Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why We Believe Pt. 1

With Christmas coming on, I thought it an appropriate time to reflect on the gifts of the holiday. I was thinking last night, about how the birth of Jesus Christ into our world is everything. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not (and I know Dec. 25th isn't Christ's actual birthday), the fact that God designed a redemption plan for mankind because He loved us enough to give us a second chance, is both heartbreaking and astonishing.

Amid these reflections, I ask myself: do we really understand what was given? Do we comprehend the price paid by the Father and the Son?

Sometimse I feel I sypathize better with the reverent Abraham grasping the dagger above his long promised only son upon that solitude mountain alter, than to the Father of humanity upon His heavenly throne, beholding as His son's life painfully resigned amid the slanders and ridicule of His own brethren. I suppose it's the human aspect that makes it easier to relate to the human Abraham. But is not man created in the image of God, and are not our attributes the whisper of His own? Most undoubtably, God's heart broke at Golgatha. And what of Christ? Willingly led to His own crucifiction to give sinners such as those condemning him the opportunity to be loved by God? No wonder the apostle John was inspired to pen these words, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: ..."! (1 Jn. 1:3)

Jesus gave himself in both life and death, through ministry and through crucifiction. God help us overcome our petty cares. I'm not saying this to heap guilt on anybody, I'm saying it because it's truth. And I'm not saying nothing we do is good enough, God accepts what we are able to give-- all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. It's so easy, at times, to make God abstract. Dare we aspire to live in the reality of a mighty, loving, terrible, gracious, merciful God?

How? With your heart. I don't care whether you open a soup kitchen or give everything you have to the poor, if your heart is not perfected and purified by God then these are but empty offerings. God wants you; an obedient, willing heart. When you simply open yourself to the Lord, you enable Him to freely work in your life. Are you willing?

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Rom. 8:18

I think we can easily become decieved into thinking that our struggles with Christianity are worse than everybody else's. All those strong Christians we see and know must have it so easy, right? Wrong. Usually the reason someone is strong is because they have experienced and endured and triuphed the same trials you face. Loving God is not a feeling. It's a purpose of the heart. It's a willful decision to fight the tide, to throw ourselves upon the Rock and be broken, because we cannot stand alone; to climb over the roadblocks satan puts in our path. Christianity is not a key that unlocks an easy life, but it is the key to peace. Paying the price of toil is nothing compared to the price that was payed to pave our way. "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." 2 Tim. 2:3

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Rom. 12:2

It's so easy to just give up, to lose ourselves to the tumbling current of this world, to stop fighting; but the instant we do, just as on the battle field, we are dead. Those who endure recieve the victory. The fight's not over, not in this lifetime.

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. ... Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." Jam. 1:2-4, 12

Fighting the good fight,


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pride & Prejudice ... and Politics (and wisdom from Marilla)

Last night millions of Americans held their breath as they awaited the fate of our country's future. When it was all said and done, a lot of people I know were pretty let down (though I have close friends on both sides of the fence); the person they thought could save our country from its moral and economic tailspin had just lost.

So what now?

Here are some thoughts.

Christians, do not forget your Leader. "I know, I know! God is still Lord and He's still in charge of His people-- I know! But that doesn't mean I want my country to go to the dogs."

Neither do I, but listen up-- do you think God could have changed the outcome of the election if He wanted to? Of course He could have, "...the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." (Dan. 4:32) Sometimes God just gives people what they deserve. Maybe this leader is what our nation deserves. Maybe God allowed it because He wants to see if His people will still trust Him, no matter how hard things get. I don't really know, I'm not God. I do know, however, that blaming people isn't going to do any good. Perhaps the outcome of this election is a sad reflection of the state of our society-- that does grieve me, but does it change who I am in Christ? Only if I allow it to embitter me and destroy my witness and my faith; if I allow that, then the enemy has truly won.

If you're feeling particularly down because of the election, then just say this with me...

So what!? Has God changed? Is Jesus Christ still on his throne? Am I still a part of God's kingdom? Is His government still just and moral? Will God's promises still apply to me even when the world in which we live changes? YES! "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Malachi 3:6 . What hurts the rest of the world, is not going to hurt God's people! "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee." Psalm 91:7

Thank goodness we do not serve a fickle God. His kingdom is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Maybe God doesn't want us to get too comfortable in this world, because He wants us to remember that IT IS NOT OUR HOME. If your heart is broken because SOME MAN isn't sitting on the earthly throne in the oval office, then perhaps, dearest friends, you need to reconsider your values. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:34)

Are you worried about our country's future? Please carefully read this passage from Matthew 6...

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Maybe life is going to get harder for us. Are we going to whine about it or rise to the occasion and LIVE HARDER FOR GOD? Maybe Christians have been too pampered in America and we've grown complacent, so God is giving us a wake up call. Jesus said we would have persecution, and He said to REJOICE when we do. This world is only getting darker, so it's time for Christians to start shining stronger. It is so important that we know where we stand-- on the Rock, Jesus Christ, or we will fall. Don't let bits of sand, faith in mankind, sneak into your foundation. God wants to know if He has your heart.

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes." Psalm 118:9

Don't let the results of this election bring division, do not let it embitter you against your brothers and sisters in Christ for not voting how you thought they should or for not voting at all. It's not worth it.

You want to change our nation? Do it from the core up. Change the hearts of the people-- tell them about Jesus Christ. Tell them to depart from sin. Then pray, because prayer is more powerful than a ballot.

"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." Prov. 14:34

As Marilla Cuthbert might say (if she lived in the US), "'The sun will keep on rising and setting' whether a Democrat or a Republican is president."

Now, go watch a good movie like Pride and Prejudice, and remember that even when things look poorly, we're not seeing the big picture, and sometimes --always-- God is working, whether we see it or not.

Yours Thoughtfully,


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Read this... "That's all I ask of you!"

Update time! Why? Because I know that you love reading about my life. Truly love it.

According to my kindle I am 67% of the way through Les Miserables. I have been reading since July. Please do not judge me, it's a long book! And I have been enjoying it on the deepest level. When I finish I'm sure I will write a marvelous review explaining in great detail what I think the book is about and how impressed I was with it. For now, I won't even get started.

Last month I did lots of research on publishing houses and ended up with a big lump of discouragement in my soul; nevertheless, I have been working on editing my book so that it will be ready when I am prepared to attack the writer's market and change it forever! On the bright side, I just submitted my latest article to Encouraging Word, so at least I am accomplishing something.

Okay, I have a confession to make... just about the only music (besides praise and worship) that I have been listening to for about the past month is the Broadway show tunes station on Pandora. I can't seem to get enough of it. Well, wait, that's not true, I'm actually craving some more variety... I just can't decide where to look. Any suggestions? Oh, as long as we are talking about musicals, let me share a recent discovery with you!

I have been a fan of The Phantom of the Opera film (2004) for several years. Well, some of you may have noticed that recently a movie was released of the 25th anniversary performance at the Royal Albert Hall. This was available for instant play on Netflix (I allow myself the small luxury of the cheapest subscription you can get to Netflix-- what can I say? I'm positively extravagant), so I gave it a shot. Wow! I was blown away, and I don't think I will ever be fully satisfied with the movie from now on. I can't exactly pit Emmy Rossum (Christine from the movie) against Sierra Boggess, the beautiful and talented actress who played Christine in the 25th anniversary performance, because they were both adroit performers and outstanding singers. My opinion is that Emmy has the prettiest voice, and Sierra, perhaps, has more heart and character (her performance of "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" demolished my soul)-- which, I suppose, is more desirable in a stage performance than a Hollywood drama.

As for the Phantom, I was sold on Gerard Butler in the film, but Ramin Karimloo just about has me convinced to back out of my contract (I still need to do some comparisons). I am certainly no theatrical critic, but my humble opinion is that all was well cast and well preformed in this stunning 25th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber's (who, by the way, seemed very pleased with the production also) The Phantom of the Opera.

In summery, if you are a Phantom fan, or simply a musical fan, I recommend you watch this and enjoy (only a brief caution that all may not be deemed suitable for children).

So, there are a few random musings to tide you over. I look forward to talking again soon.

Yours ever,


Monday, October 1, 2012

"Would You Like to Hear a Poem?"

As far as skill goes, this poem has little, but it was born from the depths of my musings, and it was time for a blog update (post title compliments of "Joe vs. The Valcano").

Of Being Reborn by aRose

We see and wake while part asleep and partly blind,

Our eyes conceal what our heart hesitates to find;

Then, a cog is turned, a piece relented,

A raindrop falls; our world is reinvented.

And, with the gracious blow of a clap of thunder,

The barred doors are split, the veil rent asunder;

Light breaks upon our midnight shore,

And we, the least, by the least become something more.

Our ragged souls, torn and trodden, are again engendered,

And through pain and pleasure, in ghastly beauty newly rendered.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Take No Thought for Tomorrow

I wrote the following for the newspaper that has published some of my articles, and thought I'd share on here. I hope you find it encouraging!


"Take No Thought for Tomorrow"

With school starting up again it’s easy to feel overwhelmed; our busy schedules, goals, aspirations, dreams, and fear of failures loom before us like Goliath before the brave young shepherd. I know, personally, that fear can be a mighty foe. It’s so easy to fall into doubt and worry—“What if I’m not where I want to be in five years? Do I even know where I want to be in five years? What if I fail and let everyone, especially myself, down?” If you’re facing any such concerns right now, a word of advice: breathe. To borrow the idiom, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Life takes time, and even though it may not feel like it, you have time! We shouldn’t procrastinate, but there is also no need for undue pressure. If you don’t know what you want to do, consider a temporary job while you’re working out your options. Dreams are great, but if you don’t know what your dream is, that’s okay. Don’t become so overwhelmed with the cares of this life that you forget what gives you life—your relationship with God. Gaining the whole world profits you nothing if you end up losing your soul along the way (Matt. 16:26).

Yes, it’s nice to know your way around in this world, but worldly knowledge will perish; heavenly knowledge is eternal. For those of you currently pursuing your dreams-- that’s awesome, keep it up as long as it’s not harming your walk with God, but also keep your priorities straight. If God isn’t your foundation, everything you build will crumble. God must be first. God, and only God. He is not to be lower than anything else in your life, or even on the same level as anything else. He is our strength, our help, our wisdom, our guide, our peace, our protection, our redemption. When our life is truly surrendered to Him, we can worry less and have confidence that He is in control, for we have placed Him in control. I am saddened by the number of people today who struggle with depression and low self-esteem-- these are the fruits of an unjust world that places us under undue pressure, but God offers you “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isa. 61:3). He is the author of peace, not of doubt and confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). Don’t worry about tomorrow, seek God today.

Here is some encouragement from chapter 6 of Matthew— “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” v19-21

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat and the body than raiment? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit onto his stature?” v26-27

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” v33-34

If God is the only thing you get right in this life, then you’ve accomplished more than the majority of this world ever will.

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Blessings and peace in Christ,

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Les Mis and Les Book Names

A month since my last update? Simply shameful. I apologize, life has been all catawampus lately. I could give explanations, but maybe later. For now I will focus on those things writer-related. Before I do that, though, let me tell you how excited I am for the upcoming theatrical release of Les Misérables. I am currently reading the book by Victor Hugo, which I have the lofty goal of completing by the movie's release (currently scheduled for Dec. 14 of this year). And before I say another word about this book, or the play, or the movie, I want to do you a huge favor by sharing its correct pronunciation: the French pronunciation is lay-mee-zay-rahbl, but you may save yourself the trouble of all those syllables by going with its colloquial name, Les Mis (lay-miz). I feel better now that that's been settled (believe me, it was a matter of great frustration to me personally for years). I have never seen the play, but then there are a lot of plays I have not seen (ah, more lofty goals to be set), but I have seen the earlier movie with Liam Neeson, which was exceptional. The beauty of this newer adaptation is that it is a musical (adapted from the play which was adapted from the novel-- phew!). It stars some of my favorite people in the movie world, namely Anne Hathaway who also recently graced us with her performance of Cat Woman in The Dark Knight Rises (surprisingly impressive for a Batman movie, by the way), and Hugh Jackman, whom we all know, of course, as Wolverine (I believe my introduction to him was in Kate and Leopold).

Having conveyed those thoughts, while I feel somewhat ashamed of myself for writing so little lately, I have accomplished something; a couple articles I have written, one of which was my last blog entry, have been published in a local Christian paper, with an offer to submit more! I am excited about this because it enables my messages to reach a new pool of readers and can be used as a reference when I seek publishing for my other works.

Speaking of seeking publishing, now for the real purpose of this entry! You should be very excited right now, because I am going to ask for your help. I have decided to start sending out query letters to introduce my novel to publishers with the hopes of "getting a bite". I also hope this will stoke the flames beneath me and get my booty in gear to actually finish revising said work. A little pressure sometimes helps. Anyway, for the part I need your help with. My book-- this afore mentioned novel-- it has no name. I have spent the last three years trying to give it one, to no avail. So I am asking for suggestions! If you're interested, read on and I'll give you a synopsis of my book; if not then-- no, of course you'll be interested, I would be! So, here you go:

Setting: the Platte River road (aka California/Oregon trail), and Montana

Era: mid 1800's

Theme: patience, contentment, love which extends beyond emotions and boils down to choice

Plot summary: In a marriage of convenience a young woman pairs up with a grieving widow to help him care of his children. As she and the children grow to love each other, she begins to hope that their gentle spirited father will also overcome his grief and return the love her heart silently harbors. Only her faith in God can give her the strength to accept that that day may never come.

I know that's brief, but you're smart and I'm sure your head is just bubbling over with suggestions this very instant, so let's hear them!

Note that in posting a suggestion you are also granting permission to me, the author, to use said suggestion. Please post your submissions here or on my facebook link to this blog. Thank you!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Message to my Sisters in Christ

In our society there are about three trillion ways to fit in, but there is only one way to fit into the Kingdom of God. Eve was tempted by, and fell because of, one piece of fruit. For the contemporary woman the fruits of wickedness are abundant and ripe for the picking.
So, the question is how do godly women remain godly in an ungodly society? I hope the thoughts that unravel as we explore the answer will bolster your confidence as a woman and encourage you to be every bit as beautiful as God created you to be.

Ladies, if we wish to remain godly, we must draw the line in our relationships, our standards, our character, and our convictions. That line begins at the cross: that’s where Christ defeated sin, that’s where we laid our sins when we committed ourselves to Christ, and that’s where sin must stop (2 Tim. 2:19). In a society that mars those lines and scribbles chalky gray where there should be black and white, it is sometimes easy to lose focus. But, ask yourself, is a life of broken relationships and scarred hearts really what God has for you? Is the world’s way good enough for us?

No, God desires more for the woman who loves Him. Woman was created for man, she was intended to love and be loved; this is why every woman I know desires a relationship to at least some extent, and that’s perfectly natural. But what many women who strive to live for God seem to forget is that, if God designed you to love and be loved, then He is going to send you someone worthy of your love. We do not need to jump in front of Him and try to make things happen our way. Such behavior must stop if we expect to feel fulfilled in our walk with God. Psalm 27:14 encourages the believer to “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Notice the writer adds emphasis by repeating himself, he knew it is not always easy to wait, but imagine the honor God receives when we show Him through our patience that we believe He knows what is best for us.

Wait on the Lord and believe that He will fulfill His promises. When you’re throwing your heart and sometimes your body at men who fall short of God’s standard, you are wasting time and dishonoring God, yourself, and these men-- God, because He has demonstrated the utmost patience with this world (see 2 Pet. 3:9); yourself, because God designed you for better; and men, because as a Christian you want to be encouraging them to a life that honors God. By wasting time in dishonorable relationships you are actually delaying what God has for you. You can’t see His will if you’re too distracted with your own. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5

Ask yourself this and be honest with the answer: are you living in such a way as to encourage the men in your life to love and honor God, or are you selfishly despising their souls by distracting them from God and presenting yourself as a temptation and/or distraction from what God desires for them? (Note that a true man of God will not require a physical relationship prior to marriage, if the men in your life are more interested in your body than God who created the body, then it’s time to say goodbye.)

We encourage others to live to a higher standard by our example. If you desire a godly husband, you must demonstrate godliness. Galatians 6:7 warns that what we sow we will also reap. I used to complain about how hard it is to find a godly man in this world. Guess what, men complain about the same thing concerning women. So how should we fix this problem? By lowering our standards and stooping to date “OK” guys? Do you think the King of this universe wants just “OK” for His daughters? How about standing by God’s standard so that if any man wants to get near us He has to rise to God’s standard as well! This is the only way God receives glory in a relationship. Stop stooping. Stop compromising. Only then will you attract true men of God (they are out there), and most importantly, only then will you attract God’s blessing and approval on your life.

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Prov. 13:20. It is my belief that the Spiritual integrity if the people you date and associate closely with is a direct reflection of your own spiritual integrity. Not fair? Think about it, this is the person you have chosen to yoke yourself to– if you’re yoked with someone, the two of you are moving in the same direction. Unlike your family, which you cannot choose, you can choose your friends. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Cor. 6:14. Think he’s getting a free pass to Heaven because of your Christianity? Think again.

This brings me to a very important point. Do not, and I mean do not, think that it is your responsibility to be someone’s girlfriend so that you can help them be a better Christian or lead them to the Lord. You’re perfectly capable of doing that as a friend. Anyone is perfectly capable of praying for someone’s soul. It is absolutely nonsensical to think that throwing judgment-clouding emotions into the mix by entering into a relationship with a loser (yes, I said it) is going to make him anything more than a loser. What is more likely to happen is a bending of your standards. How do I know? Because you’ve already bent your standards by entering such a relationship in the first place. Bottom line-- you have to love God enough to stop loving guys who do not.

But how do you know if He loves God? Maybe he has a Jesus tattoo, maybe he’s in a Christian worship band, maybe he goes to church every Sunday, was raised in a Christian home, maybe he’s even involved in ministry; but before we decide that any of that means he loves God, let’s look at Jesus’ standard of love. In John 14:15 He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Think that could be any clearer? We demonstrate our love to God through our obedience! This means we are not living for sin. This means we are, in fact, living for righteousness. Not convinced? Read John 14:21, 15:10, 1 John 5:2 and 1 John 5:11. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor. 15:33. Examine your relationships– the people you date, your closest friends. If you are in a relationship that dishonors God, I implore you– end it now. It’s not going to get any easier to end it next week or next month. Cut it off. You have to be willing to lay this down for God. You have to align yourself to God’s will if you expect Him to lead you to the man and future He desires for you.

Dear sisters, we must love God more-- more than relationships, more than our boyfriend, more than our friends, more than our family, and most importantly, more than ourselves. When you move into a relationship that you know dishonors God, you are telling Him, “My will matters more than yours.” Does your will matter more than God’s? I encourage you to think on this and make the necessary changes in your life in order to give God the glory He deserves. I’m not telling you to go join a convent; I am saying that you have to be willing to give everything and anything up if it is hindering your walk with God. Remember the rich young man who came to Jesus and asked what he should do to inherit eternal life? When Jesus told him to go sell all that he had, the man went away deeply saddened because he had great possessions. He walked out of the blessings of a relationship with God because he counted earthly wealth higher than heavenly.

Look around, this world is only getting darker, and now is no time to be a lukewarm Christian. We must give up the things in our life that hold us back from fully loving God. Look at the warning the Church in Laodicea received as a result of their spiritual apathy: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:15-16. Don’t think you can live halfheartedly for God. Being a Christian is 24/7 regardless of what you feel like or what your circumstances are. I don’t care how strong temptation is, God is stronger. I don’t care how hard it is, I don’t care how few are doing it, flee temptation. Flee sin (2 Tim. 2:22). You are the temple of the Holy Spirit, don’t dishonor that temple (1 Cor. 3:16-17). We as women must be more concerned with what God thinks of us than what men think of us. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart (Sam. 16:7). Is your heart beautiful to God?

A final prompt: perhaps while reading this you realized there are some changes God wants you to make. Or perhaps it has only confirmed that you are already on the right path; either way, I thank God. To those who have made mistakes and recognize the need to change, an excellent place to start is 1 John 1:9, if you repent God is faithful to forgive you, He wants to help you make these changes in your life. Seek Him, ask Him to help; habits don’t change overnight, it will be a battle, but do not be afraid, Christ has already won at the cross. Do not be discouraged by how many times you have failed, rise again, today is the day. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” Prov. 24:16

It’s time to stand up, sisters, it’s time to radiate for God. It’s time to show this world what real beauty is.

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” Prov. 31:30

Think on that.

In the love of Christ,

April Farr

Monday, June 25, 2012

Top 10 Most Delicious Romance Movies Ever

Top 10 Most Delicious Romance Movies Ever

I am so proud of a good friend of mine who has recently become hooked on Pride and Prejudice after seeing the movie for the first time (she is also currently reading the book). It's sad when one realizes that there are still a lot of women out there who are completely ignorant to the existance of fine theatrical masterpieces such as Pride and Prejudice. Yes, this post could be about books, but I'll save that for another time, and for now address the topic of good theatrical adaptations of books. So, following is a list of 10 movies that I believe every woman should see.



This witty little adaptation of Jane Austens novel of the same name has been around since 1996, and is very dear to my heart. I also suggest the 2009 version, which is of equal or possibly greater deliciousness, and although I haven't read the book, I believe is a more faithful adaptation.

Jane Eyre (2011)
I have never been a devoted Jane Eyre fan, nor of the Bronte sisters particularly, but when I saw the latest adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of deliciousness before me.


North & South (2004)

Elizabeth Gaskell's fiction falls between Jane Austen's snide witicism and the the Brontes' hauntingly gripping works, and therefore hits on that part of delicious we find when just the right mix of tragedy and happily ever after is involved. North & South tortures us throughout, until finally restoring our belief in all things good with an ending that lands exactly on perfection, not a single notch above.

Persuasion (1995)

PBS Masterpiece did a newer adaptation of Jane Austen's lesser known final novel, but I do not recommend it to the extent that I reccomend this one. Though not as visually appealing, this version is truer to the book, which rightly portrays the bittersweetness of love lost and love restored. I recommend reading the book as well as watching the movie, as the book adds a depth not possible to capture through cinema alone.

Northanger Abbey
Based upon another lesser known work by Jane Austen, written very early in her carreer. While the story was intended to make fun of the then popular gothic romance genre, we find within this 2007 adaptation a truly sweet romance of its own.

Anne of Green Gables & Anne of Green Gables the Sequel

I don't know if there is anyone who hasn't seen this movie (actually, I do know, I'm just in denial), but if you haven't, do yourself a favor and on the next rainy day sit down with something warm to eat and watch it, then watch the sequel. Then read all the books.

The Scarlet Pimpernel
More action packed than the above recommendations, The Scarlet Pimpernel is a must-see for not just every woman, but every man as well. Everyone I have rocommended it to has liked it.
(We're moving into the top 3 now; that means that if you do not like the movies from this point on you're either dead or may actually be under the influence of mind manipulating badgers from Ursa Major.)

Pride and Prejudice (any version)
I'm sure you've been expecting this one to show up, as it is not only Jane Austen's most brilliant work, but one of the greatest love stories ever penned. Even if people have not seen the movie or read the book, they are at least familiar with the title, and probably the name Mr. Darcy. There is a reason for this, if you watch the movie you'll understand.


Sense and Sensibility

Once upon a time, Jane Austen wrote a novel about three sisters and their mother who suddenly find themselves in reduced circumstances; and the world was never the same again. Then Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Allan Rickman starred in the movie. I have said enough.

Wives and Daughters

Some may be shocked that I have not chosen a Jane Austen film for #1, some may even disagree and insist Pride and Prejudice hold the place of honor, and when they stay up til 2 in the morning making their own neat little list of the top 10 most delicious movies ever (with cool little pictures), they can put it there. As for me, there is no question; Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters is the most delicious movie ever created. Watch it, and make everyone you know watch it as well-- not just the wives and daughters, but the husbands and sons, too. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why Be a Writer?

Recently a dear friend of mine, who is a fellow aspiring writer and a Christian, voiced her perturbations about the writer’s life. While her doubts seemed fleeting, they raise an interesting topic for thought. So, I have decided to confront not only her doubts, but the various reservations I have had over the years as a writer. Who knows? Maybe I’ll learn something. Or at the least, hopefully, I will supply my hoards of stealthy readers (I know you’re out there!) with a few paragraphs worth of quality diversion.

Let’s start with the big question–

Why be a writer?

When it comes down to it, the answer for me is, simply, because I love writing. I don’t remember the date or the time (I usually don’t), but I definitely remember that moment when it clicked; when I went from "I think I want to be a writer", to "I am a writer, and I will do everything in my power to succeed". I have had few such epiphanies in my life, and perhaps that’s why the memory of this one is so tangible. –By the way, did you know that the word "epiphany" actually has religious origins? Epiphany is a holiday celebrated on January 6th to commemorate the coming of the Wise Men to visit the young Jesus, hence a celebration of Jesus Christ being revealed to the Gentiles. (Already knew that, huh? Well, I didn’t. I just looked it up.) Yes, I love writing, I love it enough to miss sleep, meals and showers; to drink cold tea because I've been caught up in a blaze of heavenly inspritation, and stagnant water because I don't want to stop writing to go get fresh.

But is this mad love of writing enough? I may love the taste of certain alcoholic beverages, but should I constantly imbibe? No. This is where you have to examine in a more sober light, ones vocational merits. One of the questions my friend posed was, How does writing further Christ and His kingdom? That’s a good question, so I’m going to try to reason out an answer here.

Tools can generally be used for two purposes– to build up or to tear down. Likewise, we can either use our gifts, skills and passions to encourage people in their faith, or to hinder them.

So, can I glorify God through my writing? I believe I can, if I use my tools rightly. However, we must also be honest with ourselves; I’m not going to over spiritualize and say that being a writer is my divine calling-- my divine calling, as well as the rest of the world’s, is to love the Lord with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, no matter what I do.

So, how do I love the Lord through my writing? By honoring Him in it. Not every line has to be a sermon, but I am not going to write anything that (a) causes me to disobey His word, or (b) knowingly causes others to stray from His truth. Taking it a step further, I am going to write to encourage others to draw closer to Him.

Writing, as with all the arts, is simply a means of communication, and a powerful one at that, and I believe we’d all do well to take heed to how we communicate in all areas of our life.
I would love for everyone I come into contact with to somehow be a little bit enriched because of something they gleaned from the experience. That may not happen always, and sadly I’m not always careful about my communication, but it’s something I aspire to. I hope that my novels (you know, when they’re published and on all the best seller lists) will inspire people to be somehow better for having read them.

Bottom line– What is a dream worth?

How far am I willing to go to succeed as a writer? In all major decisions in life we’d be wise to sit down and count the cost before making them. Life as a writer has its sacrifices, but I believe you have to establish how far you’re willing to go and what lines you are absolutely not willing to cross. In His historical sermon on the mount Jesus instructs us to store up our treasure in Heaven, not on the earth. If my treasure is in worldly success then I am mislead. I will go as far, as high, as deep, and as wide as I can to become a writer, but I refuse to cross the line if it comes to honoring my Lord or seeking honor for myself, and that’s an attitude I try to maintain in all aspects of life. It’s not always easy, but I try. Another area in which I do not desire to err, is with family. Someday I believe God will bless me with a husband and children, and If my writing in some way became unhealthy for us as a family, then, Adieu, keyboard and pen!

I believe in dreams. If you have a passion and you’re willing to do what it takes to achieve your goals without crossing moral boundaries, then do it, and do it with your might.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Did Jane Austen Have a Computer?

After months of deliberating I finally have a working computer!

I have been writing since I was twelve so, as you can imagine, now that I'm twice that old being separated from the most efficient means by which I write was akin to being without hands with which to feed myself. Sure, there are notebooks and pens and typewriters and voice recorders and countless means by which one can manifest her thoughts, but I have been forced to own up to a truth that makes the old soul within me cringe: I cannot write effectively without a computer. I think my eyes sting just a little even now as I type that, for I am ashamed. Did Jane Austen have a computer? Did not the author of Job pen his ageless prose upon nought but primitive parchment? Such greatness is beyond me.

But it is what it is! So on to happier truths. I am celebrating the purchase of my new computer by starting a blog to document my adventures as a writer. In the months before my first computer George caught a bad virus that crippled his system, I was seeped in visions of authorship and an iron will to succeed; I intend to revive that zeal. It is, therefore, my hope that this blog will serve as a nice trampoline to spring me back into the delicious pool of novel penning. But, do not fear, I will not leave thee nor forsake thee. Yes, I may disappear for weeks at a time when my brain is in the throes of inspiration for my latest works, but I will return and mantain this blog with a nice balance of personal aspirations and useful information (because writing about myself gets old pretty quickly). So be on the lookout for my book and movie reviews, as well as news on the latest and upcoming Christian fiction (I hope). Yes, stay tuned, dear little friend, for more is on the way!

April Rose