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THANKSGIVING

With Christmas Carols and Christmas decorations taking over the stores when Halloween is barely past, and Black Friday looming right after it, Thanksgiving is a holiday that has a hard time maintaining its position in American life.  And what that position is can be hard to determine, beyond an excuse to consume obscene amounts of Turkey and doze through a football game under the influence of all the Tryptophan flooding one’s system.  I will probably consume a little more Turkey than is ideal for my diet and  watch some football myself.  But I hope I don’t forget what the Pilgrims were thankful for: not prosperity but survival, and a survival which meant a chance to have a new life in which they could worship God according to Scripture as they understood it, without interference from prying magistrate or prelate.  I hope I don’t forget that they thought such freedom something worth risking their survival over.  And I hope I will not be the only one pondering the question whether they might have been right about that after all.

Thanksgiving is a time to remember our Forefathers and what they struggled for.  It is also a time to ponder the virtues of thankfulness in itself.  I remember once at a picnic a rather gaudy, elaborately articulated, and heraldically colored bug flew by and landed on one of us.  We spent a few minutes oohing and ahing over its surreal beauty, and then my friend David Stott Gordon made a profound observation on the moPilgrims2ment.  “It must be rather depressing to be an atheist,” he mused, “because they don’t have anyone to thank.”

 

We are made to give thanks and praise for the thousand little wonders that the world constantly showers upon us.  Think about that football game: When a receiver makes a particularly acrobatic, even balletic catch as the consummation of the incredible timing between him and the quarterback, combining power and grace in the way that only American football allows for, some response is required of us.  We don’t just raise a Spockian eybrow; we pump our fist and shout if it was for our side, and exclaim that it was a great play even if it wasn’t.  The enjoyment of the moment is not complete without the expression of praise.  And if all such wonders are merely chance occurrences due only to the random motion of atoms and ultimately mean nothing–if indeed there is no One to thank–then our enjoyment of the world must of necessity be truncated and incomplete at best.  The holiday can serve as a reminder of the virtue of receptiveness to the blessings with which life showers us, as blessings–as gifts from the hand of God.  The thing we should be thankful for most of all is the fact that as Christians, as people who know the Creator as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have some One to thank.

Pilgrims1

Thanks be to God.

For more of Dr. Williams’ writing, go to the Lantern Hollow estore and order his books, Stars Through the Clouds, Reflections from Plato’s Cave, and Inklings of Reality.

https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

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THANKSGIVING

turkey1

With Christmas Carols and Christmas decorations taking over the stores when Halloween is barely past, and Black Friday looming right after it, Thanksgiving is a holiday that has a hard time maintaining its position in American life.  And what that position is can be hard to determine, beyond an excuse to consume obscene amounts of Turkey and doze through a football game under the influence of all the Tryptophan flooding one’s system.  I will probably consume a little more Turkey than is ideal for my diet and  watch some football myself.  But I hope I don’t forget what the Pilgrims were thankful for: not prosperity but survival, and a survival which meant a chance to have a new life in which they could worship God according to Scripture as they understood it, without interference from prying magistrate or prelate.  I hope I don’t forget that they thought such freedom something worth risking their survival over.  And I hope I will not be the only one pondering the question whether they might have been right about that after all.

Pilgrims2

Thanksgiving is a time to remember our Forefathers and what they struggled for.  It is also a time to ponder the virtues of thankfulness in itself.  I remember once at a picnic a rather gaudy, elaborately articulated, and heraldically colored bug flew by and landed on one of us.  We spent a few minutes oohing and ahing over its surreal beauty, and then my friend David Stott Gordon made a profound observation on the moment.  “It must be rather depressing to be an atheist,” he mused, “because they don’t have anyone to thank.”

turkey2

We are made to give thanks and praise for the thousand little wonders that the world constantly showers upon us.  Think about that football game: When a receiver makes a particularly acrobatic, even balletic catch as the consummation of the incredible timing between him and the quarterback, combining power and grace in the way that only American football allows for, some response is required of us.  We don’t just raise a Spockian eyebrow; we pump our fist and shout if it was for our side, and exclaim that it was a great play even if it wasn’t.  The enjoyment of the moment is not complete without the expression of praise.  And if all such wonders are merely chance occurrences due only to the random motion of atoms and ultimately mean nothing–if indeed there is no One to thank–then our enjoyment of the world must of necessity be truncated and incomplete at best.  The holiday can serve as a reminder of the virtue of receptiveness to the blessings with which life showers us, as blessings–as gifts from the hand of God.  The thing we should be thankful for most of all is the fact that as Christians, as people who know the Creator as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have some One to thank.

Pilgrims1

Thanks be to God.

For more of Dr. Williams’ writing, go to the Lantern Hollow estore and order his books, Stars Through the Clouds, Reflections from Plato’s Cave, and Inklings of Reality.

https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

Also, check out his newest work from Square Halo Books: Deeper Magic: The theological Framework behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis!

Book-CSLTheology-Cover

THANKSGIVING

turkey1

With Christmas Carols and Christmas decorations taking over the stores when Halloween is barely past, and Black Friday looming right after it, Thanksgiving is a holiday that has a hard time maintaining its position in American life.  And what that position is can be hard to determine, beyond an excuse to consume obscene amounts of Turkey and doze through a football game under the influence of all the Tryptophan flooding one’s system.  I will probably consume a little more Turkey than is ideal for my diet and  watch some football myself.  But I hope I don’t forget what the Pilgrims were thankful for: not prosperity but survival, and a survival which meant a chance to have a new life in which they could worship God according to Scripture as they understood it, without interference from prying magistrate or prelate.  I hope I don’t forget that they thought such freedom something worth risking their survival over.  And I hope I will not be the only one pondering the question whether they might have been right about that after all.

Pilgrims2

Thanksgiving is a time to remember our Forefathers and what they struggled for.  It is also a time to ponder the virtues of thankfulness in itself.  I remember once at a picnic a rather gaudy, elaborately articulated, and heraldically colored bug flew by and landed on one of us.  We spent a few minutes oohing and ahing over its surreal beauty, and then my friend David Stott Gordon made a profound observation on the moment.  “It must be rather depressing to be an atheist,” he mused, “because they don’t have anyone to thank.”

turkey2

We are made to give thanks and praise for the thousand little wonders that the world constantly showers upon us.  Think about that football game: When a receiver makes a particularly acrobatic, even balletic catch as the consummation of the incredible timing between him and the quarterback, combining power and grace in the way that only American football allows for, some response is required of us.  We don’t just raise a Spockian eybrow; we pump our fist and shout if it was for our side, and exclaim that it was a great play even if it wasn’t.  The enjoyment of the moment is not complete without the expression of praise.  And if all such wonders are merely chance occurrences due only to the random motion of atoms and ultimately mean nothing–if indeed there is no One to thank–then our enjoyment of the world must of necessity be truncated and incomplete at best.  The holiday can serve as a reminder of the virtue of receptiveness to the blessings with which life showers us, as blessings–as gifts from the hand of God.  The thing we should be thankful for most of all is the fact that as Christians, as people who know the Creator as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have some One to thank.

Pilgrims1

Thanks be to God.

For more of Dr. Williams’ writing, go to the Lantern Hollow estore and order his books, Stars Through the Clouds, Reflections from Plato’s Cave, and Inklings of Reality.

https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

A book that fights back against the encroaching darkness.

A book that fights back against the encroaching darkness.

THANKSGIVING

turkey1

With Christmas Carols and Christmas decorations taking over the stores when Halloween is barely past, and Black Friday looming right after it, Thanksgiving is a holiday that has a hard time maintaining its position in American life.  And what that position is can be hard to determine, beyond an excuse to consume obscene amounts of Turkey and doze through a football game under the influence of all the Tryptophan flooding one’s system.  I will probably consume a little more Turkey than is ideal for my diet and  watch some football myself.  But I hope I don’t forget what the Pilgrims were thankful for: not prosperity but survival, and a survival which meant a chance to have a new life in which they could worship God according to Scripture as they understood it, without interference from prying magistrate or prelate.  I hope I don’t forget that they thought such freedom something worth risking their survival over.  And I hope I will not be the only one pondering the question whether they might have been right about that after all.

Pilgrims2

Thanksgiving is a time to remember our Forefathers and what they struggled for.  It is also a time to ponder the virtues of thankfulness in itself.  I remember once at a picnic a rather gaudy, elaborately articulated, and heraldically colored bug flew by and landed on one of us.  We spent a few minutes oohing and ahing over its surreal beauty, and then my friend David Stott Gordon made a profound observation on the moment.  “It must be rather depressing to be an atheist,” he mused, “because they don’t have anyone to thank.”

turkey2

We are made to give thanks and praise for the thousand little wonders that the world constantly showers upon us.  Think about that football game: When a receiver makes a particularly acrobatic, even balletic catch as the consummation of the incredible timing between him and the quarterback, combining power and grace in the way that only American football allows for, some response is required of us.  We don’t just raise a Spockian eybrow; we pump our fist and shout if it was for our side, and exclaim that it was a great play even if it wasn’t.  The enjoyment of the moment is not complete without the expression of praise.  And if all such wonders are merely chance occurrences due only to the random motion of atoms and ultimately mean nothing–if indeed there is no One to thank–then our enjoyment of the world must of necessity be truncated and incomplete at best.  The holiday can serve as a reminder of the virtue of receptiveness to the blessings with which life showers us, as blessings–as gifts from the hand of God.  The thing we should be thankful for most of all is the fact that as Christians, as people who know the Creator as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have some One to thank.

Pilgrims1

Thanks be to God.

For more of Dr. Williams’ writing, go to the Lantern Hollow estore and order his books, Stars Through the Clouds, Reflections from Plato’s Cave, and Inklings of Reality.

https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

Writing how *I* Think: Halloween Edition

9154997-cartoon-zombie-isolated-on-white-he-is-lurching-with-his-arms-out-stretchedHappy Halloween, everyone! Sorry about being out of commission last week- I feel like I lost a day there. This week I’m delivering on my promise to demonstrate my writing process with a little short fiction, so without further ado, have a story with zombies in it.

 

 

“Hey John, get over here. You’ve gotta see this.”

John tossed his empty can of beans over the edge of the convenience store they were camped on and crawled over to his brother. He leaned over, putting his eye to the rifle scope.

“Well would you look at that. He’s a big boy, ain’t he?”

“I told you we’d see somebody from up here.”

“Yeah, well scoot over so I can take a better look myself. For all we know it’s just another of those zombies just all riled up and bashin’ on the others.”

“With a hammer? In that get-up?”

John set up his own rifle, adjusting the lenses in his own scope. There was someone out in the parking lot a block down the street, a large man with a big gut swinging his huge beefy arms wildly. John zoomed in a bit more and could see he was smashing at the group of undead with a warhammer and blue shield bearing a triangle made up of three smaller yellow triangles. He seemed to be holding them off, but the monsters were slowly closing in around him.

“Shoot, there’s gotta be at least thirty of those things. Guess his shoutin’ got their attention.”

“Think he’s gonna make it?”

“Doesn’t look easy, but- whoa  Did you see that? He knocked that one critter right off its feet!”

Mash got up as John continued to watch. He dragged over their box of ammunition and started loading a round into his rifle’s chamber.

“What, you gonna start shooting at ‘em?”

“It ain’t Christian to leave a poor fella blowing in the wind out there, John.”

“Now hold on, little brother. I don’t know if we’ve got enough food for a guy like that. We’ve got enough for ourselves for a while until this thing’s over, but if we take in boys like that we won’t last long.”

“The whole reason we came here is so we could help folks, now you’re tellin’ me we don’t got enough food?”

“Well no, I mean, we do for, like, women and children and stuff but this guy can handle him- whoa, look out!”

Before the man could turn to react to the zombie that grabbed his hammer-arm, the creature dropped with a bullet through its skull. The man looked around frantically, trying to scan the surroundings, but apparently couldn’t see anything before he went back to fighting off the shambling hoard.

“Looks like he can’t see us with that big ‘ol helmet on. Alright Mash, you win. We can always use some more muscle, I guess. Let’s help this guy out.”

John and Mash then set to work picking off the zombies as the large man fought, slowly working from the outside in and taking out the ones the man had trouble with.

“Where’d King Arthur here come from, anyway, John? And what’s that he’s wearing? Looks like its made of chains or something. Do we got a time vortex now or something?”

“You need to stop watching so much tv. We had that festival thing last week, you know, where everyone dresses up as knights and stuff? He must’ve been in that or something.”

“Yeah I guess. Hey, looks like he got the last one. Yuck, good thing it don’t look like the ones of us left get turned into those things if we get splashed or nothing.”

The man slouched, setting his hammer down and pulling off his horned helmet. He looked around, scanning the buildings near him and shouting. Mash started to stand up, but John grabbed his arm.

“Look, we helped him, alright? Maybe he’s got his own place and don’t even need us.”

“John, it ain’t Christian leaving him out there like that. Poor guy’s tired and he’s got all that gear to drag around.”

“Alright, alright. Just get ready in case he decides to knock our heads in too and take our stuff. I’ll get a white tee shirt or something and flag him down. You get the shotgun.”

A pretty simple story, but I think it illustrates my point. Below is the outline I worked from:

  • John and Mash lying prone on a building with their eyes to the scopes of their rifles
  • They see a large man fighting off a group of zombies with a warhammer and shield
  • John and Mash debate whether to help the guy as he keeps fighting, clobbering every monster as it gets close. John thinks he doesn’t want to waste the ammo and that the guy seems like he can handle it, Mash says “it ain’t Christian to let a fella hang in the wind like that.”
  • A zombie manages to get behind the nerd/warrior but John takes the shot and blasts him. The nerd/warrior is surprised, but takes advantage of the help and beats down the rest of the zombies as he’s supported by the gunfire.
  • John and Mash talk as they shoot, wondering where the guy got all that stuff. John speculates he was in the recent Renaissance festival “with all the knights and stuff.”
  • The last of the zombies is put down and the nerd takes off his helmet and looks around. Mash gets up and starts waving an old white tee shirt. John protests, saying they don’t have enough food for a fella that large.
  • The nerd sees them and starts making his way over to their building.  Mash says “It ain’t Christian to leave a fella out there like that, and you know it.”Paul gets up and comments: “Yeah fine, but lets get ready just in case this fella decides to knock out heads in too and take our food.”

I changed a few things here and there, but the idea is to start with a simple outline of actions and scenes and to gradually fill in more and more detail.

I hope you enjoyed my story! Be sure to check out our new ezine today. I’m not in it this time, but we’ve got a bunch of creepy stories for you. Until next time!