Utterly Conflicted

I am a middle-child, a Canadian and a Christian. I’m the ultimate peace-keeper. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than conflict in real life. In a book, though, that’s (literally) another story.

peace and war

I once read a book where the set-up to a confrontation at the end was beautifully done. All the elements were in place. A young woman found out that she was pregnant. The father of the child had no desire to be with her or to take responsibility for another human being. He sent the mother money and ordered her to “take care of the problem”. She refused and eventually gave birth to a daughter. As the daughter grew up, she wondered often about the father she had never met. She knew that her father had wanted her aborted and that he had refused to have anything to do with her for her entire life. Still, she couldn’t get him out of her mind, and experienced a deep need to one day meet him face to face…

Blogging over at http://www.wordalivepress.ca/blogs/154 today – please head on over to read the rest of the post!

Press on, my friends. Press on,

Sara

Posted in craft of writing, fiction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

May I Have this Dance?

A shy young man musters up his courage one evening and forces himself to go to a dance being held in his small town. Drawing in a deep, calming breath, he wipes his damp palms on the front of his tan dress pants and walks through the door.
For the first part of the evening, he simply does reconnaissance. He sips his cola, nursing it until the ice cubes have melted and he’s drinking slightly coloured water. All the time he’s watching, working out the best girl to approach with his request. His eyes are drawn to the flashy ones, the brightly-coloured glittering ones that everyone else’s eyes are drawn to. And finally he works up enough nerve to approach one of them…

dancing-pair-classic-silhouette-isolated-31602100I’m blogging today over at the Word Alive Press site. Check out the rest of my post on the subtle dance – and endless perseverance – involved in finding just the right publishing partner for your work: http://www.wordalivepress.ca/blogs/57

Press on, my friends. Press on,
Sara

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

A Prayer for Canada (reposted from July 2012)

Canada flag2

He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.

His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

(Psalm 72:8, 17-19)

May we be reminded this Canada Day that we live in a country founded on a belief in God’s sovereignty and blessing. Join me in prayer for a turning back to God of our nation. May His glorious name be once again proclaimed here and around the world.

A Prayer for Canada

Father God,

As we raise high and wave our flag with pride today, fill us with gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy and for those who have sacrificed their lives so that we might have them. And fill us with compassion for those who do not know what it is to live and speak and worship freely.

As we meet with family and friends around a heavily-laden table, may our grace include a moment of silent reflection for those who don’t know how they or their children will eat today. May we show them respect, not only by exhibiting restraint, but by resolving to take one step, however small, to alleviate their suffering.

As we raise our glasses in salute to a dominion that has, as its foundation, a deep and abiding trust in you, give us an appreciation for the almost unparalleled access to health care and clean water that we enjoy. Remind us that one person, obeying your command to give water to the thirsty and food to the hungry, can change the world.

As we stand and gaze up at the heavens, in awe of the breathtaking display as fireworks streak and blaze across the night sky, may we be overwhelmed by the beauty of creation. And may we be sobered by the realization that we all have a responsibility to do what we can to take care of and save it.

And above all, as we celebrate this great country today, may we be grateful for all the blessings we have received. And, even more, may we give thanks to you, the one who has blessed us so that we, in turn, might be a blessing to others.

God, keep our land glorious and free.

Amen

Happy Canada Day everyone!

Sara

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

It Takes a Village… to Write a Story

There’s something fun going on over at the Novel Matters site:

Novel-Matters-Medallion-for-web-fonVarious authors are contributing to a serial story called Out of the Garden, something of a fantasy with an arthritic, former-fairy-herself woman about to set out on a quest to save her fairy queen, and lots of twists and turns in plot. Each Friday a new writer adds their own, 300 word, take on the story. Today it was my turn. Click on the button above, or go to: http://www.novelmatters.com/2014/05/out-of-garden-part-15.html to catch up on the story and read my contribution.

Out of the Garden cover

Like I always say, the secret to success in social media is community. We need to work together to support each other and our work, and to help spread the word to others. Linking up with others makes you feel a little less like one tiny whisper in the overwhelming cacophony of noise that is the world wide web. Plus it’s fun, and there’s a lot to be said for that.

Press on, my friends. Press on,

Sara

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Into the Light Again

(reposted from March 31, 2013)

A new dawn. A new world. A new hope.

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. (from Matthew 28, ESV)

 

empty tomb

Death is conquered. Despair is turned to hope. Relationship is restored for all who believe. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.

He is risen, my friends. He is risen indeed.

Sara

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enter the Darkness Again

(re-posted from March 29, 2013)

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed.

And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

cross

Yes, hope and joy come on Sunday, but for today, enter into the darkness and just settle there …

.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Things Christians (Including Me) Really Need to Stop Saying (Part Two)

As promised, today I am addressing the second thing that, based on comments I read on blogs that reviewed the Noah movie, as well as a lifetime spent in the church, which I love with all my heart, Christians really need to stop saying. And that is:

 Say whatever you want. On the day of judgement, when you face your God and Creator, we’ll see which one of us is right, won’t we? 

(The “na na na na na na” that always follows the expressing of this sentiment is generally silent, but deafening).

Fellow believers, are we actually so desperate to make (or score) a point that we can make light of the fate of another human being’s immortal soul? Do you honestly believe you will be able to enjoy a second of smugness when that person is condemned to an eternity (an eternity! That’s forever, and ever, and ever, without end) separated from everything that is holy and good and light and hope and peace and joy?

cosmosI’ll help you out here. When we are all standing in the presence of Almighty God (the one who spoke creation into being and who rules all things, the one who is so magnificent in his full radiant glory that no human being can look upon his face and live) the last, the very, very last thing any of us, on either side, will be is smug.

Jesus Christ came to seek and save those who are lost. If you claim to be a believer, you are a follower of Jesus Christ and your mandate must line up with his. And that mandate is not to beat unbelievers down in an argument, or to taunt them with threats of eternal damnation (although the threat is real and cannot be shied away from), or to rub your hands together in glee at the thought that one day they will see the light and it will be too late for them to do anything about it. Your mandate is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, in words and in actions, and then to fall down on your knees and plead for the salvation of that other person.

Even if they did offer you a snarky comment on someone’s blog that one time.

There is no room in the heart of a person who professes to be a believer for pride or arrogance, for mockery, for sarcasm, for gleefulness, for coldness, for hardness, for smugness or for reveling in the fate of those who continue to reject Jesus Christ.
The only godly response is for our hearts to break—even to shatter—at the thought that any should be condemned to an eternity apart from Him.

I need to work on this. There is, in all of us, an innate desire for justice and the urge to demand that we see that justice done here and now. There have been moments I have felt something almost like consolation at the idea that a person who has hurt me deeply, or who has been so hand-wringingly, teeth-grindingly, beyond-all-belief arrogant and mocking online will one day “get theirs”.  (Incidentally, most people are too cowardly to be that way in person, but a pen name or, worse, the word Anonymous, serves as a kind of “virtual white hood,” removing normal societal restraints of courtesy, decency, and empathy.)

It’s a natural response. It’s a human response. Which is precisely the problem. We, and all mankind, would be far better served if we took on the attitude of Christ. The one who prayed for forgiveness for those who crucified him even as he hung on the cross dying.

cross-in-a-cemetery (pd)I can’t say anyone has ever offended me more deeply than that.

So can my response be any less?

 

Press on, my friends. Press on,

Sara

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment