Part of my duties as editor is to receive various books from other publishing houses for review. I take those books and offer them to the panel of reviewers to have them write their impressions. Every once in a while there is a book that speaks to me immediately and I cannot give it away for another to review. Such is the case with the book, Acceptable Words: Prayers for the Writer, by Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney.
In the first pages the authors write, “Art — writing — mirrors the world, the world that, the Psalmist says, day after day pours forth speech, and night after night displays knowledge; its words go to the ends of the earth. This is the world the writer knows. This is the world from which the writer draws all matter. This is the world for which the writer feels gratitude and love.”
I am impressed with the idea the ministry of Friends United Meeting can be considered as an art form, mirroring the world in which we abide. Our images, the testimony and the message of Christ, are seen through the work of FUM. Here in these pages of this magazine the writers, graphic designer and I minister the gospel to you, the reader. It is our call to refresh and encourage your heart to “hear” the gospel message as seen through this ministry. The world we present is one in which people are drawn into the fellowship of Christ.
The book of prayers focused my attention to the fact my life is the art form in which the presence of God is portrayed. The manner and care I give to this beautiful work is my stewardship of this gift. For me, stewardship is much more than giving a tithe. Anyone can give out of obligation because the rule book says to do it. My life is sustained, supported and guided by the Spirit. Shouldn’t I respect that gift enough to ensure every moment is tenderly cared for and given back to the One who gave it to me? The act of stewardship reminds me not to take for granted God’s grace and love for me.
As you read the feature articles, you will gain an appreciation for the role of stewardship. You will find stewardship comprises more than giving money. Our authors define stewardship as caring for our religious life, our time, our environment, our world and yes, our money. All the writers bring a different perspective to
this vital topic. I pray you will be blessed, enlightened and encouraged as you read. I also pray there will be some word, phrase or picture that will stay with you and cause you to reflect upon stewardship as a response of gratitude for the life God has graciously given you.
Let me know how this issue has touched your heart. I do want to hear from you and encourage you to write or call anytime. For, my Friend, we are all in this together, preaching the gospel in a work of art entitled, Friends United Meeting. May you sense the presence of God in every aspect of your life.