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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Coupla Quick Things...

#1. The Fantasy 4 Fiction Tour is gathering steam. God has literally opened the floodgates and is blessing us silly: Publishers Weekly and Christian Retailing Magazine have already agreed to cover the tour. Radio stations in several cities will be involved. Barnes and Noble stores are completely welcoming us for events in every city. And Real Armor of God, a Christian Swordsmith, Armorer Extraordinaire will be donating swords and other medieval props for each of the authors to use. Check out the Real Armor site--some cooooool stuff. And finally, The Fantasy 4 Fiction Tour now has a dedicated website with all official press releases, Author Q&As, and more. Check it out if you have the chance:

#2 I have a new article up on SpecFaith website. This is something I'd love some feedback on because it's a controversy that I want to understand better. The article is about Christians reading or writing fantasy that have magic in them. Click here to read the article:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Sunday, April 08, 2007

God told me a story today...

I'm not normally one to speak in over-spiritual lingo. Nor have I ever heard God speak to me in an audible voice. But through the circumstances of last night and this morning, God related to me a story that could not have been any more powerful even if the Lord called me on the phone and spoke it to me. More later. I have to get ready for church. ;-)

Okay, back from church and from fun at my wife's parents--Easter egg hunts etc. ;-)

Warning: large dose of selfdisclosure to follow.
Saturday night (Easter Eve, so to speak) at about 9pm, things went south around Bat Manor. My wife and I argued (far too long) and we left each other feeling numb and spiteful. She needed to study and I needed to fill plastic eggs--lots of them, like 200 of them. In the end, my wife didn't study at all. And I was up til close to 2am filling plastic eggs.

Easter morning: everyone and I do mean everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. My oldest daughter (11) began complaining that she doesn't get to watch PG 13 movies and proceeded to make a list of the ones she has seen--as evidence that she should see more. Youngest son teased oldest son about a VeggieTales Gameboy game I'd gotten him. I dreaded the old, "that's too little for me. I'm too grown up for that." stuff. Sure enough, little brother starts to tease. I rained down fire and several kilos of brimstone upon younger son. Then, youngest daughter wouldn't eat her waffle--claimed stomach hurt. Being the wonderful and sympathetic father that I am, I ORDERED her to eat under penalty of flaming death. She then proceeded to shriek in tears, eventually ending up hurling in the bathroom. Great job, Dad. She's just 5.

Then, the backtalk marathon began. Ay carumba! Every little thing was an argument. Tempers flared. The Spirit of the Lord was quenched…or so I thought.

Something happened then. I sat down with youngest son and began to read Bark of the Bog Owl (one of younger son's Easter surprises) with him. Great story, btw. So my son just snuggles up to me, and as I read, I can feel the tension melting away. And I happen to look up, and there's older son, playing the new VeggieGameBoyGame with a level of focus seldom seen in this 9 year old. He loves the game. LOVES IT. I continue reading, and youngest daughter (whom I scorched earlier) came up with one of her Easter surprises: The Parable of the Easter Lily book. "Do you want me to read?" I ask. {vigorous nods} "But right now, I'm reading with Bryce," I say.

Suddenly, Bryce says, "Dad you can read to Rachel now. We can read after." Unconditional love? What is this? At this point, I'm so proud of Bryce I'm about to pop. So I read the Easter Lily, which if you haven't read it, is a beautiful story about a child who is given a lily bulb, thinks little of it, tosses it out, only to see it bloom incredibly. It's such a great picture of us rejecting Jesus and then being forgiven. Just as we complete reading the story, oldest daughter comes down carrying a sheet of paper. My thought is, "Don't you dare start in on the PG-13 movie list debate!" But I stow that thought, and oldest daughter says, "I wrote a song about Jesus, would you like to hear?" Dumbfounded, I nod. She sings the most beautiful melodic praise ode, tuneful, sweet, full of love…

About half way through her song, I realize Jesus just told me a story--a parable, just like the lily story. In the first half of the tale, He showed me what we are without Him: Sinful, selfish, prideful, arrogant, deceived, confused, and helpless. Then, He showed me what we can be, but only by His grace. The whole "it is by faith and that not of yourself" is so, SO true. I don't know why I sat down to read with Bryce. Or why Rachel wanted anything to do with me. Or why Tommy liked the game he'd been teased about. Or why Kayla wrote and sang a song about Jesus. I only know that He is Risen…and because he conquered sin and death, he can take the most wretched, distant, self-serving louts from among us and make something beautiful.