412 Teens: Is there anything God cannot do?

New Post: Is there anything God cannot do?

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Book Release: Dragon and Priest

DAP digi coverwordpress

 

Amazon Kindle $2.99

My first book since 2007 is now available.

Before I get all nostalgic, look at the pretty cover that Annie J Designs made for me! Both Worlds Collide: A Fairy Tale and Lost and Found: A Fairy Tale will be re-released this year with new designed covers by Annie. There is also one more book in my Fairy Tale series that will definitely be released this year, hopefully two books. The plan is for two. But definitely one, because that one is already done and written.

But back to Dragon and Priest. Ahh. If you were around me around February 2014, I probably apologized to you for being a bad friend because this story demanded most of my attention. I was in the middle of working on the last Fairy Tale book and this little story came out of nowhere and insisted on being first. And it is a little story, it wouldn’t even win me NaNoWriMo.

We can never sin so bad, mess up so bad, be so bad to mess up God’s plan. Or to make us unforgivable. That just is mindblowing, and equally mindblowing is that God does not force us to accept His forgiveness. We have the chance to accept the gift of forgiveness. And not everyone does.

Thank you to those of you who have already read my little story and for your support. And thank you to any new readers.

 

 

A Couple Links

Instead of me writing today, I’d like to direct your attention to these two excellent articles:

Depression & Christianity

If you were near the internet last week, you probably saw at least a handful of blog entries on Robin William’s death. Some of these were tasteful, some were not. Midget’s post is excellent and I highly suggest reading it.

Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed

When the I Kissed Dating Goodbye first became a big deal, I knew something about the whole thing bugged me, besides that with courting (as stated in conservative groups I’ve been around) did not allow for a ‘right’ way for my friends who didn’t have a dad in the picture. The author of this article gets a bit sarcastic, and I do not agree with his statement that ‘there is someone for everyone’. But it is still the best article I have read on the topic.

Life & Expectations

Sometimes I wonder if I’m part lizard, because if I’m cold I just stop.

That has absolutely nothing to do with what I am writing about today.

Here is my question to you, has anyone ever looked back at their life and went, ‘yup, that’s exactly how I expected it to turn out’? I cannot think of anyone I’ve ever talked to who has been able to say that. Second question, have you ever looked back at your life and wished it turned out how you imagined when you would sit and picture your adult life? This one I’m sure there’s more people who would say, yes, yes I do….but I would still argue that many would not want their childhood dream life.

Some peoples lives seem to fall into a rhythm, one thing after another, all the pieces fall into place when they are expected to by society and yourselves. It can be hard to feel like you are on the outside looking in, watching people pass milestones as you feel like you are stumbling through molasses.

If you find yourself, years after college, sitting at your average job, driving your average car, and preparing for an evening of Netflix with your cat, and wondering is this it? Did I miss my opportunity to do something amazing? Will I ever do something amazing?

The future that I imagined what would happen after high school, and what actually happen do not even vaguely resemble each other. What actually happened was so much bigger and more amazing. While those years found me still driving a 30 year old car, and without a significant other, (and I never did work for Borders) it taught me a very important lesson: God’s plans are bigger.

It would be easy to tell that story, and I love that story, but it’s not what I want to tell. There are plenty of places that tell stories of Big and Amazing Things God has done with your life. It’s easy to see how God works in our lives when Big Things are happening. I would say it is not as easy if you’re curled up on your couch, watching Netflix with your cat. And it’s even harder when months or even years have gone by that life feels like it has settled into a predictable routine.

I want to encourage those out there who are begging God to show them their future, their life, their purpose. Those who feel like life is crushing them in it’s mundaneness and who truly and wholeheartedly want to serve God and do Great Things for Him.

You are making a difference. By listening to a friend who is going through a difficult time, or going to work with a smile, you are serving God. You are showing your light. Even though your world may feel painfully average, you do not know who you may touch, who you may be the encouragement their soul needs that day. You do not have to travel to the other side of the world or be world famous to make an impact.

God knows your heart. This time of frustrating dullness may not last forever, and if it does? You can still serve Him there. And even if it is not what you imagined, God is still in control and even if it doesn’t feel like it, His plan is still better than anything you could imagine.

Beliefs in Writing

I have no stomach for debate. I don’t have the energy or type of personality to get into an escalated ‘conversation’ that inevitablity devolves into at least one party trying to trick the other party into looking dumb. Or just raising their voice and sometimes to add flavor, swearing, because obviously whoever talks the loudest or uses the lowest kind of language must be right.

Ahem, I realize not all debates end up like that, but generally, that is not the kind of potential stress I want to add to my day.

There is one lady though, who I genuinely enjoy and appreciate debating with. She challenges me to explain what I mean, and listens to what I have to say and makes it very clear she isn’t just waiting for her turn to shoot me down. She firmly defends her stance from a point of *why* she believes what she believes, not a ‘you are stupid because…’ Whenever I leave after having a conversation with her I feel like I’ve learned something, grown in my understanding of an issue, and generally just have my day made.

A few months ago she challenged me with this question: “All that we do should be to bring glory to God and advance His kingdom. How do you justify writing secular fiction?”

I had an answer, as it was a question (in a different form) I had struggled through and came to a conclusion when it was clear I would finish writing Worlds Collide. I was knee deep in Bible College and deeply convicted that I was not qualified to write a faith system that involved another world and our own. Christ came to save sinners in *our* world, how would you take a fictional setting that takes place in both our world and another planet and place the gospel in it without being disrespectful? I chose for that storyline that I would not address the issue at all.

This topic of being a believer and an artist who is not creating traditional Christian art is one I’ve been thinking over alot. Some have convictions that if you are a believer, your work of fiction should have a clear gospel presentation. And if that is your conviction- write your story that way and make it the best story you can. Unfortunately, so often those stories have the gospel jammed in to make it appear as an after thought and the entire structure and quality of the overall story shatters around it. Who are you going to reach with a shattered story? The only people who will read those stories and take it serious are other believers. AKA- ‘preaching to the choir.’

I came across this quote that stunned me in it’s simplicity and I believe really gets this point across:

“God didn’t print Bible verses on flower petals. The beauty of those petals points to God without an explicit declaration of the plan of salvation. So it is with the art that Christians make. The beauty their art embodies points to God, even if John 3:16 isn’t written on the canvas.” Source

What makes One Realm Beyond exceptional is Donita K Paul’s use of bringing her faith and belief and the church into her writing, without spelling it out for the reader. I am almost finished reading Charity Bishop’s Thornwicke and she also does an amazing job of showing faith without a step by step gospel presentation.

To finish up, I think the Christian artist/writer should have their faith and belief shine through their work. Write the best story you can write, paint the best picture you can. Give God glory by being the best artist you can be.