Plowing and Reaping
June 1, 2010Dear Friends,
"Reading Plows Your Mind" says a farmer reading a book while driving a tractor across our church library bulletin board. I like that. Plowshares cut through soil and turn it over. After harrowing to smooth furrows, the soft ground is ready to nurture crops. In that prepared ground, tiny seeds root and in time produce a harvest.
So it is with reading. Reading pokes and “turns over” old ways of thinking so that we consider new ways. Reading plants within us the perspectives of others and allows us to accept or reject new ideas and concepts. Reading informs our faith and challenges our way of thinking. When we finish a book, our minds have been exercised and enriched.
Last month at our church’s Neighborhood Book Club we discussed Together: A Story of Shared Vision by Tom Sullivan with Betty White. The book tells how a young man was ready to end his life after an accident robbed him of his sight. But through the encouragement of others and an irrepressible guide dog, he finds hope and happiness, greater than he had ever envisioned. Sullivan, who himself is blind, shares how other senses become sharpened. He can “hear” a person smile. Some of the book’s chapters are written from the perspective of a young black Labrador retriever. Interesting.
My favorites of the books we’ve read this year were The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards and Think No Evil by Jonas Beiler. The latter tells the story of the Amish schoolhouse shooting and explains how the Amish practice forgiveness as a way of life.
I’ve just finished reading Peggy Noonan’s On Speaking Well. I highly recommend it. Interesting insights into speaking and speeches from Peggy, who has written speeches for presidents.
So take some time this summer to read a good book. And feel free to e-mail me titles of any you recommend. My criteria for acceptable books are: No taking the Lord’s name in vain; no f-words; and no explicit sexual scenes.
Besides reading, I’m busy writing. My two Friends of the Heart and I are writing a women’s devotional book, and I am submitting proposals to agents. It has become increasingly difficult to interest a publisher in this economy, so I feel our best approach is through an agent.
If you’re a writer on my newsletter list and have had a book published that meets the above criteria, let me know and I’ll list it in a future newsletter. Feel free to pass along my newsletter to anyone you think might be interested.
Upcoming Events for Friends of the Heart (www.FriendsoftheHeart.us):
June 5, 11 a.m. – “Friendship: Got It In You?” Crosspoints UM Church, Harrisburg.
September 18, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – “At Any Age, At Any Stage: Celebrating the Christian Life,” Community Bible Church, Palmyra.
October 15-16 – “If Our Closets Could Talk,” at Camp Hebron, Paxton United Methodist Church, Harrisburg.
May 7, 2011 – “That Face in the Mirror: Who Do You See?” at United Lutheran Church, Sunbury.
We would love to find a group to host our Christmas event: “Mary: Ordinary or Extraordinary.” It’s designed as an outreach program with a skit, talks and those wonderful Christmas songs sung by Kim. Interested? E-mail me at email@example.com or call (717) 692-2721.