Under The Tamarisk Tree was envisioned from the beginning to be a platform for others, not just me, to use the format of blog posts to share stories of their walk with Jesus, or share any insights they might have gathered as part of this walk, or share ideas or teachings that would help others in their walk with him.
When thinking about the site originally, I wanted it to be contemplative. What I mean by this is that it should not necessarily be structured teachings like a preaching message or a devotional might be, for example. I wanted the posts to reflect a personal narrative, contemplating and working through life’s issues with an open Bible and led by the Holy Spirit. Words like authentic, vulnerable, thoughtful and indeed contemplative came to mind.
I also thought this should be in light of an unwavering stand on Scriptural truths, yet without being “preachy”. I do not mean “contemplative” as in “contemplative theology”. This is a stream of thought that I don’t necessarily agree with and am not promoting it here.
When I write, I have an audience in mind that covers both the Christian and non-Christian communities. Many Christians have subscribed on social media or the website itself, but quite a number of them are also not Christ-followers. We should therefore be cognisant of Peter’s advice to keep our conduct among the unbelievers honourable (1 Peter 2:12). When they read any posts, I hope they come away with more insight into the author’s walk of faith or the pages of scripture.
In that sense, I would like the site to be seeker-friendly but not seeker-sensitive in the traditional sense. Meaning, we don’t have to play down the importance of repentance, the seriousness of sin or the fact that Jesus is NOT just a good teacher (only), he is the living Son of God. On the other hand, I like to think that ideally the posts that go up on it should be stimulating good conversations afterwards, or even in a follow-up post. In other words, unlike for example a typical Sunday morning message, the posts that go up on UTTT does not necessarily have to contain the full gospel message each time, or cover all the possible variations of the audience’s faith journeys, or tie up every loose end from a theological point of view. It is more conversational, more thought experiment, more contemplative. Yet, tied clearly and undeniably to a scriptural, personal relationship with Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The authors and potential-future-authors on this site come from different backgrounds, religious denominations, and cultures. What binds us together is a love for Jesus and a concern for authentic living in a fallen world. We don’t shy away from controversial topics, but in general, I hope for the site to convey a conciliatory tone instead of a provocative one. Ideally, it should be rooted in both the Scripture and the real world, if that makes sense.
I invite you to use this platform to share your thoughts, journey and insights in your own words, and that you always root it back to the Bible.
Please read Why a Tamarisk Tree? If you can align your writing with the philosophy described here, then you’re welcome to contribute. I do, however, reserve the right not to publish anything if I feel it contradicts the purpose of the site or if it goes against, or misinterprets, the Bible.
There are two categories into which you can post at the moment:
- Christian Walk. This category is good for narrations, musings and personal reflection or insights
- The Bible Makes Sense. This category has a stronger focus on a specific biblical passage, theme or doctrine. The goal is to shed light on something in scripture that believers or unbelievers might find interesting, helpful or enlightening.
How to publish here?
What does it entail to contribute on uttt.co.za/underthetamarisktree.com?
- Get in touch with me, and let’s discuss what you have in mind to write about
- Write your post. Try to keep the word count to around 2000 (though I often struggle with this!). Between 1000 – 2000 is what you should be aiming for. Between two and three images is also a good idea. If you’re new to writing blog posts, talk to me about the process of writing/editing/good grammar checkers, the use of images etc. I can share good resources on the topic.
- After approval, we schedule a time for the post to be published. I normally aim to publish every two weeks. Early Sunday afternoons seem to be a good time for this kind of content to go out.
- I require a recent picture of you and a short bio to include in the post. I will also add you to the Contributors page (under development) where your picture and bio will be displayed. Aim for between 100 – 250 words.
- I will register you as an Author on the site, meaning you will get a special login to UTTT where you can edit/update your posts (it will still go through approval process) and respond to comments you might get on the site.
- I can provide you with an underthetamarisktree.com email address should you want one
For any other questions, please get in touch with me on email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to working with you and to share the message, the life and the fame of Jesus!