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Monday, April 06, 2020

My Favorite "Author Thing"

My favorite thing to do as an author is read my books to people. I crank up the dramatic reading to 11 and absolutely LOVE seeing the expressions on listeners' faces. That's why, given our current stay-at-home crisis, I created a video reading of one of my favorite read-aloud passages: Falon's Stair from The Door Within. I hope you have as much fun watching as I had making this. And yes, I am a ham. US, Grade A Certified, Hillshire Honey-baked!







Thursday, March 26, 2020

More Contagious Than Covid-19

There's another sickness now spreading faster than Covid-19. Clinicians have tagged it NotMeSyn-20. It is an insidious illness that simultaneously attacks the brain and heart. In the brain, symptoms include: faulty reasoning, narcissism, rage, rationalizing, and discrimination. The sickness causes a hardening of different chambers in the heart, leading to callousness, judgment, numbness, and cold. Sociologists estimate that this illness, if unchecked, will add tens of thousands of deaths on top of what Covid-19 could already produce. 


Not Me Syndrome, as it has been dubbed, can strike individuals or large groups. How do you know if you have it? Check your thought processes. How carefully are you safeguarding yourself and your activities to avoid catching / spreading Covid-19? We're all social distancing, but if you aren't, why not? Are you thinking, "I'm young and strong. I can handle a virus." Or are you thinking, "I don't really need to take precautions because, odds are, I'm not a carrier?" If so, you are thinking small. You are thinking selfishly. And your thinking could get someone killed.

We are reading about this kind of viewpoint in headlines every day. We see it in the stores when all the meat or medicine or tp is gone. People thinking, "I've got to take care of #1 by hoarding." All that does is deprive the needy or less able among us, or at the very least, removes the possibility of equity. Thousands of Spring Breakers drunkenly proclaim: If I catch it, I catch it. No big deal. Subsequent articles report that many of these same young people are now positive for Covid-19. Who knows how many others are infected because of such callous behavior?

Selfishness has always been an insidious sickness. I know personally because I’ve been selfish in many ways throughout my life. It’s a struggle, especially with something so confusing and scary as this. I felt it when I went to the grocery store the other day. This particular grocery store didn’t have a hand sanitizer kiosk so you can clean your hands on the way in and on the way out. Once in the store, I kept my distance from people. I never picked up anything unless I was going to buy it. I didn’t touch my face—even though my blasted mustache chose that particular time to itch like crazy. But still, I kind of threw up my hands in surrender because I began to think: how can I possibly be safe enough? I mean, once I left the grocery store, I touched the steering wheel of the car. I turned on the running lights. I twisted the radio knob. I touched the door handle to my home…and then, I washed my hands again. It’s maddening, but I’m resolving not to rationalize. I’m going to take every possible precaution because it’s not just my life.

I don't know anyone with this view, but I've read that there are people out there who think that "old people" dying is an acceptable risk. I mean, "hey, they already had a full life, right?" Wrong. None of us gets to place an arbitrary value on human life. That is way above our pay grade. That is selfishness on a Hitler, survival of the fittest, scale.
 

Trump’s proposal to reopen the American economy by Easter is insane. We’re not even close to the apex of this virus. Spurring on thousands of potential carriers to get out and mingle for the sake of economic growth is reckless at best; diabolical at worst. Any national policy that values dollar health over human health is a sign of real sickness.

We cannot think, “Well if it’s not hurting me, then all is well.” Not Me Syndrome is deadly. It’s irrational. It’s selfish. Throughout human history, the worst human atrocities have been committed by those that dehumanize other people. Let us not, by taking chances, be guilty of such thinking now.

We all need to do a prayerful self check. We need to protect others, not just ourselves. Stay home. Wash hands. Shop wisely and take only what you need—not what you think you might need for the next three months! We are at a point where it’s not just a good thing for all of us to work together. We’ve got a pretty stark choice: work together so that we can save each other or go our separate ways to weep alone.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

He Wastes Nothing

One aspect of writing that I've taught my students about is "writing to find out." That's when you don't really know what you think on a certain topic, but you write to discover your deeper thoughts. It's as if your first halting words and phrases have a light tether to those deeper thoughts, and you must keep pulling that thread until you get to the heart of the matter. I'm doing that today. Here. I might delete it before I post it, but I kind of doubt it. The first time this topic came to mind, I dismissed it. The 2nd time, I took notice. The 3rd and 4th time, I said, "Ok, Lord, what do you want me to say? And, please help me not to screw it up." 
 
 

The pandemic is one of the strangest times I've ever experienced in my life. It feels like 9/11 stretched out indefinitely. I'm trying to do what the CDC recommends, social distancing, washing my hands, not touching my face, etc. And yet, I'm still going out to the grocery store or to get gas for the car. We can't see the germs, can't know if someone close to us has just randomly brushed up against someone carrying the virus. It's bizarre. One moment, I'm thrilled with the time off from work, enjoying the Spring warmth, and praising God. The next moment, I feel physiological anxiety start to boil up within me, and I find myself trembling.

In a time such as this, where even the floor beneath my feet feels unstable, I collapse at the mercy of God. I know a ton of theological concepts and a myriad of bible verses that tell me "be anxious for nothing" or "lean not on your own understanding," "hold fast to the confession of your faith," etc. I recognize the truth in each. And believe me when I tell you, God's word is the sure foundation upon which everyone and everything depends. And yet...

I still have questions, fears, and anxieties. I wonder, why now, Lord? Why at this time in human history? I'm afraid of what life might become or what it will look like after. And my anxiety is partly body chemistry that I have no control over. So I find myself thinking about God. Please don't roll your eyes and call me a wingnut. I'm not blaming this virus on God. I'm not seating myself in the heavens and declaring that God is punishing a sinful world or some such. That kind of lofty knowledge is WAY above my pay grade. I do know that God often allows tragedy, He allows natural disasters, He allows the due course of sin and consequence, and He allows the sun to shine on the wicked and the good. I also know that God never wastes our pain or our tears.

I've lived long enough to see God work through all kinds of terrifying events. At times, He works to bring me to my knees because I've gone astray. Other times, I have no direct correlation, but I recognize that God has changed me after the fact. Two seasons of clinical depression knocked the living snot out of me, but each season drove me to Him.

I don't know the future, but I do know that God will not waste the year 2020. Could it be that a world and nation divided will pull together to help each other? Could the social distancing and quarantine help us to recognize our priorities and our mortality? Since we can't go to the movies or the restaurant or the bar, might we attend to people and relationships that, in the end, are so much more meaningful? Is the potential spreading of the virus going to wake us up to recognize hour our action or inaction really does impact others? I don't know. I don't know the future. And I can't read God's mind. But I do know that God is good. He will not waste the events of our lives. And you watch, He will bring good out of all this.

*Amazing art by Jacobo Franger.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

March 18 thru 22: All eBooks are FREE!

We are living in strange times, aren't we? I'm sure we're all tired of hearing about ...well, you know... so I won't mention it here. Still, a lot of us have a lot more alone time than we're used to, so I thought it would be a good time to give stuff away. 

FREE!
Image by Cool Text: Logo and Button Generator - Create Your Own Logo
 
Starting March 18 thru March 22, all of my independently published eBooks, novellas, and short works will be FREE. That's $50 worth of ebooks to load up on your Kindle or Kindle app...for FREE. I'd run the giveaway longer, but Amazon won't let me. Lol.

Here are the titles and links:

Sword in the Stars

The Errant King

The Forsaken Continent

A Christian's Carol

GHOST

The Blackwood

Isle of Stars

The Misadventures of Strylun and Xerk

The Adventures of Sherluck Homey and Dr. Whatsup

Storms Captured (My personal poetry anthology)

Forget Me Not

The Dragon in My Closet 

Skeleton Project Episode 1

Skeleton Project Episode 2


Skeleton Project Episode 3

Skeleton Project Episode 4

Law of the Land 

Please spread the love by sharing this with book-a-philes you know! God bless you and keep you during these unusual days. 

Never alone!

-Wayne Thomas Batson

"FREE" Image courtesy of:  Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Not All Battles are Fought with Swords and Not All Warriors Win Every Battle

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My firstborn daughter, Kayla Mary Batson, aka Kaydoodle is an absolute bad--- warrior! But even warriors need help sometimes. Please read on...


Emergency Medical Fund: Kayla’s Relentless Battle
My name is Summer Smith and I have started this fundraiser on behalf of my dear friend, Kayla Batson, to help get her out of extreme medical debt and pay for future surgeries, the medications she needs to live, and anything that will help improve her living situation. In 2016 Kayla endured a surgery with extreme complications.  These complications were a direct result of severe  malpractice and negligence, but due to the statute of limitations in MD, Kayla has unfortunately timed out of the window to pursue legal action. Because of this, Kayla was left with 4 untreated major infections/super-bugs: MRSA(Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), another but different type of Staph Aureus strain and infection, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, and Diphtheria (despite the fact that she was up to date on all vaccines, she became so immunosuppressed that she was able to contract this). By the time Kayla was able to secure a better medical provider/surgeon, she needed to be hospitalized. She was treated with a substantial amount of IV antibiotics to rid- all infections and superbugs, and has had to endure 13+ life-altering surgeries (including a double mastectomy, different transplants, major abdominal surgeries, hip & femur surgeries on both legs, and operations on her spine- to name a few).* These extensive surgeries have been ongoing over the past three years to repair the damage done to her body and the hardships of these surgeries have rendered her permanently disabled.





*At the end of this page, per Kayla’s request, there are two quotes. 1. She asks that people PRIORITIZE reading these before they click the link to her medical pictures. 2. The second quote is a thank you directly from Kayla.

In the beginning of 2018, on top of all the complications presented by these surgeries, Kayla started experiencing serious symptoms associated with disorders characterized by deterioration of the nervous system. She has already undergone a series of tests, the results of which are associated with certain neurological disorders. She will need to continue consulting with a team of specialists regarding a final diagnosis, but at the moment is unable to until her medical debt is somewhat alleviated.


https://rb.gy/ythuek

During these past three years, Kayla has experienced numerous tragedies and hardships while dealing with her extensive medical issues. In the spring of 2019, Kayla’s best friend passed away unexpectedly. Shortly after, Kayla was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in multiple areas of her body. She had to go through treatment, involving surgical procedures to remove the cancer, while still healing from the previous operations. Through everything, Kayla has tried to persevere, but the emotional, physical, and financial burdens have taken their toll, both on her and her family.

Until this point, Kayla has not received any financial aid outside of her family. She has applied and is waiting on disability income, but the process for approval takes months, if not years, in most cases. This is an emergency situation as she needs to continue paying for the medications she needs to live, as well as travel expenses to get to her doctor’s appointments, since she no longer has a working vehicle. The initial goal we are asking for will go towards the medications she needs for the month, the copays for weekly doctor’s visits, and towards a used vehicle, so she can get to her appointments with more ease. Any additional funds will go towards her and her family’s $200k+ worth of medical debt, as well as ongoing medical expenses and imperative upcoming surgeries. Anything is greatly appreciated; I assure you. Kayla is a kind, gentle, and giving person, and it is heartbreaking to see her deal with all of this, especially at such a young age.  Any donations would be an immense relief. If you cannot donate or even if you can, please share this link. And please send positive thoughts, any type of support, and please pray over this situation for continued healing for Kayla.

https://rb.gy/ythuek

Thursday, December 05, 2019

It's Beginning to Look a lot like SIGNED BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS!

Looking for an incredible variety of new and {cough} old authors? Come out to The Book Den in King of Prussia Mall, Friday evening, December 6th and all day Saturday December 7th. Meet some authors. Get some signed books! Fantasy of every possible sub genre: Epic, Steampunk, Contemporary, Urban—you name it! Merry Christmas and hope to see you there!

King of Prussia Mall:
160 N Gulph Rd, King of Prussia, PA 19406

The Book Den is on the Costco side of the mall!
 

 

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

December 6 & 7: King of Prussia Mall Booksigning!



Yo, Pennsylvania Peeps! I'll be visiting King of Prussia Mall this coming Friday and Saturday! Brand New this year: The Book Den—the only bookstore in all of King of Prussia Mall. This is a pop up store created by Realm Makers, so you know there will be a zillion fantastic books available, including many of my own. There will be other authors there too! Come join the festivities and get a few signed books for Christmas presents!
 
Address: The Court at, 690 W Dekalb Pike Suite 2045, King of Prussia, PA 19406
 
 
Author Bryan Davis at The Book Den Last Weekend!
 
 
 

https://www.facebook.com/events/590626285021173/

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Gobsmacked by God!


UPDATE: Color me gobsmacked! (always wanted to use that word). Yesterday, I announced a need for Door Within books so that I could actually teach the book to my Reading classes. Then, as I was teaching, my phone started blowing up with Facebook alerts. When the kids were dismissed to go home for the day, I finally got a chance to check Facebook. 
 
 

I sat at my desk in tears. I got chills. Witnessing God at work blew me away. In less than an hour, you wonderful readers, family, and friends had purchased more than 40 Door Within books for my classes. By the time I drove home, you had purchased 60+ books. By dinner time, you had purchased 80+ books! And that doesn't even count those wonderful souls who donated $$$ via PayPal! I'm not finished sorting it all out, but I'm pretty sure I have enough books for this year and next year too!
 
 

To say "Thank you" doesn't begin to cover my gratitude, awe, and heart warmth over your generosity and kindness. You have been witnesses of God to me, in an act that I will never forget as long as I live.

You all literally SOLD OUT Amazon of my Door Within books, causing Amazon to order more from the publisher, not once but twice! And, in the process, you catapulted The Door Within to several high spots on Amazon's Bestseller by Category lists!

And, on top of all that, with news of your book orders, many of you posted such impassioned testimonials about The Door Within books that you have given me indestructible hope, amped faith, and an uncanny sense of wonder.

Thank you. Thank you. You have shown me that I am indeed, Never Alone.

-Wayne

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Unprecedented Opportunity - Looking for Help


UPDATE: Color me gobsmacked! (always wanted to use that word). Yesterday, I announced a need for Door Within books so that I could actually teach the book to my Reading classes. Then, as I was teaching, my phone started blowing up with Facebook alerts. When the kids were dismissed to go home for the day, I finally got a chance to check Facebook.

I sat at my desk in tears. I got chills. Witnessing God at work blew me away. In less than an hour, you wonderful readers, family, and friends had purchased more than 40 Door Within books for my classes. By the time I drove home, you had purchased 60+ books. By dinner time, you had purchased 80+ books! And that doesn't even count those wonderful souls who donated $$$ via PayPal! I'm not finished sorting it all out, but I'm pretty sure I have enough books for this year and next year too!

To say "Thank you" doesn't begin to cover my gratitude, awe, and heart warmth over your generosity and kindness. You have been witnesses of God to me, in an act that I will never forget as long as I live.

You all literally SOLD OUT Amazon of my Door Within books, causing Amazon to order more from the publisher, not once but twice! And, in the process, you catapulted The Door Within to several high spots on Amazon's Bestseller by Category lists!

And, on top of all that, with news of your book orders, many of you posted such impassioned testimonials about The Door Within books that you have given me indestructible hope, amped faith, and an uncanny sense of wonder.

Thank you. Thank you. You have shown me that I am indeed, Never Alone.

-Wayne 
 
 
Hi, Faithful Readers! 

Something AMAZING has happened. I teach middle school English and Reading in a Howard Co. Public School. For the first time EVER, the Board of Ed has approved The Door Within (my first published book) for use in instruction. My coordinator gave me permission to use the book with my 6th graders, even though it's recommended grade 8! I am so stoked. 

Unfortunately, there's no county money to purchase Door Within books for my classes. I'm trying to get at least a class set of 30 to be shared by three different classes -OR- one for each student (approx 70 copies). 



I am considering paying out of pocket, but our family finances are tight right now. A friend suggested I tell my readers about the opportunity and see if you would be willing to help get books for my students. 

Fortunately, The Door Within is on half price sale off its $9.99 retail. Price now is $4.99. 

If you'd like to help by purchasing a copy (or more than one) for my students, here's the link: https://amzn.to/2lIw54a

The shipping address is: 
Folly Quarter Middle School (C/O Mr. Batson)
13500 Triadelphia Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042

We are planning to begin The Door Within the 2nd week of October, so I'd need the books soon. I'm trusting that God will provide just what my students need through you. Thank you for considering!

Thursday, August 01, 2019

No Need to Knock

Why don't we pray? I have a list of reasons / excuses as long as my arm. Maybe you do too. Today, I was struck with an idea to put into a kind of story. I was listening to Stephen Curtis Chapman's song "Let Us Pray," and had a series of images come to mind. I think it was to help me pray. Maybe it will help you as well. 

No Need to Knock

I leave the confines of my room for the long hall with equally great weariness and wariness. I have not traveled this way for too long a time, and I do not know what I will find at the passage’s end. As soon as the flickering torchlight scatters my shadows, I feel an overwhelming urge, like an undertow, grasping with unseen hands to pull me back. I want to go back. A voice of my own thoughts whispers, “This is a path of privilege, the way of valiant souls…and royalty. It is not for me.”


I take small, tentative steps forward. I am reminded of all the times I have come this way and failed. How often had I turned back because it was too late, missing the appointment because I was distracted? How many occasions had I been turned away because I was not properly attired? How frequently had I ascended until I just…couldn’t…take…another…step, awakening later to retreat in shame? The voice is right. This path is not for me.




Especially today. Today, I am a pauper, covered in threadbare rags and drenched in filth and blood. I bear unfathomable guilt like a rotting second skin. I do not belong in this hall, the hall that stretches before me, its end in shadow growing farther—not nearer—with each heavy step. Just make it to the next torch, I tell myself. And then the next. I press on, but the incline grows steeper. My foot loses purchase. I fall and slide backward in the slick of my own grime. 


Weeping, I flail and climb to my unsteady feet. Too hard. Too far. I know I will never make it. Still, the torchlight never wavers. The One I seek keeps them alight. I know I must continue. Continue or die.


I pass one torch. Then another. I am moving more quickly now. How many torches behind me? I don’t look back. At last, the shadow ahead parts like a curtain. I am almost there! The door is before me, looming like the impenetrable gate of a fortified castle. I stand just two paces away. I raise my fist—


“There is no need to knock,” comes the voice of the One. “The door is open.”


Still seemingly heavy beyond reckoning, the impassive door glides inward, and I am bathed in light. I am at once blinded…and seen. I duck my head. I should not have come.


Fingers. Gentle as silk but stronger than iron, the fingers cup my chin and lift my head. I see the One at last, and all fear flees. And suddenly, suddenly, I feel quite absurd. 


“Tell me, my child,” He says, “why did you wait so long?”


The uncanny mirth of my situation gets the best of me, and I laugh. Why indeed did I wait so long? 


And then, I recall. “I’m sorry,” I whisper. “I was afraid.”


And then, it was His turn to laugh, a great braying, thunderous laugh. “You were afraid? Of me? But child, I love you. You are always welcome in my presence.”


“I thought I had waited too long,” I say. “Too late for—”


“Too late for my Grace?” His eyes shine down on me like kindly searchlights. “I am beyond time, my child. My Grace cuts the fabric of time. There is no late.”


“But I have been rebuffed.” The brittle words spill from my mouth like icicles in the sun. “I am clothed in wretchedness.”


“Rebuffed? Not by me. And your garb? You simply were not seeing clearly. Shall I fetch you a mirror?”


Those massive, gentle hands hold out an exquisite looking glass framed in pristine silver. Its pure beauty is no match for the figure I see in the reflection. I am clothed in white and gold…and glory.
I manage to splutter, “How…?”


“My Son,” He replies. “You wear the garments He purchased on your behalf. His very own.” He withdraws the looking glass, but His smile is more radiant than anything I have yet seen.


“Your Son,” I whisper. “He paid an awful price.”


“Yes.”


“For me.”


“Yes.”


“And yet, like the others, there are times that I cannot stay awake…to keep watch?”


“What father would not be warmed by His child’s words trailing off into slumber? What father would not feel the kindling of love by His child’s sleeping in His arms?”


Tears spill over my lids and run down my cheeks. “But so many times I am heavy with guilt of my own transgression. Like today, I have sullied your Son’s garments with the blackest ash of my sin.”


“That is especially why you have come,” He says. “This is my Throne of Grace. When you are besmirched, there is no place else for you to turn, not without incurring terrible costs. And there is no other place but the Throne of Grace where you will actually receive help in your time of need.” 


I am overwhelmed and euphoric. “I…I can come any time? No matter what I’ve done?”


“Any time,” He says. “Day or night. And, child, the long arduous hall you imagine at times? It is simply not there. There is a door to my Throne of Grace, and it is always open. Just come.” 


14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4: 14-16)

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Summer's here and the time is right for dancin—er, for READING! I've got TWO new books for you to check out. If you are a fan of the series called "The Dark Sea Annals," I've completely revised and republished the "Author-ized" version of Sword in the Stars and Errant King. The series is now called The Myridian Constellation, and the long-awaited third book in the series: The Forsaken Continent is out now in Kindle and Paperback!

And if you're the type who likes Christmas in July, I've released my modern retelling of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I've titled it "A Christian's Carol," and some have said it's a much needed wake up call to the modern Christian. True to the original, but updated with many of today's social issues, A Christian's Carol is (as one reviewer said) worth reading at any time of the year.

Here are the links:

New Sword in the Stars:




New Errant King:




BOOK 3: The Forsaken Continent:




A Christian's Carol:



Go get 'em and enjoy some great beach reads!

Friday, May 17, 2019


 
Headline:

Here's how you can help those affected by the terrifying Alabama abortion ban right now.

 
 I don't put much stock in journalism these days. It's all bias-driven, believe at your own risk blather. But seeing a headline like the one below just brings everything related to our crumbling culture to a fine point. Somehow an alarmingly large number of people have been deceived into believing that pregnant women are the victims of abortion restrictions. Those who support this incredulous view are the very same people who've championed the idea that the barbaric procedure of abortion is somehow protecting women and empowering women. In actuality, the opposite and much worse are true. Abortion rights do not protect women, especially women in utero. These women get no voice at all and are treated as property to be discarded as one sees fit—how can women's rights proponents not see the lurid irony? To say nothing of the murdered women, abortion has been shown to physically injure women who undergo the procedure. 1 in every 100 women who have early abortions experience complications. 1 in 50 for later term abortions. These complications include excessive bleeding (with no medical support), severe abdominal pain and cramping, infection of the uterus or blood, damage to the cervix, and a host of other issues. (see: https://adviceandaid.com/very-real-effects-of-abortion-facts-you-need/)

The emotional toll on women who have abortions is startling as well (see: https://adviceandaid.com/the-very-real-effects-of-abortion-emotional-facts-you-need-part-2/). For the children being torn apart in abortion, they are dragged into the gas chamber with absolutely no choice, no voice, and no alternative. For the women who have abortions, they are being duped into entering the gas chamber themselves in the propaganda's call for "progress." Since Roe V. Wade, 61 million children have been killed in abortion. That's multiple times the number of people murdered in the Holocaust. The comparison is warranted because the rhetoric of the Reich is extraordinarily similar to the rhetoric of Pro Abortion adherents: step 1: convince others that a certain population is not human, step 2: convince that same that destroying the "less than human" is not only lawful but preferable, a right even. step 3: enact laws to pursue those ends.

Make no mistake, this protocol is exactly what women are being fed. "It's just a fetus. It's not a person. It's not a living being." The truth is that being alive does not have degrees. One is either alive or dead. Unborn children are every bit as alive as you or I. When the abortion is completed, what do we call the lifeless child? Dead. Smoke and mirrors, and women who rightly deserve equality with men (equal rights) are duped into believing that the destruction of one's own child is a right. Women want to be empowered and they should. For thousands of years, women have been subordinated, and it's immoral and unfair. So let's empower women to be responsible for their actions. Aside from rape or abuse, a woman who has unprotected sex, makes a decision and should be responsible for that decision. Should women be able to decide whether or not to reproduce? Of course, but once conception has occurred, the decision is already made.

The real victims are the murdered children and the women who undergo abortion. These are the dear, precious people who need help. America used to understand that, but now, like ancient Rome, we are sacrificing children—just not to Zeus or Hera. We have an insidious new gods that would put Hades to shame. We sacrifice children to the gods of selfishness and convenience. May the one real God have mercy on us all.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Get Wrecked.

Have you seen "The Passion of the Christ?" 
It includes one of the most visceral portrayals of Jesus's crucifixion ever seen on film. And not just the crucifixion, but the humiliation, the betrayal, the abandonment, and the scourging. 

When Jesus asked His very best friends to keep watch with Him as He prayed in Gethsemane, the depressive weight of despair and anxiety gnawing at Him, I cringed. Every lash of that Roman whip made me wince as Jesus was flayed alive. 


When the centurions mocked Jesus with a crown of thorns and a purple robe, and then spat upon him as they jeered, I felt the daggers of injustice. 


When Jesus labored under the weight of that cumbersome cross, I saw His love. 


When He hung upon the cross, gasping for air and crying out to the Father who had, for those dire hours, abandoned His one and only Son, I felt the utter hopelessness of my prayers bouncing off of my ceiling. When, at the ninth hour, Jesus said, "It is finished," and died, I felt the punch in the gut of loss but also bewildering confusion over the weight of His last words. "It" is finished. His mission. The penalty of our sin. God's plan for mankind. The course of history. All was finished. 

To get there, however, Jesus had to be literally "wrecked." The physical agonies would have been harsh enough, but there was also the cumulative weight and consequence of our sin. In every sense of the word, Jesus was wrecked. 

Doing a devotional this morning, I was gobsmacked by Galatians 2:20:


20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 
 

This is a very well known and oft quoted passage, but this morning, it was all new. Turns out, as believers, we too are crucified. With Jesus, we got wrecked. The trouble is, we don't often consider the full implications. Obviously, we never endured scourging, mocking, and crucifixion physically, but "I have been crucified with Christ" is much more than a metaphor. Our bodies, our minds, our souls have endured abject humiliation, mocking, and pain because we are with Jesus. When verse 20 tells us "it is no longer I who live..." that means that the pre-salvation self of ours DIED. 

Verse 20 should have extensive implications in our lives every single day. We have no reason for pride, for we have been scourged to the point of utter indignity. We have been mocked for whatever "high thoughts" we have of ourselves. When fleshly sin rises up and tried to give credit to ourselves, we need to get wrecked. Remember that we have been bloodied and laid bare before the eyes of the world. We have nothing of our own to boast about. We have been brought as low as a human can be brought. When temptations come calling, as they always do, we need to remember the weight of that ponderous cross, for sin is just that: a dire weight that drags us down. Listen, Paul tells us, because of Jesus, sin's utter control over us has had spikes pounded through its hands and feet. It has been hung up to suffocate. Its power over us is DEAD. 

What is life now? It's faith. Minute by minute faith in the Son of God. He gave Himself up for us, so that we might live. But in this world, we need to recall our own crucifixion. When sin calls, we need to get wrecked. We need to remember that we are part of all that Jesus endured and accomplished. There is nothing of ourselves. We didn't save ourselves. But, the flesh has been crucified. Trust in Jesus, moment by moment. Remember all He endured, and count it as having happened to you. Think of Jesus and get wrecked. 


Thursday, March 21, 2019

New, Exciting Author...Big Giveaway!

Hey all! For those of you who love free books, here's a giveaway with FOUR epic tales. Give it a look! https://authorhopeann.com/giveaways/four-epic-fantasy-reads/

It's in honor of Hope Ann's upcoming launch, so if you'd like to check out her new book, Healer's Bane, feel free to do that here as well: https://authorhopeann.com/books/healers-bane/

A little bit about Healer's Bane:

Kynet never planned to be at the forefront of the rebellion. That was her brother’s hobby: rallying the people. Plotting against the leaders. Running into dangers she’d have to negotiate him out of.

That was before the Poisoner tried to kill her.

Left with strange powers in the aftermath of his attack, Kynet is even more convinced the rebellion isn’t worth it. For every life her healing saves, ten more are wasted.

But her quest to stop the carnage before war breaks out will bring her face to face with the man who tried to murder her... and with her own helplessness against a grim reality she may not be able to change.