Friday, 11 September 2020

TO PUBLISH ABROAD

 

‘You servants of God, your master proclaim, and publish abroad his wonderful name.’

Those of you who love Handel’s Messiah will well remember the triumphant chorus,

‘The Lord gave the word. Great is the company of the preachers.’ But  another translation of this verse is ‘Great is the company of those who publish it.’

Yes, in whatever way, we all have a responsibility to make the name of Jesus known.

When God challenged me with the message, ‘What is that in your hand?’ I knew my answer was, ‘A pen.’ Not a computer as yet, but God was calling me to write.

First, short stories, then children’s books and later poems, all published. I was amazed. But now, forty years on, the world is a different place. Desk top publishing

<span>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@chrislawton?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Chris Lawton</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/books?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>

has made it much more difficult for our main line publishers. Biblical novels are no longer popular, yet with a generation growing up with little or no knowledge of the Bible, God’s call to ‘publish abroad’ becomes more and more necessary.

When the door was closed for me to return to New Guinea I attended some courses with the Wycliffe Bible Translators. Their burden was that every tribe might have God’s word in their own mother tongue. But some of these tribes were so small. Was it worth those long years of labour for just a few thousand people? They believed it was. After all, with how many people do we interact, influence or have as close friends in our life time? Maybe not more than six hundred. God is reminding me of this challenge as I face yet again ‘self-publishing’ as it is called, though I am not clever enough to tackle desk-top publishing myself. For many years my husband and I were thankful to use Moorleys Print and publishers and they were always happy to work with us, knowing that we accepted the responsibility of marketing our books.

How thankful we should be for those wonderful authors who have been published and have the gift to make God’s word and his servants come alive to us. Thankful too that he continues to use some of us who may not have the skills to reach the heights others have done and yet are used of God to encourage, enlighten and bless.

I thank God for the privilege of being a teacher, of loving the children in His name and seeing their hearts opened up to respond to his great love, from the needy of London East End to the previously stone age people of Papua New Guinea, and even now in retirement  among the more privileged children of Porthcawl. I was delighted to hear that, just before the Lockdown caused by the Coronavirus that a child had referred to me as ‘the little girl who tells us stories from the Bible.’ It is a wonderful book and we should seek in whatever way is open to us to tell these life giving stories from this book of life.

But for many weeks now this opportunity of going into the schools has been closed

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash
but another is still open. God is giving me long, undisturbed mornings to write, so that others will see these stories not as dusty history from long ago but of a living God who is still seeking to enter into our everyday lives. May we all be found among that great company of those who publish the word of God, in whatever ways we can, for we are all God’s workmanship, his poems. And who knows how far our message may be carried?

 

Since writing this blog I have been able to send off the manuscript of my latest biblical novel, Freya’s Fragrance, so hopefully it will shortly be available, from Amazon or direct from me.

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