October 28, 2009

One evening, my twelve-year-old son said, “I have a charmed life.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“In class, when our teacher asked us about the most difficult thing that happened in our lives, I couldn’t think of anything. No one I love died. Grandpa had cancer, but he recovered,” my son explained.

I should point out that my son is the most optimistic person I know. I love that about him. My husband and I joke that our son would get a box of poop as a gift and holler, “With this much poop, there’s got to be a pony!!”

“During prayer time, I never can think of a prayer request. God already gave me everything,” he continued. “I have loving parents, grandparents, family, and friends. I have a good life.”

What a blessing, as a parent, to hear my child say these things. Makes me praise God.

We agreed that since God bless our lives, he and I can spend more time praying for others.


Caught in My Faith Filter

October 26, 2009

We all have guiding principals or beliefs or passions that direct our decisions.

Jesus said where my treasure is, that’s where my heart is. So if Jesus is truly my heart’s passion, then my treasures (my time, my talent, and my money) should be spent on His agenda, His passion.

So what is His agenda? For me to know Jesus and to teach others to know Him. The kind of “knowing” that springs up worship for Jesus. The gospel is simple. Jesus is the Messiah, and we need to believe to be saved.

And I filter everything through this belief.

So last year when I sat in a Bible study where they taught Jesus came to this world to preach about the Christian world view, this teaching did not make it through my “faith filter”.

The study went on to teach the “correct” worldview regarding science, philosophy, history, and even political government and exhorting the people to go out to the world and share these views. I felt the study shoved Jesus in the back room so that they can change the world by changing people’s worldview.

If Jesus came to preach the “correct” worldview, why did he spend so much time talking about who He was? Why didn’t He write the book of the correct worldview for the whole world to know?

His Great Salvation changes us from the inside. He gives us a new heart. He gives us His Spirit. He gives us the love of the truth. He makes us new creatures, spiritually born again.

Knowing/believing “the Christian worldview”, even if one could define it, isn’t the same thing as knowing Jesus.

My Novel Journey So Far (part 3)

October 14, 2009

After I completed my second draft, I joined online critique groups. I learned some. Judge comments from writing contests also offered lessons. 

Then I joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and signed up for one of their critique groups. The ladies in my critique group are awesome and help me to grow. One day, I would love to see all of us have our stories published. Having a support group makes an impossible dream seem possible.

So what did I learn during my writing journey so far?

● There is so much to learn about the craft of writing.

● When I started writing my story down, I never thought I could finish. I learned that I could write a novel length.

● Learning to write is a process. Whenever I had a light-bulb moment, I asked why didn’t I see that before? Because I wasn’t able to “get it” until I was ready, no matter I much I tried to cram.

● The internet offers a lot of information for those who are willing to learn.

I don’t know if God plans for me to be a published writer. Regardless, I’ve had so much fun throughout my journey to write a novel and I thank Him for giving me this joy.

My Novel Journey So Far (part 2)

October 7, 2009

So I began and completed the first draft of my novel.

Afraid my family and friends would laugh at me, I didn’t tell anyone, not even my husband, about the novel I was writing. Though usually not observant, my husband did get a little suspicious of me spending so much time on my computer.

By then, I was finished with my first draft and began to edit. I finally told him and asked him to read the first chapter. My husband, who is a newspaper journalist, stopped reading in the middle of the first chapter. His critique: Too many boring, technical details that no one other than computer professionals could understand and no hook to interest non-computer geeks like him.

His critique opened my eyes to writing for someone else to read, instead of just writing for God and myself. It was also a kick in the pants I needed as I began to edit my work.

I searched the internet on how-to-write articles. I read everything I could find on writing a novel. Then I re-wrote my story. By the time I finished my second draft in 2007, I felt like a writer with some knowledge of what I was doing. I fixed my overall story structure (meaning I cut out the boring parts), I implemented Swain’s Scenes and Sequels (meaning I added more conflicts), although I didn’t execute them sharply. I still had a lot to learn.

My Novel Journey So Far (part 1)

October 7, 2009

In 2000, I wrote in my prayer journal, asking God if I was supposed to write a book. I felt he wanted me to, but I wasn’t sure. There are several times in my Christian walk that I was uncertain if something was really from God or not. In those instances, I just waited until I felt certain of His direction.

Writing in my prayer journal for only God to see was one thing. I didn’t think I could write a book. I never dreamed of being a writer. Never wrote until I started writing for God in my prayer journal. For my joy. For His joy. And since English is my second language, I didn’t think God meant for me to write for others to read. There are better writers He could use instead of me.

So I asked for more clear confirmation, but I didn’t expect it. I went on with my life, working my job, raising my son, studying the Bible, and writing only for Him in my journal. I forgot about that prayer.

Late 2006, a story began forming in my head, and it wouldn’t go away.  The characters and events consumed me, and I had to let them out. I began typing away in my spare time, and if I was away from my computer, I wrote long hand until the story ended 80,000 words later.

Who is Jesus?

October 2, 2009

Jesus claimed to be equal to God, and people wanted to stone Him for blaspheming.

Having grown up as a Jehovah’s Witness, I know they don’t believe that Jesus is Jehovah God. Even though Bible backs it up. Here is one of many references in the Bible about who Jesus is.

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Knowing the verse does no good if we don’t acknowledge its truth, believe, and worship Him accordingly.