on helping new writers

I recently posted the following on the group discussion of writers who are represented by my literary agent, Janet Grant. I thought you’d like to “eavesdrop” on some thoughts: As a writer, I’ve felt (because people told me so) that it was myobligation to help people who wanted to write. I went through aperiod of time where I was trying to help several people who, thoughthey had a desire to write (as evidenced by several bulkymanuscripts), nonetheless weren’t writers. And they never will be–they were not willing to pay the price (financial for classes nor theintangible prices one pays to learn to write and revise.) They justwanted me to “fix” their aimless prose. For free. And meanwhile, thebooks or articles or...

Christ’s Power of Cohesion

I often think of Christ’s power as manifested by His actions on earth: provision, healing, resurrection. However, there is an active, ongoing function He performs on every molecule that He created — that of cohesion, the act of holding everything together. Colossians 1:17 represents Him as the “cosmic glue.” “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” This same thought is found much earlier in Scripture when the Psalmist in Psalm 65:6 tells of how He “setteth forth the mountains.” He’s been doing that since the creation of the world. Here’s how Adam Clarke (who is a whole lot better at Hebrew than I am) explained it: “Verse 6. Setteth fast the mountains. It is by thy strength...

the best gifts

The very best gift I ever gave myself was learning biblical Greek. It has been like finding a treasure chest inside a palace. For instance, I’ve always appreciated Hebrews 11:6 which tells us that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. But the Greek is richer: it actually says that He BECOMES a rewarder to those who seek Him. That means that if God is not currently your Rewarder, He will become that to you if you continue to earnestly seek Him. The same thought was mirrored hundreds of years ago by Joseph Caryl, who said in commenting on Psalm 64:10 in Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David: “The righteous shall be glad in the Lord and trust in Him” — “That is, if they have failed in their trust heretofore, and not given God...

voices from the past

I often buy copies of my out-of-print books on ebay. Recently I bought a first-edition copy of The Mormon Mirage. It was autographed by me to a woman named Margaret (whom I do not remember.) Inside the book were two sheets of paper, a handwritten note from someone named Blaine (and his wife Bev) to this Margaret. I don’t know any of them. It was dated 4-1-80. Twenty-seven years ago; half my lifetime ago. This came in the mail to me at a critical time when I am revising and rewriting The Mormon Mirage for re-issue. I offer this letter to you so that you can, as I did, “eavesdrop” on a conversation about this book. It was as if God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “See, you have no idea of what I can do with what you write.”...