Chip MacGregor

July 16, 2013

"It's the Power of Words"


A novelist wants to know, “What keeps you going? You’ve spent years as a writer, editor, publisher, and agent – what fuels your passion?”

I love books and words. I believe in the power of words. I believe in the ministry of words. There are many movies I love, and several that have had a short-term emotional impact on me, but I’d be hard-pressed to name many movies that actually changed me – I went, saw it, and left a different person. Maybe that’s happened a couple times (“Schindler’s List” comes to mind), but for the most part movies are an enjoyable diversion.

I love music, and have been moved by songs and arrangements, but I doubt I could tell you my life was ever changed because I attended the symphony. The same is true with paintings, sculpture, and dance. The arts are great for helping us explore the world, feel things, see things in a new way. But their influence is often short-lived. Yet I can point to several books that simply changed my life. After I read Brennan Manning’s RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL, I was simply never the same. When I completed Frederick Buechner’s SACRED JOURNEY or Henri Nouwen’s THE WAY OF THE HEART, I was different than I’d been before I read those books.

Words can do that. A book can have a life-changing effect on a person. Perhaps that’s why when God came to earth as a man, his closest friend, in trying to describe him, didn’t say, “He was like a Symphony” or “He was the Great Dance.” Instead, the guy who was closest to him wrote, “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God.”

So Jesus was described as being the “word” – the very word of God come to life. To me, that not only says something about Christ, but about the importance of words.

I’d like to work with authors doing great books, with words that make a difference in the lives of others. And I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve been able to work with those types of writers. That’s what keeps me going. I continue to believe in the power of words to shape us.

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  • Robin Patchen says:

    Words have no equal. When we want to get each other’s attention, we say, “Look,” and “Do you see what I mean?” We’re so dependent on our eyes. But when God wants to get our attention, he says, “Hear, o Israel…” He wants to bypass what we can see with our limited vision and reach into our minds and souls, and no visuals do that the way words do.

  • Josh Kelley says:

    Thank you, Chip, for reminding me why I write, especially as I struggle with a chapter that won’t come out right and I feel my deadline looming!

  • Julie Surface Johnson says:

    Great post! I’d never looked at the arts in this way. However, I’ve always been blessed with my interpretation of Psalm 45:1, God speaking–“My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (I’m still working on the ready part.)

  • Melissa Tagg says:

    It’s posts like this that make me extra proud to be a client of MacGregor Literary. Love this!

  • Shelly Miller says:

    You describe my heart here with every word. I was just asking my followers for some titles of books that inspired their faith. I’m checking out the titles you just mentioned here. Thank you.

  • Lee Thompson says:

    I love you, Chip…. (That’s not intended to be creepy, just brotherly…)

  • Meghan Carver says:

    John 1:1 is a verse that speaks volumes to me, Chip, because of those very reasons you articulated so well. The songs that do speak to me don’t do so because of the melody but because of the lyrics.

  • Jaime Wright says:

    Wow. “the Word”. I never put two and two together on that, but hello! Not sure I’ll read that Scripture the same way ever again. A book that greatly impacted me (power of words) was Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Cost of Discipleship”. I’m not sure I ever looked at my faith-walk the same way after that.

  • Amy Leigh Simpson says:

    Love your thoughts here today. Hmm, and it does sound familiar… Might make a good speech 🙂

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