A wonderful gift from a reader

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m just a puddle of tears and joy, you guys.

The internet is a wild and woolly place when discussing traditional, conservative, evangelical Gospel. The worst push back I receive is from people claiming to be Christian who just hate any talk of standards, holiness, or false teachers. (Especially if it’s their favorite teacher).

Of course, political talk is just as bad, which is why I don’t participate in it, but some of the people I follow online do. I try to avoid looking at the worst of the discussions.

Many compatriots in the faith are switching off Twitter or Facebook, or others grit their teeth and call it the devil…I agree some days are just pretty bad. But I have been fortunate in my 23 years online. I’ve found alternately from the bad, that people are also friendly and kind and generous and interesting and thoughtful. I’ve had good luck with people overall.

Since I started my Quiet Life blog (in Blogger and here in WordPress later) in 2006, I’ve had nice interactions 90% of the time with readers. They either comment on the blog or send emails. As my sanctification progressed, my blogging became less personal and more theological. I started a second blog called The End Time on blogger as well as here on WordPress).

Readers have been so kind. Sometimes they donate using the PayPal button. Often they comment intelligently, or ask probing questions that absolutely delight me. Sometimes they send a gift like a book. They send notes. Sometimes they send a hand made gift. I use the crocheted coasters a lady made me every day.

But I’ll save my favorite reader response for the end.

Today I received a package from an unknown address. What is this, I wondered up the driveway.

It’s THIS! Just LOOK AT IT!

It’s INCREDIBLE! Handmade art and paper art. Here is a bit of what the mom wrote:

Her 17-year-old daughter drew the bird knowing my love of birds. Her 18-year-old daughter created the paper craft knowing my love for teapots and teacups. Aren’t they just gorgeous? Such talent. Isn’t that incredibly thoughtful? The care, the patience, the love in those hand made gifts, and to me, someone they don’t even know in real life, I’m just overwhelmed.

She said some nice and encouraging things about the content of the blog, which is so terribly heartening. You bloggers know that we do what we do for Christ, as an audience of one. However we also do what we do in hopes that the brethren (in my case, sisters) would be edified or challenged or encouraged. It’s nice to know we are not working in an echo chamber, and it’s nice to know that any seeds we may send out into the wind land and flourish.

But here is THE BEST PART. She wrote,

In fact, you introduced me to the ministry of John MacArthur. We now own and study his New Testament Commentary series as well as the MacArthur Study Bible.

My goal is always to point to credible ministries led by credible men. Personally in this era, I don’t think there is any better ministry underway today than John MacArthur’s. I mean, he preached through the New Testament verse by verse. I believe he is the Spurgeon of the day. One person on Twitter recently wrote:

I wish young pastors would let it sink in that few people have had greater worldwide impact with the gospel than @johnmacarthur  He didn’t focus on having that impact, but on preaching the Word. “If you take care of the depth of your ministry, God will take care of its breadth.”

It’s awesome that my lovely reader was introduced to MacArthur, because that opens up a world of other credible ministries, such as Phil Johnson’s (who I am appreciating more and more each day), Steven Lawson, Paul Twiss, HB Charles, Alistair Begg, Abner Chou…and all the other men in JMac’s circle. Connecting women with good ministries is a heart-felt goal of mine. When it comes to pass I praise the Lord for His goodness in allowing me to minister at all, and also for being a part of the joy in connecting with other women who love the Word taught by good teachers and find delight in it.

Knowing her grown daughters have been hearing good sermons is part of the circle of life that extends to the next generation. By God’s grace, those girls won’t be following the IF:Gathering or Beth Moore or Lauren Chandler or Jennie Allen. They’ll know good Bible teaching when they hear it and they’ll have had meat to chew on and can distinguish that from the no-good fluff.

So it was a very good day. She ended by saying my favorite thing of all- “Thank you for always pointing the way to God’s word and how to properly apply it.” That is what it’s all about while we are on this earth, learning more about Him and applying what we know of Christ to life so that we glorify Him.

Thank you.

PS: I placed the curled paper art into a shadowbox so it wouldn’t get dusty and hung it up, and I hung the bird art with Psalm on the back where I can see it every day. The note I took out of the paper art and I’m keeping separately to re-read on difficult days. 😉

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