Writer's block, and how to get known

Ok, before anyone accuses me of a bait and switch, the title reflects the contents of this blog, and while it is catchy, the two topics are not directly related.  It is my quirky randomness that drew the two subjects together and thus created the Title for this blog post.  Sorry if it misled anyone.

Writer's block.  Anyone who has ever had a deadline for an essay in High School knows what this is.  It sucks, even when you are not a writer by profession.  I know of a few strategies to get past it.  Go back and rewrite the last sentence/paragraph/page.  Just free write until something comes to you.  Start a new thread until you complete the assignment or something new comes to you.  The second one works best for me, but there are times when nothing seems to work except stepping away for a time and coming back later.  Sometimes months or even a year.  I got to a point in my on going story series that i just couldn't seem to move forward with it.  I backed up, i approached it from various angles... but i am stuck.  I've even considered re-writing some of it.  Such are the perils of not having a start to finish outline i believe.  I outlined some, but since it was an on-going deal i only went so far, and then out paced my outline with the writing.  So... i am going to take a(n as yet determined) brief break from that storyline.  Almost immediately i had another story line concept that i am interested in pursuing.  This one not in the Necromunda setting.  It is still in a gaming system though, because i lack sufficient creativity to create my own 'universe'.  This one will take place within Steve Jackson Games universe of Car Wars.  Yet another not mainstream game - even by table top war gaming standards.  I will see if i can get some short stories off the ground this way.  Mostly, because i just like to write, and i am just not a touchy-feely kind of writer.  I like to write about people that have to eek out an existence out of pretty hostile situations.  As usual the main protagonist(s) will not be some well off, silver spoon fed, aristocrat.  They will be an everyman type deal, and their trials and accomplishments.  I have one character outlined in my head, but i am awaiting some feedback from a friend on the second one.  We shall see. 

Sometime back, if you've actually been reading this blog long enough, you may remember my concern with the following verses:  
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." (Matthew 7:21-23, ESV)
It concerns me because it clearly shows people who were doing things in the name of Christ, and yet the Lord Himself say, "I never knew you"! How can one who proclaims themselves a Christian, a follower of Christ, not have at least some concern over this statement?!?  My concern does not come because i think the Lord is some kind of vindictive despot.  It is because i know He is a just God.
The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34: 5-7, ESV)
And the Lord being just is perfectly within His right to dismiss the very people that did all of those things in His name, and yet they are turned from the Throne because He never knew them.  This had me meditating.  I know we are NOT saved by works.  We can never do enough good things to overcome the debt we have incurred, and that we produce good works - not to obtain righteousness, or God's favor - but because of what He has already accomplished by Christ's work.  The concept of grace is not what concerned me... but the walk through life with the firm belief in those works are evidence of the grace, evidence of my heart change, but then when it comes to stand before the Judgment seat and hear those terrible words.  Then, yesterday the Lord showed me a verse within His word that gave me comfort:
Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3, ESV)
I can see how this can be a round robin train of thought.  If you love God, you will do what He says, but we cannot do what He says without His provision, and because, of His grace, but how do we receive this grace unless we love Him?  In the end i find myself praying for His grace to love Him more, so that i may do the things He commands.  In the end it is but for me to love, to serve, to pursue Him, and all my effort and strength is provided by and through my Lord Jesus Christ.


Musical Monday - 20110704

Another thing i miss because of my own not posting blogs of late... Music Monday.  This has been a song that recently has really grabbed my attention and brought forth meditations of God.  To think that God would condescend and become flesh.  To leave His glory, to leave heaven, to walk among man.  He then proclaimed the word of God, and when He had accomplished all that He had come to do, He ascended back to his home.  Because of this all those who come to receive Him and believe, will then get to share His home when our time here on earth is complete.  What an incredible thing to think upon.

Glorious Day

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

Oh, glorious day
© 2009 My Refuge Music/Club Zoo Music (adm. by EMI CMG Publishing) (BMI) / Be Essential Songs (adm. by Sony/ATV Songs LLC) (BMI) / Word Music, LLC (ASCAP)

From the notes and the group and song writers:  The hymn "One Day" was a big hymn for me growing up. All I knew was hymns until probably 21 or 22 years old; that’s what we had in our church. The chorus: "Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away," that has just been a part of me from the start. As a youth pastor, you want your students to hear the theology of the hymns and sometimes you have to play it a little different way.


Something borrowed - and my own ramblings mixed in

I read this over at a friend's blog and thought it was pretty cool.

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

When things in your life seem
almost too much to handle,
when 24 Hours in a day is not enough,
remember the mayonnaise jar
and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class
and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly,
he picked up a very large
and empty mayonnaise jar
and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students
if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and
poured them into the jar.
He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open
areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again
if the jar was full..
They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand
and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded with a unanimous

The professor then produced
two cups of coffee from under the table
And poured the entire contents
into the jar, effectively
filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.
“Now,” said the professor,
as the laughter subsided,
“I want you to recognize that this jar represents
your LIFE”
“The golf balls are the important things -
God, family, children, health,
friends, and favorite passions –
things that if everything else was lost
and only they remained,
your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter
like your job, house, and car.
The sand is everything else –
the small stuff.
If you put the sand into the jar first,”
he continued,
“there is no room for
the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time
and energy on the small stuff,
you will never have room for
the things that are
important to you.

Pay attention to the things
that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.
Play another 18.
There will always be time
to clean the house
and fix the disposal.
Take care of the golf balls first –
the things that really matter.
Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand
and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled.
“I’m glad you asked”.
“It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may
seem, there’s always room for
a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

I apologize for the infrequency of writing of late.  Life feels like it has been crazy since i started my anti-depressant meds.  Don't get me wrong, they are working wonders for me.  It's just that my writing endeavors have been focused elsewhere of late.  I write/read e-mails all day.  I write ticket notes.  I write problem summaries.  I even get a chance to write some more of my stories from time to time.  Then, when it comes time to blog... i feel like i am completely unsure of what to write about.  I have been doing the jot notes and save them deal... but i have not been coming back to flesh out the notes as often.  I am going to be trying to post at least one blog entry a week going forward.  Give myself a goal to shoot for.  8)  Anyway, for now... more rambling...

I had drifted away from collecting Pieces of Flair over on facebook, but i need to expand my MouseHunt flair some, and i created a few more pieces myself.  Besides, i really like using the images for spicing up my blog entries. ;-) So, time to spend some of my Flair credits.... 8)

Recently a really good morning radio show went off the air.  I really liked this trio, but alas the main guy took a job out in Northern California.  Fortunately one can catch things on the Internet.  LOL  It was the Mornings with Brant radio show.  I am especially going to miss their Monday Morning song, "I Saw the Light" as performed by The David Crowder Band:

It always brought a smile to my face.  I am not a fan of change, but i know that if there is one thing in certain in life, it's change.

Sometime ago, i had received an invitation - and please pardon me for not researching back through my blog to dig it up - to join a group that had strong disagreements with Sovereign Grace Ministries and its leaders.  With some trepidation i explored their site, and while i had a very hard time imagining the grievances i found there, i was also willing to admit that there are no perfect churches and it might be possible.  However, since i did not experience the situations first hand, nor did i know the people presenting them, i decided that i would not be joining them as SGM has richly blessed me, and as a result many others who i interact with - even on a daily basis.  So, with my continued support of SGM it grieved me to learn that C.J. Mahaney would be taking a leave of absence from his position as head of SGM.  This was due to several serious "charges" being made against him - you can read it more thoroughly on his blog: CJ's View from the Cheap Seats.  While i am disappointed, and grieved about these events (mostly due to my own pride) i am also encouraged by the steps being taken.  CJ is not without sin here, as is plain to read in his own words (as even more elaborately stated in his comments to his home church), and this has been occurring over a decade long period.  To read about his reconciliation with Larry Tomczak is especially heartening.  I do not know how it will all play out, but i do know that if more leaders would take the steps CJ has finally realized he needed to, the church of Christ would be a whole lot stronger today.