Month: May 2013

Glass Abbeys: A Call To Engage The Culture

There is one reason why we write: to glorify God. By glorifying God, we can help bring others into His kingdom. – By Grace, Li – “Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil,” so stated Elie Wiesel, reflecting how apathy arouses abhorrence. One of Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous horror tales, “The Masque of the Red Death,” also exposes human tendency to feel indifferent to suffering people. In the story, a masked guest–the horrible red death plague–kills the main character Prospero and all his couriers in a masquerade, even when they shut themselves away in a secluded abbey. In real life, some people also tend to withdraw from society. In olden times, hermits, monks and nuns all established sanctuary from the world. Even today, the same things happen. A number of Christians, although not completely separated from the general public, form unbreakable “glass abbeys.” They put a chasm between themselves and the world for various reasons. Altogether, some Christians cloister themselves because of their selfishness, weakness, and fear of being corrupted by the world. To begin, Christians stay away from people in need because of their own selfishness. They occasionally succumb to self-indulgence when encountering a choice between an enjoyable setting among believers and a sinful community; in the end, they either shut themselves up or look away from the hopeless people. In “The Masque of the Red...

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Reality And Fantasy: Finding the Right Blend

Using your own life experiences to make your stories more real and fantastic at the same time. – By Lissy Jones – My mother always tells me the same thing whenever I write – “Write what you know”. I can’t stress this enough. Allow me to explain this with a simple example. Which is easier to write if you are a suburban Christian teenager – a story set in New York City about a young urban professional or a story about a suburban Christian teenager? Now, you may have a sibling that is a young urban professional in NYC, and that will make it easier to write the former, but generally, the latter is always going to be easiest for you to write. Think about it. You know the people in your neighborhood, you know what it’s like to be a teen, and it’s your life. I write my best fiction when it’s almost non-fiction. Having part of your personal story in your writing is like having climbing gear while climbing a mountain, versus free-hand climbing. It’s easier, and much less dangerous.  – But, my friends, writing direct biographies of our lives could be boring.  I know that I love writing partly because of the other world it transports me to – a world that I create. It’s only human to want to create things, as we are created...

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With My Song

  A poem reminding us that come what may, God is in control, and we can have peace in Him. – By Ashley Barr Why is my life going to pieces? Why is my world falling apart? Guilt and anger are clouding my mind, While mourning fills my heart. What have I done to deserve this? Why are these trials crushing me? How can I fill this void inside? When will my heart be free? How can I soar like eagles, When I can barely crawl? I give up; I give it to you, I can do nothing at all. – Lord, you took my heart and made it clean. You gave me a life brand new. You took my mourning and gave me dancing. And with my song I will praise you. – I called on you in the day of trouble, You delivered me from the fire. I will glorify you all my life. You are my one desire. I sought you, you heard me, You took all my fears away. I will serve you in everything, Forever, come what may. The Lord is my strength, Who is there to fear? I know that before I call, My Jesus, my Savior, is here. – Lord, you took my heart and made it clean. You gave me a life brand new. You took my mourning and gave me...

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Safe In Your Arms

 A great poem reminding us that the world is a very safe place for a Christian. By Haley Long When my fears threaten to seize My heart in a cold clenching grasp I know You are watching over me When my mind fills up with doubt And I can’t seem to take control I know You are within and without   So please take me in Your arms Hold me close and don’t let go Reassure me I’m safe from all harm Oh, Lord Jesus, You’re my Father I’ve no reason to doubt You Safe in Your arms, You love like no other   As I plead and cry to You Satan tries to discourage me And convince me I’m not getting through But through the clouds of my storm Your loving voice falls on my ear And tells me, “Come, you’re tired and worn.”   So please take me in Your arms Hold me close and don’t let go Your love is greater than the world’s charms Lord, I trust You completely My life is safe in Your hands I bask in the knowledge that You love me   Your love dispels all my fears And brings me to tears of sheer joy For I know I’m loved by One who cares Lord, I can never recount All the blessings You’ve given me I can never repay this...

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The Finish Line

 Do you know what you’re aiming for?   By Kathryn Comstock ‘The End’ is one of the most exciting sentences for an author to pen. All the work and planning is over and you’ve finished. You’re at the finish line. But if you think about it, there are steps to getting to that point. In the same way a runner trains for a marathon, a writer has to something similar: planning, outlining and brainstorming. How do you get to those two wonderful words, ‘The End’? – All writers have problems coming up with story goals at some point in their career. I’ve experienced it, my friends have experienced it and I’m sure those reading this have as well. This isn’t entirely possible to avoid, but I have found two major things that help me get out of the “no story goal” rut quicker. – First, write out everything that couldn’t possibly happen. That’s right, the way’s your story won’t end. May seem silly, but it does work. It helps you to figure out what direction you shouldn’t be taking your story. – Second, list everything you think may be a viable option for your ending. The things on the list don’t have to be long, or even that extreme. It can be something really little or something big. I’ve had times where I even write down something cliché, because...

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