Every storyteller fears it. Everyone is frustrated with it. Nobody likes it. What is it? Clichés.
When a storyteller pours his heart and soul into a story agonizing over every plot point and character flaw, the worst thing you can say to him is “that’s so clichéd.” Upon hearing these words, the storyteller drops into a haze as he wonders how his “completely original” idea can be considered cliché. The fear of including something clichéd in a story is a fear every author can relate to.
There’s a lot of evil in this world. I don’t need to list any examples. You’re probably already making a list in your own mind. And that list can go on and on and on.
With that list in your mind, answer this question: How do you respond to these evils? Let’s make it a bit broader. How do most Christians respond to the evils of the world?
Well, if you’re part of Westboro Baptist Church, you protest . . . like crazy. But keep in mind that protesting isn’t limited to actual picketing. You can protest through social media or when you’re in a public discussion. Taking this into account, Christians seem to be protesting more and more. Whether you like it or not, this surge in protesters has created an impact you cannot deny.
But brazen outspokenness isn’t the only response. Some Christians tend to take a more spiritual approach: prayer. This method is also powerful. Scripture speaks of the power of prayer. Perhaps the best known quotation is “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” You cannot deny Bible truth. Prayer is a powerful approach.
Still, some see prayer as empty words. They say, “Sure, you can pray all you want, but you should put feet to your prayers. God wants Christians to act.” So they do. Donating large amounts of money to aid charitable causes. Volunteering to help the poor and needy. Anything to make their prayers a reality. This approach is also biblical for God commanded His people to help those in need. The sad truth is many Christians do not follow this command.
Taking these three general responses together, we can see that Christians have an overriding desire for one thing: to change the world. And that’s a good thing. Christians should be fighting the evils of this world head on whether it be through protesting, prayer, or actively helping. All Christians should have a desire to change the world. To put it in melodramatic terms, we should want to save the world.
Wait. Save the world? Hasn’t that already happened?
As a matter of fact, it has. And that’s why we have been wrong this whole time.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved
God sent Jesus Christ to save the world. And He did. Jesus died and rose again to save the whole world. But many Christians, myself included, sometimes act like he didn’t come to save the world.
We want to repel the world’s evils through protesting or prayer or actively helping. But that won’t make a true difference, for only the gospel can repel the world’s evils. For only Jesus can save the world.
That’s not to say that any of our initial responses are bad. I don’t see a problem with prayer or volunteering or protesting (in moderation). But should Christians really be primarily known as prayer warriors or great volunteers or annoying protesters? Shouldn’t we be known as messengers of the Gospel?
Next time you get worried about the progressing evils of the world or you’re really pumped up to change the world, don’t let your mind go directly to something like protesting. Remember that Jesus has already saved the world.
So share the good news with others. Never forget that the gospel—the whole gospel from original sin to final restoration—is the power of God. We Christians have a divine weapon to use against the evils of the world, for the gospel truly is quick and powerful. But we have to use it. Share the gospel just as Christ commanded, and who knows? We just might change the world.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen
I hate running. To me, it doesn’t even classify as an exercise. Exercising equals weight lifting, calisthenics, or interval training.
Exercising is blood pumping through your muscles and your heart drumming a ridiculously fast beat. Not that side-stab inducing activity called running. I mean, who wants to do a forty-five minute activity where all you do is feel a slow-burn in your lower body while unleashing rivers of sweat?
But despite all my hate for running, I can’t deny its benefits. So here are the top four reasons why I am taking up running.
Biohax, a Swedish company, has invented a revolutionary new technology. A chip inserted under your skin can act as a key, credit card, and health monitor—basically the ultimate ID.
This is a sign of the end times, for the Antichrist will utilize this technology for the Mark of the Beast
North Korea has reportedly completed the hardest part in the creation of an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile: making a bomb light enough to fit on a missile without weighing it down too much. This new development has produced a standoff between North Korea and the US and its allies of Japan and South Korea setting up a modern-day Cold War.
This is also a sign of the end times, for Jesus Christ said that in the end there would be wars and rumors of wars.
I have. You have. All authors have looked at the computer screen like the stick figure man above. It may be the characters, plot, pacing, or even the premise. No matter what the cause is, we have all, at one point or another, been frustrated with how our story is progressing.
Most of the time we're overreacting, but in one case, our actions may be justifiable. That time would be when the problem is related with the climactic moment.
Why the climactic moment?
Simply because, it's the most important moment in an entire story. It's the culmination of all the events in your story. The most exciting--the most thrilling--the most intense moment. The grand finale.
The climactic moment is the most anticipated event in your whole story. You cannot mess up on this one. Doing so would destroy just about everything that happened before. And since the climactic moment is, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, located at the end of your story, a bad climactic moment will ruin your entire story.
Unfortunately, many stories do mess up the climactic moment. Though there are many things that could go wrong, the problems can normally be filtered into two categories.
The symbol of Christianity is the cross. It’s everywhere. It stands tall on the roofs of churches, overlooks congregations in sanctuaries, and dangles from the necklaces of many ardent believers. Christians everywhere want to be reminded of the cross, and for good reason. For on the cross, Jesus suffered and died paying the penalty for the sins of the whole world. The whole of Christianity is dependent on the cross for it represents Christ’s death. Christians acknowledge Christ as their only hope for salvation, because only He could completely pay the penalty for our sins.
But if we look at Scripture, we see that Christ’s death is not the only event Christianity depends on. I Corinthians 15:17 says, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” If Christ’s resurrection didn’t happen, then all of Christianity is futile. Why?
When I came upon this question, I didn’t have a straight answer which made me realize I didn’t fully understand my own beliefs! I was sidelining an essential part of Christianity. It makes me wonder if, in our focus on the cross, we’re relegating the resurrection. I believe many Christians are doing just that, not out of spite, but because they don’t understand the necessity of the resurrection. So let’s find out why the resurrection is so necessary to Christianity.
There are many reasons for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but, from what I’ve seen, there are only two reasons why the resurrection is necessary to Christianity. Two reasons why the resurrection is necessary for our salvation.
The antihero is a well-known character in popular media. Whether in film & television or in novels & the nightly news, we have all met the antihero. Though antiheroes have proliferated in the past few years, the character type has actually changed dramatically.
A Quick Walk Through History
In classical literature, the hero was described as a virtuous figure. He was honorable and caring; strong and brave. He looked good, wanted good, and did good. Society celebrated, even worshiped, the archetypal hero.
The antihero was, obviously, the opposite. This guy wasn’t brave or strong. He wasn’t worshiped by society. He was antisocial; a loner flawed and scarred from some past experience. The common element of all antiheroes was that flaw. That ugly scar. This was the antihero in all his glory—or lack thereof.
The antihero character type proved to be popular and spread throughout entertainment. Fast-forward to modern times. The archetypal antihero is the dominant character type. Everyone has a flaw—even the professing heroes. Luke Skywalker is inept and reckless. Harry Potter is impulsive and angry. Superman struggles with identity and is lonely. The ubiquity of the flaw transformed the definition of the antihero. For if everyone is an antihero, then nobody is. This conundrum begs the question: what is a modern antihero? To reveal the new, we must first understand the old.
Fasting. Is that like "fasting and prayer" or is it like Ramadan? Actually . . . neither. Intermittent fasting is a health diet that has risen in popularity and controversy. There have been a few reports that it is a legitimate diet, but it is widely rejected. Even the diet's name has repulsed many people due to the images of anorexia and binge eating that the word "fasting" seems to be associated with. But what really is intermittent fasting?
Simply, intermittent fasting is fasting intermittently :) Fasting as in not eating any food. Intermittent as in occurring at irregular intervals. Intermittent fasting is basically not eating any food at irregular intervals. It's an irregular cycle of eating and fasting. That's intermittent fasting in a nutshell.
There are more than a couple methods of intermittent fasting.
Now before you write this diet off as just for something for insane gym rats, let me remind you that most people fast for at least six hours every day. They fast when they sleep. Thus, the Leangains diet is simply skipping breakfast. And the Warrior Diet is only taking it one step further. Intermittent fasting is more feasible than you think.
But let's get down to the real issue: is this diet even good for you?
It was late Sunday night. I had just sent out my first blog newsletter, and I was proofreading it (because I always forget to proofread before I publish). At the time, my biggest concern was whether or not my grammar and spelling was correct. That changed in an instant when I received the news: my grandfather was dead. He had passed away peaceably in the night.
Naturally, I was sad. I will never be able to see him again. Never see him talk sports in his excited, anticipative way. Or see the way he brightened up when he saw his children or grandchildren. He was someone I’d loved for he was family. And even though he’d been declining for a while, there was a part of me that half-expected him to always be there. To always be alive.
But I am also glad, sort of. He had experienced much hardship and pain in his last years. His kidneys had failed, and he’d had to receive dialysis three times a week. His weakened state had restricted him from much travel. Just a few days before his death, he was released from the rehabilitation center where he had been recovering from a minor stroke. So his death was a release from all the suffering he’d been through, and for that, I am glad.
These opposing feelings filled my mind when I first received the news, and they are still present, even now. This leads me to the question: how is one supposed to cope with death? I just described how I responded to death, but is that the right way—the biblical way to respond? Is there even a right way? Surely, there must be. And to understand it, we must first understand what we are trying to cope with: death.
Well, this is awkward. I didn't really mean to do a Valentine's Day article. But here I am writing one. So this is raw writing. Stream of consciousness. No editing. At all.