Vol. 7, No. 46 – November 20, 2022

So, whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God. Just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. –1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1

I lead a busy life. In between I still parent. I still have four sons, but I also have three special daughters; the lovelies that my sons have married. They are, as my father used to say, “there are none better, and few as good.” I am blessed, thankful.

I am thankful for the gift God allowed in my life. Donna is her name. We were married on February 2, 1963. It is a National Holiday. Really. Look it up. We have been married a while. You can do the math, but you will probably need a calculator.

I do some writing. Teaching lessons. A blog. Authored a couple of books. I travel through books of Scripture for my Community Group (Bible study) lessons. I have always been convinced that verse-by-verse studies are productive, and it also keeps you on track. Instead of being controlled by your own opinions, you get to draw people into the importance of what the Word says. Now, my blogs are a different story. They have some opinions. They also have some pithy comments. And they have pithy challenges. All in all, I think they fit the task, but that is my opinion, 😊

The books were a project from our hearts. I say us because Donna and I stepped together through them. The first book, Under the Broom Tree: Contemplations on Life and Service brought experiences into the tome that were personal. It exposed my heart and challenged Donna as the editor (you can blame her for any spelling, grammar, or sentences that do not make sense). Sometimes my laptop does not understand what I am writing and is not always trustworthy.

The second book, I think the last, is Echoes from the Belly of a Whale: Thoughts for our own Conundrums of Life. Not only does it travel through Jonah, but it is also reflective of my own life. It is also pithy in many spots. It was also a challenge to my editor, Donna. As our eyes age (it seems the only problem area of our bodies 😊), grammar and spelling are a bigger problem. What we need is a smart computer. I should not expect much. I have a smartphone that has turned majorly dumb as time moves along. I have a son nearby that takes time to fix my technology after I have done my very best to mess it up. I am thankful for him.

So, as I was putting those two books together, my prayer was that they might be used to draw people closer to Christ. They have done that, at least evidenced by the questions and requests for additional copies. The books were an expensive project; I promised to distribute them at no cost for the purpose of God changing lives through their reading and response. They have also been a part of my love for missions.

Donna is a great helper. Besides that, she is still very cute. She would comment, but I am the honest one here. She says, write more about this. I think you messed this up a little bit. That is not spelled right. What do you mean in this sentence? In the second book, I am finding that our tired eyes simply did not catch all the errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It is still very readable, and it meets its objectives.

I am thankful for her. I declare her to be my editor when someone else finds a flaw. Of course, I have a couple of flaws I am still working on 😊.

Life Application

I wonder what it would look like, in today’s supply chain issues, the clamoring for legal pads to do the next assignment, etc.

Take one of those legal pads, or several, and draw a vertical line in the center of each page. You might need to use both sides of the paper. Next, begin a list on the left side listing the intentions you have with your life. Leave some space, because you may have to come back and put some things in between. Then, go back and list the things you need to do to complete your intentions.

Simple, right?

Sometimes we need to make lists. Donna taught me that. When we make lists, it is much easier to maintain our direction in life. What I struggle with are the little check boxes I’m supposed to use to indicate I have completed them.

If I list on one side that my intention is to write books so that others might come to know Christ, the other side might say Under the Broom Tree or Echoes from the Belly of a Whale. What will your list say?

Just as an aside, I do not know of a person that cannot author a book. Especially when it contains a journal approach to your life. We often complain that family/extended family seems to be the most difficult to reach with the Gospel. Yet, it is precisely this group that asks for your journal! I have one daughter who has already asked for one of my Bibles because I write in it. (It is committed to her.) What you do for the family is always near their heart. Write. Be blessed, and be a blessing.

I also purposed to write our books to distribute copies to people I meet or counsel. It works well. And I get the privilege of asking what they thought as they read the book. I have even had some folks use the books in their teaching ministries.

It is all good. I am thankful. What are you thankful for this year?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

November 20, 2022

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