What if Jesus meant what He said?


I wrote an article last year entitled What If. (Click HERE to read) It was one of those moments where I just kept asking the question over and over about a variety of things. It’s something that sparks inner dialog and even more questions. It makes you think. I know it did for me anyway.

I’ve been a Christian for quite some time now, but I haven’t truly known what that means until just in the last year or so. See, we’ve been taught so many things in churches, and unfortunately, many of those things are just plain wrong. It’s time to open our Bibles, get alone in the secret place with our Father, and allow the Holy Spirit to speak truth.

Something that baffles me is how easily we stake our belief system on what someone says. Or teaches. Or preaches. Before you light up the torches and fashion a stake, hear me out.

There is a place for teachers and preachers. No doubt about it. What scares me is when these people base their doctrine, or beliefs on what they’ve experienced or seen, and not on what Jesus said.

Hebrews 2:6-9 says (emphasis mine):

But one testified in a certain place, saying:

“What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?
You have made him a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
And set him over the works of Your hands.
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” 

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

This is an amazing passage of scripture. 6,7,and 8 talk about how ALL things have been put into subjection under our feet by God. We are after all, man…mankind. That’s who he’s talking about here. When I read this, I think of praying for someone to get healed, taking authority over demonic spirits, and situations where we can’t see God working. These are areas where we might be easily shaken because immediate results are lacking.

We might pray for someone to rise out of a wheelchair and walk, and they don’t. That shouldn’t determine our belief system on healing. From that one experience, we can’t say healing isn’t for today. Why? Because the evidence we don’t see with our own eyes, doesn’t change the truth of God’s word. Jesus said one of the signs that follow believers is that they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. Hebrews says we might not see everything yet, but we see Jesus.

It’s a clear directive to keep our eyes on Christ no matter what we see or experience.

If we pray for someone, nothing happens, and we immediately feel like a failure, we have no faith at all. Faith is believing what Jesus said, praying for someone, and praising God no matter the outcome.

So many doctrines and beliefs come from human wisdom and experiences. It’s a tool used by the devil himself to deceive people.

I’m sure everyone on the planet knows who Brittany Maynard is by now. The 29 year old woman with terminal brain cancer who moved to Oregon so she could take advantage of the death with dignity act. This story is so sad to me. Let’s get something straight right off the bat. God came to give life, He doesn’t take it. Satan is here to kill, steal, and destroy. Cancer is straight from the pit of Hell, and it’s God’s will to heal people from the horrible disease. Jesus laid hands on people, and they were healed. If it wasn’t God’s will to heal, Jesus would have been going directly against His father. That just wouldn’t happen.

There is no such thing as terminal illness in the Kingdom. We’ve been given the same power that raised Christ from the dead. I believe 100% that Brittany could have been healed from that horrible disease. I’m not mentioning this as judgement towards her or her family at all. Not even close. It’s just an modern day example of whether we believe the words of Jesus or not. And there is no guarantee she would have even allowed a believer to pray for her. And that’s okay. Cancer is one of the largest, fear causing words in the English language. Fear isn’t of God. We don’t need to fear cancer. We need to believe we have power over it through our Savior.

And please don’t get me wrong. I’m not being insensitive to those who have lost loved ones from any kind of illness or disease. I am so very sorry for your loss.

The body of Christ needs to wake up and embrace the truth that we have power. God is the giver and creator of life. Satan is here to destroy us.

Mark 16:15-18:

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

What if Jesus meant what He said?

A Christian perspective on Halloween


I’ve changed. I see things so differently now. That’s what happens when we become born again and allow ourselves to be pottered by our Father. Our hearts change. Our way of thinking changes. It’s awesome.

We start to see people, not for who they are standing in front of us, but we see them as God does. We see their value, worth, and potential. We see them as being created in God’s very own image. We see a life that has purpose.

Halloween is the one night of the year when hundreds of people you haven’t met come knocking on your door. Yes, most are children in search of candy, but think about it. How often do people walk up onto your front porch and ring your doorbell? I don’t see witches, sorcery, and darkness. I see opportunity.

I used to slam churches for having Trunk or Treat in their parking lots. I would say things like “They are still celebrating Halloween and worshiping the devil” and “They just change the name to make it sound better” or “God is up there shaking His head in dismay.”

Please punch me in the face. I have since repented for being so…well…judgmental.

I personally don’t believe there are different levels of love. Telling someone God loves them and He thinks they are awesome has the same effect as praying for a cripple, and they climb out of a wheelchair. It’s all about motive. To love someone means we show them unconditional love, without expecting any certain thing to happen. We love. The Holy Spirit moves. Maybe in that moment. Maybe later when that person is sitting in their car holding a gun to their head. We may never know how our words and actions impact someone.

How can we be a light to the world if we only interact with those inside a church building?

I’m not saying sacrifice animals and play with Ouija boards. I’m saying don’t turn away Iron Man when he rings your bell and holds out his hands for candy. Tell him how much Jesus loves him while you’re handing him a Snickers bar.

As Christians, we have to get over this mindset that if we accidentally see, hear, or touch evil, we become contaminated. That’s just fear, and fear isn’t of God. Jesus lives inside of us. Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. It says that in my Bible. Do you really think He is repulsed by someone who isn’t born again? Do you think that God is up there covering His ears when someone is swearing? Come on, that sounds so ridiculous, doesn’t it? But yet, that’s what we do.

Jesus ate with tax collectors and pharisees. He laid hands on the lame, blind, and diseased. He showed mercy and forgiveness to prostitutes and murderers. People touched His cloak and became healed. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

Dressing up and trekking around the neighborhood in search of candy isn’t going to damn you from ever walking through the pearly gates of Heaven. Our goal isn’t to just say a prayer and get into Heaven anyway. Our purpose on this planet is to manifest the image of God and love others. Unconditionally.

Love the cashier at Walmart who is constantly complaining about his/her life.

Love that person who stands behind you at the bank huffing and puffing because it’s taking too long.

Love the obnoxious customer who says you have no idea what you’re doing.

And love every Hulk, Minion, Zombie, Witch, Captain America, and Vampire that graces your doorstep tomorrow evening.

Instead of locking our doors, turning out the lights, and hiding in a dark corner clutching our Bibles, let’s see them how God does.

Lovable. Reachable. Redeemable.

The twisted Gospel


I’ve gone about one week without Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, and it is amazing. I seriously doubt I will return to any of those apps. I want to keep my blog here, because I am a writer. I like to write. I want to share things that God puts on my heart, whether anyone agrees with them or not. I’m not here to argue or debate over things. The bottom line is this: Jesus paid a high price to reconcile me back to my Father. He said, she said…yeah, but…well, that’s not right… None of that stuff matters. If it’s not aligned with the heart and mind of God, I’m not interested.

The Gospel is good news.

Luke 2:10-11 says (emphasis mine):

10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Somehow we have turned this message into a struggle not to sin, barely making it through life, and riding the ups and downs of our experiences. Jesus said “It is finished”, not “To be continued.” Where is the joy? Where is the hope that lost people are so desperately seeking? Christ in us, the hope of glory. (Col 1:27) There is nothing that shows we are any different from the world, except that we go to church.

Here is what Christianity in this country looks like.

  1. See that you are a sinner
  2. Say this prayer (which didn’t even exist until maybe 500 years ago)
  3. You now have a ticket into Heaven
  4. Go to church

The problem with this is that we walk out of a church service, revival, or crusade and get mad at someone who cuts us off in traffic. We complain about our money, jobs, and circumstances. We argue and fight with our spouse on the way home. We are teaching our children that Christianity is just going to church.

Saying the “sinners prayer” doesn’t make us Christians. It’s a twisted form of the true Gospel.

The Gospel isn’t about being blessed by God and having our names in the book of life.

The Gospel is dying to self, picking up our cross, and following Jesus. During His time on Earth, Christ modeled the Christian life. He was entirely dead to His own flesh, and completely surrendered to love. He was love personified. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Jesus was a human man, filled with the Holy Spirit, walking in love. He said to follow Him. I know it’s possible.

We can live just as Christ did. 

Mark 16:14-18 (better known as the Great Commission) says:

14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

It doesn’t say the signs that follow believers are: complaining, division, conditional love, hypocrisy, judgement, condemnation, pride, and selfishness.

Just the very fact that we complain shows we are concerned with our self. Which, if I read my Bible correctly, means we aren’t dead to self, which means we aren’t following Christ. He said to die to self.

It’s impossible to walk in love if we are still holding on to our self. 

Here are the attributes of love from 1 Cor 13. I love the Message Bible version.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

All of these attributes are the complete, polar opposite of self.

Satan believes that we love our selves more than we love God.

Let’s prove him wrong, and drop the twisted Gospel. Let’s die to our self, and walk in love.

My Last Night


So many people are lost and hurting. The ministry we used to be a part of was full of youth who struggle with major issues on a daily basis. I’ve talked to many of them who have faced suicide at one point or another. Like everyone else on this planet, they need love. They don’t need to be judged for what they’ve done in the past. They need to know who they are in Christ. I wrote another song this morning as I sat here thinking about that.

 

My Last Night
Copyright 2014 Chris Martin

(verse one)

Standing at the edge of silence, time is no longer my friend
In this moment, I have to decide, no one will hurt me again
The tears stream down, I tremble in the shadow of my fear
I cried out to You, no reply, thought You said You were always here

Candlelight flickers in the darkness, cold steel pressed against my skin
A note on the table, reasons why, I can’t be hurt again
You won’t understand, might force a smile through the tears
But no one will ever know, what you did to me all these years

(chorus)

This is my last night
I give up the fight
I can’t take this pain anymore
Time to step through the open door

I’m so alone, I need to be strong
I’ve carried this burden for way too long
Does darkness await, or will it be light
No matter what, this is my last night

This is my last night

(verse two)

Sitting at the edge of my bed, time is my only friend
In this moment, I have to decide, I want to let you in
The tears stream down, I tremble, but not in fear
I cried out to You, the answer came, I feel You here

Candlelight flickers in the darkness, cold steel cast to the floor
A note in the trash, I have no reason to doubt You anymore
You’re the only one Who understands, I smile through the tears
Soon everyone will know, You’ve been calling to me all these years

(chorus)

This is my last night
I don’t have to fight
I won’t carry this pain anymore
On bended knee, I step through Your open door

I’m never alone, You make me strong
I’ve carried this burden for way too long
The darkness is gone, I now walk in the light
No matter what, this is my last night

This is my last night

Jesus first. Everything else second


Recently, a youth on my Facebook friends list posted a picture of himself holding a gun with some swearing in his status. He just happened to be wearing a shirt from the ministry we used to be a part of in Charlotte. Several people immediately started jumping on his case about the shirt, and how bad it looked for him to take that picture, post those words, and wear a ministry shirt.

Let me backtrack a little. This kid is no longer a part of the ministry. He was in Charlotte for quite some time, but is now living once again in Chicago. Like many of the youth we used to work with, he struggles with the usual issues of life. Peer pressure. Drugs. Alcohol. Girls. He was doing good while living in Charlotte, but once he moved back home, things went back to how they used to be.

I commented on the picture by just asking how he was doing. I hadn’t talked to him in a long time. I didn’t mention the swearing, the gun, or anything about the shirt. None of that mattered to me. It broke my heart that no one even cared enough to realize he desperately needs the love of Christ. Even now more than ever.

He sent me a private message, and we talked for nearly 30 minutes. It was awesome. He said no one ever just reaches out to him anymore. He’s tried talking to people, but they don’t respond. He said he even thought about trying to reach out to me a while back, but was afraid I would just ignore him. Just like everyone else. I spent that entire conversation just pouring into him with the love of Christ. I told him how much God loves him, and that he was created in God’s very own image. I let him know that it’s never too late. No one can ever go so far that they are outside of God’s reach. When we were done, he told me I had put a smile on his face, and that hadn’t happened in a long time.

The conversation made me stop and look back. We were involved with that ministry for nearly four years. We began to lose sight of whom we were living for. We began to follow man, and Jesus got moved down a few notches on the priority list. Don’t get me wrong, we were doing great things. Feeding the hungry. Sheltering the homeless. Caring for the widows and orphans. But, we weren’t truly doing it in love. And 1 Cor 13 talks about that.

Everything we did was ministry-focused and not Christ-focused.

That created a huge problem. A problem that exists within our culture of Christianity in general. Too often, we try and get people into our church or ministry, when we should be inviting them to Jesus.

Before you start yelling at me, I’m not saying there is anything at all wrong with doing church and ministry. However, it has to be done from a motivation of love. Not to try and get more members or volunteers. Not to brag about how many service hours we’ve completed or the amount of money we’ve given to the community. Jesus said to give in secret. To not let anyone know about it. Then our Father will reward us.

When ministries and churches give, and shout it out to the world, they have already received their reward. (This isn’t my philosophy. It’s straight from the Bible. From the mouth of Jesus.) It doesn’t matter if everyone knows what we’re doing or giving. God knows. That’s all that matters.

I urge you to take a look at where you are right now. Dig deep and uncover your true motivation. Jesus did everything in and from a motivation of love. Never self. Never to raise money. Never to become popular or trendy. Never with anything in mind but the needs of a lost individual standing directly in front of Him.

Let’s make Jesus first, and everything else second.

Arise


I’ve been writing some lyrics the last couple of days. That’s how it happens for me. I’ll go for months not writing anything like that, and then all of a sudden, BOOM, I start getting ideas like crazy. This morning’s creation is entitled Arise.

 
Arise
Copyright 2014 Chris Martin

(verse one)

There was a time when darkness was all I knew
Living for me, not even thinking about You
Pushing the limits, testing Your reach
Running from the light, dying inside of me

But Your hand reached down, despite my shame
A whisper in the night, You called me by name
You said arise, my son, it’s time to come home
There was never a time when you were all alone

(chorus)

Arise
Step out of the darkness and into the light
Arise
Death and sin have forever lost the fight

Arise
Bringing hope with a brand new day
Arise
It’s time to show the world that love is the only way

Arise

(verse two)

Nailed to the cross, darkness was all I knew
I died to me, I called out to You
Body pushed to the limits, I always knew Your reach
I ran towards the light, it burned inside of Me

Then Your hand reached down, at the end of three days
You whispered in the morning, You called Me by name
You said arise, my Son, it’s time to come home
Come sit at my side, be at rest on Your throne

(repeat chorus)

Never Forget


I tried to come up with something special for this day. A story, some kind of poem, or even some new song lyrics. I just wasn’t able to pen anything fresh. I can usually tell after a few minutes of staring at the blank screen whether or not it’s going to happen. Well, it didn’t. I ended up with nothing but memories.

9/11 was one of those events where you remember every single thing about that day. Where you were. What you ate for breakfast. Possibly even what you were wearing and every single detail of each conversation you had with people. Every moment is seared into your brain. For me, it was the same way when the space shuttle Challenger exploded. I was in school when one of our teachers ran in with the devastating news.

These are events that alter history. They tear through the fabric of time and leave scars that may never heal. They create stories that our children and grandchildren will study one day in a classroom.

It was a Tuesday morning. We lived in Corvallis, OR, and I worked for Pepsi. The previous day, I had just started training to be a route driver. I climbed out of bed after having a very strange experience during the night. Around 2 AM, I awoke with a churning inside my stomach like none I have never experienced before or since. Dread washed over me in waves. All I could think to do was pray. I prayed for everyone that came to mind. My family, my friends, my co-workers. I didn’t even know what to pray. I just asked God for protection over them all.

My initial thought was that something horrible was going to happen in the small town I grew up in, Franklin NC. When I turned on the radio in my car that gloomy morning, I knew why I had been praying.

I rushed back into our apartment and flipped on the television. A scene of horror greeted me, and I sank into a chair. It was one of the most horrific events I had ever witnessed in my lifetime.

I didn’t want to be late for work, so I tore myself away from the news and headed on in. Obviously, it was the focal point of all conversation that morning. That early, most of the people I worked with weren’t exactly lively, but that day was so different. There was a sadness that clouded the Pepsi plant. You could see it in each face and hear it in every voice.

We made sure the truck was loaded and pulled out to start a day full of deliveries. We listened to the radio the entire time. We couldn’t speak when they announced the first tower was crumbling. I wanted to rush home and hold my wife and little girl when they described the second one falling.

We worked through our route in a state of numbness. I remember one stop was a local newspaper. We walked in and started toward the back where the vending machines were located. I noticed that everyone looked at us strangely. Even Sean, the guy training me, said something about it once we reached the lunchroom. While we were determining what they needed as far as product was concerned, one of the paper employees walked in. He said they were all on edge and just wanted to make sure we were truly from Pepsi.

Everywhere we went that day, people were frightened. That, and deeply moved by the grief and tragedy befalling our nation. It’s something you wish could be wiped clean from the deep shadows of our memory, but yet, it’s also something we don’t want to forget. We could never forget.

I’m not into politics at all. I’m not pro-government. I’m not anti-government. I’ve watched countless videos attempting to prove that 9/11 was an “inside” job. None of that matters to me. What does is the fact that people lost sons and daughters that day. They lost parents and cousins. Brothers and sisters. Best friends. Grandparents. Uncles. Aunts. The list goes on and on. Brave men and women rushed headlong into the smoke and debris desperately trying to find survivors. I’ve watched so many documentaries over the years, and I’m left wrecked at such loss and devastation.

It’s time such as this, I fall to my knees and thank God for the many blessings in my life. My wife. My two children. My mom. My job. It’s too easy in this life to gripe and complain about everything. The Bible actually calls complaining a sin. I make it a point each morning to wake up conversing with my Father, thanking Him for another opportunity to represent Him on this earth. Time is short, folks. We have no idea when Jesus is coming back. We have to live as if it could be at any moment. Take a few moments today to just stop, get into a quiet place, and talk with God.

Today marks 13 years since the events of 9/11/2001. It’s hard to believe. Wherever you are right now, hug someone close to you. Tell them how much you love them. Never forget that our lives are but a vapor.

Here today and gone tomorrow.

Blah Blah Blah


Our lives are full of words.

We speak all day long. We use words in every part of our lives. We read them in books. We write them in letters…well, the closest anyone comes to writing a letter these days is constructing an extra long Facebook status. Words, words, words. They are everywhere.

We can speak and write words until there’s nothing left, but yet, not actually say much of anything. Words are futile unless they are reinforced with our actions.

You can say what you think, but you will live what you believe. 

That’s a profound statement, because it is so true. How do we live when no one is around? Do our actions in secret line up with the words we say in public? Since we answer to God, that’s very important.

As a Christian, I have decided to follow Jesus. If I write out these blog posts every week, then curse my children inside my home, I’m a hypocrite. If I post scripture after scripture on Facebook, but yell and scream at someone when they cut me off in traffic, my posts are rendered pointless. If I say we are to love God and love others, but yet I’m consumed with pleasing my flesh, I’m full of nothing but hot air.

Words are important, but actions are what define us as people.

In the past, I’ve come close to not even maintaining my blog anymore because of comments. It’s truly sad to see people who confess to be Christians want nothing more than to debate and argue over everything. I just recently had an Atheist leave a comment apologizing for anything they may have said that would cause me to disable comments. And I have to be honest, it’s not the Atheists who come against me the most. It’s other Christians.

And I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just telling it like it is. In my experience. I’m not categorizing ALL Christians into this one group of debaters. It’s fine if you don’t believe the same things I do. It’s fine to voice your opinion in the comments. But, I am done debating. I’ve said it before. Arguing is stupid, to be quite plain. In my opinion, the whole concept of denominations inside Christianity is ridiculous.

Do we seriously believe Heaven is going to be separated into sects like we are here on Earth? Of course not. God is a God of unity, not division.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If we’re not following Him, we aren’t getting it right. It’s that simple. The Gospel is a simple concept. It’s been broken up into every doctrine known to man, based on experiences. Well, we don’t live by feelings, we live by faith. If Jesus said this would happen, or that would happen when I pray, then I’m going to pray. If I don’t see results, who cares. That doesn’t change the fact that Jesus said it. It’s truth no matter what I see or don’t see.

Many well known authors, speakers, and preachers have written books and created doctrines over an experience they had, while completely ignoring the truth of the Gospel. It’s very sad. So many people have been led astray by false teachings not grounded in the Word of God. I write and speak what I believe to be truth. It’s up to you whether you accept it or not. I’m not trying to convince you of anything. I”m not saying I’m right and you’re wrong. I write blog posts because I have a passion for writing.

I also love people. I want to share what I’m learning and growing in. For too long, the enemy has infused his lies into every aspect of Christianity. We’ve been raised to believe certain things, when in fact, not all of them are true. If you really want to have your beliefs rocked and challenged, search for Dan Mohler and Todd White on YouTube and watch their teachings.

I’ve been digging into the Word, and communing with God in the secret place, and have found that what they are preaching is 100% truth. I’ve never heard anyone preach the Bible like they do. They don’t have notes, fancy catchphrases, or laser shows. They follow the lead of Holy Spirit and speak truth. It’s awesome.

Dear Christians, the world has heard us speak words and write words….they are crying out to see it in our actions.

Will the words ever stop?


Sometimes I sit at my computer and stare at a blank screen. It goes on for what feels like hours, but in reality, may only be a few moments.

I wonder if every writer feels the same way.

Will the words ever stop?

Will I sit here one day and have absolutely nothing to write about?

I believe as long as I’m alive, there will always be something to write about. Jesus took on human form and then died for me on a cross. That in itself should keep me going for nearly my entire life. Even if I can write nothing more than about being thankful for all He has done for me, that’s enough.

For a long time, I’ve had this passion for writing. I always thought I most enjoyed writing fiction, but over the last several months, I’ve discovered that desire has changed. I’ve attempted a couple different starts at fiction novels, but I keep coming back to the second collection of Bible stories I’m working on.

Earlier this year, I published I Was There. My first collection of ten Bible stories written from a first person perspective. I absolutely enjoyed writing it. In all truthfulness, it’s almost like writing fiction, because there are so many details to these stories that were not included in the Scriptures. But, even now as I read back through some of them, I am just constantly amazed at the love of Christ. It gets me excited to write stories about Him.

As Christians, we sing, pray, and talk about Jesus being our role model. We want to pattern our lives after Him.

But, do we really and truly mean that? It’s easy to lift our hands on a Sunday morning and worship with hundreds of other people, but are we willing to take the most important step of all and die to ourselves? If we haven’t killed off our flesh, it’s not possible to follow after Christ. He was love personified. 0% flesh.

He said to follow Him, so I know it’s possible for us to live as He did. To walk in righteousness. To completely put aside our self, and live in love. That’s what strikes people as being different from anything they have ever seen. The world has heard it all before. They are crying out to SEE it.

If we’re too busy boycotting everything, or picketing somewhere, how will the world know us by our love? They will know us more for what we stand against than Who we stand for.

Yes, we are to stand up for what we believe in. I get that, but it can be done from a motivation of love, and not self. If we love others as Jesus did, we won’t have to try and convince people of anything. They can’t walk away from a true love encounter unchanged. Besides, it’s not our job to “change” them or prove anything. We plant the seeds, sometimes we get the opportunity to water the seeds, and the Holy Spirit takes it from there. Sometimes, we get to be in on the fruition of seeds that someone else planted. It’s awesome and amazing the way God works.

There are a billion things I could write about on my blog. All I need to do is check Facebook or the national headlines, and I could write for hours on the hottest topics. I could start countless debates that would eventually lead into even more blog posts, but that’s not what I want to do.

I want to know that when my time on this planet has come to an end, I did everything I could to share Jesus with as many people as possible. Not so I can feel as if I made a difference. Only so people can have hope. Christ in me, the hope of glory. If you don’t agree with something I write or believe, that’s okay. You are the steward of your own heart. The truth of the Gospel doesn’t change just because someone doesn’t agree with it.

I took the comments feature off my blog a while back, because I’m not going to argue and debate with people about these things. I turned them on for this post. I would like to hear (especially from fellow writers) what kinds of things you like to write about, and what compels you to do so.

Whether you agree with me or not, I still love you. I won’t try to convince you of anything, I will love you. It changes nothing.

So, will the words ever stop? As long as I am in constant communion with my Father, they won’t. I will always have something to write about. Isn’t that cool?

Why I Write Clean (Re-post)


This is my most viewed, commented on, and discussed post of all time. Figured I would post it again.

 

A few years ago, I picked up a Stephen King novel (I can’t even remember what it was titled) and tried to read it. It was the first time I had the desire to read one of his books. There were so many F-bombs in the first two chapters that I just could not continue. I put it down and haven’t picked up one of his books since that day. Writing fiction is about telling a story, bringing characters to life, and entertaining the masses with a great novel. I get that, I truly do. And I know what the world is like and how ordinary people talk.

I’ve just decided that I don’t need that kind of language in my own novels.

It is a personal choice, and I’m certainly not trying to bash other authors who chose to use offensive language in their works. I have nothing against them at all. In fact, my favorite author of all time is Dean Koontz. He has bad words sprinkled throughout his novels, but not every other sentence. They aren’t enough to where I get so tired of reading curse words and close the book as I did with Mr. King’s. I honestly don’t see the need for it.

Now, maybe it is because I’m a Christian and I don’t talk like that anymore. I used to swear like a sailor, and I would be lying if I didn’t admit to the fact that a profane word slips out every now and again, but I don’t want it in my stories. I want my kids to pick up my novels one day and read them all from cover to cover. If I’m setting an example in my daily life for them with my actions, but writing vulgar words in my books, how will they know which lead to follow?

My very first novel is entitled Hollow Eyes (which I’m in the process of rewriting, by the way), and I had some elements in there that I now realize I don’t care for. I guess, at that time, I felt the need to write curse words and gory descriptions in order to sell books. That was nearly fifteen years ago. Now, it’s not about writing what I think is going to sell a million books. It’s about the legacy I leave behind for my children. I don’t want them to be embarrassed, twenty years down the road, when they have friends over, and they are looking through the things I wrote while still alive on this Earth. I want them to be proud of my work and have the desire to share it with the rest of the world.

That is why I write clean.

I’ve recently joined the growing number of indie authors who self-publish online, and I’ve met some truly awesome people. It is an amazing sense of camaraderie and encouragement that I get on a daily basis. Whether it’s people retweeting me on Twitter, or giving me a positive review on one of my stories, they are there not only to promote themselves, but the rest of us who are in the same boat. It’s satisfying to know I’m not alone in the overwhelming world of being an author and trying to get my name known to the millions of people who purchase books online.

As I mentioned earlier, this post is not intended to bash authors who use cursing in their stories. It’s not about that at all. This is just a declaration of where I stand on the issue and my reasons for it. I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my words. It wasn’t my intention whatsoever. Having said that, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Feel free to comment.