I kept receiving rejection letters when I submitted stories for publication; so my adult education teacher gave me some homework. She coached me to lay my manuscript over the top of one published in my target magazine.

"Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness . . ."

I couldn't understand what she meant for the longest time. Then, one day, I determined to thoroughly study the publication I was aiming for. With different colored highlighters, I marked verbs, dialogue, and long sentences versus short.

It worked! I had several stories printed in a children's Sunday school paper.

When I think of that lesson now, I consider God's Word. Acts calls the Bereans a noble-minded people, "for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily," to see whether what Paul preached was true.

The Bereans did their homework. Do we dare do less with what we read, with the sermons we hear--even with the songs we sing?