A 50-Cent Story

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“My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”

Psalm 45:1

This summer I went to the Longhorns Head-To-Tail Store in Southeastern Ohio to admire Texas Longhorn merchandise and meat. At the front of the store inside a jewelry cabinet, a unique looking inkpen caught my eye. The shaft of the pen was made from longhorn, polished and shaped to look like it was made for your hand. The tip, middle bushing, opener and clip were all shiny, silver-plated steel. I just had to feel it for myself, and so out from the case it came. When I touched it, instantly I just knew anything I wrote with it would be exquisite. It was also the only way I could take a piece of longhorn home with me, as they can grow over 100″ (8’4″) long tip-to-tip!

As I meandered the back of the store, I discovered a shelf with a dozen or so books leaning on it. They were on assorted topics, from business, to writing, to different cattle breeds. There was even one on ranch dogs. A small 150-page paperback caught my eye, because it had a very straightforward title, and no catchy picture on the cover. It offered insight on advice-giving that I’d never read before. It was not an expensive book -50 cents if I remember- so the price was right, and to the checkout desk it went.

I left that day with a unique writing instrument and a cheap paperback informational. They were as different in cost as they were in appearance. I couldn’t wait to get them to the office and open them up.

You know what I found out? The pen may be mightier than the sword, but when I ran into writer’s block (which happens quite often) that fancy pen was as useless as a crayon. I could stare at that thing and roll it around my fingers all day, and I would come away as uninspired as I started.

The little book, on the other hand, proved to be one of the best handbooks on the subject of counselling I have ever read, and re-read. Rich with illustration and historical anecdote, it helped me to be much more observant in my daily work and studies.

A baby finds his voice

long before he

has anything to say.


The lesson? The way you express yourself is only as good as the experience behind it. There are many tools of expression: blogs, videos, posts, tweets, emails, domains, markets, circles of friends, chambers of commerce, bumper stickers and graffiti to name a few. How often do you come away them thinking, “That was a waste of time?” It’s because most of us focus on the output more than on truthful content.

As you prepare for a new day, a new week, a new semester, are you seeking for good inputs into your life? David had something to write, because he kept his ears and his heart open to the Lord, as he said of the king in Psalm 45:2 “grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee forever.”

Let’s begin to seek to put into our hearts something worth knowing and repeating. And have a good pen ready when it’s time to write.

3 Replies to “A 50-Cent Story”

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