Freedom Sunday

There is a movement rising.
Over the last several years there has been a huge increase in awareness about the problem of human trafficking around the globe. Many groups have sprung up to take direct part in the fight to end the scourge of modern slavery. I have listed several of these on my sidebar.
One such group, Not For Sale, is organizing Freedom Sunday for another year. This started in 2010, and it has been growing among churches since.

This year Freedom Sunday is being held globally on February 26, 2012. It is not necessary to join or participate on that specific weekend, but it is a great time to come together as one voice in the body of Christ to bring freedom to the captives, and light to the oppressed.

They provide many resources that churches can use, from videos that can be shown for a quick overview, to sermon or Bible study notes, to songs that speak of justice, plus many more.

I encourage you to bring this to the attention of your church leaders. I know they have many pressing things on their plates, but remember Jesus’s words, “If you do this for the least of these, you have done them to me.”

Freedom Sunday

There is a movement rising.
Over the last several years there has been a huge increase in awareness about the problem of human trafficking around the globe. Many groups have sprung up to take direct part in the fight to end the scourge of modern slavery. I have listed several of these on my sidebar.
One such group, Not For Sale, is organizing Freedom Sunday for another year. This started in 2010, and it has been growing among churches since.

This year Freedom Sunday is being held globally on February 26, 2012. It is not necessary to join or participate on that specific weekend, but it is a great time to come together as one voice in the body of Christ to bring freedom to the captives, and light to the oppressed.

They provide many resources that churches can use, from videos that can be shown for a quick overview, to sermon or Bible study notes, to songs that speak of justice, plus many more.

I encourage you to bring this to the attention of your church leaders. I know they have many pressing things on their plates, but remember Jesus’s words, “If you do this for the least of these, you have done them to me.”

Plotting By The Seat Of My Pants

Plugging away.

That’s how writing goes often. Keep chopping wood. Put more words on the page.

Writers know that there are two general methods for getting a story on paper. The plotters love to outline, charting each scene and building up a framework that their words can fill in. The pantsers, so named for writing by the seat of their pants, make it up as they go.

Not quite the idea…
The plotters like knowing where they are going, having a map or blueprint to follow. The pantsers will tell you how their story can be more organic, being surprised by the twists and turns that pop up along the way.
How about a middle way?

Of course people do this all the time. You don’t have to be tried and true to one method to get to “The End.”

I was surprised when this started happening with me though.

I’ve always been an outline guy when writing papers. In college I would do my research, label it all out with Roman numerals and A. B. C., and when I was all done, write my final draft as my first draft. All done. Ready to go!
Yeah, it’s not that easy when writing a novel.

Closer? I dunno…
I have a general outline in my head. I know where my protagonists need to be…eventually. I have the ending all worked out. There was just a little problem with the middle, and getting them to where they needed to be. A small issue.

I kept dealing with writer’s block whenever I finished a point on my outline. Where to go next? How do I get there?

I’ve started doing it by the seat of my pants.

A technique that I’ve found effective for me is to set my phone’s timer, meaning I can’t browse the internet for some obscure fact that I HAVE to have for my next scene, and start writing. It might not be the best prose in the galaxy, but I have made progress.

It has been propelling me past these sticking points. I’m forced to make a decision and go with it.

And there’s been some good stuff come out of it. Who would’ve guessed?

I still have my general outline and I still know where I want to end up. But the process of getting there has become more interesting. Hopefully it all turns out when I get there!

So if you’re writing and wondering how best to do get moving – do whatever it takes. There’s no need to just plot or pants it. The point is words on the page.

Time to go set my timer…

Plotting By The Seat Of My Pants

Plugging away.

That’s how writing goes often. Keep chopping wood. Put more words on the page.

Writers know that there are two general methods for getting a story on paper. The plotters love to outline, charting each scene and building up a framework that their words can fill in. The pantsers, so named for writing by the seat of their pants, make it up as they go.

Not quite the idea…
The plotters like knowing where they are going, having a map or blueprint to follow. The pantsers will tell you how their story can be more organic, being surprised by the twists and turns that pop up along the way.
How about a middle way?

Of course people do this all the time. You don’t have to be tried and true to one method to get to “The End.”

I was surprised when this started happening with me though.

I’ve always been an outline guy when writing papers. In college I would do my research, label it all out with Roman numerals and A. B. C., and when I was all done, write my final draft as my first draft. All done. Ready to go!
Yeah, it’s not that easy when writing a novel.

Closer? I dunno…
I have a general outline in my head. I know where my protagonists need to be…eventually. I have the ending all worked out. There was just a little problem with the middle, and getting them to where they needed to be. A small issue.

I kept dealing with writer’s block whenever I finished a point on my outline. Where to go next? How do I get there?

I’ve started doing it by the seat of my pants.

A technique that I’ve found effective for me is to set my phone’s timer, meaning I can’t browse the internet for some obscure fact that I HAVE to have for my next scene, and start writing. It might not be the best prose in the galaxy, but I have made progress.

It has been propelling me past these sticking points. I’m forced to make a decision and go with it.

And there’s been some good stuff come out of it. Who would’ve guessed?

I still have my general outline and I still know where I want to end up. But the process of getting there has become more interesting. Hopefully it all turns out when I get there!

So if you’re writing and wondering how best to do get moving – do whatever it takes. There’s no need to just plot or pants it. The point is words on the page.

Time to go set my timer…

A Missions Challenge

It’s Mission Monday here at Spoiled For The Ordinary.

I’ve just started focusing posts on Mondays toward missions, but I’m anticipating a question/comment that could come up at some point.

“You talk about foreign missions all the time, but what about the need here in the United States?”

Let me state up front that I am a big fan of the missional movement that talks about always being called on mission. Whether I am at work, enjoying the state fair, coaching on the soccer field, or chatting on the internet about my favorite video game, I believe God can use me. My life is my mission, and there’s no off-duty. I want to see people around me know about the glorious freedom of the children of God. I live in an area of the United States that has a desperate need for evangelism. I don’t diminish this fact.

Still, I know that if half of the people who went to Bible-believing churches in my town fully lived for Jesus, this town could be transformed. (And I am one of these who needs to fully live my life for Jesus – let me challenge myself first!) My feeling has long been that there are enough Christians in this area to do the work needed. There are at least churches here that love Jesus.

The problem is that there are so many places around the world without a Christian witness. My mission trip to Thailand was to an area that had two churches in the city – and the province. Two churches for a population of 150,000 or so. There are nations and people groups who have no reproducing witness of Christ, whether due to lack of freedom or being a hard area to witness.

There are a lot of issues that I can talk about related to this. I know that it is hard for Westerners to be effective missionaries in all areas due to risks, cost, etc., and that it is easier for native missionaries to do work in various regions. Not everyone feels called to go, and I’m generally okay with that (although there’s the old Keith Green saying that the Bible tells us to GO, so we’d better have special leading from the Lord if we’re staying!) However, there is a need for being enlightened about conditions and opportunities in the world.

I will talk about local missions as specifics arise, but my focus is going to be international, because we are abundantly blessed in America. Almost embarrassingly so. We can be so fat from feeding ourselves spiritually, we get lazy and forget to give to others. I’d like to do my little part in changing that.

Hard words for a Monday. What do you think about this? I’m truly interested to hear!

A Missions Challenge

It’s Mission Monday here at Spoiled For The Ordinary.

I’ve just started focusing posts on Mondays toward missions, but I’m anticipating a question/comment that could come up at some point.

“You talk about foreign missions all the time, but what about the need here in the United States?”

Let me state up front that I am a big fan of the missional movement that talks about always being called on mission. Whether I am at work, enjoying the state fair, coaching on the soccer field, or chatting on the internet about my favorite video game, I believe God can use me. My life is my mission, and there’s no off-duty. I want to see people around me know about the glorious freedom of the children of God. I live in an area of the United States that has a desperate need for evangelism. I don’t diminish this fact.

Still, I know that if half of the people who went to Bible-believing churches in my town fully lived for Jesus, this town could be transformed. (And I am one of these who needs to fully live my life for Jesus – let me challenge myself first!) My feeling has long been that there are enough Christians in this area to do the work needed. There are at least churches here that love Jesus.

The problem is that there are so many places around the world without a Christian witness. My mission trip to Thailand was to an area that had two churches in the city – and the province. Two churches for a population of 150,000 or so. There are nations and people groups who have no reproducing witness of Christ, whether due to lack of freedom or being a hard area to witness.

There are a lot of issues that I can talk about related to this. I know that it is hard for Westerners to be effective missionaries in all areas due to risks, cost, etc., and that it is easier for native missionaries to do work in various regions. Not everyone feels called to go, and I’m generally okay with that (although there’s the old Keith Green saying that the Bible tells us to GO, so we’d better have special leading from the Lord if we’re staying!) However, there is a need for being enlightened about conditions and opportunities in the world.

I will talk about local missions as specifics arise, but my focus is going to be international, because we are abundantly blessed in America. Almost embarrassingly so. We can be so fat from feeding ourselves spiritually, we get lazy and forget to give to others. I’d like to do my little part in changing that.

Hard words for a Monday. What do you think about this? I’m truly interested to hear!

The Adoration Of Jenna Fox

Jenna Fox can’t lace her fingers together.
Her fingers look perfectly fine. They just don’t go together well. A classmate tells her she has an odd walk. But she used to do ballet. At least that’s what she’s been told by her parents.
She can’t remember it though.
Seventeen year old Jenna Fox wakes up in California, a stranger in her body. She had an accident that put her in a coma, and now she can’t remember most of her previous life.
She was an only child, so her doting parents have numerous videos of her life. She’s encouraged to watch them as she tries to regain what she’s lost.
Jenna feels like she’s not being told everything. Her grandmother who lives with them is distant and cold, unlike the loving Grandma in the videos. And when she visits her neighbor and he offers her a chance to feed the birds, they won’t eat from her handful of birdseed. They only choose the neighbor.
So just who is Jenna Fox?
We all received books for Christmas in my family. The Adoration Of Jenna Fox by Mary E Pearson was my request. It may seem weird for a middle aged guy to want a young adult novel, but this book intrigued me with its premise of mystery in the midst of bioethics. Oh, and the cover rocks.
 It didn’t disappoint.
The book is written in present tense from Jenna’s point of view, which is a perfect way to tell her story – as she discovers her new life and old one, we experience it with her.
The structure is a little disjointed early on. Chapters seem random and are set apart in varying ways, not with the typical stop, blank page, and clear title and beginning into the next part. It made getting into the book a little challenging. However, it makes sense when considering Jenna’s fragmented memory. Once I got into it, I wanted to discover what Jenna’s secret was and how it was going to affect her. (I knew more about the plot going into it than I am giving here – I don’t want it spoiled for new readers).
The book is set in a near future where there are some amazing medical advances, but with any progress comes questions and unintended consequences. Adoration does a very good job of introducing issues to think about in the framework of the story. I don’t know how much it would make a teen think of bioethical issues, but as a medical professional I thought it was well done and should provoke thought. One of my favorite philosophers is Ian Malcolm from Jurrasic Park when he says, “Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.”
Adoration has humorous moments, stakes that become higher than just Jenna finding herself, and a lot of suspense. The ending may be too tidy, but it is satisfying, and it looks like Pearson managed to work a sequel into it still, The Fox Inheritance, which I haven’t read yet.
I recommend this book for teens, those interested in bioethics or medical fiction, and those who like near future “what ifs”. It is a good read that can provoke thinking – a crazy thing, right?

The Adoration Of Jenna Fox

Jenna Fox can’t lace her fingers together.
Her fingers look perfectly fine. They just don’t go together well. A classmate tells her she has an odd walk. But she used to do ballet. At least that’s what she’s been told by her parents.
She can’t remember it though.
Seventeen year old Jenna Fox wakes up in California, a stranger in her body. She had an accident that put her in a coma, and now she can’t remember most of her previous life.
She was an only child, so her doting parents have numerous videos of her life. She’s encouraged to watch them as she tries to regain what she’s lost.
Jenna feels like she’s not being told everything. Her grandmother who lives with them is distant and cold, unlike the loving Grandma in the videos. And when she visits her neighbor and he offers her a chance to feed the birds, they won’t eat from her handful of birdseed. They only choose the neighbor.
So just who is Jenna Fox?
We all received books for Christmas in my family. The Adoration Of Jenna Fox by Mary E Pearson was my request. It may seem weird for a middle aged guy to want a young adult novel, but this book intrigued me with its premise of mystery in the midst of bioethics. Oh, and the cover rocks.
 It didn’t disappoint.
The book is written in present tense from Jenna’s point of view, which is a perfect way to tell her story – as she discovers her new life and old one, we experience it with her.
The structure is a little disjointed early on. Chapters seem random and are set apart in varying ways, not with the typical stop, blank page, and clear title and beginning into the next part. It made getting into the book a little challenging. However, it makes sense when considering Jenna’s fragmented memory. Once I got into it, I wanted to discover what Jenna’s secret was and how it was going to affect her. (I knew more about the plot going into it than I am giving here – I don’t want it spoiled for new readers).
The book is set in a near future where there are some amazing medical advances, but with any progress comes questions and unintended consequences. Adoration does a very good job of introducing issues to think about in the framework of the story. I don’t know how much it would make a teen think of bioethical issues, but as a medical professional I thought it was well done and should provoke thought. One of my favorite philosophers is Ian Malcolm from Jurrasic Park when he says, “Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.”
Adoration has humorous moments, stakes that become higher than just Jenna finding herself, and a lot of suspense. The ending may be too tidy, but it is satisfying, and it looks like Pearson managed to work a sequel into it still, The Fox Inheritance, which I haven’t read yet.
I recommend this book for teens, those interested in bioethics or medical fiction, and those who like near future “what ifs”. It is a good read that can provoke thinking – a crazy thing, right?