Category Archives: Writing

Welcome Back, My Friends, To the Show That Never Ends

To all my friends and followers on SpiritualDrift:

Well . . . here I am again. I’ve not written anything here for almost a full year now. I’ve visited a few times, like an old friend in an old haunt with the old jukebox and the same old crowd. But I’ve not felt compelled to stay long enough to have any kind of conversation.  Maybe because I haven’t had anything to say. Maybe because I wasn’t sure if anything I DID have to say would even make much of a difference. Maybe because there were times I just didn’t care. Maybe because there were times I cared too much.

Each time I “revived” SpiritualDrift, I thought, “This time I’m gonna do it! This time I”m serious! Besides, I’ve GOT to keep writing these posts! I’ve got to keep my name out there!” But the one question I could never answer was–why?

Until now . . .

You see, writing is something that I’ve come to learn I’m deeply passionate about. For the longest time–most of this year, in fact–I wasn’t sure I was. I questioned a lot of things–my commitment, my talent, the “worthwhileness” of it all. But I’ve come to the conclusion that my passion remains. I have written a book (in the realms of fantasy fiction no less!), and begun a series, that I’m truly proud of, with characters that I love, in a genre that I never thought would appeal to me. After all, others (including good friends) have trodden this ground before. What do I have to say? What do I have to add? How can I make a difference, and make my mark?

Well, here I am, and hopefully the writing itself will answer those questions.

I am eternally grateful for those of you who have come along with me, stuck it out, come back, or are connecting for the very first time.  I don’t know if anything I have to say will change the world. But, if anything, I hope that what I write–be it fiction or non-, book or post–will make someone’s day a little brighter, make them smile, make them think a little harder (or differently), give them a bit of escape, or perhaps find a kindred spirit—in me, or in one of my characters.

In the meantime, I am going to be doing some serious looking at reviving SpiritualDrift, and my brand new site, Shadewriter.com, having to do with all things Fantasy, Suspense, and fiction related, will be up and running soon. And, as I said, my new book is finished and tentatively set for a mid- to late-January release.

As far as SpiritualDrift is concerned, I can’t help but echo (in fact, quote) what I wrote in a post from a year ago: I’m currently reading over quite a few of these old posts I’ve written over the past several years–some posted, some not. And, I’ve decided to leave them all up—as much for myself as for anyone else. These 400+ posts are an ongoing chronicle of my faith journey so far. Signposts and off-ramps. Potholes and switchbacks. All the different things, thoughts, and feelings, I’ve encountered along the way. It’s been a great journey. It’s been an ugly journey. But, over everything, it’s been my journey.

Honestly, I don’t agree with the “me” of several years ago. Nichole Nordeman put out a song last year on her “Every Mile Matters” CD called “Dear Me” that pretty much sums up how I feel about “me” now, and the “me” of back then.  If I can find it, I’ll post it below. But, suffice to say, I’m not the same man, husband, father, Christ-follower, that I was six months ago, let alone six years ago. Even more, I have no idea who/where I’ll be six months or six years from now!

If nothing else, I’m learning patience in this publishing process. Everything worthwhile takes time. There’s a lot that’s happened in the last year (personally, and professionally). And, there’s a lot that is going to need to happen in the next few days, weeks, and months. But again, here I am. Anything I write, from here on out–be it in book form, blog post, tweet, what have you, fiction or nonfiction–is something I believe in, something I’m passionate about, and something I feel driven to write.

Spiritual Drifters, I may not see you again for another year, and, you know what? That’s okay!  Again, THANK YOU to you all–my family, and my friends (new and old). It’s good to be back, even if it’s just this once!

The “Bad News” in the Gospel

directions 2I’m doing some research into a possible third non-fiction title to come out somewhere down the road, and I have a couple questions.

Recently, in some small group curriculum that my wife and I participate in, there was this quote; “The Gospel consists of both good news and bad news. The gospel becomes active in a person’s life when there is a response to it.” Examples given were drawn from John 3:16 and Romans 6:23.  My questions is this: Is there really bad news in the “good news” of God through Christ? And further, should there be? Why, or why not?

JUST RELEASED! THESE THREADS OF FAITH: A JOURNEY OF FINDING MY WAY BACK TO GOD

This book is very special to me, and very different than anything else I’ve ever written. It is my own testimony; where I am in my faith, and how I got here. My prayer is, as you read, you’ll see a little of yourself and your journey as well. Available in e-book, $3.99 from Amazon.  (click here, or on the image to order yours today!)Evolve - small

“With an Open Hand”

cropped-change.jpgAll of our possessions, all of our abilities, all of our opportunities as well as the circumstances and people who cross our life path, are there for a reason. Each of them are ingredients in this rolling, boiling cauldron of stew we call life. We are given ample opportunities to use these ingredients, adding and subtracting in any combination we like. With them we can glorify God. We can bless others. We can use them for personal gain. Or, we could even miss them completely. The more we are “in tune” to these circumstances, abilities, and opportunities, the more we come to see and recognize them. I would place our understanding of faith and belief in that boiling cauldron as well, even though this comes with great responsibility, and great risk.

It reminds me of hearing a pastor one time speaking about a posture of holding all that he had been given throughout life with an open hand. That God is the one who provides, and we should feel a response to this provision as being open to the prompting to use, or even lose, what He has graciously given us. I know, it seems like a grandiose version of “the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away” but I think the analogy stands.

Does that mean I am saying we should hold our faith and beliefs in such a grasp? With an open hand? Willing to risk rejection of them? To risk having them shaped and morphed and changed by age, wisdom, and experience? To risk losing them completely? Yes, I believe we should. And I have to smile a bit as I say that, because even this stance has evoked gasps of righteous indignation from certain circles of faithful believers. “How can you say that you only hold on loosely to your faith in God?” they ask. And the answer is simple: because this stance is something I feel led by the Spirit to embrace. I know that one day I will stand at the foot of the cross and give an account for each direction I chose to take along my path, as well as for what my heart held dear and what it was willing to hold loosely. This includes my faith.

Yes, I believe part of holding our faith with open hands means the possibility of losing it altogether. In fact, this needs to be an option for faith to truly be alive and vital within any of us.

Is it scary? Yes.

Is it unsafe? Definitely.

Faith is not an easy walk. Faith is scary. Faith isn’t safe.

The world isn’t safe. It will certainly try to challenge our beliefs and understandings. And the Lord may often allow these challenges in order to stretch, grow, and strengthen us—and our faith—as we journey further along life’s path in the world. This allowance is not out of some sense of meanness, anger, or indifference. Quite the contrary, and I think this is key. God’s use of these troubling circumstances shows an incredible amount of love and faith on His part. You see, we are called to have faith in Him for the simple reason that He has faith in us! I believe He is actually rooting for us. Encouraging us. Cheering us on surrounded by a vast chorus of angels, singing, shouting, and doing the wave! For us!

Why?

Because He knows we can do it. We can overcome. We can weather through. That this is what we were designed for. Not to be constantly battered by the storms of life, but to show God’s glory within the storm. To rely on Him, and on those He surrounds us with. Within each circumstance, we are the ones who get to choose whether it be a test to strengthen our faith, or a challenge to abandon our faith and walk away.
~ excerpt from These Threads of Faith, pg. 22