You Can Help Your Author-Friend

dreamsSending a book into the world is like playing the lottery: the odds of becoming a best-seller are about 10 in 250 million. As authors, we’re writing into a ridiculously crowded field, and odds are itty-bitty a book ever catches fire. But if it does, it will be by a combination of God and faithful fans. Compounding the difficulty is the fact that most authors are reluctant to market. We’re not natural sales-people; we’re authors who hunker down in the corner at Starbucks. And many of us are introverts.

For me, it’s especially complicated as a pastor. The thought that anyone would feel I’m more interested in sales than in helping people grow gnaws at me.

Even so, it’s part of the commitment. When a publisher contracts with an author, they expect the author to use every reasonable means to spread the word. Continue reading

Why I Write

I am an author. This is usually not a curable condition. Like preaching, writing is a call I can’t shake. In my eighth grade school newspaper, I listed “journalist” as my future profession. Close enough. There’s a fire in my belly, a burden from the Lord, and I can’t get away from it. I can’t do anything else and see myself happy.

Why write?

I write because ideas come packed in words, and ideas change the world. With words, God spoke the starry cosmos into existence. With words, he created the magic that is life. And with words, his story is kept alive in this crazy, morally broken cosmos diabolicus. Words in harmony with divine truth are packages for the power of God. Continue reading

Writing Tip: Me, Myself, and I

frustrated-writer-2You don’t have to be a writer, or know the picky rules of grammar, to enjoy good writing. But if you want to create the good writing, a few bits of grammatical knowledge can do miracles. Grammar came alive for me — yes, it’s as weird for me to write that as it was for you to read that — during two punishing years of Latin at my Chicago public high school. Thank you, Ms. Shirley Robeson, Phi Beta Kappa. Since then, I myself, have dedicated myself to the endless delights of grammatical nuance — something that helps enormously as I tear into the Greek and Hebrew sentences in the Bible. [Dear Pastor Friend, it’s worth reading John Piper’s convicting challenge here.] Continue reading

Five Must-Ask Questions for Christian Communicators

When Jesus said, “The truth shall set you free,” he meant it. Writers, preachers, and speakers should wise up: Every time you deliver God’s truth, you have the potential to unlock emotional chains in your hearer’s heart. A skilled Christian Communicator weds good theology with healthy psychology. That’s not an argument for shallow preaching, or an excuse to regurgitate pop psychology. It’s a recognition that redemption is an ongoing process of setting people free through Christ and his truth — especially from chains they didn’t realize they had.

  • If you preach to the head only, you become a dry, academic lecturer and create an audience of theological snobs and condescending doctrinal critics.
  • If you preach to the heart only, you become a manipulative puppet-master and create an audience of spiritual adrenaline-junkies… salivating for their next worship-high.
  • If you preach truth to the head even as you apply it to the heart, you set people free to become all God called them to be. And sincere seekers will flock to your message.

Here are five questions to keep asking if you want to serve up books and talks that set people free:

  1. What lies about God does my audience believe?
    God is better than and bigger than your audience believes. Let them walk away from your work inspired by God’s ability, God’s sovereignty, God’s providence, and God’s care. Unless your arguments unleash God from the lies your hearers believe — by celebrating his attributes, promises, names, character, works, and abilities — they will walk away unchanged and still trapped in the unhappiness defective theology inevitably brings. Even if you psyched them up with temporary razzle dazzle.
  2. How does my message untwist my distorted view of my identity in Christ?
    Who am I? I am who God says I am, not who my crazy parents or schoolyard bullies convinced me I am. As a fledgling pastor, an aged Gandalf in my life named Lance B. Latham (founder of Awana), told me “Teach them their riches in Christ.” I took that to heart. There is, inside of every Christian, a radiant, Christ-shaped IDENTITY eager to emerge. That self is powerful, rich, and free. But it’s crusted over by the devil’s lies. Good theology peels away those lies, and let the new creation fly free.
  3. What is God’s duty and the believer’s privilege?
    Here is my heart’s passion: to reverse the epidemic of legalism in today’s Christian messaging. Repeat after me: The primary duty lies with God. The primary duty lies with God. The primary duty lies with God. And yet… almost every sermon, and nearly every Christian best-seller, shouts forth the duty of ME. I’d be the last one to deny Christian duty, but our proportions are dysfunctionally out of whack. If you want to heal people remind them of how God has obligated himself to bless, to provide, to protect, to go to war for, and to shower his love upon them in each and every situation. This is how theology heals psychology.
  4. What super-power does my message promise that my audience needs to seize?
    Remember the little phrase, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”? Sing it. Write it. Tell it. Explain it. Develop a reputation as a speaker/preacher/writer who ENABLES your audience. Inspire them to lay hold of their divine privileges and to sally forth to slay their dragons.
  5. Where’s the grace?
    You’re not ready to communicate a truth until you see the grace in it. Is grace offered? Resisted? Explained? Illustrated? Snubbed? Defied? Distorted? Denied? Embraced? Applied? Unless you show how God’s never-failing supply, presence, work, gifts, and love apply in each specific situation, you’ll morph into nothing but Oprah with a little Jesus sprinkled on top. 

Theology heals psychology, if we will let it. In our sex-saturated, parentally-starved, narcissistic, dysfunctional, fearful culture, those who bear the mantel of a Christian Communicator need to focus ninety percent of our “practical applications” on unravelling the web of lies and installing a matrix of truth in our audience’s heart and mind, so they possess the INNER resources to live as God intended. Let us faithfully communicate Christ and him crucified — and all the beautiful truths that radiate from him — as the only Savior who sets people free.

I’d love to interact with you on this. How has theology healed psychology for you? How has theology been used to damage psychology? In the Christian messaging you’ve been exposed to, what share of the “duty” lies with you? with God? 

WORD

[Four Letter Words is available at a special price, one day only: $5.99 (list $13.99). Here’s an excerpt from the chapter, WORD, click here to purchase specially inscribed/autographed copies of Four Letter Words] Please spread the word. Thanks.

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God Is…

The Apostle John detonated a religious explosion when he wrote, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). He actually wrote it twice (v. 16). No other religion ever made love the heartbeat of God.

Christians own “God is love.”

We might not have always radiated his ideal standards, but we’ve never budged from this mother of all religious premises. We don’t simply say God has love, or that God shows love, or that God—after he’s been fed enough sacrifices—is loving. No. We say, God is love. Followers of Jesus brought that message to the world. Like the original, original, Original Pancake House, there are many copies, but only one original.

That original, found in John’s first Epistle, only echoes a thousand whispers of biblical teaching. John didn’t invent this truth; he only summarized it from all that Scripture already said.

He supremely learned it from Jesus. Jesus taught, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13) and, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Does love prove the superiority of the Bible? Only if a loving God is important to you. Otherwise, it makes no difference.

The Main Thing

The love of God is the main theme of the whole Bible. The different authors of the Bible’s sixty-six books, hold up God’s love like a diamond, and make it sparkle from a million angles.

Moses highlighted this love as part of God’s abiding marriage covenant with his people. If God was jealous, it was only because the people he loved went after other lovers.

David composed songs about God’s love—friend to friend, and man to God. For David, God wasn’t just “the Big Guy up there,” he was closer than a brother, and more gentle than a shepherd.

The Prophets painted God’s love as a portrait of a mother nursing her child, or a lover wooing his beloved. “The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you’” (Jeremiah 31:3).

The Gospels depict God’s love as a fire burning in Jesus’ heart. Sometimes it was warm and tender: when Jesus ate fish with his disciples, when he turned water to wine, and when he healed lepers and embraced society’s outcasts. Other times, his love burned red hot: when he drove the crooks out of the temple with a homemade whip, when he shredded the Pharisees for loading impossible burdens on people who sought God, and when he died for our sins—the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world.

The Epistles (most of the rest of the New Testament) analyze God’s love. They tell us it flows from the heart of God in infinite measure, and that it’s grounded in the death of Christ. These books humble us by comparing our puny love to God’s massive love: “This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10, NLT).

Every major part of the Bible teaches the love of God. In symbols, in ceremonies, in parables, in healings, in miracles, and in plain teaching, the love of God pulses from the Bible’s beginning to its end.

Search the religious literature of the world. Dig through the annals of history. Explore religious books from any culture, anywhere in the world. You’ll never find a match to the Bible’s beautiful claim that God is love.

Yes, God is more than love. But that he is love, and that his love is such a big part of him, makes me feel secure. In the Bible, I read a grand narrative of a God who made me, lost me, and loved me enough to buy me back at immeasurable cost. I feel safe with this God, and safe in his universe, now and forever. God’s love is a crazy big love, and I’m glad to rest in it.

Because of Love

Even so, we who follow Jesus still get in trouble for believing the Bible. How can we be so narrow to say that the Bible is God’s only book? Hasn’t God revealed himself in all the religions of humankind?

I know I’m only digging my hole deeper with some friends in this conversation, but I will say that if there is any truth or goodness in any other religious book or teacher, it is only a distorted memory from a race created by the Bible’s God, but now wandering in darkness away from him. The Bible’s teaching is original. Everything else is a copy of a copy of a copy.

I’ll hold up my shields till the spitballs subside.

If a God of love has inspired any book, the only real contender is the Bible…

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To read more: Click here to buy your discounted copies. Today only. 

Damn! (ch 8 from FOUR LETTER WORDS)

Time Magazine Apr 25, 2011

Spurred by the sizzling sales of Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins, the April 25 issue of Time Magazine features the Cover Story: WHAT IF THERE’S NO HELL? 

Here is an excerpt from Four Letter Words, my latest book. Leave your email at the end to continue reading, and I’ll notify you as future chapters released. Please share this link…   

Chapter 8

DAMN

The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions.

A.W. Tozer[i]

TOUCHY IDEAS

  1. Hell is real.
  2. God’s justice and God’s love exist in perfect harmony; therefore, the teaching of Hell in no way contradicts the loving heart of God.
  3. Love can’t win if holiness loses.
  4. A person’s response to Jesus in this lifetime determines his or her destiny in the next lifetime.
  5. This destiny is permanent and unchanging; Scripture describes no post-mortem second chances.

TOUCHY SCRIPTURES

  1. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27.
  2. “Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:31.
  3. “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” Romans 2:5.
  4. “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15.
  5.  “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11, 12.

* * * * *

CHEERLEADING THE UNDERWORLD?

In researching this chapter, I stumbled upon some ultra-disturbing statements. In these statements, famous leaders of church history celebrate the damnation of lost people. In the interests of full disclosure, here are some horrid examples.

I apologize in advance.

  • Tertullian, pastor, author, (A.D. 160-220). “At that greatest of all spectacles, that last and eternal judgment how shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness…”[ii]
  • Jonathan Edwards, pastor (1703-1758). “[T]he sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever… [I]t will really make their happiness the greater…”[iii]
  • Samuel Hopkins, pastor (1721-1803). “This display of the divine character will be most entertaining to all who love God, will give them the highest and most ineffable pleasure. Should the fire of this eternal punishment cease, it would in a great measure obscure the light of heaven, and put an end to a great part of the happiness and glory of the blessed.”[iv]

“Entertaining?” Are you kidding? Grab your popcorn, and I’ll race you for a front row seat to watch the torment of the damned.

If this reflects the spirit of Christ, count me out.

The premise of this book is that Christianity is the most plausible, coherent, and beautiful system ever offered the world. But this “I [Heart] Hell” theology spoils that beauty like a stink bomb in an elevator.

The Bible does not whoop it up over hell. Jesus wept over the lostness of people (Luke 19:41). St. Paul wished he could accept damnation himself in place of his countrymen (Romans 9:3). God is not willing that any should perish, declared Peter (2 Peter 3:9). No damnation “happy feet” in sight.

The celebration of hell perverts biblical Christianity. As a pastor and a follower of Jesus, I apologize if this creepy teaching has ever messed with your mind. I’m sorry.

Yes, we have our share of nut-job God-defenders, picketing their hate, but this attitude does not reflect the majority of Christ’s followers today. None of the churches, seminaries, or organizations I’ve been a part of has ever fanned the flames of hell. In fact, the opposite is true. The idea of hell has only prompted sadness and concern among the Jesus-followers I’ve known.

In the mid-nineteenth century, a refined, highly-educated London preacher named R.W. Dale encouraged a rough, uneducated American evangelist named D.L. Moody. Moody conducted a preaching tour in England, and many of the snooty British pastors boycotted him. Dale however, joined forces with Moody. He said, “Moody is the only preacher who has the right to preach on Hell, because he can’t do it without tears in his eyes.”

The Bible’s revelation of Hell should melt your heart. Divine justice should cause silent awe, not giddy happiness. When Jesus unleashes the forces of judgment in the future apocalypse, the universe responds with stunned silence, not clap-happy glee (Revelation 8:1).

If you’re doing a slow burn right now, I get it. For some, even the idea of hell seems obscene. And, nobody can prove heaven, hell, or an afterlife. Like everything else we’re talking about, it’s a matter of faith. I’m just asking if it’s a plausible faith. I think it is, and I’d like to explain why. Right after we explore five hellish viewpoints that wave the “Christian” banner.

VIEWS ON HELL

1. Universalism, a.k.a., Pluralism

Universalists believe all will be saved through sincere devotion to the religion of their culture, choice, or upbringing. Under this view, Christ is not the only way to God. All roads lead to heaven, like hiking trails converging on the same mountaintop. Universalists claim scriptural support in verses that say God desires “all” people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) and that God reconciled “the world” to himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). For them, the character of God begins and ends with love.

In their world, God’s love wins, even at the expense of his other attributes of holiness, purity, and truth.

Carlton Pearson, a prominent pastor in the United Church of Christ said he did not believe “God would consign countless souls – or anyone, for that matter – to hell.” He teaches a “gospel of inclusion” which he describes as “basic universalism.”[v]

My Inner Nice Guy wants to be a Universalist. No hellfire. No smoldering brimstone. No four-letter words hurled my narrow way. No knots to unravel about why I was born in a Christian land and some jungle guy wasn’t. It doesn’t matter. The story of humankind is one, gigantic happily ever after.

You’ll find universalism in churches that call themselves Unity, Universalist, or Unitarian. It is the unofficial position of what can be called liberal Christianity; segments within mainstream groups like some Methodists, Episcopalians, or the United Church of Christ tilt toward Universalism. So do some Ivy League seminary professors, populist authors, many leading institutions of western civilization – arts, media, education – and celebrities like Oprah.

Warning: from here on, the names get extra confusing. Sorry. I didn’t make them up.

2. Universalistic Inclusivism

If my Inner Nice Guy wants to be a universalist, my Inner Conflict Avoider wants to be a universalistic inclusivist. That way I find salvation in Jesus alone and still unclench my hell muscles without losing my evangelical street cred. How does that work?

Universalistic inclusivism works by creating a nifty category called “Anonymous Christians.”[vi] Under this view, salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone, but people can be saved by Jesus Christ without knowing him by name. Sincere non-Christians benefit from the work of Christ just as much as Christians. Their sincerity proves their “implicit faith.”

Sounds like a win/win situation.

The Catholic church tilted hard this way in the mid-1960’s in an epic update called Vatican II. It said,

“Those [who have not yet received the gospel] also can attain to everlasting salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds [emphasis added] to do His will as it is known unto them through the dictates of conscience.”[vii]

This position appears so win/win, in fact, it’s also called, “Lenient inclusivism.” Who wouldn’t want both sides of that label?

If you’re looking for universalistic inclusivism, check out your radically up-to-date nearby Catholic church. Also visit some non-Catholic churches formerly known as “emerging,” i.e., younger, hipper churches heavily influenced by popular authors like Spencer Burke,[viii] Brian McLaren,[ix] Rob Bell (?),[x] and Chuck Smith Jr.[xi]

3. Universalistic Exclusivism

A really nice group of friends began attending my church. They volunteered to duplicate audio and print media for our ministry. They were fun people. As I got to know them, they explained how they had spent most of their lives in a cult, and that their whole cult repented of their false teachings, and came to Jesus.

That got my attention…

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You’ve been reading an excerpt from FOUR LETTER WORDS: Conversations on Faith’s Beauty and Logic, by Bill Giovannetti.  © Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved.

REVIEWERS: For an advanced digital copy for review, please email the author.

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[i] The Knowledge of the Holy, 1975, p. 95.

[ii] De Spectaculis, Chapter XXX.

[iii] From his sermon, “The Eternity of Hell Torments.”

[iv] Quoted in Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner, The Christian Hell: From the First to the Twentieth Century (1913?), p. 38.

[v] In Nancy Haught, “Ten Minutes with the UCC’s Carlton Pearson” on the United Church of Christ website, retrieved August 13, 2009.

[vi] The term, “Anonymous Christians,” was coined by Catholic theologian, Karl Rahner. For a discussion, see LeRoy Miller and Stanley James Grenz, eds., Fortress Introduction To Contemporary Theologies (Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1998), pp. 194, ff.

[vii] From Walter M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II (New York: Guild Press, 1966), 35, as cited by K. Neill Foster, in “Implicit Christians: An Evangelical Appraisal” in Alliance Academic Review.com, retrieved on July 29, 2009, http://www.allianceacademicreview.com/1998/AAR1998-7Foster.php

[viii] “I’m a Universalist who believes in Hell… [Grace] is ours simply because God has invited us to the party. We’re in unless we choose to be out. That is how grace works. We don’t opt in to it – we can only opt out.” Spencer Burke, A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity (John Wiley and Sons, 2006), pp. 196, 202.

[ix] Brian McLaren describes a conversation with his daughter, Jess: “I tried to help Jess that Saturday afternoon by telling her about “inclusivism,” an alternative to the “exclusivist” view she was unhappy with. While exclusivism limited eternal life in heaven to bona fide, confessing Christians, inclusivism kept the door open that others could be saved through Christ even if they never identified as Christians… Exclusivism was my starting point, inclusivism was my fall-back, and conditionalism [that Hell and/or its punishment is temporary] was my last resort.” In his article on Beliefnet.com, “If Christianity Is True, People I Love Will Burn in Hell,” retrieved July 30, 2009. McLaren has not yet self-identified with any specific position on universalism other than to say he is not a universalist, though his writings flirt with and tend toward universalism.

[x] Rob Bell. Love Wins. 2011. It’s a bit difficult to pinpoint Bell’s position. He might be classified as a universalist exclusivist, see below. 

[xi] “New-school believers are asking if it is possible for people who do not know the true Jesus to still be covered by his re­demptive work, because he (alone) knows their hearts.” Without explicitly affirming universalism, the authors hint at it strongly in this chapter. Chuck Smith Jr. (not to be confused with his father, the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement) and Matt Whitlock,Frequently Avoided Questions (Baker Books, 2005), p. 166.


Book Signing Saturday

wcccsigning1Hey, calling all Northern Californians…

I’d like to invite you to stop by and say hello on Saturday, March 28. Along with four other authors, I’ll be at Holy Family Bookstore, signing books and hanging out. Holy Family Bookstore is Redding’s newest, full-service Christian bookstore, and I hope we can support it. This store bought much of the inventory when Redding Christian Supply liquidated.

There’ll be live music, coffee, books, and authors.  So I  hope you can stop by for a few minutes! If you bought one of my books online, bring it with you, and I’ll be happy to sign it.

I’m always encouraged by the growing number stories of people whose lives are blessed and changed by the truths in this book. I’m routinely stopped by friends on the street, or contacted thru email or on Facebook, with very kind expressions of thankfulness for the book. I’m humbled that I even got to write it.  Thank you for your encouragement.

Be sure to visit the Insanity and Bliss blog on April 2, for an interview about the Inner Mess book and how God brought it about. The blog has two FREE copies to give away… I’ll remind you next week.

Great Worship… then Great News…

ncrlogo

Great worship service last night at Neighborhood Church.  Worship led by Mike Baldwin… our assistant worship director who just took the job as lead worship pastor at CrossPointe Church.  Congratulations, Mike!  We appreciate all you’ve done, and are excited with you for this new stage in your journey.

Our regular worship pastor, Jon Lepinski, delivered the message. He hit a home run in his sermon called Your True Greatness, based on God’s call of Gideon. I’ll link to the audio/video once it’s online.  Jon has 3 more times to preach today, so pray for him! It’s nice for me to hang with my family and to have such confidence in the team…

Jon gave an invitation, and about 3 or so people put their faith in Christ!  Nice job, everybody. Dozens more indicated a rededication of their lives to Christ.

And don’t forget Jennifer Beaver, our new Community Life Director, who gave the announcements for the first time on stage.  Great job, Jennifer!  Personable, and fun. And you didn’t even talk too fast!

fourletterMargi and I got home, thinking about the powerful worship and the great message… and an email arrived from my book agent, Janet Grant.  Odd, to get an email late Sunday night from her. She gave me the great news that my publisher had just accepted Four Letter Words and would issue a contract by mid-April!

We’re super excited, and grateful to God.  Thank you for your prayers.  You can continue praying for me as the really hard work begins now… writing, writing, writing.  Pray that God uses this book, along with Inner Mess, to strengthen, encourage, and equip his church worldwide.

PS… I’ll be at a book signing at another new Christian bookstore. They have a full line of books and Bibles, and I hope we can support both Christian bookstores in town. So, you’re invited!  Here are the details:

  • Where: Holy Family Books, at Churn Creek Rd and Hartnell Ave.
  • When: Saturday, March 28.
  • Time: 11:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.
  • What:  just come in and browse, have some coffee, visit, browse, and maybe buy a book or two or ten!

P.P.S… I’ll also be signing books at Barnes and Noble, on April 25… and I’d like us to have an excellent testimony there. Detail to come.

If You Give a Writer a Laptop…

mouseFor editors everywhere… With apologies to Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond.

If you give a writer a laptop, you can assign him a story.  When he starts the story, his fingernails will click on the keyboard. He’ll stop typing. My fingernails are too long to write a story, he’ll say. He’ll ask you for the fingernail clippers.  You’ll tell him he’s wasting time, but How can I type with clicking nails? he’ll argue.

fingernailWhen you find him the fingernail clippers, he’ll clip his nails.  When he clips his nails, one of his nail bits will fall into his keyboard. His “g” will stop workin_.  So he’s _oin_ to ask you for one of those little sucky thin_s you used when your baby had a snotty nose. You’ll roll your eyes, and tell him he’s really wastin_ time. But I’m a writer, he’ll say, “_’s” are my specialty!

So you’ll have to _et him a sucky thin_ from your _ara_e. When you _ive him the sucky thin_, he’ll suck out his fingernail. His “g” will work again. He’ll want to buy you coffee.  You’ll say there’s not enough time, but he’ll say he’s not in the mood to write till he has some coffee. You’ll take him to the coffee shop.

When you get to the coffee shop, he’ll order a “half carafe skinny double-caff cap.”  He’ll see some writer friends there, also getting in the mood.  He’ll want to visit with them. You’ll look at your watch and tell him to quit stalling.  He’ll ask you for ten minutes. When thirty minutes are up, he’ll get in the car with you.

On the way home, he’ll see a Walmart. He’ll remember he needs paper for his printer. He’ll ask you to stop.  You accuse him of procrastinating.  He looks hurt and promises to meet his deadline. You tell him you’ve heard that one before. While you’re shopping for paper, he’ll see the men’s shirt aisle.

He’ll remember his old lucky writing shirt has a hole so he’ll shop for a new lucky writing shirt. You tell him writing has nothing to do with lucky writing shirts and he snaps at you that he’s an artist and it’s all about being in the mood. He’ll buy a lucky Hawaiian writing shirt with palm trees on it.

hawaiianshirtAt the checkout, you’ll remember the paper. He’ll ask you to run and get a ream. You’ll mutter curses under your breath, but you know how writers are.  You get the paper, the shirt, the writer, and head home.

When you get home, the writer will yawn big. He’ll say he’s tired. Whew, it’s been a long, hard day of work, and I need a nap, he’ll suggest. You’ll hurl your coffee at him.  His shirt will be splattered with scalding double-caff cap.

He’ll scream Ouch!

You’ll feel bad and apologize.  No problem, he’ll say, I’m not only an artist, I’m a tormented artist, so pain is good.  He’ll say it helps his writing. He’ll strip off the coffee-stained shirt. I have a new lucky Hawaiian writing shirt right here, he’ll say.  He’ll pull it from the Walmart bag and put it on.  You’ll think he’s ready to write, so you’ll bring him his laptop.

When he puts on his new shirt, a tag will itch his neck. I can’t get this tag off, he’ll complain, scratching his itch. I’ll need something to cut it off with.  He’ll ask you for the fingernail clippers.

And chances are, when you give him the clippers…

…he’s going to want some coffee to go with it.

coffeeshop

To meet your Inner Procrastinator… at the Inner Mess website.  Click.

And the winner is…

slothI’m referring to the poll question in the previous post… “Which of your Inner Mess Characters is feistiest lately?”  Of the six choices, the winner, with 32% of the vote, is Procrastinator.

Interesting that people who are reading my BLOG should choose Procrastinator… hmmmmm…. let’s think about blogs and procrastinating, shall we?  Naaahhhhh.  No discernible correlation.

I’ll write more later.

Here’s the first Scripture that comes to mind:  A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep– So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:10, 11, NKJV).

procrastinators_timeI know, that’s more about the Inner Sloth than the Inner Procrastinator, but it’s the first Scripture that came to mind.  Check the Inner Mess website later today for a Character Profile sheet on the Inner Procrastinator… and thanks for taking the poll.

Okay, if it’s not up today, maybe I’ll get around to it tomorrow.

procrastination

Update:  it’s impossible to really know how the Inner Mess book is selling.  All I know is that the odds of a second book depend on the sales of the first book, which I won’t know for several more months.  I’m still waiting on news regarding two proposals in the hands of publishers… waiting is the middle name of the publishing industry, especially in this tough economy.  Thanks for praying, and I’ll keep you posted.