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  1. Today
  2. Hello From Poland :-)

    Kind of... I'm from the US, but have been working for a company in Poland for almost 5 years, doing International Marketing and a lot of Content Marketing (writing!). It was an unexpected location to end up in, but has been an amazing experience. Getting out of one's comfort zone and being introduced a completely foreign language and a different culture fuels a lot of personal growth! It's a small town in the middle of the country. Only 5 minutes from my home is one of countless extermination sites from WW2 - more than 250,000 Jews are buried there. Our little town has a 600 year old castle in additional to old churches and several nazi bunkers. And hardly anyone in town speaks English. Google translate is my best friend. ;-) It has been a privilege to experience living in another place! While here, I've been able to produce a screenplay and second draft of a novel. As a teen, I was bewildered and even disturbed after reading and studying the interpretations of Genesis 6:1-4. Why did most Christians choose to just skip over these verses? Giants walked the earth??? Strange verses that held possibly strange interpretations. In my studies on the topic, I thought that there was a fascinating story to be told in a way that respected the Biblical context - but it had to be cracked first. That took a long time. This kind of fiction isn't appreciated by everyone, and if it doesn't appeal to you, I won't be offended :-) If you look on Amazon, you'll find a lot of Christian authors have novelized it as well, but personally, I was always disappointed in the results - either the quality of the writing/story was poor or they chose to turn the whole story into something too fanciful. My overarching goal was theological plausibility. Christian fiction should ideally flow seamlessly with the source material, in my opinion. Attached is the artwork for the two first books in the series that I recently finished. I have a lot of experience in graphic design, which I also enjoy playing around with. Anyway, that's a bit about me and my literary pursuits. :-) I've been a silent lurker on the site for a long time. I hope to contribute more now that I have something to show for my presence ;-) Some favorite books... Dune, Foundation, CS Lewis' Space Trilogy, Paradise Lost, Lord of the Rings.
  3. Creative Writing Software

    Well, downloaded the trail version to check it out and imported one of my word files. it did import, but as one large file. not the individual files that allow it to do a lot of what the tutorial says it can do. So it would require breaking the large fie down further. not very encouraging at this point. but I'm not done evaluating it yet.
  4. Ah, that devil, slipping things into our words because The Word is the power of life to us. A clever ploy. I think about Paul writing in a prison. Every word counted and had to be approved by the prison guard. How did he slip so much truth past the nose of someone who should have been hostile? In the first prison I think he succeeded in converting the guard. In the second, the Light of God might have blinded the reader who might have held the letters back. We must steep ourselves in God's Word in order to claim any inspiration. Having such good and beautiful loving Words in us, we can trust the Light will blind and illuminate as He sees fit.
  5. Yay Me!

    LOL Glad there wasn't any more yelling! Good you got it all together.
  6. How To Attract Publishers

    Hello George! What is foreign to you? What part of the world do you hail from? As a Canadian, I have greater hoops to jump through to break into the larger market south of our border. There was a good article on not writing books to other countries about how to run their business. It doesn't only apply to Americans. https://stevelaube.com/challenge-american-christian-authors/ Happy Writing! And if you find the answer to your question, please pass it on to us.
  7. Yay Me!

    Mr. Incompetant with tools, that's me. My mom didn't like that all the doors coming in the house have different keys. So we used my Amazon Prime to order 4 knobs and 4 deadbolts set all keyed to the same key. I spent a couple hours with a screwdriver and phone installing the doorknobs. The first one didn't work but three calls to the manufacturer and now they all work. (I only had to yell at each knob 4 times, the screws never want to go in the right spots when the handles are pushed together)
  8. Suspensewriter, you have stated the case well, "the word choices we make have suffered violence". Language does change over time. There is a complex dynamic as to how that happens. Sometimes it is due to how people think and feel about issues. They then find words to start describing those thoughts and feelings. But, if that process is not regulated by clear thinking and a real understanding of values, it can go way off course. I do think we have a duty to challenge such things. But I think you are also spot on in saying we need to "handle this with love". One way to do so is as Phy says, ". . . try to tell an entertaining story which contains the values steeped in my bones." So far, I am writing stories I feel called to write that are dedicated to my Goddaughters (and for anyone else who cares to read them). I also have a day job, that takes a good deal of my time. However, I feel the day is coming when I will begin writing about the really important topic you raised. There are numerous cases of words being appropriated for conversations that really skew the realities. Some open discussions about the assumptions underlying those appropriations is needed.
  9. Evangelical Romance And Amish Action Heroes

    I've never heard of Wattpad. It's hard to keep up with the Internet!!
  10. Selling Your Family

    I run into that too, Darrel. A lot of family members who read Westerns, others who are romance novel fanatics, and one who can't get enough H.P. Lovecraft. Go figure.
  11. 6 Tips to Help Indie Authors Format Print Books in Word
  12. Yesterday
  13. prayer letter yao hua men church nanjing

    ACTS 4 23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. DANIEL 3 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. EPHESIANS 6 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints Dear friends For the next ten days, the National congress will be taking place in Beijing. Please pray for this, that God will speak to the many delegates by visions and dreams. Continue to pray for the impact of the new religious regulations. Urban churches like ours who rent flats, will not be able to rent flats and would have to spilt into smaller units. Please pray for us and other churches, that the impact of this, would be that the gospel goes to every part of China and that the fellowship of the believers is sweeter and deeper. Continue to pray for our sunday services, Helen will preach on the next two sunday's. Please pray for our worship, that it would be sweet and powerful. Please continue to pray for the men, especially F, W, Y who need to fully commit to God. Please pray for our older ladies, some don't read, they can only listen to the bible. Pray for our oldest member Sister W, she collects rubbish for a living, as many poor chinese people do. Continue to pray for F and Her mother who are still trapped in a very unstable family. Thanks for your prayers Yao Hua Men Family church Nanjing
  14. Selling Your Family

    Nahh,Its because they don't read fiction. I have a great family who supports me in anything I do for that matter. My daughter-in-law is a heavy reader, but she likes romance books, so she's not waiting for my next story to come out.
  15. Personally, I pray about this a lot. What I do is try to tell an entertaining story which contains the values steeped in my bones through scripture and my relationship with Jesus. I don't write Christian fiction, I write fiction for normal people, fiction which comes from my Christian worldview. J.R.R. Tolkien argued against using fiction as allegory and was astonished when people pointed out apparent Christian themes. C.S. Lewis was more open to allegory yet even he referred to the Christian aspects in Chronicles of Narnia as a "supposition". And yet, we can look at both works, published in the mainstream, and detect a strong Christian worldview from both men. That's what I'm working on - fiction anyone can read which are entertaining and which reflects my Christian worldview. First and foremost, the books have to be entertaining, well written, stand on their own. But at their core, I like to think they're about something and will leave readers mulling over things they've read long after they finish the book. Like many of you, I have a day job where I make my living doing something unrelated to writing creative fiction. I feel I have the freedom to write what I want to write without worrying about whether the book will actually sell or not. If I do my job as a writer, the books will find a home. If I only end up writing them for my own enjoyment, I will still have gotten something out of the process. That's my answer. For now.
  16. I get the feeling Christ would have said what He would have said - he was winsome, provocative, challenging, encouraging, but never pandering.
  17. Phy, what a great discussion. I didn't even know there were discussions like this out there on the web! What really is difficult to me is that the word choices we make have suffered violence necessary to change our language choices. Why do we have to say "gay" instead of homosexual? And using the word homosexual instead of gay is considered evidence of "homophobia." Not good things afoot with our language, which is not good for those spreading the Good News, because in addition to how we live, the Word and our words are how we spread that news. I mean this as a serious question, but how would Jesus have dealt with this type of change? Would he have changed his language to suit the culture? I don't know the answer, obviously, but I think it's an important issue. And not just because of the entire same sex marriage, gender blurring and switching, etc., but because it feels like we're conceding language usage to a mob of people where the decision gradient is enforced by the number of people howling injustice and the level of anger and sometimes force they are willing to bring to the game. Further, it brings up the issue of how as Christians we handle this with love. Do we continue writing characters that cause cultural displacement and rouse others to furor? Do we stand strong against the erosion and appropriate of our values? Or, can we do both? I'd sure appreciate all of your thoughts on this, because my inclination is to fight back against these language control issues with out writing. I suspect Ursula LeGuin's comments may have been spurious, and if they are not, I pray she'd re-think them. So what do you think? Are we overreacting or not pushing back enough in our writings?
  18. Heh. I'm on a lot of writers email lists and have a ton of writing feeds. These are valuable resources as I struggle to carve something of quality out of raw dreamstuff.
  19. Using Stories To Teach And Transform

    What a great concept, Phy. You do realize that if you were a gold prospector you would be rich, since you always seem to find the valuable nuggets!
  20. Author David Farland discusses the balancing act between having something to say and saying it to as many people as you can.
  21. Selling Your Family

    That is so strange, Darrel. What do you write? Fiction or nonfiction? Do you think it's because of the content?
  22. Neil Gaiman is a legendary author of fantasy and other things. He's got a list of eight rules of writing which is pretty solid. Rule Five
  23. Evangelical Romance And Amish Action Heroes

    I find Wattpad a good place to put the Gospel in stories. It is an unclean place where darkness reigns in minds and hearts. But they will click on just about anything once!
  24. But why? Why dream only average? Is that hat a statement of the passionless existence many find themselves in today? I went to grab me an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts one early morning a few days ago and the voice coming out of the speaker at the drive through sounded monotone and extremely disinterested in my order. Then when I drove to the window, the girl handing me the coffee was so unpleasant I almost asked her if her middle name was 'Joy'. I know life can be really tough sometimes but dreaming of a great future destiny keeps hope alive. It reminds us that there's still a chance for great things to happen in our lives. I've heard people say that they don't want to dream big for fear of getting disappointed later if their dreams don't come pass. Deaf and blind Helen Keller once said, "The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but not vision." We ought never let our fears keep us from the great future God has planned for us. Someone ought to restitch that hat in the picture so that it reads, 'Dream BIG' or 'Dream HUGE' or 'Dream Beyond Your Means'. There's a guy in the Bible that did just that. You may have heard of him, his name was Jabez. There are only 2 verses in the Bible that describe him and what happened to him. Check it out, "There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request." 1Chronicles 4:9-10 NLT Imagine having a name that means 'pain' or 'suffering'. Other kids would see Jabez coming out to play and say, "Oh, here comes that pain." Jabez felt like he was a constant reminder of bad, negative, unhappy times. Maybe you can identify with Jabez. Maybe you feel like you're in that same rut but, Jabez teaches us there's a way out! This brother refused to let his name or circumstances hold him back to the point that Jabez became more honorable, distinguished, and illustrious than anyone else in his family. What Jabez did is something you and I can do... this is good stuff!! The first thing we need to do is to talk to God in heaven. The effectiveness of prayer is not in saying the right words but in addressing the right God! The Lord, the God of heaven and earth is All Powerful and All Knowing! He uses people and places and resources to favor His children. Go to Him with your request. Next, when you talk to God in heaven, have the courage to make BIG requests. Dorothy Bernard once said, "Courage is fear that has said its prayers." Jabez prayed that God would bless him. The word 'bless' in the Hebrew means abundance. He also asked for the Lord to enlarge his territory. This literally has to do with multiplication. "Oh, God, multiply what I have many times over" was sort of the prayer of Jabez. When you pray for your life, spouse, children, career, future, relationships, throw the addition table out the window. God knows no limits!!! Don't ask for a little trickle from God but request a huge heavenly outpouring to come your way. Also, pray for God to make His presence known (v. 10, "be with me") whatever you do and wherever you go. Finally, pinpoint your struggle before God. He already knows where you're at and what you're dealing with but make your prayer specific. Jabez went to the root of his problem: trouble and pain, and God answered him. God can make things happen for us today as well. When we limit ourselves to what we can do the results will be minimal. But, when we rest and rely on what God can do, the results can be far reaching. One more thing, when the Lord begins to open doors of opportunity in direct answer to your prayers, do what you need to do, put some feet to your prayers, work hard, and get ready to enjoy His blessings. Thanks for reading! Please leave me a comment.
  25. But why? Why dream only average? Is that hat a statement of the passionless existence many find themselves in today? I went to grab me an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts one early morning a few days ago and the voice coming out of the speaker at the drive through sounded monotone and extremely disinterested in my order. Then when I drove to the window, the girl handing me the coffee was so unpleasant I almost asked her if her middle name was 'Joy'. I know life can be really tough sometimes but dreaming of a great future destiny keeps hope alive. It reminds us that there's still a chance for great things to happen in our lives. I've heard people say that they don't want to dream big for fear of getting disappointed later if their dreams don't come pass. Deaf and blind Helen Keller once said, "The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but not vision." We ought never let our fears keep us from the great future God has planned for us. Someone ought to restitch that hat in the picture so that it reads, 'Dream BIG' or 'Dream HUGE' or 'Dream Beyond Your Means'. There's a guy in the Bible that did just that. You may have heard of him, his name was Jabez. There are only 2 verses in the Bible that describe him and what happened to him. Check it out, "There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request." 1Chronicles 4:9-10 NLT Imagine having a name that means 'pain' or 'suffering'. Other kids would see Jabez coming out to play and say, "Oh, here comes that pain." Jabez felt like he was a constant reminder of bad, negative, unhappy times. Maybe you can identify with Jabez. Maybe you feel like you're in that same rut but, Jabez teaches us there's a way out! This brother refused to let his name or circumstances hold him back to the point that Jabez became more honorable, distinguished, and illustrious than anyone else in his family. What Jabez did is something you and I can do... this is good stuff!! The first thing we need to do is to talk to God in heaven. The effectiveness of prayer is not in saying the right words but in addressing the right God! The Lord, the God of heaven and earth is All Powerful and All Knowing! He uses people and places and resources to favor His children. Go to Him with your request. Next, when you talk to God in heaven, have the courage to make BIG requests. Dorothy Bernard once said, "Courage is fear that has said its prayers." Jabez prayed that God would bless him. The word 'bless' in the Hebrew means abundance. He also asked for the Lord to enlarge his territory. This literally has to do with multiplication. "Oh, God, multiply what I have many times over" was sort of the prayer of Jabez. When you pray for your life, spouse, children, career, future, relationships, throw the addition table out the window. God knows no limits!!! Don't ask for a little trickle from God but request a huge heavenly outpouring to come your way. Also, pray for God to make His presence known (v. 10, "be with me") whatever you do and wherever you go. Finally, pinpoint your struggle before God. He already knows where you're at and what you're dealing with but make your prayer specific. Jabez went to the root of his problem: trouble and pain, and God answered him. God can make things happen for us today as well. When we limit ourselves to what we can do the results will be minimal. But, when we rest and rely on what God can do, the results can be far reaching. One more thing, when the Lord begins to open doors of opportunity in direct answer to your prayers, do what you need to do, put some feet to your prayers, work hard, and get ready to enjoy His blessings. Thanks for reading! Please leave me a comment.
  26. So this is a tangent but it relates. I'm watching all the #metoo posts from women who have been sexually harassed and it occurred to me that I'd been harassed at work by a gay man. Other than being a little awkward, I didn't think much about it because I was 27 at the time, confident in my Lord and my marriage and myself. I shrugged it off as a clumsy overture, secure in myself and my identity and my sexuality as a gift from God which I explored with the wife of my youth. My harasser wasn't long for the company - I assume he tried that trick on someone else and it cost him. My thought was the devil tried to worm into my life through this man but was soundly rebuffed. I think of Ephesians 6 - stand and withstand. Sometimes, the devil will lob something at us. We shouldn't be surprised, we shouldn't be unprepared, we shouldn't be afraid to resist. 1 Peter 5 confirms this for me. (This is not to minimize actual assault, merely to comment that we are in a spiritual war and we should be prepared to defend ourselves and attack sin where we find it.)
  27. Selling Your Family

    So far being a writer hasn't made me a hero yet! I don't think my family even reads my stuff.
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