I haven’t written in my blog in months due to being offered a new position on our campus last fall which has had a high learning curve and some ongoing health issues, which limited me in where I could invest my time and talents. As a ‘wannabe’ writer, it has been discouraging not to be able to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and share more of what God is revealing to me and doing in my life that might be an encouragement to you. However, God provided encouragement just wnen I needed it.
I attended and served at an event called Super Saturday 2012 yesterday (3/24/12), sponsored by the Lancaster (PA) Christian Writers Group (LCW), and it was encouraging to be around other writers who also struggle with ideas, time, rejections, and rewrites. I absorbed great information in workshops, had a piece of writing critiqued, and had great conversations with presenters and other writers.
Jeanette Windle, a missionary, founder of LCW, and award winning novelist, coordinated the event and was both funny and gracious in her opening remarks. She shared ideas from a great philosopher, Charlie Brown’s Snoopy, which brought laughs. She shared a quote from Michael Kanin, which we all related to, “I don’t like to write, but I love to have written.”
She encouraged us to believe in the ‘But God’ factor, a factor that will put us in a place in our writing that may seem unreachable or impossible, ‘but God’ will and can turn all of our efforts and plans on end. So we need to write, need to learn our craft of writing, but we need to leave the results up to God. It has been a privilege to get to know Jeanette by being involved in LCW and reading her political suspense novels.
Marlene Bagnull, founder of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, told us to consider submitting letters to the editor of our local newspaper because it’s the section most people read in their daily newspaper, and especially those who might have the power to make the changes. You don’t have to be a ‘writer’ to do that; just share your heart and concern for a hurting world from a heart that knows Christ, and God will show up.
I find God surprises me in the most unexpected places with His presence. Like last week when my husband and I were teaching the young adult Sunday School class that we’ve been teaching for almost a year now, and we were discussing a topic which was somehwhat uncomfortable for those in the class–sexual immorality. It ‘just so happens’ that a young woman who attended our church previously who is now married ‘just happened’ to be in our class. She was so open and vulnerable about what God had shown her and her fiance about sexual purity and the struggle they both had with that. She talked about the blessings God has reaped on her as a result of her faithfulness to being sexually pure till her marriage, and her much greater understanding of Lordship and God’s amazing love as a result of her obedience. My husband and I could never have spoken to the young adults like she did, and God surprised us all!
Today we talked in our class about joy and being joyful always and what that looks like in our lives. It was another great discussion and God birthed a devotional idea in my mind, which I hope to get from my mind to my fingers to my keyboard this week.
As you read this, I hope you think about the people you come in contact with everyday and how they can see you being joyful always by living above your circumstances, by caring for others when you are hurting yourself, by doing excellent work without complaining, by edifying your spouse rather than complaining about him/her, by spending time with Christ in prayer or in His Word so yu can do all of that and much more!
Have a joyful day!