Wednesday, February 21, 2018

IGNORANT GRATITUDE: Thoughts From the Bonhoeffer Biography


I bought a couple books when I went to Summit a few years back, but I didn't get around to reading two of them until  this last year.

They were powerful reads, that I enjoyed tremendously. You can read my reviews of them on Goodreads.


Tactics, methods and strategies for better communications and debating. Basically, how should a Christian argue? And what is winning?

Bonhoeffer, biography of a theologian who was involved in a large conspiracy to overthrow/ assassinate Adolf Hitler. 


In 1930 German theologian student Dietrich Bonhoeffer went to study in America. Among the many things he witnessed, he was horrified by the segregation and racism that dwelt in our country with the Negroes. He said, “Our Jewish question is a joke by comparison; there won't be many people who claim they are oppressed here.”

Though racism was a huge issue for Americans in the 1930's, we all know the “Jewish question” was no joke.
Time proved that racism was awful in America, and only through extreme matters was it able to become otherwise.
But few, even the people that were living right during the time leading up to WWII, recognized the horrors happening in their very own country. Another place was worse… it was “relatively good” in Germany.
The end results were devastating. We all know what happened. People refused to admit that something atrocious was happening, blinded themselves to the dangers surrounding themselves.

And six million Jews were killed.

Today we compare ourselves to other places. We are better. We have “freedom”. Our prisons are“better”. Our government isn't as bad as another's. Our troubles are a joke compared to every other country.
We say we think critically, even as we believe every lie we are taught.

“I'm so thankful for the freedom I have. I'm so thankful God is on my side. Compared to other places… we are have it relatively good.”

All the while we choose to remain blind, just as the Germans did to Hitler's schemes.

We do not have it relatively good. Saying thank you for the freedom we do not have is not looking for the good in our everyday life. It's good to be thankful, we are even commanded to be so. But turning a blind eye to what is true is foolish, not stirring up gratitude. 

Being thankful that the sky is pink does not make you more grateful, nor help the fact that the country is sinking into Satan’s grasp.

Be thankful even as you see the truth, and do not turn a blind eye to the wrong we are allowing to exist in our very own land.
We are focused on things that do not matter. 

Career/ Work/ Social life/ Friends/ Religion/ Diet/ Clothes/ Materialism/ Appearance/ Entertainment.

Our country is falling apart, and we are dancing as if nothing matters. Because “our troubles are a joke compared to the rest of the world’s”.

Life continues… because we are not “called to make a difference here”.

Joke?
Calling?

Truth? (Oh… that is relative these days….)

We are flirting with our lives, just as the whole world did with the Jews'. 

We are tempting God's wrath.

Every person was called to love God, love mankind. To allow evil to exist in your very own country is the utmost rejection of your calling.


These were some of my thoughts I wrote while reading the book about Bonhoeffer.

Not only was it an amazing book digging into deep thoughts concerning God's theology, I saw a picture of our current day world over and over.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer told people about the concentration camps. No one believed him. People weren't dying in their county. Jews weren't being persecuted. 

It was the Christian's duty to help, to love, to stand against oppression. People's lack of obedience to God appalled Bonhoeffer. How could people turn a blind eye to people?

Romans 13 was quoted in his face... his response? People were taking it out of context. Instead of loving God, following God's call, loving their neighbor, things God commanded over and over and over, people were lying back in contentment justifying their actions on one passage.

Obedience to God, he said, often looked like sin to religious, legalistic Christianity.

In order to save lives Bonhoeffer had to come to terms with this question: could he kill? Could he lie? Could he do all of this in a good conscious.

The answer was no.

He could not.

Yet, he would. Because one was to follow God, not a conscious.

And in that way Bonhoeffer could bear the guilt of deceit as he tried to save innocent lives, pastor and care for everyone, and overthrow Hitler.

He chose to follow God. He chose to be thankful about what was real, and recognize the crimes happening under the carpet. And instead of leaving the carpet their, he chose to rip it away and burn it.

He didn't hide behind:

"I don't have time for politics." God told him to love people. To make his time about loving people. Politics didn't separate this obligation in his mind.

"The Jews aren't being harmed by having to wear a star. Or shop else where. Just obey the law and they will leave you alone." He knew small tyranny lead to slaughter.

"We aren't to stand against authority. We are to be submissive." He knew we are to never turn a blind eye when others' are suffering. We were never commanded to watch as others die, no matter what religion or sect or man-made law they broke.

One dream of Bonhoeffer's was to visit Gandhi. While he did not agree with this man's thoughts of God Bonhoeffer said this: "It sometimes seems to me that there’s more Christianity in [India’s] ‘heathenism’ than in the whole of our Reich Church. Christianity did in fact come from the East originally, but it has become so westernized and so permeated by civilized thought that, as we can now see, it is almost lost to us." (Page 248, Bonhoeffer)

"Gandhi was not a Christian," The biography reads, page 248. "But he lived in a community that endeavored to live by the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. Bonhoeffer wanted Christians to live that way."

Bonhoeffer's question says well what I feel, "Must we be put to shame by the non-Christian people in the East? Shall we desert the individuals who are risking their lives for this message?"



The times we live in now are no different than those of historical times.
We are still a people that choose to be ignorant and conceited, rather than true followers of God.
We would rather to be comfortable and content in lies than love anyone.
Time hasn't changed anything.
But the worst part? That the blindest, most deaf, most hateful of us are those of us that call ourselves Christians. 
We say we follow God? But why don't our actions meet our words?

For any of you that like Narnia, I recently wrote this fan fiction about Polly and Digory from Narnia for another blog. I had to answer the question, "Why did those two never marry!?" ;D Enjoy the story!  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I Lust You: A Romance Story

Sometimes I like to write stories with pictures. Once upon a time I actually wanted to be a children's book illustrator... I thought I loved drawing. But then I realized I was a better writer than artist. Plus I love writing more :D 

Yet, at times... art is still quite fun ;D 











This is my 200th post. I think that's kinda exciting ;D If you actually count the posts you will only find 199. This is because of my blog being redesigned (one of my best friends is very techy!). So that means I'm going through old posts and getting rid of pictures that I wasn't allowed to use (I was ignorant with picture laws when I started blogging) and adding tags. One post was all pictures that weren't mine, so I deleted that ;p 

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Lawrence Children: Chapter 5

Grandpa's Mystery




New Year's came and went with no sign of the world ending. It was 1900 – and though many interesting things were happening all over the world, life continued on quietly in Norris.
Every morning, before the children left for school, Vern would open up their father's Bible and read. They would all pray together, taking turns. And sometimes they would even sing either a hymn or one of family songs.
After the Bible was read and prayers done, Lucy said, “I was thinking of riding with the children to school today. I want to pick up more books from the teacher and turn in my work,” Lucy looked at Vern. “Also I want to visit the hotel to see how Patty is doing.”
“Patty works at the hotel?” Vern asked.
“Kind of. She's been doing their cleaning, and lives in a small apartment next to them while the Harris' are away.”
Vern nodded, “That probably brings in a little extra money.”
They all liked Patty – she was several years older than them but was always a good friend to the children. She had been handed a life of sadness. She and her father had moved to the area when she was ten years old to pastor one of the churches in a nearby town. Her mother had died years before. But her father also died just a couple years after they moved, leaving her completely alone in the world.
She did have family back East that kept in regular correspondence with her. But she had said they were nothing like her and she'd be more alone back home than here.
The children were glad she had stayed, and that she'd been able to find a family in Norris to live with.

Lucy stepped out of the sleigh and took Julie into her arms. She left the rest of the children to put away the sleigh or visit with their friends as she walked into the school house.
Her teacher was sitting at his desk, bent over a book.
Lucy smiled, “Hello, Mr Farrows.”
The teacher looked up, “Lucy! What a pleasant surprise.”
Lucy readjusted Julie at her hips as she handed Mr Farrows her books. “I have finished the lessons. It took longer than I expected, I'm afraid. I'm not able to study as often as I should. I like to visit Vern at the mines during lunch, and that takes a considerable amount of time.”
“I'm assuming his work is going well, then?”
“I believe so,” Lucy replied. “It makes him exhausted, at least.”
“And you?” Mr Farrows asked as he took the books and looked them over.
“Me?” Julie squirmed trying to get away. Lucy held her tighter.
“How are you managing?”
Lucy felt tears threaten. She was managing well only because she wasn't thinking about it. She forced out a smile in her voice. “I'm doing well. Julie, the house, and meals keep me busy. But I'm glad I don't have to be in the cold as much as Vern. And I have more time for my books than he does.”
“I can see that,” Mr Farrows looked up from her books and gave Lucy a smile. “I'll have more lessons ready for you by the end of today, and these graded if that's convenient?”
“Can you have them done that soon?” Lucy gasped.
“Well, I can try to have most of the corrections done,” Mr Farrows confessed. “What I don't have done I'll send home with the other children. We also just received a shipment of new edition classics – I'll make sure to send one of those home with you.”
“That would be wonderful,” Lucy said. “And the book sounds lovely.”
“I'm glad. And Lucy?”
“Yes?”
“I hope you and Vern are taking care of yourselves, too. I'm glad you staying strong in life. And we miss you here.”
Lucy looked down, blushing. “Thank you.”
“Keep up – you and Vern have the makings of adding greatly to our society.”
“Thank you, Mr Farrows.”
He nodded.
Lucy turned away, Julie still in her arms.
She smiled as she walked out of the school house, but stopped as she looked over the school yard. The last day she attended here she had no idea it would be her final... So long ago... yet just a couple months ago.
How she missed it.
She saw several of her school mates and friends. They hadn't seen her, though.
She saw another of her friends – David Richter. At one time she thought he liked her. But it was obvious he was with Joyce now.
Joyce was sweet. Still Lucy felt a pang of longing – or was it jealousy? Joyce saw her and waved.
Lucy smiled and walked down the school steps. Several of her friends now noticed her, too. They came running over.
“Lucy! It's been so long,” Gwen said. Once they had been best friends – but these last few months Lucy now felt separated.
All the other girls approached slowly, almost cautiously. Lucy knew why. They weren't sure what to say or how to look at her. Her parents dying set her apart from them.
“This must be Julie,” Gwen said. Gwen put her hands on her hips and leaned in to talk to Julie, “How are you doing? I don't think I've seen you since last summer – you were so tiny.”
Julie hid her face by burying herself into Lucy.
The girls all laughed – and a boy. Lucy looked up. David was standing nearby beside Joyce.
Lucy looked away quickly.
Needing something to say, Lucy jumped at Gwen's last words. “You haven't seen her in that long?”
“Not since the summer singing at the church, I think,” Gwen said.
“That was a long time ago,” Lucy tried to laugh.
“We haven't seen you in church for a long time,” Barbara said.
Lucy smiled at the younger girl. Their family had never attended church regularly. And just because their parents died didn't mean that would change. Both she and Vern agreed with her Father that the church meddled too much in affairs that should be kept private. But Barbara had always been a part of their circle at school even though she and Lucy had never been close.
“We have been wanting to come. But it's much farther away than school. And it's hard to traverse the cold with all the children. Also, Vern needs rest on Sunday – he works all the time the rest of the week,” Lucy answered.
“But fellowship is essential,” Lucy felt that Barbara raised her chin. It could have been pure imagination. Yet her words did hold an arrogant tint.
“Tom and Mary come over often. Plus – it's kinda hard to not get fellowship at our house - constantly.”
The other girls laughed.
Barbara turned her eyes around as if words couldn't express how stupid she felt Lucy's words were.
Joyce quickly spoke, “We can't go as much either. Father needs rest. And Mother says that the Sabbath is for rest more than anything else.”
Kind hearted Joyce. It was no wonder David was with her.
Lucy smiled, “I do hope once the weather clears we will be able to start occasionally going.”
“It would be nice to see you more often,” Gwen said.
The school bell rang.
Lucy nodded, “That would be nice.”
Gwen and Joyce each gave Lucy a quick hug as the others started walking for the school house. Gwen whispered into Lucy's ear, “I've been praying for you, dear friend. I hope you are feeling OK?”
“Thank you,” Lucy let her reserve down, not trying to hide the break in her voice. Let Gwen see just how much she needed those words.
Gwen gave her one more affectionate hug, “Know you are loved!” And Gwen ran into the school house.

Lucy walked to the hotel. It was not a long walk, but the wind pressed against her making the downhill walk feel as if she were pushing against a load of ore. Julie being in her arms didn't help matters.
Patty was inside the hotel. A handkerchief pulled her hair away from her face. She held a handful of rags and a broom. As soon as she saw Lucy she smiled, “Lucy!”
“Is now a good time to visit? I was in town and wanted to see you.”
“Now is perfect. I'm so glad you came.” Patty sat her rags and broom down. “I have just about finished up what I was doing.”
Lucy observed her older friend. To her there was no one more beautiful than Patty. A girl that was always happy, always in love with God. She never showed a sign of bitterness or anxiety, revealing the slightest longing for something different. All of Patty was always full of fun ideas, with an ever present beautiful smile ready to rejoice over something marvelous happening in her world.
“Come, sit. I'll fix us some warm tea.”
“That would be wonderful,” Lucy set herself and Julie on the couch in the lobby.
“Is it still pretty windy out there?” Patty asked as she left the room.
“Yes,” Lucy called out, but she doubted Patty could hear.
Julie wouldn't sit still on the couch. She wanted to pick at the woven material. She kept throwing the pillows to the floor.
Lucy kept her frustration away as she turned Julie's face to her own, “Julie, you have to be good. You can wait to play till we get home.”
“Are you saying playing is not good?” A man asked, causing Lucy to jump where she sat.
She hadn't heard anyone walk in – but there were two men. Both looked to be almost as old as her Grandpa would be. One looked very much like she would have imagined an older David looking like.
“I think you scared the girl, Robert,” the other man said.
Robert laughed. But he didn't say anything further to Lucy.
The other man did, though. “Are you staying here?”
Lucy shook her head, “I am visiting a friend – Patty.”
“Ah, the cleaning girl.”
Lucy nodded.
“Enjoy yourself,” the man said. Then he and his friend left, exiting with the wind.
Julie managed to escape Lucy's eyes as the men left and scampered off the couch. “Julie, you need to stay with me.”
But Julie acted as if she could not hear and began running – stopping as she bumped into Patty.
“Oh, Julie. Be careful,” Patty said. “Or I might burn you with this hot tea.”
Julie backed up, looking at Patty hard. Lucy picked up her sister and placed her back onto the couch.
“She is being very troublesome today,” Lucy explained. “I'm afraid I don't know how to take care of her.”
Patty handed Lucy a mug of hot tea, and another small tin cup of condensed tea to Julie. “I put some snow into Julie's tea – she should be able to drink it?”
“Oh, yes!” Lucy took the tin and handed it to Julie. “That should keep her occupied for a bit.”
Lucy blew into her tea as she took a sip.
“As to what you said about taking care of her, it appears to me you are doing a perfect job,” Patty said.
Lucy let the steam of the tea hide her eyes. “I don't know – I just feel I can't raise Julie correctly. I'm only 15 – I can't be a mother.”
“You don't have to be a mother – just do everything a mother does,” Patty said, laughing.
Lucy laughed with Patty, becoming less tense. Though she didn't really feel like laughing, still. “I feel bad for Vern. For the most part my life is really quite good, despite my extra work. And Mr Farrows says I'll be able to graduate with the rest of the class even though I can't attend school. Life will be better for me eventually – but Vern is doomed to care for all of us forever. At least until the children are grown and gone. His future has been very much postponed.” Lucy said.
“That is sad. But I doubt he feels bad. If he's the same boy I know, I'm sure he'd rather work and help out than anything else.”
Lucy laughed into her tea, “You are correct there. I didn't come to brood, though. I actually just wanted to see you.”
“I'm glad,” Patty chuckled. “I didn't think you were complaining. Life is hard – and talking it through is OK. Just as long as you work through it as you talk through it.”
Lucy said, “I think I am trying.”
“I can tell that you are – and succeeding,” Patty smiled. “Tell me how the other children are doing?”
“Good. Things have been mostly smooth. When the kids don't co-operate, Vern sets them straight, which is nice. But they mostly obey – they all like eating.”
Patty laughed.
“Right now we are all very interested in Grandpa's mystery.”
“Oh? I don't think I've heard of this.”
“It's a story Father used to tell us, of how Alex Norris was murdered and Grandpa knew secrets and had treasure.”
“I never heard Mr Norris was murdered,” Patty said.
“You didn't?” Lucy had thought all would know this.
“To be honest I do not know much of the man. Just that he founded our town and sold it later. I always assumed he went back to his home and died of old age.”
“Oh, well my Grandpa was a good friend of his – and greatly upset by his death.”
“How interesting,” Patty said.
Lucy silently drank a couple more sips.
“Is your tea good?” Patty asked.
Lucy took another sip, “Yes! Very!”
“Good. It is peppermint. I saved and dried the leaves this fall.”
“Where did you find peppermint leaves?” Lucy asked.
“My aunts from back south sent me the plants.”
“And they grow well?”
“Well enough.” Patty answered.
“There were two men that were in here earlier – they seemed nice, but strange.”
“Oh? The Richter brothers?”
“I don't know their names – just that one was named Robert and the other looked very much like David Richter. It makes sense they would share the same last name.”
“Yes, they are David's uncles. I heard that they used to live here when they were young – their father helped found this town, too.”
“I wonder why they are back?” Lucy said.
“You know men – always adventurous, with tastes constantly changing. Those two men seem to be the type to always drift.”
“I bet they would know more of Alex Norris and Grandpa,” Lucy said.
“I'm sure you are correct.”
Lucy and Patty then talked of other things as they drank their tea. Deep down Lucy felt perfectly content. She was so happy she had come to see Patty.
She felt better in so many ways, refreshed and ready to continue her work at home. And the tea seemed to have had a calming effect on Julie, for she was not misbehaving.


Make sure to return the second Monday of next month for the next installment of the Lawrence Children! 


Father Tells a Story posted 10/9/17
No More Good-nights posted 11/13/17
Lucy Learns to Live posted 12/11/17
Never Know, Noah posted 1/8/18
Grandpa's Mystery  posted 2/12/18
Ann Finds Answers posted 3/12/18
Vern Lead's An Adventure posted 4/9/18
A Friendly Visit posted 5/14/18
A Real Clue? posted 6/11/18
Fred-O is Frightened  posted 7/9/18
Good Job, Julie! posted 8/13/18
Hello, Life posted 9/10/18

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Cake Flavored Book Tag







Alexa tagged me in this post a long while back. Guess I've been really bad at getting to this one ;p 




1. Chocolate Cake (a dark book you absolutely love) 
Well, truth be told I love dark chocolate. 85-95% is best. Milk chocolate is fake and for children. Haha.

But I did read a 1300 page biography about Adolf Hitler once. And his Mein Kampf. Some people might think that dark.

And I did absolutely love reading them.

Don't judge me... I'm obsessed with weird historical stuff ;D


2. Vanilla Cake (a light read) 
A light read for me is a Nancy Drew book :D I own about seventy of the old Nancy Drew's.



3. Red Velvet (a book that gave you mixed emotions) 
Katherine Paterson's Jacob Have I loved. And then I found out there was a movie! Wow... but the movie ended up being dull compared to the book.

This is one of my favorite authors. Usually all of her books leave me feeling something. Hope. Awe. Etc... but this was mixed. It just dealt with some heavy topics in a rather strange way... and then ended so differently than I would have expected.

It was beautifully complex and simple all at once. And a roller coaster for emotions. When I first finished reading the book I hated it. But now that I understand it better, I like it a little more. It was worth reading.



Read a review here
4. Cheesecake (a book you would recommend to anyone) 
I mean, how can you recommend a book to everyone? People are each different, with various tastes, beliefs, lives. There isn't one book-suits-all... except the Bible.

Can I get away with saying Bible here? lol.

I guess I will add this wonderful book, just in case.

The Button Girl made me so happy... it surprised me and grabbed me and made me like love once more. A clean fantasy, decent romance.



5. Coffee Cake (a book you started but didn’t finish) 
Not finishing a book would literally drive me insane. Because I'm not a quitter. Lol. Sometimes things take me REALLY LONG! Like it took a few years to read Homer's Odyssey because I kept putting it away when so I could travel. But I did finish it...

I'll go with a series.

You see, I read the first two Princess Diaries books... and then stopped. And here's why.

IT WAS HORRIBLE. To be polite, it was silly and a waste of time.

It was also what you might consider trash YA. I don't know why it took me two books to realize this, but it did. Once it hit, though, I burned them and vowed to read no more of the series.

I still love the movie, though :D


6. Carrot Cake (a book with great writing) 

Image result for red butterfly book
The most beautiful book I ever read was the Red Butterfly.

This book was written very well, and uniquely. Not a topic that would have captivated me... yet I was drawn into the story and prose, that I read it all in almost one sitting.

Here's a review I did of it.



7. Tiramisu (a book that left you wanting more) 
Let's go with a series again.

Anne of Green Gables.

When I was thirteen I traded a set of towels I hand embroidered for a beautiful box set of Anne of Green Gables. I devoured those books in a single week, and then felt so sad there were only eight books.

But I discovered the author wrote other books, and through that I discovered her three book set, Emily of New Moon. Those books finally satisfied what I needed :)

You all should really read the Emily books!!! By L. M. Montgomery.



8. Cupcakes (a series with 4+ books) 

I'm really excited about a box set of books I bought, the Giver Quartet. I watched the Giver and loved it so much I found the book.

The book blew my mind away... never had I saw color quite in that way before. It was a beautiful book.

And then I stumbled across Gathering Blue. Giver had a sequel? No, it had three??? So when I won this contest I decided to spend my money wisely. I bought a beautiful box set.




9. Fruit Cake (a book that wasn’t what you anticipated) 
One day, a friend handed me two large books by this author I just had to read.
It was during a season I had little time to read.
One of the books was nearly 1300 pages long!!!

"I don't think I'll have time to read them," I answered.

"That's OK. Just take the time you need, and get them back to me when you can."

I had both read in less than a month!

They were Steelheart and The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. This was all August 2016. Since then I have read several more of his books.

They may look thick and daunting, but they are glorious reads full of mind blowing plot joys :D And amazing characters.

Turns out that the first book I have ever pre-ordered is book the The Way of Kings' sequel, Oathbringer (third book in the Stormlight Archive).


No automatic alt text available.



10. Lamington (favorite Australian book)
What kind of question is this? I mean, I don't live in Australia. Australian fiction isn't popular where I live.

Besides the cheap Australian family films.

And Steve the Crocodile Hunter.

I really liked that guy.

I'd love to go to Australia some day and meet all the poisonous animals, and maybe learn about their books :D


Sorry, no book for this last one ;/ Maybe some of you have an answer for me? What is your favorite Australian book?


 I tag Erudessa, Ivie, and Gray Marie.


Have you read any of these books? What would be some of your answers? Also, I have one last confessions. I don't really like cake. I'm more of a pie lover, myself ;p 

A couple other things of note: I just had the honor of guestposting on Kara's blog! I talked about reading, how I've always loved reading, why I took a break from reading for awhile, and finally why I now force myself to read. 

The giveaway I posted a couple weeks ago is still live for another week, so do try to enter that if you'd like to! Or send a card to Dr Wetselaar. He would so love that and be encouraged.

The other thing is my story page has been updated. So if you want to read some of my fiction but don't know where to start, go there ;) 

And that is all! Have a great week everyone!  

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sally Apokedak: The Button Girl (More Than A Book Review)

The Button Girl: Repentance has decided that she will no button Sober Marsh and have babies for him - no overlord is taking her babies. And so she sentences herself and Sober to life of slavery... and trials she never bargained for. Is it too late for her to remake her rash decisions? Or is she fated to a life of fear?



Back at the writer's conference I went to (which y'all are probably wishing I'd stop talking about) I received a free copy of a really amazing book, and heard the author speak and give what was probably my favorite lecture at the conference...


Putting My Message Into My Stories - Or Is That Preaching???


One thing had been bugging me, how so many Christian authors were saying, "Don't preach. Just tell a story." 

So when I saw a session called Weaving in Your Worldview I knew I had to go. Maybe I'd finally hear something good ;) (I actually heard a  lot of good things)

What made it even better... I walked into the classroom to see a whole stack of books for free in exchange of reviews. I of course took one ;) 

I didn't get around to reading it till October... but when I did I devoured the 300 page book in a weekend! It was that good... you can read all about what I thought of it here
I love this book beyond raving ;)

Sally Apokedak, the author of The Button Girl and the speaker at the session, caught my attention right from the start when she told everyone she had been saved after reading a novel. I loved this as so had I (after reading Lyddie by Katherine Paterson)

I loved how she said, "Fiction is the only lesson we need to learn."  

She went on to tell some very interesting things... I'll share with you some of the highlights of everything I loved: 


Why put themes into our stories - and is it our duty as a writer?


 Remember that EVERYONE does it. We all put write in our agendas.... for example the secular world has what Apokedak calls the three sacred cows: feminism, homosexuality, and abortion. 

And we Christians either act scared of them... or embrace them...
And won't use our voices, because we don't want to be called "preachy."

Something she brought up was this: Why would we put so much time into creating character and plot and leave out our message???? "Message is just as important as plot!"


We storytellers have messages... don't stifle it....


"I believe in free speech - may the best man win!" She said to whether other authors should be allowed to write about their messages regardless of what it may be or whether we might strongly disagree with it. Are they writing about homosexuality as if it's perfectly normal and OK with God? Is Holly Wood producing movies that portray selfish humans as if that's good? Yes - but we don't change something by taking away their rights. 

We cause change by writing something better. 

"They preach their message - why would we let ours slide?"

Of course we have the problem where someone will be telling a story that seems interesting and SUDDENLY God is mentioned. And it's done so awkwardly, so unnaturally. Like... that wasn't realistic at all

To that she said, "Weave your message from the beginning to the end. Don't just drop it in." 


I loved everything she had to say. We writers... we don't write just because we love it... there are days when I hate writing, hate my key board, hate words. We don't write because it makes tons of money... there are so many other better options. We don't write because it's seen as success or such.

We write because it's our calling
-
 God has something for us to do. He uses us through words, through our imagination, through a fictional story.

How can we possibly say don't preach when that's the very thing our words aren't meant to do?

All of our words may be slightly different  - we may each have different stories to tell (preach)... but it is our calling. And it's what I plan to do - tell a story that encourages, edifies, and entertains

I won't back down from my mission just because it's not considered "the way of the market."



What about you?

Also, I highly recommend reading Sally's book!!! Have any of you read it, or heard of this author?




Wednesday, January 24, 2018

"The Government Has Acted Outrageously": Bundy Trial, Update on Dr. Wetselaar, and my first blog GIVEAWAY!!!


For the last couple years ranchers and other individuals have been fighting the federal government. Sometimes they have appeared quite foolish, even to me and my family and we have been supporting them for a long time.

For most of the world, few have been able to understand the Bundys or those that stood with the family against the government.

When telling others about what was happening I was often confronted with these statements:

"Our government isn't that bad." And you know this because they told you this, right?

"They should just submit. Read Romans 13." It's funny how people will preach and twist Romans 13, a small chapter, and forget what the rest of the Bible says about our basic rights and loving one another.

"I don't believe what you are saying. If this were really happening we'd hear about it in the news." Since when has the news told us the whole truth?

Their big day that decided what would happen was January 8. Hundreds of people gathered at the courthouse to witness the trial. Not even half of those that showed were able to enter the courtroom. My whole family didn't even make it. Mom and the five younger ones remained outside, after we stood in line for an hour thinking we all could make it in.

I think it's rather fitting that the only living thing at the federal courthouse are cacti. 

The trial was actually shorter than I thought it would be. I'd been to some of Judge Navarro's hearings back in August. She seemed like the same person to me: monotonous in tone, body language depicting stress and irritation.

She spoke for a while... we listened to her, trying to understand each word and phrase that can mean so much in a courtroom.

And then she surprised us with these words, "The government has acted outrageously. The case is dismissed with prejudice."

DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE!

This means she admitted that they had prosecuted the Bundys with malicious intent, hoping to sentence them to prison because they disliked them. They admitted to withholding crucial information from the public that would have proven the Bundys and everyone else's innocence. She admitted to the federal government conspiring against the men at the refuge!

All the Bundys were released, allowed to go home.

For Cliven this was big, for he hadn't been free of his cell for a couple years... for two years he sat in prison awaiting a trial to prove his innocence.

For two years they kept an innocent man in prison.

Yes, he was finally set free... but he had two years of his life stole away. GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT is what we have all taken from this. Yes, he was innocent... but he had to prove that with time and money.

The doors waiting to open before the Bundys!

Everyone gathers near to take a picture of Cliven Bundy.

Media engulfs Cliven with cameras... and hugs.

The first time he's been free under the sun for a long time. 

Cliven and Carol holding hands again.

Cliven and Carol, free together. 

Andrea Parker, on the left. Her husband was found not guilty in the last trial. 

I thought Andrea's and Carol's expressions were funny in this picture. In reality these two women like each other and are always smiling. Even pictures can lie ;p 


My little brother Joash was everywhere, camera happy! First he had his face in my Dad's live streams, jumping up to tell the world "Hi!". Then he wandered around outside the courthouse talking to every person, especially those with cameras. He made sure to let everyone know his dad was John Lamb.

Joash stayed with Cliven a good little while, walking and talking with him as Cliven left the courthouse.

In the picture above, he's carrying a large chocolate coin a friend gave us, and his camera in his other hand :D Sadly, he forgot batteries for his camera, so he had to be content looking into everyone else's cameras.

And hopefully they have turned their backs to tyranny's clutch forever! 

The crowd follows yet!

Don't they look happy? I think they were very glad to be on their way home. 

But it isn't over yet. 

Ryan Payne still has to remain in prison as he's still facing charges in Oregon over this same case.

My family gave both Ryan and his mother a ride up to Nevada so they could be there for this trial as they live near us. It was very interesting getting to know both Ryan and his mother, Elisheva more and see the person behind the name.

Ryan was one of the many men that supported the Bundys and was there when LaVoy was shot. He was being tried in Nevada with the Bundys.

After the trial was over and we heard the words, "Dismissed with prejudice"  most of the room started crying and screaming, except Elisheva. She was very controlled and put together, with a beautiful smile displayed on her face. And she looked so peaceful! Her expression out of everyone's made me happy. Half of her son's battle is done and won, and for that she thanked God.

There is still more to come, though, more work to do. We need to make sure not to forget the trial in Oregon amidst all the excitement of winning in Nevada. Continue listening, praying, acting in any way you can.

There will always be more work to do as long as the system remains the same, and people remain conceitedly ignorant.

And there are so many people still in prison, some sentenced for years. And few know about them. Not every man who was involved in this case have had the blessing of walking away free. Some are in prison yet. Some are awaiting trial. And outside of this case there are injustices happening. Search Baby Holmes and you'll read about a sad kidnapping that is receiving little publicity.

Elisheva, Ryan Payne's mom. She's a very sweet woman. She's orthodox Jew and I had a lot of fun getting to know a little about her heritage.  
Of course we had to get a family picture in front of the Federal court building :D 
My arrowhead necklace I made :) 
I have this weird thing I always do... I wear this necklace through security when I fly or go to court to make my own silent stand against security and show its stupidity.

You see, this is classified as jewelry, so I can wear it. But I can't carry my knitting needles onto the plane or into the courtroom because those are weapons.

It's like they value frivolous beauty over worthwhile productivity...

Seriously, I could do a lot of damage with this arrowhead if I smashed it into someone's eye. It might be gory... but so would anything I try to do with knitting needles.


Many of you will remember I did a post on a 93-year old doctor being sentenced ten years to prison for handing prescriptions out too freely.

I have a wonderful update about that! His family and lawyer appealed his case, and this people they appealed to had sympathy for his age and condition. While the case is being appealed they said to let him go home under house arrest.

House arrest is this: he can never leave the house, except for direct permission. He has permission to go to church every Sunday, but must phone in before and after. It's still not freedom, but at least his health is no longer declining.

He's still not "free" but at least he's at home. He had to sit in prison for about two months. Because of his age he had been sent to a medical prison in Minnesota. When I asked him about his experience there he said, "I was shipped there in chains, like a wild animal. It was a medical prison, so it was supposed to be better than some of the others. The medical care there was not very good. Some of it was, but some things were sloppy."

"Prison," he said "Would have been easier if you are younger and stronger. But the hard beds were not good for my back. They had cold air conditioning always blowing on me, kept at 60 degrees, all year round. Thin clothes. There were a bunch of young guys in the same room, screaming and laughing past midnight. Lights were always on. Being sleep deprived for one day you can get over. But I was sleep deprived for eight months."

He had no family in Minnesota. He was sent there thinking he'd have to stay for ten years, rarely seeing anyone he loved. And when he did see them he wouldn't be allowed to see them for very long amounts of time.

"It was a miracle," he said. "That they let me out so soon. Most appeals take two to three years before anyone gets to them. But they saw my case in just a couple months."

During the court case I witnessed back in August Dr Wetselaar had his glasses taken away, because "they are a weapon." When they returned his glasses they were broken, and the government never replaced them.

He had to wear his broken glasses for quite some time until he was able to afford to buy himself a new pair.

He's told me he knows he doesn't have much time left. In his book he has a picture of his best friend, Henk. Henk was executed just two weeks before WWII ended. "Just two more weeks and he'd have been alive. But that's OK, because I know I'll get to see my best friend soon."

It's sad that he gave so much to this world and this is how society treats him in his final years. For sixty years he practiced medicine, and was approved by ten different medical boards. He kept his practice updated. "But then a couple bureaucrats came and decided I was doing something wrong." 

He told us that while in prison he didn't meet anyone that actually belonged there. Here's a story he told:

"There was this guy who was a landscaper. Someone hired him to do their lawn. So he took some big rocks from federal land. The federal government found out and were not happy. But what did they do to him for taking a couple of rocks? Reprimand him? No. Give him a fine? No, prison! That's how idiotic the government has become."


Dr Wetselaar was born February 16, 1924. That means his 94th birthday is next month! I would love if we all could flood him with birthday cards and letters. To prevent him receiving any hate mail, we will send all the letters and cards to this address, and then I will forward them on to him!

Keturah Lamb
1627 West Main Street Suite 101
Bozeman, Montana 59715

I am giving away a signed copy of his book he wrote about when he was young and actively fighting against the Germans in WWII.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



My family thought it would be interesting to drive through town and see a homeless camp, as there are many in Las Vegas. It took awhile, as many of the homeless we asked wouldn't tell us where the camps were at. We soon found out just why they were hesitant to tell us...

We finally did find them... only to see police officers and dump trucks hauling away all the homeless's things, and evicting the homeless from that part of town. Many people were crying as they watched all of their belongings be scooped up and thrown away. Their food, blankets, tents. Everything they owned.

Dad went up to a police officer and asked, "Are you making all these homeless people move?"

The police officer answered, "We are providing them a service."

"A dumpster service," I muttered under my breath.

Dad and a few of us older kids went through town interviewing some of the homeless to ask them about this. Many people wouldn't talk to us, "I don't want to talk about it. No cameras. I don't want my face on T.V."

But a few would speak. One guy said, "Treason. That's what it is. They think they can just treat me however they like simply because I'm homeless. Why do I suddenly not have rights? Our government is corrupt. All they care about is their taxes."

And we found out this is a common occurrence that happens every couple days, just to keep the homeless always on the move.

If you look at those signs above, you'll wonder even more exactly what our government want for these people. It's illegal to go to homeless communities and offer them work or anything.

I didn't get any good pictures of any of the homeless camps, but those are full of hundreds of people. And they are constantly moving, because every couple days the city is after these people, telling them to "Go!"

One homeless man's belongings. 

On one side of Las Vegas all the restrooms are closed unless you buy something. Even then many of them won't open to the public. It is to keep the homeless from using them. This was a park where many homeless were staying at, and there happened to be a restroom they could use. At many of their "camps" they have their own portable outhouses they carry around. 
A homeless lady washing her clothes. 




We attended a press conference of Cliven Bundy's, in front of the Sherriff's office. It was the first time I heard Cliven speak in real life. Reporters bombarded him with questions, some of which were leading.

But he handled every single questions well! I learned a lot about him in that short amount of time, and what I heard impressed me. You can find a recording of his speech all over, but here is the live stream my Dad did. 


If you look to the floor with lights on you will see a couple guys watching. My Dad says they were most likely government snipers, waiting just in case there was any trouble. 


Some final pictures!
Three families' kids, Kelli Stewart's (3), Ryan Bundy's (9), and ours (11).

 We spent a lot of time with all these people. Ryan Payne is the guy in the middle on the far right. Make sure to be praying for him as he faces his sentencing in Oregon. 

A bunch of us went to Bundy ranch and got to see just where everything started. It was neat seeing how their ranch looked very much like a real, dirty ranch, and not like the millionaire mansion estate the media has claimed it to be. 


 I enjoyed my week in Nevada and getting to see news happen. I was sick with a cold the whole time, but it was still a great time! I do hope you send Dr. Wetselaar a card or letter even if you don't enter the giveaway for his book, though do enter for that, too! And make sure to keep Ryan Payne and everyone else still fighting in your prayers!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Why I Hate Myers-Briggs

After last week's post you would have thought I was the biggest Myers-Briggs fan ever. I'm here to tell you, "That is incorrect."

Sometimes I am so frustrated with that stupid thing that I never want to hear about it ever again - like it could get sued or something and I'd be happy. 

Well... I don't quite hate it that much... but...

First. The thing is so overrated.

"I finally know me! And you, too!" I'm sorry to break it... but what's so great about knowing yourself??? Seriously... we aren't called to know ourselves.

And if we are being honest... most people into Myers-Briggs aren't in it to get to know another person better. It's just another fandom. Another way we can talk about me and get away with it - and others laugh along!!!!

It's a great way to keep loving me and not the other person. By the way, we aren't even called to understand the other person before loving them. Just love.

Know what else frustrates me?

How people use MB to get away with being a jerk. Like seriously, I don't care if Myers Briggs says you are a sociopath. Get over it. 


A believer of God isn't meant to be stuck in a box, but to grow. To say things like, "Well... I can't connect with people because I'm introverted. I'll just love people at home - introverts unite!" is not the way to be.

God never put a barrier said, "Love people - as long as you get your energy from them."

No - our energy source must be from God. 
Not ourselves, not people. 


I'm not saying that some of us rejuvenate differently.


I'm saying we're allowing how we feel to determine our actions. 

I'm extroverted - so? That gives me no right to force others to spend 24/7 with me.

I am a J - I like plans. But if God says wait in life... well, I'm just going to have to learn some patience.

I like facts - but sometimes I'm just not going to get them.

I am a leader - but often God is going to tell me, "Follow. Submit. Forget."

And it's going to be hard - because it's against me.

Another thing that frustrates me about MB is that I don't always get the same results - I say I'm ENTJ. But I also get ENFJ, ESTJ, ENTP, ENFP ------ and several times recently I was even an ISFP, a complete opposite from my normal ENTJ result!

Wow. Sometimes I think this whole getting-to-know-me business confuses my mind even more.



*sarcasm in*

Like.... maybe I should try a little harder to know me? Maybe I'm not taking the right test... or answering the questions correctly.... *gasps* maybe I don't know me well enough!!!!

*sarcasm is out*





Is it just me, or are you tired of trying to understand yourself?


I understand me well enough... this is me:




I don't need to know anything else about myself... Condone any more of my faults.

I don't need to be told who I shouldn't be friends with:





God told me to love everyone. He told me to love Him - pursue Him, not me. I'm supposed to grow, not become more set in my ENTJ ways.

Perfection is not being the perfect Myers Briggs type, but loving God and others despite EVERYTHING.


Just so you don't get me wrong... I am not saying give up your MB obsession. I mean, in my last post I confessed that I have a pinterest board devoted solely to MB

I still like Myers Briggs. But I don't want to discuss this thing 24/7. And I'm not going to let it tell me who I am or am not. I am me - not ENTJ. I belong to God - not ENTJ tendencies. I am so much more than what Myers Briggs says I should be.

And so should you be, Myers Briggs' fan or not.



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