January 10, 2016

"Risky Business?" by Sharon Espeseth

As a child, I loved the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. I recall the disciples clambering around Jesus to tell him about their day. This was difficult, because of the constant interruptions of the people crowding around the Master. I could imagine this being like students prancing around a teacher or parent, trying to get the adult's attention.

Jesus had compassion on them 
Jesus knew the apostles had been helping, healing, and teaching people all day and that they had much to tell him. He invited his men to go with him by boat to a quiet spot, but the crowds, still wanting more of Jesus, beat them to the "secluded spot." To Jesus, the people looked like sheep without a shepherd. Having compassion on them, he continued his teaching. Toward evening, the disciples reminded Jesus that the people needed to disperse and find themselves some food.

I can imagine, the apostles' surprise when Jesus said, "You give them something to eat."  (My italics.) Where were they going to get all this food? After taking inventory, they had only five loaves of bread and two fish. They brought these humble offerings to Jesus. I wonder if these ordinary men believed right away that they would have enough food to feed this huge crowd. Were some of them skeptics?  Blessed and broken by Jesus, however, the food was enough to feed the multitudes and feed them abundantly. Twelve baskets full or food remained.

Often we as writers are timid about our writing and wonder if it is enough to feed those who are spiritually hungry. In the third chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul makes it clear that the work we do isn't about us. As servants, we have been assigned our tasks. With our writing, we plant the seed. Someone else may water the seed by publishing it or by promoting our writing, but it is God who makes that seed produce.

If we don't do our job of writing, there will be nothing to water and nothing to grow. Paul reminded Timothy that God did not give us a spirit of timidity; rather he gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) Claiming the power of God's spirit should prevent us from hiding our talents. If we have God's love in our hearts, would we not want to share it? If we are lacking self-discipline, it is time to commit that problem to our Lord.

St. Angela Merici, born in the 15th century, was an orphan, who dedicated her adult life to providing education for poor girls and young women. She also founded the Order of the Ursalines. Fitting to her calling, she said, "Do something, get moving, risk new things, stick with it, get on your knees, then be ready for big surprises."

St. Angela's words still apply today. With her teaching in mind, these are my goals.

1. To live an-abiding-in-Christ life. To be a branch on Christ's vine.

2. To listen and be attentive to the voice of the Creator. To jot down in my notebook what God brings
     to my attention.

3. To do and learn from the 500-Words-a-Day Word Challenge--Jeff Goins Style. (I am on Day 3 of

4. To start a blog about living with purpose and enjoyment in my senior years.

5. To submit my writings for publication, so I have two submissions on the go all the time.

I plan to "do something, get moving, risk new things, stick with it, get on (my) knees, and get "ready for big surprises."

Ramona Heikel said the following in her blog, "Inspired to Wait Tables", in August of this year.

". . . as appointed servants of the Lord, we are entrusted with a fortune of gifts and abilities, self-esteem problems or not.  If we devalue the talents God has given us, it is a serious problem."

Be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you  go.
God knew his children would sometimes be afraid. In Joshua 1:9, God says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." This is not just a reminder; it's a promise. Since God really wants us to get that, he has included many messages about our being courageous and not being afraid.

If we fall or fail, God will help us up again. God is close at hand. If we abide in him and listen to him, writing is not a risky business.


  1. Your goals look to be focussed on serving God and not on outcomes. Most intelligent! "Be strong and courageous!" Your post is one more confirmation for me this week, Sharon, that God sets our job description, and our task is to follow it. He tells us to write, not wait until we are assured of worldly success, just write. The rest is up to him.

  2. Wonderful goals, Sharon. I especially like the analogy of the loaves and fish to our writing... I never thought of it that way before. I am really enjoying this months posts. there is so much encouragement and food for thought!

  3. I agree, Bobbi, that God sets our job description, and our task is to follow and obey. I know you have talked about this before, saying that we are not in charge of the results. God gives the results, the increase.

    Yes, Tracy, we have had some interesting blogs this month and previously that are encouraging, inspiring, and thought-provoking. Thanks for you comments, my writing colleagues.

  4. Excellent, ambitious goals. And wonderful promises from Scripture, especially Joshua 1:9. Thanks.

  5. You have set some goals for 2016. Wonderful! I love how excited you are for some big surprises. I would also like to start a blog, just not sure how to go about that but I'm sure God will place the right people in my path to get that started. Thanks for all the biblical reminders..."someone waters the seed but God makes the seed produce."

  6. Excellent blog, thank you. I especially appreciated the words of the St Angela Merici-"Do something, get moving, risk new things, stick with it, get on your knees, then be ready for big surprises."

  7. I too have a long way to go to get a blog up and running, but I do have some leads and some ideas, Vicki. I hope this works for you too. Thanks, Connie, Vickie, and Jocelyn for your comments. One of the newer members of our Women Word Weavers, Anita, says she is just pumped about the New Year.

    I am on Day 7 of Jeff Goins 500-Words-a-Day Challenge (My 500 Words). Since this was my most challenging task of the day, I was procrastinating until the end of the day. Today I am going to eat my live frog early in the day, as Mark Twain advises. A fellow by the name of Brian Tracy wrote a book called "Eat That Frog," in which he uses Twain's motto to overcome his tendency to procrastinate. I haven't read this book, but it does sound interesting.

  8. Thank you for mentioning my post, Sharon! I missed it first time around (busy breaking my arm--haha), but glad I caught it now!


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