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Hypocritical

Hypocritical,

These thoughts critical,

To my growth, spiritual

Yet daily I lack the strength and conviction to remain biblical.

Yet Prayers,

On barred heavenly layers,

My heart joining nay-sayers,

I’m disease ridden, call the CDC, I’m just an NPC among real players.

*

Hypocritical,

These thoughts heretical,

I’m at a stage critical,

Falling within pyres and hell’s fires where grace is my only miracle.

Daily invocation,

Sins of a generation,

Lost. I’m in a state of desolation,

No hope just trying to grope the rope leading to salvation.

*

“For by grace you been saved,”

Yet by sin I am enslaved.

Actions so despicable.

I am… Hypocritical.

 

 

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Wednesday Book Review: Thr3e

ted-dekker-three

Title: Thr3e

Author: Ted Dekker

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

Book procurement: Bought at a little secondhand book store in Melville.

Release Date: December 10, 2006.

Synopsis:

Enter a world where nothing is what it seems. Where your closest friend could be your greatest enemy.

Kevin Parson is alone in his car when his cell phone rings. A man calling himself Slater offers a deadly ultimatum: You have exactly three minutes to confess your sin to the world. Refuse, and the car you’re driving will blow sky high. Then the phone goes dead.

Kevin panics. Who would make such a demand? What sin? Yet not sure what else to do, Kevin swerves into a parking lot and runs from his car. Just in case.

Precisely three minutes later, a massive explosion sets his world on a collision course with madness. And that’s only the first move in this deadly game

Review:

A friend of mine introduced me to Ted Dekker ages ago where I procured The Circle, which didn’t appeal to me much. So I tried Heavens Wager and that was a great book. Thr3e was in the backseat of my car for some weird reason, probably didn’t take it out since I bought it 6 months ago, and I decided I might as well read it. I’m so glad I did.

It begins with quite a philosophical question regarding the nature of man/humans/people. Is man good or evil? Does our capacity to do evil make us inherently evil? How do we deal with our inner duality of good and evil? In the bible sin is sin (sin is overstepping the boundaries set by God), which leads to asking if someone who gossips is as bad as someone who murders since both have overstepped the boundary – committed a sin.

Kevin Parson is a seminary student who poses this question to his professor. Almost as though to immediately lead him towards the answer, he receives a call from a man called Slater.  Solve this riddle and confess your sin, or you die. What follows is an explosive action packed adventure with Kevin Parson revisiting his childhood, solving riddles posed and trying to figure out who Slater is.

The writing is fluid. It moves along at a fantastic pace almost as though I’m watching a movie and everything is unraveling splendidly. So refreshing to enjoy a book that keeps me turning the pages and shouting out in agony as I try to figure out who Slater is. As much as Ted Dekker falls into Christian thrillers, it’s not a book trying to convert you into Christianity. There’s hardly any reference to it and when there is, it’s linked to Kevin, Slater and the ongoing battle between them. Expertly handled from beginning to end.

Let’s not forget that amazingly mind-blowing hair-tearing-from-suspense conclusion that had me talking to myself in traffic and uttering profound praise to Ted Dekker for messing with my mind!! Whoa. Loved it.

Rating: A MINDBLOWING 5 out of 5. (edited)


ted-dekker

Ted Dekker is known for novels that combine adrenaline-laced stories with unexpected plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible confrontations between good and evil. Ted lives in Austin with his wife LeeAnn and their four children.


If you didn’t know, now you know, I’ve started a bookstagram!

@ascribe_bookstagram

ascribe_bookstagram_thr3e

Immortality – Humanity

Copyright and courtesy of Torvenius - http://torvenius.deviantart.com/art/Android-Bust-52323686

Copyright and courtesy of Torvenius – http://torvenius.deviantart.com

“…the questions had her wondering whether the machine was mocking her immortality, while it relished its existence in the form of 0’s and 1’s, expecting no consequences for its birth nor its actions even in its supposed death…”

Excerpt from my work in progress: Immortality – Humanity

The Golden Thread

sunrise1

Once again the world is awakened to the rising sun, glorious in its stead; punctual. We glory in it’s warmth and beauty, gladdened by its presence as it overlays the land in gold. Its light washes over the darkness of night and sweeps our fears away with each ray of its golden light; rejoicing in its ability to give life to everything we see.

And yet

Often we are awakened to the rising sun, indifferent to its punctuality. Greet it in contempt and dissatisfaction. At times we take in it’s warmth and ignore its beauty, its presence merely a constant reminder of how fleeting time is in it’s relentlessness; the gold it overlays across the land only illuminates the repugnant inconsistencies and frailties of life. We’d rather wallow in the darkness, shrouding our objectionable desires and motives below the cover of darkness and obscurity, regardless of the fear that rattles our bones. Hiding from the light that reveals our life so no one sees everything about ourselves.

And even then

Is this not so even with God? Each morning we awaken, by His grace. Rising, we should glorify Him for his steadfastness and consistency. We ought to glory in His warmth and beauty, the God of love and creation who has continually blessed us with many things that should bring gladness to our hearts; His presence overlaying our lives in the gold of His majesty. His Light washes over the darkness of our hearts, sweeping away our fears, softening our hardened hearts and washing away our sins. We should be rejoicing in His ability to give life to all that we see but also to those who are dead in their iniquity, disobedience and sin.

In Need of a Saviour

A single plume of steam, slowly writhed its way up from the coffee mug, on the large wooden table she sat behind. Her hands were wrapped tightly around the mug, keeping her icy fingers warm. She sat silently, her convoluted thoughts bouncing back and forth in her mind. The kitchen was cold and gloomy. The winter sun remained hidden behind dark clouds yet letting in enough light, to illuminate the barren trees in the garden… and  the freshly dug hole. She’d been outside. Four in the morning. Robe and all. She’d held the cold steel handle of the shovel. With each hard thrust into the soft ground, her hair swung forward in disarray, swinging back as she threw dirt back behind her. Her once lime green robe turned a shade of brown, the same shade as her eyes, that stared blankly at the ground. Her mouth moved but no words formed as she ceaselessly worked the shovel into the soft earth. In her mind her past played out like a movie; the characters her family, friends and acquaintances, the protagonist herself and the story…her life. An endless loop of episodes past and present, all intermingled into one, making it difficult for her to distinguish between the time frames. There she was as a little girl, twirling in her yellow sun dress lined with white frills, her bare feet sweeping across the softness of the green grass below, the lace tied around her waist spinning along  behind her. The sun shone, making everything glimmer that fine spring afternoon. A shadow fell over her, making her look up to see who it was, squinting against the glare of the sun to see a manly figure. She could not make out the face of the man above her, but she knew it was her father..however, when she could make out features of his face…she became certain, that it was her husband. He proceeded to lift her up by the waist, making her giggle in glee then laughter as he spun her around..and around…and around until her twirling younger self spun fast enough to make the face of her father…husband… blur across her vision. Her laughter turned to screaming, the soft warm gleam of sun became the cold harsh beam of headlights and the crackle of bending, twisting metal swallowed up every other sound.

She raised the cup to her lips and took a sip of the bitter coffee. That seemed to soothe her slightly. Her thoughts began to dwindle into single occurrences, events that made her heart in her chest pang with regret and anguish. Her past was like a dark cave, hiding a malicious creature that thrived off the darkness in her heart. With each hurtful memory came that deep anguish, one that struck a cord so deep her whole body shivered; and that creature wallowed in her displeasure. She knew, wholeheartedly, that there was nothing she could do about those past events, no place to hide them both within her mind or in the world.  Even with her mud caked robe and dirt streaked face, even with all her husband’s possessions scattered haphazardly within the shallow grave, she would not be able to erase her past; she felt burdened and heavy-laden. Burdened and heavy-laden. The phrase sounded familiar, somewhat nostalgic yet foreign, like a familiar yet unrecognizable face in a dream. She grasped for it, something of it, yet her mind brought up blanks each time, no closer than she was when she started. She took another sip of her coffee, allowing the thought to filter out and into the dark abyss that was her mind. She was lost, well and truly lost.

Dennis van der Berg stood outside the large wooden door, smoothing his dark grey suit down with one hand. It was a habit he’d developed in the early years of his ministry, one he was yet to break. Nervousness, as usual before these kinds of works, filled his stomach with a queasiness that both excited him and made him sick. He recited his exhortation softly to himself, silently mouthing all the main keywords that would help direct his conversation. When he was satisfied, he raised his hand towards the doorbell and pressed it. Nothing. He waited a while, listening for any sort of sound that would let him know that someone had heard him. A full minute passed before he pressed the doorbell again. When no one opened the door he lightly rapped on the hard wood, knocking louder with each passing minute. Finally he heard the shuffle of feet behind the door and with practiced ease, placed a friendly smile on his face. The rattle of keys came from behind the door, followed by a soft cry of frustration, some more rattling and then the tell-tale click of a door unlocking. Dennis opened his mouth to greet, a smile still across his face, but instead of a greeting his mouth remained agape, his smile faltering then drooping into an “O” of shock at the figured that appeared before him. He quickly tried to cover the shock with a smile but he found it hard to smile at the ghastly, face that peered at him from behind the slightly ajar door. She was half hidden within the darkness of the house, yet he could make out the bedraggled locks of hair that draped wildly over her face, the streaks of dirt that lined her cheeks, broken by a clear trail leading down from what was most assuredly tears. The bags under her brown eyes added ages to what should have been a young face. Dennis’ face softened, the shock wearing off as quickly as it had appeared and in its place, sorrow took hold. He felt his heart drop in his chest, weighed heavily by emotion and without thinking reached towards the door and softly whispered within her hearing,

“You look burdened and heavy laden…come to the Lord for He will give you rest.”

Walking By Faith

Where do we go, nobody knows. We go wherever the wind blows.
~Faith – the spirited Adventurer ~

Faith hoisted the large, heavy backpack higher up on her shoulders, placing it in a more comfortable position on her back. She gripped the backpack’s dark straps firmly; they came across the front of her mud stained blouse, the blouse no longer a sunny yellow in colour but fading into a shade of yellow and brown. Her large straw hat hid her from the scorching heat, and the flow of long, light brown hair coming from it covered her ears, framing her demure face and reaching her shoulders. She looked ahead, her clear hazel eyes sparkling with excitement as she gazed across the empty, ridged landscape of the desert; there was a large tower ahead. It stood erect, rising from a sand dune that covered the bottom quarter of the immense structure. There was an eagerness within her. It seemed to bubble right through her as a large grin spread across her face and she began to rise up to her toes and drop back down to her heels in an energetic rhythm. She glanced down at her partner and snorted softly.Unlike her, young Aaron sat crossed legged on the coarse ground; despondent. His short golden brown hair lay matted to his head from sweat. The heat had taken every ounce of his energy, regardless of the short swim he had taken, at the oasis Faith had managed to direct them to. The mud had helped cool them off too but the prospect of traversing the sandy terrain with mud baking on their skin did not appeal to him at all, even if that would have cooled him down. He gazed up at the tower in the distance, shielding his light brown eyes from the sun so he could look at it without going blind. He sighed dejectedly; that was the last thing he wanted to do.

The travelers, completely unrelated, had been making their way across the desert for a week and a half now, each with their own personal goal. Faith sought adventure, yes, she lived with almost eccentric motivation that had led her to many different parts of the world. Yet this journey had become spiritual more than adventurous as she trekked through aesthetic landscapes varying from mountains and valleys to forests and jungles. Each region she traversed filled her with awe and wonder, a deep longing as well as a desire to know not only about its creation but also about its creator. Aaron on the other hand was an orphan, abandoned as a young boy by his parents claiming they were not ready for a child; he was pulling them down. He’d met his parents again later on and they had rejected him again. In his sadness and anger at his parents and a deeper bitterness for his unfair life, he lost all will and purpose to live. At the apex of the apartment building where his orphanage was located, he’d found himself on the edge of the building and gazing glazed eyed at the inevitable below him. Had Faith not appeared at that moment, Aaron would not have been alive this day. He found a new desire at that moment, a desire to figure out his purpose and know more about this ultimate Being that Faith spoke of so reverently yet so mysteriously about. Who indeed was the creator of those marvelous places Faith had traveled to? Where was He now? What purpose did He have for him? This journey had to have answers, just had to.

“Come now, enough rest let’s go!” Faith exclaimed as she grabbed the younger boy’s arms and pulled him up to his feet. Aaron grunted his disapproval but let himself be pulled up to his feet.
“Are we seriously going to climb that?” Aaron asked, unable and unwilling to alter his despondent tone of voice.

“Of course! This tower will challenge you beyond anything you have ever faced!” Faith exclaimed, falling back into her excited rocking, “In fact, there is a historical record of a young man, a little older than me, who not only climbed the tower but leapt from its top!” Aaron had a moment to remember his once strong desire to jump from his own high tower; so much had changed since then that the idea disturbed him.

“Not only did he jump, but he landed safely on a bale of hay at the bottom…he called it…the Leap of Faith. Exhilarating!” Faith’s face seemed to glow under her straw hat, her lips unable to contain the large grin that filled her face. Aaron, however, was skeptical…and fearful. It was as though Faith had saved him from one jump only to propel him towards another only this time…he was not looking forward to it. Not at all.


I hope you enjoyed the little excerpt from one of my short stories called Walking by Faith, playing around with that theme of walking by faith by having a character named Faith. The basis of this story is the idea of self discovery and also how God reveals himself in nature. Within the course of the story itself you will see that outworking of revelation through the eyes of energetic, optimistic Faith and the skeptical, despairing Aaron.

As always, please feel free to leave a comment, message etc. Thank you for taking the time to read and visit my blog. May you have a blessed week!

One for the Kids!

Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed.

2 Timothy 2:15 – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

This is the verse that echoes through the church building Friday evenings, by a loud chorus of high-pitched individuals, ready for a great evening of fun and learning. Working with kids is such a blessing and I am indeed grateful to the Lord for having brought me to this ministry. At such a young and teachable age, kids are able to listen and take in what is being taught to them with a child like faith…don’t we sometimes wish we had that kind of faith: taking the truth at face value.

This blog post however is not about how teachable kids are or having a childlike faith, but rather on writing for kids as a means of reaching them without necessarily preaching to them. Writing stories for kids, stories that would contain biblical values, principles, truths, verses maybe even characters that the kids can embrace and relate to, all of whom would point to Christ and His work on the cross. Of course I would not want to minimize Christ nor His works, nor would I want to dumb down the gospel for the sake of my stories. However, I do want to reach the kids on a level that they can understand and grasp the crux of the stories, gaining some knowledge about the bible, about Christ, about the Holy Spirit and about God.

I found a great post  on writing biblical stories for children and its on par with what I am trying to achieve. It was written by Rose Ross Zediker who is a Christian author. The post below belongs to her and you can read the full article here: http://www.writing-world.com/children/bible.shtml

Biblical Retelling

A Biblical retelling must stay true to the Bible verse. Don’t add characters or character names if they aren’t in the Bible story. Choose a point of view and stick with it. Most Biblical retellings are in third person, but some can be told in first person.

Rephrasing the dialogue of a Bible verse can get tricky. The language must be kid friendly yet not change the meaning of what the character says. Keeping your target age group in mind, find and replace the difficult words in the text with simpler words. Look for words children may be familiar with but don’t really understand. Sin is a simple word yet children may not really grasp its meaning, try to define those types of words by inserting an explanation of the word.

Enrich your story with the addition of emotions, actions and setting details. A few simple words like water jars and robes transport the children into the Biblical life style and holds their attention.

The first paragraph of The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25 NIV) says:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

A retelling in the first person viewpoint of the expert in the law could begin:

Finally! I had a chance to test Jesus by asking a question. I knew the laws. I stood with my shoulders back and head held high. I looked into Jesus eyes. “Teacher,” I asked “what must I do now so someday I can live in Heaven?”

A third person viewpoint may be retold like this:

A smart man who knew the law wanted to test Jesus. The man smoothed his robes as he stood. He raised his eyebrows in question. “Teacher,” he asked, “what do I need to do now so I can live in Heaven when I die?”

In both retellings, actions were added to show the man’s confidence in his own knowledge. This makes the story more interesting for the child but doesn’t change the meaning of any of the original verse.

Contemporary Retelling

A contemporary retelling is a modern story with a beginning, middle and end. The theme of the contemporary Bible story retelling must reflect the lesson of the Bible verse. Apply the verse’s message to a real life situation. This real life situation must be believable so the child can apply the lesson to their daily lives. You can’t tag on the moral of the Bible verse at the end of the story. The lesson has to unfold during the story and the readers need to care about the characters and situation.

The following is a synopsis of a contemporary retelling of Luke 10:25:

A young girl and her mother wait at the bus stop. The young girl notices the people around her. She sees an old man in worn clothes and thick glasses approach the bench. The man politely asks a businessman for the time. The businessman frowns at the old man and refuses to tell him the time. The young girl can’t figure out why the businessman is being so mean to the old man. Two teen-age boys walk past the bus stop. Again, the old man politely asks for the time. One young boy looks at his watch but the other pulls him along, telling him not to talk to bums. The old man worries that he’s missed his bus. The old man looks sad and the young girl knows that Jesus would want her to help. She asks her mother if she can tell him the time. Her mother says yes and the young girl shows kindness to the old man by telling him the time so he doesn’t miss his bus.

This modern retelling synopsis is true to the Bible verse. Two sets of people won’t tell the elderly gentleman the time. However, an unlikely source, a young girl shows this stranger kindness. The theme of the Bible verse is shown in the last action of the contemporary story, the young girl helps the elderly man by telling him the time.

Copyright © 2007 Rose Ross Zediker

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| B.A. in English. | Writer. | Lover of books. | 2017 Book Count: 74. | Currently Reading: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. |

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