We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Generational Prize

Two little girls jumped up and down, their eyes pleading. "Please come with us to Sunday School. We'll get a prize if you come. Please?"

The next Sunday, two little girls and their parents walked hand-in-hand to Pinehill Church in Buffalo. The young couple came away with a greater prize than expected, one that would change their lives forever. For the first time, they understood and accepted God's offer of eternal life through His Son, Jesus.

The year was 1936 when Ed and Lillian Holtz's life-stories began a new chapter. They left their old lifestyles behind, prompting their friends and families to "read" the difference. From that point on, the Holtz's lived out their faith as a Christian family. A third daughter was born soon after who would later become my mother.

One choice in a Godward direction not only transformed my grandparents, but influenced the generations to follow:

4 daughters
14 grandchildren
38 great grandchildren
12 great great grandchildren

To date, that's a total of 68 people (plus spouses), each one acquainted with the gospel, each one aware of the truth of God's Word. God had a plan for our family, brought to fruition because of an invitation from two little girls and an unnamed prize.

I'm grateful for my heritage. When I remember my grandparents, 1 Samuel 12:24 comes to mind, the verse Grandpa always wrote near their signature in the cards they sent.

"Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you."

Holtz Family Reunion, Summer 2007

"One generation shall praise Your works to another,
 And shall declare Your mighty acts."
Psalm 145:4

Monday, February 13, 2012

Penned Without Ink

Welcome to Penned Without Ink, a blog about story. 

Everyone has a story. A unique one-of-a kind story. Penned without ink, your story and mine resemble a book in process. The people with whom we rub shoulders read our stories every day as they observe our behavior and interact with us.

This concept isn’t new. A converted Jewish leader by the name of Paul scrawled a letter to a small group of new Christians in the ancient city of Corinth. I wonder if they eagerly gathered around the courier (Titus) as he read: 
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts (2 Corinthians 3:2, 3). 
The lives of these Corinthians spoke transformation from the inside out. Formerly worshipers of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, they embraced faith in Christ alone for salvation. Their penned-without-ink-stories caught the attention of their families, friends, and neighbors who could “read” the difference. No letter of commendation could top the credibility of the gospel when revolutionized lives were “known and read” in the marketplace, at home, and in their worship.

I want this same transformation to make a difference in my story. Every day. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what J. I. Packer wrote in his book Your Father Loves You. “God . . . guides our minds as we think things out in His presence.” It seems to me this is a vital link in the process of inviting God to author our life-stories.

Posts on Penned Without Ink will feature stories, books, poetry, and responses to what God impresses on the pages of my story. I hope you’ll join me as the plot progresses. Together, may we grow in our trust in the Master-Writer.

Special thanks to my daughter who spent hours patiently clicking away with me to set up Penned Without Ink. Love you, Jana.