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THE CRITIQUE CIRCLE

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4) You can build up credits to be used at another time by giving critiques to others.
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TITLE: The Joyful Noise of Sping
By Debbie Wistrom
05/30/06
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I just joined. I am excited about the weekly contest. I forgot that the deadline was 9 o'clock on Thursday morning OR when 200 entries were received, so I missed my chance to enter what I wrote on JOY. Would like to have your thoughts.
As a harbinger of spring this bird announces the season with its joyful cry. On my daily country commute, I hear the first call to arms. It is Joy. Joy as part of Godís daily gift. Joy of life sung at the top of his little-bird lungs. Joy at the roadside. Joy in the ditch. I know what species of bird is making this clarion-like sound, unmistakably, the meadowlark. A smile appears instantly at that sound. Such delight at the heralding of the news that winter has snuck out and spring has sprung. I donít see him right away; I scan the ditch for the bird with the black chevron emblazed on its chest. Mostly dull in color the birdís dark V shows up on the olive yellow chest and belly feathers hiding in the new green of the roadside grass. I see his companion, the red wing black bird who has a gift as well. But this one is visual, not auditory. I hear his charge and the report that all is well and God has granted us another new day. I join in the jubilation and respond with a greeting of my own. I applaud Godís use of this meadowlark to make me aware of his grace and gift on this fine April day. I donít have to see this bird to know he is there, just like I donít have to see God in order to know that he is with me. I have all the proof I need in the hearing. This is reflected in Romans 11:17 ďSo faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.Ē

Further down the road there is another one perched on a signpost. Firmly planted, head thrown back, praising loudly, over my car engineís noise, the humble, but proud creature is alive and calling all to join him. The birdís cry is melodious; it is distinct, crisp and sung with such gusto that the smile of joy remains on my face. My countenance has changed, just as when participating in worship, I can be transformed, by a gift from God. I can now look forward to many mornings of celebration and exaltation with my winged friends.

The Psalmist must have been familiar with an ancestor of this like minded creature for in Psalm 100:1, he calls us to ďMake a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.Ē Ones heart can feel the praise of thanksgiving coming from the yellow throat of this commonplace creature of God.
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