• The Writer


    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

  • Categories

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Categories

  • Blog Stats

    • 33,737 hits
  • Post Days

    July 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Mar    
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  
  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

October 31st, 1517

“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and by plain reason and not by Popes and councils who have so often contradicted themselves, my conscience is captive to the word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. I cannot and I will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.” ~Martin Luther (From the movie Luther 2003)

496 years ago today Martin Luther penned his “95 Theses” and began a much needed reformation in the Church. He challenged the corrupt authority of the Church in the 16th century, stating salvation was reached through faith and repentance, not through works or the purchase of “indulgences”.
Today his work still influences us and he is one of my heros, a man God used to change how people saw Him and the Christian Faith. Luther faced death at the stake for what he believed, but he stood fast, holding on to his faith in Jesus Christ. He struggled, he doubted, and I’m sure there were days when he wanted to give up, but he didn’t. Through God’s leading he changed the world with his words. Words of truth to make the darkness flee.

“I cannot renounce all of my works because they are not all the same.First are those books in which if I have described Christian faith and life so simply that even my opponents have admitted that these books are useful. To renounce these writings would be unthinkable for that would be to renounce accepted Christian truths… The second group of my work is directed against the foul doctrine and evil living of the Popes, past and present… Through the laws of the Pope and the doctrines of men, the consciences of the faithful have been miserably vexed and flayed. If I recant these books, I will do nothing but add strength to tyranny and open not just the windows but also the doors to this great ungodliness… In the third group I have written against private persons and individuals who uphold Roman tyranny and have attacked my own efforts to encourage piety to Christ. I confess that I have written too harshly. I am but a man and I can err. Only let my errors be proven by Scripture and I will revoke my work and throw my books into the fire.” ~Martin Luther (Luther 2003)

 

Today in Hell, By Morning, In Paradise

This is a story I wrote for my Fiction Writing class.  Let me know what you think.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I would die at dawn, the guard told me that evening. 

As he held a plate of stale bread inches away from my groping hand he said with a sneer.   “We do not feed the condemned, Christianus.”  Christian. 

He spat the word out like bad wine and retreated, taking the treasured food with him.  I clutched at the bars of my cell staring after him, listening to his footsteps echo and fade into nothing.  Hunger clawed at my stomach, a painful ache digging through my gut.  Was it hunger?  Or was it the reality of my fate?  Tomorrow I would die.  I sank to the ground and wrapped my arms around my thin frame, the chains about my ankles ratting with the movement.  The coarse wool of my ragged clothing cut into my skin, the smell of my own filth hung thick in the air of my little cell.  I held my breath and squeezed my eyes close, shutting everything out.  No, no, NO!  What had brought me to this? 

My ears began to ring, my lungs begged for air.  I held on, maybe, maybe I could end it all right here, right now, save myself the pain of a Roman execution.  My life is no longer in my hands.  I had said those words, all thoughs years ago, putting my fate in another’s hands.    I gasped, opening my eyes and heaving in great gulps of air.  Tears stung my eyes and traced salty trails down my checks. 

As a boy, my father had told me men didn’t cry, but my father hadn’t known what would happen.  He hadn’t known the Romans would come and kill him.  He hadn’t known I would be taken to live out my days as a slave, never again to see my beloved Britton.  So I cried.  I cried for the past, for the boy I had once been, free in my homeland.  I cried for my fate, for the flames that awaited me come the dawn. 

My heart filled with anguish I raised my tear stained face to the small shaft of light flickering against the wall from a torch across the way. 

“Deus donavi meus ultionis!”  God give me vengeance!  I shook my fist, yelling in the Latin tongue at the light as if it represented the presence of God in this foul place.  Give me vengeance. 

My life is no longer in my hands.  I had given it away, let it go.  He had given his, what more was I to do with mine?  

I was afraid to die.  Afraid of the pain, but I could still escape it, I could still live. 

“Deny, deny your faith and you shall go free.”

I stared at the procurator; my chains seemed to grow heavier as if to embellish his words.  Deny, simple enough.  They were words only were they not?  God would still see what was in my heart, see I still believed though my tongue said otherwise.  I could live, continue serving Him.  What good was I dead?  All I had to do was say three simple words – “I deny Christ” – and I would go free.  Free.  The flames would devour another martyr, but not me. 

“Well?  What say you?”  The procurator stood looking down his nose at me, awaiting my reply.  “Stop preaching this false faith, deny the Christian God and your life will be spared.” 

Why was I hesitating?  Why was I silent?  Lord, I do not want to die.

The procurator gave an exasperated sigh and waved his hand at the guards.  “Take him away.”

I was dragged to me feet and hauled from the room, my chains clattering on the marble floor.

“There is still time, if you should choose to change your mind.”  The procurator’s words fallowed me from the hall, ringing in my ears.

I thought of them now, wondering where I would be and what I would be doing at this moment had I said those words.  Perhaps I’d be sitting with Laurel, our hands clasped together, speaking of our upcoming marriage.  Laurel, I could still see her face when they came to take me away.  She cried my name, her voice wrought with anguish and fear.

“Dafydd!”   

Oh, to see her again!  To lose myself in her dark eyes and the sound of her bell-like laughter. 

“Lord,” I prayed.  “Protect her; do not let her suffer my fate.” 

My fate; I wondered at my words.  Had I chosen to die?  I remembered that day, how many years ago?  The teacher, dying in agony on a Roman cross above my head, hardly recognizable as the man I had known.  He was innocent of any crime, just as I was now, but they had killed him and he had allowed it.  He had chosen death, could I do the same?  I followed him, I spoke in his name, but could I die for him?  So many had died already, they did not deny him.    

“Lord, you can see my heart, can you not?  You can see my fear, how can I do this?  Can I not serve you more by living to spread your Word?  What of my life with Laurel?  I will never see her again in this life, never have a life together.  God, how is this part of your will?  What have I done that you would abandon me to the flames?  Let me live!” 

My voice echoed back to me, bouncing against the stone walls, let me live! 

“He never abandons us Dafydd.  We are mere men; we cannot comprehend his thoughts or his plans.”  Stephen, his words returned to me.  “He sets a path before us and leaves us with the choice to walk it.  What will you choose Dafydd?” 

Stephen died, stoned for his beliefs.  He had stood fast, facing death.  Could I do the same? 

“Could I?” 

I thought back to the day I had met the Teacher.  The day he had given Laurel back her sight and in a way, he had given sight to my blind eyes.  I was a bitter slave, cursing those who had killed my family and taken me from my homeland to live a life of bondage among a people who thought of me as chattel.  My heart was filled with nothing but hate.  Laurel had tried to show me love, she had taught me Latin, nursed my wounds after beatings, but the hate in my heart blinded me to her kindness.  I was more a captive to myself and the bitterness inside then I ever was as a slave.  It ate at me, tearing my mind apart; then he came.

He healed my shattered heart.  Never before had I felt so liberated.  The hate, the bitterness, the hurt, it was all swept away at the touch of his hand and the sound of his voice calling my name.  He had shown me how to forgive those who had slaughtered my family and enslaved me.  Though by law I was still a slave, in my heart and soul, I was freed forever.

How could I deny that?  How could I deny the hope, the peace, the joy, the freedom I had been given?  I couldn’t.  I could not betray the love that had given me new life. 

“Acceptus calicis ex meus,” Take this cup from me.  “My life is in your hands.”            

As a cold chill crawled up my spine I shivered.  The night would soon be over, my last night on earth.  I leaned against the moist stones of my cell.  The slow drip of water sounded from somewhere in the gloom.  Laughter of the guards and cries of fellow captives could be heard as faint whispers in the silence of the prison.  I looked around me, the stench, the darkness, the hunger, this place was hell, but tomorrow, tomorrow I would find paradise.

My life is in your hands.     

The End

 

Pronunciation guide:

Dafydd – (Da-vith)
     a: short as in can

Reading Journal Entry #1

In my Fiction Writing class the professor is having us keep “Reading Journals”, a.k.a., journals we write in about stuff we’re reading.  For this same class we are reading a novel called, “The Financial Lives of The Poets”, by Jess Walker.  (I DO NOT suggest you read it.)  Since this book was the first new reading I had done since beginning the class, I wrote about it in my first RJ entry.

Here it is for you all to read.  My honesty opinion on this book.

One word comes to my mind after reading the first two chapters of Jess Walker’s “The Financial Lives of the Poets”; empty. I don’t know Mr. Walker, and I have a lot of respect for someone who has taken the time to painstakingly write a novel and get it published, but whatever happened to writing something with substance? Something that made you want to stay up all night to read it, that gave you something more than just modern words printed in black letters on a white page. Though this story does have a theme, an idea your everyday reader can relate to – the threat of foreclosure, a struggling marriage, worries for family and the future – it does nothing. It doesn’t pull at me or draw me in. A small part of me wants to care about what happens to these people because of their situation, but that’s it. The first chapter was enough to make me want to stop reading. Call me old fashion, but reading a novel filled with dialogue where the F-bomb is dropped after every other word, is not something I personally, want to be spending my time in.

It’s hard to put into words what I got out of these first two chapters or lack of. There was no hope, the feeling of depravity seemed to bleed from the pages, but maybe that’s what the author wanted. If so, he did it. For me, that’s not what fiction is. Sure it’s only the first two chapters, and things are bound to get much worse before they can get better, but fiction should give the reader hope. It’s an escape, a sanctuary, a place to be reminded that no matter how bad things are, there’s always hope for better days to come. It should give you a sense of fulfillment, not emptiness. I might be the only person reading this book who thinks this way, but it’s the truth.

Maybe it’s my Christian belief that brings this idea, but even so, who wants to read a story devoid of hope and empty of anything worth filling your mind with?

Christian beliefs aside, fiction, a story worth reading needs to have substance. A good theme or good characters won’t give you substance or meaning, even giving your audience something to relate too won’t. Substance is more than words; it’s the foundation the story is built on.

I guess in a nut shell, chapters one and two of “The Financial Lives of the Poets”, left me feeling sad and drained instead of fulfilled.

A Choice

Choices.  Life is full of them.  Big and small choices — life changing and every day choices.  When I was hunting for a theme for my novel CHOICES the themes of patience, (or waiting on the Lord) and trusting in Him completely came to mind.  Not only were they the latest lessons God was trying to teach me, but they applied to what Kate (the hero of CHOICES) had to learn as well.  Here she is, thrown into a world that in her own mind should not exist, falling in love with a man in it.  Talk about a test of faith.  Not only does she need to have patience in waiting to see if she will ever make it home, but she also has to trust God that somehow, He was placed her there for a reason, and trust Him with the love she feels for Terren.

It recently hit me, (yes I know, I can be slow sometimes…), all of these — patience, trust, faith — they are choices.  We can choose to trust God and give Him everything, or we can choose to trust in ourselves and our own abilities.  We can choose to have patience and wait, or we can plow full steam ahead without considering the consequences.  And there’s more… even though He is in complete control, God lets us choose our own path.    

As human beings, God gives us free will, He lets us choose, but He is still in control.  For a long time, even though I believed this, it was hard for me to understand, until now. 

Last month I went job hunting.  Before I started filling out applications or handing out resumes, I gave the outcome to God.  He was doing this with me.  He already knew where I was going to work.  He was in control.  After only one day of job searching in town, I got a phone call about on interview.  Let’s just say I was supper excited, but even so, I went into the interview with the mindset that this may not be the job God had for me.  I hoped it would be, but only God knew the outcome.  So God and I went into the interview.  Here’s the funny part, afterwards, as I was walking out of the store, a still small voice whispered in my ear, “No, this is not your job.”  What?!  Seriously God?  Couldn’t You at the very least let me get out of the store before telling me?  Honestly, it made me laugh, just goes to show that God has a sense of humor.

Low and behold, I didn’t get the job.  Was I disappointed?  Maybe a little frustrated with God?  Well, no.  I was disappointed for maybe three seconds, but I had given it all to God.  In the end it was His choice and I had left it at that.  I was free to say or do anything in the interview, but God already had it all taken care of.  So even if I felt like I blew it, if it was the job God had for me, I’d get it. 

I had made the choice to let God come in, takeover, and do things His way.  It’s amazing the peace you have once you make that choice.  You suddenly have no reason what-so-ever to worry about anything because He’s got it taken care of.

Making that choice is not easy, just ask Kate and Terren, or me — you give up your control on everything — but let me tell you, it’s worth it.

Rediscover (day 31): Chaos

I honestly don’t know what to write.  My mind is a jumble of bazillion thoughts, all clamoring to be heard.

I can feel God tapping my shoulder, and sense His still small voice whispering for me to draw closer.  But the chaotic noise that surrounds me is trying to drown Him out.

So many things seem to be happening at once, but not in the physical.  My spirit has been stirred, my faith inspired, but my being is at war with something I cannot see.  The confusion is trying so desperately to take control.

The road I have chosen to walk has suddenly become strewn with sharp rocks and boulders of monstrous size.  The slop has become a cliff, and I am clinging to in a desperate attempt not to fall. 

But my sights are on the Lord my God.  The Enemy may blow a strong gale and try to pull me down or smash me against the rocks, but the LORD is on my side and nothing can take me from His hand.

I have purposed in my heart to let my life go and completely give Him my everything. 

The Enemy has upped his attack.

Lord Jesus, Heavenly Father, conquer the confusion.  I am listening for Your voice amidst the noise.  I am reaching out. 

Catch me.

Quiet the chaos.

Let me hear Your whisper.  

 

For I am persuaded, that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come, nor height, not depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~Romans 8:38-39

Rediscover (day 26): Take No Thought

Matthew 6

Verse 25: There for I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for you body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body than food.

Verse 27:  What of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Verse 32: …for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

Philippians 4    

Verse 6: Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to unto God.  

1 Peter 5

Verse 7: Casting all your cares of him; for he careth for you.

 

I think the verses speak for themselves. 

Don’t worry about tomorrow. 

Don’t worry about anything.  Instead, pray about it, lift it up to God.

Everything is in the Lord’s hands. 

He knows our every need and He will take care of them all.

Even though He knows what we need, He still wants us to cast our cares and needs on Him because He loves us. 

In everything, no matter what, give thanks.

If we worry about everything, do we truly believe that God is in control?  Do we really trust Him with everything? 

I’m still learning to completely give Him everything.  Every dream, every thought, every desire.  And trust me, it isn’t easy.  I have to do it each day, and sometimes each hour. 

By God’s grace, as a good friend reminded me, He is strong through my weakness.

Let’s give God our everything, and take no thought for tomorrow, because He’s got it taken care of.

God bless,
~Laura 

 

Rediscover (days 20-23): Backsliding…and Pulling Up.

The past week… backslide. 

Yep. 

This week (but mostly the last few days) was hard, very hard.  I hit a wall and instead of building a ladder of prayer and asking God for a hand over, I just stood there and beat my head against it.

Monday started out great.  Tuesday and Wednesday were good.  Thursday… I broke just about all the rules. 

I e-mailed my friend, who I’m doing Rediscover with, telling her how bad I was, (she’s just awesome by the way).  We e-mailed and chatted about it and she let me know that it wasn’t just me who’s had a hard time this past week.  She was having trouble with slipping back into old habits too.  It’s so great to have a friend to be there, to do it together.  If it wasn’t for her, I would have quite by now.

Where one fails, two can succeed.  A three corded rope is not easily broken.  

So we confessed, prayed, and made a battle plan for the last nineteen days. 

Today starts a new week.  God is merciful and teaching me so much.  Week four, here we come, the three of us, together.

One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ~Phil. 3:13-14

Rediscover (day 19): A Brand New Day

This song by Fireflight says it all. 🙂

    I’m waking up
       The world is turning
           The sun is shining again
               I’m holding on
                 To things I shouldn’t
                    It’s time to let them go
                      I’ve been on a losing streak
                        Hit so hard I couldn’t speak
                          But when I hear Your voice it fades away

                            [Chorus:]
        And I can hear You say
            It’s a brand new day
              The pain goes away
                 I’m headed for the door
                    And I’m going home
                        I’m going home
                            I’m going home
                                I’m going home

Your love, it burns  away my darkness
       You guide me when I’m blind
          You are the light that shines inside me
               Showing me I’m so much more
                    When I’ve been on a losing streak
                        Hit so hard I couldn’t speak
                           But when I hear Your voice it fades away

                                Take me into Your arms
                                   My home lies within Your heart

                                           And I can hear You say
                                               It’s a brand new day

Every day with Jesus is a brand new day.  His mercy is new every morning.  Every sunrise is a chance to start over, to rededicate your life and purpose to live like Christ.  Let go of those things we hold so close, give it all away to Christ and listen for His voice.  We are worth so much to Him.  No matter how bad, or how far we strayed the day before, He will welcome us home with open arms.    

 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. ~Romans 13:12

Rediscover (day 11): What is He thinking?

I woke up this morning with a fever.  Yeah, not good.  My first reaction was to tell God just what I thought about it. 

“Why?!  Not now! Don’t You know what’s happening this week?!”  (Well, duh, of course He knows what’s happening!)  

I was texting a friend earlier this morning and he reminded me that God’s timing is perfect, even though it may seem like really bad timing.  Now, I don’t know if me getting sick five days before my brother’s wedding has something to do with God’s all perfect plan for my life, but I do know that nothing happens without His say-so.  I know that’s not easy to except, because of all the bad things that happen; as I told my friend, “That’s a hard pill to swallow.”   You know what he texted back?

“I guess that’s where prayer and help from God helps to get it down.” 

Hmmm….

Even though I didn’t want to hear it, he was right.  (I know you’re reading this, so, thanks for reminding me. 🙂 )

I read this in my Bible today;

Praise ye the name of the LORD.  Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.  ~Psalm 135:1

Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.  He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.  Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.  Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon his servants.  Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings.  ~Psalm 135:6-10

 God does all these things.  We may not understand why, but that’s where we need to come to Him in prayer, lift up our pleas, trust Him to take care of us and praise Him.   

Even though getting sick now was bad timing for me, it wasn’t for God.  Perhaps I needed a lesson in trust…  

Merry CHRISTmas

God in human flesh, a baby laid in a lowly manger.  The mystery of all creation, tucked away in perfect humility.

That night God offered a gift so small and pure, a child, his son, the love of the world.  Jesus, the Christ, the savior of all.

Angles song out the glorious news, shepherds and kings welcomed and worshiped him, while the world watched and wondered.    

He came as a baby, he lived as a servant, he died in sinner’s place, he is returning, a king.

Remember that night, in the stable, a cave, in a little town.  Jesus was born in innocence and love, to gift to the world is very life and blood. 

Remember the reason for the season.   

Merry Christmas,

God bless.

-Laura

%d bloggers like this: