Got Rejection? (Encouragement for Creators)

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“No prophet is accepted in his hometown.” (Luke 4:24 NIV) 

Rejected? Rhat? Roo too?

Who said that? Jesus Christ, 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 referencing 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.

Dr. Laurence J. Peter: “The great question is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure.”

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.

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Something Fishy (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Any of this sound familiar? “He’s a good catch”; “That story had me hooked from the very first sentence”; “She’s not the only fish in the ocean”; “I’ll let you off the hook.” There are numerous expressions that liken people to fish. It’s a good analogy because we have a lot in common with our finny friends. Think about some of the people you know: there are “pufferfish” who like to boast, “eels” who are downright slimy, and even the occasional “shark” we have to watch out for. Some of us may feel like we’ve reached the big ocean, while some of us feel like we’re “living in a fishbowl.” And some of us benefit every day from life in a “freshwater” environment, while some of us may be floundering in a dirty pool.

Jesus Christ was the first to liken people to fish. He told His disciples, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 NASB) His use of the analogy demonstrates how well the Lord understands us: fish tend to do their own thing, and catching one can be very difficult. That describes us all.

Furthermore, a good fisherman must hook or net a fish just as he finds it — slippery and scaly, thrashing and splashing; It’s only after he lands it that he begins to clean it. And he definitely needs to clean it, because fish, left the way they naturally exist, are always a little smelly. The process perfectly describes what Christ does: He receives each of us just as we are, but because of His Love for us, because of His desire that each of us becomes the best we can be, He “cleans” everyone He catches. And, you guessed it, cleaning us is not much different from cleaning a fish!

Here’s the first step in the process necessary to prepare a “fish” for the table of life.

A good cook does several things to make a fish appealing, appetizing and flavorful, but first, the fish needs to be washed. The Bible teaches us that we “fish” can be washed by the Blood of the Lamb. (Hebrews 10:22 NLT; Revelation 7:14) This is the blood Christ shed when He was crucified. The blood, once we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, cleanses us of all unrighteousness, including our past mistakes, and the guilt that often accompanies those mistakes — all that pond scum that makes us smell and holds us back in life. “But if we walk in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 NLT)

Smelling a bit fishy today? Have you been floundering in a dirty tank? Are you swimming wherever the currents carry you? Tomorrow we’ll discuss the next step in preparing a fish, but today we would like to invite you to swim into the net of Jesus Christ; to stop treading water and jump into the boat. (We promise that no one will try to serve you up for dinner!)

If you want to swim with the rest of us, then read Romans 10:9 and follow the directions. Or click here.

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