My Typewriter Journey

I sat at my desk waiting, while the  little circle on the computer turn around and around. The words seemed to be on a two minute delay. I shut the laptop and went on to something else, frustrated and at a loss. I had been working on two, no three writing projects. That moment, I was working on revisions on my second book, a series of articles on adoption issues. I am writing my first novel for teens.(More info on upcoming books in a later post!) Number three is my website. I write articles on adoption, childrearing, organization, family and also type up my workshops or notes for speaking engagements. That’s a plethora of words to say that I rely heavily on technology every day.

After that particularly frustrating moment, I had an idea. Why not get a typewriter?  Hubby Jerry was  outside working on some yard work and I went out on the deck and yelled, “hey, do you mind if I order a typewriter?”

“Sounds like a great idea!” I ran back up to my office with visions of Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote) floating in my head. I couldn’t wait to start typing on a typewriter!  I ordered a manual. I didn’t want to be dependent on electricity or the internet in order to write. I just wanted to write. I had reverted to pen and paper going through yellow legal pads like my toddler grandchildren go through wipes.

My typewriter arrived (thank you Amazon Prime) and I did some practice sentences to warm up and realized my hands needed some more muscles. It didn’t take me long to get the hang of it and I pulled out the latest chapter I had written and typed it up. No distractions. I couldn’t pop open another tab or do some last minute research. I couldn’t tweet, fiddle with Pandora or check Facebook. Just type. It’s been one of the best disciplines for me. I make note when I need to look something up. I don’t look it up then.

The truth is, several people have tried to help me get back on technology. My daughter lent me her Mac. I brought it home and plugged it in, the cord popped, smoked and fried. Are you trying to tell me something, Lord? Then my son’s girlfriend loaned me a hot pink computer that I am typing on right now. Interesting thing, I did not touch the computer for a week or so. My website has been pretty silent and all I keep hearing in my head is WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. So, I have been, plunking away, chapter after chapter. Only three left to write (and two of those are outlined).

This portion of Scripture kept coming to mind:

If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.– Matthew 18:8-10

Sometimes things happen in my life and I view them as punishment, when they are actually discipline. I needed to step back from my technology habit and cut it off for awhile, it was causing me to stumble in my daily walk. I wasn’t viewing porn or watching R rated movies, I was just wasting time. And wasting time can be a sin. The Word says that we should not be vague, thoughtless or foolish, we should instead be diligent.

Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], 16 [b]making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is.- Ephesians 5:15-17

I was deceiving myself into believing that flitting around through social media and other people’s blogs was sensible and diligent, when in fact it was robbing me of the true will of the Lord which was and is WRITE, WRITE, WRITE.

Maybe you seen the handwriting on the wall clearly and aren’t as hard headed as me, if that is true, than God bless you, sister. This article isn’t about the evils of technology, it’s about letting anything get in the way of what God has placed in your heart to do. He has given each of us a God-sized dream and a measure of the talent we need to complete it. It our job to walk carefully, making the most of our time and increasing our talent through thought, study and discipline.

I pray that my mini lesson has helped you in some way. Although my webpage has been on pause for awhile, I know it is a season. I will come back to it when the time is right. Don’t be afraid of seasons. They are natural and normal. Don’t look at what everyone is doing to measure yourself by, use the ruler of the Word and you won’t be led astray. If you need to, cut some things out. Re-evaluate. Write down your mission statement and your goals and pray over them. Study. Pray. Don’t be surprised if the Holy Spirit directs you to do something that no one else is doing!

Joining Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday!  Join us!



Pay It Forward- Gina Towson

Pay it Forward

(Beautiful Gina and husband Terry)

Continuing my series on the responsibility of the church…..

I’d like to introduce you to another lovely Saint- Gina Towson.  She runs the organization Pay It Forward.  This ministry has helped hundreds of families in the area supplying them with household goods, Thanksgiving turkeys, clothing, Christmas, etc…  Her idea was birthed out of a need.  I asked her about the ministry’s origins and she said,
”I had already helped five families before I realized it.  When we went to Alabama, two hours outside of Tuscaloosa, I get a phone call that my daughter’s house had burnt down and I was looking at the back of that big yellow Penske box truck, thinking about all the donations inside if it, enough for ten families, and I thought, I have drained my town and I will never be able to help my daughter.  Long story short, I came back to Fairmont, put something out on my facebook wall and had her back up and running within just a few days…it was then I realized it wasn’t my resources, it wasn’t Fairmont’s resources, It was God’s resources and so birthed Pay It Forward.”
I met Gina years ago in Wednesday night women’s Bible study. I immediately had the sense that She cares about people in need and she is not afraid to get down in the trenches to meet those needs. She has a no nonsense, practical approach.  She sends out a plea on her facebook page and God sets people into action.  She credits Him with meeting the needs.  

 Gina reminds me of my mother.  It is not a physical resemblance, it is a spiritual and character photocopy.  She has the attributes of Christ- love, mercy, unconditional love, faithfulness, compassion just as my mother did.  Gina walks in those attributes without even thinking about it.   It’s as if she has her hand on the pulse of the community. She knows when it is weak, sick or suffering and like a nurse, she leaps into action medicating with compassion and loaves and fishes.

Gina is doing the work of the church on earth, but she is not the only one.  She is the einstein and the passion behind the ministry.  Others lend strong arms, backs and the trappings essential to provide the needs.  It’s a family ministry for the Towsons, including Terry, her husband, Katy, her granddaughter along with aunts, uncles, cousins and some church family thrown in the mix.  

Jesus said the poor would always be with us and they are.  In fact it could be anyone of us at anytime.  Each of us should Pay It Forward to ensure the ministry is there when we need it.  Those who walk in compassion will reap compassion.  

Sally Hunter Allen and the Mannington Food Pantry

“I want to see God, who gives gifts in hospitals and gravesides and homeless shelters and refugee camps….”  – Ann Voskamp

I have seen it.  I have seen it in the face of a stranger who needed money for diapers.  I have seen it in a Mother desperate for food to feed her children.  I have seen it in my mother, Sally Hunter Allen.  I watched her give out of her need, not her excess.  She was my first glimpse into the work of God.  She fed the hungry when she was hungry herself.  She tiptoed around the knowledge of God, she was wary of His intent, but with His wooing, she came and became a new creature in Christ.  I followed.  Young.  Green.  Not sure where I fit in, still wearing the skin of rejection, I didn’t put on the cloak of righteousness, I stayed in the pit.  Saved, but not transformed. Not yet.  

She saw the poor, the needy. She saw God’s glory in them.  I could not see through the lens of glory. I had not learned yet.  I saw filth. I smelled the stink of the world. I didn’t see the person or the God-glory on them.  She saw them, their needs- physical, emotional and spiritual.    She filled their bellies with food, their ears with Godly counsel and healed hearts with love, unconditionally.  I watched from the shadows, sometimes jealous of the love she gave so freely to others, and slowly, I learned the love walk, ‘the least of these’ were the most important to my mother.  The hopeless cases were not hopeless to her.  She prayed early before the gray dawn, she prayed in the dark, kneeling on the braided rug covering hard wood, petitioning for all of us hopeless cases, crucifix above her, the wood and metal reminder of what Jesus suffered.  She prayed.  Then she worked.  Long hours.  Writing.  Petitioning the community. She and Bud opened the Mannington Food Pantry, stocking shelves with canned goods, dried beans and cereal. She handed out boxes of food to feed the stomach and unconditional love to feed the soul.

Her legacy lives on in her children and grandchildren- volunteering at soup kitchens, helping at the mission and in the Mannington Food Pantry under the leadership of Colleen Morris since 2005.

Who has been the hands and feet of Jesus in your life? What has that example birthed in your heart and mind?
More next time…..

What Does the World Long to See?

    This week I promised to share about some individuals who were secret agents, working under the radar, ambassadors for Christ doing the work of the kingdom.

    In this series on the Church’s responsibility, I think it is important to investigate  what the world longs to see the Church doing.  There is a theological debate that keeps some Saints sidelined.  Faith or works?  The query has us scratching our heads and wondering.  Should we believe that God will meet our needs and the needs of the community or should we step out and be the hands and feet of Jesus, the living breathing body of Christ, hands baking the loaves and grilling fishes?

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.-James 1:14

How can we say to our brethren, be warm and be filled without offering the bread.  Jesus, the bread of life, who offered the word of life, health to our flesh, chose to feed the multitude before sending them on their way.

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
18 He said, Bring them hither to me.
19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

-Matthew 14: 14-20

     Is that the miracle?  Jesus multiplies the loaves and fishes in us?  We follow in His footsteps and are moved by compassion?  Then we give thanks, as the prequel to the miracle of multiplication?
We have faith and do the works that He has commissioned us to do.  Take care of the widow and the orphan, our external religious worship (James 1:27).  Religion is something that must be practiced, right? Not hidden under a bushel, remember the children’s song?  Hide it under a bushel, NO!   Let your light shine where all can see it.  What is the world looking for?  Darkness?  Deception?  Hunger?  Despair?  Lack?  Disease?  Depression?  Hate?  NO!  

For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship]. Romans 8:19

   All of creation ‘waits expectantly and longs earnestly’ for Christ’s followers to be made known.  Creation waits for us to walk in the compassion of Christ, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, wiping the brow and sending up prayers for the sick.  The world waits breathlessly for us to carry out Isaiah 61, as Christ did, to do as we saw Him do- preach the Gospel of great tidings to the meek, the poor, the afflicted.

“I want to see God, who gives gifts in hospitals and gravesides and homeless shelters and refugee camps….”  – Ann Voskamp

Tune in next time when for a look into a life of a Saint who fed the poor and clothed the naked, a hero of the faith….