Friday, June 24, 2011
Old News . . . Good News - Black
When I first began writing a column for a small town newspaper in 1996 it was on an alternating basis with a ministerial colleague. After about three years he moved away and I soon began providing a weekly article. I could not have dreamed I’d still be doing that in 2011—more than a year after leaving that community myself.
The column is inspirationally oriented and called P-Pep! There is a readership. Well, OK, so my guess is that the reading demographic of my efforts is probably from about 50 to 100 years of age, with a sprinkling of younger folk. So, “What’s wrong with that?” One might ask. Nothing. Nothing at all. I’m entirely comfortable with my loyal P-Peppers! In fact, I heard from one recently.
Several weeks ago I received a letter card through the mail, which was forwarded to me by my pastoral successor. It was dated June 5, 2010. That was several days after my wife and I farewelled from our church and community on my retirement from fulltime pastoral ministry.
Other communications had been forwarded to us over time since we left, but it’s a mystery why this one had taken more than a year to come. Had it been stuck in a corner of a post box or bag before coming to light? Whatever. In any case, this was a most welcome thing. What a lovely encouragement. Here’s an excerpt:
“. . . May I wish you sincere congratulations in your retirement. We have met several times during the past fourteen years. I know you are moving soon and leaving the community . . . I wish you both continued health and happiness in your retirement. Best regards . . . Always a friend . . .” and she signed it with her name. “Always a friend.” I like that. I had no idea that this lady, a senior member of another congregation in the town, felt that way.
She came to the farewell open house our congregation provided, and was among a number of regular P-Pep! readers who expressed their hope that I would continue writing the column—and so far, I have. And then her lovely letter arrived—belated. (Hey, that rhymes with elated!)
I took that as a confirmation.
As a writer whose life has been touched and taught by the grace of God, and who is in some sense transformed by grace, I write out of that experience, since my worldview is in part shaped by it. What I write, while hopefully practical and down-to-earth, may at times have an otherworldly dimension to it. It bears elements of the gospel—the good news of Jesus Christ—and represents the old, old story which is ever new.
Whenever the story of God’s love demonstrated in Jesus comes alive in a person’s spiritual core, it really is good news, and works like medicine to bring healing and wholeness.
It’s true: old news really can be good news!
© Peter A. Black.
Black is the weekly inspirational columnist at The Watford Guide-Advocate,
and the author of “Parables from the Pond” (Word Alive Press; ISBN 1897373-21-X).
Who doesn’t love it when they call someone on the phone and that person answers? Or call for help and have someone come to aid in person? A...
Here is my confession. I'm envious. I'm envious of all those folks around my age who are blessed with grandchildren. Whenever I see ...
I love that my writing and publishing business is busy. I love to learn. I love that I have a home office and can take courses at home or...
In his time, William Shakespeare, poet and playright, knew a thing or two about the stage, but his work covered many areas of life. Biog...
Last week I had coffee with a friend, and when we stood to leave she apologized for the pants she was wearing. “I wear these ...
My first post of the current year in January was a modified edition of my newspaper column article of the same week, titled "The Milli...
I don't quite remember how I stumbled upon an online game site for Scrabble players but I was excited. Except for a game with someo...
The term reframing can be defined as putting a picture in a new frame. What if that picture is an event or circumstance in our...
I just wanted an ordinary, simple life. May 2/17. Trees bare from winter. My gaze falls on the grove of trees that fringes the nort...
In one of his Every Day with Jesus devotionals, Selwyn Hughes wrote that he "has learned to say no to many things in order to say yes ...