12/31/2012

A Prayer for the New Year

"O God, be thou exalted over my possessions. Nothing of earth's treasures shall seem dear unto me if only Thou art glorified in my life. Be Thou exalted over my friendships. I am determined that Thou shalt be above all, though I must stand deserted and alone in the midst of the earth. Be Thou exalted above my comforts. Though it mean the loss of bodily comforts and the carrying of heavy crosses I shall keep my vow made this day before Thee. Be Thou exalted over my reputation. Make me ambitious to please Thee even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be forgotten as a dream. Rise, O Lord, into Thy proper place of honor, above my ambitions, above my likes and dislikes, above my family, my health and even my life itself. Let me decrease that Thou mayest increase, let me sink that Thou mayest rise above. Ride forth upon me as Thou didst ride into Jerusalem mounted upon the humble little beast, a colt, the foal of an ass, and let me hear the children cry to Thee, 'Hosanna in the highest.'"
~ A. W. Tozer
(The Pursuit of God, pg 59)

12/24/2012

Meal: Unforgettable

I was going through my collection of old writing assignments again and dug up this interesting piece that was brought about by having to describe a meal without ever mentioning a taste. . . My teacher's exact words were:
"I really don't know from what depths of randomosity you pull these things, but you have a marvelous imagination."
I hope your opinion is half that positive ;P :)

Meal: Unforgettable

J D White
4/16/2009

The smell is awful. Fire arcs up into my brain through my complaining nostrils.
    My vision blurs as a plate is placed on the table before me. Through the constant rush of tears brought on by the horrific stench incinerating my olfactory nerves, I look down to inspect the plate’s contents.
    A wash of appalling colors nearly overload my optical nerves, joining the horrendous odors in their assault on my brain. Fighting past the initial shock, I force myself to observe the supposed “food” more closely.
    A bubbling, sickly yellow sludge with neon pink sprinkles oozes about one corner. Several black, purplish-turquoise striped rectangles are stacked to one side, a bright brown slime oozing out from between them. Piled high on the rest of the plate is a steaming, moving mass of bright orange and blue stringy substance.
    I pick up my fork and push a fist against my lips to hold back a gag. Pressing the fork into the rectangles, I find they are hard and flaky. They crunch under the pressure of the utensil as I cut them in half. The brown slime squelches out from between them. I stab one of the pieces then dip it in the bubbling yellow ooze.
    The ooze, unwilling to let go of either, stretches between my fork and the plate as I pull it away. I hold my breath before bringing the fork to my mouth.
    Then I take a bite. . .

    EDITOR’S NOTE:
    We apologize for the inconvenience, but the writer was unable to finish this story. He is currently at Odd Ailments Hospital in a comatose state. . .
______________________________________________________________________


Yup, pretty crazy, huh?

My friend (who agreed to do a quick check on this for any grammar/spelling mistakes before I posted it) said:
"Ohhh-KAY then. Wow.  This is . . . um . . . hilarious? . . . disgusting? . . . I’m not really sure.  Was this out of a dream or something?"
Then she added this to the end of it:
"SECOND EDITOR’S NOTE: The writer should be in Crazy-Person Therapy for actually trying to EAT the stuff. . .  just sayin’. . . . ;P :)"

12/17/2012

Tragedies Punctuate Travesties

So, in the last few days many of us have been inundated with all the news about the shooting in a Connecticut school this Friday that followed on the heels of a shooting in Clackamas Town Center right here in Clackamas, Oregon . . . (not to mention that whole nasty business with the Dark Knight Rises a while back).

Though I feel the need to pray and mourn for all those involved in these indeed tragic events, I also find myself wondering why we do not feel this way Every Single Day . . . Think about it. Things like this happen all over the world, especially considering that there are many countries at war with one another right now. And even more blatant than that is the Admitted and Recorded FACT that the United States alone murders children in the tens of thousands every day! (Yes, I am talking about abortion).

Again, I will say that the things that are claiming the attention of much of my family and friends are indeed tragedies. And I pray that the LORD would comfort and reveal His grace and mercy to those who are directly suffering from them. But what about the travesties of how our country (and the rest of the world) look at so many other things? Violence such as is being mourned over in these cases are considered 'cool' and 'entertaining' when it takes place in movies or TV. Life and people are not regarded as they should be. True Hope is lost or obscured under false security that is found in earthly comforts or merely 'humanitarian' acts of kindness.

Regardless of how you(or I) react or think about these things, these are all examples and reminders of one thing: the world is consumed in sin and in rebellion against God, and because of this we are all in need of the Gospel of our Savior and LORD, Jesus the Christ.

May I encourage you to read the following passages of Scripture as we continue to pray about the specific events we are aware of and also seek God's face for His glory, honor, and  praise to be proclaimed to all the earth?

Romans 1-3 . . . . Psalm 23 . . . . Psalm 17-20 . . . . Psalm 27-30 . . . . Matthew 6:25-34 . . . . John 3:16-21 . . . . Hebrews 12-13 . . . . Revelation 4:11 . . . . Isaiah 45:22-23 . . . . Romans 14:7-12 . . . . Philippians 2:8-11 . . . .

LORD, please guide our thoughts and prayers, not only in these things and in the next few days, but in All things and in Every second of the years to come. Make us concerned for Your glorification and praise in this world. Please bless us with confidence and boldness in proclaiming Your love and calling those around us to repent and turn to Your precious Son, Jesus. 
    Please reveal your glory and grace to those affected by the tragedies that have caught the attention of our country in the last few days. Convict those who need to be convicted, and please offer comfort and healing as well. Please work your redemptive glory in those lives.
    We are nothing and worse apart from You, Almighty God, I ask specifically that You pour Your grace upon this country and guide its leaders and citizens to repentance, that You and Your statutes would be held in honor, reverence, and respect.
    Thank you, dear Father, for your patience and faithfulness. Thank you for your Son, and the cross by which you have made salvation and reunion with you possible.
    In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. . .

~ J D White
12/17/2012

12/04/2012

Some More Art and Other Stuff

 I recently was a student in a Christian art school's College Program during their first term of official days devoted to college-level classes. One of the classes I took was a Computer Art class in which I was able to learn some graphic design and digital painting.

~ This is what I did as a graphic design project


~ And this is the digital painting
(The two characters in the back, from right to left, are a Sagri and a Kohtloac - and the foreground characters, also from left to right, are a Gandoran and a Nanhew)


Also, a friend of mine generously posted and commented on a writing assignment that you can read HERE 



Oh, and as a side note . . . one of my best friend's birthday was yesterday . . . I praise and thank God for that friend :)
But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. ~ Psalm 79:13

11/28/2012

Gentleness

Recently I was asked to give a 'talk' on gentleness during lunch at Christian school (the 'theme' for lunchtime throughout the term has been the Fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23) . . . I only wrote down a few notes for the talk, but the LORD had begun showing me a few things in those notes that I thought it would be beneficial to look a little closer at . . . What you are about to read is the result. . .

The word 'gentleness' in the Galatians 5:22 passage is translated from the Greek word chrestotes: which is used in the Bible for 1) moral goodness, integrity and 2) benignity, kindness . . . (If you don't have your own concordance, you can check out this link) . . . which suggests (as any in-depth look at the Fruit of the Spirit will) that this is mainly pointing to a 'heart/motive' aspect, rather than just a way of behaving. . . (Ephesians 4:1-3)

However, as far as the practical aspect went, I began to think and try to find an example or picture of gentleness in everyday life that would be simple to understand. The first thing that came to my mind were Prismacolor Colored Pencils because the Colored Pencil teachers that I've known have a tendency to make a running joke out of how they want students to treat their pencils because of how expensive they are. Because of their price and the fact that they are easily broken, even tapping a colored pencil on something is greatly frowned upon. They are an item that needs to be treated with care. . .

But then I thought that that would be a really shallow example if left by itself, so I turned to the obvious and only Perfect example given us in Scripture - Jesus Christ. . .

As I looked through the Gospels in search of Jesus' showing gentleness, I thought about many of the examples where Jesus showed mercy and compassion, but God pointed me specifically toward the few accounts of Jesus with children. . .
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. ~ Mark 10:13-16

In order to understand some things it is helpful to know the subject’s opposite . . . and what is the opposite of gentleness? . . . I waited a bit after asking this question, watching as the children I had been speaking to began to think. And I was glad to see a little girl light up and raise her hand before giving the answer I was looking for: Violence.

I nodded and began to talk about how it was so rare to find violence used as a positive in Scripture. In fact, the only place I could find where that might be the case was in Matthew 11:12 – which suggests to me how aggressive we should be in ‘pressing into the Kingdom’ or in seeking to know God.

On the other hand, there is a veritable cornucopia of references to how vile and wrong violence or the violent person is:

The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. ~ Psalm 11:5 NASB

Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence. ~ Proverbs 3:30-32 ESV

Those of you who have spent a lot of time in Psalms and Proverbs know that those are only a fraction of the examples and commands given regarding violence as it corresponds to the righteous or the wicked . . . And that those are mostly in the context of men dealing with other men – mere hints at the wrath of God concerning the subject. . .

After mentioning some of this, I returned to gentleness and asked the kids if they could give me examples of ways that we can ‘practically’ (as a physically conscious demonstration) show gentleness toward one another . . . Once again I waited as they looked up at the ceiling or at one another in search of ideas. A few good responses were called out, but a little boy finally called out a word that I could not help but think was given the child by the Holy Spirit.

The boy had said ‘kindness’ . . . I smiled at this suggestion as I realized that this was another of the Fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23, and that it helped confirm my belief that all of the ‘fruits’ correspond to and find strength in one another as the Holy Spirit works them into the growing believer. I pointed this out as I continued speaking once the boy had suggested being kind as a way to show gentleness.

At this point I had no more notes, and at the moment I am still not quite sure where to go from here (only because there are numberless things that could be considered in Scripture starting from this point and moving into different things), so I ended my ‘talk’ by reading the following from my New American Standard Bible:
As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great. You enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped. ~ Psalm 18:30-36

 
J D White
11/25/2012

11/24/2012

Thanksgiving Proclamation


George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
 
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Click Here to see the Original Document. . .
* * * * *

A friend of mine sent me the above proclamation in an email on Thanksgiving and I thought I'd share it. :)

I always find it ironically amusing (and unfortunate) how the government abuses the term 'separation of church and state' (which is not a part of Any of our original documents setting up our government - i.e. the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.) . . . Especially when compared to decrees made by our Founding Fathers like the one above. . . .

Oh well, the Lord is good, and in Him we can confidently Trust. . .
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! ~ Psalm 9:9-11 ESV

11/22/2012

Give Thanks






Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! ~ 1 Chronicles 16:34
I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. ~ Psalm 7:17

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. ~ Psalm 28:7

Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. ~ Psalm 30:4

Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! ~ Psalm 33:2

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good. ~ Psalm 54:6

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. ~ Psalm 57:9

But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. ~ Psalm 79:13

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. ~ Psalm 86:12

Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name! ~ Psalm 97:12 

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. ~ Psalm 100:3-5

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! ~ Psalm 105:1

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! ~ Psalm 106:1

Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. ~ Psalm 106:47

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! ~ Psalm 107:1

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. ~ Psalm 108:3

With my mouth I will give great thanks to the LORD; I will praise him in the midst of the throng. ~ Psalm 109:30

Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. ~ Psalm 111:1

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! ~ Psalm 118:1

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! ~ Psalm 118:28-29

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever... ~ Psalm 136:1-3

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. ~ Psalm 136:26

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:57

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” ~ Revelation 4:11

May we never cease to offer thanks and praise to our great, magnificent, wondrous, gracious, and loving LORD of lords and King of kings, the one and only God Almighty who is worthy of All honor, praise, and glory!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

11/07/2012

First Night of Freedom

A friend of mine, Raquel, started a ministry a while back to send gifts/donations to rescue shelters that assist victims of human trafficking. (You can read her story, Or visit the website: FNOF)

And this month she's started a 'coin campaign' as a way to raise some more funds for this important task!

Here's how it works:
"If you want to join, all you need is a jar and any extra change you have laying around the house. It is estimated that there is approximately $1,000 worth of coins per American household. Committing to TCC, basically means that you'll promise to add coins to that jar every day of the month of November.  And on December 1st, all the coins that you collected will be given as donation funds to FNOF's ministry." ~ Raquel

Want to Help Spread the Word? Just copy the following HTML code onto your blog/website:
Photobucket

And here's a video from Raquel's most recent update on First Night of Freedom...
"I am beside myself with excitement in being able to present First Night of Freedom's official video ad. Huge thanks goes to Mr. Frank Montenegro for being willing to make this for FNOF. May God bless you richly! I can't thank you enough." ~ Raquel



Hope you'll be able to join us! :)

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
 
Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your righteousness to the upright of heart! ~ Psalm 36:7-10
~ English Standard Version (ESV)

10/31/2012

Another Old Writing Assignment

I've been asked by a friend of mine to put together all of the 'scenes' that ended up getting deleted from Warrior's Fury before it was finally published. But as I was going through old notes and documents to do that, I found this short story about Zeegan I had written in 2009 for yet another class assignment...

Anyway, I thought it was kinda funny and everyone I've shown it to has at least not hated it, so I thought I'd post it ;P :D   

(NOTE: I only did some cursory editing, so it may not be 'perfect' as far as that goes ;)


Dream or Nightmare?

Written by J D White
November 17, 2009


“And then there’s ‘I don’t eat bacon – but I do like the flavor of shoelaces.’ Man, I’m tellin’ you, that is gonna be the greatest rock hit of the century when me and my sophomore buddies get a record deal.”
            It was taking all of Zeegan’s willpower not to start screaming and ripping the fur out of his head. He was pretty sure it had only been an hour since he had met Jared, but already he was convinced the boy was insane.
            Zeegan should have been all comfy-cozy in his warm bed aboard the Giou-Zeeganzy with his wife. But no, here he was trudging through inch deep snow in nothing but a pair of short cut pants, headed down a mountain towards a lake that he hoped would reveal a way home, followed by an insane sixteen year old boy who claimed that they were in the western region of a mountain range called the Sierra Nevada.
            Suddenly Jared started singing some horrible melody with a voice that Zeegan was convinced would attract every carrion eater for miles – not to mention all the other animal’s that would most likely come to smite him just to stop the atrocious din.
            “Jared!” Zeegan screamed as he spun around to face the boy. “Will you PLEASE, shut up? I am trying to concentrate on the source of the nayrl.”
            “On the source of the what?”
            “There is an energy source near that lake down there–”
            “Hey, that’s Red Lake.”
            “Realy? That’s amazing. I believe I will find a way home down there.”
            “Awesome man . . . Hey I’ve been meaning to ask you, what planet are you from?”
            Zeegan sighed and turned away from the boy, continuing on down the slope towards the elongated lake. . .

            He guessed it was about half an hour later when they came to the shore of the lake. Jared sat down with a muted ‘grunch’ in the snow and leaned back against the trunk of a tree, while Zeegan knelt down at the shore to cup some of the cold water into his mouth.
            Something wasn’t right here. The wind had died and there was no sign of the animal life that had been prevalent when he first awoke higher up on the mountain. Zeegan stared out over the lake in the waning light of twilight, trying to determine where the disconcerting stillness had originated.
            A rustle in the sparse underbrush behind him brought Zeegan slowly around on his heels. Close to where Jared sat was a group of bushes that rustled ever so slightly.
            “Jared!” Zeegan hissed as loudly as he dared.
The boy opened one eye and looked over at him. “Whuh?”
“Don’t move.”
“Why?”
Zeegan pointed at the group of bushes and Jared slowly turned his head to look at them. The branches began to move about once more and Zeegan felt his uneasiness grow.
Suddenly, out of the bushes popped a small creature with a long snout and a black mask around its eyes. It looked like it weighed about twenty pounds, its bushy gray fur made its body look like a big fluff ball, and it had a bushy tale with black rings.
“Ah, come on man, it’s just a raccoon.” Jared said grinning and leaning towards the creature. “And it’s a cute one too. Come’ere little buddy, come on.”
Zeegan’s face screwed up in a grimace of concern. “Jared, get away from it!”
But the boy was ignoring him. When Jared got within a few feet of the raccoon, it suddenly stood on its hind legs and hissed, white foam fizzing up around its mouth. Its ears were now drawn back flat against its skull and it looked thoroughly violent.
Jared apparently finally got the hint, he screamed and tried to jump back but was far to slow. The insane raccoon leaped right at Jared’s face and latched on, still hissing. The boy leaped to his feat and swung his head around violently, trying to shake off the beast.
Zeegan leaped forward and dashed to help Jared. Grabbing hold of the vicious raccoon he yanked it off the boys face and threw it away with all his strength. The beast hit the ground on its feat and skidded to a stop half a dozen yards away.
“Run man, come on let’s run, go!” Jared was in a veritable panic.
“Calm down will yu’, its not’n I can’t handle.” Zeegan said, holding up his hand to show that it was now covered in a glowing hazel-yellow, semitransparent, gel-like mass of energy.
The raccoon was charging back at them at full speed. Zeegan balled his fists together and went into a crouch. Focusing, he willed the mass of energy in his hand to glow brighter and move to float in front of his fists as it solidified. Then – thrusting his hands forward with all his might – launched the mass of energy directly at the crazed creature.
The solid mass of semitransparent energy screamed through the air and would have torn straight through the raccoon – that is of course, if the raccoon hadn’t leaped up and smacked the center of the projectile with its front paws and sent a wave of counter energy through it, causing it to blast apart in a harmless explosion of dissipating energy.
Both Zeegan and Jared’s jaws dropped open at the thoroughly baffling sight. The raccoon landed on its hind legs a few feet away and hissed at them again.
“All right, running sounds good now.” Zeegan said. . .

For the next ten minutes Zeegan and Jared ran as fast as they could along the shore of the lake, screaming at the tops of their lungs as they attempted to escape the rabid raccoon.
Zeegan snatched Jared’s wrist and pulled him into a cave. Pushing him back against the dark wall, Zeegan stood next to him and waited – trying to quiet his breathing.
He heard the creature scamper frantically by still hissing violently, but it did not turn into the cave-mouth.
“Good, it didn’t see us come in here.” Zeegan whispered breathlessly. “No doubt it’ll realize it’s not behind us any more and back track, though. Let’s go.”
Jared whimpered and nodded, following as Zeegan headed deeper into the cave.
“Any particular reason we’re going into this cave?” Jared asked eventually, once he had sufficiently calmed down.
“The energy I detected is this way.”
They turned a corner in the dark tunnel and found a large door at the end. Two massive torches sat in heavy brackets on other side of the door, giving off a sputtering orange glow.
When they got within a few yards of the door, a massive hulk of a man fell through the stone ceiling and landed in a crouch before them. Rising to his full seven foot height, he held a round shield in his left hand and a short sword in his right. He was dressed in a light armor chest plate, a strange skirt-like garment, and a pair of sandals.
“I am Leviticus Claudius.” He said in a deep voice that rumbled from the depths of his massive chest. “I have served my lord Caesar as the guardian of this doorway to another world for twenty, of my forty-five years.”
Zeegan and Jared stared, trying desperately to keep hold of their individual sanities. Unfortunately Jared’s grip slipped.
“Great, first a giant alien-porcupine-wizard, then an evil, mutant raccoon, now we got a freakin’ gladiator that can travel through time’n’space!” Jared started laughing hysterically and jumping up and down in circles. Suddenly he disappeared in a poof of inability to accept stupid, impractical situations.
Zeegan blinked as tiny bits of dust drifted to the ground where Jared had stood and scratched his head furiously in confusion. A hissing from behind warned that the raccoon had discovered their trail and was close behind.
Zeegan looked back down the dark tunnel and wondered if he shouldn’t just let the vicious little creature tear him apart. A heavy hand fell on his shoulder and he looked up into Leviticus’ dark brown eyes.
“Go, little man.” The hulking man said. “I shall do my duty and guard this door to the end.”
Zeegan just nodded with a blank look in his eyes and opened the large door, praying to the Almighty Creator that this was just an insane dream and he would awake from it soon. . .

Once Zeegan had closed the door behind him, Leviticus turned to face the demented, foaming-at-the-mouth raccoon.
“Thou shall not enter here, foul beast.” He whispered as he swung about his short sword.
As if in answer the raccoon roared and charged for him. Bellowing a war cry, Leviticus also charged. . .

Zeegan nearly tripped when his surroundings turned from the dark cave to a bright forest filled with creepy, rainbow colored, elastic-like bears jumping about singing: “Gummie bears – bouncing here and there and every where. . . .
Finally Zeegan could not take it anymore; he clamped his hands over his ears and screamed at the top of his lungs to drown out the horrible noise–––and lurched into a sitting position when something bashed against his nose.
“You awake now, Gy’doht?” Biyon asked from where she sat on her knees on the other side of the bed, a book held nonchalantly at her left shoulder where she had apparently decided to rest it after hitting him in the face.
Rubbing his nose with a rueful grimace, Zeegan nodded and thanked his wife for waking him from the bizarre nightmare. . .
_________________________________________________________________

Let me know what you think :)

10/24/2012

Manners

I was asked to give a talk on 'manners' to a group of kids.

Obviously once you actually start to 'speak' what you've written down, it kind of evolves to fit the specific circumstances - but I thought I'd post what I wrote anyway :)

Manners


^ Just because it was relevant ;P :)
Some practical examples of ‘good manners’ . . . We are to show respect and deference to our seniors – both those who are senior as in elderly or grandparents and parents’ age – in standing when they enter a room, giving them our attention when they speak (in proper deference to their wisdom or greater experience), offering them our seat, assisting in carrying things.

The same type of thing applies for boys or men in relation to girls or women in that our 'gentlemanly' duty would be to offer the same kind of assistance in opening doors, carrying heavy objects, pulling out chairs, assisting in putting on a coat or taking one to hang it up, etc. Though some or all of these sorts of ‘assistance’ may not be needed in either case on many occasions, it is still a part of proper etiquette that shows respect and kindness. . .


So, keeping in mind these things that have been listed to give you a practical basis for good ‘manners,’ I want is to ask a question: “What exactly are manners?”

Well, first, your ‘manner,’ is generally the way in which you carry yourself – your method, or way of performing or executing things in your day to day life. It is essentially the way you conduct yourself.

So let’s look at a proper (or ‘archaic’ – some would say) definition of the term ‘manners.’


Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
Manners
1. Deportment; carriage; behavior; conduct; course of life; in a moral sense.
     Evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Cor. 15
2. Ceremonious behavior; civility; decent and respectful deportment
    Shall we, in our applications to the great God, take that to be religion, which the common reason of mankind will not allow to be manners? South.
3. A bow or courtesy; as, make your manners; a popular use of the word.

Good-manners
n. Propriety of behavior; politeness; decorum.


According to Webster’s definition above, manners as a whole are not merely ‘being polite or civil in a situation among our seniors or other people.’ They display your character, the very essence of your moral and ethical beliefs.

There is Scripture that would suggest the same – consider Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians about how they should live: 
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. ~ Philippians 1:27-30 ESV
. . . which he continues in the twelfth verse of the second chapter:
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. ~ Philippians 2:12-16 ESV
 – And consider also Paul’s words to the Colossians: Colossians 1:9-10 . . . something that Jesus said that would suggest something of the same would be Matthew 7:12 (Note that we do not do this with a guarantee of reward). . .

So there is no doubt that God has provided us with many exhortations and commands in his Word that should effect how we treat or interact with the people around us – especially in considering James’ exposition on how ‘faith without works is dead’ in James 2:14-17. More examples of specific passages can be found in much of the Old Testament – especially the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5) and the books of the law – or in Jesus’ summation of the two tables of the law in Matthew 22:37-40. 

(Other verses of note that apply to this subject - 1 Peter 1:14-16(Lev 11:44 + 19:2), 1 Peter 2:1, 1 Peter 2:12, Ephesians 4:1-3, Galatians 5:13-15(16-26, 6:1-10))

Now, after pointing out all of this, we must ask another question: what is the reason or even the motivation behind all of this? And I would like to supply an approximation of both.

First, the reason. . .
There is an excellent ‘blanket statement’ of a reason for everything that we do in First Corinthians.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV (Note the next two verses also ;)

Every little thing we do, be it showing good manners by opening a door or whatever, we must be compelled by the sole purpose of bringing glory, honor and praise to our God and Savior. And He has given us the most perfect and ultimate example of this in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. . .
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:11 ESV

Here is a quote on Jesus’ example from Charles Haden Spurgeon, taken from a sermon he gave entitled Christ About His Father’s Business…
“…You never find Christ doing a thing which you may not imitate. You would scarcely think it necessary that he should be baptized; but lo, he goes to Jordan's stream and dives beneath the wave, that he may be buried in baptism unto death, and may rise again—though he needed not to rise—into newness of life. You see him healing the sick, to teach us benevolence; rebuking hypocrisy to teach us boldness; enduring temptation to teach us hardness, wherewith, as good soldiers of Christ, we ought to war a good warfare. You see him forgiving his enemies to teach us the grace of meekness and of forbearance; you behold him giving up his very life to teach us how we should surrender ourselves to God, and give up ourselves for the good of others. Put Christ at the wedding; you may imitate him. Ay, sirs, and you might imitate him, if you could, in turning water into wine, without a sin. Put Christ at a funeral; you may imitate him—"Jesus wept." Put him on the mountain-top; he shall be there in prayer alone, and you may imitate him. Put him in the crowd; he shall speak so, that if you could speak like him you should speak well. Put him with enemies; he shall so confound them, that he shall be a model for you to copy. Put him with friends, and he shall be a "friend that sticketh closer than a brother," worthy of your imitation. Exalt him, cry hosanna, and you shall see him riding upon a "colt, the foal of an ass," meek and lowly. Despise and spit upon him, you shall see him bearing contumely and contempt with the same evenness of spirit which characterized him when he was exalted in the eye of the world. Everywhere you may imitate Christ.”

As far as motivation goes, what more do you need than that reason for the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the ways in which we conduct ourselves? God, the Son – the Word become flesh – dwelt among us to live a perfect and holy life as an example for how we are to walk, and then died – was crucified – upon a tree and bore our sin, that we may be forgiven and redeemed. Is that not enough motivation? Is that not enough to make you adore and love our God? Our Savior and Redeemer? Our holy holy holy LORD and King?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. ~ Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” ~ John 14:15-21 ESV

…We should have such a love for God, that we are compelled to do all that which is good and right, and brings honor and glory and praise to our almighty Creator and Redeemer, not only in the little things, but in every single aspect of our lives.

I realize I’ve gotten very serious on you, but Christ and what he did on the cross – despite all the wondrous joy it provides for those whom He has saved through the free gift of His Grace – is serious business, and we should tremble at the very thought that we have been offered the chance to glorify God by striving to follow and obey His commands – and are still forgiven and covered over with the righteousness of Christ by the Grace of God when we fall horrifyingly short of the standard… (Romans and Hebrews are the best places to go to have a better understanding of this...)
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. ~ Philippians 3:7-4:1 ESV
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. ~ Philippians 4:4-9 ESV

~ J D White
10/10/2012

10/10/2012

Great Upcoming Conferences

The 'White Unto Harvest 2012 A Great Commission Mega-Conference' is something I just found out about today . . . but there's still enough time before it begins (October 25-27) that I thought I may as well include it in this post anyway :)

But I've actually been looking into the G3 Conference for January of next year . . .

There is a great lineup of speakers for both conferences; Paul Washer (speaking at both conferences), Voddie Baucham (G3 Conference), and Conrad Mbewe and Kevin Swanson (White Unto Harvest Conference) to name a few. . .

I'm not sure if even the G3 Conference is doable for me . . . but I thought I'd spread the word! The Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, is something we can all use a constant reminder and more in depth knowledge of... After all, it is the 'power of God unto salvation' (Romans 1:16)

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:18-20
Soli Deo Gloria!

10/08/2012

Art from Friends, Part 3

Still working on some posts that I hope to put up in the next couple of weeks (lots going on right now :P ) . . . But for now, I'll post another piece of art that yet another friend did after reading my book, Warrior's Fury...

~ This is an illustration of a scene in Chapter 71 done by Sean
(He did this on his own using some form of inking pens. Thanks, Sean, glad you liked the book! :)

10/03/2012

Art from Friends, Part 2

I was goofing around one day and did a quick sketch that I ended up forming into a decent drawing...


~ The monster is a Rinvot, and the guy he's jumping on is supposed to be Rim...
(the light up in the corner is because I used a camera instead of a camera to move the image to the computer ;P :)


Anyway, I showed it to a friend of mine, Noah, and he wanted to put color to it...
~ And the result is a more dramatic Color Pencil version :)
(Thanks Noah :D )

The concept for the drawing comes from a scene in Warrior's Fury where Rim is infiltrating a fortress on a stormy night and is jumped by a monstrous sentry...

9/27/2012

Art from Friends

As I'm sure you can imagine, going to an art school/college presents one with lots of opportunities in the area of illustrations... So I thought I'd post some of the art that friends of mine have done based off things I've shown them or described to them :)
~ This epic digital painting, done by Maria, is an almost perfect representation of a Taygrit :D
(THANK YOU, MARIA! :)

Hmm... I was planning on posting something else, but I'm experiencing some technical difficulties :P . . . look for Part Two later :)

9/19/2012

Concept Art: Harin

~ I've only got the one Photoshop painting of Harin Oudek today...
(I had a reference for this one..)
l
Harin is responsible for much of what takes place in Warrior's Fury - at least as far as getting important events started goes - and he is missing his right hand . . . and I just realized that both in this picture and on the cover of the book, I have illustrated him with blond hair, when in the book I describe him as having dark brown hair... :P  oh well, I just spent over five hours on this (to say nothing of the cover already being in use), so I'm just going to leave it for now :)

9/10/2012

Tomorrow at the Tualatin Public Library

Tomorrow (September 11) from 7-8pm, I will be at the Tualatin Public Library for a NWPA Meeting and I will have copies of Warrior's Fury that I will be selling for $17.95 after the meeting.

For those who may be interested but are not sure of the location: 18878 SW Martinazzi Avenue, Tualatin, OR 97062

Thank you :)

P.S. I'll actually be arriving at the library at 6pm. For anyone who would rather get a copy of the book earlier in the evening. And I'll be signing books for those who want a 'signed by the author' copy ;P :)

9/07/2012

Random Notes


I'm planning on trying to get up some more art soon, but it's gotten a little slow with MSOA's Fall Term starting this week, so I'm not sure when that will be...

As far as writing stuff goes, there are actually a few things that I'm hoping to post this month . . . And one may be a sneak peak at my latest book project ;)

Anyway, I haven't posted anything (that wasn't scheduled a month ago ;P ) in a while, so I thought I'd give a 'heads-up' to anyone paying attention :)

Thank you

8/30/2012

Concept Art: Rim

Rimmegoan Dayor, is the title character of Warrior's Fury. He is a forty-two year old Nanhew mercenary-for-hire (or 'blade' as they are commonly referred to on Melyund). . .

I've attempted to draw Rim quite a few times since his character began to morph into what it is today...

~ This is a cartoon I did of Rim early on in the writing of the book.

 
~ This is one of the first 'decent' portraits of Rim that I attempted.


And then, recently I tried my hand at another portrait that I decided was good enough to translate into a Photoshop 'painting'...

~ My original pencil sketch of the latest Rim portrait...


~ Photoshop 'painting' of Rimmegoan Dayor.

The sword Rim is holding (and the rest of the weapons in his arsenal) is supposed to be made entirely of klombortin (a pure white metal) but I wasn't quite sure how to get the hilt to come across so I settled for just the blade being white for now . . . Anyway, let me know what you think! :)

Next I plan on doing a portrait of Harin Oudek, so keep an eye out. . .

8/27/2012

The Way We Speak


"...but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so." ~ James 3:8-10 ESV

    I almost always find myself thinking James's emphasis would be better served if an exclamation point were placed at the end of the last sentence in the passage above. The things James speaks of in the third chapter of his letter strike close to home for me, because the way I speak and communicate have been some of the focus points that the Lord has continually pointed out to me with greater and greater emphasis in the last few years.
    The passage that has most impacted my view on this subject is Ephesians 4, and within that chapter verse 29 has been embedded upon my heart - though, admittedly, not to the extent that I pray it one day will:

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." ~ Ephesians 4:29 ESV

    The NASB words it like this:

"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."

    Of course, whenever it comes to correcting your tone of voice toward a sibling/child who is (in your mind) making a nuisance of themselves, or the way you communicate an idea/conviction to a friend, your emotional state and thoughts need to be dealt with as the 'heart' of the matter.

 "...For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." ~ Matthew 12:34(last half)
 (See also Matthew 12:33-37, 15:10-20, Luke 6:45... also the Psalms and the book of Proverbs are full of references to different aspects of this concept)

    But there is still the clear fact that we are commanded (by God's grace in the sanctification process) to constantly seek to better control our words, that we may only ever speak in a way that honors and glorifies our LORD.
    May we ever persevere to keep any kind of 'cursing' (i.e. actual curses, cussing/profanity, harsh words, slandering, gossiping, 'giving a hard time,' crass or lewd conversation, etc...) from our lips. And may we not only stop these things, but start proclaiming - by word and deed - the name of our precious Savior, Jesus Christ, and his gospel to everyone we meet.
"Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." ~ 2 Timothy 4:2 ESV
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." ~ Philippians 4:8 NASB

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