Coexist, novella, Anna Tan

Anna Tan – Faith, Fantasy and Changing the World, One Story at a Time (Guest Post)

I am very excited to welcome Anna Tan to my blog today. She and I connected several years ago (through either the A-Z Blogging Challenge, or the Writers Platform Building Campaign, I can’t remember which!) and she has recently published her novella – Coexist. I have read it, and it is excellent, and my review will be up next week.

Anna and I are of similar minds when it comes to how our writing and faith entwine – especially since both of us prefer to write fantasy, and so I hope you enjoy this post! Make sure you hang out until the end for some goodies!

Faith, Fantasy and changing the world, one story at a time.

‘Mythologies… are products of imagination in the sense that their content is imaginative. The more imaginative ones are “near the mark” in the sense that they communicate more Reality to us.’
C. S. Lewis, Personal letter

If I were to point at one writer that has influenced me the most, I would have to point to CS Lewis. Partially because I attribute my start to writing to The Horse and His Boy, but also because I admire the way he weaves his faith into the Chronicles of Narnia and the Space Trilogy. As I grew older, some of these became painfully obvious, in the way that people dismiss his stories as “allegory,” but on a child’s level, it was beautiful and eye-opening, a window into understanding the world – and spiritual truths – through story.  Continue reading “Anna Tan – Faith, Fantasy and Changing the World, One Story at a Time (Guest Post)”

Three Marys at the Tomb, Waiting for the Word, William Bouguereau

YCN Archives – Death, Where is Your Sting?

I used to write for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, which later became Yahoo! Voices, and is now non-existent altogether. Periodically, posts may appear that are my articles I wrote for YCN, and they will be labeled as “YCN Archives.”

Original publish date: April 5, 2011

It may be cliché, but Christmas and Easter are the two holidays my family anticipates the most. For me, as a Christian, my life revolves around these two events. If it’s not Christmas, I’m thinking about Easter, and if it’s not Easter, I’m thinking about Christmas. With these two holidays constantly in mind – they are, after all, the two defining events of Christianity – when I read through my Bible, certain verses stand out to me all the time.

The account in Genesis 22, when Abraham was willing to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord is one of the first I encounter. It is a direct picture of what God would do through Jesus on the cross, providing His Son to be the Lamb, especially in verses 6-8:

“So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.”

Reading about the institution of Passover in Exodus 12 always brings Easter to mind as well, because Jesus was crucified on Passover. After the lamb had been slaughtered, the instructions in Exodus 12:7 read:

“And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they eat it.”

Imagine a doorway with blood on each doorposts and on the top. Think of Christ’s pierced hands, spread wide, and the crown of thorns on His head.

Besides the account in Luke of Christ’s Resurrection (Chapter 24) where Mary Magdalene interacts with the Risen Christ outside the tomb, my favorite Easter scripture is 1 Corinthians 15:54-55:

“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

My favorite Easter Scripture verses may be unique, but they are my reminders of the sacrifice of Christ. He was my Sacrificial Lamb who defeated death.

Three Marys at the Tomb, Waiting for the Word, William Bouguereau
Inspired by “Three Marys at the Tomb”
Original Artist: William Bouguereau. Picture by: Waiting for the Word. Permissions: CC BY 2.0

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come – My Favorite Hymns

Previous Hymns:

The Old Rugged Cross
All Things Bright and Beautiful

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

This hymn was written by Henry Alford in 1844.

The entire hymn itself is one wonderful example of the foremost thing I love about hymns – the symbolism, and the richness of the tradition of faith behind them.

The song is broken into three parts, essentially, despite the fact that it is four verses.

The first verse is simply thanksgiving – gratitude for the bounty that will see people through the winter, quite literally in those days.

The second and third verses tie into parables that Jesus told, the relevant ones can be found in Matthew 13.

The final verse of the song looks forward to Christ’s return, when the Harvest of Believers is fulfilled.