|by C.J. Chase|
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. (Romans 1:7-13 NIV)
When Paul wrote his letter to the church at Rome, he’d never been there. He was essentially writing to strangers. One of the fascinating aspects of email and Internet is that it facilitates communication among people who will never meet each other this side of eternity. And unlike Paul’s poor letters, our words can be read (and through the wonders of Youtube, spoken even) almost instantaneously all over the globe.
While writing this post, I peeked at the Inkwell stats, and what a surprise! We have visitors from four continents. I hope when we reach heaven, those of you reading this in China or India or Germany or elsewhere around the world will look me up. (I figure you'll have the advantage, having seen my name and picture.) I so want to hear your stories. Were you a missionary in a foreign land? A native of your country reading my words in that crazy English language? (My hat's off to you!)
Of course, we mustn’t forget Jesus’ admonition: From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded (Luke 12:48 NIV). With the gift of easy communication comes the responsibility to use our words wisely. Yet all too easily we spread discord rather than encouragement.
Last week I wrote about being offended, but how often our words cause offense! Words once said cannot be unsaid—particularly in cyberspace where an unkind comment can live forever. How many times have I blurted out harsh or hurtful remarks without considering the consequences, without thought to the pain I cause another person? And how much worse when those words reside on some far-off server, ready to be discovered over and over again.
Here at Inkwell, we are gearing up to celebrate our third anniversary this week. We thank God for all of our readers and hope He has used our words to encourage you and make you stronger in your faith.
After leaving the corporate world to stay home with her children, C.J. Chase quickly learned she did not possess the housekeeping gene. She decided writing might provide the perfect excuse for letting the dust bunnies accumulate under the furniture. Her procrastination, er, hard work paid off in 2010 when she won the Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Manuscript and sold the novel to Love Inspired Historicals. Her next book, The Reluctant Earl, will be available February 5, 2013. You can visit C.J.'s cyber-home (where the floors are always clean) at www.cjchasebooks.com
Third Anniversary? How exciting! I've loved reading this blog this last little bit over a year :) My best wishes!ReplyDelete
Wonderful words, CJ. It's true. We take for granted the fact our words are cyber-wide. We never know where they go or who they touch which might make it even more important to choose them wisely.ReplyDelete
Hello to all our followers, lurkers, commenters and friends.
Good morning Faye! Yes, three years! Monday starts our new format and themes. We are so thankful to have this base to share with each other and with our commenters and you are an important part of that!
Good morning. Thanks for the wise words, CJ. Too often we forget the words we share online aren't going anywhere, and they can be seen by everybody. Keeping that in mind might temper what I say. Which I should do, anyway.ReplyDelete
Three years! The time has flown by...
Hi, Faye! Yes, three years -- and thank you for YOUR words of encouragement.ReplyDelete
Deb, remember when about the only way to "meet" someone in another country was to get a penpal? I had one in Scotland when I was in high school. And now people can send communication all over the world instantly.ReplyDelete
Susie, that's the scary part about the internet. Once we put words out there, we can't get them back. They exist in a cached file somewhere.ReplyDelete
I should have included that verse about every idle word.
Your article made me think of facebook. At least bloggers are somewhat conscious of the fact that their words are going out into public. I can't believe some of the things people put on facebook.ReplyDelete
Nice, CJ! I love that we can reach out and make friends all over the world. I once had on-line critique partners in Australia and Canada and we all went on vacation together. Now I have on-line critique partners in Australia and on the opposite side of the US and we're planning a trip together next year. The internet makes the world smaller for sure. Oh, CJ, I love the world picture you shared.ReplyDelete
It is amazing to realize how small the world has become in the face of the internet. But I love your point about how we need to be careful with our blessings and use it wisely.ReplyDelete