Marginalia

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Check out my post at the Leaf!

http://www.readtheleaf.com/marginalia/

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Fill Your Paper

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth

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photo by photouten

 

This is good advice to someone who has something to say and has a knack for saying it well. I’m not talking about stuff like, “Good morning! Today I am doing to have decaf instead of regular coffee…. blah blah blah”. That’s okay for a morning conversation with your cat, but it’s not the breathings of your heart.

I’m thinking poetry, or personal reflections of a somewhat serious nature. If you are willing to share some of your soul with others, I can guarantee you there is an audience out there longing for your words. No, not everyone will want to read your thoughts, but someone will. Someone may need to hear what you have to say to help them get through a hard time. Your words may be just the right ones at just the right time that could make a difference to someone.

Even if no one does read your words, just the filling of the paper can do wonders for YOU. And, who knows? That practice of getting your words down may be just what you need to encourage yourself. It may lead one day to sharing with the world.

Rebecca Curtis, author of Twenty Grand and Other Tales of Love and Money, says a writer should be “willing to write drivel in a notebook every day, with the idea that not everything you write should be for the purpose of publication.”

Writing in a notebook everyday is good advice. I keep a notebook in my purse and use it for all kinds of writing, from story idea lists to sermon notes in church to what I need to get at the grocery store.

One thing Curtis said that I thought was really good advice is that not everything you write is suitable for publication.  Really, I don’t want to hear about your problems with pooping or how much sugar someone puts in their tea, UNLESS it is woven into a tale worth telling.

Faith is a Gift of God

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In a book by Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, she talks a lot about of faith.

Faith is a gift from God, as Ephesians 2:8 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”

L’Engle says, “Faith is that which lies on the other side of reason.” This is true, but what many people don’t understand is this faith needs to be a faith in Christ. I hear people all the time saying, “You ‘ve just got to have faith,” but so many of these people have no clue what or who that faith is in. Just having faith gets you nowhere.

One more verse to think on: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” – Romans 5:1

The Secret of Perfect Rest

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Andrew Murray wrote a book titled Abiding in Christ, originally published in 1895 but still relevant today. The following posts in this series are a combination of his thoughts and mine.

Now He not only says, ‘Take My yoke upon you and learn from me’; become My scholars, yield yourselves to My training, submit in all things to My will, let your whole life be one with mine – in other words, abide in Me.

This shows me I need to be a student of the Word, to learn from Christ is to be in His Word. I am sorely lacking in the exercise of being a scholar of Christ. Yet, as Murray says, “entire surrender to Jesus is the secret of perfect rest.”

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  –  Matthew 11:28-30

This Little Light

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“We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.”_

– Madeleine L’Engle

This hits very close to home. I have looked at the verses in Matthew about being “salt and light” and have had to ask myself, am I being salt and light in this world? Does anyone ever look at me and think, “I wonder what makes her so joyful? There is something different about her. I want what she has.” I am afraid that most times I blend right in with the complaining crowd; I hide my light under a bushel instead of shining and reflecting Christ.

My prayer is that I would shine for Christ. That I would remember the words of that childhood song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”. But, I need to remember the light is Christ’s, and not my own.

Thoughts on Pilgrim’s Progress, Part the Second – #12

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Pilgrim’s Progress was written by John Bunyan in the 1600s while he was in prison for his faith. 

Mr. Honest and Mr. Contrite are talking about how things were going in their lives.

Mr. Contrite asks, “Pray, how fares it with you in your pilgrimage?”

Mr. Honest has this wonderful response, “…sometimes our way is clean, sometimes foul; sometimes uphill, sometimes downhill; we are seldom at a certainty: The wind is not always on our backs, nor is everyone a friend that we met in the way.

This is true in the life of every Christian. Some today may preach a health-and-wealth message, but that is not the gospel. When we study the life of Christ, we see He didn’t even own a home, though Psalm 50:10 says: “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” 

As Christians, we should desire to say as Paul did in Philippians 4:11: “ for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

photo credit annkkml