Tuesday, December 08, 2009

How to Desensitize People to Violence

Some people have asked if my novels, which contain violence, aren’t exacerbating the problem of violence in the world. If they are not desensitizing people even more to violence and perhaps even inciting it as people imitate what I write about.

Here are my thoughts on the issue, and I’d love to hear your comments.

First of all, I agree that our world is desensitized to violence. I believe this happens when evil is mute and sanitized (TV shows where people get shot, fall over, there is no blood, no grief, no mourning), glamorized, or ignored. I think we become more sensitized to violence when it is portrayed with honesty.

So first, muting evil. Some books and television shows do so by diminishing the value of human life. A person will be killed and no one grieves. Cut to commercial. Come back and solve the crime. This is not real life. Death hurts because we are people of dignity and worth. Death matters because life matters. Unfortunately, this muting of violence often happens in books that are labeled “religious fiction.”

This also frequently happens in the news media. Think of a news program: “A suicide bomber killed 62 in Iraq.”

When you hear that do you weep? Do you mourn? No, because it is sanitized. Only when you see the screaming three-year-old children with shrapnel in their face, the desperate widows, the bodies in the street do you feel, do you recognize the impact of the violent, evil act.

Movies such as the Saw or Friday the 13th films glamorize violence. The most interesting person is the serial killer. This desensitizes people to violence. And since we tend to emulate those we admire, I believe movies or books that glamorize or celebrate violence draw people toward it.

In my books I want people to look honestly at what our world is like, both the good and the evil. The evil in my books is not senseless, people’s lives are treated as precious and I want my readers to hurt when an innocent life is taken. The only way to do that is to let them see it on the page and then reflect on its meaning.

I think that an effective way of dissuading someone from doing something is to make them see it as deeply disturbing. And the only way to make people disturbed by evil is to show it to them for what it really is.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear back from you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Why I Write About Evil

I thought I would take a moment and respond to a thoughtful comment / question from the previous post. The reader asked about the spiritual content of my novels, wondering if a Christian would enjoy reading them.

I often get asked if my books are “Christian” or not and I’m not always sure how to respond. If you are looking for a narrativized sermon, then I would suggest you bypass my fiction.

When I write my novels, I don’t do so from an answer, such as “It’s good to have faith in God,” or “We should all tell the truth.” Stories are built on tension, not resolution, so trying to tell a story simply to make a point would result in something that isn’t really a story at all, but a lesson dressed up as one.

It’s actually very sad to me that the most virulent and hateful comments I get about my books come from Christians who do not like the violence the novels contain. (Go to Amazon and check out the reviews for The Pawn. It’s informative.) Non-Christians seem to rate the books more on the quality of the writing, the plot, the artistic excellence. I genuinely respect and appreciate that.

Some people whom I’ve met seem to believe that a story needs to talk about God or have a conversion scene if it is to be considered a “Christian” story, but I was speaking with a pastor one time and he pointed out to me that there are no conversion scenes in any of the stories of Jesus. Also there is no mention of God in the book of Esther in the Bible. So, is Esther a “Christian” book?

Other people consider a book "Christian" if there is no sex, violence, nudity, offensive language, and so on. Considering the content of the Bible, that seems like an odd and arbitrary criterion list to me.

We live in a violent and fallen world. Rather than shy away from difficult and painful topics, the Old Testament includes frightening and vivid descriptions of murder, beheadings, cannibalism, sorcery, dismemberment, torture, rape, gore, blasphemy, idolatry, erotic sex and animal sacrifice. In the stories of Jesus, people are beaten, killed (Matthew 21:35), tortured (Matthew 18:34), dismembered (Matthew 24:51), and allowed to suffer forever in the fires of hell.

I believe that the Bible includes such graphic material to show how far we as a race can fall, and how far God came to rescue us from ourselves. That's what I hope to do in my novels as well.

So, what would make a book unChristian?

I believe an unChristian book (or movie or painting, etc...) would be one that celebrates the things God abhors, or promotes an agenda that he detests.

In my books I never glamorize violence or make evil look attractive. However, I believe that including graphic material within the broader context of a redemptive story, just as the Bible does, is appropriate when trying to reveal the truth about human nature and our relationship with the Divine. For the record, when I write my novels I strive to

(1) uphold the dignity and worth of human life,
(2) as much as possible avoid showing violence on the page (most of it occurs off the page, in the minds of the reader),
(3) show that ultimately, hope does not come from inside ourselves, but from God,
(4) honestly portray the universality of evil,
(5) celebrate life, love, imagination, beauty and family,
(6) validate the purpose and meaning of life within the context of the broader scope of God's story,
(7) tell the truth about the world--exposing the grief and horror as well as championing the hope and joy.

If you’re looking for inspirational books, or more theological offerings, please check out my books "A Heart Exposed," "Story," or “Sailing Between the Stars.”

Stay open to joy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Book Release Party

Come to the Book Release Party on July 31st to celebrate the release of The Knight, the 3rd installment of the Patrick Bowers series. The party will be held in Johnson City, TN at Cranberries located at 600 N. State of Franklin Rd at 7:00 pm. Be one of the first to enjoy the thrilling ride as Patrick Bowers leads you on a twisting and complicated chase through the mountains of Colorado. Beware: You may not get any sleep until you finish this book!

Visit www.becomeavictim.com for more information about the party and to see how you can enter the drawing to have your name as one of the vicitms in Patrick Bowers's next adventure, The Bishop.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Writing Effective Dialogue #2 of 2

Here are some more dialogue tips. You might want to read the previous blog first to get the context. Enjoy.

Structure and Formality
Alex smiled, “Great. Okay, we’ve talked about staying focused as well as the art of digressing. What else adds to effective dialogue? Franklin?”
“I was thinkin’ ‘sentences,’ you know?”
An awkward pause.
“What, specifically, about sentences?”
“Well, dere’s a certain way, ya know, when some people write, that the sentences are structured. But it’s different when ya talk.”
Stacy agreed. “I think I know what you’re saying, Alex. When people speak, they don’t always use correct grammar, they talk in sentences that have a shorter number of words, they use more contractions and they sometimes blur words together. Consequently, in order for sentences to sound natural to our ears, we need to write them in such a way that they’re not too structurally complex or intricately woven.”
“Mm, hmm,” said Moesha.
“Right,” said Alex. “Now we’re getting into the nuts and bolts of dialogue writing. When people speak, they’re less formal. So, keep your sentences brief. And use contractions more often and more consistently than you would in the narrative sections of your story. And, use more idioms.”
“All right,” said Stacy, “I think we get your drift.”
“Clear as mud,” said Nadine.

Consistency and Redundancy
For a few minutes no one said anything. Finally, Jason broke the silence. “Something I don’t think we’ve really mentioned yet, is that each character should speak in a consistent and distinctive voice. When you listen to some TV shows, everyone sounds exactly the same. They use the same idioms. They speak in the same style sentences. They crack the same kind of jokes. That’s evidence of poor writing. And the same thing can happen in fiction--and nonfiction--if you’re not careful. Good dialogue reflects the uniqueness of each of the story characters. Their grammar, word choice, and sense of humor can all be unique.”
Moesha nodded. “Mm, hm.”
“Great,” said Alex. “And there’s one more thing I need to mention that’s a pet peeve of mine.”
“Was dat?” asked Franklin.
“It’s annoying when the writer tries to show off by using all sorts of different words to talk about the dialogue. Attributions should disappear so the reader hardly ever notices them.”
“Yeah,” exclaimed Stacy, “I hate that, too.”
“Me, too,” chipped in Nadine.
“Mm, hm,” rejoined Moesha.
“That’s so true!” observed Jason.
“Yo,” quipped Franklin.
“Great,” summarized Alex. “So we all agree. Let’s not do that. It just distracts the reader. Just use ‘said’ and be done with it.”
“Something else that distracts me,” said Jason, “Is when the same author uses the same word too much in the same sentence or in the same paragraph.”
“I agree,” agreed Franklin.
“And don’t restate what’s already been said,” said Nadine. “It’s redundant to keep restating everything.”
“Yeah, and you don’t need to keep re-saying the same thing in different ways. Either say it, or explain it, but not both,” explained Alex.

Pace and Flow
Nadine scribbled something in her notebook and then looked up at Jason. “In your fiction writing, have you ever used a question to get a conversation going?”
“Sometimes, yeah. Questions can be good conversation starters. So can observations about the setting--by that I mean the surroundings--or responses to dramatic situations. All of those things can be used to spark a conversation.”
Stacy cleared her throat. “I’ve noticed something else, Nadine. Sometimes when only two people are carrying on a conversation, you don’t need to include attributions at all because the reader will naturally be able to keep the speakers straight, just by the flow of the conversation.”
“Really?” asked Nadine.
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure.”
“They won’t get confused about who’s talking?”
“No,” said Stacy. “You can trust your readers. Tell ‘em only what they need to know.”
Jason agreed. “You got it, Stacy. It’s an insult to the readers when the author always identifies the speaker. Most of the time, context speaks for itself.”
Stacy beamed and glanced down at the table.

Alex smiled broadly. “Okay, then. To summarize: good dialogue expresses something about the characters, moves the story forward, is natural-sounding, easy-to-read--”
“Rather than cumbersome,” interjected Stacy.
“Right. And yet there’s an artistry to it. Sometimes you gotta break the rules in order to make the story work.”
“Mm, hm,” said Moesha finishing up her burger. “What’s for dessert?”
“Plot,” said Alex. “But not until next week.”

Thoughts on Writing Dialogue #1 of 2

I'm teaching writing this week in North Carolina and I thought I'd share a few thoughts on writing dialogue from the course I'm teaching today.

Alex plopped down next to Stacy. “So, we’ve gotten together today to talk about writing effective dialogue,” he said.
Nadine nodded. “Yeah, and I’m glad. Most writer’s groups never get specific enough for me. Too much info on general stuff. I really need some nuts and bolts advice to help me with my novel.”
“Great, well then, let’s get started.”
Stacy shifted in her seat. “One of the things that bothers me the most about novice writers is the way they handle dialogue. Instead of letting each person talk naturally and in turn, they just let one person keep on talking until she’s delivered a veritable speech. Nobody else gets a chance to say anything. The man or woman--I want to be inclusive here--just keeps rambling on and on and on and that’s just not how people talk in real life! Conversations don’t work like that. No one ever gets a chance to explain everything that’s on her mind all at once without interruption.” She paused and looked around. “Right?”
“Das, right,” agreed Franklin. “Yo. Dat, or de writers jes start makin’ up der own way of spellin’ wurds rather than lettin’ somun express hisself by just his word choises. Know what I’m sayin’?”
“Yeah, it’s too hard to read when writers do that,” agreed Nadine. “Don’t you think so Moesha?”
Moesha took a bite of her cheeseburger and mumbled, “Mm, hmm.”
“Okay.” Alex looked around the restaurant table at the other five writers. “So, those are two great points. Who can summarize them for us?”
“Well,” Jason said, “let’s see… first of all, in effective dialogue, exchanges are brief. Back and forth. Good dialogue mirrors real speech because people speak in spurts rather than long lectures to each othe--”
“And sometimes people interrupt each other?” said Stacy.
“Right. And sometimes folks just let their thoughts trail off… and…” he paused to consider his response. “And clarity is essential. Dialect is best expressed through the judicious use of idiom rather than by the creative respellings of words.”
The other writers nodded in agreement while Moesha took another bit of her burger.

Focusing vs. Digressing
Stacy cleared her throat. “Well, written dialogue might mirror real speech, but it isn’t exactly like it.”
“Yo. Why do ya say dat?” asked Franklin.
“Well, sometimes in real life we just talk about trivial things--our jobs, the weather, clothes--”
“I wouldn’t say clothes are trivial,” interrupted Nadine.
Stacy smiled. “You know what I mean. Or the news, or who won the Mets game, or whatever.”
Franklin wrinkled his brow. “And so…?”
“And so, when you write, you have to use dialogue to move the story forward. Every word has to serve a purpose and not just take up space.”
“That’s a good point,” said Alex. “Writers are sometimes tempted to just put pen on paper and see where it takes ‘em. Too often, though, sections of dialogue just turn into sections of drivel. The story doesn’t move anywhere. It just stalls out. So, dialogue must always be purposive.”
Jason had been tapping his finger anxiously on the table next to his chicken wings.
Alex noticed. “Did you have something to add to that, Jason?”
“I think so.” He folded his arms and gazed toward the ceiling. “I’m not disagreeing with you or Stacy… it’s just that … well, if dialogue is too focused or too direct, it can also become too predictable for your readers. Sometimes you’ll want your dialogue to pool off in different directions. Yet, the real narrative artist can even do that in way that supports the story.”
Nadine was busy writing everything he said in her notebook. Stacy sat a little too quietly watching him.
“I don’t git it,” said Franklin. “Give me an example.”
“Well, let’s see… we’re talking about writing, right?”
Everyone nodded.
“So, let’s say we were writing this conversation down. You know, inserting it into a story or something.”
“Who’d wanna read about us?” asked Nadine.
“Just pretend. So, if we were turning this into written dialogue, we could leave out all the stuff we said when we first got here--before we ordered our food--all the small talk--”
“That’s what I was saying before,” interrupted Stacy. “That’s what I meant when I said you have to use dialogue to move the story forward.”
Jason took a deep breath. “Right, I know. I’m not arguing with you. But we’d want to include more than just the conversation. If we only included the bare bones stuff, it might tell the reader about our discussion, but it wouldn’t necessarily reveal the personality of the characters or the inner tension of the story. The readers want to see the motivations, the traits, the quirks, the uniqueness of each character. All of this can be shown by the careful use of digression.”
“Well,” Stacey said, “I don’t see how you can show all that by just a few words of dialogue.” She clinked her spoon loudly as she stirred her black coffee.
Jason sighed. “Forget it.”
“No,” said Alex. “This is good. You’re right. You brought up a good point. We can go too far to one extreme or the other. That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it, Jason?”
“Pretty much.”
Alex continued, “By digressing you can insert clues to what motivates your characters, throw red herrings to the reader--for, say, a mystery novel--foreshadow important events, or add new dramatic elements to the storyline.”
“Yeah. That’s what I was trying to say.”
Moesha nodded and wiped ketchup from her chin.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


My daughters and I spent some time outside today in the absolutely beautiful spring weather here in eastern Tennessee.

Smelling the day. The flowers. The sunlight. It reminded me of how important it is to drink in each moment deeply. To experience life, to enter it, embrace it.

In reference to the idea that all of God's love, all of his presence is available each moment, Jean-Pierre De Caussade, a Jesuit priest in the early 18th century, wrote, “So every moment of our lives can be a kind of communion with his love.... This tremendous activity of God, which never varies from the beginning to the end of time, pours itself through every moment and gives itself in all its vastness and power to every clear-hearted soul which adores and loves it and abandons itself without reserve to it.”

Every moment all of the riches of eternity are available.

I needed a spring day to remind me of that once again.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Updates on my thrillers

Recently we received some good news that my novel The Rook is one of three finalists for a 2009 Christy Award as the best suspense novel published by a Christian publishing house last year. The winner will be announced in July.

Last year The Pawn was a finalist as well, and I'm thrilled that both of my novels have made it to, well... the final cut.

The third installment in The Bowers Files, The Knight, will be released this summer, as well as a mass-market paperback version of The Pawn--with a cool new cover. Thanks to all of you for supporting this series!

Check out any of the novels on my Amazon Connect page. More soon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Excerpt from Sailing Between the Stars

Everywhere you look in Christianity you see mysteries piled upon mysteries.

Here, death is the beginning of life, foolishness is the pathway to wisdom, the meek conquer the strong, a lamb tramples a snake, and the Almighty creator of the galaxies has a bellybutton. The foundation of this faith is paradox, not common sense.

Because logic can only take you as far as the confines of language and reason, but paradox can lead you all the way to the truth.

This is the story that bookends the ages. One day the garden with the snake who infects souls will be transformed into the garden where the Dove reigns forever. Here is a tale bigger than life, but just the right size to fit in your heart.

In the crazy world of Christianity, those who think themselves wise are really fools in disguise, while those who know they’re fools become our greatest prophets and teachers. Those who are the most aware of their sins are our greatest saints; while those who think they’re not really all that bad (at least not compared to most people) are the greatest sinners. Those who think they’re humble are proud, but those who know they’re proud are humble. Those who believe themselves to be free are the most enchained; those who see their chains are finally free.

As long as I think I can see, I’m blind. And only when I’m brave enough to admit that
I’m beyond all hope, does hope come crashing in and cleanse my heart.
We’re told to set our eyes on what we cannot see, accept a peace that’s beyond understanding, know a love that surpasses knowledge, and cling to the certainty of what we cannot prove. One day when my mind was spinning with all these paradoxes of faith, I prayed this prayer:

o elegant mystery,
creator of time,
revealer of history,
tune of the chime,
echo and swirl and curl through
my mind.
here i am waiting to be found
and to find.
seeker and shepherd,
blossom of laws,
lion of conquest sharpen your claws,
here i am waiting,
a child of your light;
no more debating
with my soul in the night.
circle and stir and renew my soul
o elegant mystery
splinter me whole.

To be splintered into wholeness is the goal of the Jesus-focused life.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support

We can’t begin to thank you all for your kind financial support and prayers as we traveled overseas.

I was humbled to be able to train the children’s leaders and pastors in South Africa and India, and was incredibly blessed to have my daughter along. The trip refreshed me and reminded me again that I grow closer to Christ when I’m serving others than when I’m doing anything else.

A Couple of Days to Relax

Ariel and I were able to get a few days off during the trip to explore some of the sites in Hyderabad and Johannesburg.

In South Africa we visited a lion park and it was one of the highlights of the trip for both of us. We saw hyenas, lions, cheetahs, zebras, and more. I fed a giraffe some potato chips (which was slightly against the rules), and Ariel was able sit in a pen with lion cubs and have them crawl on her lap.

We also visited a crocodile farm and a rhino park (unfortunately, we didn’t see any rhinos--maybe next time!). However, as you can see, Ariel met an Australian lizard that according to the guide at the crocodile park, can be trained to come when you call his name.


Teaming up with Mr. Smith

In Jo-burg I joined up with my friend Jeff Smith, one of North America’s most creative communicators, to speak to more than 900 children’s pastors and ministry leaders from throughout South Africa.

It was inspirational to work with Jeff again as we taught creative storytelling and scripture memory, drama and teaching techniques to the attendees.

By the way, Ariel was a great help during the whole trip, but especially during my workshops in South Africa. She helped lead dramas, performed readers' theater scripts, taught Bible verses, and took pictures and videos of the seminars. You rock, girl!

Prison Visits & Children’s Programs!

March 17-19

One of the members of The Village Church runs a prison ministry that works with several juvenile prisons in the Jo-burg area. He invited me to speak to the youth and I was excited to be involved.

We visited two prisons and I spoke to the prisoners, sharing the message of the gospel. It was moving and powerful; something I’ll never forget.

March 20
In the morning, Ariel and I told Bible stories and taught scripture verses at one of the poorest schools in Jo-burg. The kids loved her!

Then, to kick off the Children’s Ministry Conference, one of the churches in Jo-burg hosted a children’s rally Friday night.

Hundreds of children and family members attended. After some storytelling, drama, and skits, I closed out the program by sharing the gospel: “For Christ died, for sins, once for all. The righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

On to South Africa

March 16

We left Hyderabad at 3:00 a.m. and flew to Dubai where we changed planes and then headed on to Johannesburg (or Jo-burg as they call it in South Africa).

While the sights, sounds and smells of India are much different than those in America, the restaurants, architecture, and climate of South Africa felt more like home!

We teamed up with the ministry leaders Lisa and Colin Ekman, both of whom serve at The Village Church in Jo-burg. They were wonderful to work with, and arranged for us to stay with the Herrmann family, whom we fell in love with right away. In the picture you can see Ariel with (left to right) Niklaus, Petra, and Kayleigh.

Visiting an Orphanage

March 15

Three years ago I visited an orphanage on my first trip to India. This year I had the honor of sharing the experience with Ariel.

As you can see in the photo, each child has a trunk in which he keeps all of his personal items. The children sleep on the floor and have classes for school in the same building.

Not all of the children in the orphanage are missing both parents; some have parents who are too poor or sick to take care of them.

After sharing Bible stories and teaching games to the children, I was invited to speak at the morning worship service. I was honored to accept.

For me, this visit was the highlight of the entire trip. I loved the dances the children shared with us, and enjoyed teaching them, playing with them, and meeting them. Their pastor invited me to return next year to train 185 evangelists skills in creative preaching. 
God willing, I’ll be back!

Excerpts from Ariel’s Journal

During our trip, my 13-year old daughter Ariel sent a series of letters home with her impressions of the trip. Here are a few snippets.

The traffic in India is incredibly horrible!! I asked Jacob, my dad’s friend from India, if he had ever run over anybody or hit anybody / anything. His answer was, “Not often.” Most everybody owns a motorcycle here. Everybody will drive in all different directions, and the only traffic rule here is-try not to kill anybody...

We tried coconut water. It is very different, but it is satisfying. It has a weird taste, but it fills you up. My dad likes it...

On every step, or in every trash pile are homeless people, beggars, disabled people, etc. You will not go anywhere without seeing either trash beside the road, or homeless people begging. It is very sad...

Today we visited the leprosy colony and took over one hundred pictures. It was very heart-wrenching...

Today was a busy day. We taught youth pastors creative ways to tell stories, and I did a couple performances. It is extremely hot here, and everyday during our performances the power goes out and the ceiling fans don’t work... Unfortunately the mosquitoes are attracted to us...

Yesterday I also went clothes shopping, and accumulated a little more than I had intended in the first place, but that is okay...

Heartbreaking Poverty & Beautiful People

March 13
Today we had some excitement, which Ariel called “frightening, yet miraculous.”

Jacob took us to visit the slums. If you’ve never been to a slum, it’s honestly difficult to imagine. Try to picture hundreds of families living in lean-tos made of rags, all using one toilet--which is simply a hole in the ground.

In the pictures you can see Ariel and I playing with the children, telling Bible stories, and handing out sweets. Well, some of the people in the first slum thought we were there to take advantage of them, to exploit pictures of them for our own personal gain. We left before any trouble could happen, but found out later that they were very angry and were ready to beat our translator and us.

But God watched over us and no harm came. Later in the day, our translator helped four of the young men from the slum who’d been in trouble with the law and the people who lived there realized that we weren’t there to take anything from them, but to give what we had.

At least 50% of the people at the second slum we visited have AIDS. Jacob has hired a nurse to visit twice a week to treat as many of their symptoms as she can. His compassion and heart for people continue to be an inspiration to me.

Reflections from India - #3

March 11-12

I enjoyed reconnecting with several of my friends in India: Caleb, an evangelist; Aneesh, a filmmaker; and Ben-hur, the manager of a TV station that provides Christian programming for more than 5 million viewers every day. I had the opportunity to spend a morning training the evangelists from Harvest Ministries, and Ariel and I led chapel at a girls’ school. My wolf puppet Jeddar even made a cameo appearance. I think the girls liked him more than me...

Visiting the Leprosy Village

March 8
I know that neither Ariel nor I will forget our trip to the leprosy village where we both spoke at the Sunday morning worship service. We shared lunch with the people from the leprosy village and Ariel made friends quickly when she handed out treats to the children!

The families in the village are destitute and very poor. After we arrived home in the states, the girls in Ariel’s class took up a collection to help pay for surgery for one of the men who lives in the village. In less than a week they raised more than $300!

March 9-10
When I first felt called to go on this mission trip, I felt that God wanted me to share some of the tips and tools I’ve learned over the years for telling stories to children. My friend Jacob Chinnappa set up two Sunday School teacher training workshops and a day of teaching at Seva Bharat, a ministry that produces Bible curriculum that is used for more than 4 million children throughout India each summer. The response to the creative teaching ideas was astounding and I was greatly encouraged by the creativity and passion of the Indian teachers.

Reflections from India & South Africa - #1

By God’s grace, Ariel and I spent nearly three weeks overseas and ministered to more than 1300 children’s ministers, evangelists, writers and pastors in two continents.

Here are some of the highlights and pics from the trip!

March 6-7
After taking a day to recover from the flight to Hyderabad, I spent two days teaching writing skills to Christian authors and journalists from throughout central India. This is the third writers’ workshop I’ve taught in Hyderabad since 2006. Staff from many ministries, including Joyce Meyers Ministries and Focus on the Family, attended.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back at my desk

Over the last few months I've been consumed with finishing my novel The Knight. Then, I left for India and South Africa to teach writing and speaking.


Lots going on. I'll fill you in more now that I'm back at my desk again. For now, a poem that I found while going through some of my writing from a few years ago.

More soon...

The word-heat of your story
causes blisters on my eyes.
I’m seared into a new way of seeing.
Of being.
Of dreaming.

I can’t touch the page anymore
or my fingers might just
burst into love and
grow scars that look like yours.

Whenever I close my Bible,
steam presses out of the cover.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Teaching in India

Steven and his daughter, Ariel, have been so blessed to spend the past week in Hyderabad, India teaching Creative Communication to those who are reaching India for Christ. From passing out candy to children in the slums to ministering to the precious people of a leper colony, Steven and Ariel have been spreading the love of God to whomever they meet. Please pray for them as they continue their time in India and as they prepare to leave for South Africa on the 16th.
I will update you on their journey next week.
Pam (office manager for Steven James)