Throughout our lives we are, as Paul says in Philippians 2, to work out our salvation. This doesn’t mean, of course, that salvation can be achieved by our works. What he means is that we aren’t to stop when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior. One of the things he means is that we are to work on those areas in our character which are not in line with how God wants us to be. We are to work on making ourselves more like Christ. Smooth out the rough ground in us.
I know God is working on me, as the children’s song goes, to make me who he wants me to be. That is not a passive activity. I need to be active in seeking to know what lesson He wants me to learn and doing what I can to be open to whatever it is, changing my behavior to reflect how Christ would respond rather than my messed up way.
As you can see I've begun posting a new type of entry. I'm a member of the Clash of the Titles blog alliance. This is my first post for them. Every other week I'll be posting their challenge for the week. You are invited to check out their website and vote for the title you think best for that weeks' challenge.
As a Christian writer it is important to me that the entities I affiliate with put God's Kingdom first. Here is the opening paragraph from COTT's about page:
"Clash of the Titles' ultimate goal is to glorify God in everything it does, including highlighting quality Christian writers. Our next goal is to unite readers with their favorite authors while challenging them to step outside of their preferred genre to try something new. On a lighter note, COTT is dedicated to the love of good, 'ole friendly competition!"
*guest post by Michelle Massaro and April Gardner Last week, COTT posted a "Flash Clash" in which readers had just 2 days to cast their votes between two 100-word excerpts. It was a fast one! But not so fast that voters didn't have time for their say. To add to the tension, the winner took the clash by a margin of one vote. That’s right. ONE vote difference. Both excerpts were so good, readers were split almost exactly down the middle. I love clashes that are this close!
The winner of our Flash Clash First Hundred is…
Rebecca Carey Lyle’s Winds of Wyoming.
Winds of Wyoming clashed against Tom Blubaugh’s Night of the Cossack. It was a pleasure getting to know both authors during this fun, super-speedy clash. We wish many blessings on their writing paths!
Here's what readers had to say about both books:
COTT is taking a spring break starting immediately. We will begin clashing again on April 2, 2012 when hostess Gail Pallotta brings us a brand new clash--Comparable Covers!
In the meantime, check out these other Splashdown Books…
All story is based on the conflict caused by an antagonist, or villain. Adam Bolander wrote a very good article posted in the March 8, 2012 guest blog section of Reader’s Realm. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.
The mad scientist trying to take over, or destroy the world is obvious in his evil desires. (I’ve never figured out how destroying the world profits the villain.) It’s easier to write those sorts of villains. We root for the hero, and cheer when the villain is finally beaten. It’s a little tougher when the villain is ourselves.
This is my first blog post which is devoted to reviewing books I've read recently. Sheila Hollingshead is a Christian author who publishes her books independently. Below are my reviews of two of her books. Both I recommend as good reading.
Thundersnow - Sad but real, confused but hopeful is Sarah Jane.
She's loved by her Poppa, but abused by her Momma. Living in the South on a farm in the 30's was hard. It got even harder when her father dies and mother slowly disintegrates into depression. Sarah Jane, age 14, doesn't understand what's going on. She tries to honor her mother's wishes but as she slips further into mental illness Sarah Jane knows she needs to also protect her 4 year old brother.
Well written, poignant and sad yet hopeful, the author keeps you reading page after page. The story will continue in books 2 and 3 which are in the process of being written. This would be very appropriate for junior high ages and up.
Today's post is a Flash Fiction I wrote for readersrealm.com. The goal is to write a very short story, about 600 to 800 words, including a specific set of words. The words were: green, march, lion, three, and lamb. It also had to be written in a single point of view.
Mitchell pressed the button again, and the beam he loved so well shot from the device in his hand. ‘And another one bites the dust.’ The lyrics from the old song flittered through his mind. Smiling, he focused on the next one.
‘This one needs to be shot, too.’ Imaging he was a lion on the Savannah stalking a lamb for supper Mitchell pressed the button. ‘Got it.’ It didn’t matter that lambs were scarce on the Savannah, here he was in control, and set the parameters of what was acceptable to remain pictured on the large screen before them.
He glanced at Judy sitting beside him. The console between them held drinks, and snacks attesting to the length of time they spent in their positions. She was pressing keys, inputting data into the computer. She didn’t like all the killing, and told him so often. Oh well, at least it wasn’t something that needed cleaning up.
The image on the screen fairly screamed to be shot. He obliged. The next three came as if marching in lockstep. Zap. Zap. Zap.
‘Here comes a green one.’ He always shot those as soon as they appeared. Dangerous, that’s what they were. Threatening to the space-time continuum, he was sure.
There was a pause in the action as the image on the screen was benign. Letting that one pass he pressed the button changing the screen. Now here was some action coming from a different source.
Mitchell shot one coming at them from the left, now right, back left, straight on. Shot after shot pulsed destroying one after another. ‘I’m like Luke Skywalker from the old Star Wars.’
Clear sailing for a few moments. Judy got up, and gathered the items off the console. “Do you want anything? I’m getting another soda.”
“Sure. Whatever you get is fine with me.”
What she said next was only a blurred noise in his ear. More zoomed into view needing to be obliterated. They were dangerous. His mission, the reason they were here was to protect and defend. He was doing both. In his corner of space, none would get by if he could help it.
If he paused too long before pressing the button sending the beam that would wipe them from view, they might snag him. Who knew what would happen then. All he was certain of was that the small device in his hand had the power to blow them off the screen.
He liked to imagine them collected in a pile on the floor below the screen. Evidence of his capabilities and victories, each shot leaving traces behind. As the day progressed the pile would grow larger. At the end of each day someone would come, sweep them into a container, to be carried as war trophies in a ticker tape parade.
This didn’t happen of course, and Judy sure wouldn’t want to clean up the mess. What was taking her so long, anyway?
Several more shots, and he was again focused on the screen. Faster, they were coming faster, less time to totally identify before he pressed the button.
He heard her footsteps behind him, then his soda was placed beside hers on the console. In his peripheral vision, as he pressed, identified, and pressed again and again, he saw Judy standing eyes focused on the screen.
“Mitchell.” Her voice held a tinge of irritation. “Will you please decide on a show to watch, and quit changing the channel? Besides, you’ll be asleep in that recliner within two minutes.”
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Sophie Dawson has made up stories in her head all her life. It wasn’t until 2011 that she began writing typing them out.
Her first books were all historical fiction romance. They’ve won multiple awards and garnered rave reviews. Now, Sophie is branching out into contemporary romance though she plans to continue writing historical and hopes to add more books in her popular Cottonwood and Stones Creek series.
Sophie lives with her husband and cat on a farm in western Illinois. She’s an avid seamstress and was a professional quilter for a number of years before the writing bug bit. She’s just thankful it’s not fatal.