How I Became a Twitter Convert and Kept My Salvation

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI am still basking in the afterglow of a rich and rewarding 5 days at the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College in Michigan. (Thank you, Grand Rapids, snow and all.) Since I have few available brain cells left for writing, I present to you a post from a n o t h e r wonderful writer’s conference four years ago. Enjoy~

I am exhausted and beyond tired. My brain is packed, my spirit is full to overflowing and my body has been existing on junk food since Friday.
It is so NOT FAIR that the day I have to drive home from the Faith and Culture Writers Conference in Portland is also the ‘Spring Forward’ part of Daylight Savings Time.

But it was totally worth it.

Like all good writers going to a conference on writing, I took a new journal to mark the occasion. A simple no line, blank page model, an empty picture frame ready for a masterpiece to be placed inside. So much potential waiting for my pen.

When I decided to christen this journal several weeks ago, I actually didn’t know what I was going to use it for.  Clearly God did.  I had a quote glued to the inside cover:

CHANGE IS GOOD.  You go first.

Yes, I changed my mind about many things–my writing focus, my voice. And especially about Twitter, a virtual chat-o-sphere which I have been avoiding like the salad bar in an old diner. It’s been around awhile but I wasn’t sure I could really trust it.

Lo and behold, Twitter is perfect for my random, abstract brain. And people are nice. And they listen to you. (Well, for maybe 60 seconds.) I became a believer.

There was also a powerful touch of the Holy Spirit and confirmation of the work I am doing through my writing.  So much encouragement and companionship and like-minded ness of writers and artists, who revealed all manner of God’s creativity in their own masterful ways.

From the platform, in workshops and in conversations I heard over and over again:

  • Write from a place of PASSION
  • Be authentic, don’t write from a place of safety
  • Take off your mask (everybody has one)
  • God will break through you when you’re broken
  • Go for quality of writing and connection with readers
  • Write out your God life in context of your daily life

Gracious, kind, young people listened to my silly questions. New friends who I was able to meet in real life have become old friends overnight and many of my old ideas about being a writer and a Christian were radically readjusted.

Now I am more convinced than ever I can change the world.
As soon as I take a nap. 
p.s.  my twitter handle is JodyLeeCollins2

Jumping in with Both Feet

Jan. 23, 2012 Snow day

It’s not actually a snow day here in the Seattle area.   It’s a ‘recover-from-the-snow-and-ice-and-wind-damage-day’ so there is no school. And, since I’m a teacher, blessed me, there’s oodles of extra time from the Time Keeper, my Heavenly Father, to do what He’s called me to do–write to you.

But first, since we rarely if ever get weather like this, here are a few pictures….

Ice crystals on fir branches

Front yard with very flexible, ice-embedded jacquemontii birch trees.

Poor viburnum, Pink Dawn, was just beginning to bud….

Since I have no idea what to say or where to start, I’ll offer you this. My first blog post and all.

It’s the beginning of the year and I’m plowing through the Pentateuch, much like I plowed through the snow to take these photos. And since my spiritual life dovetails with the rest of my life, I thought I’d share something from Exodus Chapter 16 about manna (Hebrew for ‘what is it’?). There are parallels I noticed between gathering actual food and spiritual food.

You have to get something to eat DAILY-even if it’s just one meal, feed yourself on the word of God. Also, fresh food is best, old stuff just rots and brings no life.

You have to get your own food–you can’t take someone else’s word–i.e. live your walk with Jesus on someone else’s nourishment. You know what I mean. A friend tells you what the Holy Spirit showed them, or they pray powerful prayers on Sunday morning or in your small group. You figure if you just hang out next to them it’ll rub off and make you ‘cool by association.’ You’re off the hook to find a word or morsel of food for yourself.

You can’t go looking so you’ll have something to give away to someone else. For instance, while you’re reading the Word, saying, “Oh, so and so needs to hear this.”  Don’t do that.  Ask God to feed you.

Gathering food will cost you something. The Children of Israel had to go out early every morning.  Like roll out of their cozy warm sleeping mats, leave their tents and go outside to gather their meal. Going after the food of God’s word costs us time and effort, just like getting physical food. But we can’t live without it.

Asking to remind myself and you, dear reader–have you eaten today?

Happy new beginnings!