Encouragement for Creators: Got Rejection?

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Wit, wisdom, and inspiration for writers, artists, musicians, and crafters!

“No prophet is accepted in his hometown.”

Who said that? Jesus Christ (Luke 4:24 NIV), right after he got rejected in, of all places, the village where He grew up — and Jesus was the greatest teacher and the best storyteller who ever walked this planet, bar none! Remember all those cool parables, the ones we’re still reading and referenciphotodune-3789413-rejected-letter-illustration-of-mail-envelope-over-white-background-xs1-300x268ng today — almost 2000 years after He shared them? Of course. How many modern writers continue to riff on “The Story of The Good Samaritan” or “The Prodigal Son”? How many financial experts on “The Parable of the Talents”? And yet, even Jesus faced his share of rejection in that arena. In fact, rejection, for Jesus, was always in the plan. He had to be rejected before he could be exalted, put down before He was lifted up. And if people rejected Jesus (!!!) … well, we ought to be able to handle a little rejection ourselves. Consider it a rite of passage. You won’t be anyone special until you’ve received your share of rejection.

Know who else got rejected? Do you have a favorite author? Yes, him too. Yeah, her also. Obviously your favorite writers didn’t give up. They stayed the course no matter how hard it got or how long it took. You need to do the same.

Want to hear something funny? Dr. Laurence J. Peter submitted a non-fiction manuscript to McGraw-Hill in 1964. An astute editor at the publishing company responded: “I can foresee no commercial possibilities for such a book and consequently can offer no encouragement.” Undeterred, Dr. Peter sent the manuscript to thirty other publishers and received thirty more rejections. Finally, William Morrow & Co. purchased his book for a single payment of $2,500; and the publisher’s expectations for it were so low that the company ordered an extremely cautious print run of only 10,000 copies. But hey, editors and publishers are only human: how could they know — despite being in the business of recognizing profitable book projects — that The Peter Principle would rocket to the top of the New York Times best-seller list?; or that the book would sell 200,000 copies its first year in print?; or be translated into 38 languages? Good grief, it’s a good thing the good doctor didn’t give up on a good book idea! (How’s that for a good sentence?)

Got Rejection? Welcome to an elite club that boasts a membership comprised of the world’s best and greatest. Next Friday, we’ll share Jesus’ advice to those who receive a rejection slip. In the immortal words of Jack Lord, star of that ’70s show Hawaii Five-O, “Be here! Aloha!”

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Angel in the Kitchen: Cleaning Fish

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Truths and Wisdom inspired by food, cooking, kitchen tools and appliances! Installment #2

Previously: By using the analogy of fishing, Jesus Christ demonstrated how well He understands us: like fish, people tend to do their own thing and catching one can be difficult. And, our Savior, like a good fisherman, hooks or nets us jusThree Mackerel Fisht as we are: slippery, sometimes slimy, and always stinky — just like real fish! After all, you can’t clean a fish BEFORE you catch it! So Christ receives each of us just as we are, with all our faults, all our baggage; but because He wants us to become the best we can be, He “cleans” everyone He catches. And, cleaning us is not much different from cleaning a fish!

After washing, the next step in preparing a fish for the table of life is to  CUT OFF THE HEAD!   Yikes! But it’s not as bad as it sounds.  The head represents the mind, and specifically, how we think and what we think.  And, as Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism stated, “The mind is everything; What you think, you become.”   Of course, there’s some skepticism as to whether Buddha actually did say this; but if he did, he was simply re-stating one of our favorite Bible verses, written at least two centuries before Buddha was born: “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)

So apparently, it’s not the clothes that make the man, but rather his thoughts. (Or her thoughts; we’re certainly not chauvinistic.) And, unlike that credit card commercial that asks, “What’s in your wallet?” the more pressing question is, what’s in your head ? Wait, don’t answer that!

Let’s return to cleaning a fish. Imagine: the catch of the day is lying there on your cutting board, that blank expression, that gaping mouth that doesn’t say anything, that cold, dead eye staring back at you. Yuck. No one at your table will want to see that, so the first thing you do is remove the head. Well, God sort of does the same with each of us. Not literally, of course, but He gives us something far more pleasing, “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16), transforming our lifeless, (fishy) countenances. God puts the sparkle of hope into our “dead” eyes; and we go from “gaping and speechless” to the sudden realization that God has given us a hope and a future and a purpose. Each of us goes from being just a helpless creature on the cutting board of life, to becoming a wonderful and beneficial “new creation.”

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)

Can Jesus Christ cook, or can He COOK? He takes someone with a fishy past and transforms him or her into a pièce de résistance! Gourmet all the way!

Please join us next Tuesday for Part 3: A Fish Out of Water!

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