Saturday, March 9, 2013



Devotion for Pens of Praise

  March 9, 2013

By Susan Marlene Kinney


But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like the foolish man who builds his house on sand….

Foundations and cornerstones, their purpose is to supply integrity of strength and stability to a building. All other stones, bricks or materials for construction are set in reference to the cornerstone and depend on a sturdy foundation. Hopefully, the structure is situated on something stronger than sand. Quality building, learning, writing, or relationships begin with attention to the foundation.

 Now here is where I get personal. My foundation does depend upon my relationship to the Lord first and foremost. When His presence touches that wounded or jubilant place in my heart and mind and spirit then the foundation for my relationships or writing or whatever needs my attention is securely set. Out from that safe place of relationship, flows ideas, dreams, and grace that I could not have hoped to imagine before.

It has been said in the book called, Wired For Story by Lisa Cron that our brains are hardwired for story. To quote her, “Story helps us survive not only in the life-and-death physical sense but also in a life-well-lived social sense.” Maybe that is why our Lord spoke in parables. He reached into that place where our minds hunger for truth, for survival, and quality relationships. We desire to know why, how, and when to do something. How do we react or respond? We want to watch or read how a character handles a knotty situation without physically experiencing the trial. I believe we are motivated by story because we want to apply what we learn. Story teaches us to be courageous, clever, and offers us a blueprint for what could possibly work in our own tragedies and difficulties life tosses our way.   We want to be accepted, appreciated, and smart when it comes to our accomplishments and decisions.

You may have a story or poem burning in your heart today. You may have a true story or memoire, which needs to be written. My advice is to know your characters so well that the story emerges from their situation or pain. I believe that fiction is an important vehicle for tapping into teaching others how to make good choices.  Fiction is useful. It’s not just entertainment or fluff. Not if we are responsible about learning how to write those characters and their situations so strongly that the reader will think they are looking into the mirror. I believe if we do listen to Jesus’s words and apply them to our lives habitually, then we will write about those concerns hardwired to the everyday mind. People are searching for reason and purpose.  What is that gut wrenching truth our reader has to know? What is it they anxiously fear? What is imperative to their life socially and spiritually? What can we write that matters for our readers to believe so that they can apply truth to their life? The gauntlet has been tossed to you writer, will you accept the challenge to write about essential, worthy matters that will encourage or provide that blueprint to your readers before they turn off the lights and consider some other dream?

Consider your foundations and please don’t build on sand….