I have a sneaky suspicion that if I don’t write this, I am never going to have any peace.
I am a Christian. Not a very ‘good’ one. (By that I mean… I make mistakes…sometimes pretty big ones…)
What is YOUR definition of a Christian?
Mine is someone who believes in the TRINITY of Christ. Believes that Christ was born, of a virgin, died and was resurrected on the third day and was drawn to Heaven after being seen, arisen, by thousands, and now resides at the Father’s right hand. Whew! That’s a lot to trust in.
HE WAS SEEN… doesn’t that mean ANYTHING to non-believers? Okay…wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Now, believing in that is step one. (In my eyes, yours may see something different, we’re probably both right.) Without believing that (step one), step two, and so on, is a huge colossal waste of time, so, if you don’t hold to step one, you are going to need to get your notepad handy and begin jotting down YOUR explanation of things…
Step two… pray. Continually, IN THE SPIRIT. Don’t just spout off prayers. Listen to God and pray as HE dictates. It’s not really that hard; HE’S ‘dying’ to talk to you. He uses this dude, NO DISRESPECT INTENDED, called the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit fills you with a sense of… well, I think for each person the feeling/filling is different, like jelly doughnuts, I like blackberry-cream; you might like raspberry-jelly or chocolate-cream. But however He gets your attention, you ought to listen, cause He’s like, really, really smart.
Step three… keep IN THE word. This means the Holy Bible, for which there are MANY versions. Ask around. If you REALLY can’t figure out which one is a true representation of God’s word, ASK a local Pastor. Just as the Bible has been translated into many languages, each one varies slightly, but, as long as it’s not a paraphrased version calling itself THE Bible, you should be okay. (If ALL else fails to give you the sense that this is THE one God wants you to read, take the OLD King James Version and start there. Why? Because the Holy Spirit breathed this one into being a very long time ago and while some scholars believe portions were incorrectly translated, most of the time these inconsistencies are merely traditions and not the validity of God’s word. It is a good grounding Bible.)
As you keep IN the word, read God’s message daily. Online Bible Studies or Devotions are good; attending a local Bible study is better, (sometimes, occasionally these are nothing more than coffee-klatches with great doughnuts…). Weigh everything against God’s word/intention. (Sounding preachy now, aren’t I…)
Step four… SHARE what God lays on your heart and don’t worry if you look/sound foolish; people thought/think Jesus was/is a raving lunatic. (as long as they believe in the “IS”… *grin*)
Now, I believe this is what makes a person a Christian. There are lots of other nuances that appear as someone follows the word closer, gets a deeper understanding, and lives a closer relationship with God, but there are so many and to each is given different gifts so to one person it may seem as if someone else ISN’T really doing all they can because their gift is different. Some have a heart for serving the poor and living amongst them; others have the ability to earn large dollars, which they donate, to these causes. A different gift for every person, all God asks is for us to use it as HE intends and directs. (And, of course give thanks for EVERYTHING.)
Now, WHY am I telling you this?
I just received a letter from a publisher regarding a novel of mine that is shall we say, unfinished? I have completed it, really, but it FEELS unfinished & not ready to stretch its wings yet. I don’t like the thought that, (because this is a new publisher for a new genre I’m tackling) the first read through may be the last opportunity for me to get my foot in this door.
Still, THEY contacted me. Conundrum, conundrum… (And me without musical skills.)
I have a few weeks to think this over. I need to decide WHY I don’t like the characters… what is the elusive ‘thing’ that keeps them from being dimensional… For this novel, there is no beta-reader involved and I hadn’t thought I’d need one, it wasn’t/isn’t one of my ‘current’ projects, simply a bit of free-styling. I’m rambling…sorry… thinking with you as the sounding board; forgive me.
Shall I “go-for-it” and trust that the Holy Spirit led this publisher to me? (I find that a bit of a stretch…) Shall I hold back and possibly lose the best chance yet for this novel to reach and touch lives…? Shall I fix the dang thing and send it in and ask for forgiveness because they caught me unawares???
Or, is my hesitation born of the Spirit, convincing me this novel isn’t ready? Am I truly listening and hearing what God is saying?
Not a very satisfying ending…
Sharing is a nice way to say 'thank you'...
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