Saturday, July 21, 2012

Breaking the Law Part II

Ever since my blog on Breaking the Law, I’ve been trying to go the speed limit. Do you know how hard that is to do—all the time? When is the last time you went 25 mph with no one in front of you? When I try it, I see nothing but headlights filling up my rearview mirror. There’s nothing like having impatient people on your you-know-what pushing you to move faster.
As Christians, we can relate to this, can’t we? Don’t we have outside forces trying to get us to break the rules we’re trying to follow?
We don’t even need those outside forces, do we? We do a good job messing up all on our own. We have our own pressure, within us, trying to get us to break the rules. I feel it when I try to drive 25.
Now, I try to keep it at 5 mph over. I still have problems with impatient people wanting me to hurry up. And I’m already breaking the law.
Here’s the problem with the path I’ve taken: I’ve already justified breaking the law. What’s to stop me from moving it up to 10 over? It’s just another 5, right?
We may not agree with man’s rules. We may justify breaking them the moment they seem unfair. But where does that lead? Breaking more rules? When does it stop?
We may not agree with God’s rules. But He is far…far…far… to the infinite power, greater than us. His rules are righteous. For our own good, we should try to follow them.
I’m sure I sound totally legalistic. But I’m not. Here’s the difference: Grace. Yes, we should strive to follow God’s law. No, we should never condemn others who don’t. Perhaps they see things differently. If it doesn’t affect their salvation, does it matter? What’s more important, being right or the relationship? Don’t forget the greatest laws:
““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.””
~Matthew 22:36-40
I might feel I should try to follow the speed limit. But I will never condemn someone who doesn’t. I will try to love them where they’re at, be a good example, and pray God convicts them before they suffer negative consequences—even as they tailgate me. Just as I will try to follow the speed limit.
His servant,
~Jenn

25 MPH Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Body of Christ


Many of you know I’m in the process of editing my manuscript. It has been an amazing experience—a long journey with many influences.
First, the concept of my novel changed entirely the moment I dedicated my life, and my work, to God. When it began as a secular novel, I had difficulty writing it at all. Once I returned to Christ half-heartedly, it came in bits and spurts. Later, when I dedicated myself entirely, it flowed. Conclusion—my first influence was Christ.
                More influencers:
My husband - As I wrote, I bounced many ideas off him. He played a significant role in helping me sort out the scenes in my mind. Praying together motivated me.
My daughter – Her over-active imagination sparked many ideas. Her patience with my time spent at the computer is a Godsend.
My Pastor – He helps me ensure I don’t misrepresent God in any way and offers prayer. I still bask in the glow of his fabulous feedback. Plus, his captivating way of speaking influenced one of my characters—the storyteller.
My Pastor’s wife – She sent me a message when she got to chapter four to tell me she was hooked. What an encouragement!
My neice’s piano teacher – I happened upon a fellow aspiring Christian novelist. She steered me toward ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), encouraging me to join the critique group. She continues to work with me, pointing me toward many blogs and articles to help me grow as a writer.
ACFW - I have made fabulous connections with people who know the industry. They are a wealth of information—always ready to lend a helping hand, or prayer.
My critique group – They play a significant role in shaping me as a writer. My manuscript is much improved and getting better every day. The privilege of critiquing their novels has strengthened my skills as well.

My church - Many members of my church family are interested in my book. They continually encourage me.
As I thought about all the people in my life who have helped me get to this point, it occurred to me. Many minds have touched this manuscript and continue to do so. From the moment I dedicated my work to Christ, I knew He was the primary influencer. But here’s today’s epiphany—He is in all who have helped me. Not only is Christ working directly in me, He’s helping me through all He placed around me.
Together, we are the body of Christ. Today, this has a whole new meaning to me and I am eternally grateful. Thank you all.
 Am I the only one with goose bumps?
His servant,
~Jenn

Body of Christ Pictures, Images and Photos

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