Thursday, February 22, 2007

Embrace the Light

Recently my short story Protected was accepted by the Lost Genre Guild for an anthology project of Biblical Speculative Fiction. The anthology will be published by The Writers' Cafe due out in April.

As the April 3rd release for Light at the Edge of Darkness approaches I might as well throw in a shameless plug for my story. Protected serves a multiple layer of purposes. If you ask me why I wrote it, I could very easily pull a reason out of a hat.While the primary purpose was to bring the ongoing battle of spiritual warfare to the light, I chose not to talk about that today. I hope that all readers will come away thinking that perhaps there is a reason for everything, and for every event, every instance there is a greater power at work, dictating the end result of all things.

Before I get off in left field of exactly what I said I wasn’t going to talk about, let me get to the purpose of this blog entry.Though all stories in this anthology can be as different to each other as night is to day, there is a common theme…when forced to the edge of darkness one must embrace the light.As part of Light at the Edge of Darkness Protected embraces the Light through its main character. Mason could very well represent the majority the youthful population from any generation.

Prior to the story Mason finds himself as part of the rejected generation of society, so he turns to the one that he felt he could find acceptance. Unfortunately, many times the rejected find themselves blaming God for their situation so they turn to open arms that lead to a path of darkness and sin. It was no different for Mason.Mason had turned to Zeke, finding approval and soon he was part of something larger then life. Thrust into the age-old battle of good verses evil, Mason must decide which love is true, Zeke and his extremists or the Christians.

The beauty of it all is that no matter how much evil Mason may have done, it wasn’t too much for God to overcome. That is the message of hope in this story. No matter how much darkness you are swirling in, just the slightest bit of light can consume that overwhelming darkness.You don’t believe me? Find yourself in the darkest of places, the kind of darkness that you can’t see your hands in front of your face, and then light a single match. What happens? The smallest flame of that match consumes even the darkest of places.

This is no different for our spirituality. Just the smallest bit of Light (God) in your heart will consume even the darkest places of your past. This is not just an anthology for good entertainment, it’s an anthology inspired by God to teach a valuable lesson to embrace His light. Even the smallest little bit of light can rescue you from the deepest depths of a cold, black sin-tainted past.

Come on now. Don’t just sit there. Embrace the Light.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Saint Valentine

There are more facts and fables surrounding Valentine's Day than just about any other holiday. One of the most fascinating is the true story of Saint Valentine himself. Although searches turned up a number of saints named Valentine, one is most likely the namesake of our familiar holiday.

He is credited with helping Christians during the persecution by Claudius II, the Roman Emperor in the 3rd Century. The Romans, at the time, made it a crime to provide even aid or comfort to Christians. According to history Valentinus was thrown into a dungeon. His jailor, Asterious, was not overly harsh but the priest had only the barest of necessities of life. His one comfort while in prison was his friendship with Asterious' daughter, his blind daughter, who befriended the kindly priest by bringing him food and delivering messages.

After a year in jail, Valentinus was summoned to appear before Claudius II. The Emperor was so impressed with the young priest's dignity that Claudius attempted to convert him to worshiping Roman gods to save him from execution. Valentinus, however, refused to renounce Christianity and attempted to convert the Emperor to Christianity. Claudius became furious, and ordered that Saint Valentine be beaten with clubs, stoned, and executed.

In the last days of his life, Valentinus, through his faith, restored the sight of the jailer's daughter. He also converted Asterious and the girl to Christianity, an act which would eventually result in their execution as well. On the eve of his execution, the priest wrote a farewell message to the girl and signed it, "From your Valentine." His execution was carried out on February 14, 269 A.D., outside the Flaminian gate in Rome. According to legend, a pink almond tree, a symbol of abiding love, blossomed near his grave.

The valentine has become the universal symbol of friendship and affection shared each anniversary of the priest's execution. The day we affectionately call Valentine's Day.