Monday, March 28, 2016

Another Excerpt:)

  Things are coming along very well on the finishing up stages of Never Forget! Here's another excerpt from it. It's taken from the end of chapter eleven. I hope you enjoy it:)

I reached for one of the root cellar’s doors, and pulled. The hinges creaked in resistance and I felt like I had just rung a door bell. If anyone was in the root cellar they would know I was coming.

As I slowly walked down the stairs into the cellar I chided myself for not bringing a flashlight.

I was halfway down the stairs when the cellar door slammed above my head and I was shrouded in pitch blackness.

I inhaled sharply. I knew it wasn’t windy enough to blow the door shut, so unless I didn’t prop it up right… someone else had shut me in.

I froze in place and didn’t dare move. I listened for any sound, but all I heard was a scuttling in the corner. I clutched the railing and something small ran across my hand.

I threw my other hand across my mouth to keep back a scream. When I let go of my crutch, I heard a loud clatter as it fell the rest of the way down the steps.

I was frozen in horror. I needed to get my crutch but I had no desire to descend the steps in utter darkness when I knew there had to be mice. Maybe even rats.

I slipped back up the stairs. Maybe I could re-open the door, and let the light in.

I held out my hands, and I finally felt the door. I pushed with all my might, but nothing budged.

“Philip?” I yelled. “Open the door!”

It had to be Philip, didn’t it? If it wasn’t Philip, than who was it?

In books, the people trapped like this always bang their fists against the door and demand to be let out. I thought about doing that, but I wasn’t sure if anyone had really locked me in. For all I knew, it could have been my own carelessness.

Waiting for something to happen, I stood still and did nothing. After what felt like an eternity, I decided to go down and get my crutch.

Climbing stairs without my crutch was a challenge, but as I forced my left leg to move, it rose to the challenge and did what I needed it to do.

When my feet finally hit the dirt floor, I slowly kicked my foot around trying to feel for my crutch. I couldn’t find it anywhere.

There wasn’t even a sliver of light anywhere in the room, and I was starting to get claustrophobic. I reached down to feel along the floor for my crutch, but my fingers felt something furry. By the time I realized it wasn’t moving I was already running the other way.

My directions were all turned around, and I didn’t remember which way the stairs were. I tried to shake the feeling that I was all alone in a dark root cellar with a furry creature, but it wouldn’t go away.

I remembered touching the fur, and how the animal didn’t move, and an image of the dead squirrel under the porch flashed into my mind. I rubbed my hand like crazy across my leg as if I could wipe the feeling of the fur into my skirt.

I stumbled around trying to find the stairs. If I were in a book, I suppose I would have magically found an old lantern, but I didn’t find any such thing. Instead, I smelled a brand of men’s cologne that I hadn’t smelled in years. It reminded me of the bank where Uncle Keith had worked. The rich men had worn that type of cologne.
        I reached out to feel the way, and I felt something warm in front of me. Something bigger than me, and something live, and it definitely wasn’t Philip...

Monday, March 21, 2016

What writing has taught me about God being in control.

When I was writing 'Adventures of Amy' book four, (Never Forget,) I said something to my sister. I'm not sure what my exact wording was but it was something like this...

    "It sure is stressful being in control of so many people. I mean I have to decide everything about my characters... their gender, their hair color, where they live, how they talk, if they live or die and... well EVERYTHING! I'm sure glad God's in control of real people because it's hard work making these decisions."

 That got me thinking about all the little things God has to plan about each and every one of us. I mean God has to decide when we live and die, what we look like, what family we have and tons of other things.

  We often like to have control over some of these things, but next time you feel like God's not being fair with you and you wish he would change the way He made you or something, just remember that it's God's love for you that doesn't let you have control over every area of your life. God knows that we would get worn out really fast if we had control over some things in our lives and I think it's best for us to just leave them to God and trust Him.

  I heard a quote the other day, not sure where it came from, but it says, "When God pushes you to the cliff edge of your life and you can't hold on any more, relax... God will either catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly." I think to often we complain about circumstances in our lives that we have no control over, when really, we should be thanking God for providing opportunities for us to grow in grace.

   You may look at the circumstances in your life and doubt God's love, but we're not supposed to be caught up in life's circumstances. We're supposed to keep our eyes on Jesus, and when the cross is always in sight, doubting God's love shouldn't happen. I heard someone say once, "I'm doing the best I can, under the circumstances." The real question is, "What are you doing under the circumstances?" We shouldn't be bogged down by circumstances! God's in control, you don't have to worry.

We can't always see God's hand, but rest assured, it's there.

   On another note, you'll be glad to hear that things are coming along with the 'Adventures of Amy' and I'm not just sitting here eating chocolate. I really am working on them but it will still be a little while before I'm done with them. At this point, they could be out anywhere from two weeks to several months, so yeah... I'm not really sure. Right now, I'm waiting for my editors.

   As I wait for things to fall in place with the 'Adventures of Amy' I've been working on my rough draft for my next project. It's still a secret what it is but I'm half done with the first rough draft and it's really rough at this point.

    I hope you all have a blessed week as you "Trust in the Lord with ALL thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

Monday, March 14, 2016

Erica's Desicion

Here's another short story I wrote a while back. Hope you enjoy!


I glanced across the supper table at Dad. How was the best way to ask him? I sighed, and decided to just ask and get it over with.

“Kelly’s parents are taking her and some friends to an amusement park for her birthday. I’m invited. May I go?” I reached up and twisted a strand of my brown hair to keep my hand from trembling. I just knew that the answer was going to be no.

Dad picked up his coffee mug and took a long drink. Finally he glanced up. “Do you think it would be wise for you to spend that much time with them?” Dad asked. “You know they’re not Christians.”

“She knows that I’m a Christian,” I said. “They respect that.”

“Does she know what a Christian is?” Dad asked.                       

I shrugged. “If I go, maybe I’ll get the chance to tell her.”

Dad was silent for a bit and then he looked me in the eye. “Erica, you’re only fourteen and I wouldn’t normally allow you to go.” Dad paused again. “However I know you’ve been lonesome since your brothers went on that mission’s trip.” Dad made eye contact with Mom for a bit and then he turned back to me. “It’s fine with me.”

“Oh thank you, Dad! May I go call Kelly now?”

“Go ahead,” Mom said.

“Thanks, Mom.” I jumped to my feet and brought my plate to the kitchen. My heart felt light as I headed to my room. I called Kelly on my cell phone and waited for her to answer.

“Hey, Erica,” Kelly answered.

“They said yes! I can go!”

“Oh, that's great! We're going to have a ton of fun. We're lined up to stay at a hotel with a water park, and restaurants, and everything right in the same building!”

I paused when she said that. “There isn’t a casino attached is there?”

“There is, but we won’t be going there. Did I tell you who else is going?” Kelly asked abruptly changing the subject. Although I tried, I couldn’t forget what she had said. It changed everything.

 All my excitement had washed away. If I didn’t tell my parents about the casino, they would never know, but was that right? To make matters worse, we were going to be gone over a Sunday. Is it right for me to miss church just to have fun? I wondered. I told myself that it was all for the better. Now I would have a chance to ask about church, but the guilty feeling didn’t leave me. I wanted more than anything to silence my conscience. Besides, I had already told Kelly that I was going.

That night during family devotions, I couldn’t even look at Dad as he read from the Bible. I knew I should tell them, yet how could I? Mom and Dad were so proud of my brothers as they were off sharing the gospel, and here I was planning on going to a casino. I couldn’t bear the thought of them being ashamed of me.

After devotions, I went to my room. I had just crawled into bed, when there was a knock on my bedroom door.

“Anything you want to talk about, Erica?” Dad asked sitting down on the edge of my bed.

“No, Sir.” I looked away.

“I don't know what you're thinking, Erica, but you don’t seem yourself. You’re only ever going to be happy, if you're doing God’s will. Oh, you might have fun temporarily, but it's never worth compromising. In the end, you always get hurt. Do you get what I'm trying to say?”

“Yes, sir. I think so.”

“I love you, Erica.” he said, hugging me. “See you in the morning, Sweetie.”

“Night, Dad. Thanks.”

“That's what I'm here for. Good night.” He gently shut the door behind him.

After he left, I read a few chapters from my Bible, and then I prayed. “God, please give me courage to do what’s right. Help me be a good example to Kelly. Amen.”

I didn’t want to do it, but I knew what I had to do.

*   *   *

First thing the next morning, I called Kelly. She didn’t understand why I couldn’t go, but she did listen as I shared how Jesus had died for her.

“Whatever,” she said when I was done. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. A water park and an amusement park, everything for nearly a week and it's free for you. You would give that up just because of a conviction?”

“I can't in good conscience go to a place that supports casinos, but I'll pray for you guys.”

“I still don’t get what the big deal is,” Kelly said. “It’s not like we’re going to be drinking and gambling.”

“I know,” I said, “but even if we’re not doing that, other people there are doing that, and I can’t be a part of that. I don’t want people to see me there and think that it’s okay for them to go because they might not know that I didn’t enter the casino part. They might think that it’s okay to be involved in things like that.”       

With that phone call done, I hurried downstairs for breakfast.

“You seem happy this morning, Erica. What are you up to?” Mom asked from the breakfast table.

“Nothing, Mom, but there is something I need to tell you guys. I won't be going with Kelly.”               

“Why's that?” Mom asked.

“I found out that we were going to be staying at a hotel that’s attached to a casino. You’ve always taught me to abstain from all appearance of evil, and to not support things like that.” I lowered my gaze. “I'm ashamed to admit it, but I was considering going anyways and not telling you about it.”

“That thought made you unhappy too,” Dad said gently. “Your mother and I knew about the casino, but we wanted to let you make the decision based on what you know to be right. We're very proud of you. You’ll never regret it.”

“You're so right, Dad. When I thought about hiding it from you, I felt awful. I feel so much better now that it’s behind me. Thank you so much for teaching me God's word.”

“I'm proud to see you growing into a dependable adult.”

“I'm only fourteen.”

“Yet you’re already standing up for what’s right. You may even get the opportunity to lead Kelly to the Lord. I'm blessed to have a daughter like you.”

“I'm blessed to have a dad like you. With the Lord's help, I'll try to always make right decisions.”

                                                                                The End.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fiction vs. Non-Fiction

     I read an interesting article this last week about the battle between Non-fiction and fiction.
 You've all heard people say, "I never read fiction!" and you've heard people say, "I only read fiction!"
     Where is the balance? I mean we all know it's not good to live with our head in the clouds. It seems like the world is full of people who live in an imaginary world and because of it they have unrealistic views on life. We don't want that... we don't want to live for things that don't matter.
    Is reading non-fiction even worth the time? I mean when we're on our deathbed, are we going to regret having spent the time reading the books we read? Are we going to wish that we had spent our time reading more profitable things?
    Obviously everyone has different convictions and opinions on the matter. I know people who won't hardly touch a book besides their Bible, and others who will read anything they can get their hands on. So if you don't agree with my conclusion, that's okay.
    The Bible is without a doubt the most important book anyone can ever read.

I could give you a lot of quotes from the founding fathers about how important the Bible is, but I think the most powerful statements are in the Bible itself.

     If we have the Bible, we don't need anything else. So what does the Bible say about reading other books? The Bible is very clear that we're supposed to learn from the mistakes and victories of others. We're supposed to listen to the counsel of those who have served God before us. I don't know about you, but I feel like God has taught me a lot through the lives of others through the books that they wrote. So yes, I think it's okay if we read God honoring non-fiction. God wants us to learn from the wisdom of others.  Proverbs 1:5 "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:"

  So where does fiction fall in? I know people who regret having wasted hours reading books that were useless. They didn't learn anything from them, they were simply amusing. If all fiction does is amuse us, then it is a waste of time. However there are times when fiction teaches you lessons that reality obscures.
    When Jesus wanted to get a point across, He often used metaphors, or parables. Because stories are often easier for people to connect with. You can tell us to be kind to our neighbors, but until you show us a man lying on the side of the road from an enemy country that needs help, it doesn't mean as much to us. But when we see the man in need, we realize what it really means to love our neighbor as ourselves. Fiction that makes us think through Biblical things, is good. Fiction that tells us what to think, is a waste of time.

  I guess fiction or non-fiction, it all comes down to this; What does it provoke in your heart? If it provokes you to good works, then great! If it doesn't challenge you to do good, then it's a waste of time.

For me personally, I've found that I need both fiction and non-fiction. "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand." Philippians 4:5
    Non-fiction inspires my mind and gives me facts to work with. Fiction inspires my heart and makes me feel more personal about things.

    I've read a lot of books in my life and looking back, I've been changed for the better because of the books I've read. When I was young, I went through a stage where I actually didn't like reading. I felt too old for the picture books but everything else seemed boring. Then I read a Hardy Boy book. Now I know the Hardy Boy books are probably not going to inspire anyone to do great things so for the majority of people, they're probably a waste of time. However they did something for me that I'm very grateful for. Because I read that Hardy Boy book, I wanted to read more. I read all of the ones we had and when I was done, I had learned to enjoy reading. Because I learned to enjoy reading, I was open to reading other books, including some non-fiction books that inspired me and changed my life.
     It was through a fiction book that I got convicted about not reading my Bible when I was younger. It was through a fiction book that I first felt the need to hand out gospel tracts, and it was through a fiction book that I really learned what it meant to be completely honest.

    So what about you? Have you read any fiction books that have really inspired you?

   Until next time, this is Priscilla J. Krahn reminding you to keep your mind stayed on Christ!

  (Also be sure to take the poll at the top of the sidebar. Thanks!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sneak Peak

Here's an excerpt from Never Forget, book four in the "Adventures of Amy" series. I know it's not very long, but I hope you enjoy it!

Chapter 1
Late Night Excursions
A car door slammed and my eyes flew open. I glanced at the clock. Two-thirty in the morning.

Grabbing my crutches, I swung into the hall as quietly as I could.

Gravel crunched under car tires on the driveway, and the back door opened and closed.

I positioned myself in the hall so that no one could get past me. Or rather, no one could get past my crutches. I leaned against the wall, and held my crutches out. Bracing them between the bars on the railing at the top of the stairs, I waited.

Footsteps ascended the stairs. The hall was dark, but I was ready. Three nights in a row I had seen Brent sneak out and go for a drive in a strange car. Each time they had been gone for at least two hours.

I had told Dad and Mom, but they either didn’t believe me, or didn’t think it was a big deal, or maybe they just didn’t want to act worried. Whatever it was, they hadn’t said a word to me about it since I had told them. It was just too much. I was going to do something about it.

He wouldn’t get away with it for long. I was going to find out where he was going.

There was a grunt as he bumped into my crutch, and a fumbling in the dark.

I opened my mouth to speak when his flashlight clicked on and nearly blinded me.

“Put that down!” I groaned. “You’re blinding me.”

“What are you doing out here?” he asked, lowering the flashlight beam.

I leaned forward. “The better question is what are you doing out here?” I asked.

Brent shrugged. “Nothing much.”

“Nothing much?” I asked. “I wonder what Mom and Dad would say if they knew you were sneaking out in the middle of the night to go for drives with strangers.”

I was hoping to scare Brent into telling me the truth, but he didn’t seem to mind if I told Mom and Dad. He simply shrugged again.

“Don’t you get it?” I asked. “You’re going to be in trouble for sneaking out like this.”

Brent shook his head. “Mom and Dad know about it.”

I inhaled sharply. “They know you’re sneaking out in the middle of the night and they don’t care?”

Brent frowned. “They care. More than you know.”

“Who was driving that car, and where did they take you?” I asked.

It had been a year since Brent had become my brother. One long and glorious year. I didn’t think he knew anyone in the area well enough to sneak out at night with them. I knew he didn’t have any close friends outside of the family.

Brent reached out and un-propped my crutch. “Go to bed,” he whispered, and he headed down the hall. Pausing in front of the boys’ room he looked back at me. “Good-night, Amy. Don’t worry about it.”

I stood there like a stone pillar. Don’t worry about it? I thought. I most certainly will worry about it.

With nothing better to do I went back to bed, but couldn’t sleep.

Why had Brent been sneaking out at night? I knew he liked being a part of our family. I liked having him a part of my family, but I worried about him. Oh, he was healthier than he had ever been. His face wasn’t sickly, greyish-white any more. Instead, he was well tanned and healthy. His black hair was so thick you would never have guessed that only a year before he had been bald from chemo treatments. Yes, he was healthy and happy, but lately, he had seemed slightly distant.

It was strange. The last week, he had spent a lot of time by himself and he hadn’t been his normal self, yet he seemed happy. I slowly drifted off to sleep. We would sort this out in the morning...