Fathers and Porn Stars

If there is one temptation, one addiction that has run rampant in the Christian community, it’s pornography. It’s a tragic trap most men fall into, and it’s tearing us apart. I felt led to write this post since its a huge problem most everyone faces. I’ll show you, not only the obvious problems, but what the Lord sees as well.

Before I go on, I want to note that this post is a little more on the mature side than the others. So younger reader might want to pass on.

So, first I want to talk about the sin of pornography and lust itself. It began in Eden, and as we all know, Adam and Eve were naked. Before the fall, we were innocent, and so we never looked at each as a thing to use, but as a beautiful creation. A child of God. Nudity wasn’t seen as a means of pleasure. It reflected God’s glory. But as soon as the fall, it no longer reflected God’s glory, and so it was seen as shameful. The sin here is that nudity became a source of pleasure. A selfish fulfilment of the flesh that cares for only itself. We began to lust, and that’s when the beauty that God created for His glory became corrupted.

And now we get to the issue of pornography, thousands of years after the fall. Porn is meant to satisfy your lusts and fleshly desires, and it rarely, if ever puts women in the place God intended for them. It turns them into things, tools we use to satisfy ourselves. Instead of looking at a woman as a human being, with feelings, dreams, thoughts, and emotions, they become an image on a screen that’s nothing more than an object to use for our own pleasure.

Which brings me to the first part of the post’s title: Fathers. As a teenager turning eighteen in the beginning of October, I know the time for marriage is close. Not to say I will definitely get married in the next year or so, but it’s possible. And that led me to think of my future children, and what lives I would want for them.

There’s a small joke my mom and I thought of, since I won’t be going to university, nor do I even know for certain what I’m going to do (except of course writing),  people can push you. When people push the subject I say, “Well, I’m thinking of becoming a stripper!” No, I’m not going to become a stripper, but the truth is there are people who do take off their clothes for other’s entertainment. And I think, “What if my son wants to be a stripper?” or, “What if my daughter decides to become a porn star?” These questions fill me with fear, because living in a world that’s getting more focused on sex each day, I’m afraid that they’ll decide to take a job that requires them to be used sexually.

Though I’m not yet a father, I know there was never a father who wished their daughter would grow to become a porn star.

When I have children, I’ll do everything I can to protect them. I’ll teach them the ways of the Lord, fill them with the Gospel, love them unconditionally, treasure them, esteem them, but I know one day I’ll have to let them go out into the world. Even though I don’t have a daughter, I’m afraid she’ll get hurt by some guy who abuses her, and only loves her because of what she can give him.

Guys, I want you to realize this. Every girl, every woman who reveals herself to you, is some father’s little girl. They are God’s little girls. And I know as I would want my children safe, I know God wants His children to be safe in His arms.

Guys, I know you want to feel as though you’re worth something, to feel loved, but if you use a person to make you feel that way, you’re using someone’s daughter, or for women, someone’s son. People can never give you worth, only Christ can, and if you try to find worth in a person, you’ll end up hurting her/him, and God. We all fear rejection, more than anything in this life, and it can lead us to do things that hurt others. That’s the truth.

It’s time we love like the Christ of the Bible loved. Learn from the girls who have gone through the Hell of pornography. Learn from those who have suffered from trafficking and sex slavery. Sex doesn’t save you! It’s hurts, not only yourself, but others as well. If only we can learn to give instead of take.

There’s a song from the Christian metal band, Emery, called a Sin To Hold On To, and it’s about avoiding the temptation of fornication. The chorus goes, “If we could be the ones to hold on (to stay strong), then maybe we can make a difference in somebody’s life.”

So next time you stare at the mouse sitting on that porn site link, remember that these are God’s children. These are some father’s daughters, and lets look away. A relationship between man and woman is a precious gift God has given us, let’s not abuse it.

Lets pray that men, and women, will stop using each other for their own fulfilment, and let’s learn to give instead of take. “Lord, we pray that you would come and fill us with an anguish and a love for those around us. Lord, help us to love the way you did. Help us to treat those the same way you treated them. Give us life to give back to others. Give us more of you, in Jesus name, Amen.”

Here’s a video from Christian speaker Levi the Poet about the dangers of pornography: Levi the Poet, Pretty in Pornography. Warning: it’s only for mature audiences.

The Lord’s Prayer: Surrendering to His Will

In the previous post on the Lord’s Prayer series, I talked about letting go of our own kingdoms, our goals, our visions, and letting Christ’s kingdom enter our hearts, and spread out to those around us. Today I’m going to look at the part of the prayer that says, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

I think we when pray this, we sort of go over it without much thought as to what we’re actually saying. “Your will be done.” That means we’re giving God everything. After giving the Lord our kingdom, our lives, we now need to follow Him, and Christianity is a journey unlike any other. It has its times of trial, and times of joy and victory, but the one thing the Christian walk is not is easy.

When I pray this, I think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, sweating blood, praying, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup from me, but not my will, but yours be done.” If gives me great encouragement to know that even Jesus struggled to submit to the will of God.

You see, God’s will sometimes requires us to do things we may not want to do, and sadly some Christians aren’t ready to follow God no matter where He takes them.  They say, “I’ll follow you anywhere Lord,” and then bail out when the Lord tells them to do something that requires some suffering. For example, Peter when he denied Christ three times.

I want to give you an encouragement today. In the prayer, after we pray, “Thy will be done,” it then goes on to say, “on earth as it is in Heaven.” Wow, lets stop right there. If Jesus said that God wills for earth to be as Heaven, then it must be worth it! Heaven is the place where every good thing rests. Love, joy, satisfaction, peace, fulfillment, pleasure, everything good. “On earth, as it is in Heaven.”

So what is God’s will, that’s another question people ask, yet the answer is right before their eyes. God’s will is to bring Heaven to earth. In Heaven, everything is Christ, and everything is good, that’s what God’s will is; that we might allow Christ to consume every part of our lives, including the way we speak, the things we do, and the way we treat others. It’s hard to submit to God’s will because a lot of times we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to love every person we see. Some people are just unlovable.

But I see a different story when I see the cross.

So to go out today, I encourage you to make the decision (along with myself) to submit to the will of God. It may be hard, but it’s more than worth it in the end to see those pearly gates open.

When They Don’t Want God

What do you do when people don’t want God? That’s a question a lot can’t answer, and it’s certainly been on my mind these last few days. Last night I was reading an article about a Satanic cult movement that’s been growing in popularity, and a lot of priests are outraged. It’s a conference that includes reverse-exorcisms and a ritual that exorcises the Holy Spirit from the person to allow a devil to control. It sounds like the plot to a horror story, yet it’s happening right now!

The question comes in when you realize people want to take part in these practices, and it’s not just in this cult movement, but in anything having to do with glorifying the occult. Either these people want the thrill (there are a million better ways for that) or they want the devil in their lives. I’m inclined to go for the latter, and it’s a sad truth. Realize Christians, some actually want Satan in their lives. Can you imagine that? Our enemy as someone’s god.

So what can we do about it? What do we do when someone doesn’t want God? Should we speak against it? Should we be going up to those doors, holding up signs, and yelling for it to stop? The truth is, we can scream and yell all we want, it’s not going to stop. Why? Because of free will. Like I said before, these people want to worship the devil. They don’t want God. Forcing God on these people, or any unbeliever, will cause rebellion and division. Jesus never forced Himself on anyone, but offered salvation freely. We’ve all been given the gift of salvation, but it’s our choice to receive it.

What about praying? Praying that God would change their hearts and desires? It is possible for a Satanist to convert to Christianity, but what happens to begin the process of changing their heart? It’s all well to be praying for these people, but we need to live it out as well. We need to live like Jesus.

Salvation can never receive a firm foundation when it’s received out of fear, guilt, or obligation. “If you don’t want Christ, you have no business standing here on this pulpit.”

Another sad truth is that people are learning to live without Christ. People are comfortable and simply don’t want God. They have perfect lives, so they simply aren’t interested in knowing Christ because they have it all figured out. Christianity is becoming increasingly irrelevant, and despite the attempts to counter society (God’s not Dead anyone?), people are continually rejecting the idea of an all loving God. So how can we change this? By living a life out of Christ’s peace and fulfillment, and rather than try to explain the existence of God, show that He exists in your life.

But there are happy atheists as well, aren’t there? Of course, but they can’t say to me that they have never wondered, “What if there was more?” That they’ve never felt a little empty inside, because without Christ, the author of life, we’re all hollow inside, and though wealth will give temporary pleasure, that’s all it is, temporary. Christ’s love is far beyond temporal. It’s everlasting.

No one can force Jesus on a Satanist or an atheist, but we can show them the gift they’ve been given. And we can pray that the Holy Spirit will begin to move in and around their lives to point them to the cross.

Jesus cried blood for these people in Gethsemane, why aren’t we?It’s time to be the light in a kingdom of darkness. It’s time we continue the legacy Jesus left.

The Lord’s Prayer: Letting Go of Our Kingdoms

Alright, post four in the Lord’s Prayer series. So far we’ve gone through, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed by thy name,” Now we’re going to look at, “thy Kingdom come.” What do you imagine when you hear this prayer? I want to talk about that today.

When I hear that prayer, I instantly think of surrender, of letting go of our own kingdoms, or in other words, our own desires. When I picture a kingdom I see a large city, with some sort of palace in the center. Jesus says the kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure in a field which man has found and covered up. And in the joy of finding this treasure, he goes and sells everything he owns to buy that field.

We have to ask ourselves, “What is it about this kingdom that a wealthy man will sell all he has to have it?” It’s because this man found the true treasure. A treasure far greater than any earthly thing could give.

So another question comes to mind: Why aren’t we seeking after it? If the kingdom of God is the greatest treasure, why are we always settling for mediocrity? We’re constantly trying to build and further our own kingdoms. We gain all the riches of this world, yet we never seem satisfied.

Our kingdoms are like the house which a man built upon the sand. Living in a fallen world, there’s no solid ground to build anything upon, so when the waves start rolling in, or to put it in modern terms, when the debts start rolling in, it falls apart and gets washed out to sea. But the kingdom of God, found not in this world, is like the house which a man built on the rock. The waves wash against it, but unlike sand, a rock can’t be easily moved, so it stands firm.

The riches of this world, our own kingdoms, are only temporary, and some day we’re going to have to let them go. But the kingdom of Heaven is eternal. It keeps on satisfying for now and forever.

So why do we keep missing it? Why are we focused on building our own kingdoms? I believe it’s because we don’t want to let them go. We can control the kingdoms we build, and we don’t want to give that up. It’s what gives us our worth. Without our kingdoms, what are we? That’s why when I hear the words, “Let your kingdom come,” I hear complete and utter surrender or all control and power, to the one who made it all.

And it shouldn’t be so hard, because our kingdoms are worthless anyway. All the riches of this world, they’re only meant to serve one purpose: to point to the one who made them. Jesus. The greatest treasure of them all. Christ’s love shown on the cross.

So let’s let go of our own kingdoms. Lets give them all to Christ, and lets press forward to His. “Let your kingdom come.” Complete and total surrender.

God Bless, and thanks for reading!

 

Our Works Vs. Christ’s.

There’s one thing that’s been on my mind lately, and that’s myself. Yes, the good old Lucas you love so much isn’t so perfect after all :) A conversation I had with a friend of mine really awakened my own realization of who I was, and what I was doing in my own life, and that’s failing.

Readers, if you read this and look up to me, please don’t, because I’m not perfect, and I’m definitely not worthy to be an idol, only Christ is. But I never used to think that. I wanted to be that idol people looked up to. I wanted to be the one who people looked to and said, “He’s got everything under control.” I tried to be the best person for Christ I can be; and I’m constantly trying to change my actions. To turn away from the sins of my youth. Yet, each time I fall.

It’s a cycle we all go through, especially new Christians. They receive Christ, and they love Him and want to do His will, yet their sinful nature is just too strong. Believe me, it’s like a sumo facing an anorexic. In our own strength, there’s no way to win. It’s as simple as that. We aren’t strong enough to defeat the flesh nature, but Jesus is.

You hear the preachers that say after you’ve received Christ, “Now you need to change your habits and turn away from the life of sin you once lived.” Pastor, I wish I could. I wish I could have the power to change my ways. I wish I could run from my sin, but I can’t. Why is that? Why do I feel such a burden on my back?

I wasn’t fixing my eyes on the work that’s already done. I was focusing on changing my ways, on becoming a Christian worthy of God’s love and grace. Yet I never got there.

The good news of the Gospel is this, Christ died for all sins, past, present, future, and there’s nothing else we need to do to become worthy and loved. The work is already done. I was trying to be my own saviour. I was trying to add to the work on the cross, to carry the cross beyond calvary, which was why I fell down so many times, and why I still do.

When we focus on our own works, at trying to be a better person, it’s prideful. It’s your own works you want to count.

We need to fix our eyes, not on our own works, but on His. And once we fix our eyes on His work, our works will change, because the Holy Spirit will come in and change us from the inside out. I found this true for myself. There’s this one temptation that gets me every time, and when I try to stop it, it always manages to swallow me up. But when I fixed my eyes on Christ, and rested in the knowledge that if I fell, it’s ok, my desire completely changed. That temptation no longer had a hold on me because Christ’s love became so much more fulfilling than any wrong I can do. That’s one of the reasons a lot of new Christians bail out. They simply can’t run the race because they can’t perform. The law places us in condemnation, which enslaves us, but grace places us in freedom, which saves us.

But what happens if we don’t want to change? Our sinful nature is a monster that will take us down to the lowest of lows, and because God can’t interfere with free will, He lets it. Folks, if we want to stay in our ways, we’ll only end up somewhere we don’t want to be, but if we want to only follow Christ and not your old ways, He’ll begin the process of change in you, because greater is the one living in you, than he who is in the world.

What I want you to go out with today is this: if you fall, get back up, and keep your eyes on Him, because the work He’s begun in you, He is faithful to complete it. It was promised when He cried out on the cross, “It is finished!”

God Bless.

The Dirty Guv’nahs: Hearts on Fire album review

HOF-Album-Cover-Square

 

Let me tell you a story. I was browsing the free music website Noisetrade when I saw one of the top album downloads. It was Hearts on Fire by a band named the Dirty Guv’nahs. Obviously, I didn’t think much of it, and with the fact that they weren’t Christian, shrugged them off. I mostly browse through the Christian category on Noisetrade, and other than the front page, don’t really know what else comes out. Well, there was nothing new in the Christian aisle, so out of boredom, I decided to give Hearts on Fire a listen, since it was only going to be free for two weeks. The first song was Where I stand, so I clicked play and sat back to listen. After three minutes, I was completely blown away, and I don’t take that lightly.

If you know me, you will know that I’m a highly critical person when it comes to the music I listen to, and very rarely do I ever give an album five out of five (no, neither will this album), but after that first song, I was hooked, and so I listened through the rest and downloaded the album. It has a folk, Americana/rock vibe that’s addicting and extremely joyful. It’s just a joy to listen to, and having listened to it about ten times in three days (I’m serious) it’s become one of my top favourite albums of the year.

Before I go on, I want to note that these guys aren’t Christians, at least not in my knowledge, and usually I avoid secular music, but this is a fresh contrast from the crude and explicit songs we hear on the radio these days. In fact, this album has had more of a moral impact on me than a lot Christian artists. There comes a time where we need more than just “We glorify your name” songs. We need something that will teach us valuable lessons, like a proverb, and that is what the Guv’nahs deliver.

The album begins with a beautiful folk beat with Where I Stand. A song bursting with hope and triumph as James sings, “I believe in right and wrong, I believe that no one’s born to lose.” It’s basically about standing up again after a fall, and continuing the journey. Very encouraging.

Morning Light is one of the most up beat, most joyful song I’ve heard in a while. A simple song about spending time with friends, but again not without some nugget of wisdom snuck in. “I’ve been hiding from the memories of the things that I once did, but I don’t want to be defined by them no more.”

Skip two songs ahead and we get to the heartbreaker, Dear Jamie. A song about a wife leaving her husband because “of the poison in his heart.” It’s a song about regret and a plea to “don’t break my heart.” The moral is the conseqences of treating someone you love wrongly.

Under Control is a personal favourite of mine, beginning with a U2ish guitar intro. It’s about the fake control we have with wealth, but still not feeling free. “I want to know what it means to be free. All these things that I think I need, I just want to be free.” It then goes on to a story where he meets a girl, and wishing to marry her, yet because of his love of money above her, he now sings alone.

Three Little Angels is the most heartbreaking song on the record, James sings “we need love to keep us moving forward, it’s no good to hold it in our hearts, and the hardest parts are yet to come.” This can easily be sung on Christian radio, and like I said before, a lot of these songs have morals that a lot of Christian musicians seem to be missing.

But all these songs can’t compare to the closer: Canyons. An absolutely beautiful song. I simply collapse in tears with the lyrics “She wants be clean, but she doesn’t want for them to know all the ugly that she’s done and seen. Oh I wish someone would help me.
Can you help me? Cause I just wanna be loved. It’s all that I’m holding onto.” The truth is, most of the time, people don’t need prayer. Jesus never said, “I’ll pray for you,” without first helping the person. He loved them and lifted them up. We need to love, and in the end of the song, the Guv’nahs do exactly that with the incredibly encouraging lyrics, “At the bottom of it all, that’s where you’ll find hope,” to end the album out.

Overall, the Dirty Guv’nahs have released a stellar album of foot tapping songs that make your day a whole lot happier. And just because they don’t sing about God, don’t let that put you off. The Guv’nahs are easily one of the most lyrically clean secular bands I’ve ever heard. There’s basically not one objectionable lyric in the whole album, and that’s certainly a great thing.

So I don’t know about you, but I’ll be happily dancing along with the Guv’nahs on repeat for a good while.

4.5/5

And for one last week, their album is still free to download. Here’s the link: thedirtyguv’nahsnoisetradedownload.

The Lord’s Prayer: The Intimate God

So we began the prayer with “Our Father.” It’s a community of believers, whom God has called into fellowship with Him. After that Jesus then goes on to say, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name.” Jesus begins by bringing us together, then He responds in a magnificent declaration of praise. What I want to focus on today is the way Christ describes the Father.

Notice Jesus doesn’t say “Our God, who art in Heaven.” He says our Father. That’s pretty crazy, because Jesus sees God as His father. This was a completely new description of God back then, because everyone thought God was just this great holy being in the stars, but Jesus called Him His father. Abba Father.

So God is our intimate father who loves us unconditionally. That’s great news, because if I saw God as just a holy being in the stars, honestly, with all the sinful things I’ve done, I would be afraid to approach Him. I would try to work my way to acceptance, yet that can never be achieved. But now that I see God as my father, I can approach Him knowing He’ll love me no matter what I’ve done. And like how a father loves his child regardless of physical performance, so does God loves us regardless of the good and bad we’ve done, because Jesus took our it all upon Himself.

Now I know God is my father, but I’m beginning to have my doubts whether He can be someone who can help me with my problems. Jesus then goes on to say, “Who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name.” Right there Jesus hits us with a blaring contrast. So this father Jesus is talking about is the holy God in the stars after all! He’s the all powerful, magnificent, holy God we’ve known all along, yet we’ve completely missed the point.

If God was just my father, I would know He loves me, but I’m not sure if He can help me. But if God was just all powerful, I know He can do stuff, but I don’t think He’ll want to help me. But that’s not the case. What we have is the two in one: a loving father, and an all powerful God. He’s strong, yet merciful. Hallowed, revered, holy, yet loving, caring, and gracious.

So Jesus invites us into this intimacy with God, and we no longer have to prove ourselves worthy, because a father accepts his child no matter the fault. This gives me courage, because I know that if I fall in my walk, I know He’ll always be there to lift me back up.

God Bless, I hope this helps!

The Lord’s Prayer: It’s a Community

The Lord’s prayer is one of the many passages in the Bible most everyone knows, along with Pslam 23 and John 3:16. With this series I’m going to jump right into it, and dig for some of the treasures that can be found. Some of you may never have thought of some of these things while citing it. Some of you may not even know what most of it means. I’m going to try to explain it, for you, and for myself.

In the introduction I asked “what is prayer?” You reading may have never asked yourself this question before, or perhaps it’s just obvious. Maybe it is, but if the disciples had to ask Jesus how to pray, I’m sure it’s more than just talking to the ceiling, going through the motions, and pleading to God to fix whatever mess we’re in.

Jesus gave us everything we’ll ever need in the Lord’s Prayer, and the very first words Jesus says are “Our Father.” Let’s pause. Notice that Jesus didn’t say “My Father.” He says “Our Father.”  The sad thing is, in our current day and age, so much focus is on us, and on our own needs and desires. It’s all my dreams, and my life, but Jesus didn’t say that, when praying, it would just be you. Jesus said “that when two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst.” Prayer, and worship, wasn’t meant to be solo, it was meant to be a community. I always find the most joy when I’m praying along side others.

Jesus knew how much we needed each other when He began the prayer. Even God Himself isn’t alone. He’s a trinity, a community, and He’s called us into a relationship with, not only His community, but with the body of Christ, the church. I hear a lot of people say things like, “I’m not spending my time with him/her. Jesus is all I need.” To say Jesus is all we need is great, but He didn’t call us to live in Him and abandon those around us.

The truth is, we need each other, for a number of reasons, but I think the most important is that without each other, how will we learn to love the way Christ did? How will we fulfill what God has called us to do? How can we learn to live like Jesus did if we’re not forced to love another before ourselves? When we say we don’t need anyone else in our lives, I think it’s because honestly, we’re afraid to lay down our own desires to serve another. For me personally, I know that’s the case. And in marriage between, not only a man and woman, but between God and the church, it’s all about putting the other before oneself, which is what Jesus had been doing all along.

I know it’s easier to live for ourselves. To live in our own world and desires. We put ourselves on islands, and separate ourselves from the mainland. But as Mike Donhey from the band, Tenth Avenue North said, “To experience the divine, we need to come off our islands, and onto the shore.”

So it’s not just you and God, it’s all of us, and when joined as a union, that’s when the power of prayer begins to take shape the way God planned it to be.

God Bless, and lets come over to the shore today.

The Lord’s Prayer: Introduction

This is the first in a series on the Lord’s prayer, but before I begin I want to ask you a question. What is prayer? That’s the question I want you to answer. That’s right, before I go on in the series and try to explain it, I’m going to give you a chance to describe what prayer is in your own words in the comments.

To give you an introduction, you’ll find that it was the disciples who asked Jesus how to pray. Why did they ask Him this? Hadn’t they ever prayed before? I think they would have, but they couldn’t see the way Jesus did it.

See, Jesus laid everything down when He went to pray. Most nights, He went to the hill to pray, and He spent the entire night there. So the disciples were asking, “How could he do that? What is He getting out of that?” If we’re honest, we don’t really pray that much. Maybe ten, thirty minutes at the most, some not at all. I myself am in that same category most days. But Jesus, He sacrificed everything to pray.

So why did Jesus love to pray that much? What was He getting out of it? What is the true way to pray? What is prayer? These are the questions I’m asking, and I can’t wait to see your answers!

The Hero’s Journey

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post specifically about writing, and since a friend of mine has begun work on his own novel, I thought it would be a good time to give a little more advice. Today, I’m going to map out the journey your protagonist is planned to go on. This is a general guideline, and is by no means meant to be the be all and end all, just a guideline where you can gain some inspiration. That’s one of the great things about writing, you can break the rules!

Alright, so the first step in the journey isn’t really a step for our hero at all. And like I said before, it can be broken, but usually in the beginning the hero will encounter some sort of messenger, whether that be a person, a vision, or anything that foreshadows or gives the hero a low-down of what’s going on. In the Pilgrim’s Progress, this is the Evangelist of the story.

Step two is where the hero begins to unravel to the problem ahead. This step presents the main problem our hero must face. It’s the main plot introduction, which leads onto the next step: The Decision.

This is where the hero needs to make his decision. To solve whatever problem is facing him (or the town he’s in), or to run away. Obviously, unless your hero is a stubborn coward (like mine are sometimes!), you’ll no doubt let your hero decide to solve the problem presented.

Nest up the challenge is presented. This is where the hero realizes what he has to do to stop the problem. This usually happens multiple times in the novel, because there are many challenges in the way which must be overcome in order to solve the main problem. Once your hero has made the decision to go, there’s no turning back, unless of course you want to take the next step: the Refusal.

A realistic hero will always debate with some sort of refusal or hesitation. He’ll probably think, “Uh uh, there’s no way I’m doing that. You can just forget it.” Sound familiar? A lot of novels use this step to give their hero some solid ground in reality to stand upon. Unless of course your hero is a superhero, and even then, refusal is a valuable tool.

Once your hero has gotten over the refusal stage (sometimes with some help from another character), we then get on to the exciting bit: taking the first step. This is the first real step your hero takes on his journey. This is where he leaves the comfort of his own home, whether it be literal of metaphorical, and sets off on the dangerous journey. For example, this is where Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress begins the journey to the Celestial City.

Somewhere along the line though, your hero is going to have some trouble, and this is where the next step comes in: The helper. This is where the second character takes place to fight along side your hero, whether for that one scene, or for the remainder of the story.

Now we’re getting to the final steps. This is where the hero begins to really ware out. After facing so many challenges, your hero should be at his lowest. Worn out and defeated. And after a quick revelation, maybe from the aforementioned helper or another sign, we get on to the next step: The Rise.

This is where the hero rises again, regroups, and leads them into the final battle with the main foe.

The next step is pretty obvious: The Showdown. Obviously, you’ll already know what that is, the glorious (or sometimes not so glorious) final battle. It’s where your hero will either live or die.

If your hero survives the fight, and the foe is defeated, you will then move on to the final step: The Resolution. Everyone celebrates and crowns the hero with honor. This is the happy ending to your story.

So I hope this has helped. Like I said before, it’s just a guideline, and is not meant to be the final say in your novel. But all good novels have at least two of three of these steps, so have fun with it! And to my newest novelist, I hope this gives you some inspiration for your own novel. You’ve just begun one of the greatest adventures you’ll ever take, and like the heroes in the Christian movies always say, God speed!

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