Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
- Ecclesiastes 12:9-14
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Romans 1:1-7
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of glory.
- Psalm 24:1-10
“George Butterick has said, ‘If only the preacher would remember that dullness is failure. …’ I don’t know of a worse sin to commit in public than being boring. Nothing magical happens, because a Bible separates a speaker from an audience. If a speaker is dull without a Bible, he or she will be dull with a Bible. I could not be in greater agreement with Philip Yancey’s convictions regarding the need for creativity as it relates to writing:
“ ‘… we Christian authors must confess to having bored plenty of people. So far the evangelical reading public has been tolerant, buying millions of books of uneven quality each year. But a saturation point is inevitable. If Christian writing is not only to maintain interest in the forgiving Christian audience, but also to arouse interest in the skeptical world beyond the Christian subculture, then it must grow up.
“ ‘If we need models of how to do it well, we need only look as far as the Bible. Only ten percent of the Bible’s material, the epistles, is presented in a thought-organized format. The rest contains rollicking love stories, drama, history, poetry, and parables. There, humanity is presented as realistically as in any literature.
“ ‘Why else do the paired books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles exist, if not to give a detailed context to the environment in which angry prophets were to deliver their messages? Can we imagine a more skillful weaving of nature and supernature than the great nature psalms, the theological high drama of Job, and the homespun parables of Jesus? What literary characters demonstrate a more subtle mixture of good and evil than David, or Jeremiah, or Jacob? And, from the despair of Ecclesiastes to the conversion narratives of Acts, is any wavelength on the spectrum of faith and doubt left unexpressed on the Bible’s pages?
“ ‘C. S. Lewis once likened his role as a Christian writer to an adjective humbly striving to point others to the Noun of truth. For people to believe that Noun, we Christian writers must improve our adjectives?’
“Sir Francis Bacon said, ‘Reading maketh a full man; speaking a ready man, writing an exact man.’ What an exacting craft is writing! It requires thinking through exactly what one wants to say, then selecting exactly the right way it should be said. Those who are most successful on their feet are usually the ones who have disciplined themselves with pen and paper.”
- Charles R. Swindoll, Living on the Ragged Edge
And I would like to add to what Rev. Swindoll said in that we must strive to live to be that adjective. Only God is holy, but we can strive to be a person who, as we go through our daily life, others will notice that we are getting to be more like Jesus every day.
An Adjective is “a word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it.” (Oxford Languages)
When we speak, when we write, and when we live our lives, may we describe the Noun, Jesus.
And may our spoken words and written words describe some attribute of Jesus.
I mess up on occasion. We all do. I like the written word, in that you have more chances to catch your mistake, not that I am good at that either, but once it is said or done, it is out there for careful scrutiny to begin. That is one reason that I like being comfortably ahead of schedule in my writing. I tried to always stay ahead of schedule in my project management. I am used to that method of self-management, but being ahead in my writing schedule means that I am not quick, or maybe frantic, in hitting the PUBLISH button and letting others see what I have written. The outcome may not be perfect, but the desire is to the describe the One who is my reason to keep going. And Jesus is perfect.
The closing statement is again appropriate.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
As a writer I find these thoughts both challenging and encouraging. Always wonder if I could possibly measure up to all the many published Christian authors out there, but many of the books I’ve purchased with high hopes turned out to be rather milquetoast. It’s also challenging to stay humble and not worry about that anyway, let God use my writing to encourage just a handful of people if that’s what He wants to do. I have found the writing process to be exactly as described- it forces you to think through everything you want to say. So even if my writing is only helpful to me, so be it. Soli Deo Gloria.
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Amen, and one of the people that reads each of my posts is me. Maybe that is the reason I pick the topics about which I write. As Billy Graham’s wife has on her tombstone, Construction is over. Thanks for your patience. Or something along those lines.