~On My Knees – A Song

My sister Bethany and I recorded one of my songs, On My Knees, about a week ago. I wrote this song back in 2009, when our family as well as a few others that we knew, were going through a rough time. I got the inspiration from Isaiah 41:10, which I used as the chorus of the song. Mum says this is one of her favorites out of all the ones that I’ve written, and I have written quite a few now! I pray it can be a blessing to others who hear it.

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

To the KING be all the glory!

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Filed under At the Piano

~Immersion

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As an author, I try to often be studying my craft, so that I can strive to be the best writer possible. Sometimes this means spending hours in thought over certain aspects or principles that I am trying to implement or comprehend. At other times, it means reading what others have to say about writing or studying what others did right or wrong in their own works by picking them apart while I read them. (Have I mentioned lately the genius of Mr. Dickens, the fascination of Mr. Tolkien, or the charm of Agatha Christie??)

As I study these things, trying to push myself to greater excellence, I find that I analyze more and more. I can’t just watch a film or read a book without measuring character arcs, critiquing the storyline, and judging the motives behind the character’s actions.

The more I immerse myself in the knowledge of story excellence, the less willing I am to just accept any ol’ storyline unquestioned and the more likely I am to measure every tale by a standard of quality, to see how it measures up.

When I was considering this, it dawned on me. This isn’t merely true of writing. This principle applies to far, far more.

It’s good to recognize poor story-telling and weak protagonists. I plan to continuing working on that. Still, what happens if I apply the same principle to higher, more important things?

When I immerse myself in the Word of God, reading my Bible and talking to the LORD, my spiritual radar goes up, just like my story excellence radar. I begin to more easily recognize those things which are contrary to the nature of the LORD and His law, both in my own life and in the world around me, as well as in the many worlds of fiction that I may enter.

On a related note, problems can arise, if I enjoy the written studies over those of God’s Word. If I prefer to read about character arcs instead of memorizing Scripture. When I decide to puzzle out the best way to structure scenes, instead of talking to the LORD.

One is my natural bent. The other includes war. I need no invite to study writing; I gravitate toward it with no difficulty. My Bible, however, can easily be ignored if I listen to my flesh; the flesh that invents a dozen excuses for why I had better “wait until later.” Yet, when I immerse myself in the Scriptures, draw near to God by talking to Him and listening to His voice, then I’m not only more spiritually aware, I am far more at peace and fulfilled.

My prayer is that, while struggling to perfect my craft, I will never loose sight of what should be my true priority; focusing on the LORD and increasing my knowledge of Him. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36

Knowledge of writing excellence is worth nothing, if not used to glorify the LORD. If used properly, it can be a mighty tool. If wrongly, it can be little better than a distraction.

No matter what our work is, be it writing, engineering, musical composition, singing, architecture, or the every day duties of the house, let us continue to study our craft, tempered with more liberal amounts of study in God’s Word and time spent with the LORD. That way we can, prayerfully, glorify the LORD by doing our best in all things, while remembering Who to put first.

To the KING be all the glory!

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Filed under By the Windowsill

~Worthless Tears

It’s been some months since I wrote this scene. What do you all think? Is it worth trying to write the rest of the story? Do you think the speaker is a male or a female? What age?

——–

I slammed my fist onto the table, rattling the pens and books. The force of flesh to wood hurt and I pulled back, cradling my hand against my chest.

Tears stung my eyes as I bit my lip, but it wasn’t the pain in my hand that caused the tears. I swallowed, determine not to let my emotional display progress in any way.

Tears are worthless. Don’t. It won’t do any good. You’ll only look like a fool.

I closed my eyes, trying to take deep breaths. It wasn’t easy. A tear managed to escape, slipping through my lashes and down my cheek.

I won’t – I can’t cry. It won’t make any difference. It won’t help anything! Tears are useless.

How many times had I told myself the same thing over the years? It usually worked. I could pull myself together. Until the next time.

 

To the KING be all the glory!

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Filed under At the Writing Desk

~The Impact of a Smile

I don’t really know a lot of people, but there are some among my friends and acquaintance who have smiles that I love. They don’t know it, because I tend not to mention it, but it’s true. I tend to see a beauty in every genuine smile, but in these individuals, that beauty is exemplified. Often, this means that I can’t help but smile myself, even if the person isn’t looking at me or even knows that I’m watching them.

While I’ve always loved a smile, it was on a difficult day about two-and-a-half years ago, that I was struck by a lesson concerning them.

At the time, my family and I were living in a small house in a rough part of town. My sisters and I always went outdoors in pairs, often accompanied by our dog. Most of our friends were living a ways a way and I missed them sorely. While the LORD was gracious to me during the time that we lived there and I often found blessing to rejoice in, on this particular day the world felt difficult and my heart had grown heavy.

My sister needed to water plants in the front yard, so I went with her. Our house faced a busy main road, the yard separated from the sidewalk only by a short, rod-ironed fence. Vehicles made hundreds of passes everyday, creating a deafening roar, while dozens of people went on foot or by bicycle along the sidewalk.

While my sister watered thirsty plants with the only hose, I stood near the white fence, watching the passersby. Those who walked past me either just gave me a glance or ignored me altogether. Then, a bicyclist came by.

The bicyclist was a man, probably in his mid to late thirties. He had on a white helmet, and like so many others, looked up in time to catch my eye as he passed. Unlike the others, however, he did one thing. He smiled. He gave me a bright, genuine smile.

To my knowledge, I had never met that man before in my life. Never spoke to him; never even seen him. But that smile he gave me in the two seconds before he zipped past me, brightened not only the rest of my day, but the rest of my week. Yet, I wonder if I fully realized the lesson shown to me that day; the lesson revealing the impact of a smile.

The bicyclist likely doesn’t remember me. Of the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people that he probably saw while riding on that day, I was one person who crossed his line of vision for less than half a minute. Still, I remember him. I remember him as the person the LORD used to bring me some cheer during a rough time.

It doesn’t take long to smile at someone. Sometimes it’s hard. The last thing you want to do is try to look cheerful for someone else. Yet, you don’t know what encouragement you might be passing on. I understand that it’s not always appropriate to smile, but at least think about trying. You just don’t know who might need a little cheering up or why, and it costs nothing.

Whether it’s for a loved one or a complete stranger, consider sharing a smile when you catch their eye. But don’t think about it too long before you act, because all you may have is a ten second window before the opportunity is gone.

 

To the KING be all the glory!

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Filed under By the Fireside

~Stand Up and Rejoice!

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Why are you so discouraged?
Why does your countenance lack in joy?
Why do you carry a burden so great?
Why such disparaging words employ?

Do you not recall, saddened one,
Recall that our LORD is risen again?
That He conquered death, the silence, the grave,
After a spotless sacrifice for sin?

I say, stand up and rejoice!
Lift up your voice in endless praise!
Give up your burden – lay it at His feet!
Sending up songs to the Ancient of Days!

Rejoice in your trials – He’s on the throne!
On days that are dark, on your knees fall,
Then, stand and remember, and cling to His joy,
Trusting in He Who hears and sees all.

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Filed under In the Poet's Corner