Monday, January 30, 2017

Honoring Our Parents Vs. Following Our Dreams

Does loving God mean I have to agree with my parents?

          A few months ago, my family had a discussion about me working at a camp as a teen counselor. The problem was, Dad, and Mom agreed that I should go, but I didn’t think I should.
          I had so many great reasons why I shouldn’t go. I mean if I went, I would have to miss out on some ministry opportunities here at home. And am I really qualified to be a counselor? I mean kids look up to their counselors . . . would I be a good example? I’m nineteen and the idea of being in charge of a room full of teenage girls sounds CRAZY!
          I had so many fears and concerns, I didn’t want to go and I didn’t feel like God was giving me any reasons to go, but my parents wanted me to go. We’ve all faced situations like this before.
Your parents don’t want you listening to a certain kind of music, but you don’t think there’s anything wrong with it and God hasn’t told you not to listen to it. Or maybe it’s more serious. Maybe your parents want you to marry someone, or don’t want you to marry someone, and you don’t agree with them. Shouldn’t God give you directions that agreed with your parents’ wishes?
         You’ve all heard people say things like ‘You can’t let your family run my life. It’s your life, and you need to make your own decisions’. But is that really right? Yes, we wanted to make our own decisions, but we can’t really ignore our parents’ wishes either.
        So I began doing some serious thinking. I asked myself what the most important thing in my life should be, and I came to the conclusion, that the Bible is right. The greatest command is to love the Lord with ALL of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I knew that was what I wanted. But how does that relate to listening to my parents?
        The Bible says in John14:15, that if we love God, we WILL keep HIS commandments. The Bible commands us to honor and obey our parents, so therefore, if we love God, we will keep his commandment and honor and obey our parents. You’ll notice, if you study the Bible, that it doesn’t say we only have to honor our parents when they deserve it. Neither does it say that we only have to honor and obey them until we’re over eighteen and then we can do what we want. It doesn’t give any excuses, just a command. Honor your parents.
        So I came to the conclusion, that if I love God, I will obey His commandments and honor and obey my parents all the time. The only exception being when a parent commands you to do something that is forbidden in the Bible. Like if your parents tell you to steal, then you don’t have to obey because the Bible says in Acts 5:29 ‘…we ought to obey God rather than men.’ But if you have saved parents, you shouldn’t have to deal with that.
        I studied the Scriptures and there wasn’t a single verse that told me NOT to go to camp. So even though I wasn’t at peace about it, and I wasn’t excited about it, I sent in an application with faith that if God didn’t want me to go, He wouldn’t let me get accepted. It was what my parent wanted, and to love God, I had to keep His commandments by obeying my parents.
        Then I got accepted. At first I was a little bewildered. I mean didn’t God know that I wasn’t supposed to be accepted? Then it all clicked. God’s not so concerned with which ministry I’m working with, as He is with my attitude about it. God wasn’t trying to make me doubt myself; He was trying to help me learn to trust. Now, I’m EXCITED about going to camp this summer! I can’t wait to see how God’s going to work in my life, and how He’s going to use me to work in the lives of others! Yet even with this lesson, I still don’t always do exactly what my parents want me to do without questioning them. Yes, I SHOULD always do what my parents want me to do without questioning them.

        It sounds crazy, that as a young adult, I would feel like we ought to honor our parents’ decisions in a day when young people are told to follow their dreams. It’s your life to live, and don’t let others tell you how to live it! Yes, I believe we should pursue the dreams God gives us, but I believe before our dreams, should come our obedience to the obvious commands in Scripture. Because it’s when we obey God, that we love God. And loving God is the GREATEST command of all.

    How are you doing with keeping the Greatest Commandment? Are you loving God? Are you keeping His commands? Are you honoring your parents?

Monday, January 23, 2017

What I Wish I'd Known Then . . . and What I Know Now

Today is the one year anniversary for my blog! I originally started this blog to share writing tips and the like, and although I haven’t done real well with sticking to that, I decided to do it today to celebrate the anniversary of this blog. So here are some things that I wish I had known when I started seriously writing at the age of thirteen, that I know now.

         1. Being a writer, does NOT mean that you have to be weird! As a young writer, I loved the idea that I was weird because I liked to write. I loved getting strange looks from people because I would talk out loud to my characters and because I talked about weird things. Now, I realize that being a writer is no different than being a builder, or a musician, or a grocery store worker. It’s what I do. I enjoy my work and there’s nothing weird about that. Some people talk about cars, or music, or art. I talk about writing. I don’t have to be weird to be a writer. Like all jobs, it has it's different sides, (like you see in my 'You Know You're a Writer' post,) but that doesn't mean it's weird.

         2. It’s okay to let people read what you write! Do you remember my blog post about my notebooks? I was TERRIFIED that someone would see what I had written! Now, although I still get nervous when people read what I write, I’ve learned that it’s not the end of the world. It’s actually VERY helpful getting people’s feedback. If you have people in your life willing to read your writings, be thankful for that! Not everyone has that.

       3. Criticism is a GOOD thing! To be honest, I still don’t like people tearing my writings apart, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t mean they hate me. When someone takes the time to give you honest feedback, don’t get mad at them and think they’re being mean. It takes honesty to give an honest opinion, and if someone will honestly critique your writings, you’re VERY blessed.

     4. Your family is always right. If you’ve ever written something, and then your whole family told you that this one part of it was unrealistic, then they’re probably right. Even if it’s your favorite part. When I started writing and my family gave me feedback, I thought they were wrong. But the more I write, the more I realize that if they think something isn’t written right, then any other reader I may get, will probably think the same thing. It hurts sometimes, changing  a scene that I really like, but I’ve never regretted any of the changes my family’s told me to make, no matter how grievous it seemed at the time.

      5. Prayer is REALLY important while writing. When I started writing, I didn’t pray much about what I was writing, now, my motto has become, ‘Write Hard, but Pray Harder’. If we’re not praying about our writings, we’re not as likely to learn from them, and trust me; I’ve learned some HUGE lessons while writing.

     6. It’s okay to write things that you know you’re going to have to change. For example, when I started writing, there were days when I wouldn’t get anything written because I HAD to find the perfect name for a character. Now, I’ll just tag the first name that comes to mind onto the character and keep going. Then when I’m done, I’ll often go back and change it, or sometimes, I find that the name has grown on me and it’s actually perfect for the character.

     7. There are more important things than writing. If you’re an avid writer you’re probably glaring at me right now, but seriously, writing isn’t everything. It’s more important to have a good relationship with your family. It’s more important to do your chores, and it’s WAY more important to do your devotions! No matter how much you love writing, it should never get in the way of the direct commands God has given in Scripture. He didn’t command you in the Bible to write an epic fantasy novel, but He did command you to obey your parents.

     8. Being an author, is harder than being a writer. When I was thirteen and I was dreaming about being published, I imagined it to be a lot like my current writing life, only then I would have readers. Now I know that, there’s way more to being an author than to being a writer. As an author, you have to have a platform. You have to be willing to be a salesmen, and you have to be willing to leave your precious writings to interact with others. Marketing, advertising, getting your name out there, it’s hard, it can be expensive, but it’s the reality of being an author. People won’t buy your book just because it’s published.

      9. Getting a Biblical message into a book can be the hardest part. I didn’t want to have long sermons typed out in the middle of a kidnapping drama, but I also didn’t want anyone to be able to read it and come away without knowing the message. Now there is NOTHING wrong with pausing a story to teach something, but if you’re trying to intertwine the spiritual lesson into the plot, it can get really hard and complicated. It’s not as easy as it should be, but since it’s the most important part, we shouldn’t expect it to be easy.

    10. The first rough draft is just the beginning. I’ll never forget the feeling I got when I finished writing out my first book in a notebook. I was ecstatic! I had written a book! Then I had to type it out and I began changing things. Suddenly, writing the first draft wasn’t such a big deal. By the eighth draft, I wanted to give up, but I learned that as hard as editing is, it’s where a real manuscript is made.

What it looked like when I started writing . . .

What it look's like now.

I hope this was helpful! If you’re looking at this list going, “Wow! I’m not so sure I like writing anymore,” take heart. It’s in the storms that God walks on water. God makes beauty from ashes, When we’re weak, then HE is shown to be strong!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Thought for Today.

I read this quote the other day and thought it was a question we should all ask ourselves.

    "If my life was the only evidence that Christ was risen from the dead, would anyone be convinced?"

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ten Things You Should Write . . . Even if You're Not a Writer.

      I believe that whether you’re a writer or not, you should be writing. That DOESN’T mean you have to write books, or volumes about your life, but I think you should write at least one of the following things this year.

1.  Letters. (Who doesn’t like getting letters? Just think of all of the people you could influence for Christ through writing.)

2. Letters to long? Write short notes! There are a lot of older people who are lonely. There are a lot of parents who need encouragement. There’s a lot of young people, (even children) who could use some mentoring. One note from you, could really encourage someone and help them through a hard time.

3. Write a journal. That DOESN’T mean that you need to write loooooong journal or diary entries. But you may find that looking back on the journeys’ God’s led you might really help encourage you. Writing even once a week is good way to keep track of what God's been doing in your life.

4. Start a prayer journal. Being able to look back at answered prayers is always a huge encouragement.

5.  Write Scripture out. If you’re trying to memorize, writing really helps to learn it. However, even if you aren’t memorizing, (which you should always do!) writing Scripture is always a good thing! Write on note cards that you can post around the house. Post encouraging verses in front of the dish sink, or by the bathroom sink. Write out verses on bookmarks.

6. Write encouraging quotes in obvious places where you’ll see them often and be reminded to serve God.

7. Write thank you cards. No matter how small a service is, it’s nice to know that people appreciate it, so remember to thank people. Write notes for people when they give you something, or do something nice for you.

8.  Write sermon notes. If you struggle with paying attention during a service, writing sermon notes can really help.

9. Write lists. Do you have any trouble getting things done in the day? Write down goals and try to accomplish them. Sometimes having a simple list can keep a day on track and help us remember little things that we’re prone to forgetting.

10. Write down what you’re reading in the Bible. If you struggle with reading the Bible, writing down what you’ve read can help you realize how often you miss. If you’re really struggling. Consider finding a friend who will also write down what they’ve been reading, and then switch notebooks every week. It’s a great way to keep each other accountable.

So even if you’re not a writer. Find something to write! Writing will improve your writing of course, but it will also help you appreciate other people more, and it will make you a better reader. J

(And no, this is NOT ALL of my notebooks!)

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Book update - Mission of a Lifetime is still going through the publishing process. If you're wondering when it's going to be out . . .  I can't really tell you because I'm not sure yet. Aren't I so helpful!:)

Writing update - What have I been writing since Mission of a Lifetime is out of my hands? I've just printed off a complete draft of my Inch by Inch - Writings a Cinch! a unit study on writing fiction for beginning writers. Although I've still got some editing to do, I'm excited that it's progressing nicely. My sister has completed the comics for it and I think that they're AMAZING! Thank you, Hosanna!

       I'm also working on a short story for . . . well, I can't tell you about that one yet.
       And I'm also trying to figure out which novel I'm going to complete next. I've written parts of four different books from four totally different genres. Although I like them all, I'm not sure yet whether I really want to complete any of them, or if there's something else I should be writing about. I could use prayer for wisdom on knowing what to write next.

Health update - As some of you may know, I've been sick off and on since end of November. First it was strep throat, and then I got a cold . . . which developed into bronchitis, and now, although I'm recovering from bronchitis, I'm still fighting a cough. Yesterday, I ended up going into the chiropractor for a dislocated rib caused by my coughing. I could definitely use prayer for a recovery as well. Coughing with a sore rib is . . . well, not very fun.

For someone like me who's never really had any clinic-visit-worthy illnesses in my life, it was an adventure to visit the clinic. Especially since, before they examined me and knew that I wasn't contagious, they had me where a mask. :)

Weather update - We had some good snows, and now the temperature has dropped to the negative digits which is very normal for northern Minnesota this time of year. Our patio has collected a nice snow drift or two.

Farm update - The snow makes checking fences a little more difficult and since some of the cows wanted to be in a pen with some of the other cows, we have had a few problems with the cows getting out . . . 

Spiritual update - In my devotions, I just finished reading through the book of Nehemiah. If you don't have a time set aside to read your Bible every day, you REALLY need to get one. I'm not always very good at reading my Bible EVERY day, but when I do read it every day, even if I'm not 'getting much out of it' so to speak, it helps me anyways. 
     When I look at the past few years, I find myself summing them up with different words depending on what God was teaching me. 2014-15 was 'Thankfulness,' but when I look at 2015-16 I honestly feel like the best phrase to sum it up was 'spiritually dry.' We all have times like that in our Spiritual lives. Times where we don't feel like we're growing. Times where everything seems harder than it should. But someone once explained to me about some seeds that, once planted, lie in the ground for years without any obvious life, and then suddenly, one day, they grow into huge trees at an incredibly fast rate. The secret is, during those years that the seed seems lifeless from the top of the soil, it's growing an amazing root system, so when the time is right for the plant to grow above the ground, the roots can sustain it. 
    So if you've had a spiritually 'dry' year, don't fret. Persevere, trust God, and stay faithful. It may be that God is trying to strengthen your roots.

   I could go on and give you updates in all kinds of other areas of my life, but to spare you the boredom of having to read them, I'll sign off for now. Until next time, this is Priscilla J. Krahn reminding you to stay thankful in EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Frencolian Chronicles need our help!

  I know I ought to be doing a 'New Year's post' but, (although that may come eventually) I decided against it today.
     For today, I need help with one of my absolute favorite sets of books. The Frencolian Chronicles by Carolyn Ann Aish.
   For those of you who aren't familiar with them, there's six books in the series so far.  Which is why I'm posting this today. I read the first six books years ago. (and many times since then) and ever since I read them, I've been looking forward to the next book coming out. After years of waiting, the next book may be coming soon if it gets enough nominations. So if you have an Amazon account, I would love it if you could go to the this link and nominate it.

   If you haven't read the first six books, I highly recommend them! My only caution is that if you're a younger reader, you might want to read with caution as there are some intense scenes. The book below, Treasures, was the first book I read in the series and I was totally hooked from page one. Following the life of Jobyna and her brother Luke, Treasures is filled with drama and excitement. Through captivity, cruel treatment, and trials of all sorts, Jobyna learns what it means to have the peace that comes from God. I was really encouraged in my spiritual life by Jobyna's example and her dedication to the Bible. We never realize how precious our Bible is until it's taken away. As I read it, I found myself asking myself if I would have been brave enough to stand up for the truth in the situations that Jobyna is in.

So please, go nominate the next book so that we can find out what happens in Secrets!