August 24, 2011

Passing It On

Posted by Lynda Schultz

Almost fifteen years ago I began to journal the thoughts that came to mind as I meditated on Scripture. It had been my habit to read through the Bible once a year and it occurred to me that it would be a good exercise to write down what I was learning. For three years I added to my notes, amazed that each year something new came out of the same passages I had read so many times before. I had such rich, wonderful, passionate hours with the Lord and His Word over those years. My devotional time had never been so exciting. At the end of those first three years I had hundreds of pages of notes—my own personal commentary on the Bible.

"My own personal..."

Why was it my own personal commentary? If studying the Scriptures from cover to cover every year was so exciting to me, shouldn't it be that exciting a journey for every believer? How could I encourage others to take their own journey through the Word and discover the riches I had found?

Devotional books are plentiful—in North America. But at the time I was working in Venezuela and like so many countries outside of English-speaking ones, Christian books weren't plentiful or inexpensive. Added to the problem was the government's insistence on controlling the American dollars that were necessary to buy translated books that come from outside the country.

So, I thought, I could share what I discovered, encourage the journey in others, and meet a need if I published my material in Spanish from inside Latin America. The Lord gave me an obscure verse from Habbakuk as confirmation: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it" (2:2, NIV).

Thus began a fourth year reading through and editing all my notes and reducing each day's discoveries to three hundred words or less. In 2009 the Spanish edition of the book was published. Later that year a limited edition was published in English. The Spanish edition has circulated in several Latin American countries, in Central America, in the U.S., Canada, and in Spain.

I'd have to say that the discipline of keeping that spiritual journal was a turning point in my writing. Nothing has been quite as satisfying. Though I am no longer working in Latin America I feel especially blessed that God has allowed me to leave a small legacy behind for the glory of His Name.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Lynda - with the Spanish speaking world and with us. I am curious about the similarities and differences to publishing overseas as compared to in Canada.

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  2. I had the book printed in Colombia (much cheaper than Venezuela) and it amounted to about $8.00 per book. They designed several covers for me to choose from. Good service. The problem for me was me in Venezuela and the printer in Colombia and having to work through a third party in Colombia because of the distance.

    The English edition was published by Word Alive Press and ended up to be double in size (more spread out so that each day took two pages rather than one–easier reading)and cost a whole lot more to produce. Good service (and they had a very tight deadline) though some of the changes I sent through didn't get changed for some reason. Nothing serious.

    But that was okay. People here in Canada can generally afford to pay $25.00 for a book. The $8.00 in Latin America worked well for that market.

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  3. I had the book printed in Colombia (much cheaper than Venezuela) and it amounted to about $8.00 per book. They designed several covers for me to choose from. Good service. The problem for me was me in Venezuela and the printer in Colombia and having to work through a third party in Colombia because of the distance.

    The English edition was published by Word Alive Press and ended up to be double in size (more spread out so that each day took two pages rather than one–easier reading)and cost a whole lot more to produce. Good service (and they had a very tight deadline) though some of the changes I sent through didn't get changed for some reason. Nothing serious.

    But that was okay. People here in Canada can generally afford to pay $25.00 for a book. The $8.00 in Latin America worked well for that market.

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  4. Great to see how God brought so much delight to your personal Bible reading, and from that blessings, He asked you to share with others.

    It reminds me how we who have more (knowledge, resources, etc.), have more responsibility to share with others.

    I enjoyed reading about your experiences.

    Blessings!
    Dorothy

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  5. Loved hearing about this aspect of your writing journey... how exciting!

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  6. This was a wonderful story. You were doubly blessed - first the blessing of discovery for yourself, then the blessing of sharing it with others.

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  7. Lynda,
    What a wonderful story of God's Word being spread to others. I, too, read the Bible and journal my thoughts each morning. Great discipline to go back and make a book of what you learned!
    Blessings,
    Jan

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  8. Lynda, I was blessed when someone told me to do this right after I was saved... so I have almost 40 years of journal entries. Wish I could hire a staff to transcribe them, and as you found, rereading is a great delight. I'm feeling challenged to publish them also.

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  9. Thanks for sharing your story of diligence - at several levels. An encouragement for me to do likewise in those things that God is prompting me to do.

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  10. Elsie... I'll be waiting for that 40- journey's book to appear in print... I can only imagine how many jewels and nuggets of gold there are in it!

    Most of my Christian life too has been journaled. It is interesting to read back and watch the progress (or sometimes not) of my growth.

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  11. Lynda:
    I commend your diligence in reading the Bible through each year. It is about three chapters a day, and is no little commitment, especially if you journal your thoughts as well.
    My burden is that so few Christians read their Bibles systematically and so ground themselves securely in their Christian faith.
    Yes, devotional books and helps of every kind are numerous in English, so much so that they are considered of little worth.
    Not so in other languages as you have pointed out, and they are more greatly valued.
    Perhaps this is why third world countries are developing deeper Christian roots and broadening Christianity's appeal while western Christianity seems a mile wide and an inch deep!

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