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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Too Much Knowledge?

Do you ever feel like your brain can't possible handle anymore information? That's where I am right now. In trying to "find my place" in the writing world, I have been studying every writing-related book I can get my hands on. All of the information has been useful, but I'm beginning to feel an information overload!

So, why can't I stop? I just found two chapters of an e-course that I had taken. For some reason, these chapters didn't make it into the notebook with the rest of them. What was my response when I found them? Oh no, not more? Nope! Just the opposite. "Oh, look. I missed some. I need to read these as soon as possible."

I guess you could call it the "writer's sickness." The only thing a writer loves to do more than write is READ! Anything, everything. It doesn't matter. If we can gain knowledge (or maybe a story idea), we jump at the chance to pick up another book. Crazy? A little. But, I still say "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139:14) God has made me just the way I am, and He is proud when I answer His call to be what He created me to be.

So, while it may seem strange to some, I'll keep cramming. After all, a little knowledge never hurt anyone.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hidden in Plain View

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I have heard and read that verse so many times that I can quote it in my sleep. Yet, it wasn't until recently that a part of that passage jumped out at me. Referring to Jesus, the Bible says "who for the joy that was set before HIM" (emphasis mine). I had always read the words, but in my mind I was thinking of the joy that was set before us as Christians. What joy is set before Christ? After all, He left a place of perfect peace and joy to come and die on a cruel cross for our sins. Now, He is in Heaven again, but if that's the joy this verse is speaking of, why would He have left Heaven in the first place?

I believe that the joy spoken of here is the joy of knowing that He purchased our salvation and that, if we've accepted that payment, we will spend all eternity with Him. We are the joy that was set before Him. He is looking forward to spending eternity with us just as we are looking forward to spending it with Him. I don't know about you, but that new revelation has made this passage far more precious to me. Jesus is waiting for me with open arms and a huge smile on His face. The eternal celebration is imminent. Will you be there?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Making Decisions

Do you ever wish God would speak to you like He did to those who lived in Bible times? I do. For example, right now I am battling over a decision, and I could really use a burning bush or a prayer fleece. But, God doesn't speak the same way now. Instead, He speaks through His Word, and though we may not find a specific answer to our specific problem, if we study the Word enough, the answer to our question will be made clear. Is it always simple? No! In fact, sometimes it's downright frustrating! God never promised us a simple life, but He did say He would be with us each step of the way and that He would hear our cries.

So, what will I do about my decision? I don't know yet. I'm still praying and studying to discover God's will. And, until I've heard from Him, I will leave things as they are. Sometimes it helps me to remember that God is not the author of confusion. So, if I feel that overwhelmed about a decision, it may be that the Lord is not in that decision at all. That's why it's so important to study up and be filled with prayer before making any decision. . .no matter how big or small.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Growing Passion

I was talking with a friend this morning, and I made a statement concerning my writing that expressed feelings I wasn't even aware that I had. I told her that the Lord had given me a passion for writing, and I feel that passion growing every day.

After our discussion, I began thinking about this in greater detail and discovered it is true. My desire to write today is greater than it was yesterday. I can't wait to get started on my next writing project. . .whatever that might be.

So, what is it about the writing life that I find so wonderful? I honestly don't know. I just know that I'm not happy unless I've had the opportunity to write. When a day goes by without my having written, I feel discouraged and unproductive. I look forward to the days I know I will have the most writing time. It's a passion, and it is growing by leaps and bounds!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Positive Attitude

For the past week, I've been reading "The Silver Chair" by C.S. Lewis. One of the main characters in this particular book is a creature named Puddleglum, the Marsh-wiggle. He has kept me laughing through the entire book with his attitude. You see, he comments that all the other Marsh-wiggles tell him to get his head out of the clouds and to stop having such a positive attitude all the time. When in fact, his attitude is anything but positive. He's constantly making comments like "No doubt, this is the last time we'll see each other." And, "We're likely to be eaten, I'll reckon." And, "What's food for Marsh-wiggles may be poison to humans, I should think." Each of these comments are made with such a dry tone and an obviously negative attitude. Without a doubt, this character honestly believes that bad things always happen and they will continue to happen. So, every time Puddleglum makes some comment about looking on the bright side, I can't help but laugh.

But, then, I started thinking. Am I a Puddleglum? I admit I've had more than my share of negative moments when I was sure all hope was lost. And, I further admit that I've counseled many a friend to just put the circumstances in God's hands, and He will handle the rest. It sounds to me, just like Puddleglum, that I am not practicing what I "preach." How can I be negative all the time, and then turn around and tell others to be positive?

I'm sure when C.S. Lewis wrote the Narnia series, he had no idea how much it was going to impact the world. There are so many lessons to be learned from these stories, and if you haven't read them, I encourage you to. While reading, look for the symbolism tied into each story. I'm sure it will bless you, and maybe even convict you as it has me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Two Sides to Every Story

I received an e-mail this morning from a dear friend. The e-mail was entitled "Women of Influence." She wrote that she wanted me to read it because I was such woman of influence, even if I didn't feel like it. My first thought was 'Oh, if she only knew.' This made me question why that thought popped into my head, and it didn't take me long to find the answer.

I am the type of person who has no desire to be the center of attention or in the middle of a confrontation. For this reason, when I'm at church or out in the public, I do my very best to put on a "happy face," no matter what may be amiss in my life. This, in itself, is not a problem. The problem lies in the times when I'm at home, and, after holding in my feelings all day, I feel the need to do some serious venting. I complain about being wronged. I whine about getting my feelings hurt. I'm moody about something that didn't go my way. Woman of influence? Maybe. But, the right kind? Not always. I'm sure if some of my dearest friends at church saw me in my own home sometimes, they would not recognize me as the same person. It's almost like I'm bipolar, swinging from one end of the mood spectrum to the other.

My prayer is that the Lord will help me to live up to the labels others have placed on me. I pray that what they see at church will be what I live each day. I implore Him to give me the strength to keep that "happy face" all the time, and not just for the sake of appearances.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Who Needs a Blog?

I have been going back and forth with the idea of starting my own blog. After all, why do I need a blog? The truth is that the more I've been reading and studying, the more I've discovered that everyone could make good use of a blog. Is it a necessity? No, but it is an advantage. My goal for this blog is two-fold. First, I look forward to the opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings with the world. Second, I see this as an opportunity to be a better witness for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. After all, "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." (Proverbs 25:11)