Ted Engstrom was the respected head of World Vision for many years and the author of a number of very helpful books. In one of them, The Fine Art of Friendship, he tells about a literary group that formed some years ago at the University of Wisconsin. It was made up of a group of gifted young men who wanted to be poets, novelists, essayists, and authors. They were all creative and gifted men with a ton of literary potential, and they met together regularly to read and critique each other’s work. They called themselves the Stranglers, and they tended to be rather hard on each other. They dissected the minutest literary expressions, and their sessions became critical and tough and demanding as they surveyed each other’s work.
Well, there was a group of women of literary talent at the same university, and, not to be outdone, they formed a group as well, which they called the Wranglers. They, too, read their works to one another, but there was a great difference. Their criticism was much softer, more positive, more encouraging, and sometimes there was no criticism at all. Every effort, even the most feeble, was encouraged.
Twenty years passed, and an alumnus of the university was doing an exhaustive study of his classmate’s careers when he noticed a vast difference in the literary accomplishments of the two groups. For all their bright and determined potential, not one of the young men in the Strangers had made a significant literary accomplishment of any kind. But from the Wranglers had come six or more successful authors, including Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings who wrote The Yearling. (Ted W. Engstrom, The Fine Art of Friendship (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985), pp. 131-132.)
Hmmmm, did you change the layout of your blog? It looks different, and now it seems sterile. Anyhow, I enjoy your posts and check in periodically. Sometimes I download your sermons since your church is too far away to visit regularly. Thank you for the work you put into them, and this blog!