Friday, September 30, 2011

Not Afraid

I am working on a poem that I got inspired to write this week. I've only gotten half of it down, trying to figure out how to end the other half.
It's about addiction and freedom. In other words, it's my story.
I hesitate in posting it though, because part of me wants to hold back because people will either read it and disagree or read it and be utterly shocked because they would never have expected something like this coming from me.
For the most part, I post my poetry on a forum where I know people will read it and will be effected in some way. I don't generally post my writing other places.

This week I stood up and showed a few words on a card board to a group of people at my church. On one side I said a few things of "What I was" and on the other side I wrote a few things that "Now I am....". I can't remember quite what I wrote--most of what I wrote was thin and couldn't really be seen to well at a distance. But the line I put in bold on the "What I was" side was "A slave of my addictions" and on the other side I put in bold, "I am Free from my addictions, and a slave of Jesus Christ."
If I could redo that board, I would make it all the more clearer and write, "I was a slave of my addictions" and "But now I am freed from addictions and a slave of Jesus Christ!"

Even though it was supposed to be my salvation story, I felt like I was writing it all from the last few years of actually being a Christian. It's hard to think of exactly how I was before I was a Christian.
It wasn't like I was a slave of addiction and then God saved me and BAM--it was gone.
No...It didn't work like that.
It has been a long, painful battle. Not to say that I have been perfected already--and will not sin anymore on earth--but to say that I am free from that one addiction I had struggled so long and hard with.
Perhaps once you read my story, it will be easier to understand.
But I think I will post it, just to say that I am not afraid to declare the work that Christ has done in my life. He has set me free. Why should I be afraid to say what God has done in my life?
I shouldn't be ashamed. Yes, it's humbling to tell people about something like that when they never would have guessed, but why should we hold back?
Our testimony, our story might just help someone else. You never know.
I cannot hold back my story. I will not be ashamed of the work Jesus Christ has done.

God Bless,

Monday, September 26, 2011


I apologize for procrastinating until Monday to post this. Originally I was going to post on Friday, but time slipped away.
So I finally finished up a series that I have been in the middle of for nearly five years. I worked on things in between and procrastinated a bit, but I finished it. Finally, I am free.
I can't believe I am done. Finished Friday afternoon.
It was rough, because I didn't like the plot or anything. People kept telling me to stop it, give it up and move on. That's what most people do.
I couldn't have felt right doing that though, so I went on. It was hard, but it was worth it. After all of the time and energy I put into it, I finally completed it.
For once, it feels like, I completed something--not exactly that I can be proud of, but something that I can look back at and tell myself as a writer, when I feel like giving up, "Look, you finished that series. Those might be some of the worst story ideas ever written and completed, but you've finished it. You can finish this too."
I can't tell you how good it felt to finally close my document and write out the date when I officially finished my series.
For that feeling alone, it was worth finishing.

But now I've got to decide what to work on next. It's a hard decision, because whichever story I choose, I am going to have to complete it. I have to work on something at least till November ((NaNoWriMo)).
I finally decided after a few conversations with a friend, and lots of prayer, that I would dive into a certain dark story. Won't say what it's about just yet, considering it's not a full idea yet. It has a dark theme, a theme that isn't often dealt with.
This next month I will develop it, but I won't get to actually write it till sometime next year. So now I have two stories with difficult themes coming up.
And I think for these two stories I am going to try my hand at Epic Fantasy.
It's a towering thought, and I might fail a few times at first. But I'll finish these stories, unless I die or God has something physically/mentally happen to me that won't let me write.
But always, I am glad that I can finally look back at my series, and know that I can finish anything if I put my mind to it.

God Bless,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Willingly submit, then, O my soul! It is not thyself, but this flesh that must be dissolved; this troublesome, vile, and corruptible flesh. Study thy duty, work while it is still day, and let God choose they time; and willingly stand to His disposal. When I die, the gospel dies not, the world dies not, but perhaps it will grow better, and those prayers to be answered which seemed to be lost, and perhaps some of the seed I have sown will spring up when I am dead."
     ---Richard Baxter, Dying Thoughts

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bridging Out

Been really discouraged lately as a writer.
Seems like the writing circle that I am apart is becoming one of the most clique groups of all time. You have no idea how sick and tired I am of reading about dwarfs that all act like Gimli, the wise, good dragons, and of course, the majestic elves.
Why in Christian Fantasy must it be so clique? We all read from Lewis and Tolkien and try and base our style off of them. Because that's all we read! We don't bridge out, we don't read tons of other secular books that are actually well written.
Now don't take this the wrong way. I'm not trying to encourage you to go read a bunch of secular crap like Twilight. I'm only trying to encourage you to look at unique books like Terry Pratchett's and Brandon Sanderson's, who don't fill up their space with crap but do have a unique stories, and original voices. Instead of looking at secular books with such a negative eye, look at them as a way to bridge out.
Don't be afraid to bridge out. Don't be afraid to break the rules of POV or character. Sometimes a story requires that. Don't be afraid to try something new, that no one has tried before.
It might work. You'd be surprised.

Often I have wondered why I generally prefer secular books over Christian fiction, and now I finally get it.
It's not unique. Most of the write styles are all the same. The themes are always about faith or leading their MCs to Christ. It's so clique. Perhaps I am the only person who thinks that way, or at least isn't afraid to tell anyone about it.
Look, if you are a Christian who writes fantasy, I just want to say, don't be afraid to go all out. Don't be afraid to try something new in your books.
Maybe you want to write about an extreme subject ((that no one seems to deal with in books)), try it anyways. Don't let what's already out there hinder you in any way.
It feels like so many Christian fantasy authors don't try too hard in writing. A lot of them seem to write the same. But I know they can go harder. They can change their style, make it into something that this Christian fantasy genre has never seen before.
You can be unique. Just stop looking and following after everything that is out there. Work on making your style unique and plot creative.
If we don't start doing this, we'll never get out of this ditch. This is the only way that this genre can make a comeback.

God Bless,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"The Cross in itself proclaims a verdict on fallen man. The Cross says that God requires death for sin, while it proclaims to us the glory of substitution. It rescues the perishing. The perishing are the damned, the doomed, the ruined, the destroyed; they are the lost, under the judgement of God for endless violations of His holy law. And if you and I don't embrace the substitute, then we bear that death ourselves, and that is a death that lasts forever.
The message of the Cross is not about felt needs. It is not about Jesus loving you so much He wants to make you happy. It is about rescuing you from damnation, because that is the sentence that rests upon the head of every human being. And so the Gospel is an offense every way you look at it. There's nothing about the cross that fits in comfortably with how man views himself."  --John MacArthur, Hard to Believe

Monday, September 5, 2011

In Light of God's Work

You know, it's often spoken among Christians that they don't want to share their testimony in front of  people because it will bore them to death. A lot of people I know back away from sharing their testimony because it isn't "interesting enough".
Personally, I never really had that exact excuse. I never wanted to say mine because, though it's incredible to me, I felt that no one would understand it. But yet, I still used the excuse of it not being interesting enough to tell others.

A lot of us say that because we've grown up in the church and haven't lived such an openly sinful life as others have. A lot of times people just want to hear the incredible stories about how someone's sins led them into addiction, and how that addiction nearly led them to destruction, but right before, in their time of desperate need, God miraculously saved them.
Aren't those the stories you want to hear?
We don't generally want to hear the story about a person who said a prayer when they were 5, lived their whole teen aged years a fake, and then somehow God broke him down to see that he wasn't really saved. And soon after, God saved him at a church service.
We don't want to hear stories like that. We want to hear the inspirational stories! We want to hear the stories that will bring tears to our eyes, even if we don't know the person.
Those are the kinds of stories we want to hear!

At least that's how I used to think. It took me a while to realize that I had gotten it wrong.
I never realized that everyone's salvation is an incredible thing. Whether the person has grown up in a church or not. Whether they got saved as a teen or an adult.
I never saw that in light of God's work, every testimony is as amazing as the next.
I mean, God chose to save you, He chose to save wretched sinners like you and me. He didn't have to. We deserve hell and destruction. We do not deserve His mercy and grace that He has given us. We deserve nothing but pain and suffering.
And yet, He chose us.
So you see, I realized that it isn't so much the story of the events leading up to your salvation took place, it's the fact that God actually chose to save us. It's not so much the events that happened that make it awesome, it's the work of God that makes every story incredible.

God Bless,