"Deb Elkink is an energetic Christian who holds God's Word with conviction and theological integrity. She is an excellent writer with perspicuity. Her passion leads her to speak with giftedness to women."
— Dr. Grant C. Richison
Vice-President, Advancing Indigenous Missions (Canada)
Advancing Native Missions (U.S.)
(Verse-by-Verse Commentary, circulation 150,000+)
My mother tells me I spoke in full sentences at eleven months of age (before I even walked!), so it's no surprise that I just love talking to this day to anyone who'll listen — friends on the phone, strangers in the street, audiences who want an enthusiastic presentation.
I'd love to come speak at your event (secular or sacred), whether that's a how-to workshop for new writers, a tutoring session on basic Christian theology, or a relaxed weekend ladies' retreat.
I've been speaking for RSVP Ministries (formerly Stonecroft) since 2001. A description of my approved talks follows, but I'm always dreaming up new themes I'd love to share with you:
- The Legendary Rescue, Retold narrates my life as a cattle rancher's wife and uses the idea of folk literature ("Little Red Riding Hood") to show that redemption demands a recognition of sin, a cry for help, and a willingness for salvation.
- The Spreading Tree describes the literary use of the image of the tree in the Bible: the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (symbolizing the Fall into sin), the Tree of Life (depicting eternity in Heaven), and the Tree of the Cross (portraying Christ's work as the bridge between the other two).
- The Gown uses the imagery of the memorable clothing in the closet of my life (school frock, graduation gown, wedding dress) to explain how God clothes us in the robe of Christ's righteousness.
- Stargazing tells about my "dark night of the soul," when as an adult believer I wandered from obedience and returned through confession. Revelation of God in nature (the night sky) points to His explicit revelation in the Bible, which in turn points to Christ.
In addition to sharing the above twenty-five-minute presentations, I'm available as a retreat/seminar speaker or workshop leader, and will develop an address on the topic and occasion your specific situation requires. For example:
- Telling a Story is an introductory how-to writing course on creative fiction, adaptable for the classroom or a weekend workshop. We'll explore literary excerpts of high quality, brainstorm ideas and titles, engage in small-group interaction for positive feedback on shared writing, and more. You'll develop your story through examination and discussion of the elements of fiction writing (genre, theme, setting, dialogue, revision, and so on), and you'll apply the techniques to your own story — with one-on-one instructor critique.
- Writing Our Family Stories is a one-hour, interactive lecture on searching out the roots of our heritage, sorting that research into usable material, and showing what we've learned in a format that suits our audience (be it bedtime stories for grandchildren, published memoirs for history buffs, or short stories for readers of fiction).
- What's Eating You? is my seminar perfect for a one-day ladies' retreat and consists of two forty-five-minute talks based on the book of Jonah, encouraging women to consider that God's sovereignty and grace are behind all our circumstances and experiences of discipline and salvation; He wants us to have His eternal values regarding the worth of all people.
- The Spa of Susa works well if you're planning a pampering event incorporating beauty treatments and feasting (especially for older teens and young women). The story of Esther — whose physical loveliness was a factor in her role as political savior of the Jewish people during the reign of King Xerxes of Persia — teaches us that God oversees all the "coincidences" of our lives.
- A Cord of Three Stands: The Bond of Friendship is a four-session study on the motif of friendship developed throughout Scripture. We discuss friendship in eternity past (within the Trinity) and then in the Garden, the Fall resulting in alienation from God and others, God's overtures and the Cross, the message and ministry of reconciliation, and friendship in eternity future.
- Home Sweet Home uses architectural and design concepts to focus on that nesting urge we all have to "enter Sabbath rest," as the book of Hebrews defines it — that inner place of security for the soul, which can be found in Christ Jesus alone.
- Long Ago in a Land Far Away employs selected literature (from fairy tales through classics, depending on the audience) as the starting point to show that all stories revolve around the four plot points of Creation, the Fall, Redemption, and Re-Creation. The purpose of this seminar is to draw attention to the foundational and true biblical narrative, that greatest of all stories by the Author of our salvation.
- That Makes Sense! engages your audience through sensory stimulation (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell) in experiencing a concrete symbol or image (perhaps mirror, spices, fabric, perfume) that appears as a motif throughout the biblical text. This hands-on, thematic, highly customized workshop — best for smaller groups — snags attention, points to the Bible, and applies the lesson by focusing on a picture God uses in His Word to communicate significant spiritual meaning. (For a condensed example of this approach and ideas for choosing symbols, see my ongoing series of mini-studies here.)
To discuss my availability and your particular seminar needs, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.