Monday, October 31, 2016

I was caught

There wasn't a plan in my mind to do this. It just wasn't a good idea. Then bang it happened. I was caught with no way out. How did this happen? I meant good and now this!

By now you are wondering what I am talking about. So I will keep you in suspense for only a moment longer. First some back story.

My youngest daughter has taken up the challenge of being a writer. She is almost done with her first book (by the time this is published it will be completed somewhere between 40-50k words), actually, it is the first book in a trilogy and it's a good story. I heard about National Novel Writing Month for youth and thought I would encourage her to join. This would spur her on to finish her second book. Sounded like a great plan.

Joe Blunting from the Write Practice was putting on a free webinar on preparing for NaNoWriMo. I convinced my daughter to join me and listen to it. She was interested but wanted me to ask a question so I posted "my 14-year-old daughter is watching with me and wants to know what happens if she writes her book and nothing happens to it?"

Wouldn't you know during the question and answer time he took on the question. Now Joe if by chance you do read this, you never did fully answer the question. However, your comment to her that is was a good endeavor made her more committed to take it on. But you couldn't quit there. You challenged me to join her on this quest. When she heard that I was doomed. She looked like the proverbial Cheshire cat and gave me a big hug and took off to do some writing. I was stuck wondering what had happened.

As I had said, I had already decided this was not going to be a good month for me to do this. For the sake of my daughter, I have taken the plunge. I have committed to NaNaWriMo as has she. So needless to say this weekly blog post will see some reruns for the rest of the month. Wish me luck and Joe (again if you're reading this) THANKS (I think? ;)  

So what is the lesson in all of this? There are times in our lives where helping others, especially our children. will take us places we didn't want to go. Don't draw back. Charge forward, let's be honest at my daughter's age if she saw me drawing back from a challenge she might never have the courage to try difficult things again. Here is the truth, we lead by example, period! Words can help but without example they are worthless. Now you have both my words and my example, in the words of Jesus, "Go thou and do likewise."


By the way, Joe has some great writing tools at his site: The Write Practice

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Carpenter Tales: Introduction

Just for fun, I thought I would put the rough draft of the introduction to a new book of short stories I am putting together. I hadn't seen these stories for years and to see them come together is very cool. It is a shame Wesley never saw it. Please tell me what you think.

Introduction

It is amazing what you can find when you go through decades-old files. Most of these files were in an old format which my computer couldn’t read so at first I didn't have a clue what may be inside them. It took some work and the right tech people to make them readable. Just to give you an idea what it took, here is one line from a fully recovered file: “[What he did notice was the star football player and honor sociC䡎䭉之 SYIDPH” 
 Some of these files were useless, which caused me to question the soundness of my mind, others were a reminder of a different time in my life, but the greatest find were old stories written by a young man whom I will call Wesley. 
As you can see from the sample, putting these stories back together was sometimes very difficult. I used what I remember of Wesley and tried my best to figure out what he meant when things weren’t clear. In the editing process, I resisted changing anything the editor didn’t say had to be different or had to be cut. 
I really believe, Wesley would have been happy to see his stories in print.   
I have to assume that Carpenter Tales is a work of fiction, though the way they were written it seems like they were real to Wesley, but who am I to judge. I know for a fact that the tree in the road which he talked about a lot is real. I have seen and touched it, myself. The tree in the road carries a lot of memories and I have even placed a picture of it in almost every book I have helped published. 
This being said, the first story in this book is different. It is real! I know for a fact that it is. I have changed the names of the characters and a few small details, but the core of the story is unaltered. I realize that Karl’s Story will sound too fantastic to be believed, but I assure you as frighteningly impossible as it seems, you will believe.


Charles S. Areson

Monday, October 24, 2016

Divorce: Glad or Sad?

In the last few days (before writing this post), I came across two posts on divorce that caused me to ponder it. The first was a post from someone who posted on the importance of marriage with a comment underneath that no one will like or share this because everyone has bought into the idea that divorce is okay. The second was the announcement The Divorce is finally done. 

When I saw the responses to the second post, I had to wonder if the first guy wasn’t right. There were a group of congratulations, about times, and even a veiled hint from someone to “give me a call.” If I remember the situation correctly the person had a valid scriptural reason for the divorce, but my concern were the responses. All of them were celebratory. No comments about “I am sorry you went through this,” or “I’m praying for you.” Yes, it might be a relief to no longer be connected with someone who has done horrible things, but at one time there was love and a commitment to be together forever so shouldn’t there be sadness?  

What really got me is that I did want to post, “I am sorry you had to go through this,” but I knew it would be as well received poorly (by others, I doubt the person who originally posted it would have been offended). 

The question I have to ask myself is how should I look at this? 

The Bible makes it clear that God didn’t want divorce. We wanted a virgin couple to get married and stay married. When it is done that way, and both parties act as God wants them to, marriage even in a fallen world is wonderful. The problem is, of course, people don’t do things God’s way and trouble ensues. Many times both parties are at some fault, and occasionally only one member is at fault (this is claimed more often than it is true and dismissed just as often as being false. It does take two to tango but we aren’t talking about dancing.) However, no matter the case there is pain in breaking apart what was intended to last forever. 

Looking at divorce as if it was cancer, we may be happy that someone is cancer free but we never say, “I am so glad you got the opportunity to have cancer” or “aren’t you glad you were able to have the joy of getting Chemotherapy.” We also never say, “Smoking gave you that cancer but I hope you don’t quit smoking,” or “That diabetic coma nearly killed you, but I hope you keep eating the same.” No we are glad the person survived but we hope they find out what caused the problem and they never have it again (explaining what this means when it comes to rebuilding a life after divorce is a post for another day) but to be clear we never want this for anyone, if we care about them. We should be sad but are we. Or to be more personal, Am I? For me, the answer is: “Yes, I am saddened.”


If your reading this you have to decide for yourself, I can’t do it for you. I believe though if more people thought of divorce as a sad thing than a glad thing, perhaps, there would be less of it. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Future? How do we get there?

The Future?

How do we get there?
What do we do?

By doing the right thing today. 
By learning from the past.
By changing our trajectory.
By choosing something different today. 
By choosing it day after day.
By getting up after falling.
By not staying down.

By choosing again and again to do the right.
By not worrying about everyone else.
By changing the only person we can.
By changing ourselves.

By allowing God to transform us. 
By Allowing God Lordship  every day.

Because he is after all the only one who can.
Because He truly is the only one who can transform. 

Because He is the only one who can take us to the future we need.

CS Areson

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Problem with a Catchy Title (and how it applies to Christians)



How many of you have clicked onto a blog that had a catchy title only to yawn when you finished reading it? (if you haven’t maybe you will now, I hope not but...)

I have read time after time about the importance of having a catchy title: The 10 Ways to  get Easy Wealth, The 3 Keys to Long Life, What You Never Say to Your ______(fill in the black: Kids, Wife, Boss, Reporters, Arresting Officer) the list goes on. However, most of these same people will tell you if the content doesn’t match up to the title you actually have a lose not a gain. Yes, you may have gathered the most clicks from Seattle  or Zambia, but you won’t get them again. 

So the secret is to first have good content then good title. 

Now for the spiritual application (this would be the time for atheist, agnostics, and hypocrites to click the back button)  

As believers and people of Faith, we need to try and make sure our content, our lives, is just as impressive as our titles: Redeemed, Children of God, Christian.

You aren’t just a sinner saved by grace and are free to stay there, you have been saved from your sin so you don’t have to live there. We can not use the excuse “No one is perfect” and refuse to let God change us. 

If you have made Jesus your LORD and Savior then allow him to begin to change you so that your title and your content match up. He can do it if you let him, but you have to be willing to let him. 

Is it easy? 

Yes, sometimes but often it isn’t. This is why Jesus told his disciples if we are going to follow him then we need “take up our cross” for us this might be like saying take along a lynching rope, or an electric chair. It was scary stuff, but Jesus didn’t mix words. He knew it wouldn’t be easy. If I could borrow a line from the Marines, “Do you have what it takes?”

Let me answer that question: YOU DO!

God gave us the Holy Spirit to help us. We have the strength, the problem are we willing to use it?

I encourage you, Make your title and content the same. Allow God to transform you, it will take time but its worth it.


CS Areson  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Love your Life...Finding Contentment

Love your Life... Finding Contentment
(a post inspired by Rachel Cruze)

I don’t know about you but I get a lot of emails that I just delete. I have signed up to hear from these people and I like then but I don’t have the time or I’m not in the mood to read their stuff.

Fortunately, this time, I did not just delete this email. It was from the people who do the Dave Ramsey show. They were offering a free group of devotionals from Rachel Cruze new book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs!. Wow, what a title and what a truth to live by.

It sparked inside of me the revelation that most people judge their happiness on comparison rather than on what they have. The Bible makes it very clear in 1 Timothy 6:6-10 we need to learn contentment. 

6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Ouch! There is nothing wrong with having riches (if they are used correctly, but that is another topic). The problem is when riches are what drive us or being a rich as someone else, be that riches in money, things, or even other people’s bodies. We need to find contentment where we are at because here is the truth: 

If you can’t find contentment where you are at then a change in situation won’t give it to you either.

As I prepare to end this post, I want to give a quote from Rachel Cruze

"The more we compare ourselves to others, the less we think of ourselves."
– Rachel Cruze

If you are interested in the book Love Your Life, Not Theirs! Here is the link: https://amzn.com/1937077977 

God Bless and find contentment where you are at. 


PS Just to let you know. At the time I am writing this I am broke until payday, I tore up my knee, my back is hurting also (really shouldn’t have missed that last step on the stairs yesterday) and I have peace and contentment. How? Contentment is a mindset, not a condition.