Years ago I used a quote from Oscar Wilde’s, every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. While I’ve long ago forgotten the blog post, the quote stayed with me.
I remember how my interests drove me to look into Wilde’s life. After my research, I understood how these words came from the depths of his being. Both of Wilde’s parents had been successful. But the examples his parents offered him were filled with selfishness and narcissism. Reality had little importance; perception counted for more than anything. Following their example, he learned how to deal with living a double life—one presented to the public and the other that fed his desires.
His life knew no bounds until he was arrested and went to court to save his reputation. He lost soundly and his fall was precipitous, instantaneous, and very frightening.
Wilde had become a literary success. His matchless writing ability astounded his peers. But in truth, his life was tortured. Not because his lifestyle landed him in prison, but because he sought beauty first and then morality. He hid his true identity from others so he could seek pleasure. Continue reading →
While I stammer and struggle with feelings and words, my dear friend, Lori Roeleveld, has the ability to put life back in order for me. It’s like she strokes my hair with her calming touch, only she uses words. Lori’s words did it again. They gave me the permission to feel what I already felt but didn’t know how to put them into words. I need to allow myself to lament.
If we’re all honest, the Las Vegas Massacre devastated each one of us. Every last one of us was touched in one way or another. Allow yourself to lament, too.
Love you, Lori. My life is blessed because of your friendship and your words.
Picking the perfect Mother’s Day card has always been a challenge for me. I can spend hours at the card shop reading sentiments like You’ve been the best influence ever or You’re my best friend. These thoughts are beautiful and touch my heart, but don’t come close to the relationship I have with my mother.
I always thought being a Christian fiction writer was the next thing to sainthood. Not only did the author write the most entertaining story possible, but they also left the reader with a message. Their story had a purpose.
When I decided to write fiction I struggled with all the criteria I felt I needed to meet. Would my story be believable? Could I show Christ like I wanted to? Would my words sound preachy? I stressed over my fears for months until I remembered a simple quote from Mark Twain that set me free.
“Write what you know.”
I am a Christian. I live a Christian life because of my love for Christ. I strive to do good, but so often fail. I know what it means to live in a fallen world. I know heartache and other emotions—sorrow, joy, fear, disappointment, struggle with vengeance—all the makings of a great novel.
So I write what I know.
Nowadays my challenge has changed. Writing has taken on a different meaning. I need to be selective in sharing what I know. What experiences do I know that could connect with readers? What emotions can I express on the page that would connect with a reader to pull from them their own emotions? Sorrow? Joy? Disappointment? Struggle with vengeance?
I still read novels by others so I can learn more about my craft. I go to writers conferences to sharpen my skills as well as participate in critique groups to stay connected with like-minded people.
But I always come back to what I know.
I challenge you to do the same. Attend this fall’s writers conference. Connect with fellow writers on Facebook and share your ideas. And write what you know. You’ll be a blessing to others when you do.
People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.But Jesus called the children to him and said,“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little childwill never enter it.” Luke 18:15-17
I recently read a Facebook post that made me cringe. A woman was ranting about how she was tired of people being so self-absorbed, they actually brought their children with them when they visited her favorite Starbucks. “They have no consideration for others,” she went on. “All I want to do is enjoy my coffee in peace and quiet. Is that asking too much?” I leaned back and said to myself, “Been there, I get you sister,” until I realized how self-absorbed I was by thinking that way.
There’s nothing wrong with looking forward to appreciating a great cup of coffee in a stress-free atmosphere, but, dear friends, there are so many more important things in life.
Every day counts and I’ve never felt that as poignantly as I did this past week.
I found out about the death of my cousin, Pastor Les Green of Nebo Crossing Church in Nebo, NC, on July 2 through social media. Les and I had drifted apart over the years. I can’t speak for Les, but I know I had become more involved with my life than the world I had left behind. Once I finally reconnected with Christ, too many bridges had been burned and it seemed almost impossible to reconnect with everyone from my past. Unfortunately, some of those bridges were with family. And one of the relationship casualties was with Les and Debbie.
The last time I saw Les and Debbie was briefly over thirty years ago at our Grandpa and Grandma Green’s house. I was coming in and they were leaving. A quick hello was all we shared. Then they were gone. Little did I know I’d miss out on some incredible life experiences.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11 – 12
Elijah—a powerhouse for God—experienced one of the greatest stories of the Old Testament. He was invited to see God. But he had to experience destruction before he heard God’s voice.
Isn’t that how Life turns for us? When life’s winds and storms fill our world, we call out to see the power of God. Somewhere in our heart we hope He’s greater than our current storm.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
For those of you that read Michelle Count’s post, Nothing to do with Baseball from May 19, 2015, you will remember she survived the brain surgery. Here’s a followup on her story.
Funny, even my own neurosurgeon said it would take a miracle to bring me through my surgery. But if you’re like me, it is sometimes through our greatest struggles that we feel Christ the most. I think this experience has left me with a gratefulness I will never be able to repay. It has been three years since my surgery and with every passing month I feel stronger. As I reflect on this experience I realize how important my faith is to me.
Recently my husband was reading from one of our bibles. He asked me, “Do you remember the date July 14th in the early 1980’s?” Continue reading →