What are we preaching?

Hi readers and writers alike (thought I’d start a different way), I want to ask you a few questions. What are we preaching? What group are we in? Are we a lover Christian, or a fighter Christian? Take your time, be honest with yourself.

Okay, if you’re still thinking, let me shed some light on the matter. For you writers out there, what do you hope to preach in your books? A message of God’s grace and love, or of Hell and conviction?

First I’ll clarify on the former message. I absolutely love the message of God’s grace and mercy and love. I’ve heard people say that if we give them that message they might think they have a free ticket to sin. I honestly think that’s pretty prideful, as if they weren’t in sin themselves.

Aren’t you already in sin yourself? I’m sure we don’t need help sinning, we do it all the time, and what’s scary is that a lot of times we do it unconsciously. Remember that God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance. We sin when we make an unloving thought towards someone like a raging driver or a selfish person who cuts in front in the checkout line. We sin when we judge someone by what clothes they wear or what they look like when we don’t even know them. That makes us think we’re better than them, doesn’t it?

The message of grace isn’t that God has given us free will to continue in sin, but to know that we’re redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and that we can live in that freedom, so when we fall we no longer have to feel like we’re a worthless piece of dirt. I made the decision that when I fell, I won’t let guilt take a hold. I’ll get back up, pick up my cross, and continue on my way. It’s made me love Christ even more, and I found that sin has taken less of a hold because I live in the freedom of Christ’s love. There’s a place for the grace message, and it’s sorely needed in our churches today, and in our novels.

So what about the hell and conviction of sin message. I also love this message, and it again has its place. The hell fire message isn’t one of condemnation. We don’t want to make unbelievers feel like trash, and that only if they receive Christ can they be loved and treasured. They are loved if they receive Christ or not. Jesus didn’t die for the ones who followed Him. He didn’t even come to earth for the ones who followed Him, He came for the lost. The hell fire message isn’t one of condemnation, but one of conviction. It should show the unbeliever that they’re lost in the valley of the shadow of death and that there is redemption and salvation in Christ.

Like I said before, both messages have their place, and both should be used, but both shouldn’t be taken too far. We’re not to condemn, or give a ticket to say it’s alright to sin. Again, it’s all in the heart. If we give in to temptation, and we don’t want to, it’s alright because you’ll fall into a sea of grace, but If you fall into temptation and sin because you want to, that’s a different matter and should be confronted.

Before I go I want to share a story that happened at this church, which will remain anonymous. One of the members of the congregation stood up front and gossiped about his brother. What he was saying was that his brother was doing things wrong and that he didn’t have God’s favor. What message is that? It’s not grace, and I don’t think it’s conviction either because the brother wasn’t even there! Gossip is not edifying to the body of Christ, and neither messages fit into it. I’m not pointing fingers, but merely stressing a point.

So writers, what are we preaching? It’s pretty simple really. We’re preaching God’s heart, because both of those messages fit into it. He loves, but He is also holy, so love and be holy as He is holy. Stand for what’s right no matter what people say.

‘Till the next post, God Bless!

A Dire Warning

Hi readers, today I thought I’d write a small flash fiction story about the issue of video game addiction. I want to warn against its tactics and I firmly believe that they are connected to demonic activity in our lives. Probably not the type of activity where the furniture moves by itself, I mean in the family realm. It breaks apart families and the lives of those playing.

This is a warning about the consequences when we let something other than God consume our lives. The story can not only relate to games, but in anything that takes us away from God and family. It can be work, personal passions, anything you can think of that distracts your walk with God.

To warn those before hand, this is a horror story, and may disturb and scare some readers, but it’s all for God’s glory. Enjoy

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Alright, how did it go? I just want to say games in moderation are not evil, it’s only when we let them consume our lives does the enemy take ground.

Please feel free to comment.

‘Till next time, God Bless.

More on active voice

Hi readers, today I just want to talk a little more about the action in a story. Like I said before, active voice leaves much more of an impact than passive, but the two are equally important.

So, what one should take the leading role? Any writer knows the age old mantra “it’s better to show than to tell.” Yes, most of the time it is better to show and not tell, and other times it’s better to tell and not show. I tell when I’m writing a violent scene because I don’t want to give readers too much detail. They should know what’s going on, but not be forced to experience it.

Active voice leaves a bigger impact because the reader experiences the scene, and not just hears about it.

A little fun fact of mine, I love it when a book shows a romantic scene because I get to experience it with the character. If I was just told about it my eyes would still be dry 🙂

That’s why I love reading! You get to experience a scene. In a movie you’re just a peeping tom, so you don’t really experience what the character feels because movies work with a visual rather than a mental picture, and a lot of times I don’t connect with a movie like I can with a book.

So this brings me back to the life of a Christian. I’m sure you’ve heard the word “support” tossed around in prayer circles and churches, right? “We should support our brothers and sisters in Christ,” they would say. Well, my view has changed on that! I was reading a section in one of my resource books for school and what the guy said was that support is unbiblical!

“What!!!!” Yeah, those were my thoughts.

But then he went on to explain why.

Okay, what do you picture when you hear that word? I picture a person standing besides the guy or girl needing help and saying “Okay, lets pray.” Does the person leave changed after that? No, I can’t imagine he/she would. Don’t get me wrong, praying is vital if we’re to help someone overcome an obstacle in their lives, but why are we always brushing off responsibility with prayer? We’re being passive towards those who are hurting by showing them support. By hurting for them and saying “I understand what you’re going through. I’ve been there.”

I’m going to become the person begging for help for a moment. “Thank you, that’s great, but I don’t need someone who understands, I need someone who can help me.”

Yeah, support and empathy don’t really get anywhere, at least not by themselves. When Jesus says to “Bear one another’s burdens” I don’t think He was commanding us to stand on the spot and say “Yeah, this is pretty heavy, I understand how you feel.” No! He commands us to take that guy’s burden and carry it alongside him.

Actions speak louder than words folks. Sorry to be cliche 🙂

I picture a mature Christian as one who follows and reads God’s Word and allows that to govern His every word and action. The Bible tells us to live by faith, and we all know faith without works is dead. We should be helping our wounded friend with the Word and guiding him to make the right choices, and not just saying “lets pray,” as the only means. And if the person is unsaved…. show them the Way, the Truth, and the Life for goodness sake!

Experience the other’s pain, and don’t just sit around and understand, stand up and take action. Be the warrior Christ calls us to be!

‘Till next time, God Bless.

If you have any thoughts feel free to comment, I’d love to answer any questions.

 

 

Creating Characters

Hi readers, today I want to talk about the things that make a story come to life…..characters! How do we create characters? How do we make them come alive? It’s not as simple as you think. Characters are more than names on a page. They’re living, breathing souls, at least that’s the impression you need to make.

There are two types of characters: Major and Minor. The major characters are obviously the main characters in a story, and are the ones that need detailed personalities. The minor characters are just there to help your main guys along, and most of the time they only need very little description.

There are usually more minor characters than major ones, but that’s not always the case. In my novel the Restoring there are a lot of major characters, and minor characters only pop up every now and then, usually to add description to a scene, or to give some quick advice for one of my main men or women.

One of the biggest problems new writers have, and what I have gone through as well, is weak major characters. It’s hard to define when a character is memorable or just a person no one cares about. Personally, I hate characters that are completely dumb. The ones that make the readers roll their eyes and tell them to get on with it and figure it out already 🙂

Characters are real people as well, and if you’ve read my post on the perfect story, you will find that they have to show some vulnerability or else no one will care for them. Major characters need a unique personality and a unique objective, just like real people, and there just has to be something about them. I can’t explain it, but you know it when you read it, or see it.

This has gotten me thinking. When I read books with amazing characters, I sometimes think, why can’t I be like that guy? Creating characters shouldn’t be limited to writing!

We need to also make ourselves and others become those great characters in our favourite books. The ones that are memorable and make an impact, and the only way to do that is to reflect the greatest character of all….Jesus Christ!

When our characters show who Jesus is, that’s when they’re memorable, at least to me anyway. When I look at someone and can see Jesus, that’s when I remember them. If you want to reflect God’s heart in your writing, or in anything, create, or be, that memorable character.

‘Till next time, God Bless!

Please feel free to comment, I would love to answer any questions!

How Far Should We Go?

Hi readers, today I want to talk about the issue of content, as in violence, in books and movies. This is exclusive to Christian’s because unbelievers aren’t responsible for the things they create and do, but Christian’s are if we’re to edify the body of Christ.

If you’ve read my review on the Priest’s Graveyard by Ted Dekker you will have noticed that it’s quite violent and at times deals with some dark subjects. Take a look at the Bible, it is very violent and oftentimes gory and disturbing! So, why all the violence? Before I go on I’ll note that there has never been an R18+ (or NC-17 for non Australian readers) film or novel in the Christian industry. R18+ has absolutely no place in the Christian industry and the Christian life. There is no edifying material in that rating, and if there was, the content would be so hard it would snuff it out completely.

So why are there Christian novels and movies in the MA15+ rating, and is it necessary? After reading the Priest’s Graveyard I’d have to say that at times it was not necessary, and at times it was. Christians should address dark subjects in their movies and books because the world is full of it, but only we can offer salvation.

But it can be done without all the gory details.

In my novel in progress, which I won’t give the name away to just yet, there is a scene in which a family is murdered. It’s not graphic, but it is most certainly implied. I wanted to show that that is sin, and the consequences are dire as shown later on in the book. Now, would it edify the reader if I went into depth with that scene? No! In fact if I was reading it I would be repulsed and throw the book away.

We can address the dark and uncomfortable subject matter without including the details. People would feel uncomfortable if you wrote about something uncomfortable, and something is only uncomfortable because it’s a sin. Guilt makes people very uncomfortable.

Imagine a pastor talking about the issue of self sex. That would make a lot of teenagers squirm! Why? Because of guilt! But we can then offer them hope and a way to escape the temptation, but if we never brought it up they would still be in that constant struggle between their flesh and their spirit. We need to make people uncomfortable sometimes to wake them up.

So, back to the matter at hand, does a book or movie need to be over the top to get a message across? I was reading about this Christian horror movie coming out about the rapture. The director said that he would be willing to get very violent, “in an evangelical sense,” to make people fear the world after the rapture.

Wait, how can violence be used in an evangelical sense?

Again I think it’s to scare people into believing. That’s just a fire escape in my opinion. I don’t think it’s a good idea to make people scared as the only means of salvation. Yes, fear plays a part, but so does Christ’s love, and the all too forgotten, the conviction of sin and need for a savior.

We need to have both. Fear and the love of Christ, the perfect combination. For me, a perfect story of salvation is one that merges those two together. It shows the reality of sin and the reality of God’s love.

So overall, should Christian’s write about violent and uncomfortable topics? Yes! Should they write them graphically and in great detail? No. It’s as simple as that. The Bible addressed dark subjects, but it never goes in great detail about them.

A man who truly shows God’s heart will not look away at what’s evil, He would face it and stand for the truth.

‘Till next time, God Bless!

If you have any other thoughts please leave a comment, it is greatly appreciated!

Ted Dekker, The Priest’s Graveyard, Review.

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Hi readers. I just finished reading the Priest’s Graveyard by Ted Dekker and thought I’d do a quick review for any who would like to read it. I’ll try not to reveal spoilers, and if I do I’ll warn you 🙂

Okay, so what it is about? Well, if you’re confused by the title and think it’s a haunted graveyard story, you’re wrong. In fact an actual graveyard never makes a single appearance. The Priest’s Graveyard is a metaphorical title. To understand it you need to understand what the story is about.

The story is about injustice. It’s about this priest named Danny Henson who, when he was sixteen, witnessed the death and rape of his sisters and mother. Eventually he shot the soldiers who killed his family, and it was then that he took on the “calling” of killing every sicko out there. Everyone who hurts others, he inflicts those same punishments on them, and at times it gets disturbingly gory.

Meanwhile a lone girl named Renee Gilmore was fleeing in the streets from her captor, Cyrus, who had abused her. To make her life even more dreadful she also had an addiction to heroin.

Soon, a man named Lamont Myers rescues her and takes her in and takes care of her. He helps her grow stronger and escape her addiction with help from other medications and drugs. Eventually they fall in love and marry.

I won’t give away Lamont’s details because it’s a major twist in the end.

Soon Lamont is killed, and Renee makes it her objective to kill the man who killed her lover, Johnathon Bourque. Soon Danny and Renee cross paths and what happens through the remaining pages is an exciting thrill ride with many twists and turns. And yes, Danny and Renee eventually fall in love as he helps her go after Johnathon Bourque.

(Spoiler Alert)

At the end Danny and Renee realize that everyone is guilty, not only the ones who hurt others. They realize God’s grace and mercy and learn that we shouldn’t judge others. The Scripture that’s echoed throughout is, “Judge not lest thou be judged.” We shouldn’t judge others in our sight and determine who is guilty of death or not, because we all are. So in a nutshell that’s the message and story behind it.

(Spoiler end)

Be warned, this isn’t a book for younger readers. I’ll go through the content on the bottom, it may contain spoilers.

Violence: Lost of disturbing murders done in a horrific way, but it’s not constant. That being said, the times it does come are very shocking and may deter the sensitive readers. For example a man gets cut up in pieces, lots of people are shot, and a man gets his tongue cut off while in a drugged sleep. Yep, pretty disgusting, but it’s all done with very little description.

Language: Since it’s a Christian book cursing is absent. The characters do call others names like idiot, but that’s as far as it goes.

Sex: None in action, lots of past references, and a girl is threatened sexually once. A lot of references to rape and sexual abuse, but it’s only past references and nothing is seen in action. Passionate kissing in multiple scenes.

Drugs: Again, nothing taken in action, but a lot of references to Heroin since the main character was addicted by it.

Overall this obviously isn’t a kids book, so I’d recommend years fifteen and over, and only then with caution. But despite all the violence, this is an amazing book with a great message. Yes, there are evil people who deserve death, but we’re all just as guilty. We all put Jesus on that cross, that’s the worst offence anyone could commit, and yet He did it to save us anyway.

That’s grace.

3.5/5 stars.

The solo writer

Hi readers, how difficult do you think writing is? Could you do it alone? Be honest. If you say you could do it by yourself, don’t worry, because I thought that same thing when I first started 🙂

I thought writing was sitting at your computer by yourself and whittling away until something popped up and you have a story! Well I was wrong. In fact, writing is anything but a solo career. And it doesn’t stop with the editors and publishers either. They will help you in the technical sense, but what about the writing?

I thought I could find ideas and write on my own, but without someone to guide me, I ended up with over 200 pages of mess. You heard me, the entire first version of the Restoring was a gigantic mess!

I’m not talking about the first draft, that’s a completely different thing, and that is supposed to be messy. I’m talking about the first time I sat to write that novel. The story was completely different, and all along I felt that I was going in the wrong direction with the story. I thought I knew what I was doing!

Eventually I think God got sick of my self-confidence (ok….pride) and placed the new idea right in front of my face. It was then that I realized I couldn’t write that thing without God. I couldn’t do anything without God guiding my every step. Now, just under two years later, I have my second novel complete and in editing, and it is well worth the wait!

I’m warning you aspiring writers out there, don’t think you can do it in your own strength, because you can’t. And for all you aspiring Jesus’ out there, don’t you dare think you can do something without Him!

So, let Jesus lead the way, and don’t lean on your own understanding. Like I said before, He’s the writer, and He knows what He’s doing, you don’t, and the sooner you admit it the better.

‘Till next time, God Bless!

The Perfect Story

Hi readers, today I want to ask you a question. What is, in your mind, the perfect story? Well, is the perfect story like a perfect world where everything goes right and there’s no problems whatsoever? Would a story be perfect if the protagonist makes all the right choices and says all the right things and makes no mistakes? Would a story be perfect if the antagonist died without leaving a single wound on the hero?

I’d feel completely betrayed if I bought a book and it had all those qualities in them.

A story must have a crisis, the protagonist mustn’t be a perfect individual with flowing blond hair. People will throw away your book in disbelief if that was the case. He must make some wrong choices and make some mistakes. How would he learn without them? How would the story continue if our hero faced no obstacles? A story is built on conflict. No conflict, no story, it’s as simple as that.

Just as a writer writes the protagonist’s story, so does God write ours. Our lives are essentially a story written by God’s hand. If we were perfect Christian’s living perfect lives, how would we be able to see God writing? We’re the protagonist in God’s story. We make mistakes, but that’s the whole point! We make wrong choices, and we disobey, but where’s the conflict without those choices?

If we never made mistakes, or never disobeyed, or never faced some sort of brokenness or crisis, how will we truly know God’s love? Love hurts. It’s not a lolly pop fantasy people make it in the fairy tales. Love suffered and paid a great price on the cross. Love is waiting to hurt with us when we hurt. It’s waiting to encourage us and lift us when we make mistakes.

If we lived in a perfect world, what need would there be for love? Love would disappear because it has no one to encourage and hurt with. It becomes stale, lifeless, and that certainly isn’t God’s love.

So if you’re sitting in your living room or office wondering why your life is falling apart, or why you constantly feel guilty over something you may have done, rest easy in the knowledge that God is in control, and He won’t make mistakes when writing your story. He loves you, and your story will always have a happy ending.

“For all things work together for good to those who love God and are called to his purpose.”

‘Till next time, God Bless.

A Writer’s Prayer

Hi readers, today I’ve done some heart searching and I’ve come to the realization that I’ve got it all wrong, so this post is a confession of mine, and a new beginning in my writing career.

Okay, so the writer’s prayer…. Well, what is it? I think we’re all guilty of it, and it doesn’t stop with writers. I think every Christian has prayed this prayer at some point in their lives. Some may not like what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it.

What I’ve been praying all along for my writing is this, “God, use my books and my writing for your glory.”

Okay, what was so bad about that? Notice the word my in that prayer. Slowly it has become more about me and my books than God and His spirit. The same goes for Christian’s who want to impact the world. We pray, “God, use us today for your glory.”

I want you to be honest for a moment. What does your heart pray when you pray that? For me, my heart is saying, “God, use me more than that other writer. Use me more than that other Christian. I want to be the one to make the impact.”

How selfish is that? I’m guilty, but thanks to God’s mercy and grace He’s given me another chance, and shown me the error of my way. If we want to reflect God’s heart, we need to decrease, so He can increase! We need to stop praying “God use me,” and instead pray, “God, move in me and around me today.” God should take the highest place, and should be evident in everything we do.

God’s not moving because all these Christian’s are praying to be used. And God is just sitting in the sidelines saying, “Could I actually come in and do what I want to do?”

So, instead of wanting to be the impact, allow God to move, and it’s okay when God uses someone other than you. It’s not your fault. You’ve done nothing wrong. Go out and rejoice that God is moving and using every one for His glory. Reflecting God’s heart can only be done if we decrease.

Jesus’ ministry wasn’t about Himself, it was about His father. Go out and live the same way.

Finding inspiration

Hi readers, today I want to talk about finding inspiration. How do we find inspiration and what inspires us? If you’re an aspiring writer you’re probably sitting in your room or at the park waiting for inspiration to come out and say, “Here I am! Write me!”

Okay, does that actually happen? Yes! But not all the time. Sometimes it may pop up, other times you need to go looking for it. As a beginner writer you probably have a lot of ideas bobbling around in your head, and each one wants to pop to the surface. And then you get some people who say things like, “My life is so boring, how can I possibly get any inspiration out of it?”

Let me ask you this question, have you ever felt moved to do something before? It may seem like an obvious question, but no one has ever lived without feeling something. Maybe you feel sorry for the people in Africa and want to help them? Maybe you feel sorry for the drug addict and wish you could free them? Inspiration comes from active motion and emotion. When do we get inspiration from watching a wall? I sure haven’t.

So, now that you know you have some inspiration hiding in you somewhere, how do you dig it up? Well, it’s easy, but it can also be hard. Today I read a blog post on author Ted Dekker’s website from a girl who had been abducted when she was six years old. It was her story on how she forgave him through reading his book, Water Walker. I’ll probably send a link to that story in my next post, but now I want to point out that it was extremely difficult for her to dig up inspiration to write that post. Sometimes we have to dig down to our deepest and darkest fears in order to find inspiration, so it can be hard, and it can be scary.

Being a writer, you have to confront your biggest fears face to face, and don’t shy away. If you’ve experienced a terrible crisis in your life, like say a fire, you need to dig down and remember every detail of that day you can in order to allow readers to feel what you felt that day. You need to be open and honest, and never sugar coat it; readers will lose interest straight away. If you’ve been broken by a fire or other crisis, you would want to go out and help other victims who have gone through the same thing. Writing is a great way to help them by up lifting them and hurting with them. By being honest, you show you’re readers that you understand where they came from and that you can offer them hope in Christ.

It’s one thing finding inspiration, it’s another thing bringing it to life on paper, and in the world.

So what inspires you? Can’t think of anything off the tip of your tongue? I’ll tell you what inspires me. Jesus. He is my biggest inspiration. He’s been my leading inspiration for all of my novels, and will continue for as long as I’m writing. His sacrifice on the cross is our biggest inspiration. It inspires us to love others, to serve and obey God with all our hearts, and to serve others above ourselves.

So, if you’re waiting for inspiration to come along, don’t wait for someone to inspire you, be the inspiration!

Top Ten artists that show meaty creativity.

Hi everyone, this is my second post today (not a lot happening today so I’ve just immersed myself in a good book). I want to just do a quick addition to my last post about milk and meat. I talked about Christian music bring very unoriginal. So for this post I just want to give you my ten favourite Christian music artists in my opinion who flow with God given talent!

Oh, and for readers who think that this is a writing blog, people write music as well, so the two aren’t far apart. 🙂

10. Casting Crowns

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Casting Crowns are one of the first bands I’ve ever loved. They write great, anointed songs that flow with creativity.  Their lyrics are some of the best I’ve ever heard. If you want a powerful sermon set to music, these guys are the one you’re looking for!

9. The Ember Days

 

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The Ember Days are an indie band who are very under the radar when it comes to Christian music, but these guys are amazing! They write beautiful, full on worship songs that ooze with passion. Janell Belcher has one of the most beautiful voices in the worship industry. Very underrated band that absolutely needs to be known.

8. Switchfoot

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Switchfoot are an alternative rock band who is one of the most thought provoking voices in Christian music. They’re not full on worship, and actually hardly have any songs that directly worship God, but they have some of the best, most relevant lyrics for today’s society. Brilliant, convicting band that truly reflects God’s heart in a way that hasn’t been done before.

7. The City Harmonic

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Boy do these guys create some heart wrenching songs. They are relatively new so aren’t a big band, but you won’t notice that while listening to their songs. Professional comes to mind. These guys reflect God’s heart by just loving Him in their music. Top worship band in my opinion!

6. All Sons and Daughters

 

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All Sons and Daughters have taken the worship world by storm, yet the impact they have gotten doesn’t even scratch the surface of other worship artists like Jesus Culture or Chris Tomlin, and that is very unfortunate. They create heavenly acoustic, folk music that truly uplifts the Lord. Check out this dynamic duo if you want to make your worship time come alive!

5. Josh Garrels

 

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Here is another indie artist who isn’t well known. Why is it that the best artists are the ones who fly under the radar? I think it’s time we give these guys some recognition and support the work of these amazing artists reflecting God’s heart in their music. Buy Josh’s album, Love War and the Sea In-between. Trust me, you will fall in love with it.

4. Beautiful Eulogy

 

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For number four I’m going to let out a little fun fact about myself. Little know I’m actually quite a fan of rap! There’s just something about the beats that just get me. These guys are the ones who got me into it. Can’t give these guys enough credit. Amazing, heart wrenching, thought provoking, and meaty lyrics. Seriously, these guys have more of an impact than most preachers today. Get their two records, now!

3. Tenth Avenue North

 

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This young band knows the Word of God! Each of their songs is like hearing God speak , and sometimes He actually is! If you want your day blessed, give these guys a spin. You won’t be left with dried eyes by the end.

2. Sanctus Real

 

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These guys had previously taken my number one spot, but were overtaken by the next legendary band, but that doesn’t mean they’re not great. Legendary pop/rock at its finest! These guys are a living testimony to God’s mercy and grace. Each of their albums they have undergone some sort of crisis. During the making of their latest record, Run, their tour bus burnt down with them inside of it! Thankfully they escaped and managed to create their best album to date! Support these God gifted men!

1. NEEDTOBREATHE

 

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To end this post here is my number one favourite Christian band, NEEDTOBREATHE! I can’t think of any words to describe how good they actually are, and underrated as well 😦 Go out and discover these guys, you won’t believe what you’ve been missing all this time. Here’s a lyric from their song, The Heart. “Long live the heart, long live the soul, that knows what it wants!” Hallelujah, we know what we want-Jesus!

I hope you enjoyed this post, ’till next time, God Bless

Milk and Meat

Hello readers, today I want to talk about milk and meat. Not the physical food, what I’m talking about is spiritual food.

When a person first comes to Christ, they are a new Christian, or what some call, a new-born Christian. That’s when you get fed milk and the simple, basic Bible stories and verses. That’s not an offence by the way, I’m just looking at the different stages of a Christian’s life, not on a behavioral or personal level.

Okay, back to business 🙂 So after a few years we should know a lot of good Scriptures and we should be living the dream, but soon there comes a time when they want more. They want something more than John 3:16 and Psalm 23. They want something new, something they never thought of or heard of before. Something that takes an unknown verse, or even a well known verse, to a whole new level of understanding. They want meat.

I’m going to be a bit controversial here and say that a lot of preachers, and sadly even some Christian fiction and musician’s, are in the milk stage. Yes, there is a vital place for milk, because Christian’s need to start somewhere, but I see it overtaking the meat in the Christian world. Most televangelists’ messages are so watered down that it makes milk satisfying for even the mature Christian.

I also see the milk messages in a lot of Christian music as well. As a lover of good music, unfortunately CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) has lost a lot of originality and its messages in their songs are so watered down that each and every new album that comes out sounds exactly like the last. That’s not to say it doesn’t present anything creative. I know a lot of great, creative Christian bands that blow their secular counter parts to the outer universe! But a lot of pop or CCM is just very unoriginal and is essentially milk.

On a lesser note, Christian fiction is falling into this category as well. Although their, novels are amazing, they cater to different groups. Milk novels for the younger Christians, Meat novels for the more mature Christians.

So to finish this post, before you write a book tell yourself what type of Christian is this for, the new-born or the mature? Personally I’m going for the latter, but the choice is up to you. Each one is just as important.

God has given you the gift of creativity, use it for His glory.

Till, next time, God Bless!

True Witnessing.

Hi Readers, today I want to talk about witnessing. How do we tell others about Christ? How do we let others know we’re Christian? That’s the question I’ve been pondering on lately.I know people who aren’t believers, yet they can’t help but be drawn to the Lord through our actions.

I was having a great conversation with my friend Breoni today and we were talking about witnessing to the lost. We both know people who don’t believe, so it’s hard to have meaningful friendships with these people. I’ve learnt first hand that pushing people to Christ is not the way to go, they will rebel and sometimes even get angry.

It goes the same for people you don’t know as well. You’re welcome to go up in the street and ask someone if they know Jesus, but seriously, how well will that go down? You will likely be called a crazy Bible bashing preacher and they will knock you off and not give you the time of day. Sadly I think the whole witnessing, going up to doors and asking people if they know Jesus, is a terrible way of showing people Jesus and reflecting God’s heart.

So, how do we do it? If you’ve seen my last post, that man is giving that homeless man a cup of water. Now that’s witnessing! When we treat others above ourselves, people will notice. People will say, “How come you’re so nice?” or, “Why did you do that for me.” Well, then you can say, “Well, I’m a Christian, and I want to follow in the steps of Jesus Christ.”

Now tell me how much of an impact that will make? Compared to knocking on someone’s door or approaching someone on the street? When people see Christ in you, they won’t help but be intrigued, and that will then lead on to other questions, and eventually they will come to Christ.

So for today, if you’re one of those salesmen for Jesus, I encourage to go out and, instead of tell, show!

Remember, telling is passive voice, showing is active, it has a lot more impact. We are writing the book of ACTS, and that’s an active story, so why are we telling others what to write instead?

Commitment

Hi readers, today I have something for all the aspiring Christian writers out there!

Now, you may be thinking of writing a book right? If you are, great! If you aren’t, well, that’s great too 🙂 But for the ones who are, let me tell you one thing, how committed are you? How much do you want to write that book? If it’s not a ten out of ten, there isn’t much point, and there isn’t a big chance you’ll get to the end of your novel.

You need to be committed 100% before you even start planning.

And it doesn’t just go for writers, if we want to show God’s heart in everything we do, we need to do it to the best of our abilities and be committed all the way. If you do something half-heartedly, people will notice. If you don’t do something to the best of your ability, people will think you’re lazy and can’t be bothered. For writers, especially if you want to get published, it is vitally important that you don’t write that novel with only one hand, they both have to be in it.

Now you may say that you only want to write as a hobby, there’s nothing wrong with that. Doing things to the best of your ability doesn’t mean not taking a long time and rushing, if that job requires a long time that is. Writing a novel takes a long time. Some writers take up to five or six years just to write one novel. That’s a long time to be committed, hey?

Personally I’m nearing the two year point in my novel, the Restoring. I’m still in the editing stages, and trust me, that takes just as long as the writing itself 🙂

So for now, just ask yourself if you want to write, “how committed am I?” If you’re a five or under, don’t do it, because you won’t finish that book. You’ll have another idea that you will think is better than the last, and it will keep going on and on.

If you’re an eight or nine, great, but you should still make sure you won’t go in and stop half way through because you found out that it’s just not your thing. If you want to find out if you like writing, write a short story, it’s the perfect road test, but don’t write a full novel until you are fully committed, ten out of ten. If you do, and find that you don’t enjoy it, you will have possibly wasted a year or more of your life doing something you’re not fully passionate about when you could be doing something that you are.

So, make sure you’re committed in your work and passion. You will become a better person and you will be showing people how committed Jesus is to us.

Hope this helps 🙂