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What I’ve Learned on Writing Leave

May 17, 2011

For the past two weeks I have been on what we refer to as a writing leave.  Over this time, I have been able to catch up on some writing deadlines, write  a couple of articles, complete a booklet in our East Point Books series, and start a writing project we hope to complete by the end of the year (I will share more info concerning these writing projects in the near future).

Though the two weeks were brief and completing a major project could not be expected, it has proved quite profitable and fruitful.  Not only was I able to reach the goals I set for the two weeks, in the process I learned and was reminded of seven important truths:

1.   Writing is better when it’s all I have to do.  I am always writing, but when I have a few days to concentrate on writing first and foremost, my writing is more fun.  I believe fun writing is better writing.  When I am enjoying the process I believe I write better.  I feel good about what I was able to accomplish (though not a great deal) :).

2.  I can preach better.  Taking a couple of weeks and not having to prepare a sermon (and listening to two good sermons on prayer :), has given me some perspective on my preaching and has shown me ways in which I can be a better preacher.  I am not sure if it will show in my first week back :), nevertheless, I am more conscious of areas in which I can become better.

3.  My sins are still my greater problem.  Spending time concentrating on putting my thoughts on paper (or better yet computer screen) also had me thinking about areas of my life that need more and more of God’s grace and sanctifying mercy.  Just like preaching, we write better than we are.

4.  What a truly loving wife I have.  During my time on writing leave, Adriane once again did all she could to encourage and support me.  Without complaint, she gave me space and leave to concentrate.  She served me well.  As I have said before, if I am able to accomplish anything publicly it is because she has served and loved me so well privately.

5.  What wonderful children we have.  Though I was on writing leave, I found myself having time to just spend with them in the evenings and not have meetings and sermon prep to take my attention. Playing with them outside and listening more to their often silly (but entertaining) conversations, gave me a greater appreciation for they blessings they really are.

6.  What a faithful and giving church we have.  From the elders to the members, everyone has been so encouraging and supportive during this time.  This is the first time we tried something like this at EPC and so we were not sure what to expect.  But the elders really shouldered the load, and the congregation really supported and prayed for me.  Through EPC, God has been so good to us.

7.  What an awesome and mighty God we serve!  Not only was I able to accomplish the goals I set for myself, but God graciously loved me in the process. I do believe that more than write, I was able to just spend extended time praying and God really encouraged and challenged my heart in wonderfully powerful ways.  If anyone is able to benefit from something I wrote during this time, praise God!  However, I have already benefitted more than I believe anyone else ever could.

Non nobis Domine!  

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