Happy 100th Post!
In April 2008, I wrote my first post and after two years, I finally hit 100! To help celebrate, my friend Wendy Alsup is visiting from her blog Practical Theology for Women. See that book I’m reading over there <<<<<<<<? That’s hers. And that’s the give-a-way today: a signed copy of Practical Theology for Women!
To win a chance for it, please leave a comment. I’ll make a random drawing on April 5th. That’s it! I’ll email you for your address if you win. The give a way closes April 5. Good luck!
A bit of history
I’ve known Wendy for 10 years. We went to the same college and church, post-graduation. She attended the first Bible class I taught to a larger group of women. With our spouses, we both made the move cross-country to start a church in Seattle. She and Andy were the first to make the transition, and I remember helping her clean house and being amazed a math professor collected Barbies! (She had a closet full of them! Sorry Wendy, if I brought you out of the closet! snortle) For all her brains, Wendy has a corny sense of humor that is endearing. Even a hiccuping laugh to match! She questions. She challenges. She goes deep. It may be uncomfortable, but always sincere. Her love for Bible truth makes her a kindred spirit. Here we are, ten years ago and two babies thinner. Wendy is the one in glasses, and I’m the one with orangy-blonde hair. Thank you Wendy for joining me to celebrate!
Wendy writes on writing
Kay asked me to write on how the discipline of writing has impacted my walk with God. It is an interesting subject. My first book was based from start to finish on specific things God had already taught me during a particularly intense couple of years of trial and frustration. I learned it first and wrote about it second. Reviewing it as I wrote it was certainly helpful, but it wasn’t the same as learning it the first time. My next book was different. That book started when a committee decided to study through Ephesians at a women’s retreat I was leading. I learned a lot studying for that retreat and then decided to put what I had learned into writing. That started me on an unanticipated, intensely hard, and extremely beneficial journey. The theme of Ephesians is the peace we have with God and others through gospel grace. Early on in my attempts to write it out, God first slowed down my writing and then brought it to a jerking halt altogether. I would write words on a page and then spend months wrestling in life with the concepts. In the first chapters, I started researching exactly what God meant in Scripture when He used the term grace. I was only at the 2nd verse of Ephesians at this point. God quickly opened my eyes to my need to instruct, not others, but MYSELF on the definition of Biblical grace. Daily, He bombarded me with my own need of His grace and then my need to extend that grace to others. To my husband, my children, Christian friends, church leaders, and so forth. God was relentless. I was incredulous. “Really, THIS is what you mean by gospel grace?!”
After 3 or 4 months of writer’s block, I was able to again put words on paper. Writing flowed. But after the months of stewing on grace, each new word I wrote confronted me with my need to apply it all to myself. Be eager to maintain the unity of the Body? I need to look back at that last email I sent. Bear long with one another in love? I need to call that friend that I’ve ignored because they have worn me out with their needs. Don’t provoke your children to anger? I need to go make something right with my kids. Respect your husbands, honor your parents, pray at all times, and stand firm? Again and again and again, I had to stop, examine myself, and repent.
How has the discipline of writing helped me know, love and serve God better? Writing forces me to examine the Word and test my assumptions against its objective truth. Writing makes me examine myself against this truth. Most of all, it exposes my hypocrisy. It has been a powerful tool of the Spirit to sanctify me.
Win a chance for Wendy’s Book by commenting!
Don’t forget to post a comment by April 5th to win a chance at a signed copy of Practical Theology for Women!