I'm thankful for what I have inscribed in my journal and what I've had published. My writing has not made me wealthy, nor has it always satisfied the taxman. I do, however, have a few bulging binders with clippings of blogs, poems, memoir pieces, essays, and religious articles. Would some of these writings fit between book covers? If so, I'm running out of years to accomplish this feat. It's time to escape apprenticeship mode.
I have enjoyed the writing and I have been rewarded in spiritual and emotional ways. God has blessed what I've written to I-don't-know-how-many readers. Occasional responses, or personal comment attest to this. For everyone who thanked me for a message that blessed him or her, there may be others who were also blessed.
Jesus, on his way to Jerusalem, met and healed ten lepers, but only one leper came back to thank him. Do we encourage other writers by letting them know that their writing helped us?
Listening: A New Emphasis
The Lord woke Elijah and asked, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
Elijah reminded God what had happened.
The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is going to pass by."
Expecting something big, Elijah waited on the mountain. The Lord was not in the terrible wind that ripped the mountain apart. The Lord was not in the earthquake that followed; nor was he in the fire. Torn and shaken, Elijah waited. After the fire, God whispered to him, telling him what to do.
Disappointment and a Whisper!
For years, the Edmonton Journal has been running a Saturday column called "Offerings," which is an "opportunity to express thoughts on religious issues." Over the years, I've had a number of articles published in this 750-word column, as have other Christian writers. The column is open to those of other faiths as well. I feel disappointed when there is no column. Do we as Christians, have no words to express our gratitude for what God has done for us?
Years ago the Journal paid $75 per column, fair pay in the 90s. Then they quit paying, but still invited columns. To satisfy the taxman, I looked for other markets, but I still wrote occasionally for Offerings and read what others wrote.
The Early Morning Call
|"I need you to write the story about Lent, Sharon."|
During Lent, I watched for tidings on the Easter theme. Nothing. I awoke at 6:00 a.m. one morning I must proclaim the Easter/Lenten theme. I wrote a quick draft for critiquing at the March meeting of Women Word Weavers.
Reading my essay to the group, I discovered that we, being of different denominations, had uncommon understandings about Lent. One of the ladies, also a Christian admitted Lent hadn't been a big part of her background. Discussion and suggestions prepared me for a total rewrite. I prayed about the rewriting and set to work. My writing buddies were surprised to see how the published article differed from my original draft.
After my story was printed, a few people commented on the article, but one gentleman I didn't know sent me an encouraging message by LinkedIn. He said he had read my essay twelve times and that he would probably read it twelve more times. What message from the Lord did this fellow receive?
|My story in Offerings in the Edmonton Journal|
Listen, Trust and Obey
When God tells us to write, we are expected to listen and obey. The message may be tailored for a particular readership God has in mind. If we fail to do God's bidding, God will have other options to get his message across. In our failure, however, we have denied the Lord, as Peter did the night Jesus was arrested. When God has done so much for us, how can we neglect our work in his vineyard?