Friday, November 20, 2009

Celtic Treasure by Liz Babbs--a lovely Christmas gift!

I was married twenty years when we learned we were part of a Scottish clan with a tartan, "cousins" in the U.S., and a chief and family in Scotland. So, now, more than ever, I love the ancient riches of Celtic Christianity.      

And I especially love the writings of my good friend from Nottingham, England, Liz Babbs.

Her latest book, Celtic Treasure, is small and gorgeous, a perfect gift for the rapidly approaching Christmas season. It contains stories and wisdom of the ancient Celts, and to these, she adds lovely original prayers and poems and beautiful photos.

She discusses Celtic traditions of creation, creativity, community, hospitality, and just celebrating life.

We meet some Celtic saints, too, and enjoy their writings, such as these familiar lines from

St. Patrick's Breastplate

         Christ behind and before me
         Christ beneath and above me
         Christ with me and in me...        

And from Liz's own poetry:            

Spirit of God around me
In the air that I breathe

Glory of God around me
Inspiring all I see...

These are just a tidbit from the richness here.

Some of her books contain CDs with her reading meditations on God and His
Word, to the music of Simeon Wood on flute, bass flute, pan-pipes and Celtic whistles.


The Thing About-- series reflects
her fun sense of humor.

And she wrote about her healing by prayer of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Her website and my earlier blog tell more about these books, as well as her one-woman show,
Licensed to Chill, plus her workshops, and retreats.


I had the pleasure of going to the TV studios with Liz for this  interview where she gives a wonderful teaching on  Christian  meditation. Don't miss it.


When not reading, writing, or performing, my
multi-talented and lovely friend often breaks bread, er, chocolate at the Cheesecake Factory.                

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Writing Edgy Christian Fiction

Lots of discussion on requirements and taboos in Christian fiction. Different houses allowing different things according to what their particular audience expects and loves.

My funloving heroine has a problem and for answers, she dabbles in voodoo.

Now, I have blogged before about my worry about Christians dabbling in powers not from God a la Deuteronomy 18:9-14.... I'm concerned because God calls these detestable along with the people who participate. Whoa. Please scroll down to October 19  and see "Twilight" of Loyalty
Yet, there she goes. Why? Her husband even tells her, "Get into a playpen with serpents, sooner or later, you get bitten."

I'm inserting voodoo into my story--which is about many other things besides voodoo--because I want to show the problems and consequences.

The challenge is to make it somewhat realistic but not so attractive that the reader decides to go into it. And not so gorey that it haunts her.

Because all the while, I consider three passages from our Ultimate Editor.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
It would seem God wants us to fill our minds with lovely things. I guess it's fine to read the bad news out there, and be aware and wise to the bad realities of life, but not wallow in them for amusement. Be innocent but not ignorant.

I don't know how else to take it. I'm open to suggestions. I have to consider that, too, as my heroine explores sources of power not from God.

Then there's James 3:1
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Even though we may not desire to write a didactic, teaching story, our stories do teach, or at least, influence people's thinking.

Joseph Gold's Read for Your Life/Literature as a Life Support System was
recommended by an instructor in a Christian counseling course I took.

Gold says that experiencing other people's life situations in fiction causes real reactions in our minds and bodies, as we wll know.

He also points out that Dr. Zhivago was so powerful it was banned in Russia.

The third scripture is pretty strong:

Matthew 18:6,76
but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!

Wow. Of course, we want to entertain without being stumbling blocks.

These are what guide me, before I put my work in black and white for all the world to see. God included.

And everyone must do what's right in their own mind, as they are led.

I love this from St. Augustine, I think: "Love the Lord and do what you please."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tucson, Arizona, Chantilly Tea Room, waiting for Jeri Odell and Audrey Barcus to join me for tea. Saw this reflection and asked a waitress to take the pic. Lovely place. It's almost Thursday, so I can say this. LOL