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  • Writer's pictureLeanne W. Smith

The Using and Blessing of Gifts

As a 2011 trip to Europe with students came go a close a fellow-traveler and friend asked, "What was your favorite moment?"

Easy answer.

A Sunday morning visit to the Notre Dame in Paris. Candles burning. Worshippers praying. Sun filtering through the stain-glass windows. The smell of fresh baked bread wafting through the doors from a market in the square outside. Shakespeare and Co. just over the footbridge with a bicycle leaned against a chalkboard menu. 

C.S. Lewis said art, like friendship, gives value to survival. 

The painting above was lying on my desk later that summer. Dave had taken up watercolors. With this past week's fire his gift was a blessing all over again, the moment of kindness relived.

Dale Carnegie said, "The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure." 

Today I'm feeling thankful to be an artist, to have the deep pleasure of offering, on occasion, pleasure. And I'm feeling thankful for the artistic talents of others, who add value and beauty to my life.

As some of you may know, my husband, Stan, teaches a regular class at our home church congregation in Nashville.

Recently, a member proposed to film the class and edit it as 'shorts' to make available to a wider audience online. This 5-min video is the first of a series on Haggai. If you like it, share it! You can also choose to 'follow' the series on Vimeo.

I'm thankful for Stan's teaching talent and Marty's vision to share it.

I'm also thankful for music, especially new tunes from my favorite band, The Arcadian Wild. 

TAW is releasing its third album April 27th.

As in...this Saturday!

Give one of the tracks, Oh, Sleeper! a listen here.

What's next for me?

My third novel, Alone in a Cabin, is about a woman listening for a story. She gets more than she bargains for when she rents a cabin, a snowstorm hits, and an escaped prisoner knocks on her door in the middle the night. Cabinis being pitched to publishers now. Meanwhile, I'm working to finish a fourth novel, one that will let us know what happened to Charlie Baldwyn. 

Keep using your gifts to bless others!

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