Cold Up There

We drove north today and got to see my daughter and most of her family. The kids were sick last week, so it was nice to see them so much better.

Leaving the nursing home after Bible study today, I almost entered my car when I saw my son-in-law’s stepmom, so to speak. I called out to her and she didn’t recognize me at first. Then she remembered me from my daughter’s wedding. She was about to walk about three miles in the cold to her home and I was heading that way. So she asked what direction I was going and we ended up swinging by her place. I told her it was a God moment. She wasn’t even wearing a hat.

It was cold but not snowy, probably 20 degrees Fahrenheit out at the time. Not icy either which I prayed about because we’ve been getting rain the last few days and then the cold arrived. I went to the library on Wednesday night to see an Alaskan writing professor. Our 20 degree weather in winter, he said, is balmy compared to their weather. Their temps may be minus 20 degrees F to minus 40 degrees F. I can’t even imagine!

I get cold in winter in NYS; 40 to 60 degrees lower blows my mind. So that is why the man lives in Alaska and in Louisiana. If you live in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere I hope you are keeping warm.

May God bless you.

Writing

Writing comes easily to me at times and other times I’ll put words on the page and consider them drivel. The problem is that I don’t always know what is a waste of time for me and for the reader and what is not. In the book of Proverbs, Wisdom tells us to seek her. She is more valuable than silver and gold. I believe that. King Solomon wrote this advice to his sons: Proverbs 3:13, (ESV)  Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,

Pro 3:14  for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.

Pro 3:15  She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Pro 3:16  Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.

Pro 3:17  Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

Pro 3:18  She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.

Pro 3:19  The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens;

Pro 3:20  by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.

Pro 3:21  My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion,

Pro 3:22  and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.

Pro 3:23  Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.

Pro 3:24  If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

I remember years ago in college I needed to write a paper for a political science class and I couldn’t seem to get to it in a timely manner. So, the night before it was due, I began. At three a.m., I had reached the word limit allowed and it flowed according to the assignment’s structure. Answer these questions and give your proofs. I did that. Exhaustion prevailed, I read it and told my boyfriend the next morning on the way to class that the paper stunk and I was going to throw it away.

He said, “What?”

I was serious and he couldn’t believe I’d throw it away moments before the final deadline.

“Let me read it quick.”

“Okay, but it’s garbage.”

He scanned it before we went our separate ways. “Hand it in.”

“Are you serious?”

“Hand it in, it’s due, it’s done, hand it in.”

I shook my head in disbelief and handed it in. I got an A-.

That’s why I like people to read my manuscripts before I submit them to an editor or to a client.

That’s why I like to read the Bible and pray. I may be ready to enter a meeting, ready to state my opinion loudly and clearly without an ear to hear someone else’s viewpoint. If I pray, “Lord, give me wisdom, give me clarity of thought and guard my lips before I speak,” I’m apt to go in with a kinder attitude. I’m likely to listen with the intent to understand the other person as Stephen Covey advocates in his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, copyrighted in 1989, published by Fireside, New York, NY. Then when I give my viewpoint, I’m hoping they’ll understand what I’m trying to convey. Which Mr. Covey said in his book as well.

Do you like to write? Do you like to listen?

May God bless you!

Fifth

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you: Exodus 20: 12 (NKJV)

 

The fifth commandment, as you see, has a promise attached to it. Honor your father and your mother. Treat them with respect. Care for them. God will reward you with a long life.

 

We had missionaries from Japan at our church last night and he said that the Japanese so honor their parents and the elderly that it’s unlike anything he’s seen, even here in the States.

 

He is an adjunct professor at a local university and we really enjoyed hearing about the culture of Japan. Their home town is filled with scientists, so it’s good that he’s an intelligent man.

 

God bless!

 

Harriet Beecher Stowe: an Unforgettable American

I’m reading a book called, “Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers” by Jean Fritz, copyright 1994 by Jean Fritz, and published by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s always liked to write. So she started as a young girl. Later in life, when her best friend died, she decided to console the grief-stricken husband. His looks didn’t appeal to her, but she thought highly of him. He was a professor of Biblical Literature.

After many months of trying to get him out of his despondency, they began to enjoy each other’s company. Friendship turned to romance and then they got married without much fuss.

I like to read stories of writers and to read of their choices as they become wordsmiths.  She wrote because she felt a compulsion to write. She wrote to become published when her family needed the money to survive. It’s interesting to note that she was an adept marketer. She sent essays to every magazine she could think of, and she found success enough that she hired a housekeeper for three hours a day so she could write.

When her passion for ending slavery arose, she wrote to influence the nation. People accused her of never having seen slavery, but she knew many people because of her famous father, Lyman Beecher. He preached to thousands of people about their need for a Savior to get into heaven and to avoid the torments of hell. So many people sought their family out, and she would listen to conversations from politicians, Southerners, New Englanders, people from Ohio, New York State, preachers and teachers.

When she heard of slaves being mistreated, her compassion stirred up her emotions, which found release in her pen. She met families that opened their homes to the “Underground Railroad.”

She wanted the country to wake up and see that there were no rights for slaves. She felt outrage. Women didn’t have much influence in her life time. So, writing a novel was the only way she could get her point across. She never expected her book to sell like it did.

I sat with a renowned pastor/teacher at a conference I attended one year for our church body. He wrote a book because he looked for one on his topic of interest and there wasn’t one. So he did a ton of research on the subject and wrote it himself. 🙂

It’s amazing how life can turn around with the right incentives, in a way that a person may never anticipate. I’ll bet if anyone told Harriet Beecher Stowe at age sixteen that some day she would write a book that impacted the world, she probably would have marveled at the idea. She was often overlooked at home and bossed around by her older sister. Yet, the fire in her spirit and the joy of writing, combined to create a life beyond her imagination.