The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild
Published 9:26 am Thursday, December 2, 2021
Offerings and Obstacles
By N. R. Tucker
Do I control my future? Many people believe a force outside of the individual has a masterplan and each person has their part to play. That force has been identified in many ways: God, fate, the universe, Mother Earth, and so on. I believe God has a masterplan, but He gives me free will to mess up as much as I want. Sometimes free will is not helpful. While many things outside my control impact my life, it is my reaction to the offerings and obstacles that that come my way that determine my future.
When good things happen, I’m pretty easy to get along with. Who isn’t? But when something negatively impacts my day, I get cranky. The size or importance of the impact does not always match my reaction. That’s on me. That’s what I control. I can choose to take things in stride, complain, or pitch a fit. I don’t always make the right choice.
I’m impatient. Always have been. Delays grate on me, and tardiness is a pet peeve. The cell phone has had a positive impact on my reaction to delays. If I must wait in the doctor’s office, a friend is late meeting me for lunch, or a gathering doesn’t start on time, I have a multitude of apps at my fingertips. I can read a book, google obscure questions, watch YouTube, check in on discord, Facebook, Instagram, or even Tweet my status. No reason to check the time every thirty seconds. The result: I don’t drop down the rabbit hole of irritation.
If I’m stuck in traffic, I have plenty of tunes available via my phone or my CD player if I don’t like what’s on the radio. I sing along, secure in the knowledge that traffic isn’t going to clear up just because I have plans.
When something irritates me, I become a grouch who doesn’t play well with others. Taking a walk and Tai Chi are the ways I deal with irritation. And deal with it I must. Without some type of physical activity, I don’t let go of whatever has severed my last nerve and I’m not pleasant to be around. That, in turn, makes me an obstacle for someone else.
So, back to the original question. Do I control my future? I don’t think it matters. I’m responsible for my reactions to the offerings and obstacles that come my way. Hopefully I make choices that allow me to live a joyful life.
Conviction of Holy Spirit of Righteousness
By Stephanie Williams Dean
This week’s study focuses on how the Holy Spirit not only convicts of sin but also regarding righteousness. The world had condemned Jesus as an evil person, when in fact, he was the righteous one. The Spirit convicts us of this because once Jesus Christ had gone to the Father, the coming of the Holy Spirit was proof that Christ had gone to the Father.
Acts 2:33 reads, “Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.” (NIV)
Then the Holy Spirit opened our eyes to see that Jesus was the righteous one. Further, By God raising Jesus from the dead, exalting Him to God’s right hand, and giving Him a name that is above every name in the world – we see God’s conviction that Jesus is the righteous one.
Further, an interesting point to be made here is that often people do not understand the righteousness of Christ – the righteousness that we believe is not the same righteousness that God attributes to Jesus. We often attribute the kind of righteousness that we are familiar with – human righteousness. But there are no other men whose names deserve to be held up to Jesus Christ.
When the Holy Spirit comes to man, it is the Spirit that convinces man of the righteousness of Christ. At this time, we attribute a righteousness that is far above that which we would ordinarily attribute to someone. Jesus Christ stands absolutely alone – far above any and all other men. Our understanding of this is the work of the Holy Spirit.
“That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1: 19-21) (NIV)
The Big Table
By Linda H. Barnette
When I was growing up, it was customary for my parents and me to go to the grandparents’ homes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and other celebrations and special occasions. Mother had 6 siblings, so there would generally be a crowd at the Smith house on any given holiday.
Mama Smith had a large dining room table where all of the men used to sit and eat their meal while the women worked in the kitchen keeping the food warm, serving second helpings, and pouring coffee. Mother and my aunts all brought various dishes so that my grandmother did not have to do all of the work. After the men finished dining, they headed to the living room, front porch, or outside to smoke while the ladies had their meal at the dining table.
My cousins and I ate at card tables on the back porch, and our conversations always turned to the subject of when or if we would ever get promoted to the big table. It was a noble goal.
As it all turned out, we never graduated to it. We grew up, moved way, got married, and had our own families. People in the family died, things changed, and we did not gather as we once did.
Yet in my memory I see Papa, Slick, Smit, Kermit, Quentin, Norman, Jim, and Charlie laughing and talking as they enjoyed a big meal and just being together. I wonder if they are talking in Heaven now. Hope so.
My point here, other than nostalgia, is to enjoy and cherish your families and friends; be thankful for all of life’s gifts; and treasure your time with loved ones, for things change, and these events become just a part of our precious memories, moments in time from long ago.
RWG Literary Corner
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