Edict House

 Linda Settles

Born in the small town of Newport, Arkansas, I spent the first few years of my life in a three room house across the road from a cotton patch.  We had all the necessary commodities, an outhouse, chickens, and an old dilapidated Ford.  I was the oldest daughter and my brother, Eddie (eleven months older than I) was my best friend and protector. He fought bullies for my sake, never let me walk to the store alone, and cautioned me against hanging upside down on the monkey bars in elementary school. He died when he was nine and I was eight.  I suddenly became the eldest in a family that just kept growing until there were six surviving children, an absentee mother though not by choice, and a domineering father. 

I have always loved to write.  When I was a young teen I wrote poetry that was frequently published in Latchstrings, a local newspaper in North Little Rock.  I was approached by the leader of the Poet’s Roundtable in Arkansas. The group had noticed my poems and offered me an honorary position in the Roundtable with a view to mentoring me. I was invited to their annual banquet where I would be introduced and ‘taken under wing’ so to speak.  My father refused to allow it, saying that he did not trust them. I did not give up.  I wrote a poem about real estate that was used by the Arkansas Democrat to launch the real estate section of their newspaper.  I was photographed and written up in the first edition. A few years later, just after graduation, I believe, I wrote some poetry that supported the move by Dr. J. Wayne MacFarland to help addicted smokers and was invited to read at his meetings., the last being a group of medical students at the medical school in Little Rock. 

Dr. MacFarland invited me to fly (all expenses paid) to Louisiana to read and speak to another group of medical students, but my father prevented my participation.

Somehow, I grew up, becoming the physical and emotional guardian of my younger siblings with all the small strength and wisdom afforded to me. They grew up as well and at last I sprouted wings and fled the Ozarks on the wings of a Delta aircraft, arriving in Michigan where I discovered that life is wonderful when one is free to enjoy it. Soon thereafter, I met Michael Settles, the most wonderful man on the planet, and married him. That was 21 years ago and I have never regretted it.

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Books by Linda

 Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul once said, "All things work together for the good of those who love God..."

Some of us have doubted the synergyic effect of "all things."  We have had good reason to doubt.  Things happened to us, or other others whom we love, that seemed to have no good purpose in them.  Evil people exploited them for their own purposes.  Circumstances swirled into a traumatic toronado that threatened to desimate their body, mind, and soul.

How could "those" things work together for good?  Of course we doubt.  Either the Word of God cannot be believed or our love of God comes into question.  The work of recovery is often focused on this point.  These are the questions, but what are the answers?

The answers are simple but our understanding of them is complex.  Our understanding is complicated by our fundamental belief that injury to our person equates to diminished self worth. 

Part of the answer lies in the completion of the verse, "...who are called according to His purpose."

The Apostle didn't say that all things that happen to us ARE good, but that they work together to produce good for those who love God.  Those who pour their pain into a calling --a mission designed by God -- a purpose that will require every ounce of strength, every parcle of wisdom, and the evidence of our experience--like Jacob who wrestled with God and came out of the experience crowned with nobility--no longer the deceiver but a Prince With God, Israel.

There are those in this world who intend evil against us, but God, a loving and gracious Redeemer, knows how to take the evil that has been done and transform the effects of the evil into that which is good.  A heart that keens after the love of a Father and the solace of a Saviour.  A vessel that has been broken and filled up-not just once but daily--with the Holy Spirit of God who can and will flow through his broken vessels to touch and heal and broken world.


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