithfulness?
Compile a list of steps for restoring a strained or broken relationship. Consider
all the victims of adultery-don't think solely about the cheated-on spouse or
the children, but about other individuals or groups that suffer because of
marital unfaithfulness. What does infidelity do to the families, communities, or
congregations involved? Why is adultery an apt metaphor for spiritual
unfaithfulness to God?
Issue 8: A
Wedding in Cana (Instilling Faith)
January 24, 2016
Scripture: John 2:1-12
What to Write:
Jesus instills faith in His disciples.
Suggest ways in which the reader can demonstrate his/her faith in Jesus.
Encourage readers to seek opportunities to demonstrate their spiritual gifts
and talents on behalf of others. Discuss whether it is appropriate to pray to
God for "little things." Jesus transformed 120-180 gallons of water into wine.
What does the abundance of Jesus' gift reveal about the nature of God? about
God's concern for our everyday lives? Expound on how believers can practice
hospitality in ways that are appropriate for their culture.
Issue 9: The
Death of a Friend (Matters of Life and
January 31, 2016
Scripture: John 11:38-44
What to Write: Our human nature allows us to struggle with the
finality of death. Expound on how to discuss issues of death and dying. Explore
the story of Lazarus to find comfort in times of grief. Explain how the
believer can mourn the loss of loved ones while confessing that, through Jesus,
death is not final. The believer has hope because of eternity. Discuss stages
of grief. How can we comfort those who mourn?
Passover (Free at Last!)
February 7, 2016
Scripture: Exodus 12:1-14
What to Write:
Reflect on the meaning of Passover and
what it says about God. Develop a festival of praise to God for salvation.
Explain how believers find ways to praise God for deliverance from oppressive
situations. Discuss how Jesus reinterpreted the symbolism of Passover to teach His
disciples about the significance of His coming death on the cross. Explore how
the Christian celebration of Easter draws on imagery and rituals originally
associated with Passover. Compare similarities between the Lord's Supper and
the Feast of the Passover.
Feast of Weeks (A Bountiful Harvest)
February 14, 2016
Scripture: Leviticus 23:15-22
What to Write:
People celebrate the harvest of their
labors with thanksgiving and share the fruits with others. The Lord commanded
the Hebrews to offer God joyful praise and thanksgiving and to share their
harvest with the needy. Expound on community service projects that have been
done to help those less fortunate and to assist the poor in given communities.
Using these words-harvest, grace, and
Holy Spirit-reflect on how each of
these categories represents a blessing given by God for which we can be
thankful. Discuss how each of these also represents blessings we can share with
those who need them. Explain why it is important to serve others. Compare and
contrast the way the poor are treated today and in the time of the Scripture
Issue 12: Day
of Atonement (A Clean Slate)
February 21, 2016
Scripture: Leviticus 16:11-19
Often people regret wrongful actions committed against another and because of
their guilt seek to make amends. In Leviticus, God commanded the Israelites to
set aside a day in which to sacrifice animals for payment of sin's debt;
Hebrews says that the blood of animals is no longer sufficient and that God has
provided Jesus as the supreme sacrifice for atonement. Reflect on the meaning
of atonement for sins and its relevance today. Compare and contrast various
biblical images for what sin does and what it means to be delivered from sin
(e.g., a stain to be cleansed, a debt to be paid, a crime to be pardoned,
etc.). Compare and contrast the difference between the personal sacrifice (vv.
11-14) and the sacrifice for the people (vv. 15-19).
13: Feast of Tabernacles (Heritage and Hope)
February 28, 2016
to Write: Families
need rituals of celebration to remember their heritage and to pass it on to
their children. The Israelites' celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles
assisted them in renewing their commitment to the God who guided and protected
them and in passing on their faith to their children. Explain the importance of
passing on to the next generation a legacy of faith that God will always guide
and protect. Share stories of God's presence and provision during times of
physical, emotional, or spiritual deprivation. How do we become aware of God's
presence when we wander in our own figurative wilderness?