I am teaching courses this semester at Cecil College on writing, publishing and marketing your first book. A scary venture for me since I have never taught a college class before! (Ok, I’ve given some writing workshops, Toastmasters speeches, and spoken to high school and college classes – but never been responsible for teaching a three-hour course! Responsible being the key word…responsible that my students learn something. My first class Saturday went well. I felt like I really did teach my students a few things. But I also learned a lot. Funny how life – and God – work. I had my students do a writing exercise and I was blown away by the beauty of the words they wrote in just ten minutes about a winter scene I put up. (Moment of panic. What could I teach them? They were already good writers!) But I had to remind myself that I had to shelve my false humility and moments of fear (experienced in the weeks leading up to the class and during the class itself) and have faith that God wouldn’t call me to teach if He wasn’t going to guide me despite my inadequacy of never having done it before (just like Moses, who had a speech impediment, had to have faith He was being called to lead the Jews to the Promised Land), confidence in the gifts He has given me, and that I need to continue to pray for wisdom to do the job well (just like Solomon – and look at all the wisdom he got!). I also learned that I have more to learn when it comes to good writing – we all do – and the more I research and teach, the more I will learn. I am thankful, looking back, for all of the good teachers I have had in my life, and realize that the really good ones were also open to learning.
Monthly Archives: February 2015
“…Ain’t got no trouble in my life, no foolish dreams to make me cry; I’m never frightened or worried, I know I’ll always get by…” (words from one of my favorite songs, “I Got the Music in Me” by Kiki Dee.) I picked music as a topic to blog about for a few reasons today…first, it’s my birthday and I just love singing telegrams! (hint hint). Second, watching the Grammys last night reminded me of how awesome and powerful the gift of music is in our lives. Third, and most importantly, I was reminded recently of how important music was in Biblical times. I was reading the Bible story in Chronicles where King David and company were celebrating moving the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and it said, “Then David spoke to the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their relatives, the singers, with instruments of music, harps, lyres, loud-sounding cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.” Of course David and his son Solomon were song writers (look at Psalms and Song of Solomon.) My sons were too, as well as very musically talented on the guitar and drums, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am now, looking back, at all the times I hosted them and their band in our basement…they were loud, and sometimes messy, but my boys gave me an appreciation for all types of music in addition to my favorite, classic rock – “ska,” punk, reggae, even rap. I also love when they pick my favorite songs at church and this past weekend we got to sing “Blest Are They” and “We Will Rise Again” with our folk group – two of my favorites! I know God loves music and we are all blessed for those who use that special gift. And for those of us who aren’t especially gifted in that department, we can still raise our voices in song – I’ve heard it’s like praying twice! Today is especially cold, wet and gloomy here in Maryland…so if you’re also experiencing a “rainy days and Mondays” kind of day, go listen to your favorite tunes and sing out loud! It’s bound to lift your spirits. Happy Music Monday!
Just a month into the New Year and already I was feeling weary and dejected. (Of course a week with the flu did not help one bit!) And then I had the opportunity to speak to someone who happens to be one of those “life coaches.” Yes, I’m leery of that profession – every time I turn around someone wants to “coach” me – help me devise a plan, strategies, accountability, et cetera. But this particular person really seemed to look inside me and look to my future – and to speak from God’s point of view. She re-energized and re-motivated me and helped me to see that I had fallen off track a bit when it came to pursuing my author career, but that all was not lost; that I should be grateful for past and present opportunities and look toward the future with renewed hope, because God has already pre-ordained my dreams to come true! It’s easier for me to write about prophets – my next book is a contemporary novel based on the Book of Jonah called “The Runaway Prophet” – but tougher for me to see when one speaks to me today. Perhaps God is calling us all to listen to the wise souls around us (of course, beware of false prophets, or wolves in sheep’s clothing!)…the pastors, radio and television ministers – and yes, even life coaches – or maybe even to reach out as a prophet to others if we feel God’s call to evangelize or help another person. Maybe, as writers, teachers, speakers, parents, children of God, we are all called to be prophets. “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:19-20