Sunday, September 14, 2008

Will Your Words Be Poison or Fruit?

Words.
I love words.
I love to use words and often use too many at the wrong time.
But I'm not alone in that...not at all.

I wonder what the world would be like if we all had Proverbs 16:24 as a life-directing verse..."Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

Lately I have found that many people, including me, say things that are not 'pleasant' or 'sweet to the soul'.

Oh but some people practically put my soul on a sugar high due to their sweet, pleasant words!!!

I met both types of women this past weekend at the North Texas Christian Writer's Conference. Let me tell you about the second person first.

Attendees at the conference had the privilege of sitting, one on one, with the presenters for 15 minute 'consultations'. This was my first writer's conference and I really wasn't prepared but I didn't want to miss out on 'free' advice from successful writers.

So the second day, I signed up for a session with a presenter that, while I didn't recognize her name, I had read at least one of her books...I knew this from the title. Sitting face to face, I shared my passion for writing these Little Lessons. I called them devotionals. I think I should have called them 'Daily Inspirational Pieces'. This day I had some samples which I had forgotten to take on the first day. Asking her to read one may have been a mistake. She immediately went to the writer's rule of 'show don't tell'. When writing, we should show you the story not just tell you the story. I know this rule. I attempt to follow this rule...but I also stay true to the style of writing that is 'my voice'. (I'm hoping I just picked a bad example to share with her.) Next, she zeroed in on 'who are you'? She implied that I had to be some recognized Bible scholar for people to 'respect' me in the published world. She didn't know me. She doesn't know anything about my background, my weaknesses or my strengths. She doesn't know what God has brought me through. Doesn't know if I have degree or not. She didn't know me but she 'put me in my place' nonetheless. So I walked away from that table with doubt. Doubt that I had any words worth sharing or any talent to put those words to use for His glory. There was not one word she spoke to me that would have been "sweet to my soul and healing to my bones".

So step back one day with me...Standing at the sign-up sheets, I read with interest that one of the presenters is also a member of CLASS, which is an organization for speakers. Speakers! Exactly where I feel God is leading me. Exactly why I feel He is allowing me the time to write and develop my voice, both in writing and audibly. I tell her about the kind of writing that I love to do and that I chose to sit with her due to her CLASS association. We chat. She asks questions. In a few short moments, she gets to 'know' me. She helps me to understand that I already am a speaker. I have presented during breakout sessions at women's retreats. I have taught on the corporate level. I have presented special lessons (outside of the curriculum) in Adult Sunday School. She encouraged me to change my business cards to include speaker...which I did that very night (I 'self-publish' my cards, hee hee). She encouraged me to join some of the speaker websites...which I will check out in the next few weeks. So we chatted some more about my writing...about my desire to write on a topic I can't yet write about, one that is very personal. I shared a few of the details with her and she immediately said "There's your pitch!" A pitch is what grabs the attention of an editor, publisher, and the reader. Through her words, I saw that I can embark on this next adventure and reach the right audience without airing all the dirty laundry that goes with it. I'm not promising you a book anytime in the near future...however, I do know see how it can be done and I'm seeking our Loving Lord's help to lay the foundation for that future book.

Two women...one conference...the words of one "Reckless words pierce like a sword" (Proverbs 12:18)...the other like a "honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

This morning, a precious friend at church stopped me on the way to our Life Group. Walking along the breezeway, she shared that, based on hearing me share my conversion testimony a few weeks ago, she felt that I was gifted with the ability to be a story teller...I gave her one of my new cards :-) ... WOW! Honeycomb words that confirmed for me the sweet words I had heard two days earlier and were for me words which demonstrated that our Loving Lord is indeed directing the words that I am blessed to be sharing with you.

Little Lesson Life Expression
What recipe will you use with the words you speak? Will they be sweet like honey or will you abandon our Loving Lord's advice and recklessly pierce those you meet?

Proverbs 18:20-21 (The Message)

20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.
21 Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose

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1 comment:

Wayne Godsmark said...

I am glad to hear that you are listening to the Lord and back to writing your lovely devotionals. I am also glad for those caring people that speak life into us just at the right time. Here is a favorite verse of mine that also speaks to what you wrote.

James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved bretheren, let every man be swift to hear,slow to speak, slow to wrath (KJV)

I guess that is why God gave us two ears and only one mouth.

Love You- Your Brother (real one)