Enjoying the Journey

It has been my privilege to have several blind friends. As a college student I met a blind young man who had read several times through the Scriptures using his braille Bible. One of my greatest encouragers now is a blind missionary. Indeed, in the words of Fanny Crosby, “I sometimes think that blind people see more than their friends who have the power of vision.” As I flew home from a meeting just a few days ago I had the pleasure of reading the autobiography of Fanny Crosby. Fanny’s hymns have found their way into great hymn books and, more importantly into the hearts of those who know and love Christ. Blinded as a young girl, she glimpsed with…

Read More

Recently I encouraged a dear friend who is living through a trial to keep a daily journal of what God is doing in his life. My suggestion grew out of personal experience. On the shelf before me is a stack of leather-bound books. They are deeply personal and very precious to me. Occasionally I sit alone and skim the pages. Many entries were made on bright days, filled with joy. And then there are the others. The more important ones. It is the pages penned in darkness, lines written with tears, that are now the most meaningful. Those were the days God was teaching me the most precious truths about Himself and His grace. Wordsworth once observed that he had…

Read More

Writing is work!  It takes time and more mental energy than most tasks.  I am currently reading the biography of Jonathan Edwards.  Edwards was one of the greatest theological minds that America has known, and this is no accident.  His father worked diligently for the education of each of his children.  One of the disciplines that the elder Edwards built into his children’s training was the practice of regular writing.  Correspondence and other compositions were expected on a regular basis. Today’s young people are learning to tweet, post, text, and message…but they are not learning to write.  Some will argue that this is a different day and communication is so much simpler.  The truth remains that writing is connected to…

Read More

We were standing in a bookstore surrounded by thousands of good books when I asked the question: “How do you begin writing?”  The advice of one of my spiritual fathers that afternoon has been of immeasurable help to me.  He said three things.  First, get a copy of William Safire’s Fumblerules.  I still have that helpful little volume, but more importantly I learned that to be a writer you have to work at it.  Second, he counseled me not to publish too early.  “When you are older your ideas will have formulated more clearly.  You will be glad you waited.”  He was right.  Finally, he said, “Start.  Begin with writing short articles and you will develop a style and the ability…

Read More

Recently I was sitting in my study at home when my oldest daughter came in and proudly announced, “Dad, I am about to write my first letter.”  She is thirteen.  How is that possible? Now, she has written cards, short notes, and plenty of text messages – but a letter? Letter writing has been all but lost in our generation.  While I am not opposed to messages of 140 characters or less, there is something deeply personal and powerful about a letter that cannot be conveyed in short bursts of communication. I know that I am in danger of sounding terribly old, but I still enjoy getting a letter – especially a handwritten letter – in the mail.  Surveys of…

Read More

At the end of 2008 I decided that I would try to begin writing in a journal each day.  I am sitting in my study tonight looking back through old journals.  The Lord has been so very good to me.  There have been difficult days, but these pages are filled with the faithfulness of God. For me, writing in a journal each day has been the most helpful daily discipline I have ever followed, outside of prayer and the reading of God’s Word.  David kept a journal.  Read the Psalms.  I have the journal of David Brainerd and George Muller.  People keep a journal for different reasons, but there have been several benefits for me. 1.  A journal helps me…

Read More