A Rival Friend

Her cry bursts forth

A bond destiny forms

Blood ties—

Two lives entwined.

 

Center stage no longer

Her light eclipses

Favor fallen

She arose.

 

No harm to befall her

Your rival: she

Your life to give

Secrets entrusted.

 

Time wages separation

Paths not connected

Your heart beats

A lonelier tune.

 

She can’t walk alone

Bruised and bent

Never broken

Alongside you join.

 

Pain knocks and scars

Tears freely flow

Souls bear witness

Love mends.

 

An anchor that stabilizes

As the waves crash in

The rainbow breaks

Hope sings again.

 

Strength formed in sorrow

Inspiration born

An inseparable bond

My sister, my friend.

Top Ten: Some things no one tells you about writing

Chazz is a great source of inspiration to struggling authors everywhere. This blog is an example of why you need to follow him. I think there are more than ten things no one tells you about writing, but these are key to start with.

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

1. Nobody cares about your book at first, even if you think they should. Even if you think they care about you, they’re indifferent. It’s maddening. For you, each book is a magical dream made real. For them, “Nice hobby, but so what?” 

2. Since typing looks a lot like writing to the casual observer, you don’t get extra respect for being a writer from a lot of people. Anybody can type, so don’t think you’re special. “Who do you think you are, anyway? You think you’re better than me?” Oh, they won’t really say that. That’s silly. But some may as well say that by the way they’ll treat you.

3. A lot of people can read, but don’t. They care even less than the casual observers in Items #1 and #2. I don’t understand these people. Why live? It’s a mystery.

4. Some people do read, but they’re…

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Climbing Sweetpeas Author Interview

Climbing Sweetpeas Author Interview

Wattpad author interview with Sheila Bautista. 

If you haven’t heard of Wattpad.com, you should get familiar soon.  It is a great source for young and established authors to share their stories for FREE!  You don’t even need an account to read the stories.

I have been a reader on this site for some time, but only recently made the plunge to contributing to it.  One draw back.  If you write rated R material, your work isn’t as visible as the other works that are rated G or PG, as there are many underage fans on this site.  You have to search under the mature filter to see these works.

Anyway, check out this interview from a successful author from this site. 

Fear Society

I am amazed at the new tatic being used on the world’s citizens to motivate them to allow the erroding of personal rights and freedoms through various passage of laws: FEAR.

Fear is not a new thing in the world, and we as infants start out our lives without fear.  We are taught what to fear as we traverse through childhood and into adulthood.  The problem is, that we have become a society that once was based on trust to one based on fear.  We can’t let our kids walk to school anymore (even though it is only 4 blocks away), for fear that a serial pedophile is going to snatch them.  We can’t get on a plane, without going through a scanner, metal detector, x-rays, etc.  We have allowed the government to control our movements and lives with the passage of bills like “Homeland Security”, all because we are (were) afraid of something that could hurt us.  Afterall, we can’t live in a bubble like forcefield that will protect us from every evil in the world, so we need to legislate the heck out of every citizen in order to try to keep the “boogieman” away.

Don’t get me wrong, we need laws.  It is just that we are starting to think we can make a law for every thing that can possibly go wrong in our world.  We have laws against drinking and driving for instance, and this is a good thing.  It would be better if people would stop choosing to drink and drive on their own, rather than selfishly get behind the wheel of a car after drinking.  Knowing this, and seeing news story after story, and commercial after commercial for MADD, does it actually stop people from driving while intoxicated?  NO!  The idea that laws are going to stop people from choosing to do stupid stuff is ludicris.  It hasn’t stopped people from the Garden of Eden until now, so why do we keep driving home this idea that a law will protect us from the evil and stupid things people do?

In the days that have passed since the latest massacre at a school, we have all kinds of people jumping on the fear bandwagon to get laws for gun control.  Do I think we need to have some tougher laws on possession and storage of guns and ammunition? Yes.  However, I live in a place that has some of the strictest gun ownership and storage laws that I know of, and we still have news stories of people being shot in the street.  It isn’t the gun that is the problem, it is people making poor choices that is the real problem, and there is no law that is going to stop someone who wants to kill people from doing it.  If that were the case, our prisons wouldn’t be full of people convicted of murder.  Besides, there are other ways to kill and injure people than just guns.  So instead of focusing on how we can make schools a safer place, we are focusing the fear tatics on trying to control guns, an inanimate object, that has no free will of its own, but is totally depend on the person who possesses it.

It is a defense mechanism, fear.  We want to control what we have no control over.  It is natural to try to make sense of what we don’t understand.  Fear was intended to save our lives in a danger situation.  The problem is, as a fear based society we no longer can differentiate what is worth being afraid of and what isn’t.  We are so stressed out, we are making ourselves sick.  Stress is often triggered by fear: fear that you don’t have enough money to pay the rent, fear that your spouse is going to leave you, fear that your child is going to use drugs, etc.  We wrap ourselves in it like a coat, and we wonder why we always feel hopeless.

Is fear really getting us anywhere, or is it actually making things worse?  Fear gives power and control of yourself to someone or something else.  We are afraid to lose our job for instance, so we continue to work for a horrible and abusive boss, all the while wishing you had the power to tell them what you really think and where they can stick their job.

I think the new movie that is being released next June, After Earth, by Columbia Pictures, states it best: “Fear is not real.  It is a product of thoughts you create.  Danger is very real, but fear is a choice.”

We can choose to live in fear, or we can choose to live in freedom.  We live on a continent that has massive laws and legislation, and yet we still consider ourselves free.  Laws don’t erradicate fear, they may help us cope with it, but they don’t remove it.  We  have the choice to do that.

I realize that this blog post is probably going to make some people angry.  Anger is a result of the perception that someone is blocking your goal.  So for those that want a bunch more laws controlling absolutely everything, I am sure you are going to be angry.  For those that want to find another way to resolve our social problems, you might find this blog opens up a new idea for dialogue, discussion and action.  For those who are living with fear everyday, I hope you see this as an encouragement to shed that coat that has been holding you hostage, and to look at your situation in a new light, and give you hope.

Abandoned

Devotional from John 9:1-34, originally written November 2, 1998, modified November 16, 2012

It has always been easier to walk away from a bad situation or circumstance, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best thing to do.

Our society is filled with single-parent families because we have become accustomed to abandonment.  It has become a way of life on all levels.

By saying this, I am not condemning or judging people in single-parent families, just stating my observation from my own life as well as what I see around me.

In this day of social media, where likes are more important than hugs, that sense of abandonment is only growing.  It doesn’t take any effort to “like” a comment or “retweet” a post.  We replace physical contact with something nebulous on the internet; one more way to abandon without really being accountable for it.

In this particular Biblical account, a miracle had taken place. An event you think would unite a family.  However, it caused his parents to abandon him because what happened wasn’t popular; it was easier to walk away (v. 20-23) than stand and support their son.

Abandonment was obvious in this case.  In our society, as I previously mentioned, it isn’t always so up front.  It isn’t just people, it is abandonment of feelings, beliefs, morals, etc.  We have become a people who have learned to disassociate with those things that are too hard to face and deal with, or that take too much engery to do or maintain.

The problem is, what we walk away from has a habit of coming back to visit us at some point in our lives.

The truth is, we can’t completely abandon anything.  We carry it in some form, whether it be hurt emotions, anger, sickness, etc.  Think of all the freedom we would have if we face things that are hard and worked them through rather than abandon them.

This man faced this hard time with the assurance that God was interested in him personally, and was concerned with doing what was best for him.  These men had never done anything for him.  To add insult to injury they even threw him out of the synagogue–they abandoned him because they couldn’t deal with what he said or what this miracle meant as it related to their own lives spiritually.

Thankfully, God never walks away from us, even when we are being difficult (believe me, I’ve tested Him), even when we abandon Him.

Father, thank you for Your unconditional love.  Help me through the difficult situations so that I will be an overcomer, not an abandoner.  Free me from the bondage that abandonment has brought or will bring in the future, and release in me the freedom of overcoming.

I have had to go back to some people in my life that I had abandoned, and apologize.  They hadn’t done anything to really deserve it, it was just a moment in my life when I found it to hard to work through the issues.  There are some things/people I have abandoned because they were unhealthy and/or had no desire to work toward healing.  Sometimes we do have to walk away; sometimes forever, sometimes just for a little while.  The hard part is knowing which is the right thing to do in the situation you are in.  The most important thing is to not leave behind the brokenness of abandonment, as it is a scar that runs deep and takes forever to heal.

Sacrificial Giving Devotional

A devotional I wrote November 1998, based on John 12:1-10.

Today is Remembrance Day.  I explained to my [then] three-year-old daughter what this day means.  I found myself having a hard time explaining it to her without weeping.  The last couple of years (and every year since), on this day, has been an emotional experience.  Prior to this, it was just another holiday with no personal meaning to me.

While I do not know anyone who died in my family in any war, members of my family did fight in those wars.

However, it isn’t the fact that my family fought for the freedom I enjoy, but the fact that complete strangers gave their life for me that touches me so deeply.

This is the love that Mary displayed to Yeshua (Jesus).  She gave the most valuable thing she had, next to her life, in appreciation to Yeshua for bringing her brother Lazarus back from the dead, and more importantly, just because she loved Him as a dear friend.

Not everyone appreciates the sacrificial gifts we make, especially those who want to gain personally from the giving, but for those who are directly affected by the gift, it is an indescribable blessing and honor.

Whil the gift of each soldier’s life wasn’t personally for me, the effect of their life–freedom is something that I do possess, and it is an indecribable blessing for which I will always be grateful for.

Father, teach me to give sacrificiall even when it seems no one is benefitting from what I give or it i unappreciated.  I know that sometimes the gifts we give have an effect we can’t always see right away.

Let my sacrifice be a sweet smelling fragrance unto You.  Let it draw others to You and Your love that was expressed sacrificially through the precious gift of Yeshua.