Pronunciation Guide

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Annnd...part 3!

Once more, this is about redemption. This is what I wanted to write yesterday, but didn’t have time for.

…And, naturally, I am really struggling to put my thoughts to words.

The Bible says that when Jesus was crucified, two thieves were crucified with him. Now, I don’t know what constituted thievery in that day, or if the Romans doled out crucifixion for anything and everything, or if you had to have done something really bad. And it doesn’t really matter how they got there; the point is that they were there, dying alongside of him. One mocked him; the other asked for mercy. I love the story; it is a glimmer of light in the midst of a horribly dark moment.

I have lots of Bible stories I really like. But one of most favorite stories is that of Manasseh, arguably one of the most evil men to ever live. He led his nation into horrible sin, he sacrificed his own children…he was just a horrible person. …BUT… --- and this is why I love it so much --- …he didn’t stay that way. He repented, genuinely. And he changed.

I used to think that I always loved the bad guys in things. But it is more than that…or perhaps not quite that. It is when the bad guy…becomes good. Not when the bad guy pretends to be good…but when he actually…changes.


Why does this resonate with me so much, pierce me like few other things do?

…Because it is my story. Not the one I am writing [though it is that, too]…but my actual life story.

I am the bad guy. The villain. The enemy. The murderer, traitor, liar, adulterer, robber, rapist.

I am Manasseh, rebelling against God and what I know is right, sacrificing innocence on the altar of my idolatry, leading people astray with the influence I’ve been given.

I am the thief on the cross beside Jesus, hurling insults at him, mocking him, taunting him about saving himself and me too.

…But I am also Manasseh in his prison cell, repenting of my evil and begging God for mercy.

I am the thief on the cross, asking Jesus to remember me when he enters his kingdom.

I am the bad guy…changing. I am the villain…becoming good. I am darkness…being transformed into light. I am God’s enemy…ransomed from death, and brought into life. …His enemy, changed into his daughter…his beloved.

It isn’t about what you have done or haven’t done; that is not what determines whether or not you can be saved.

…It is whether or not you accept the offer of rescue.

Pride before God will lead to death.
Humility before God will lead to life.

…Uh, choose wisely.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Redemption part 2!

I literally have about ten minutes to write this. Maybe not even that long.

This kind of goes with the thing I wrote yesterday, about redemption. I hinted at it [at least in my head, I did], but it didn’t really fit in that post. But I said the thing yesterday about how some people are beyond redemption --- not because they are so bad, but because they are unwilling to be redeemed, to admit that they need it.

One of my favorite aspects of my story --- an idea that I fully believe God gave me --- is the redemption of a character that most [if not all] readers would like to see burn in hell a hundred times over.

And, to be honest…he might be one of my most favorite characters, ever.

What I hope to do in this story is this: show the redemption of a character that has done nothing wrong…and show the redemption of a character that has done everything wrong.

Because I believe that NO ONE is truly beyond redemption…if they are willing to receive it. Whether terrible things have been done to you…or whether you have done terrible things…there is hope for everyone.

…And I am so out of time.

I apologize for any typos or errors!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sorry. It is long.

What to write, what to write…

…Well, this morning, I saw a quote on facebook: “The struggle is part of the story”.

…I am trying to figure out how to explain my thoughts on this. In not a lot of words.

…Basically, I believe that God’s heart is for redemption. He longs to restore people, relationships…lives. He longs to deliver, to heal, to save…to turn darkness into light, pain into beauty…struggle into victory. And so often, people give up on God because of the struggles in life. They find it hard to believe that a good God would allow such bad things to happen; they think, “If God loved me, he wouldn’t make me go through ________. …Therefore, since I am going through _________, and he hasn’t put a stop to it…that means he doesn’t care.”

That is an admittedly understandable thought process. But, if I can be blunt…it is also horribly short-sighted. It is equivalent to a toddler thinking their parents are cruel for making them have to learn to use a toilet. It is equivalent to a child saying their parents don’t love them because they won’t give them the ______ that they want. A good parent will discipline their child, teach their child…do what is best for their child --- even when the child doesn’t feel that it is best. The parent knows more than the child, sees the long-term effects of immediate actions. Yes, potty-training is crappy [haha!]…but if you don’t learn how to use the toilet, wow, you will have some big issues ahead of you! Yes, not getting what you want stinks…but if you never hear “No”, you’ll become a spoiled brat --- and we’ve all had to deal with adults who act like babies when they don’t get what they want. [Not attractive.]

This is, in a lot of ways, a tiny reflection of what God does. He sees what we cannot see. He knows what we cannot begin to comprehend in our itty-bitty, finite minds. He is not indifferent, and he is not cruel. In fact, it is the opposite --- he is displaying great love, great compassion, great patience. Our pain hurts him, but he isn’t after our temporary happiness and comfort. He is after our hearts…our eternal delight. He is after our wholeness, holiness [set apart-ness], and our freedom. If we’d just let him work…and not freak out and turn away from him every time something doesn’t go our way. …If we could just…TRUST HIM.

…This is what I try to do with my stories. I try to, in my own flawed, small way, see as he sees. I try to connect things, to use things…to redeem everything somehow. I want to redeem everyone…but some people/characters are beyond redemption --- not because they’re so bad, but because they’re so unwilling.

What I am trying to say with this spiel is that in my own life, I believe that quote. The struggles I have faced, am facing, and will face…they are part of the story. God will use it for good if I let him. He will use it for beauty if I surrender my attempts at control.

And this, naturally, comes out in my story. The struggles that my character goes through…are part of the story. Part of her redemption…and part of the redemption of her world. This is one of the big reasons I chose to start the story when I did, and not have this whole experience just be something in the past. Yes, it is more painful to live through it with her…but it is part of the story itself, not just the setting or background of the story.

I could have written the story differently, where she didn’t have to endure the pain she endures. But if she didn’t…then, honestly…the story wouldn’t exist the way it does. I am sure I could have come up with something else…but certain things would not happen in that world…certain things that need to happen.

What she goes through --- awful as it is; and it IS awful --- is necessary. It changes the world.

God’s heart is for redemption.
He is making mine for redemption too.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

An actual story update! Of sorts.

I don’t have a lot to say right now, but I do want to post an actual story update. So…let me think of one…

…Yeah, I got nuthin’.

Um…well, I am now on a different part of my story. For the past two-plus years, I was more or less consumed by my character being in a certain place. [I have written other parts in those two years --- lots of other parts --- but the focus for that time period was that one place.]

…But that has changed now. My girl is out of that place…and…wow…I am glad. So glad. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to have that many guys come over that period of time…yeah…IDIOT. [That would be all me, by the way.] So I am thankful to be on another part, to finally…finally…have gotten to the escape. But I am also sort of…lost? It is kind of sad to say that --- or maybe just super morbid --- but I feel out of my element. Ugh. That’s gross. But I feel like even the story itself has changed, in an instant. And, I mean…it has. What was the focus is no long ---

No, I just thought of something.

The focus --- her focus --- for the past fifteen chapters has been surviving. And truly…that hasn’t changed. At all. In fact, it has intensified even more. The elements involved in that survival are different, the place where that fight for survival is taking place has switched…but the theme remains. She is still trying to survive…and just because she is out of one place does not mean everything is easier, or that that is the end of what has been going on for the first half of this book.

It is a transition of placement. No more new guys. …But memories? Dreams? …Oh yeah. Now is when it hits, for real.


Now I want to write.

So…bye. =)

I suppose this needs a title, yes?


Well, I have not written on a blog in a long time. So I am a little rusty. ...And, true to form…I just spent the last like two hours formatting and designing this blog.

 Anyway…I have never really been good about writing consistent blog posts…but…I will try to be much better this time!

So, basically, what I am thinking is that I will try to post story-writing updates on here at least a few times a week. [Preferably every day, but…let’s face it…I am not reliable when it comes to posting on a blog. =) ]

Um…so…yeah. I will do that after I post this. Gotta figure out formatting stuff and whatnot.

Me = anal.