Tag Archives: help

Been there, done that


   Recently I heard a joke about a guy who went in for surgery. After he was rolled into the pre-op area, his wife trudged her way down the long haul toward the hospital cafeteria. But two steps from the cafeteria entrance, she heard her husband screaming, and she froze in her tracks. She looked down the hall to see him running toward her.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” she asked.

He pointed at the nurse marching down the hall towards them. “I heard what she said!”

“What did she say?”

“She said, ‘I know you’ve never been through this kind of operation before, but it’s a relatively minor procedure, so try to stop shaking. There’s a good chance everything will turn out okay.'”

The wife shook her head. “But, honey, the nurse was just trying to help you.”

His eyes went wide. “She was talking to the doctor!”

Yeah, we’d all like to know that our surgeon has been there and done that before we entrust our bodies to him. I don’t want my doctor to point to an x-ray and exclaim, “Wow! What’s that d0-hicky there?” Hardly a confidence builder.

One of the challenges of being a writer is deciding who to go to for advice. Let’s face it–and this is an uncomfortable truth–there are a few self-proclaimed experts out there on the literary landscape. Doubtless, many of them mean well and can even offer random nuggets of information that can benefit any writer. But others have never really been there and done that. And, frankly, your time as a writer is too precious to waste. The stewardship of story calls for us to carefully exercise discernment.

Thankfully there are tons of people (al though I’ve never actually weighed them) out there who bring to the proverbial table wisdom gained by the experience of having walked the road themselves. They are usually very humble people who are willing to share what they’ve learned because the respect the craft, and they genuinely want to help another writer succeed. They remember the times someone helped them in the past, and the vow they made to sacrificially do the same if they ever had the chance.

How do YOU decide who will help shape your story? How do YOU decide who to go to for advice? Any experience–good or not-so-good–you care to share (don’t mention names, please)?


Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, editing, Larry W. Timm, reading, Writing

My Prayer in the wake of tragedy.

Dear God,

I can’t imagine the horror experienced by so many families today. And I can’t understand the evil that caused it. Please help the parents whose children were taken by this horrible tragedy. Please help the brothers and sisters who lost siblings. And please help the children who survived physically but will be wounded emotionally for the rest of their lives. Please help everyone connected to this event.

Father, my emotions have ranged from fury to utter despair. How long, oh Lord, will You wait to judge this earth? How long until You avenge the blood of the innocent?

The conscience of America is bothered–offended to the core–by the reports of this murderous rampage. The sights and sounds are coming so fast, so relentlessly…. We are rightly outraged by the killing of 20 innocent children. Innocent. Children.

I am scared, God, because I know that no matter what we do, evil will find a way to strike. I can’t stop it. No human can. I am filled with hatred for our enemy…our ultimate enemy, Satan. As Your Son told us, Satan has been a murderer from the beginning, and He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. Please, dear God, stop him soon.

You have blessed me with the honor of being a father. I can not imagine losing one of my children in such a violent way. I can not imagine wanting to live another day. Please, please, please help the mothers and fathers in Newtown, Conneticut.

I feel so utterly stupid, so completely unable to make sense of my words. I want to scream. I want to curse. So much evil…so much death. They were just children, Lord. I’m sorry…yes, I would be appalled if it happened in a nursing home or coffee shop, but there seems to be no worse kind of evil than the kind that would harm children.

In the midst of this all, I’m wondering what pain this must cause Your heart.

Please help us all.

In Jesus Name,



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