From "SHARING" #002, July 1995
I have recently returned from The Cove, which is Billy Graham's Training Center in North Carolina. Donna and I received a scholarship to attend a three day seminar there. I found myself reacting with intense emotion on a number of occasions while participating. The experience was a welcome break from what sometimes feels like day after day of routine details while waiting to get clearer instructions from God on what direction to head with such things as the Teaching and Sharing Center, or Christian Life Programs (which is currently still a corporation and separate from a touch of william), let alone with what unknown directions He might have waiting around the corner. One thing you might notice which is a result of my attendance there, is a SHARING IN CHRIST page in my poetry and pictures books, which speaks a little about my relationship with God, and why I share what I do.
One of the experiences I had prior to the trip I would
like to relate, not as a condemnation of those who made the choices, but
as a teaching mechanism to help bring a different way of looking at things
into our lives. I had applied to Billy Graham's organization for a scholarship
because my financial position does not allow for such possibilities, yet
I was feeling strongly lead to attend training at The Cove. Upon
being notified that a scholarship had been approved for tuition, lodging,
and meals, I needed to come up with travel expenses. I felt the substantial
scholarship offered was an adequate indicator of God's will, so I accepted,
and then submitted a request to my church for some travel expense support. While I won't go into the long story with all the details, the bottom line
was that my request was denied by the church council because I could not
answer the question, "what are you specifically going to do for this church
upon your return with what you learn?" I was dumbfounded. It struck me
as the same "what's in it for me" attitude the church is so quick to criticize
in our society. Now I know not all of you who read this are professing
Christians, but if we can't get beyond the accountant attitude that every
debit must have a corresponding credit, our churches (and society) are
in deep trouble. Enough of my current soapbox. Now let me share a few quotes I recently ran across
which are worthy of repeating.
(My poem "Be Not afraid" was included
as a part of this newsletter)
"We commit the greatest crime when we endeavor to
be what we're not.
- Richard Allen Farmer from his book "It Won't Fly, If You Don't Try"
"There are two ways to get enough: One is to
accumulate more and more.
- G.K. Chesterton
(I would suggest that the first option doesn't really work)
And my favorite of the three:
"It is better to fail in a cause that will ultimately
As members of the poet's circle, I would like you to know that if you ever need a poetry book for a friend or someone whose life you think would be touched by one, you are welcome to come by the studio (call first to find out when I'm going to be there) and I will help you put one together. Your contributions are appreciated, and there is no additional cost for these books. If you are an out-of-state member, you can drop me a note with what you need, and I'll try to put one together for you. Be sure to give me plenty of lead time. (You're welcome to drop by the studio too, I just thought it might be a little inconvenient.)