Invitation

You’ll never believe the invitation I received this weekend.

A man in a black suit, wearing an earpiece and sunglasses, came to the front door. He handed me an official-looking envelope with a presidential seal on it. (He then proceeded to search my property for possible evil-doers, which was creeping me out, but that’s another story.)
Opening the seal, I pulled out an embossed invitation, words jumping off the page in a bright red:
Mr. Joyner,

You have been chosen, by the President of the United States, to join him in his work to help the country move forward. You do not need to apply or get approval or clearance. All the work has been done for you. The POTUS would like you to be his ambassador. You will speak in his name, and you will have all the rights and privileges that he enjoys. This is more than a government job. You will not need to face scrutiny or Congressional approval. You have, in a sense, been adopted into his family. It is an executive order, and nothing can change that. You need only to accept what is being offered to you.



Sincerely,


The President

Wouldn’t that be something? Of course, nothing of the sort happened. I didn’t have a Secret Service agent on my steps or checking through my shrubbery. I didn’t get a White House invite.

I’ve received something better though.

Instead of a special message from Washington D.C., I have an invitation all the way from Israel, the Mediterranean, and Egypt. It has been waiting for me for around 2000 years.

The Lord of heaven and earth has asked me to be His child. I didn’t do anything to earn it. I couldn’t do anything to earn it. But He has adopted me as His son, and wherever I go, I am His ambassador. I speak in His name and try to work for the betterment of His Kingdom. I don’t always do my best, but I am working always toward the goal of pleasing my Father. The little story above is a weak analogy to what it is like to have this gift of adoption into His family.
If we were asked to serve our country, most of us would be honored, even if we didn’t always agree with the current administration. How then, should we consider this invitation we have from the God of the Bible?
What would you do with a White House invitation? How do you think it compares to what I am claiming the Bible offers?
(This idea was blatantly stolen from my good friend Kerry Neve, who said I could)

Invitation

You’ll never believe the invitation I received this weekend.

A man in a black suit, wearing an earpiece and sunglasses, came to the front door. He handed me an official-looking envelope with a presidential seal on it. (He then proceeded to search my property for possible evil-doers, which was creeping me out, but that’s another story.)
Opening the seal, I pulled out an embossed invitation, words jumping off the page in a bright red:
Mr. Joyner,

You have been chosen, by the President of the United States, to join him in his work to help the country move forward. You do not need to apply or get approval or clearance. All the work has been done for you. The POTUS would like you to be his ambassador. You will speak in his name, and you will have all the rights and privileges that he enjoys. This is more than a government job. You will not need to face scrutiny or Congressional approval. You have, in a sense, been adopted into his family. It is an executive order, and nothing can change that. You need only to accept what is being offered to you.



Sincerely,


The President

Wouldn’t that be something? Of course, nothing of the sort happened. I didn’t have a Secret Service agent on my steps or checking through my shrubbery. I didn’t get a White House invite.

I’ve┬áreceived something better though.

Instead of a special message from Washington D.C., I have an invitation all the way from Israel, the Mediterranean, and Egypt. It has been waiting for me for around 2000 years.

The Lord of heaven and earth has asked me to be His child. I didn’t do anything to earn it. I couldn’t do anything to earn it. But He has adopted me as His son, and wherever I go, I am His ambassador. I speak in His name and try to work for the betterment of His Kingdom. I don’t always do my best, but I am working always toward the goal of pleasing my Father. The little story above is a weak analogy to what it is like to have this gift of adoption into His family.
If we were asked to serve our country, most of us would be honored, even if we didn’t always agree with the current administration. How then, should we consider this invitation we have from the God of the Bible?
What would you do with a White House invitation? How do you think it compares to what I am claiming the Bible offers?
(This idea was blatantly stolen from my good friend Kerry Neve, who said I could)

Building a Novel

We just finished our kitchen.

Maybe “we” is a misnomer. My wife did all of the leg work to pick out everything with the design, and the contractors did the heavy lifting. I…stayed out of their hair. It was better that way.

I am not a construction type of guy. If a home improvement video says a job will take 1-2 hours, that means all day for me. So, I don’t do that sort of thing unless there’s no other option! This means I’m not familiar with the process of building.

It was fascinating to come home from work each day and see the layers stripped down. First the cabinets, then the old floor, then the sub-floor. The sheet rock, plaster, electrical, plumbing. The foundation wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world.

Then it started changing. The sheet rock guy did the mudding, adding texture. Now there was some dynamic going on, instead of being flat. He did the basic painting, and now it seems like we’re getting somewhere!

The cabinets came next, and it fleshed out everything, allowing a place for all the little things a kitchen needs. Then the counters. Now it can carry some weight.

The flooring was laid, and the path became clear. Still, the painter had to do the little touch-ups at the end to make everything finished.

I think you can see where I’m going with this…

I was taken by the relationship to building this new kitchen to building a novel. It wasn’t completely brand new – the old foundation and walls were still there. However, it took a process to get to the end product, and it wasn’t always apparent how it was going to turn out. The care my wife took in looking at all the options created a beautiful setting.

I know as I slowly chip away at what I want in the story, I find twists and turns. Some things don’t work out as planned. Some choices make it worse. I realize I’m still in stages where it hasn’t all come together yet.

It was a relief to get cabinets in, and the countertops set, but that wasn’t the end point. What makes the kitchen is the little touches – the decorative pieces set into the backsplash, the glaze on the cabinets, the edging on the counters. A writer can get by with the functional pieces in place, but the novel can only reach its full potential if the time is taken to work the little details into the otherwise sturdy workmanship.

My wife is very pleased with how it came out. I’m happy for her, I enjoy the kitchen, but I’m just happy to have regular cooking again! I could have been satisfied enough with less, but it is so much more due to her vision.

I hope to keep this thought in mind as I go through the different levels of working my story.

Building a Novel

We just finished our kitchen.

Maybe “we” is a misnomer. My wife did all of the leg work to pick out everything with the design, and the contractors did the heavy lifting. I…stayed out of their hair. It was better that way.

I am not a construction type of guy. If a home improvement video says a job will take 1-2 hours, that means all day for me. So, I don’t do that sort of thing unless there’s no other option! This means I’m not familiar with the process of building.

It was fascinating to come home from work each day and see the layers stripped down. First the cabinets, then the old floor, then the sub-floor. The sheet rock, plaster, electrical, plumbing. The foundation wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world.

Then it started changing. The sheet rock guy did the mudding, adding texture. Now there was some dynamic going on, instead of being flat. He did the basic painting, and now it seems like we’re getting somewhere!

The cabinets came next, and it fleshed out everything, allowing a place for all the little things a kitchen needs. Then the counters. Now it can carry some weight.

The flooring was laid, and the path became clear. Still, the painter had to do the little touch-ups at the end to make everything finished.

I think you can see where I’m going with this…

I was taken by the relationship to building this new kitchen to building a novel. It wasn’t completely brand new – the old foundation and walls were still┬áthere. However, it took a process to get to the end product, and it wasn’t always apparent how it was going to turn out. The care my wife took in looking at all the options created a beautiful setting.

I know as I slowly chip away at what I want in the story, I find twists and turns. Some things don’t work out as planned. Some choices make it worse. I realize I’m still in stages where it hasn’t all come together yet.

It was a relief to get cabinets in, and the countertops set, but that wasn’t the end point. What makes the kitchen is the little touches – the decorative pieces set into the backsplash, the glaze on the cabinets, the edging on the counters. A writer can get by with the functional pieces in place, but the novel can only reach its full potential if the time is taken to work the little details into the otherwise sturdy workmanship.

My wife is very pleased with how it came out. I’m happy for her, I enjoy the kitchen, but I’m just happy to have regular cooking again! I could have been satisfied enough with less, but it is so much more due to her vision.

I hope to keep this thought in mind as I go through the different levels of working my story.