Saturday, December 28, 2013

Is Christian Fantasy an Oxymoron?

Definition:  Fantasy is a genre that uses magic and/or other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting.

“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.”- Albert Einstein
Fantasy is a far better word to describe such stories, for the word contains connotations of both ‘fantasizing’ i.e. dreaming, imagining, freeing oneself from the bounds of fact; and of the fantastic, a quality of strangeness and wonder. Fantasy (in this sense) is, I think, not a lower but a higher form of Art, indeed the most nearly pure form, and … the most potent.” –J.R.R. Tolkien

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Theology Shouldn't Limit

So, this is not the typical type of blog posts that I am known for writing. Why? Because I haven’t figured this all out yet.  When I write a blog post, I like to have a firm handle on the subject I am addressing.   I like to feel confident that I know what I’m talking about, and I’ve done the research.  Today, I just don’t feel that. 

Then why am I writing this blog post, you might ask?  Because, I want challenge you, along with myself, to look at things differently.  I think we should let our minds grapple with this subject together, and I’d love to interact through the comment section bellow and see what your thoughts are. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dragons: Introduction (1 of 4)

So, why am I so excited about a four part blog series on dragons, you might ask?  If I’m honest, it’s not just because I love dragons—have ever since I was a little girl, actually.  If I was being perfectly honest with you all, I’d say the reason I’m most excited about a four part series on dragons is because dragons are controversial.

See, in today’s culture dragons have had a resurgence.  I mean, they were never really extinct culturally, if you know what I mean, but they were very typecast, so to speak.  Dragons were always the bad guys.   They pillaged and looted, stole gold and fair maidens, and the hero always had to go and slay the mighty beast.  A new kind of dragon has emerged, however, a tamer more heroic type of dragon, which has caused the controversy of which I speak within the more conservative circles. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What is Speculative Fiction?

Glad you asked!  I mean, if you weren’t asking, then there would be no reason for me to be telling you.  How do I know you’re asking?  Because, everyone seems to be asking.

It amazes me how many avid readers and writers don’t know what speculative fiction is, actually.  I mean, it’s been around for a while, but it doesn’t seem that it has picked up notoriety until recently, which may explain why so few people know about it.  I guess if you’re not a nerdy, geeky author/reader you don’t care about such terms and titles.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Long Absence… and What’s to Come

Yes, I feel ashamed.  It has been terribly long since I have come to rant and rave at, or should we say with, you all.  I am sorry.  For shame and forsooth and whatever other word sounds apologetic and disparaging enough.

However, I am happy to say that it has not been due to laziness or my typical “I’ve been busy”.  Well…. I have been busy, so I suppose that isn’t entirely true.  That “excuse” still comes into play, but I have other news to tell you all.

Firstly, I am happy to announce that I have an update.  It has to do with swords and contests and winners!!!!  That’s right, the Merlin’s Blade Spiral Contest that I posted about some time ago has finally come to an end and I have emerged the victor—barely.  Stage one of the three part contest has been complete and I am in the running for the sword, at least presently…  I intend to keep it that way, however.  Oh, and I get a Kindle Fire as my prize for winning the first contest.  How fun!  When the next contest begins, I shall keep you all posted on my proceedings.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mr. Right… FOR YOU

Perhaps that is an odd title for a birthday post, but I hope that, by the end of all of this, you will understand why I chose it.
Birthdays are a special time in people’s lives.  It’s a date that signifies you have lived and survived through the scribblings of life.  Birthdays bring the wonderful satisfaction of another chapter finished, a new one beginning.  They give you the opportunity of reading back over the pages written and determining where you want to take your story.  When you read back over the ink blots and flourishes, you find tales woven of accomplishments won, trials endured, people encountered, emotions felt, and all of this combined gives you a sense of the story that is being crafted.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Story...

Which story am I talking about, you might ask?  My book?  My life’s story?
The story I am going to tell today is actually a highly personal story.  It’s one which I have been asked to share over and over and over again, and yet, it is a little known story.  At least in its fullness.
The story I am going to share today in my PRP story.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Merlin's Blade Contest

I cannot tell you how much I want to win this contest!!!  Especially after meeting the sword in person.

...Okay, so maybe that sounds weird, I mean, don't we normally want to meet the author in person?  Well, yes, but the Author of this book is actually someone that I have had the pleasure of knowing for quite some time, albeit somewhat unofficially.  See, three years ago I met the Author's charming and delightful daughter and we struck up a friendship which lasts to this day.  In fact, I'm responsible for her family getting her a dog, but that's a really long story and not really the point to this blog post.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beauty From Pain

Some days I wonder why God gives me pain.  Why He lets me walk through dark times.  My heart breaks at times and I beg Him to take away the aches that I feel, but He chooses to let them remain.


I don't mean why in an accusatory way.  I don't mean it in a "I'm mad and you make no sense" kind of way, either.  I'm asking "Why, God?  I don't understand, but I will trust You.  I will still love You.  I'm just so confused because I can't see what You are doing here."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Imagination and Fairytales: Good or Bad (part 2)

Due to recent discussions between myself and others, I decided to write a mini blog series consisting of two parts that addressed the importance not only of a child's imagination, but also the important role that fantasy and fairytales play in the life of both children and adults.  Part one of this series focused on the imagination, while part two will focus on the virtues of fantasy and fairytales. 

So, let us continue our series with part two.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy Belated Birthday

I feel like such a terrible person at the moment because I missed my blog’s first birthday by about 4 months!  Who does that?  I comfort myself by saying everyone does, but I really have no clue one way or the other.

Anyways, I decided that I wanted to commemorate my blogs birthday by looking back at all of the stats from the last year (and 4 months), that way when birthday number two comes around I will have new statistics to be able to compare the old ones to.
How am I going to do that if I missed the birthday?  I’ll be manually looking through all of the information and using mathematical equations (my mommy would be so proud) to take out any information (and blog posts) that came after the blog’s first year.  It’s better late than never, after all, isn’t it?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Imagination and Fairytales: Good or Bad (part 1)

Due to recent discussions between myself and others, I have decided to write a blog miniseries consisting of two parts that addresses the importance not only of a child's imagination, but also the important role that fantasy and fairy tales play in the life of both children and adults.  Part one of this series will focus on the imagination, while part two will focus on the virtues of fantasy and fairy tales. 

So, let us begin with part one.
Imagination doesn’t receive much respect in many Christian circles.  In fact, as we see fantasy and sci-fi on the rise once more in the culture, we have also seen a rise in the imagination being placed under siege by the church.  Perhaps this is because many cults and new age groups embrace the imagination and make it seem very mystic in nature.  Because of this, and because some people think the imagination is not rooted in reality, some Christians believe it must be bad. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hating Sin... And Sinners?

We must hate error, we must abhor falsehood; but we must not hate men, for God's warfare is against sin. May God help us always to make that distinction. -- Charles Spurgeon

That is the quote which not only inspired this blog post, but also started an in-depth discussion between myself and several of my friends.  The discussion came about because one of my friends said that he was surprised that even Spurgeon fell into this heresy, by which he meant the heresy of love the sinner hate the sin.
My friend’s comment surprised me and, to be honest, I didn’t really address it much.  My other friends were far more involved in the discussion than I, who merely sat on the sidelines and gave an occasional comment.  But, the longer I have thought about this, and the more I have conveyed my thoughts to others in discussions about the discussion, the more I feel like I need to actually say something and give my opinion on the matter.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Influence of Fathers

When most men sign up to be fathers, few of them stop to read the “small print”.  Well, for those who are fathers, or plan to be at some point in your life, I have some small print for you today.
In 1994, the Swiss carried out an extensive survey in order to determine whether a person’s religious tendencies carried through to the next generation and, if so, why/ why not.  The information from this study went to the Federal Statistical Office in Neuchâtel, and was then published in Volume 2 of Population Studies No. 31. 
The results of this study shows there is one critical factor that plays into the religious practices of the next generation.  The father.  That’s right; it is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance of, or absence of, the children that make up the next generation.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's in the Valley I Grow

Wow... I needed this.  So, because I needed this so much, I thought I'd pass it on for all of you.

Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble, and woe
It's then I have to remember
That it's in the valleys I grow.

If I always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I'm Not Good Enough

I’ve been working on this post now for a number of weeks, but it has never seemed quite right.  I’ve tweaked it and I’ve rearranged it, and I’ve placed it off to the side, but for some reason, I can no longer let it sit.  I feel like I need to post this now, so I hope it helps and blesses someone, and that the Lord has big plans for this post.
Over the course of my life, I have met many people.  Some of them are similar to me, others are vastly different.  But that is always what has made life interesting, from my perspective.  Amidst these differences, though, I see a common thread that links many people together, one that I think needs to be addressed head on.  It’s time to set the record straight and stop dancing around the subject.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dear Low Self-Esteem

Dear Low Self-Esteem,

Listen close, because I have something to tell you, something every girl should know.  It is something that so few women make it into adulthood really believing, but is true nonetheless. You are beautiful.  Heart-wrenchingly so.  I know this in my very core, and I wish you did, too.  How do I know this, you might ask?  Because of the image you bear.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Purpose of Suffering

Our world is full of pain and suffering.  Just today I was given the news that a family we know has lost their second child to death.  My heart broke.  I can only imagine the pain they must be enduring, even though their faith is strong and they have a wonderful support system around them.  I know how much my heart broke when my brother died.  I cannot imagine having to go through that a second time.
There have been many times in my life where I have questioned suffering.  In fact, I have discussed such things on this blog before, be it in passing or more in-depth.  Today, however, I want to revisit the subject of suffering.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Losing Joy

Several people have asked, as of late, what’s happened to me. I’ve scarcely said anything all year, and the two posts that I did make were not my typical type of posts. Well, for those who don’t know, earlier this year my family and I embarked on a new journey, one that was very difficult to begin. See, at the beginning of the year, I relocated to IL in order to serve as a live-in nanny to a little girl and her mother, who is a doctor.

 Now, this comes as something of a shock, I am sure, for some of you. It certainly did to many of the people in my life. The reason for this shock is because I have never made a secret of the fact that, though I am in my early 20s, I fully intend to stay under the direction and authority of my Father and work alongside my parents to help mould my younger siblings and care for my Father’s house, as well as be an extension of his ministry until such a time when the Lord would transfer my talents to helping my future husband, a path which is very different from most young women my age.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Liebster Award

Well, apparently my blog has been nominated for the Liebster Award.  What is the Liebster Award, you might ask?  Truth is, I have not a clue.  Your guess is as good as mine.  But it is a nice gesture, none the less, and I am very flattered to have received the nomination.

Best as I can judge, the Liebster Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers.  So, since I have been nominated, I apparently have to list eleven facts about myself (it will be harder for me to limit myself to eleven, than it will be to find eleven random facts about me) and answer the eleven questions submitted by my nominator, the incorrigible E (or perhaps better known to the common man as Elizabeth Liberty). 
So, eleven facts about me…

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beauty in the Depths

"You are Lord alone; You have created heaven, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and you preserve them all." Nehemiah 9:6

You know, many people think I am crazy because of some of my hobbies.  I mean, I have some of the more socially acceptable hobbies, but those sometimes get overlooked when people learn that I have an eccentric side… like going into caves on purpose.  People find it odd when I talk about Cave Rescue as if it were something to strive to attain certification in.  They think it’s weird that I have done repelling, and even a few people think it is weird that I love rock climbing, though this is a bit more socially acceptable.  Not just the upper limits type rock climbing, either (though that is awesome!), but actually rock climbing.