This week, Ethel Herr, the author of the book I am so excited about, Lord, Show Me Your Glory, will be a guest blogger here at God Is Doing A New Thing! We will feature her two part blog piece, Perfect Peace. You won’t want to miss it!
Months ago, I searched Amazon.com for a book that a Christian writing friend of mine and I could study. I stumbled upon An Introduction to Christian Writing, by Ethel Herr. In the “Preface to the 2nd Edition” of this book, I read:
We are God’s manuscripts–eternal, unique, precious to our Creator. Each piece we write comprises, on our part, an act of worship offered to the God of the universe. From God’s point of view, it functions as one more step in the process of producing His works of art in us–perfect, flawless reflectors of His image. (Page 16, Introduction to Christian Writing, Ethel Herr)
I sensed a stirring in my heart that this lady understands my heart and can offer insight about the entire “writing journey” into which God was, again, plunging me.
About that time, a generous someone offered to pay my way to the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. Truthfully, I never really thought it would be worth the time and monetary investment, since I couldn’t commit to writing at that time. Needless to say, that conference has already had the most amazing impact on my life.
I noticed in the program materials for the conference that Ethel was going to be at Mt. Hermon and so I visited her website. Though this is the first year she wasn’t scheduled to teach a workshop, I noticed that she was listed as one of the editorial staff, available to help review manuscripts that authors submitted ahead of time. I was definitely intrigued. (I decided *not* to submit a proposal or manuscript, as I couldn’t get one ready in time!)
Visiting Ethel’s website, I became even more intrigued by this lady who seemed to know how I felt in my walk with the Lord, where the two–heaven and the “earth-stuff” that writing seems to be made of–somehow merge. On page 23 of her Introduction to Christian Writing, Ethel unveiled God’s heart, as if to show me his glory :-):
…before we can minister, we must learn to worship and regard all our writing as an act of worship offered to the God of the universe. Everything we do and say must be an act of worship, done for God’s pleasure. Some of our writing goes on to bless others as well, while some does no more than bless God and ourselves. Whatever else our actions and ministries accomplish, if they don’t please Him, they have failed. (Page 23, Introduction to Christian Writing, Ethel Herr)
I was hooked. I eagerly looked for any other books Ethel has written and found Lord, Show Me Your Glory. It arrived soon before I was scheduled to leave for Mt. Hermon. Filled with self-doubt about what on earth am I doing going to a writer’s conference, I read the introduction and felt again, like scales were falling from my eyes and the callus on my heart was being sloughed off. I glimpsed afresh a sacred taste of the radiant glory of the Lord I love.
The first afternoon everyone gathered at Mt. Hermon for lunch, Dave, the “M.C.,” called Ethel up to the front and interviewed her a bit. I got to hear her heart for Lord, Show Me Your Glory. Her heart for the Lord and for writing for the Lord…that is what I want SO much! I want NEVER to have anything eclipse my love for HIM. Not a desire to be published, or, even, to be used of him in effective ministry, but HIM. Just HIM. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else, but I feel like Ethel not only understands, but that her writing keeps this desire as a goal ever before me.
The more I studied the attributes of God that Ethel so expertly, tenderly, and beautifully shares in Lord, Show Me Your Glory, the more I knew I wanted others to learn about this book. I have seen that a right and true understanding of the Lord, who he is, and what he is like, transforms my perspective about life, about myself, about sin and pursuing sanctification. It is directly related to defeating struggles with perfectionism, inappropriate eating, and everything wrapped up in it.
Tomorrow, you will get a chance to meet Ethel “personally.” She will share her heart with us specifically. Isn’t that cool!? I praise God for that.
God IS doing a new thing. He IS transforming us and that means our freedom, as Scripture says:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,just as from the Lord, the Spirit.– 2 Corinthians 3:17-18