At The Table

Thinking about Jesus, culture, and everyday life.

Category: Words and Writing (page 1 of 2)

Wordsmithy 2016

Its now been almost a week and half since I have returned the Wordsmithy Workshop at New Saint Andrews College. It has taken me this long to sit down and write down some reflections. Whether its busyness, or laziness or lack of a proper schedule, I don’t know. Lord knows I’ve doing my best to keep head above water. Alas, here I am. Finally, a moment to write.

If you haven’t ever heard of the Wordsmithy Workshop or of New Saint Andrews, check out my reflection from last year to get a little more background. Every year thus far it has been a wonderfully enriching experience. As I reflect on this year’s trip, my impressions all seem to congregate around one main aspect. Perhaps the greatest highlight of this year’s Wordsmithy for me was the opportunity to meet and interact with such a wonderful variety of people, all of whom had a passion for writing. This was helpful and inspiring for two main reasons.

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The Blessed Hand of the Ready Writer

Beloved, when you and I have seen or heard anything which God has revealed to us, let us go and write it, or make it known by some other means. God has not put the treasure into the earthen vessel merely for the vessel’s own sake, but that the treasure may afterward be poured out from it, that others may thereby be enriched. You have not been privileged to see, merely to glad your eyes and to charm your soul. You have been permitted to see, in order that you may make others see; that you may go forth and report what the Lord has allowed you to perceive.

John no sooner became the seer of Patmos, than he heard a voice that said to him, “Write!”. He could not speak to others for he was on an island, he was exiled from his fellow brethren, but he could write and he did. And often he who writes addresses a larger audience than the man who merely uses his tongue. It is a happy thing when the tongue is aided by the hand of a ready writer, and so gets a wider sphere, and a more permanent influence than if it merely uttered certain sounds and the words died away when the ear had heard them.  (C. H. Spurgeon)

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Meeting the Raggants

This past weekend I had the wonderful privilege of attending the first annual Raggant Fiction Festival at Evangel Classical School. For the better part of the sunny Saturday, we spent our time exploring the value and richness of fiction from a christian worldview. And let me tell you, this was quite an event. There were no clowns, no faceprinting, not even any balloons. But it was indeed a festival. The festive nature of the place was rooted in the heart of the things being accomplished. ECS is a small but mighty institution in Marysville Washington, bringing up the next round of young minds equipped and in love with the true history of words and ideas.

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Knowing the Present

“Most of all, perhaps, we need intimate knowledge of the past. Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite different in different periods and that much which seems certain to the uneducated is merely temporary fashion.

A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village; the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age.”  (C. S. Lewis, Learning in War-Time)

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Venturing Through the Thicket

I think that people who don’t do much journaling or writing often look at those who do and think, “Gosh, lucky for them it comes so easily. They just have a way with words.” Recently I was trying to encourage a close brother in arms in his labors. He seemed to be communicating the point that because it is hard, then he wasn’t built for it.

In the course of our conversation I myself began to realize that, the fact that writing is hard work is actually the whole point. The process of writing is a quest for clarity on something that we think we already understand. Its a fight to own that which we think we understand. It is quite inevitable that this path will be a challenge. It will require the twisting and turning of our perspective. It will require us to see things from new angles.

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