Saturday, February 23, 2008

When God makes you do weird things

I just received a Google alert!

Pam Meyers tagged me. She wants to know what I'm reading. She says to turn to page 123 of the nearest book, go to the fifth sentence and post the next three! Then tag five more people. Cute idea. LOL

Okay, I just finished _Demon: a Memoir_ by Tosca Lee. *Really* good. Very different!

I can't quote from it as I've already lent it out, and honestly, the nearest book to me, where I was doing Bible study homework at my desk, is the NIV!

I wondered if I should do exactly what the rules say, or just choose a light and fun book I've recently enjoyed.

But--when the author of the nearest book is--God--how do you choose a different book? LOL

Sometimes we're called to do something weird. He may just have something up those big sleeves.

So, okay, page 123 is in Leviticus 9, and this may be apropos of nothing, but, who knows, maybe God wanted someone to see this awesome sacrifice. It will be fun to see if someone says He did. So, let's see:

"9 His sons brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger into the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. 10 On the altar he burned the fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver from the sin offering, as the LORD commanded Moses; 11 the flesh and the hide he burned up outside the camp."

There you have it! Does that speak to anyone out there?

I'm now tagging these five to do the same: Michelle Sutton, Cynthia Hickey, Lena Nelson Dooley, Terry Burns, Cynthia Ruchti, Sharlene MacLaren and Tosca Lee. Whoops, can't count! Love it!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Are your characters on the "B" Team?

A good story has conflict, and well-rounded characters face inner conflict as well as outer conflict.

Lucy must save the ranch and not let it be foreclosed in order to keep the steers moving out and the groceries coming in--external conflict. Lucy doesn't want to keep the ranch, she wants to be an interior decorator--inner conflict. Her ancestors and siblings would be disappointed if she let the old homeplace go, yet they don't help. External and internal conflict.

We can go on, brainstorming, adding "but--" "so--" "and--" "but--" deepening external and internal conflicts.

How else can we add internal conflict?

A few blogs ago, I posted psychological issues one could face that would make interesting personality traits for our characters.

(And I stress again, that while little quirks can be amusing, real problems are not. I do not make light of those, or of the people who suffer them. The real problems could make wonderful, redemptive stories, though.)

Another source of internal conflict for the Christian market would be spiritual inner conflict. And this morning, I found an interesting and challenging article about the church today and one man's analysis of its influence on the world--not always for good.

Click here to read the six reasons he gives for his unsettling conclusion.

Do you agree with him? Does he understand? Is he too harsh? Characters in these situations may be understood or they may be criticized. Complacent. Miserable.

Disagreeing or agreeing, we can find fodder for our stories here. It's interesting reading, and sure to step on some toes--not my intention--but much of it is worth considering.

And perhaps worth laying on our poor, unsuspecting characters.

What do you think? Is the church on the "B" Team? Do you see your characters in any of these spiritual situations?