Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Dipping the Quill Deeper—Words and Writings


by Eva Marie Everson

If you follow me at all, if you know only a little about me, you may know that my favorite devotional book is A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants, compiled and edited by Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck. Reading from it, and underlining those words that resonate best within me, is a part of my early morning routine. I also read from this book often as a part of my Word Weavers International private Facebook group monthly devotion. 

Just today I came across an entry that, while I may have read it before, the words spoke louder to me on this reading than other readings.

I want to share it with you . . . in bits and pieces . . . because I hope you will take the time necessary to allow it to wash over you as it has me.

From Prayers for the Christian Year by William Barclay
O God, we thank you for all those in whose words 
and in whose writings your truth has come to us.

Think about this for a moment. Whose writings do you read? Whose writings with God’s truth do you devour? Do you have your go-to books that are a part of your daily time with the Lord? Why do you love and appreciate these books, or these works, so much? As a writer, what is it about these particular books that resonate within you? When you pray over your own work, do you ask God to use your words in these same ways—to bless the hearts and lives and souls of your readers?

For the historians, the psalmists and the prophets
who wrote the Old Testament;
For those who wrote the Gospels and the Letters
of the New Testament . . .

When those Hebrew writers of the Old Testament and those Jewish writers of the New Testament sat to write their histories and their songs and poems and their warnings and predictions and their memories and their letters of encouragement and their visions. . . do you think they ever once imagined that one day, collectively, their words would be a part of the greatest, the most bestselling book of all time? Or that nearly every Christian home (and, for those of what we refer to as the OT, nearly every Jewish home) would have at least one copy on their shelves. Would they imagine that the pages are tearstained and fingerprinted and underlined or that, sadly, some of their covers have gathered dust from lack of use? Could they have imagined how God would use their words long after their deaths? 

Can you begin to imagine how God may use yours?

For all who in every generation
have taught and explained and expounded and
preached
the word of Scripture; 
We thank you, O God.

Perhaps your shelves are lined and stacked with books such as these—works by Calvin and Henry and Spurgeon, Lucado and Wiersbe and Arthur—and perhaps you write in this way, to explain the Scriptures and expound and preach. Or perhaps you explain and teach by writing fiction. Just today I listened to a podcast in which the speaker, a priest, discussed how the sin of one of our biblical greats—King David—had wreaked havoc on the lives of those who were innocent of his sin. In that listening, I reflected on some of my own works of fiction and how I have attempted to show the devastation of chosen sin, not only on the sinner but on those who get caught in the crossfire. This is why—whether fiction or nonfiction, whether for adults or for children, whether blogposts or full-length books—we write, as the apostle John said, “to make our joy complete” (1 John 1:4).

Grant, O God, that no false teaching may ever have 
any power to deceive us 
or to seduce us from the truth.

Are you careful with what you read? Are you careful with what you watch? With what you allow your ears to hear? Have you ever picked up a book that you thought was godly, only to discover that it was not? This happened to me a few years ago. Everywhere I turned, I read rave reviews on a book that appeared Christian in context. But within a few pages, I recognized that it did not line up with the Word of God (and I knew this because I have spent the majority of my life reading and learning the Word of God). I immediately tossed the book. I didn’t give it away and I didn’t burn it. I simply threw it away and “ate” the money I’d spent on it. These works have no place on our bookshelves and their words have no place in our hearts. We pray, yes, that God will keep us from them, but we must also be brave enough that when we come across them we say, “Not for me.” How can we ever hope to write truth if we read lies?

(To be continued. . .)

TWEETABLE

Eva Marie Everson is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She is the multiple award-winning author of 40 books and countless articles and blogposts. She is also an award-winning speaker and a Bible teacher. Eva Marie is often seen at writers conferences across the States. She served as a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and taught as a guest professor at Taylor University in 2011. She and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy their grandchildren. They are owned by one persnickety cat.

2 comments:

  1. Words of wisdom. Thanks

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  2. These are awesome thoughts, Eva. Thanks for sharing the scriptures that can burn within us and keep us aware of how important our words are, spoken or written.

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