Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Who is it about?

I've been blessed to know a writer of amazing talent. The gifts this writer possessed came from deep within their soul and the words that streamed from their pen often brought readers to tears.

I was amazed at the lives that were touched, even changed by the extreme care they took in crafting the words, weaving the healing powers of Christ in and out of their sentences.

My desire to be a writer has been a life long dream. I think for most who love writing, the same is began as a child with the shear love of the feel of a book in their hands. And though I have a God given talent, it doesn't come easy. Words don't just "flow" from my head onto the page. Writing for me, is difficult and daunting. But I love it.

So every time I sit at my computer to write, I ask God, "What are we gonna write today? Use the words." When I began writing devotions six years ago, it started as a 30 day venture to help members of our church develop a habit of spending time with God in study.

Over and over, well meaning people said, "You can't keep this up. It's too hard. You'll run out of ideas." I chose not to look at time, rather to look at the world around look for God in everything. After all, He is everything. How could I possibly run out of material? The bigger challenge was not that I would run out of things to write but could I maintain the discipline to write His words every day? Could I teach myself to pray EVERY SINGLE DAY and to never let that slip?

Six years later, I'm still writing devotions. I still get up every morning and write my prayers because during that time of development my love of God grew into a hunger that I craved. I'm still learning to deepen this relationship with Him.

Who'd have ever imagined that God would take the words I write and use them in a ministry. Use me as a tool to bring others who write to the forefront. Spread His word. Who'd have thought He'd match me with an unlikely ministry partner who's become my dearest friend and brother?

Every word we write is a blessing from the Father. Every person alive is made in the image of this Father and gifted individually with unique talents and gifts. God is not a slouch...His attributes stream across every medium and we're all blessed with something that will glorify the Kingdom. The hard part is ignoring the lies that Satan whispers. "You can't do that, you're not talented." or "That's not a's stupid."

And even harder is, the success of the gift -- crediting God and meaning it. Keeping our heart pure of the greed of success and allowing the words He's given us to be untainted from selfishness.

My writer friend , lost track of the gift. The success of talent overcame the heart of the crafter and glory shifted from the Father to the child. The words that are written are still beautiful, heartfelt words, but heart is different. And though they may be successful, and folks may ooo and haaa over them, the words that once drove home a deep intimate message of love, now fill the pages with emptiness.

My words may never fill the pages of a book on a shelf, I hope they do, but they may not. But what I pray is that the relationship I am forging with the Father is stronger than the hype of success. Should my words hit the pure white pages of a book, will they always show the crimson of His blood...and will they always be HIS words for HIS glory, to be used HIS way.

Who knows if I can manage that task. But I pray daily I can. I may fail--fall into the trap that Satan lays. I hope not.

My friend's book tells an awesome story of love and redemption, but the heart is gone.

When you write...write with the passion of the Christ who gave you everything including your words. Pray faithfully that it will always be about HIM not us. Who are your words written for?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Life Lessons - Shesh!

I received an email from an old high school friend. She let me know she'd run into yet another "old high school" friend. Just so happens, he was my first boyfriend. (Ah, young love!) She sent his email address asked me to contact him. So I did. Sent him an email.

To my surprise, he answered. It's always neat renewing old friendships. I was amazed at the details of our friendship he remembered. Always the sweet guy, he found his way to greener pastures and I was left behind.

We chatted awhile, caught one another up on kids, and life choices and though he sounded okay, there was a sense of loneliness about him. I thought about the times I've felt that same loneliness, especially when I look over some of the decisions I'd made through the years. I thought I'd thought them through. But I imagine, I like most, suffered the effects of decisions made from immaturity.

It was C. S. Lewis who said, "Experience is a brutal teacher and my God, we learn. My God, we learn." Wise man, that Mr. Lewis.

We've all made choices that cost us. Things that look good at the time but prove to be massive mistakes in the aftermath, but that's where the life lessons come into play. What's the old saying, "Live and learn?"

My old friend had a sense of sadness about him with the decisions he'd made in the past. Awe, he didn't say the words, "I made a mistake" but hinted at the loneliness of his past. It was apparent.

The life lessons we learn come as a result of our choices. And though they don't always have an immediate effect, they eventually catch up to us. I've learned over the years--taken my share of life lumps, but I've always tried to look into my mistakes and find the "good" part of the lesson as well.

Christ must have wondered about His decision to carry the cross to Calvary. There had to be a point, when beaten beyond human recognition, that He wondered why? We can only assume to think He had 2nd thoughts. I don't think He did. But I had to wonder if Christ knew His suffering would be in vain for some. For those who refuse to look at His life lessons, at His example.

He paid the price for us--didn't regret it either. Instead He pleaded for our forgiveness. It's still hard to wrap your head around. Isn't it?

It was nice talking to an old friend--rethinking the choices I'd made as a teen. Reviewing the direct decisions that moved my life or halted it. I hope my friend finds peace and happiness. I hope he gets past the decisions he's made in the past. In the mean time, I'll think on life lessons I've learned and the roads that I could have taken, but didn't.

I'm fortunate. Fortunate to recognize the experiences of my past shoved me straight into the arms of Christ. C. S. Lewis was right. "Experience is a brutal teacher. My God how we learn." My God, how you teach me.