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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tolkien's "The Children of Hurin"

Last night I finished reading Tolkien's The Children of Hurin. I wish that Tolkien had made more honorable characters, especially Turin. Sometimes (just as I wanted to in the Silmirillion) I wanted to strangle him for being so dishonorable, rash and cruel. I had forgotten, too, that Turin unwittingly married his sister.

But, though the plot is a bit depressing, I have always been a big fan of Glaurung the dragon. It struck me while reading this new book, that Tolkien never intended for his dragon to be envisioned with wings. In the chapter 'death of Glaurung' the beast had to leap over the river, not fly. I guess wings would have given him too great an advantage over Turin.

This book joins my favorites, in part due to the wonderful illustrations by Allen Lee! There is some good dialogue and action, but the story will not come as a surprise unless you have not read The Silmirillion or if--like me--you forgot many of the details.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


While it's fresh in my mind I thought I'd give a review of the movie I went to see this afternoon: Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End. Although I cannot give this movie my full recommendation due to some crude humor and innuendo, I will say that I enjoyed it and I think it was a lot better than the previous two.

The action was superb, the graphics exceptional and the jokes came in at the right moments. Also, Brian and I noticed that the music was better than the last movie; they brought back Hans Zimmer and he did a wonderful job. I'd rate this 7.5 stars out of 10 because there was some unnecessary gore (Davy Jones inserting his tentacles into a man's head) and for the immoral content.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Living in Victory, Not Defeat

Holiness. How often do you hear Christians speak of it? Not often enough? You're not alone.

I've been studying holiness both by reading relevant books and examining Scripture. I have so often heard that we can have victory in Christ but we are doomed to fall in sin again and again. Is that true? The more I study the more that I realize that we are supposed to live "victoriously" as "conquerers" in Christ. This can only be done by staying in the Word so that when a temptation comes along, Scripture comes to mind, empowering the will to abstain from sin.

I know that in my own life I have fallen in sin far too often. Wickedness has been given far too much ground. But for a long while I felt that it was impossible to live a life of victory. Thanks be to God that he is reminding me of what it takes to lead that life of victory: conquer each temptation individually because--as Dwight L. Moody says in his book Your Victory in Jesus--every victory, no matter how small, is a step closer to the Savior.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


The ACLJ (American Center for Law & Justice) is looking for people to sign a protest to legislation being pushed through the House of Representatives. Read the excerpt I've provided, go to the website and add your name to the petition. To protect our rights we must fight! click takeACTION don't let congress silence Christians

Today, I strongly urge you to SPEAK OUT AGAINST H.R. 2093 BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE by signing right now our online Petition of Protest to your Representative in the House. This legislation, in essence, attempts to override the United States Constitution.What we're dealing with here is the work of politicians who want to control, limit, and silence Christians and conservative groups.We MUST fight back, and quickly.This legislation ... currently being considered in the House of Representatives ... could not be in greater opposition to what our Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.House Resolution 2093 would drastically affect churches that speak out on issues like partial-birth abortion, same-sex marriage, conservative judicial nominees, and military chaplains' right to pray. It would also impact Christian groups using TV, radio, or the Internet to mobilize citizens around an issue.Under the bill, pastors, church leaders, advocacy organizations and even individuals could be compelled to register as lobbyists. Failure to comply with this bill could result in fines in excess of $50,000.Furthermore, if this bill passes the House, it will wind up in a conference committee, possibly becoming the law of the land before you even have a chance to raise your voice in protest.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Rewarding Trip

I've just returned from Binghamton, NY where I met Bryan Davis. He is a really wonderful Christian. He encouraged me and freely shared his experiences. We hit it off even better than I had been hoping we would!

During dinner he went over some of my manuscript, offered suggestions for improvement, and encouraged me. Later, at the bookstore, he let me sit with him for the full three hours that he was signing. When we said goodbye he informed me that he was going to send Dan Penwell (the editor who has my book) a letter of recommendation. He sent me a copy of the email and it blew me away! God has blessed me so much.

Yesterday I received the editorial review from the professional editor and, while I don't feel he would be the right one to do my line edit, his suggestions were invaluable. I am going to rewrite the first novel again, strengthen it, expand it. Once that is completed I will send it to another editor for a line edit (if I don't already have a contract). Mr. Davis recommended a freelance editor to me, she did his first four books, and I will probably go with her. The path to publication is a long process--but there is light at the end of the tunnel! With two published authors now recommending me, I know that my hard work is paying off.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Navigating the Social Battlefield

Negativity pervades most of society and, sadly, Christian circles. Gossip and slander, bickering and grudges . . . all these things form the branches on the tree of Self-centeredness.

When we hang around negative people and listen to their complaints about others and life it brings us down, whether we intend to let it or not. Bad company corrupts good habits more thoroughly than we like to admit and the wrong company will turn us into the sort of people we vowed to never become.

I have a wide variety of friends and acquaintances, only a few of whom are what I call my best friends. They are individuals who love God, not only in word but in deed. They encourage me and have stood by me through my good times and my bad. They are a precious few, the ones with whom I can trust secrets, knowing they will be kept. I count two guys as my closest friends, one girl, and my brother-in-law to be is fast becoming one. This, of course excludes my family . . . which I thank God for every day.

Don't hang out with the wrong crowd. Don't be afraid to back away from a social group if you feel it is hindering your spiritual walk, or your positive outlook on life. We are victors in Christ, warriors in a battle where the outcome has been decided in our favor. I say these things because I recently recognized that I had let people around me start to bring me down and I have had to back off in order to refocus and make absolutely certain that the path I'm on is the one God is blessing . . .. And it has been wonderful! I feel renewed! Just look at the word-count for my second novel and you will see that I am back in the running.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Reviewing Spiderman 3

WARNING: This review refers to specific details that could spoil the movie for you if you haven't seen it yet.

The ratings on are very telling (a 6.3 average out of ten). Spiderman 3 was a disappointment.

I liked the opening scenes and the action was good, but I couldn't swallow the crowds cheering during several scenes and during the final battle. Sandman, contrary to published opinion, was not a sympathetic character. Even though he did not kill Uncle Ben on purpose, he still caused unparalleled destruction and it was impossible that everyone he attacked could have lived.

Venom was believable, albeit his alliance with Sandman was not (since we were led to believe that Sandman did not want to kill anyone). And they should have cut out that scene where Harry threatens MJ, it ruined his image and I found myself wondering at his sudden conversion and sacrifice. Also, Harry was not nearly as strong nor as agile and quick as his father, so he never presented a genuine threat to Peter. In the beginning Spiderman, just as soon as he gets the ring, is focused and soundly whips the new goblin.

I'm curious to know what you think of this movie. Feel free to comment; the group of us that went to the movie came out with a general feeling of less-than-we'd-expected.


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.