The Bible calls false teachers “wolves.” Unlike a shepherd – who feeds and protects the flock – these saboteurs creep in and tear apart the flock – spiritually, physically, and corporately. (See Jude 3-4…and the rest of Jude, too.)
Thanks to some recent sermons at our church, here’s a quick list of red flags to spot these duplicitous leaders. Continue reading
Today is my parents’ “golden anniversary”, meaning that they’ve been married for 29 years and it’s the 29th of July.
After observing them for some time, I’ve gleaned these pieces of marriage advice from their relationship:
How to Be “Happy to Be Stuck With You”
Put Jesus at the center.
“I gave up my life in your place. Now you do the same for your wives.”
My parents weren’t married “young” in the sense that they were still teens, but they were definitely younger than they are now (truism!). Not only were their personalities and ideologies still developing, but the Holy Spirit hadn’t done as much renovation in their lives as He has at this point.
People who become entangled in relationships at a very young age can find that, as they grow and mature, they aren’t so compatible as they once were. The best example off the top of my head is the protagonist from God’s Not Dead and his girlfriend. (My brother can hate me for mentioning it if he wants.)
Those two started the relationship before they really had to live their faith in a way that challenged them. When the guy tried to follow God in the direction he felt called, the girl refused to go that direction – and split.
If you are a Christian, you have to make sure your life-partner is a Christian, too. If both of you have the Holy Spirit living inside you, teaching you want God wants, then no matter how you each change other the years you’ll be pulling in the same direction. You’ll both be yoked to the same Master. Continue reading
What is the cost of peace?
Robert Ludlum is most famous for The Bourne Identity, a spy thriller that inspired several sequels and movie adaptations. But in The Janson Directive, he has recaptured the magical combination of pulse-pounding thriller mixed with deeper psychological themes.
If you’ve got the stomach to get through it, of course. Sometimes the cost of peace is high. Continue reading
Dog and cat – the eternal dichotomy of the first world (since we can’t talk about men and women anymore).
There’s an old joke that goes like this:
The dog says, “You feed me; you shelter me; you play with me; you care for me…you must be God!”
The cat says, “You feed me; you shelter me; you play with me; you care for me…I must be God!”
We take an extreme example to make a point – and the point is this: Decide to be the dog. Here’s why… Continue reading
Published in connection with the Indie Author e-Con 2018. Find more here
When you enter “post-apocalyptic” into Amazon’s search bar, you get lots of things. 30,000 results, to be exact.
But hey, there’s always room for one more version of civilization’s death throes, right? What if you want to craft your own apocalypse tale? Where do you need to start?
When eating an elephant or an apocalypse, start with one bite at a time. Continue reading
Published in 1985, Ender’s Game has won Nebula and Hugo awards for best novel, been adapted to a movie, and has led to six sequels and related novels. It is regarded by the internet as a foundational entry in the sci-fi genre.
For the first half I wondered why anyone would praise it (and despaired for the culture that would). Then, somewhere in the second half, I acknowledged it had gained something worthwhile.
Aliens have attacked Earth. For over fifty years, the entire world has been held under the rule of a truce, focusing resources and manpower to preparing for the aliens’ return. One resource the military desires is a brilliant strategist to act as commander for their fleets.
So far so good, eh?
Then the first chapter almost made me put the book down; but I was stubborn, and love to write scathing reviews, so I kept going. Continue reading
I’m 25 and still living at home. But that doesn’t mean I’m a failure, or that my life is a failure. And it doesn’t need to mean that for you, either!
There are lots of reasons to share a roof with your parents, even in your mid- or late-twenties. It’s not a reason to despair. (Although I sometimes feel that way, too.) Here are some of my reasons – feel free to reference them the next time that church-member or well-meaning relative gives you that pitying look and says, “So…” Continue reading
Two years ago, my family got its first dog. He’s a mild-mannered Border Collie with beautiful coloring and a low-maintenance coat – but that just tells you about his outside.
In the course of training him, we didn’t just learn about the way dogs think. We learned several things about human nature, as well.
I Can’t Read Alpha’s Mind
Border Collies are very smart. Too smart, in fact. Because they’re also lazy (like humans) they will try to guess, and “work smarter, not harder”.
When the military tried to train them as tracking dogs, they found that the Border Collies wouldn’t follow the scent. Not because their noses weren’t strong enough. But because they would try to take short-cuts, and guess.
Instead of following the clear scent trail, they would try to “skip ahead” and cut the quarry off – and 50% of the time they’d guess wrong. Continue reading
There’s something rotten in Christian fiction. Personally, a romance in a book has to work pretty hard to impress me, but I want to specifically address the authors who claim the name of Christ publicly while including romance in their fiction.
Romance itself is not bad or disrespectful to God; evidence: Ruth, Genesis 24, Ephesians 5 (vs. 25), etc. I’m looking at a few specific issues I’ve noticed in some recent Christian romance novels that I think every sincere follower of the Lord Jesus Christ needs to take seriously. Continue reading
Some people on the internet refuse to write or publish “negative” book reviews. They claim the writing world is a community, that every book took a lot of effort and tears from its author, and to “support” each other, we shouldn’t air our concerns or disappointments with another’s work.
The problem with that is that this community is about more than patting each other on the back, or smiling politely at something we think is sub-par. And we’re more than just writers – the readers who consume our work have a right to receive the best possible product we as writers can supply!
How do “bad book reviews” serve that purpose? Let’s break it down by who is benefitted by critical reviews: the reader, and the author. Continue reading