The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 10:27 am Friday, April 7, 2023

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Don’t Let a Gift Go to Waste

By Stephanie Williams Dean

There are passages in the Bible that clearly reflect God’s dislike for wastefulness – not in opportunity, word, time, or food.

Paul instructs us in Ephesians 5:15, “Be very careful, then how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”

While I think of our days as beautiful, I understand Paul’s warning to us to be wise, do good, and not give in to that which is not. We must stay focused and vigilant.

Regarding wasted words, in 1 Peter 3:10, Peter says, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.” And in Proverbs 10:19, Solomon’s words say, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”

Regarding how we spend our time, Proverbs 14:23 tells us, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Make your time count by being productive and doing good.

In John 6:12, after His disciples had eaten, Jesus instructed, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” After that, the disciples gathered and filled twelve baskets with leftovers.

God gives to us abundantly but in most cases, we give Him our leftovers in return. But God takes what we offer and uses it for something good. But when we offer nothing – God has nothing to use. God can use even the smallest of what we have to offer.

The older I get, the more precious opportunities, words, time, and food become to me, both in the physical sense and spiritual sense. I like to make the best use of the gifts I’ve been given – and want everything I say, do, or accept to be of good use and without waste.

I might suggest that the greatest waste in life is when God’s free gift of salvation is not accepted. But sometimes the message hasn’t been made clear. We see this in Charles Spurgeon’s autobiography, when Spurgeon writes about his earlier years, “Oh the many times that I have wished the preacher would tell me something to do that I might be saved! Gladly would I have done it, if it had been possible…Yet the simplest of all matters – believing in Christ crucified, accepting His finished salvation, my being nothing and letting Him be everything, doing nothing, but trusting to what He has done – I could not get a hold of it.”

In Larry Moyers book, “Free and Clear,” Moyer explains God’s offer of eternal life as a free gift – we are saved when, as sinners, we fully understand the power that Christ has to save us. We believe and act on that knowledge by placing our trust only in Christ for our salvation. That is saving faith. Christ has offered us the gift of eternal life based on His deity, death, and resurrection. But the offer doesn’t convey or grant anyone eternal life – unless the offer’s been accepted.

A simple understanding that Christ died and arose and living a good life will not guarantee one’s salvation. To reiterate, the gift of eternal life must be received or appropriated by the person receiving it. This is done by coming to God as a sinner and putting our trust in Christ alone for our salvation.

Salvation is the most precious gift we will ever receive. I pray you will accept it – and not waste such a precious gift as this.

The Crown Jewels

By Linda H. Barnette

The United Kingdom’s Crown Jewels are a collection of royal ceremonial objects which are kept in the Tower of London. The coronation regalia is used to invest and crown British monarchs in order to name them head of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth; Supreme Governor of the Church of England; and head of the armed forces. Most of the present collection dates back about 350 years to the reign of Charles II.

The objects altogether contain about 24,000gemstones, including the famous Cullinan I diamond, which is 530 carats and is set in the sovereign’s Scepter with Cross. The largest diamond on the crown itself is the 317 carat Cullinan II, which is one ff the reasons the crown itself is so heavy, and thus worn only at certain ceremonial events such as the opening of Parliament. The crown also contains over 400 other stones in addition to the large diamond.

At the coronation the monarch is anointed with holy oil, investments with robes and ornaments, and crowned with the St. Edward’s Crown.  When not in ceremonial use, the crown jewels are on public display in the Tower of London. They belong to the institution of the monarchy and are passed from one ruler to the next. Now they belong to King Charles III for as long as he is the king.

The Tower and the Crown Jewels were favorites of ours when we went to London.  No pictures were allowed, and the Beefeaters who guard the jewels moved the queue along very quickly, so there is no time for gawking! However, the jewels did not disappoint! Of other interest in the Tower is the Armory, which contains the suits of armor worn my the knights of old and their steeds. In addition, we got to see the very room where Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I. It was a much larger room than I had imagined.

Whenever I see the crown, I always think of reading Henry IV in Dr. Jenkins’s Shakespeare class at Catawba. King Henry says at one point, “Heavy is the head that wears the crown” to explain his feeling that the duty of kingship is difficult and worrisome.  However, now the monarch is a figurehead rather than a ruler.