Today I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting and listening to the author of one of my very favorite books.
Sally Lloyd-Jones is the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible. I don't remember exactly when I was introduced to this book, but it has become such a treasure to me and my family.
While there are many things I love about this book, the primary one is that it tells the story of the Bible as one unified story. As the tag line says, "every story whispers His name". Every story points to Jesus. I've given this book as a gift to adults and children alike! Many times as I've read it aloud to my children, I find myself choking up as it communicates so clearly God's love for His people. Including me.
The setting for Sally's talk today was a chapel service at Gordon College and her topic was writing and vocation. I brought along my 7/8th grade English/Language Arts students and a couple of colleagues.
Here are some of my notes from her talk. I'll try to make them sensible for you! I can't wait to debrief with my students and hear all that they were able to glean.
Here's what I wrote down:
What does it mean to be a writer of excellence? It means bringing splendor to the King. It's not just a guilt trip to do your best, but it's in response to a relationship.
You don't need to write a perfect book; you should write an excellent book. As Christians serving a King, why aren't we the best at things?
On the question of vocation, this quote from Frederick Buechner: "Listen to the voice of your deepest gladness."
God made us to do the thing that brings us that gladness. It's madness to believe that He must want us to do the thing that makes us miserable.
Where does your deepest gladness meet the world's greatest need?
Write the book that only you can write. Using our gifts is a generosity to the world; it is pride to NOT use our gifts.
Excellence is the most inclusive thing because it makes your gift open to all. If God has called you and He is the King, what do we have to worry about?
Our work, writing or otherwise, is worship.
The students and I met her after her talk and she was just delightful, so interested in the children and encouraging to them about how they might use their gifts as they grow up.