So if you’ve ever wanted to join the Hospitality Team at church, perhaps it might be worth to pick up some pointers on what not to do by reading Dear Diary first!
" See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come"
~ Song of Solomon 2:11-12a NIV ~
Hello and welcome to the April Issue of FaithWriters' Magazine! What a month we have prepared for you! As I was editing this Issue, I was scribbling notes about all the sections that I particularly wanted to highlight … in the end I ran out of paper! There really is so much great reading inside the April Magazine – something for everyone.
This month we are introducing our last new department for the time being, and it’s definitely a case of "last, but not least." As I Imitate Christ is a department devoted to Godly leadership and the call to lead others by example. I think you’ll find it inspiring in so many ways.
So much has already been written about leadership in recent years that it would be easy to think that there’s really nothing much left to say – but that’s where As I Imitate Christ is quite different. As Gary Sims (the Editor for this new department) puts it, "It will not be the intent of ‘As I Imitate Christ’ to provide additional leadership pointers to the few gifted individuals who find themselves in leadership positions in church communities. Instead, it is with the understanding that ALL Christians are called to lead people to Christ."
Gary’s featured article selections for April really do illustrate that goal perfectly. Both Lucian Thompson’s "Nothing is Worth Having if You Can’t Give it Away," and Mark Muncher’s "Winning Basketball," made quite an impact on me as I read them. I’m sure they’ll inspire and bless you as well.
This month we welcome Lynda Schab to FaithWriters’ Magazine as the Editor for ‘Tis the Season – and for her first issue she’s pulling out a bag of tricks in celebration of April Fool’s Day. Lynda has already brought her own very special touch to this always enjoyable department and I know you’re going to love discovering, with her, what it ‘Tis the Season for – each and every month.
Sally Hanan’s story, "Dear Diary," in A Merry Heart, left me laughing and cringing all at the same time – her diarist brought back memories that I would probably have preferred to forget.
Spring Clean Your Soul
By Matthew E. Morgan
After staring at the white and grey winter palette for months, hues of greens and blues are finally blooming! Spring is here! And with it comes the long-standing tradition of "Spring Cleaning." But your house isn't the only thing that is in dire need of a makeover – your soul has been cooped up all winter as well. It's time to dust your disposition, transform your thinking, and arrange your attitude. It's time to spring clean your life!
After spending quite a few winters in North Dakota, my wife and I understood winter cabin fever well. For months, we hardly saw any speck of natural color. I remember coming home and staring out the frosty window with a steaming mug of hot chocolate in hand, snuggling under four quilts to keep warm.
But when spring came, it brought beautiful green grass,...
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The First Day of the Rest of My Life
By Liz Hoyt Eberle
"Equinox" was not a good name, especially for my grandmother; so I am glad her parents named her "Spring."
She was born on the first day of spring and it was easy for her to live up to the name. She was happy, joyful, and loved newness of life, especially springtime. So when the weather began to warm up, look out! She made cakes in the shape of lambs, covering them in coconut icing and was just itching for the dirt to warm up so she could dig in the garden. She planted zinnias and geraniums and she and Granddad had as much fun getting the garden ready as two little kids in a candy store.
Of course, I was born on the first day of spring so Grannie loved having two Springs in the family. There were always two birthday cakes and Grannie made a new dress for me every spring. We loved our birthdays.
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We say goodbye this month to the lovely Teresa Lee Rainey, who has been such a blessing in the role of Editor for Take it to Heart over the last few issues. Her last column, Treasure Seeker, is a perfect example of what makes this lady’s writing so heartfelt and special. We wish Teresa every blessing for the future and look forward to including more of her work in various departments in the future.
If you’re a Pastor’s Wife, then you must read Pat Sheets’ very honest article, "Neither Did Jesus" in "We are the Church." Combining her typical good humor with a very encouraging message, I just know that Pat’s experience will be an encouragement to every reader – even if you’ve never heard those words, "Honey, I think God is calling me into the ministry."
While you’re over in "We are the Church," make sure you read Thom Mollohan’s excellent article, "Fearlessly Facing Change." Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be shattering. Thom brings good advice in his first contribution to FaithWriters’ Magazine.
Teen Truth is a very special department for a very special age group. This month I’m delighted to say that one of the items in this department is actually by a 17-year-old writer, Whitney Nemecek. "Does This Happen to You?" has Whitney’s trademark vulnerability and honesty all over it and you don’t need to be a teenager to relate to her experience. I really hope that Whitney’s poem will be the first of many contributions from our younger readers.
Of course with spring in the air for the majority of FaithWriters’ Magazine readers, there are plenty of spring-related stories and articles throughout the various departments this month – including right here on the front page. Matthew Morgan has some wonderful tips to help "Spring Clean Your Soul." It could be as easy as going for a walk or taking a one-day vacation!
Then there’s Liz Hoyt Eberle’s quite moving short story, "The First Day of the Rest of My Life." This story captured my heart in a way that quite surprised me. I hope it does the same for you.
The Rhythm of Life is blooming with spring for April – new life, new beginnings, refreshing rain and refreshment in God. What more could anyone ask for?
Sandra Fischer is becoming a familiar and much-loved contributor to FaithWriters’ Magazine and this month is no exception. If you’re a nature lover, then you will really enjoy her delightful article, "The Mallard Nest," in The Joy of Family. Families come in a multitude of varieties – even the feathered kind.
Spring just wouldn’t be spring unless we find ourselves getting excited about what to buy in the cleaning section of the supermarket (or perhaps that’s just me). Kay Brown decided to have a "Clutter Confrontation" in her home this year, but her imagination got the better of her. With Kay there is always "Joy for the Journey" and you can find her monthly column in "The Parent’s Surivival Guide."
Well … that’s just about where I ran out of paper! So much to encourage, challenge, delight and inspire – enough to keep you going right through until May! Don’t forget that you can write to any of our authors, simply by visiting the Letters page in each issue – believe me, they all love to hear from you!
So until next time, may God fill you to overflowing with every blessing!