What’s on your writing desk, Mary Sayler?

Karla:  Today we’re visiting Mary Sayler at her writing desk! Mary also shares details about her routine. Take it away, Mary!

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Mary: I’m at my desk every morning, writing and posting Praise Poems or blogging on various aspects of words and The Word for The Word Center blog. Since I’ve been a full-time freelance and assignment writer for Christian and educational publishers for most of my adult life, I usually have a project in progress. Otherwise, I’m researching for my Bible study class, or I’m reading a new edition of the Bible I’ve been sent to review on the Bible Reviewer blog, or I’m revising my poems, or I’m critiquing someone else’s poems for a small fee, or I’m redoing my website, or I’m social networking, or I’m doing laundry or tending grandchildren or cooking dinner or emailing whoever is waiting for my response or waiting tables at our church’s weekly pancake breakfast.

Karla: Whew. What a whirlwind! But it sounds so fulfilling!

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Mary’s writing lair. Isn’t it cozy?

Mary: As a lifelong lover of Christ, the Bible, and the church, I’m a persistent pray-er, but praising God doesn’t come naturally for me. Then, last Fall, I felt the Lord coaxing me to begin the Praise Poems blog to praise God for Who God Is, rather than what He does. Those poems have kept coming as contemporary psalms until I have more than enough for a book!

Karla: That is so awesome! I love it when that happens!

Marybook

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Mary: Although many of my books (27 in all genres) are no longer in print, the newest ones can be found on my Amazon Author Page. I posted some of my online writing credits on my website and set up Profile pages in the Poets & Writers online directory of poets, About Me, and the just-discovered QuotesRain.

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Back in the Golden Days, my traditional publishers did all of the marketing for me, leaving me free to write. Now, social networking seems to be a must for any writer with books or blogs, so I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and who knows what else! I’m grateful for my computer and Internet, but oh, I miss pencil and paper!

Where in the world do you write-

Karla: Me, too, Mary! I miss the days I’d sit in the trees over the creek behind my grandmother’s house and pen prose. Those were delicious moments. But from the looks of your twitter following (10k+!), you’re great at this social media thing! Wow!

Thanks for sharing your writing space with us today! It’s fun to peek in on professional writers’ lairs and see how they do it. Your space looks incredibly inviting for getting in the writing zone.

How about you, Dear Reader? Where in the world do you write? I’d love to know!

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Discipleship: Living for Christ in the Daily Grind by J. Heinrich Arnold

“What a great gift it would be if we could see a little of the great vision of Jesus – if we could see beyond our small lives! Certainly our view is very limited. But we can at least ask him to call us out of our small worlds and our self-centeredness, and we can at least ask to feel the challenge of the great harvest that must be gathered – the harvest of all nations and all people, including the generations of the future.”

–J. Heinrich Arnold

If there was ever a time the world needed a vision of Jesus it’s now. And the only way most people will “see” Him, is through the lives of His disciples.

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If you long to be a true disciple and wish to learn what it means to be one, I highly recommend this book, Discipleship, Living for Christ in the Daily Grind by J. Heinrich Arnold. This new expanded edition produced by Plough Publishing House (the publishing house for the Bruderhof movement) also offers a free student guide and leadership guide on their website. I plan to use these for my Sunday Night Bible study, so I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to review this book.

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J. Heinrich Arnold

About the author: 

At the age of six, Arnold’s parents moved from Berlin to the little village of Samnerz in central Germany to live a communal life based upon Acts 2 and 4. His father was a writer and theologian and the founder of the Bruderhof movement. Young Arnold was exposed to many interesting characters while growing up in the commune: tramps, artists, and free-thinkers made their way in and out of his life and made lasting impressions upon him.

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At the age of eleven, he felt the call of God on his life. (I was 11, when I, too, felt the call!) He committed himself to the Bruderhof — “the place of brothers.” Founded in 1920 in Germany, the Bruderhof was and is an international communal movement of families and single men and women who seek to put into action Christ’s command to love God and neighbor. They have an online book you can read about their foundation here: Foundations of our Faith and Calling.

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Arnold has been described as “a true Seelsorgeror “spiritual guide” who cared deeply for the inner and outer wellbeing of the communities entrusted to him. And he served his brothers and sisters by sharing in their daily lives in work and leisure, at communal meals, business meetings, and worship services.”

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Source: bruderhof.org

His writing has the influence of his own father, Eberhard Arnold and nineteenth century Lutheran pastors Johann Christoph Blumhardt and Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt as well as Meister Eckhart, Dietrich von Hildebrand, Friedrich von Gagern, and Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevski whose books Arnold read and referred to often.

About the book:

The book is organized in a way that allows the user to study each chapter on its own without reading the entire book. It’s divided into three parts:

  1. The Disciple
  2. The Church
  3. The Kingdom of God

Topics are addressed in reference to each category. This book is accessible to those needing the milk of the Word of God, but also provides meat for the seasoned believer. It’s a beautiful collection of the spiritual beliefs and guidance of Arnold through his letters and writings.

The foreward by Henri J. M. Nouwen explains:

“Heinrich Arnold’s words touched me as a double-edged sword, calling me to choose between truth and lies, salvation and sin, selflessness and selfishness, light and darkness, God and demon…The Gospel asks for a choice, a radical choice, a choice that is not always praised, supported, and celebrated. Still, Arnold’s writing is not harsh, unbending, fanatical or self-righteous. To the contrary, it is full of love. Tough love, but real love. It is this love that flows fro the broken hart of Jesus. What makes Arnold’s words so healing is that they are not based on an idea, an ideology, or a theory, but on an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

I concur with Nouwen in that this is a truly Christ-centered book.

Enjoy this quote from a chapter in the Kingom of God section on Jesus:

“If we love someone we want to know his innermost being. We are not satisfied with simply knowing him outwardly. So it is with our love to God. If we give ourselves to him, we will learn to know his innermost being and heart, his character and his love. It is not enough just to speak of God. We seek his revelation. The Bible says that those whom God loves he chastised, for it is a sign of his love. We cannot experience the complete liberation brought about by the forgiveness of sins if we do not accept Jesus’ sharpness Only then will we also be able to experience his goodness, his compassion, and his ultimate love.”

I give this deserving book 5 out of 5 stars. I’m so thankful to have it in my library and I’m sure I’ll lovingly pull it out again and again for the encouragement and insight into God’s heart it provides.

 

Star Review!

I’m not the only one who liked the book:

Mother Teresa:
I pray for all who read this book that they may come to follow Jesus more closely in their whole lives. He has not called us to be successful, but to be faithful.

What are you waiting for? Click on the photo of the book and grab your copy now!

I got this book for free-2 Note: my endorsement of this book is not my endorsement of the Bruderhof sect. I know very little about this movement and have never studied it. Having said that, I found nothing in this book that contradicted my beliefs as a born-again believer and follower of Jesus Christ.

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