7/30/2012

Joy

This is a 'paper' that I wrote up a few months ago after a good friend and I had a conversation about how a Christian should strive to have a happy/joyful countenance . . . I had come to the conclusion that one of the things that might help my friend in overcoming the seemingly 'gloomy' demeanor that plagued her at times would be searching Scripture for what it means to have the 'joy' that Christians are so often exhorted to display..... and thus, my own look into this concept is what followed...



'Joy in the LORD' + 'Peace in the LORD'

 *v = verse(s)

Psalm 34, 121, Proverbs 3:1-12, John 14:27, Romans 5:1-5, Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 2(v* 13-14), 6:10-20, Philippians 4:4-9, Psalm 4(v 7), 21(v 6), 43(v 4-5), 66(v 1), Habakkuk 3:17-19, 1 Thessalonians 1, James 1(v 2-3), 1 Peter 1(v 8), Psalm 98, 1 Samuel 2:1-10, 1 Chronicles 16:8-36, Psalms 61-63, 113-119(v 118:24, v 119:162), Ecclesiastes 11:5-10, 12, Romans 12(v 12), 2 Corinthians 6:3-10(v 10).....

    In considering the subject of joy (which only bears true meaning in the context of 'the joy of the Lord' or - more accurately - 'joy in the Lord') I doubt anyone would not at some point consider the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 (there are passages - namely Colossians 3:12 and Romans 5:1-5, and more I'm sure - that suggest the same pattern, at least in part).
    I find it interesting that joy is placed second in this list, especially considering that it can be argued that Paul started the list with the most important fruit . . . (see Matthew 22:37-40, 1 John 4:7-21, John 13:34-35 and 15:8-17, Matthew 5:43-48, 1 Corinthians 13, etc...) . . . Following the same line of reason, it is also interesting that peace comes third in the list.
    After noting this, I noticed that peace and joy often correspond to/with one another in several of the scriptures listed at the beginning of this paper: see Psalm 4:7-8, 21:6-7, 43:4-5, Habakkuk 3:17-19, Philippians 4:4-7, Romans 5:1-5, Proverbs 3:1-12, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:8-9..... I'm sure you realize by not that I could go on for quite a few more lines - but I'll stop here and give you my thoughts on the verses already named...
    Now, I realize that Psalm 21:6-7 and Psalm 43:4-5 (along with several others) do not expressly state anything about peace, but please allow me to explain why I find the suggestion of it to be evident (and, hopefully, thereby indicate how I see it in the other verses mentioned).

    First, in Psalm 21, verse 6 obviously states how the king is glad: because the LORD's presence brings him joy . . . Though verse 8 would not stand very well for suggesting peace without the context of the entire psalm, how could the king not feel spiritual peace in God's presence, and physical peace (at least in part) when the LORD is 'swallowing up His enemies in His wrath?'
    Second, in Psalm 43, verse 4 has the psalmist praising God and calling Him his 'exceeding joy' . . . In verse 5 the psalmist is astonished (I think) that he could feel despair or disturbed in his soul, considering the first 4 verses of the psalm, and clearly calls for peace by placing all his hope upon God...

    Proverbs 3:1-12 obviously presents us with the opposite question: where is the joy in this Scripture?
    To that I would answer with another question: How could one who could be described by this passage not experience joy at all of these things? Let alone the joy he must have in his knowledge of and service to the Most High God! (which I would think is the case if he obeys the commands of the afore mentioned Scripture)...

    All of that said, wouldn't it be reasonable to follow the logic that if God grants His ever strengthening and hope giving peace to one of His elect, wouldn't He then grant them joy as well?... Or: how could one feel the unfathomable joy of the LORD, if God has not granted peace in his soul? (or vice versa)...
    Well, I suppose saying all of this has only served to point out the close affiliation of joy and peace (I'm sure the same would be found of all of the fruits of the Spirit - i.e. they would all develop with and build up one another)...
    So where do we go from here?

    Perhaps we can start by looking at some of the things that should give us joy just by considering them.
    Consider Luke 2:8-14 . . . Just the mere fact that God sent His Son to dwell among us in the flesh and start the process by which He would save us should fill us with joyous gratitude and praise every time we consider it(verse 10 and 14), let alone that He has changed us and now dwells with us through the Holy Spirit...
    May we never react in any way contrary to that of John the Baptist (or his mother, or Mary) when the LORD makes His presence known... Luke 1:39-56, Mathew 3:14, Hebrews 12:1-3...
    "...Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." ~Nehemiah 8:10(final half)  Although this is only the last half of the verse and it has been taken out of context, I believe it can stand alone in many instances...

    "But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you." ~Psalm 5:11

    With all of this talk of joy, I feel that I must acknowledge that this is not a constant euphoria that our mind, body, and soul is held in . . . I must even admit that the true sense of 'joy' that I try to convey will never be attained until all nations bow before the throne of God and praise Him in eternity...
    No, in this life Ecclesiastes all too often sums up life; especially for those who are not granted the overflowing mercies and grace of God (Ecc 3:1-8) . . . But those who have been saved should count those times as blessings, because those times of sorrow and trial will press them harder toward their Savior (James 1:2-3)...

    This is about where my 'thoughts' start to wander until I decided to just shut up ;P . . . so I would like to close with this:

    The holy, holy, holy God of the universe, our LORD and King, is the only true source of anything that would come close to 'purpose,' or 'fulfillment,' or any other kind of thing that people seek in this life. We were created to chase after Christ with every ounce of might that we are granted by the Father. Oh may we only find pleasure in knowing and pursuing not only the things of our God, but God Himself...

"Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!" ~Psalm 117

7/25/2012

It Will Cost You Everything


I first heard the sermon this video is an excerpt from at SermonAudio.com . . . but you can also go to the website given at the end of the video to listen to the whole sermon :)

P.S. Yes, I do plan on posting videos like this on Wednesday for at least a couple weeks more ;P :)
They come from the 'sermon jams' page of IllBeHonest.com

7/24/2012

A Lesson in Nayrl

This is a short-story I wrote with the idea that it'd be a good introduction to the concept of 'wielding' that is used/encountered quite often in Warrior's Fury . . . and will probably pervade many more of the books I write in the universe of Mythos ;P

I hope you enjoy the story (and that it doesn't totally confuse you) :)

A Lesson in Nayrl

Tender dreams were shaken by the sudden intrusion of a harsh voice and hard ground beneath his back as a boot dug into his side.
    Esh’Donen shook himself into consciousness as he struggled out of his blankets in an attempt to obey the raspy voice of Dhaeg’n as it grew clearer with wakefulness.
    “Come along, young Nanhew,” Dhaeg’n barked again with brisk command. “Time to see what you can do.”
    Esh climbed to his feet, rubbing his eyes as he attempted to follow the tall, broad-shouldered Deon over the rocky, uneven ground that traveled for miles in all directions.
    Suddenly the hair on the back of Esh’s neck stood on end, and he was barely in time to bring up his arms before a heavy blast of air struck his upper body and propelled him backward and onto the ground once more.
    “Awake now?”
    Leaping up, Esh glared into Dhaeg’n’s eyes – their airy green irises in stark contrast to his nearly black, green-hued skin – across the short distance that the Slayer had placed between the two men by striking Esh with a burst of Power.
    “Don’t look at me like that,” the Deon commanded with an uplifted finger. “You know what I am, and that should mean you know that who you are dealing with is very coarse and impolite when dealing in certain areas with his peers.”
    Esh blinked, barely catching the meaning of the heavily accented pronouncement.
    “You consider me a peer?”
    “Until such time as you prove the assumption premature,” Dhaeg’n replied with a curt nod.
    Esh arched an eyebrow as the nine-and-a-half-foot Deon looked away to search for something in the belt-bag at his waist. He found it odd how Dhaeg’n could treat the differences of Race and class between them with such an air of ‘it means nothing special to me.’
    “Merely for the sake of good communication, and so that we know that we’re standing upon even ground,” Dhaeg’n said, pulling something from his pocket and keeping it hidden in his fist, “we’ll start with the basics.”
    Again arching his eyebrow, Esh took a more relaxed stance and shrugged before offering a half-hearted nod.
    “What is nayrl?”
    Grunting as he shook his head, Esh felt a sneer try to pull at his lips. “Uhm, p-power . . . it’s uh. . . .”
    “Nayrl is translated into the Common tongue as meaning ‘Power,’ or ‘THE Power,’ in reference to its being a substance found in all things within Creation. It is believed to be a tangible substance by which the Creator forms and upholds every Realm He has Created, along with all things within them.” Dhaeg’n spoke as if he were reciting something that was permanently ingrained into his very being. “Repeat!”
    Esh jumped slightly at the harsh command and quickly did as ordered. Dhaeg’n made him repeat the words several times until he seemed satisfied that Esh had memorized the definition.
    “Very good. Do not forget it,” the tall bulky Deon nodded. “Now, what are kolth?”
    That one Esh was sure everyone in the Realm of Khytowg – starting with those having been able to speak for a year – could name and describe well enough to satisfy even one with a Slayer’s knowledge of nayrl.
    “Kolth are ores that can often be purified – depending on the type – to be forged into metals. They are saturated with far more nayrl than anything else, and can be wielded by Nayrldosh. . . .”
    “Stop.”
    Esh felt his throat and tongue halt as if the command had had a physical effect upon them. Dhaeg’n was holding up a meaty index finger as he considered Esh.
    “I understand that you were raised to use that term when referring to a wielder, but here and now you must learn to use the proper verbiage.” The broad-shouldered Deon placed his finger against his own chest. “I am an Ihk-Nayrldosh; a dosh capable of not only wielding but also creating – or summoning, if you will – the particular kolth that I wield, fol’ty.”
    Esh arched an eyebrow. He’d only ever heard stories about the Slayers from his half-senile grandfather, so he hadn’t been aware that there were different names for specific types of nayrl wielders.
    “You are the only true Nayrldosh that I have heard of existing within the last millennia,” Dhaeg’n said, pointing at Esh. “And, for that matter, you are the first Nanhew Nayrldosh in Creation – as far as I know.”
    “So. . . ?”
    “The meanings of the terms are very simple.” Dhaeg’n silenced him again with an uplifted index finger. “Dosh, simply translated, means ‘wielder’ or ‘the wielder of.’ And nayrl means, obviously, what it is. The overwhelming majority of wielders are not so much wielders of nayrl as they are wielders of nayrlkolth – the purified forms of the different kolth.”
    Esh waited through the pause, arching an eyebrow. He was beginning to think that Dhaeg’n the teacher was going to be a lot different than Dhaeg’n the traveling companion.
    “I suppose that’s enough of a verbal lesson for today. Let us get to the practical teaching so we can move on.”
    Dhaeg’n lifted the hand he had held at his side for the course of their conversation and chucked at Esh’s head whatever he had taken from his carrying-pouch earlier.
    Flinching back, Esh had just enough time to feel that it was a raw hunk of nowlrik right before it touched the tip of his nose. Reacting to the touch instantaneously, he willed the chunk of kolth to its PureForm. The nayrlkolth streamed over his face like a splash of water before he called it to collect again a few feet above and in front of his right shoulder.
    “Nowlrik is the nayrlkolth you are most adept at wielding in a manner that is conducive to strategic battle,” Dhaeg’n said. “So knock me off my feet before I do so to you.”
    Esh was barely fast enough to avoid the blast of green-tinged air that Dhaeg’n sent tearing toward him.
    Falling into a roll, Esh threw his right hand out toward the bulky Deon. In response to his will, the glowing, sapphire orb floating over his right shoulder snaked out and lashed at Dhaeg’n’s shins.
    The powerful Deon remained perfectly still as his own mass of nayrlkolth – tingeing the air around it a rich, emerald green – swept downward to create a gale that blew the purified nowlrik away from its target.
    In the second that their blows landed, Esh sprang to his feet and rushed toward Dhaeg’n.
    Dhaeg’n swung his arms up, and his mass of nayrlkolth swept away from its strike against Esh’s ‘whip’ to burst toward Esh himself.
    Taking the last few yards between himself and the Deon in a hard leap, Esh threw his fists out in front of him as he impacted against the glowing-green nayrlkolth of his opponent. The instant his flesh made contact with the Power, he willed it to disperse.
    Time seemed to have slowed as Esh’s feet finally regained contact with the dusty ground, and Dhaeg’n’s eyes widened.
    With a shout, Esh threw his arms wide. The Power inhabiting the space separating him and Dhaeg’n burst outwards like the explosion of molten rock from a raging volcano.
    The bulky Deon was picked up off his feet and tossed through the air. Landing on his back with a heavy ‘whump’ several feet away from where he had been standing, Dhaeg’n remained motionless for a moment as Esh bent down to rest his hands on his knees, fighting off a sudden assault of dizziness and an ache that lanced up from the base of his neck and pulsed through his skull.
    Esh blinked a couple of times, wondering where the headache had come from.
    “Did you just usurp control over the Power I was wielding?”
    Esh glanced up to find Dhaeg’n propped up on his elbows, cocking his head to one side as he awaited a response.
    Shrugging and shaking his head, Esh squeezed his eyes closed. He let his head dip back down, and another slight pulse of pain informed him that his headache wasn’t going to subside anytime soon.
    “Well, regardless, it is clear that the Creator has endowed you with an impressive command of Power.” A heavy hand fell on Esh’s shoulder, and he glanced up into the towering Deon’s rough, grinning face. “Come, let us continue our journey.”
    Esh nodded as he followed Dhaeg’n back to their fire pit. Despite the persisting headache – or, perhaps, because of it – Esh wondered if he could become proficient enough in wielding to be capable of besting Dhaeg’n under any circumstance. He helped the powerful Deon repack their equipment, and as they climbed atop their mounts and set out once more, Esh continued to ponder the question. . .
 _______________________________________________________
(Thanks to Kate, for taking a moment to quickly run through this to catch at least the blatantly obvious 'grammar mistakes' ;) )

Let me know what you think :D

7/21/2012

Warrior's Fury Cover

I have a friend who had asked if I could try to have the release date for Warrior's Fury be on her birthday . . . unfortunately I was unable to do that :(

So, instead, I'm posting the art for the cover of the book :)


Happy Birthday, Savanah!

the full, wraparound cover for Warrior's Fury ~ by JW

The image above is the full cover, so the right side will be the front and the left side will be the back...
(From Left to Right: the Ouhlktoo - top - and Ehdrihko... Taylin and Ondran - way back in the distance... then Rim and Elsira... and Harin - crouching in the bottom right corner :)

And this next image is the completed front cover :)

The front cover of Warrior's Fury
 (the Title may end up being bigger, though)

We're aiming to have it available late in August, so keep your eyes peeled! ;P :D

7/18/2012

The Gospel

I know it's a bit long, but I hope those of you that choose to watch this video will take the hour and fifteen minutes to listen to the whole thing :)




I pray the LORD uses this video to bless you...

7/05/2012

Some Thought Provokers

I actually wanted to put this up on the 4th but completely forgot :P . . . . well, here's to considering the great Blessing that is our Country anyway. :)

“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
George Washington
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
John Adams
“If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”
Daniel Webster 
“If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, then error will be. If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendency. If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will. If the power of the gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of this land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.”
Daniel Webster
“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.”
John Adams
“I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe . . . Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing. Make them intelligent, and they will be vigilant; give them the means of detecting the wrong, and they will apply the remedy.”
Daniel Webster
“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government”
George Washington
“Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”
Daniel Webster 
“I regard it (the Constitution) as the work of the purest patriots and wisest statesman that ever existed, aided by the smiles of a benign Providence; it almost appears a "Divine interposition in our behalf... the hand that destroys our Constitution rends our Union asunder forever.”
Daniel Webster
“The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions”
Daniel Webster
“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
John Adams
“A disordered currency is one of the greatest political evils.”
Daniel Webster
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” (emphasis mine)
George Washington

I know that's a lot, but I'm trying to get a point across... If we could transport our 'Founding Fathers' into today to see the state of our nation: i.e. the abortion rates (or the fact that abortion(which is murder) is even legal), the people that have been voted into office (*cough*Obama*cough*), or even the state of our economy. . . they would be ripping the hair out of their heads...

Well, I don't want to sound like I'm constantly looking at the negative, so I'll leave you with this....

God established this country, and he has made it a bastion of His Gospel. And despite the corruption of men, I believe He is continuing to work in this nation. Though it may be difficult to see much of the time, I don't think we should throw in the towel for the United States' salvation just yet.

Though I tend to not like it when people pull 'promises' out of Scripture and 'claim' them for themselves or their circumstances, I do think there is a real sense in which 2 Chronicles 7:14 (though out of context) can apply to any nation where God's elect have citizenship: "...if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." ~2 Chronicles 7:14

So may we never cease to pray for our nation, its governing body and its citizens, and may we seek to glorify our LORD by preaching the Gospel wherever we walk... (1 Timothy 2:1-4, 2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Hope you had a great 4th of July!   God Bless :)

7/04/2012

The Synopsis: Second Attempt

This is the new synopsis I came up with in an attempt to have one that would not inundate the reader with new terms, names, and places that looked barely pronounceable ;P

For the name of a Nanhew to be known in every region of Melyund – as well as several other continents in the northern hemisphere of Arn – is no small achievement in and of itself. And that Nanhew being infamous for belligerence and incredible feats of prowess in battle is nothing short of legend-worthy.
Rimmegoan Dayor is considered to be the greatest warrior-for-hire north of the Baershksh Wall, and the stories surrounding him are matched only by such legends as Worik the Myrlhy, and Dhaeg’n Tandor the Slayer.
But all of the stories known of Rim thus far will pale in comparison to the challenges he must face when an eccentric old man, Harin Oudek, hires Rim as a body-guard and takes him to a formerly uncharted island in the Barren Ocean of Arn.
Against a myriad of foes, Rim’s strength and skill will be tested unlike they have ever been before as Harin attempts to point him away from the path of fury that has guided his entire life. . .

I would seriously appreciate any suggestions or comments anyone has on this . . . even if you just say that you 'like it' or 'don't like it' :)

Click Here to see the first synopsis I wrote for Warrior's Fury. I'd be grateful for opinions on that one as well :)

Followers