James Bond, Georgette Heyer, and Let’s Write!

I struggle with those highbrows, both in and outside my life, who refuse to read anything except “good writing.”

First off, I’m sure my writing doesn’t qualify.  Next, we are not in agreement of what constitutes “good writing.”  Ideally, I don’t have to choose, but if presented with a choice between the “dark, poignant, and tragic tale of human whatsit” and a story that makes me smile, laugh out loud, think and ponder, and generally feel I’ve been enriched in some way, there’s no contest.

Give me a writer whose life isn’t a “dark, poignant, and tragic tale of human whatsit” and whose mission is not, therefore, to make certain my life is, at least for a time, equally depressing, morbid, and joyless.  My husband, John, has a name for this prevalent idea among the literary “elite” (I do not think that word means what you think it means) that good writing  (Literature, no less!) comes from the angst of the tortured soul (good writing is the the province of such souls, don’t you know), and is most often performed under the influence of various mind-altering substances, and at the brink of suicide.   John says it’s bovine fecal matter, aka B.S.

It seems to me that much of what the publishing world is praising, publishing, and passing off as literature is contrived, formulaic, and trite.  Someone writes a great romance or two, and then suddenly they (or someone influencing them), decide we must add “poignance”.  Why?  Is it because the world is too happy and bright, and we must never for a single moment consider things not horrible?

Let’s write a book about predictable, boring, uninspiring, plastic people in plastic worlds being defeated at every turn!  If we put on a slick jacket with nifty artwork and get a crafty marketer to sell the plot, another sucker will pick it up and try it.

And sigh.  And say, “Where is The Swiss Family Robinson?  Where is The Secret Garden?   Why aren’t there more books like The Help and Louis L’Amour’s The Sacketts?  What is this fear of goodness, joy, beauty and victory, what is this celebration of ugliness, THIS FALSENESS, seeking to grip us all? “

Give me authenticity!  Authenticity works.  George Strait, Clint Eastwood, Katherine Hepburn, John Wayne, Edith Schaeffer, Ben Carson, Ronald Reagan, Queen Elizabeth, and even Donald Trump are among those folks who dance(d) to the beat of their own drummers.  And even if we don’t like them, we pay attention.  They don’t leave us cold, bored, and wishing there was someone real in the room.

Who was the best character in Bewitched?  Agnes Moorhead, who played the wickedly honest Endora.  Why was Kevin Cline so much fun with Meg Ryan in French Kiss?  Because he made no apologies, cared not one whit for the opinions of others.  What made John Cleese so great in Fawlty Towers and in The Pink Panther?  It was because he was authentic, even awful, but in no way for a single moment, dull or ordinary.  It’s called entertainment.

People make fun of me, behind my back and to my face, for my unsophisticated tastes.  I have grown weary of explaining why I watch James Bond movies, but here I go again:  Because James is smart and strong and handsome and he always wins!  Because there are exotic locales and not a single boring moment.  There are amazing cars and exploding gadgets, and impossible feats of derring do!  Fascinating folks named things like “Q” and “M” and “Moneypenny” are always doing the dangerous and sacrificial thing, right along with James.  Yes, there are scantily-clad and shockingly-named women moaning, “Oh, James”, but to the fun-lovers among us, it’s just more fun.

Contrary to the allegations of the Bond naysayers, there are thought-provoking plots (sometimes, anyway) such as the consequences of worldwide information and surveillance control, adding depth and texture to an already satisfactory offering.  Most of all, in Bond we have a hero worth his salt.

I don’t apologize for liking Roger Moore better than Sean Connery or Daniel Craig, and I do admit that a couple of the Bond flicks weren’t quite up to par.  And I am happy to say that the final (???) Bond movie, Spectre, is my favorite among favorites because it ends, as do all my favorites, “Happily Ever After.”

So sue me.  I believe in happy endings.  Listen, if you don’t, you won’t ever have to worry about one if your own life.  You won’t have to worry about people calling you Pollyanna, making fun of you and thinking you give a care what they think.

I once had a boss who made fun of me for reading Reader’s Digest.  “So?  You read Time,” I countered to his frowning confusion.  I was supposed to apologize for reading uplifting stories of real people, rather than what the “intelligent” people read.

Yesterday at the Red Feather Lakes Library I picked up Sons and Soldiers by Bruce Henderson.  I am miffed at myself because I hoped that would redeem me in the eyes of one of the more “highbrow” volunteers, one I am quite sure thinks my Georgette Heyer love affair quite childish.

I am halfway through Sons and Soldiers (would have stayed up all night reading it, but my heart had to have a respite), almost finished with A Gentleman in Moscow (taking my time because I don’t want it to end – how I love, respect, and admire the Count!), just started on my third reading of Minerva by Marion Chesney (why do I love Minerva’s  atrocious daddy?), and I just finished with Georgette Heyer’s A Lady of Quality.  This represents my fiction reading of the moment.

Non-fiction includes my annual reading, month by month, of The Shape of a Year (such a treasure) continual dippings into and out of various motivational and informational books (Jennifer Scott’s Madame Chic books for instance), magazines (I just subscribed to Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman magazine!!!!), homemaking blogs, and of course, my almost daily reading of Psalms, Proverbs, and something Jesus and/or Paul had to say (I’m sadly deficient in my Old Testament knowledge, and often mistake the exploits of Daniel with those of David, Joseph or another notable.  This lack, it seems, isn’t nearly as reprehensible or disconcerting to others as is my lack of taste in movies).

I guard my heart.  I believe much of what passes for literature and entertainment is a danger to the health and therefore the strength of my heart, and even my character.

And I think it’s time that all of us who want to write but don’t think we’re “any good” should just get to it, without a single thought of what anyone thinks about what we write, without a worry or even a nod to the opinions of others about what constitutes “good writing.”  Even if it’s never published or read by another soul, we can say we did more than criticize and complain.

Let’s write, shall we?

P.S.  TOMORROW, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, AT 2:00 MOUNTAIN TIME, TUNE IN TO:  WWW.1360AM.CO FOR THE HOMEFRONT SHOW.  I’ll be sharing good stuff on manipulation (how not to do it, or to feed it); champion forgivers among our Founding Fathers, rescuing yourself from the TORTURE of unforgiveness, and much, much more.  Thanks ahead of time for joining me!

 

Create in Me (and especially in that other person) a Clean Heart, O God.

I recently heard two very different sermons – one was an admonition that if you don’t do what your pastor says you are in rebellion, and the other was a preacher accused of rebellion himself, because he was preaching not to do what the world does, or what anyone says, but to do what Jesus says: to trust, love, forgive, and to take dominion by faith-filled, absolutely fearless, uncompromising words and actions.

The sad thing is that the attempt to squelch and squash and force people into doing whatever they’re told, and saying if they don’t they’re rebellious, is a surefire, tried and true, works-every-time way to push people into rebellion.

Satan’s ways. They don’t work very well, folks.  We try to force our spouses into behaviors based on what our vision is.  Usually when we’re under that controlling spirit our vision amounts to this:  you agree with me on every single issue and we’ll all be happy as larks.  That controlling spirit is a spirit of rebellion, and so blinding it makes us think everyone else is in rebellion.  It walks hand in hand with pride, and therefore, goes before a fall.

That spirit comes after us when we give into fear – fear God can’t or won’t handle this, we must take it into our own hands, do it like some other book, certainly not THE BOOK, says to do it: Childrearing 101; Husband-fixing 101; Basic I know best; Making others behave so I don’t have to for dummies who think everyone else is a dummy.

Disrespect is what this amounts to.  Listen, if you’re gonna take that line you had better be the second perfect human. Of course you’re saying that you’re actually more perfect than that one perfect man, Jesus.  You’re ignoring Him, disrespecting and disregarding Him, and in His Name, Glory Hallelujah, you’re spouting Satan’s lies, and going his way.

But please don’t let us judge anyone else for doing this, because the more horrified we are about it, the more susceptible we are to going from a place of grief and prayer to a place of anger and judgement. And then we, too, will be easy prey.  All of a sudden no one will want to be around us, all of a sudden we’ll be lecturing our kids, and dishonoring our mates, and thinking no one is as smart and wise as are we – just like the behavior we so recently abhorred in someone else.

John Maxwell talks about this in How Successful People Win. He says it was hard for him not to buy into his own press, his own place of leadership, without becoming prideful and unwilling to listen to others’ gentle corrections.  The problem, as he said in so many words, is that once you disdain what someone prayerfully and carefully and in love, tries bringing to your attention, they’ll stop.

It’s an untenable position for the one wanting to help. There is only one answer and that is faith in God through prayer.  The flesh and every logical thought says, “Fine.  See if I try to help your know-it-all self again.”  But after prayer for this attacked and fragile human, remembrance of the real enemy comes, we get revelation about what the enemy is up to, and what’s going on in the precious heart of the one we love.

And, we are ready to fight again.  This time, however, we will let God handle it.  We will only speak if He says to speak (if you’re unsure and have no peace about it, keep still), and we will only say what He says to say.  And . . . we will do it under the anointing, the very love, of Jesus.

If you try and try and try again, and all you get is trampled for your efforts, as the one you love is acting less like a friend or lover, and more like a swine, you can remember two things: 1) God doesn’t expect you to get beat up and disrespected and disregarded; and 2)  He really can handle it.

And here’s where another fear must be faced and fought and brought DOWN.  It’s the fear that this person is going to have that promised fall that follows pride, and that the fall will be too great to be borne, the damage beyond repair.

But when all else fails, it is a clear sign that it’s time for the only thing that never fails: Be still and know that He is God.

About this time is when the object of your prayers starts asking you what’s wrong, what’s on your mind. But unless you know they’re in a place where they really want to know and to do the right thing, rather than in  a place where they simply don’t want the discomfort of you not being all about them, just keep still.

You can say, “I’ll tell you if you really think you want to know, and are ready to listen, and you promise not to get upset.” There’s a good chance here, and be ready for it, they will not respond well to this.  That’s OK.  It’s time to trust God, remember?  He is so much more than able.

What a difference 24 hours can make. You can pray and declare and do warfare, and it looks like it didn’t do a bit of good, and then one or two days later you find yourself trying to keep up with this person set free, and about to sail away to a higher place in Jesus.  Set free.  This is not the time to say, “Ha!  You’d still be acting like a pig in a pen if it weren’t for me, and my super-anointed, spiritual giant prayers!”

All this requires harnessing the tongue to the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Bible tells us in the Book of James that no man can tame the tongue.  But the Holy Spirit can not only tame it, He can make it a powerful weapon against the enemy of our souls.  I like to pray David’s words from Psalms: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

When we get too focused on the wrong spirits operating on and pressuring and having a high old time in other people, when all we can see is their stupidity and ignorance and stubbornness, it can mess up our own spirits. Not only that, it can make us prey (judgement does this) to those very same problems in our own sweet selves!

Let us not focus on what the enemy is doing, but on the Greater One who can whip him every single time. Amen!

P.S.  Love is Patient.  Love is Kind.  And Love is Fearless, which is why, as we know, Love never fails.

P.P.S.  Remember to get your copy of “The Maker’s Marriage” right here on homefrontshow.com just by clicking on the picture of the book! 

And Just Look at Me Now!

I called in to a radio show about 23 years ago, and was so nervous I hyperventilated and made a complete fool of myself.

But in just a few minutes (2:00 Mountain Time every Friday) I will wax eloquent about all sorts of things, including freedom from money worries, the four words that strike fear into brave men’s hearts, a Valentine’s Day challenge, putting the garbage in life where it belongs (in the trash), understanding the forces against Original Intent as regards our Constitution, why we love A Little Princess, and much more.

I will not be the least bit nervous, and God gets all the glory for that.  I highly recommend you not make statements about things you aren’t good at, and that you put your past failures where they belong (that would be in the past), and watch what God can do.  Then you, too, can say, “And just look at me now!”

Join me and call a loved one.  Say this:  go to http://www.1360am.co and tune in to The Home Front Show!

Swiss Family Robinson, John and Rebekah Parker, and Pastor Mark Williams

What do the above listed books/folks have in common?  They’ll all be featured on the Homefront Show in less than two hours!!!   http://www.1360am.co is where you want to go at 2:00 PM Mountain Time today.  That’s 2:00 Friday, January 26.

John and I will discuss what makes a good book and using books for family unity, and Rebekah will share an almost unbelievable story of forgiveness which will put our petty grievances in perspective.

I have more treats, such as the bizarre behavior that coexists with a “not my fault” mentality, and Pastor Mark Williams talking about honor, and how giving honor honors the giver.

Lots of good, inspiring, uplifting words today, including words about the power of words both for building and for destruction.  So contact anyone who needs a lift today, and just say this:

2:00 PM Mountain Time, 1360am.co.

Thanks for being with us!

Bev

Crossing the Bridge from Victim to Victor . . . and 2:00 MTN Friday at www.1360am.co!

The following was taken from an article by Jason Jones & John Zmirak in The Stream (stream.org).

You Might Be a Victimist If …

  • You’re outraged about statues of dead Confederates … but cool with countries “eradicating” Down Syndrome via abortion.
  • You denounce the anti-Semitism of the Alt-Right … but shrug at the vicious Jew-hatred of “anti-Zionist” activists.
  • Your eyes tear up over sea turtles … but you don’t follow the fate of Christians and Yezidis persecuted in the Middle East.
  • You object to images of Columbus … but are fine with Che Guevara t-shirts.
  • You congratulate yourself for “standing up” for immigrants … but don’t care enough to save migrants from being exploited by human traffickers and sweatshop owners.
  • You scoff at older people, less educated, or poorer people for outdated prejudices … but don’t worry about your own prejudice toward them.
  • You feel deep empathy with “transgender” millionaires on the cover of Vanity Fair … but don’t care about Christian florists or bakers facing bankruptcy and prison for obeying their consciences.
  • You fantasize about socialist utopias … but never think about moving to one (i.e. Venezuela or Cuba).
  • You virtue-signal on issues that impose zero cost on you personally … but avoid those where you have “skin in the game” and might pay a price or offend cool, rich, or influential people.

We could go on all day, all week, all year … but you get the point.

__________________________________

Now for Bev’s thoughts:  Do you get the point?  If the malady of Victimism afflicts your thinking, today’s Homefront Show will help!  Tune in at 2:00 Mountain Time to http://www.1360am.co and go from victim to victor!

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Fruit or Fruity, and, The Gift of “No”

My children are astounded.  Now that they’re adults I’ve tasted the forbidden fruit, and asked them to join me.  Horrors.  They’re called “toaster pastries” by Nature’s Path, but my kids know the truth:  Mom bought poptarts!

I have taught them my disdain for passing off sugar as breakfast, and why wouldn’t they be converts?  While their peers are eating Lucky Charms and Count Chocula, and even Poptarts, they partake of steel cut oats (with blueberries, pecans, honey and cream) eggs, meat (organic and often from the woods) homemade biscuits and scones, hot tea, and usually more, such as potatoes, sliced tomatoes, pinto beans, applesauce, peach crisp, pumpkin waffles with nuts and REAL maple syrup, popovers running over with butter and apple butter, pineapple breakfast bread, and some days even brownies for “appetizers”.

Yesterday we had “toaster pastries” as an early morning appetizer with our coffee.  They were cherry pomegranate (who could resist?), USDA organic, non-GMO, fair trade, and in a lovely package.  And disappointing.  I wanted them to (ahem) taste just like Poptarts.

But this morning I was not disappointed.  Rather than an adulterated fruity thingy, I simply am having the real deal.  After a few bites, my enlightened self had to share this:  REAL IS REAL AND FAKE IS FAKE.  CHOOSE REAL!

I think this is another one of “Need I say more?” instances.  Still, I must continue and tell you that fruity pastries and the like weaken the immune system, even as fruit strengthens the immune system.  Letting kids decide what they want to eat is a shirking of responsibility.  So, give them the gift of “No” to harmful “foods” and the gift of your example in eating fruit, just as nature made it.

Tell them one of the things you love about pomegranates is that each little seed, even the ones deeply buried and hard to extract, is like a jewel.  It’s like eating jewels and it makes the body sing!  Not so, manmade fruity fakes.  OK, I’m done.

WAIT!  AGAIN, I NEED TO SAY MORE!  AND THAT IS THIS:  http://www.1360am.co at 2:00 PM Mountain Time, Friday afternoon.  THE HOMEFRONT SHOW, Today, January 12!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Say “Whoa!”

The Home Front Show

Our_Father 2_red

Upside down and backwards – that’s how you and I can turn the devil’s schemes, if we will evade the trap of judgment.

What is your burden, what is your lament?  That is also your clue to where you have power.  Take that thing that irks, bothers, grieves you most, and pray!!!

When you catch yourself (as I did recently) feeling utterly defeated and hopeless and just plain aggravated about something, and you hear yourself saying STUPID things such as, “That battle is too far gone, it’s hopeless, that problem is fully entrenched in our society (or in your marriage, family, child, friend) and will never go away,” JUST SAY “WHOA!”

The grief over that problem – in this case I was talking about the ravages and seemingly hopeless problem of drug addiction – is your latest unction to pray.  The Bible sets a very opposite picture of what…

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