|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