"A Pure Joy"
While cleaning out a bookshelf today, I ran across my first published words, as recorded in my elementary school newspaper. It was entitled, "Grandfather's Farm".
"My grandfather has a farm. I go to the farm every spring. He has some chickens. He lives in Atmore. I like my grandfather's farm very much." - Glen Davis, Mrs. Wilburn's 2nd Grade class, Woodcock Elementary School.
I know, I know what you're thinking! "Wow, Glen was a whole lot better writer as a 7 year old than he is now!" Agreed! I seem to have lost some clarity and brevity somewhere along the way! Anyway, we discovered the masterpiece above during a visit to my old school several years ago, just before it closed. I hadn't walked the halls in nearly 50 years. Little seemed to have changed actually, and I said farewell to the dear old place with fond memories and a bit of sad melancholy. Thankfully, my youngest daughter Emmie accompanied me and took many photographs, which my wife Frances compiled into the beautiful, cherished memory book I found today.
I wrote quite a bit throughout my school days, with plans to one day go to journalism school. Circumstances prevented that, and when the Lord called me into the ministry, I never thought much about anything but preaching and teaching. But the years went by, the Internet came along, and an opportunity presented itself to return to writing, mainly in the form of these devotionals (although I did write a book this past summer that we hope to publish sometime this year). This message is the 4950th, and makes me think that it won't be too long, Lord willing, before we hit 5,000. I never dreamed of such a thing before starting this endeavor, or even after. I honestly didn't have any great vision or prospect for what the Orange Moon devotionals would be. I can't say that I do even now. I just write them, hopefully in response to the Lord's calling, and send them to folks like all of you who are kind enough to read them. That never ceases to amaze me.
Regarding the little boy's words from so long ago, I'm surprised that I mention only my grandfather, referring to the farm simply as his. My grandmother had a piece of it too, and when I think of childhood influences, she is at or near the top of the list. She was an old-school Christian who believed that we must take God very seriously. She was fun also, and when I think of her, I smile - and then I think, "Lord, am I toeing the line?!" That's a pretty good dual influence. And, by the way, my daughter Emmie whom I mentioned proudly bears the name of the great grandmother she never met, but about whom she's heard much. She even looks remarkably like her, a compliment to both of these cherished women of my life.
Well, as mentioned, I lost brevity a long time ago. So I'll close by simply thanking you for reading the devotionals, and I also thank the Lord that He made a way for me to scratch the literary itch from the 2nd grade until today. It has been and remains a pure joy, and the most undeserved blessing.
"My heart is indicting (overflowing with) a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the King: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer."
Weekly Memory Verse
Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
(II Thessalonians 2:16-17)