Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sandi Glahn on _Informed Consent_ and one of St. Paul's teachings on women

I enjoyed Sandi Glahn's first solo medical suspense, Informed Consent. I'll let Sandi describe it:

Jeremy Cramer, the next Einstein of research, is a medical resident specializing in infectious diseases. While working on a way to revive water submersion victims, he makes surprising discoveries, while also living with massive guilt over incidental infections that occur (which he could have prevented). Even as his marriage teeters, his career continues to skyrocket. Then, with a few twists along the way, he finds everything he has fought for threatened by the most personal, most heart-wrenching, choices of all.

I love exploring bioethics, and this book allowed me to consider end-of-life issues, patient rights, a compassionate response to HIV-AIDS…lots of edutainment.

And what I really enjoyed is the way she inserted a lot of interesting technical medical information without letting her research show. Her main character was a doctor who also did research, and patients' symptoms and the doctor's discoveries all were enumerated very naturally in dialogue and exposition. Sometimes by the villain(s?), heh heh.

Plus, the characters were unique, believable and likeable. The reader really cares when anything happens to any of them! I had to email her at one point and say, "NOOOoooooo!" LOL So, it was a page-turner with a happy ending.

On another subject, Sandi, if you could be a fly on any wall at any time, when and where would it be and why?

I would love to rewind and go back to Corinth when Paul’s first letter arrives so I can get some insight into what he was talking about when he brought up the whole woman/head/covering thing in chapter eleven.

Meeee, too! What is that all about? I mean, Philip had four prophesying daughters in Acts, as Paul mentioned when he and Luke and their other companions visited Philip, and he didn't say the women prophesied to the dust bunnies. LOL

And Ephesians 5:21 says to submit to one another. And nowhere does the Bible say the husband is the head of the house. Please share your thoughts with us.

Are you sure you want to get me started?

Go for it! LOL

Interestingly enough Paul never uses the word "headship." Or leadership. Or lead.

In both English and Greek it says head. But in English, we use head as a verb AND a noun. "I head a committee" = head as a verb. It means to take charge. But in Koine Greek "head" is only a noun--a thing--and in Ephesians 5 it means "top body part."

He uses a metaphor of a head attached to a body. We often make "head" a synonym for leadership/authority (in Koine Greek the primary meaning for "head" was "top body part") and in the process we lose that Paul's emphasis is not on power or even responsibility but on oneness. Two become one. What God has joined together. Picture a human head/body.

When Paul thinks of a Christian marriage, he does NOT tell a man to make the final decisions. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 7, he tells couples talking about abstaining for the purpose of prayer to make a mutual decision ("agreement") in a spirit of unity.

He goes on to say that the wife has authority over the husband's body (as does hubby with hers). If that is a hierarchy, it is one weird circular chain of command!

We often hear taught that Paul teaches husbands to lead, but the biblical command is not to lead but to "love"--of the agape variety. We see distortions of this when we find stuff in the popular Christian press about how the Bible suggests women are made mostly for love and men made mostly for respect.

In saying that, the authors mean "phileo" love (warmth, hugs), but when Paul commanded husbands to love, he used the word for the kind of love that means sacrifice (agape)...the hard kind--the kind that looks a lot like submission by another name.

Both a man and a woman need a spouse who sacrifices and who respects. Peter tells husbands to treat their wives with respect. Elsewhere, Paul tells wives to love their husbands of the phileo variety.

I'm not saying he teaches mutual submission in Eph 5:22. That happens a verse earlier in the context of the entire church submitting to one another (putting others' needs above our own).

I'm saying he teaches husbands to sacrifice (of the daily variety and not just taking a bullet) and wives to submit. Two sides of the same coin.

He never warns against husbands being overbearing or abdicating authority--the two extremes of leadership. Rather, he commands husbands to love sacrificially, to nurture their wives because their wives are their own selves, connected at the neck.

The wife submits because the husband is "head." That's a noun, not a verb. Something he is, not something he does or "should" do. A body comes under a head when it's attached. To use horrible grammar: He are her and she are him. They are one. Connected.

Sexual intercourse is another picture of this. I think the Bible teaches that the primary purpose of marriage is oneness.

So Paul's teaching on "headship" is this: Love your wife as yourself because "she are you" below the neck. Nurture and cherish your wife because she "are" your self. You two are one.

The counterpart to head (noun) is not submit (verb) or submission; the counterpart to head is body (noun). The counterpart to submit is not lead. It's agape love.

And I love it!

Sandra Glahn, ThM, teaches in the media arts program at Dallas Theological Seminary, where she edits the award-winning magazine Kindred Spirit. The author of six books and co-author of seven others, she is pursuing a PhD in Aesthetic Studies (Arts and Humanities) at the University of Texas at Dallas . She recently released her first solo medical suspense novel, Informed Consent (Cook). She is the co-author of three other such novels, which include the Christy Award finalist, Lethal Harvest.

Read more about Sandi Glahn at her website, Aspire2.

And Friday, Sandi visits Dineen Miller's blog.

Thank you for being here today, Sandi.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Enter drawing to WIN _Sanctuary_ or _The Winter Pearl_!

Leave a comment at the bottom. I'll draw two names on Tuesday.

Sanctuary by Molly Noble Bull is the first of three long historical novels in the Faith of Our Fathers series about the Huguenots. It was published in trade paperback on September 15, 2007 by Tsaba House, who has contracted Molly to write two more historical novels in this series, a short contemporary novel and two non-fiction books.

Molly, what a gorgeous cover! Tell us about the series.

Sanctuary tells the story of Rachel and Pierre Dupre, who leave France in 1740 in search of a safe place to live and eventually settle in Scotland. Their descendants, called Huguenots, finally immigrate to South Carolina. Along the way, they discover the meaning of faith and the true place of safety.

What made you decide to write Christian fiction?

Years ago, I read secular romance novels by the dozen, and this was after I was saved. To learn to write, I would tell myself. I’d be reading along and all at once I knew the hero and heroine were leading up to a sexy scene.

So I would think, I’ll just skip this part and go on. But I never knew how many pages to skip. Sometimes I didn’t skip enough and started reading again after the characters had hopped into bed. Then I would stop reading and skip a few more pages.

This is my paperback book, I would think, and I declare that the hero and heroine didn’t jump into bed though unmarried. They didn’t curse a few pages back either.
I kept on playing these silly games a while longer. Then one day I realized I was editing too much of the book. I’d had enough of that and wasn’t going to do it anymore. I haven’t read a secular novel in years, but if I read one now, it would probably be a Harlequin romance that was so old the paper was falling apart. The cleaner books were written back in the fifties and sixties where everybody smoked but sex and petting scenes were sometimes taboo.

When did you sell your first story?

I was teaching in a public elementary school when I sold my first short story. I sold my first novel to Zondervan in 1985. Soon after that, I sold a second novel to Zondervan. They also purchased a third novel, but it was never published. I was informed that Zondervan had stopped published romantic fiction, but I got to keep my advance.

In 2004 The Winter Pearl came
out from Steeple Hill in trade paperback. Steeple Hill
published it again in 2007 in mass-market paperback.

What is your non-fiction about? I love research so much, sometimes I think
I should write non-fiction.

One is about marital problems: how to prevent them and how to put the pieces of a broken marriage back together.

I am a dyslexic, and along with four other dyslexic fiction authors, I am writing a non-fiction book titled The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Dyslexia. But a publication date won’t come until the book is finished.

What are you reading, now?

Strange, now I read mostly non-fiction. Learning how to write fiction has made me picky, I guess. But if I do go into a Christian bookstore, pickup a novel and the first sentence doesn’t grab me, I put the book back on the shelf and get another one.

Right now, I am reading a non-fiction book by Joel Richardson titled Anti-Christ: Islam’s Awaited Messiah. As a fan of Bible prophecy, I was always told that number 666 would come out of the old Roman Empire. But Richardson has a whole new slant on this topic, and his book has kept me up nights, reading.

I would enjoy that one. I love to read Bible prophecy, and recently enjoyed The Ezekiel Option by Joel C. Rosenberg

Tell us more about yourself and your walk with the Lord.

I was born in Kingsville, Texas, and I met Charlie Bull, my future husband, in college. Though we have had problems—even marital problem, we worked them out, and Charlie is the only man I have ever been married to. I am the only woman he has ever been married to, and we are still very much in love. We have three grown sons and four grandchildren.

We lived in the Texas hill country for years. Now we have moved back to Kingsville where our children and grandchildren live.

What is the most important, interesting, or exciting thing the Lord has done in your life?

The Lord constantly amazes me. Life with him is always exciting and fun. He’s like a really good friend, and sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that He’s not just my best pal, He’s the King of the Universe.

My husband and I were never heavy drinkers, but when we first got married, we went out dancing and drinking maybe once or twice a month. Then we were invited to join a locally prestigious dance club that I’d been hoping to join for several years. Soon after I was saved, we went to a huge dance club party. Everybody was drinking, and some were flirting with people they weren’t married to.

By that time, I knew Jesus lived in me. I remember thinking, what is a nice person like Jesus doing in a place like this. Then I realized He was there because I brought him. Needless to say that was the last time we ever went to one of those parties, and I never regretted that decision a bit.

How would you answer those who would say Jesus went to the sinners?

Are you talking about Jesus eating and drinking with sinner? If so, I didn’t attend those parties in order to save souls. Before I was a Christian, I went to eat, drink adult liquids and have fun. But as a Christian, I didn’t want to take Jesus to a place he might not want me to be.

What would you like to share with other writers to improve their writing or careers?

I visited my area ACFW chapter in San Antonio recently, and they were getting ready to pitch their manuscripts to editors at the conference in Dallas. I reminded them that an editor might request that they tell in one or two words what their books are about and that they should prepare an answer ahead of time.

I explained that The Winter Pearl was about forgiveness. Sanctuary is about forgiving the unforgivable.

Great themes, Molly. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. And for giving away a copy of each book.

Thanks for inviting me, Margo, and I hope you will invite me back soon. But before I go, I wanted you and your readers to know that my next historical in the series isn’t finished yet and probably won’t be published until 2009 or 2010. However, my short contemporary novel will be published next year.

Runaway Romance is actually two short contemporary novels under one cover and will be published by Tsaba House in trade paperback in the summer or fall of 2008.

My novel, Alyson, is a lighthearted romance set on a Texas ranch and has a Cinderella plot with a twist. Author Teresa Slack wrote the other Runaway Romance novel, and I think her title will be Kyla.

The current spin is that successful authors stick to one genre and might wonder why my books are all over the map: historical novels, contemporary romances, and non-fiction books. I have even had a couple of Chicken Soup-type short stories published in the last few years.

So, why all the different types of books?

The only answer I can give is that I write what interests me, and I write what the Lord tells me to write.

Molly's wonderful testimony and excerpts from her books can be found on
her website.

To win a copy of Sanctuary or The Winter Pearl, please leave a comment. I'll draw a name next Tuesday!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Harry Potter Inspired by Christianity? Proof: verses on gravestones? Children's author says she "struggles with" afterlife. So, good, evil are--?

What would be the definitions of "good" and "evil" for someone who is not convinced of afterlife?

What else are they not convinced of?

What are they teaching our little children?

"Pardon me while I scream a little," says the writer of this--click here: Christian parents: Stop trusting Harry Potter.


In another article, J.K. Rowling, author of the wildly popular series, Harry Potter, said recently that she still wrestled with the concept of an afterlife. An article entitled, Christianity inspired Harry Potter reveals that the author is not convinced about Christianity, after all.

The British website, (click on:) Telegraph, quotes her:

The truth is that, like Graham Greene, my faith is sometimes that my faith will return. It's something I struggle with a lot.

On any given moment if you asked me if I believe in life after death, I think if you polled me regularly through the week, I think I would come down on the side of yes - that I do believe in life after death.

But it's something I wrestle with a lot. It preoccupies me a lot, and I think that's very obvious within the books.

How can one who is a Christian and believes that Jesus died for the sins of all, wonder if there is an afterlife? I'm sorry, and God bless J. K. Rowling, I bear her no ill will; but that is not the Biblical definition of Christian.

Even if she does write verses on gravestones.

Yet, there are those who hand the books to little children, saying the HP books are good because they show good triumphing over evil.

Good wizards versus bad wizards?

I have to wonder what are the definitions of good and evil as presented by a dear lady who is not convinced of either heaven or hell.

And if she's not, why should she worry about anyone going into the land God promised? Including wizards!

Because God warns that wizards will not enter that land, according to God in Deuteronomy 18:9....

The article also refers to yet another article and the Pope's concern, that "these are subtle seductions which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul before it can grow properly."

This Protestant must agree with the Pope.

And now that Ms. Rowling has sold how many books and made $1B plus and finished the series, she adds to the controversy she has already inspired with her occultism and outs the most important influence in the children characters' lives, the headmaster of the school.

How will this influence our children?

I would hope we would consider God's feelings and warning. That is, the specifics of--ta daa--Deuteronomy 18:9.... Good or evil, wizards do not enter the Promised Land. Period. According to God.

God hates the practice of wizardry.

And if I love God, how can I look for entertainment in what He hates?

And now, a school on witchcraft is opening in Missouri. The headmaster says it is possible because Hollywood has made it more acceptable.

Acceptable? Again, Deuteronomy 18 says no wizards will enter the Promised Land. God hates the practice. Whoa. Pretty strong, but there it is.

Even if I don't *practice* it, do I want to dwell on and be *entertained* by what my Lord *hates,* whether reality or fiction? I think that's the crux of the matter.

Besides hurting God, when we disobey,I have to think about that roaring lion in I Peter 5:8. Nobody talks about him much, anymore.

Everyone must choose for themselves what to do with Deuteronomy 18:9:

When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

Deu 18:10 There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

Deu 18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

Deu 18:12 For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

Gee, Lord, why not say what you mean? LOL

And see: God, Harry Potter and the Detestable Nations...

My friends must do as they are led. I just want them to be aware of what God says about it. And not be so open-minded their brains fall out! : )

God bless.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Writing about Psychological Traits

Margo on a windblown hair day

I'm a people person, and curious about us all, I took psychology as an elective in high school and college. Later, I took classes in counseling. So, I did a lot of reading to learn about not only the background for the novel I'm writing, but why people do the things they do.

And yesterday, I shared a lot of information
I had garnered with my writers group, on
writing about psychological traits--

Based on the theme of the book, (click on:)
Shadow Syndromes
, we may all exhibit to some extent, traits of full-blown syndromes. These little traits could add interesting, challenging, even amusing layers to our characters.

Please NOTE: None of this info is meant to diagnose--or make light of--a list of observable traits. I acknowledge that some psychological traits are full-blown disorders that make life very painful for those who have them, and for those who live with the people who suffer them. This is not addressed lightly. If you recognize any in yourself and are troubled by them, please see a health care provider. Thank you.

For those who wish to write about the mild effects of common quirks, or for writing about those full-blown syndromes--and God bless especially those who write from painful experience--these same resources could provide a jumping-off place for ideas and sources of further information:

First, articles and websites about, one would hope, writers! (Okay, doesn't God promise to give some talents to everybody? Yes!)

GT Adults—Gifted and Talented Gifted celebrities

Depression in gifted

Resources for all traits:


Cutting Loose—women and divorce—lots of lying in bed at night, terrified and trembling, but "I made it and I’m glad I did it." (God hates divorce, but doesn't He hate some other things more? Ephesians 5:21—submit to one another….) Ashton Applewhite

Get Out of Your Own Way! Escape from Mind Traps by Tom Rusk, MD

HSPs--highly sensitive persons
Highly Sensitive Person Aron

Highly Sensitive Person in Love Aron

Gifted Grownups, Streznewski*

Gifted Adults
, Jacobsen, Psy.D.*

Psychological Symptoms, Bruno, PhD*

Christian Counseling, Revised Ed., Collins, PhD*

*** Shadow Syndromes—Ratey*

*good to have on hand for understanding self and others.

Double Vision by Randy Ingermanson—Asperger’s Syndrome--and funny

It Had to be You--Linda Windsor-- Depression on a cruise (but funny!)

Moby Dick—Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

There are many my friend, Jane St. Clair, drolly observed:

Just look at the classics like Moby Dick, Crime and Punishment, MacBeth, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina -- all the main characters would require counseling today! Modern books like Catcher in the Rye, White Oleander, Great Gatsby - all have characters obsessive and even murderous in their intentions.

When my husband and I go to the opera, we like to talk during intermission about what would a counselor do with the main character? Well, if someone smart got to the lead in Madame Butterfly or Romeo and Juliet -- well, there'd be no story!


A Beautiful Mind

Good Will Hunting
(recommended by my instructors for Robin Williams’ realistic portrayal of a professional counselor, esp at end) awful language

Prince of Tides (Not-entirely-recommended counseling procedure, but good story)

The Aviator Howard Hughes would be different w/ today’s drugs for OCD. So sad.

As Good As It Gets
with Jack Nicholson. OCD

-- book and movie—MPD—Multiple Personality Disorder (popularly confused w/ Schizophrenia which is something else entirely)

Three Faces of Eve—book and movie—MPD

About Schmidt

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The Glass Managerie


Silence of the Lambs

What about Bob

Rain Man
—Autistic Savant

Lots more movies
. I can’t vouch for language or content.:

Psychological fiction. Again, I can’t vouch….

OCD in books and film:

Practical help:

Marla Cilley--Flylady at
For housework routines and organization, not of stuff, but of you, giving you more time to write and make life easier. I learned why I was so distractible--I was simply making housework too hard, writing out ambitious, "perfect" schedules, then crashing and burning. You Born-Organizeds out there don't understand that, but a lot of others do! LOL Fascinating. Lots of problems and solutions. ***

More websites--specific disorders--articles discussed, found mostly at States that generic Wellbutrin often does not work as well in depressed people as Wellbutrin brand. The generic may dissolve at wrong rate--too much at first, then gone, bringing back depression. Tested in lab--and on healthy people. Big help, huh?
* would have been a good one but we ran out of time *another good one! Such an attack on women's egos today!

So, to apply these to our writing, let's brainstorm a moment here, take characters we know with extreme traits and turn them upside down, set them in a different world, switch their gender:

For instance, in the movie, As Good as it Gets with Jack Nicholson, who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: What if he was a woman, instead, and a retired--what? She had to deal with lots of people in her career and made a lot of them angry. (How?) Now, some of them want to find her and?...

Or Moby Dick--Captain Ahab played by Gregory Peck was obsessed about killing Moby Dick, the whale who almost killed him. What if we take Ahab and his obsession off the whaling vessel and put him on Wall Street, and the one who almost killed him was--a woman--a stockbroker? An investor who lied to him about--?

Change the gender of one of your secondary characters and give him/her Narcissistic Personality Disorder--every conversation has to turn around to be all about him/her, she has illusions of grandeur and can do no wrong, she will pursue what she wants because she is entitled....

Or, use today's news--remember The Prize, starring Paul Newman, whose character won the Nobel Prize for Literature? Let your imagination have a field day--lots and lots of fluorescent light bulbs are sold, and everyone ends up with weird billirubin blood counts, a flattering flush, and extra blood vessels in their eyes, leading to seeing in the dark and no one can sleep or, for some, make love. This leads to decline in population which goes unnoticed because of an increase in same due to varying personal tastes--okay, getting carried away here, I know. : )

On a personal note, I obsess about world events. I know God is in control, but shouldn't we be doing more to make the world better? Here are my favorite sources of distracting news sites , when I need an excuse not to write, LOL. Lots of fodder for stories here:,,,,

(A whole section devoted to--labor pains?

And this is funny--the guy in the back seat:)

But I digress. Hope these resources are helpful to someone out there, writing about these traits or living with them.

God bless.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"Who was that masked woman?"

New Orleans was wonderful! At long last, I visited dearly loved cousins in my favorite city. (See my longing lament.)

First night, dinner with cousins at Market Cafe' near the old
French Market,

last morning, "Coffee with Jesus at Cafe' du Monde." Mmm, cafe' au lait and powdered sugar beignets. (Deep fried pastries)

Plenty of family and food in between--like at Alpine's Cafe' near
Jackson Square, which serves succulent soft-shelled crab impaled with a knife!

But all is not fun in New Orleans. Please pray for the people and the city and the lethargy in high places.

While the "sliver by the river," that is, the French Quarter, the Central Business District, and St. Charles Avenue to Audubon Park, (the latter with grass growing over the unused street car tracks,) all look fairly normal, it will take a long time for the city to recover.

Even with all the aid money, many missing or wind-bent street signs in the French Quarter and elsewhere have not been replaced. How hard or costly can that be? And how can they have recovery of commerce and tourism without street signs?

And the people have a high rate of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with fewer doctors and health facilities.

But the restaurants, shops and hotels are busy, and many good Christian people want to stay home and make it work.

It's a charming, challenging, fertile mission field and I love it so much.

Thank you.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Jennifer Griffith's testimony

All, go to the blog of Jennifer Griffitj and read, "How did a Louisiana gal get out West?" What an awesome testimony to the healing power of God!