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JPC Allen Writes

Inspiration for Beginning Writers

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Scripture Saturdays

An Easter Story: “Dad sent me.”

crossw-3080144_1280I wrote this Easter story a few years ago to express how I think about Easter. May you be blessed during the most hopeful holiday of the year!

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I am trapped.

The boulder is heading straight for me. I can’t escape.  What good would it do anyway?

I’ve ended up in this exact situation before, too many times before, so why try to get away?

It’s my own stupid fault.  I finally get that.

There’s nothing I can do.

I huddle down. How much will it hurt this time? I can’t take much more pain. I am so sorry. So very, very sorry. Not that that matters.

I’m knocked to the ground.  But not by the boulder.

A man, a stranger, shoves me out of the way. I twist around to him. The boulder smashes into him and shatters into a pile of rubble, burying him.

I gape. I stare. Why would a stranger save me?

The pile moves. Flinging off the rocks, the man stands up.

I splutter, “B-b-but how?  But who?  But why?”

Brushing off the dust and dirt, the man gives me a huge grin and answers all my questions with one sentence.

“Dad sent me.”

Scripture Saturday — Easter

crossw-66700_1280“It is finished,” said Jesus as he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

“It is finished,” said the Roman soldiers as they removed the body from the cross.

“It is finished,” said Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus as they laid the body in the tomb.

“It is finished,” said Pontius Pilate as he returned to the business of governing these stubborn Jews.

“It is finished,” said the chief priests and elders as they congratulated themselves on the success of their scheme.

“It is finished,” said the disciples as they huddled together in Jerusalem, hiding from the authorities.

“It is finished,” said the women as they prepared spices to take to the tomb.

“Is it finished?” asked Mary as she turned her tear-stained face to the starry, Saturday night sky.

And on Sunday morning, the stone was rolled away, and Jesus walked out of the tomb, stretched his arms, gazed at the world he loved so much, and shouted with a laugh, “April Fool’s!”

I must thank Max Mitchell for the idea for this post.

Scripture Saturday

restw-52495_1280This post couldn’t have come at a better time. Recently, I had been feeling very anxious with all my writing demands piling up and crashing into all the demands of just living in the real world.

Despite feeling the need to work at 100 m.p.h., I followed Mrs. McDowell’s advice and sat down and expressed to God what all my anxieties were and turned them over to him. Then for over five minutes, I tried to clear my mind, repeating, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

Those five minutes worked wonders. I was refreshed and clear-headed. I will try to keep to this new routine, and hopefully, increase my time when I just sit and listen for God.

Scripture Saturdays — Lent

fastw-78493_1280If you are thinking of giving up something for Lent, I recommend giving up worry.

This will be the third year I have tried to give up worrying for Lent.  I worry about everything.  And I do mean everything.  If I’m depressed I can always find a dark cloud in the biggest silver lining.  The first year I gave up worry was the most rewarding Lent I have ever had, spiritually, mentally, even physically. Last year, I had much more trouble giving it up. That’s why I want to try again this year.

If you are like me, and worrying is so much a part of your life that you think it is normal, here are some actions I took to help me give it up.

Pray every day.  I couldn’t give up worrying without God.  I pray when I walk, so every day, I would review my vow, thank God for the worries I gave up the day before, look at what I was currently worrying about, and rededicate my efforts to give them up.  I needed to check in with the Coach before plunging into the day’s “game”.

Become objective.  I worry so naturally I had to step out of myself mentally so I could observe my symptoms of worrying.  If I had racing, repetitive thoughts, or a sick stomach, or shortness of breath, I knew those were signs of worry.  I would look at my thoughts, sort out the worries, and kick them out.  As I became more aware of my symptoms, I could catch the worries sooner.

Take it day by day.  If you tell God on Ash Wednesday that you will not worry again until Easter, you will fail.  Don’t look further ahead than one day.  Pray and then work through the day to run the worries out of your head.  Even if you have to do it fifty or a hundred, or five hundred times a day at first, you have not failed.  Every day you work at it, you are fulfilling your vow.

If feel moved to give up worry for Lent, let me know how you are doing.

Scripture Saturdays

prayerw-1308663_1280If you see your writing as a ministry, read this thoughtful article from the Write Conversation on the role prayer plays in our writing.

I think the author Katy Kauffman’s experience is in nonfiction writing, but any writing, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, can be a ministry if we invite God to be our partner.

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