Saturday, October 26, 2013

Milestones and Road Signs

I'm a bit unusual.

(I know.)

But, more specifically, I'm unusual in that I have been given certain milestones in my life to look to.
And most of those I was given in advance...

When I was 18, I knew that I would be in business with, and, at some point, in ministry with, one of the best friends I've ever had, Scott. I didn't know how or when, but I knew that God had that for me. By the time I was 19, he and I were running a commercial painting company and cohosting a Christian Radio program (and eventually we were leading a youth Bible Study for a while).

By the time I was 20, I knew that I would be married the year I turned 25, that I would be (was supposed to be) engaged for a year; I would have two children (I even knew they'd be boys and what their names would be/mean).

I was married, after an engagement of exactly 1 year, on January 1, 2004. I turned 25 January 12, 2004.

I know that sounds like self-fulfilling prophesy, but I talked about it with some people when I was 20. They know how it played out.

I now have two sons.

There have been countless other examples of these things; I could list them, but I don't want to bore anyone.

The thing is, the next one is next year. And I don't know what it is.

I have known for 15 years that the year I turn 35 is supposed to be very important. I've had theories, but I still don't know. I have worked, studied, applied myself in every way I could think of to try to be ready for whatever it is, but I still don't know.

With all of the other "future milestones," I had road signs. "4 years to Marriage on right"   "2 years to First Born Son--No U-Turns" etc...

So it is highly frustrating to be on the verge of this next thing and not know what's there.

I have to trust that God knows what He's doing. (He's certainly gone to a lot of detail proving it to me.) I also have to trust that He has prepared me and knows how to make up the difference in where I will fall short.

I'm not really worried, like I said, God has proven Himself more than faithful. So I guess I'm just throwing this out there so that when whatever does happen, this will be a record that I "knew it was coming"--that God gave me a "heads up."

I'm putting it out there for God to use to show off (show up).

Just thought I'd share.

God Bless!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

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So I've been sitting in front of my computer for a couple of days now, trying to think of something to write.
I've got a new story idea, but I'm still in the pre-writing stages of that one, so no good there.
I'm just sitting here.
Trying to think of something inspired. Something clever. SOMEthing.

And suddenly it comes to me: How often have I been given a WORD for someone, just a small thing--a phrase or so, and when I start to tell it, it becomes FAR more than I realised it was.

So often I've waited in writing until I felt like I had the "whole picture" when my entire experience in ministry has been, "Just do it and let the rest happen."

How often have I heard and said that prophesy is only a word in PART? How many times have I had to step out in faith with little to nothing to go on, and watched as God did something amazing? How often, and yet, here I am, believing that I am SUPPOSED to write--called to do it, yet I forget everything I learned about following God.

This isn't just for me either. I don't know who you are; I know a couple of people who regularly read this blog, but my hope is that the things I've written in all sincerity will reach out past my realm of influence and long after I'm gone. So, whoever you are, listen:

Take a chance. Even if all you have is the barest sliver of a hope that God wants to use you in something, step out on that sliver. And then keep stepping in ALL areas of your life. Don't let the world or the devil cheat you by limiting where God can fill in the gaps for you.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In ALL of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight."

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Stuff Dreams Are Made of. . .

So I want to write.

I want to write fiction, but I want it to be something that is meaningful. I want it to matter.
The problem is that I have been finding myself drawn more and more toward mainstream fantasy and science fiction--the worlds I've been working on have been detailed and exciting, but they ultimately lead in the same direction as 99% of the other stuff that's already out there, and I want my work to point back to God, or, at least to point in a direction that will eventually lead to God.

So I found myself frustrated, and frustration lead to writer's block, and that lead to an emotional funk that left me feeling almost depressed every time I thought about writing. . .

So, for a while, I stopped trying.

Then, one day, I was listening to a podcast by professional writers about being a writer (, and the authors mentioned something that stopped me in my tracks. I was sitting at my computer listening, and they said that they had to be careful what they were reading while they were working on a project (current book) because they tended to pick up the voice/tone/style of the books they were reading and start to write like that, and that was often not good if what they were reading was too different from what they were trying to write.

And it hit me.

I spend a GREAT deal of time listening to audiobooks while I'm at work. I generally listen to Science Fiction or Fantasy novels.

And I realized that the reason my own writing was leaning that direction was because that's what I was listening to; that's what I was reading.

Then God stepped in. (I know, right?)

He said, "If you will read My Word, I will give you your dreams."

Here's the thing: I have always seen my stories as dreams to be written down and given substance. So this was a HUGE word to hear.

My first nagging doubt was that I would start writing like the Bible, but I really had to give God more credit than that.

So, for the next week, I didn't read or listen to anything but the Bible.

By the second day I had scenes playing out in my mind about the biggest project I hope to accomplish, a multinovel allegory.

I couldn't really put the characters together before. It was like I could see them in jumpy clips of an old silent film. I knew basically what was going on, but the depth was missing--the details were lacking.
Now, it's coming together. I'm still in the prewriting stage of this project, and I have some smaller projects to work on as well, but I'm excited again.

The series is tentatively named The Invisible Kingdom. I'll let you know what happens as I go. This is a long-term project--especially as I have a full-time job and a family that comes before my writing, but my wife is on board and supportive, and we are working toward a plan for doing this.

So, I'll keep moving forward, and I'll keep in the Word better than I have been being, and I'll trust God to give me my dreams.

What dreams do you have? Maybe you can find them where I did?

God bless!