Friday, January 25, 2013

Learning as I go...

This week I've learned that it takes a lot of "stick-to-it-ivness" to write. Many things have been tugging at my attention and calling me in different directions. I crave peace. I know that is my best atmosphere for successful creativity...and I've struggled with that this week. I need to clear my mind, refocus and zero in on my goals.

I've also realized some changes that I need to make in my writing and I'm in the process of shifting gears. One of the challenges of writing in the first person is the temptation to write too much internal dialogue. My characters have been doing too much thinking and analyzing...but not enough doing. I am now working to develop their character through their unique actions and reactions. I am trying to "show" their character instead of simply telling their character. I want the story to come to life in the imagination with vivid action-packed images and touch all the senses. Early this week I realized that the most interesting parts of the book so far are the more active parts and descriptive parts then I'd hit parts that started to bore me. I understood...if its boring to me, no one else is going to want to read it. So that is going to be the main focus this next week. Please continue to pray for me as I buckle down and make the changes I need to make and keep on working towards my goal of a finished, well-researched, self-edited manuscript by the end of June, 2013!

Friday, January 18, 2013


Would call yourself courageous? What obstacles, frustrations, trials or setbacks are you currently facing? Do you face them with confidence or fear or try to avoid them altogether? Yes and no...right? At times we face our fears, at times we crumble under pressure or wear down under some unpleasant set of circumstances. We whine and worry and complain and collapse. Then, at other times, we face the fear or problem learn from it, grow from it, stand up and move forward with confidence. Sometimes its easy to think that courage is for the extraordinary situations in life...when really courage is something we can exercise every day. Little problems try to drag us down. Temptations wear at us and caving to them is all too easy to justify. It's easy to do and say the thing that pleases self and displeases God. Every day in this sinful, messed up world we are called on to be courageous, to live fearlessly for the God who entered our sinful world and courageously lived perfectly in our place and sacrificed himself to satisfy our deepest, eternal need--forgiveness. He is the source of the courage we need every day. His promises help us to face every obstacle, every frustration, every problem with an eternal perspective and a sense of true peace.

The main character in my book needs tons of courage. He faces loneliness, rejection, and being misunderstood. He faces physical violence and must deal first hand with the horror of ancient warfare. Most of all he will have to face his own demons, his own issues, his own fears through it all. It will take courage...a courage that he cannot manufacture on his own or fake. It will take courage that only comes from his Savior-God. It will take him time to grow in that truth. May we all grow in that truth and face our problems (no matter how small and annoying or complex and seemingly overwhelming) with that special brand of courage and that eternal perspective that only God can supply.  

Friday, January 11, 2013


After my post last week...there were many wonderful comments on facebook from people I haven't seen in years and people I see often. First of all, thank you! It means so much to me that you care and that you took the time to show your support. I know that a project like this cannot be successful without much support. It's especially important to have the support of those who are close to me. So I want to take the opportunity and say a big thank you to my wife, Cara, who supports me whole-heartedly and gives me wonderful advice and feedback on my writing and my goals. She puts up with me waking up at 5 am every morning before work so that I can hammer out a few more paragraphs or pages in my book. She's always interested in my progress and enjoys reading snippets of my draft. I also want to thank all of you who are reading this and are at all interested in this writing venture of mine. I am eager to finish it and give you all a wonderful, entertaining book, that glorifies God and expresses and emphasizes his saving truth for many people.

The main character in my book does not have much support, from his family or from his community. He is basically an outcast and he will learn to lean on God as the only support he truly needs. Human support is wonderful to have, but it is not perfect. Thank God that we have his support, his care, his presence, his word for true guidance and strength. Thank God most of all that we have what we can never deserve-his forgiveness. That's what broken, sinful, messed up people like us need to realize most each and every day. How that colors our perspective-each day! Life's problems and difficulties tend to tempt us to focus all our energy on ourselves and we can easily dwell on the negatives and complain about our problems. Every day is a gracious gift from our Heavenly Father--a gift of his grace. Talk about support! Every day I can focus on the truth: I am a forgiven child of God. Even though by nature I have no worth...because of what God did for me I am worth the life and death of God's own perfect Son. How small my temporary earthly problems are compared to that! I have eternity to look forward to. God's support for me is infinite and eternal and it fills me with confidence and strength to face whatever future he has in store! He's also placed you all in my life in some way and gives me additional support from so many different sources. Thank you all and most of all thanks be to him!

Friday, January 4, 2013


Well...It's been forever since I've written a post on here. No...I haven't given up my writing dreams and goals. I have been busy with a lot of life changes. After a ton of prayer and thought and wrestling I made the difficult decision to resign as a pastor in Michigan for a number of personal reasons. My family and I have moved to Minnnesota and I am now training to be a plumber. I've always enjoyed working with my hands and helping people and plumbing is an awesome skill to acquire...especially as we now own our house here and will need to do some bathroom remodeling when we have the money. It also pays the bills...which is extremely important.

I still plan to use many of my skills as a pastor, especially my Greek and Hebrew translating and Bible background knowledge etc. as I write Christian historical fiction. I have even more ideas and possibilities to take little known or barely-mentioned people in the Bible and imagine what their life might have been like. I think sometimes its so easy to read right over such names and forget that they were real people with real purpose in God's plan and that they are mentioned for a reason. Yes, even the long lists of strange names. Each one is a face, a life, a story that intersected with Bible history. It reminds us that we all are important in our own way as part of God's work in the world even if our names are not written in the Bible. I now expect to have even more time that I can fully dedicate to writing this book. I've been faithfully getting up early every morning before work to put in some time on writing. My new goal is to have a completed, well-researched, self-edited draft by the end of June of this year. I also plan to write a post on here at least once a week.

God has amazing things in store for each of us and I am already finding his blessings in all these changes. May he bless and keep all of you as you go into this new year confident in God's everlasting promises and with the deep joy of Christ's salvation permeating every circumstance in your life and all you do.