Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Meeting the Master on the Road to Emmaus

Painting by Liz Lemon Swindle

What follows is a first-person account by a biblical person that draws the reader into the life and times of Jesus and his followers. Such vignettes stimulate the imagination. They encourage contemplation of real events and real persons.

By S. J. Clydeson

The last time I felt this discouraged was when my good friend “John in the wilderness” was beheaded.
Then Jesus came speaking words my ears had never heard before. He spoke of hope and everlasting Life. His parables were remarkable and profound. They changed me from the inside out. 

It was very pleasurable to see the effect His words had on the “spiritual leaders” and the SO Sad U sees who rejected belief in bodily resurrection.

The thought troubled me that people could despise one so much. Because of all the good Jesus had done, they put Him to death, but not until they had Him beaten unmercifully, then the crucifixion!

My Savior was tortured, bleeding, and in agony. How could anyone endure this suffering?

My heart is broken! What am I to do? Who will save Israel now?

After the events on Friday there is an emptiness within me, even the report of the tomb being empty does not register.

It happened like this:

My good friend Cleopas and I were heading to Emmaus, when a stranger met us on the road. As we walked, He listened intently to our rantings about what we had witnessed days earlier. The stranger listened. The last thing I remember saying was, “no longer is our conquering redeemer with us, is there a future for this nation?

Then the stranger began to speak. He spoke of things that sounded so familiar, as if straight from the Scriptures! We insisted He break bread with us and as He blessed it, we saw His nail-pierced hands and knew immediately that our King Jesus lives!

Father, forgive my unbelief!

* * *

Imagine the greatest Teacher explaining the greatest themes from the greatest book and bringing the greatest blessings to men's lives: eyes open to see Him, hearts open to receive the Word, and lips open to tell others what Jesus said to them ~Wiersbe

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Anne Ball's "A Month of Sundays"


Anne Ball, author of 5 novels that I have reviewed, has a new book, and you don't want to miss it. A Month of Sundays is clever, well written, and engaging. Available from the publisher or at Amazon and a bargain at only $11.00 (paperback).

Anne, the protagonist, is a resident of the future New Earth and she's been given permission by the King of the universe to write to an old friend back on the old earth. A letter is delivered to the mailbox of her "dear friend" every Sunday for thirty-one Sundays. Have you ever wondered about the life of the world to come?

Using an epistolary format, the author weaves a compelling picture of a future home where every tear has been wiped away and all infirmities and distress are banished forever.

The book draws on passages of Scripture that speak of the promises of God concerning those who place their trust in Jesus, the Son of God. He prepares a place for those beloved of the Father (John 14:2).

There is a map showing places in the Cheer District including the Village of Grace and the Town of Linger. The letters speak of life in bodies that are made immortal through the Resurrection power of Jesus Christ. 

None are surprised that angels walk among them, or that they should be hugged by a mysterious scaly creature that emerges shyly from Lake Cheer. There are face-to-face meetings with Adam and Eve in the Bountiful District, and the reader is given to overhear fascinating conversations with great saints before roaring fires in cozy pubs. 

I loved this book! I highly recommend it. Few books will lift your spirit and gladden your heart as this one. 

Alice C. Linsley

Monday, March 18, 2024

Archive Your Writings!


Archives of the 1970s.

Dan Sinykin of Fiction, Scholarship, and Academic Twitter

"Reading these archives meant learning in a kind of skimming form. You gradually, incrementally pick up important details. Names that were completely meaningless to you at first start to take on significance. You start to build a sense of who this person is, and then suddenly you come across a document and it’s like, “Oh wow!” 

Sinykin is referring to academic archives at Columbia University. Perusing the literature there helped him think about his writing in a new way. It also gave him a sense of the shifting times. Archives are a way to capture snapshots of history and culture.

Today we are able to retrieve information from online sources as well as print material. The way in which the internet works makes archives necessary if one wishes to retrieve specific information. The archive is especially useful if you are doing cutting-edge research because it will be years before the algorithm resets to include new sources of information.

It is important to archive your writing so that:

  • You can find material to use again.
  • Others can find material they want to read or re-read.
  • To make it easier to find material that probably is not available elsewhere on the internet.
  • To preserve a record of your writing and your growth as a writer.
  • As a backup to the Cloud.

All my writings are archived in indices. Check out how to do this here.

Start today. Every time you publish something, put it in your archive and update the INDEX.

Happy writing! Happy archiving!

Alice C. Linsley

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Archive of NYT Writers on Writing


Writers on Writing

This is a complete archive of the NYT Writers on Writing column, a series in which writers explore literary themes. Writers are listed alphabetically and the links work!

The series began on March 1 when John Updike, writing as his character Henry Bech, considered the relationship between an author and his alter ego.

Please avail yourself of this excellent resource! This is a way we can learn from renown published writers.

Related reading: Archive Your Writing

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Holy Other


The Holy Other

How the Only, Holy Other

Would become just another,

To walk among men

I cannot comprehend.

Only His holy character

Caused Him to come matter,

Allowing us here so far below,

To know Him and to show

Us how far we have fallen,

While giving hope of heaven.

Truly God is holy, holy, holy!

Just as true "Woe is me!"

Only God's love and grace

Can compel me to face,

Jesus, born of human mother, 

Imaging the Only, Holy Other.

Hope Ellen Rapson

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

This Christmas, consider His infant hands.


This poem about the Incarnation of Jesus, fully human and fully God, is offered as a Christmas poem by Hope Ellen Rapson.


With his infant hands,

All stars are held in place.

The brightest one stands,

To shine upon the face

Of Him who expands

And orders all matter, space.

So emptied---into finite man,

Here born, lays Eternal Grace.

Bound now within time’s span,

His flesh-clad feet will trace,

An ancient redemptive plan

To re-create Adam’s race---

With His Infinite Hands.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

An Extremely Versatile Author


Rayanne Sinclair (Anne Ball) spoke about her books in October to a Seattle-based Book Club. The series has four titles: Steal Away (set in Scotland); Beso Dulce (set in Mexico); Page Turner (set in a Midwestern University), and Flight Risk (set in Alaska). Talk about versatility!

Click on the links to read reviews. 

Anne's most recent book, The Companion, is a novella that pulls the heartstrings. It is published under the pseudonym Pad Brotherton because it is as unlike the first four books as the sun is from the moon. 

The protagonist is Libby Stamas, a wealthy Colorado Springs widow, who hires Will Westfall, a graduate student, to visit with her several times a week. In addition to learning about Libby’s painful life history, Will finds there is something else quite unusual about her. She has vision into the spiritual realm―what she calls “the other side.” What starts as a side job to pay the bills turns into a life-changing experience for Will, the companion. He is at first skeptical, then intrigued, and, ultimately, a believer in more than just Libby’s abilities when one of her visions portends his premature death.

A story deeply focused on the single relationship between Libby and Will, The Companion raises questions about how people deal with the past and present in light of the future. It presses readers to consider contemporary social constructs in new ways as Libby’s painful life story becomes a springboard for Will to grow and identify his own needs.

Readers from all walks of life will enjoy these novels. I know I did!

Alice C. Linsley