Friday, April 9, 2010
Today’s post is a continuation of last Friday’s. And still part of what I’ll be speaking on more in-depth at the ACFW Colorado annual retreat, April 23–24. Please check out the events page on this Web site for the details. It’s not too late to register! We’ve changed the schedule a bit this year, making Friday evening a fellowship/worship in prayer and song time. All the sessions on the topic—Prepared to Give His Answer—will be on Saturday. And all three meals are included in the cost. And if you don’t have the money right now, but really feel you’re supposed to be there, please contact me so we can work it out. Walk-ins are welcome, as well. We’d love to see you there!!
Okay, promotion is done! Whew!!
Last week I ended with Jesus’ words from Luke 6:47 in The Message, “These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.”
The word foundation keeps coming up in my preparation for the retreat, in my life in general. Isaiah 58:12 is the verse the Lord gave me at last year’s retreat: “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” (Isaiah 58:12 NASB)
This verse is especially apropos to Christian writers, fiction and nonfiction. If we are listening to the Lord’s leading in our writing, then we are rebuilding the ancient ruins, either overtly or covertly. Our words are building and rebuilding lives—our own first, then the lives of those who read our books.
Paul expands on building a firm foundation in his first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 3. First he compares the work of those who preach/teach Scripture (spoken or written) to a farmer—sowing, watering, and reaping. We each have a place in the process, just as we have a place in the process of constructing a building.
My husband is a construction manager for a company that builds churches around the country. So maybe I “get” this more than some who have no exposure to the building process, whether it’s for a commercial building or a house. Making sure there is a firm foundation is the very first step in the process.
In 1 Corinthians 3:9–15, Paul talks about the importance of having a firm foundation in Jesus Christ and then using quality building materials to build our spiritual houses. As some are planters, waterers, and harvesters, so some of us are foundation layers, above ground construction workers, and inspectors of the final products.
How does this apply to our writing? While I consciously develop a spiritual thread in my books, I know other Christian writers who don’t. That doesn’t mean that the stories the latter group write have weak spiritual threads. Not at all! God uses our words to lay a foundation or to build/rebuild the rest of the building in our lives as well as in the lives of our readers.
Just as God sends out His Word to accomplish all His purposes, He also uses our words to accomplish His purposes . . . through story.
How firm is the spiritual foundation is your life? The firmer the foundation in our lives, the more solid is the construction above ground that others can see in our lives, in our stories.