Friday, June 20, 2014


Four of us came home from the annual writing conference of The Word Guild last Saturday evening, driving as far as we could together in a small convoy of two cars. 

We stopped for supper at Angel's Diner before we had even left the city of Guelph and by the time we left we were full of old fashioned diner food, served by an older woman who made us feel like we'd come home to mom. No request was too much trouble.

We left town inspired; grateful; invested in by skilled and successful teachers; encouraged; mentored; and having been connected with new friends and old.

Our hearts, heads and souls were full, not to mention luggage (there is a book more need be said.)

As we unpacked and transferred cases, pillows and laptops from one car to another in our driveway, the unpacking had only just begun. There is so much information to process and solidify.

I thought that I would unpack some of the things that I learned here, too, as they surface, even if they are random thoughts that I just don't want to forget. The thoughts below are not writing related but they are part of what I brought home. 

One of the teachers in the continuing class I chose: The Spiritual Life of a Writer;  was author Mark Buchanan.  He shared two insights that I thought were interesting.

1) I've often pondered King David being described as "a man after God's own heart." Although he was a wonderful example to look up to in some ways, he failed rather spectacularly too, but then repented so transparently that his Psalm 51 is a template for thoroughly cleansing a heart before God. But why is he described as "a man after God's own heart?" Mark Buchanan explained that "a man after God's own heart" actually means "a man who is chosen not because of merit, but because of God's heart to use broken vessels."  I would love to think that is the meaning, because that means there is hope for us all...

2) The second insight was about the commandment that says we must not take the name of the Lord our God in vain, which I always thought meant using his name as a swear word. But Mark explained that it actually means misusing the authority of God's name, for example speaking as though you are speaking for God but not actually speaking in his Spirit --misrepresenting him or his heart; or attributing things to him falsely. Doesn't that make sense and wouldn't it make us more careful how we speak (or write) "in the authority of" his name?

Just two thoughts unpacked to consider. 


Anonymous said...

Beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing a bit of what you packed in to your time away.

Belinda Burston said...

Thank you friend. Just overflowing and flowing over! :)

Marilyn said...

I've been away the whole week without Internet. What a delight, coming home to find all your reflections from Write Canada! I truly enjoyed each one, especially this: "a man after God's own heart" actually means "a man who is chosen not because of merit, but because of God's heart to use broken vessels."

And MOST especially, "Who knows what my voice may find to do now that I've found it?"

Dave Hingsburger said...

Thanks for sharing those two thoughts, I found them both powerful ... but the second one just resonated deeply within me.

Belinda Burston said...

Oh Marilyn, it is so good to hear from you. I've been thinking about you and wondering how your writing is going--imagining it going well, because it is God ordained. I am so glad you enjoyed the side trip to Write! Canada with us! :)

Belinda Burston said...

Dear Dave, Thank you for letting me know that the meaningful items unpacked from my "suit case" has meant something to you too. I wonder how much else we don't quite get that is completely "get-able" if we only knew.