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!