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First Lines…

I love the opening line to the book, “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.”

“She came from a world of sensible choices…”

The first lines in any narrative, are the introductory bricks in a sidewalk that lead us to the heart of a story. They are the whisper of former, unknown events that give insight into the character we are about to meet.

A first line is a choice.

Do you want to go further?

Are the following lines and pages, and chapters worth your time?

When an author gets it right, the best first lines of books are not a choice at all, but a capturing.

“He began to die when he was twenty-one, but tuberculosis is slow and sly and subtle.”

From Doc by Mary Doria Sophie Russell

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents, grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.”

From Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

“In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

From The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.”

From Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

See what I mean? The first lines are curtains drawing upward, the author leading you by the hand forward into a story (but also another world).

YOUR life has an opening line.

You are not the chance product of an evolutionary process. Your story is not the result of an explosion in a paper and ink factory…you were created as the main character…intentionally, deliberately, and thoughtfully.

And you either know this…or you don’t!

If you know that your life is a narrative read by others, you will craft it daily.

If, on the other hand, you are NOT aware that your life is a book read by the balance of those who observe, you will capture NO readers…you will simply type mindlessly upon the page of your existence.

I ask you…what is YOUR first line? What bricks will lead me, and others, into reading your life? Does it influence? Does it draw back the curtain behind which there is a captivating life…or will those who sit in attendance leave after the first act?

Christianity is about influence. And those who wish to have a significant effect on the earth must appeal to a broader audience than the few trapped within the salt boxes we call churches.

Yes… APPEAL TO MORE THAN THE CHURCH!

The message of the Gospel is not a drab re-hashing of a tired ancient Hebrew text.

It is the telling of a story…the one great story, whose first line is “In the beginning” and whose last line is, ““The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Rev. 22:21).

I urge you… be captivating and make it worth the while of others to explore your life by making your first line extraordinary.

Is your life worth other people’s time? Do they want to go further?

Don’t be ordinary… be uncommon, exceptional and unique.

As for me…I want to be a renaissance man…

A Renaissance Man…

By Doug Pacheco

“I want to be a Renaissance Man…

A renaissance man; renaissance man,

I want to be a renaissance man,

When I grow up one day.

A man who studies sun and star,

Who plays piano, flute, guitar,

Who runs the race both near and far,

A renaissance man I’ll be.

Who’s kind to children, loved by all

Who sees men as equal, big and small

With heroic deeds answers the call,

A renaissance man I’ll be.

A man who others often see

Repairing souls so they’ll be free,

In brokenness on bended knee,

A renaissance man I’ll be.

Who holds his peace ’til he has heard

The arguments of many words.

Whose own desires will be deferred,

A renaissance man I’ll be.

I would not stoop to lowly things

To be a monarch, prince, or King,

A coat of many colors bring,

For a renaissance man like me.

Who shares his wealth to horizons end,

Blessing children, stranger, and loyal friend;

And the widow’s rights he will defend,

A renaissance man I’ll be.

And when at last from earth I’m free,

And my grandchild comes to honor me,

Oh, may he fulfill this prophecy,

And be a renaissance man like me.