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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/16/2020 in all areas

  1. 4 points
  2. 3 points
    So don't be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31 (HCSB) As I am preparing this devotional, the price of gold is $1,467.25 per ounce. (Hmmm...I could use five ounces of it right now, but that is beside the point.) This price will go up or down depending on various economic factors that I will not discuss. Needless to say, gold is a valuable metal. Yet, there is one asset that is more valuable than gold. The value of this asset does not change with time. It is not platinum even though that is a reasonable guess. This asset is us. Us? Yes, us. Jesus makes it perfectly clear that we are more valuable than many sparrows. So, how much is a bunch of sparrows worth? It really does not matter. The key word in today's devotional verse is "are". We are highly valuable to God. So, how valuable are we to God? We are so valuable to God that He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Then, God raised Jesus up from the dead on the third day to give us all hope of eternal life if we choose to believe in Him. I encourage you to thank God for seeing you as highly valuable to Him. May God bless you today and every day!
  3. 3 points
    I find that there is a certain beauty to simplicity. Like the artist who drew a perfect circle freehand, to show their skill. That being said, writing is like cooking. No one wants a cake that is super sickly sweet, and no one wants to be eating flavorless hardtack every day, all day. They want sweet and salty, sweet and spicy,-salty-spicy-earthy...you get the general idea, Like cooking, writing a paragraph requires variety. I'll never forget reading Eragon. Everyone was touting that book, mainly because it was written by a kid. Although it was technically good, each and every sentence had the same cadence over, and over, and over...and over again. It was so redundant that I put the book away after three chapters. By the second chapter, I was almost begging for a run-on, or a truncated statement - anything to kill the monotony. I tend to write a lot of run-ons, that I go back and fix in a polish pass. Some of them I keep. The last thing I want a reader to do is to hear that steady, monotonous "drip, drip, drip," of uniformity in every sentence I write. (Of course, they made a movie out of Eragon. I've yet to get published. Take that for what it is...)
  4. 2 points
  5. 2 points
    The only idea I have is nothing original. It's simply know your genre. Each genre has it's own set of styles and reader expectations. These also change over time. I recommend reading the current best-sellers in your genre, even if you have to choke down every word. I'm NOT advocating copying writing styles. Rather, compare any similarities in things like overall structure, tense, POV, word count, chapter length, average paragraph length, sentence structure. Also compare plot structure, pacing, character development, and genre tropes. Again, not I'm not advocating copying an authors writing style, or ideas, but get an understanding of the overall framework that you need to write within. Also, these suggestions skew to fiction as that's what I write. I imagine non-fiction has it's own subset of genre frameworks. Why not? If you understand the genre framework, then you can bend the rules and shake things up a bit. That could be how your writing style stands out from the others. Not to toot my own horn, but one of my books took a genre trope in a different direction. I started in the usual framework and then changed things up. This was noted by a Publishers Weekly review that concluded: "This is an intriguing new slant on apocalyptic fiction, and fans who are tempted to snub it because it breaks away from genre expectations should set aside their concerns; they're likely to enjoy it far more than they expect." Music to my ears. The only other idea I have is to consider releasing your book in audiobook format. This too might necessitate tweaks to make sure things translate well into that format. I admit that I haven't yet done this with my books, but I want to. I just need to invest time to study the current best-sellers to see how they do this. Besides, Morgan Freeman is very difficult to book as a narrator.
  6. 2 points
  7. 2 points
    Interesting way you posed that question. Makes me wonder if I suggest something like using smaller, more common words, you'd consider that a compromise of quality. I think suggestions can be numerous, which would also depend on genre. For instance, YA seems to favor a first person, present tense writing style. I personally find that difficult to read, and resist writing that way. Does that mean I can dismiss that suggestion? Sure, if I don't write YA, or don't want my next YA novel to sell. I don't think compromising quality is the real issue here, mainly because quality is always an underlying goal. I think the real issue is mindset. It's clear that several here are frustrated over current reading trends. I'm not going to argue if it's a legitimate frustration or not. Rather, I think we need to find a way to accept it, understand it better, and adjust, or we'll struggle to reach an audience.
  8. 2 points
    I think there's a larger issue that's being missed in this discussion. We can assess that readers these days are dumbing down, terminally ignorant, etc., and then debate all the causes. But as writers, what does this mean? Do we wring our hands, complain, share depressing stories, or do we find a way to adapt to reach our audience? Maybe it's just the business side of me, but I personally don't think it's a good idea to talk about my audience (customers) in a way they can only see as insulting. I mean really, if you were a reader and came across this topic, how would you feel?
  9. 2 points
    Now that is a great proposal!!!! Wow, why didn't I think of that. That's why I posted this thread in the first place. Thank you. Thank all of you, you have been a great help.
  10. 1 point
    That was nice, Sarah!
  11. 1 point
    Wait, what?? Sorry, I react this way because later in your post you state: So as an MG writer, you obviously took time to understand your audience. Therefore, didn't it become your problem? As a writer, I want to better understand current reading trends within my genre, so my writing will better resonate with readers. I think it's a problem all writers should come to terms with.
  12. 1 point
    As writers, unless our subject matter is to teach how to read, it's generally not our problem. After all, by the very nature of words, our audience is people-who-can-read. They've chosen what they want to read, (unless our books happen to show up on a school's must-read list), and our writing fits them. Generally speaking, that means it's not a chore to them to read what we write. Now as an MG writer, I can sneak in a little education into my story, but I can do that because my protag was so sheltered he never found out he shouldn't ask questions, and he knows very little about most things. So I was able to hint at one of the main problems with how reading is taught today, without preaching. (The main problem is something that's been going on for 30-50 years now. Reading is taught by memorizing words instead of teaching phonetics and meanings to prefixes and suffixes.) Protag got stuck on the word "pretentious," and someone tried telling him he had no "pretense." So a brief moment to explain how the words are related. But even I can't waste novel time to teach, because that's not what the audience wants when picking up a novel.
  13. 1 point
    So glad Everyone is better. Lord, we praise you for the quick thinking, guidance and action of the people in the hospital. We praise you for healing Lynn's husband and providing help for him and the family. We ask for continued help and healing for a quick recovery. In Jesus name.
  14. 1 point
    I appreciate your insight
  15. 1 point
    As for people preferring videos over reading - I'm one of them. I can absorb more information, faster by watching a video. With my writing, 3D Printing, woodworking, golfing, work, and being a dad I have ZERO time to sit down and read. Not to mention that I use my eyes every day writing code. It's hard to relax into a book. So I listen to audiobooks. My reading is utilitarian. I'm researching stuff all of the time. I'm not going to read a book from front to back when I need just a nugget of what that book provides. There are those of us who are just attuned that way. I'm in the autistic spectrum. People with that condition may struggle with things like reading words, but you'd be awestruck how much they can retain by listening or seeing. And, paradoxically, some of them can write well, but have a total aversion to reading. I'm one of them. So is my son (who tested out of several levels of College-level English right out of high school). The irony is that both of us - my son and I - did horrible in public schools when it came to English. While I may not be Hemingway, I'm not exactly Fredo Corlenoe either. (I'm schmat! I know things!) Don't fault people for trying to do things better and faster. It's in our DNA. If it wasn't, we'd still be banging to rocks together to make fire.
  16. 1 point
    Instead of wondering, and making wrong assumptions, try asking. I regards to your question, and suggestions, I don't believe that "smaller" or "common" words necessarily compromise quality, although they could depending on the circumstance. The "dumbing down" of readers can't be reduced to the lack of vocabulary, but it is still a major factor. I see a lot of terribly executed themes, watered down plots, and poor character development as major factors along with poor word choice. That being said, I've also read novels lacking in eloquence, but excellently written. While I agree with you that dismissing this won't sell novels (or solve the problem), shouldn't we at least try to elevate the reader while taking this into account? Shouldn't that be part of the adaptation instead of just accepting it because "That's just the way it is"? Maybe that's just the teacher in me. Also, just because it sells, doesn't mean it's quality. As Christians, quality is what we should strive for. Anyway, that is more the intent of my question, and that's why I asked when you suggested we complain less, seeking a way to do something about it and hoping you had some ideas. Still willing to listen.
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    That was a lovely, lovely song, Alley.
  19. 1 point
    Sure! Any suggestions that you believe would help the reader without compromising quality?
  20. 1 point
    This thread has been on my mind so much, I wrote a blog entry about it. It really is a bit scary, in the book, "Original Intent" by David Barton, he had a bunch of charts showing years from early 1930's or 40's and going on through like the 1990's (without it in front of me, I don't remember exactly) - and it had a target line over 1963 (the year after they took prayer out of schools). The title of these graphs were along the lines of "crime rates" "single-parent households" "std's" and so forth. Each one skyrocketed exactly at the marked date. Then there was one more, "SAT scores", and they plummeted. Lol. as a math teacher, I was literally told I had to give my students calculators. My first year, I found that over half my freshmen Algebra students had never seen how to divide by hand, no less that you could even do it. But I made sure it didn't stay that way! ...but I digress.. I could tell stories for days.
  21. 1 point
    Is it possible to offer *two* versions of your shirt? If you offer both a "standard" screen printed version, and a "deluxe" raised vinyl version, then you're buying from her as promised, but giving customers a choice, and letting the market decide which is preferable. If hers don't sell as robustly as the less expensive version, she has the option of modifying her prices to be competitive.
  22. 1 point
    I wish to preface this, I am by no means against public schools! I taught at public schools for years. They do a LOT of good. At the same time, I think people should be aware of some of the things going on in public schools. These are not universal, but they are trends. Please be warned. I truly do believe any child can successfully navigate public school, but without parental guidance, it is becoming much more difficult to do so while keeping a biblical mindset. If you child goes to public school, chances are... If your child goes to public school, chances are they will have some great teachers, but... If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be taught that they cannot pray, even privately, in school. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be told they cannot talk about their faith while at school. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be taught that they can choose to be a boy or a girl as early as Pre-K If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be taught sex-education (with detailed images) as early as 7th grade. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be almost expected to be sexually active by the time they have finished their first year of high school. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will have at least one or two teachers who fit under "those who can't, teach." If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not teach how to write in cursive. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to teach spelling. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to use the dictionary anymore. if your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged to have students learn words through context and drawing pictures. if your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to have students memorize times tables. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged to allow students to use calculators for everything. if your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to have students memorize historical dates or events. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged to grade on a curve. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teacher will be encouraged to pass everyone, regardless. If your child goes to public school, chances are that school is considering going to pass/fail for all its classes. If your child goes to public school, chances are that school is considering banning homework. If your child goes to public school, chances are that school focuses on statistical perception over intimate need. If your child goes to public school, chances are they have been told they are "no good" at a subject by at least one teacher. If your child goes to public school, chances are they have reported bullying at least once and nothing came of it. If your child goes to public school, chances are they know/heard someone who was offered, is offering, or has used drugs to/as a students. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum highlights the "bad" history of America. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum revises/hides America's "Christian" history/heritage. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum teaches the origin of life through the lens of Evolution. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum forbids teaching of any form of Creationism or Intelligent Design. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum will include books with sexually explicit sections. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum will include all other religions, except perhaps Christianity. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum will change within every two-six years. If your child goes to public school, chances are the school is more focused upon perception than education. These have all been real-life examples from when I have been a teacher. I've taught at many different schools, urban, suburban, rural, diverse, low-income, high-income, high school, middle school - all over the state of Kansas, from Topeka to Liberal and places in-between. Not all of them have been implemented in the schools that I taught, but there was high talk of it and the general consensus of where education was going was heading in that direction. A lot of these are patterns from "pattern-setting states" such as California and New York - in the realm of education. Examples of personal stories that relate - I had a principal come in to my classroom one day, angry after some of my students failed a test, and informed me, verbatim - "You are teaching middle school math, not elementary math. If they do not know how to multiply and divide by now, they aren't going to. Give them calculators!" I once taught in a severe autism room, and I worked with a mute child on the alphabet. Within two weeks, I had him making 20 different sounds of the alphabet where before he could only grunt, cry, and scream. I learned that the doctors had long ago told his family he would never learn to speak, so no one had tried. I was told that since he was a 6th grader, he was too old to learn how to speak and I couldn't work with him on it any more. At one school I was told to ignore the official policy for loud/belligerent students, not to send them to the office and not to write them up because it looked bad for the school in the eyes of the district. I then was told I was the problem, not the students, and that I needed to fix things. Every year, almost every class, I have had at least one student come up to me and tell me that another teacher, either that year, but mostly years ago, had told him/her that he/she was "stupid", "slow" or "no good and never will be" in a certain subject (usually math). Likewise, every year, almost every class, I had at least one student come to me about a bullying issue and tell me he/she did not trust the administration because nothing had been done about bullying in the past. When I was in school for education, a teacher asked our class why we wanted to be teachers, almost half of the soon-to-be-teachers answered something akin to - "nothing better to do." A few years back, I read an article praising a district in California who, it was for elementary school, informed their teachers they would be grading upon social abilities over cognitive abilities. So if Suzy and Joe worked together and said that 2+2=7, they could not be docked as wrong, as long as they got along well together. Please don't take this wrong, there are a great number of amazing teachers in our public school system! In fact, I would say 99.9% of them are great. I always had great coworkers working with me. I also had great administrators who truly care for the students (though that was sometimes hit and miss for me...). There are a great number of great students with amazingly smart heads on their shoulders coming out of our public school system. This is more of a warning, a "beware!" this is out there, and I'm afraid it's a growing trend.
  23. 1 point
    Preaching to the choir. My point was not to argue for or against IEPs...but since you brought it up... To restate: My point was that IEPs etc. are being increasingly used in a manner that hampers more than helps. Employing the previous analogy, no one, myself included, would argue that a paraplegic doesn't need a wheelchair. However, I'm sure we can agree that it would be silly to keep someone in a wheelchair who can walk...even if they need a little help at first. This was the case for the aforementioned student. He couldn't read his writing because he wasn't made to write...nor was anyone helping him to improve. I am truly glad your child's accommodations helped, and were properly employed. Now, back to the topic at hand.
  24. 1 point
    While I'm a man in very good health, which I consider a major blessing from the Lord, I should get myself a full medical examination. I live in the Long Island community of Medford, about an hour and a half drive east of New York City. We have a major hospital and a good number of clinics within a half hour bus ride from where I live. So making an appointment shouldn't be any problem. I also have a regularly scheduled monthly appointment with a Chiropractor. I've been seeing him for years, and believe that what he's been doing, pushing and pulling things into place, is a major part in keeping me in such good health. I figure that when all your parts are in their right places, everything should work very well. I also have no trouble moving. I go out walking at a vigorous pace every morning, for about a half hour. Then I stroll around the local shopping center for about an hour, getting food items a the Stop and Shop, and other items in other shops, and stop for coffee at the local Fridays or the Bagel Shop. Then I take a vigorous walk home. Once I've returned, I don't feel at all exhausted. I do have aches, pains and discomforts, which are just part of being alive. I've prayed about them to the Lord. I have pain relievers like Aleve, Tylenol, and Bayer Aspirin, which are very helpful. I consider them blessing from the Lord. I consider medications and nutritional supplements, when taken correctly as prescribed, to be blessings from the Lord. As I said, I consider all these things to be major blessings from the Lord; which I pray he will continue to grant me, for as long as I live. I now ask that He will grant the same blessings to everyone here on christianwriters.com. I ask all this in Jesus Name. Amen.
  25. 1 point
    My wife and I were visiting my mother (95) when the nurse was there. She was taking my mom's oxygen level which was good. So I said let me test mine. mine was 98. then when my wife was tested, her oxygen level was 80 and the nurse you should see a doctor right away. Her oxygen level would not go up by itself. Later she was put on oxygen continuously, for three years, until she went to heaven. A 70 reading is scary. I am glad that it is back up.
  26. 1 point
    I will. But, I was just looking for some input, maybe some direction before I speak with her. She is a church friend and the pastor's daughter-in-law so I have to tread lightly. Good idea.
  27. 1 point
    Oh, thank you, sweetie. Sounds very similar. With a rhinovirus (cold) that probably started it all. They also found that he has sleep apnea. So not good. He's been getting lots of oxygen. Don't know if he'll have to have continual oxygen or not. So glad your hubby is okay. He'll be going to the cath lab on Monday to check out his heart. Thank you! 🧡
  28. 1 point
  29. 1 point
    Welcome, RMG! It's great to meet you fantasy is a really fun, albeit challenging, genre to write. I'm looking forward to getting to know you.
  30. 1 point
    Welcome to our writing family, RockyMtn Gal (now and forever known as RMG ). Glad you joined us. You'll find plenty of help, support, and encouragement around here, so roam around and make yourself at home. Blessings on your writing! Dia is Muire dhuit! (I had to look it up! )
  31. 1 point
    I hope I do not come across as too brazen in this response, but I do take offense to that last statement that I am "not a True Christian". I do not adhere to The Watchtower's interpretation of the Bible founded by Charles Taze Russell (a known charlatan), but I adhere to the Bible, I believe Jesus is the only way to salvation, and I follow him as a Christ-follower (Christian). Here is some of the research I have done that supports what I claim above. (This is from my personal website) https://www.countertopministries.com/founder-fraud.html https://www.countertopministries.com/false-prophet.html https://www.countertopministries.com/new-world-translation.html Likewise, I believe I have answered your question of "what is the name of the god you glorify". Who He is, is not determined by a name written in a specific man-made language. I used to be a teacher, and my students had a nickname for me, "Mr. Trip". That is nowhere near my name, my middle name, or my last name. But it was an endearing name that came from a funny story during my student-teaching days. Some of them called me by my name, "Mr. Williams", and others called me "Mr. Willy". Simply because they used a different name, doesn't mean they were referring to different people. To get to know "Mr. Trip" was to get to know "Mr. Williams". This is just an analogy, but Jehovah is merely one of many words the ancient Jewish people used to refer to God. It meant "God" to them. A more literal translation would be "I am that I am", in other words, the name God gave Moses in the burning bush when Moses asked for his name. With all the names, or titles - if you will - that I listed above, they are all ways of glorifying God as who He is, God. The creator of heaven and earth, the one who created us and the one who desires a personal relationship with us. If I do nothing but call Him, "Abba, father." Like Jesus once did, that does not negate or diminish who it is I am speaking of. If I strive to get to know "Abba", speaking of God, that does not somehow prevent me from getting to know the Creator simply because I do not limit myself to referring to Him by a certain name. Romans 10:13 is a great verse, but it is even better in context. Romans 10: 9 - 13 (NIV) - If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” First sentence - You are saved by believing in Jesus, not by knowing a name. "As Scriptures says, 'Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.'" - Who is this "him" Peter referring to? Jesus Christ! "...- the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,..." who is this "Lord" Peter is referring to? Jesus Christ! "for" - meaning therefore, meaning as what is said before this is true, then this follows "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." again, who is Peter referring to? None other than Jesus Christ himself. FOR - "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." In fact, ALL translations except the New World Translation has it in such a way. They all agree except the NWT. From the previous links, I cannot bring myself to agree with the translation. It is interesting though, even in the New World Translation, here is the verse in context. Romans 10: 9-13 (NWT) - For if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and exercise faith in your heart that God raised him up from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation. For the scripture says: “No one who rests his faith on him will be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. There is the same Lord over all, who is rich toward all those calling on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” Even here, it says that believing in Jesus is how you are saved in verse 9. and it still refers to Jesus when it says "No one who rests his faith on him will be disappointed." and then also still refers to Jesus as "There is the same Lord over all, who is rich towards all those calling on him." but then switches to Jehovah in the last verse. It almost seems that the NWT is encouraging the Trinity here, but I know that the Watchtower sees the concept of the Trinity as something from the Devil. As a Christ-follower (literal definition of a Christian), I believe that Jesus is the only way to be saved - that He is the way, the truth, and the light, and no one comes to the Father except through him. I believe you would agree with that statement - especially since your translation of John 14:6 is identical to ours - though we may disagree upon other concepts.
  32. 0 points
    UPDATE: They moved him to less critical care but he's still not real good. And now I'm sick and can't go see him. And thank you again for praying. QS, so glad your hubby is doing well. 🧡
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