October 20, 2019

My Name is Saul- Very Close

My Name is Saul- Very Close My name is Saul-Very Close… I know, close but no cigar, right? Just in case you would like to know the origin of that phrase…here. So why write about it when the first draft of the manuscript is not done? Because I am close…really close! And that fact is worthy of saying so. More than that…saying so is too tame. I am jubilant! This story has been alternately exciting, supremely challenging, frustrating, maddening…I could go on, but you get the idea. But a few months ago, this contradictory, complicated, mysterious, paradox of a man […]
October 13, 2019

Not A Hair On Your Head

Not a hair on your head was originally written in late 2013. I am reposting it for two reasons: It feels eerily even more relevant in October, 2019 as a beleaguered Israel prepares for war without global support of any kind; the United Nation’s attention on Israel is confined to absurdities and the US continues the endless attempts to bring down the President. Secondly because My Name is Saul is demanding all of my energy as I work to meet my deadline. Here is the post from November 2013: A couple of weeks ago while still in Half Moon Bay, […]
October 6, 2019

Sanity: Stillness, Addiction and Love

Wondering how stillness, addiction and love relate to sanity? Had two distinctly books not fallen into my lap I would never have made the correlation or even wondered about sanity: stillness, addiction and love. The two books? The Love That Keeps Us Sane: Living the Little Way of St. Therese of Lesieux written by sixty-something- year- old Discalced Carmelite Priest, Father Marc Foley,and Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday, a thirty- something media strategist. I read Ryan Holiday’s blog posts because he writes about the stoics. Marc Aurelius, Seneca, and some of the lesser known ancient Greek men who […]
September 29, 2019

2 New Lin Wilder Author Interviews

2 new Lin Wilder interviews? Each of the last five years this time, late September, finds me working to finish a book. This one is no different from the previous years; I am pushing hard to complete the 1st iteration of My Name is Saul. Forcing my writing to be extremely focused on Saul instead of new content for the blog. Therefore, this Sunday article consists of re-posting 2 new Lin Wilder author interviews, both originally published during September. The first was published in Literary Titan early this month. This first interview served as the catalyst for the second. Author […]
September 22, 2019

The Contradictions Of Sin And Mercy

Contradictions of sin and mercy There are times when an essay from the past feels fitting. This is one of those times. Mostly because there is one man who better understands the contradictions of sin and mercy better than any other: Karol Wojtyla. His first published work was a series of meditations prepared at the request of the then Pope Paul VI for the 1976 Lenten Retreat of the Pope and his staff. The then Cardinal called his book, The Sign of Contradiction. I first wrote these words was in April of 2014. In some ways, that feels like a […]
September 15, 2019

The Woman With The Alabaster Jar And The Pharisee: Surprised by Grace

Surprised by Grace Now and then, I am surprised by grace; that phrase is used a lot by Christian writers weakly attempting to convey what Paul describes as living and active and sharper than a two edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit. Because it’s always much more than surprise…more like a blow to my psyche. I have read and or heard preached the Gospel passage in Luke, where Christ is invited to dine at the home of the Pharisee and is interrupted by the woman with the alabaster jar who stands behind the Lord […]
September 8, 2019

Overcomer: A New Kendricks Brothers Movie

When I learned that Overcomer was a new Kendricks Brothers movie, I resolved to see it. This is true for four reasons. Four years ago, a movie with the title, War Room, was irresistibly evocative to me… Prayer as war: the correlation of combat with happiness has long been one which applies to my life. Therefore, a movie about prayer and war was one I knew I wanted to see when my sister Lee told me about it. Fitting,  because the spiritual life  is fundamentally a battle. Secondly, I recognized one of the War Room actresses in the trailer. In the […]
September 1, 2019

A Birthday Day Party and Gift of Power: Another Bible Story

A Birthday Party and gift of power: Another Bible Story… Each year, on August 29th, the Christian liturgy celebrates the Feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist. In case a reminder is called for, the Gospel of Mark relates that Herod was the one who arrested John, “on account of Herodias,” his brother’s wife. The Baptizer publicly censured the King and his wife proclaiming that “it was not lawful to have your brother’s wife.” Mark writes that Herodias ‘ harbored a grudge against John and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.’ When I read the […]
August 25, 2019

The Audacity of Writing

The Audacity of Writing. Every once in a while, seemingly disparate, even oxymoronic thoughts become as one: love and writing are like that for me today. There is an audacity necessary to write and to love. Love thy neighbor as you love yourself. Christ’s words are clear in the Gospel passage we hear repeated so often- there are no subtleties here; or are there? Recently, I have been thinking about this frequently repeated command of our Lord and wonder if we have it backward. Take a moment and ponder this seemingly simple and clear statement of Jesus. …’as you love […]
August 18, 2019

Seymour’s Cone: Weapon of Mass Destruction

Seymour’s Cone: Weapon of Mass Destruction “Because of the area of surgery, he needs the cone for the entire fourteen days.” Closing my eyes with inaudible,OH NO!, I said, “Can you imagine him with this thing?” My husband John had started asking just how long we would need to keep this cone on him the second day he wore it…or more accurately, drove it. “I am sure he is a weapon of mass destruction.” The minute the question left my mouth, I realized that the vet, Dr. Jane Nibler, could easily imagine this dog weaponizing this thing as he raced […]
August 11, 2019

It Is Good For Us To Be Here

It is good for us to be here: Transfiguration The three men-ordinary fishermen- are invited by Christ up to the peak of the mountain to pray, we are told in Luke. The Transfiguration is the last miracle performed by Christ marking the beginning of the end of his days on earth. For many days,perhaps weeks, he has been warning his disciples that the Son of Man will suffer and in 3 days, rise. Imagine it. Peter has already declared his knowledge that this man Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, but his mind, like ours, has trouble grappling with a […]
August 4, 2019

Tears of Rain: Blade Runner

Tears of Rain: Blade Runner I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. There was a time I had memorized those now immortalized last words said by the dying Rutger Hauer in Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, Blade Runner. Although I said a quick prayer for Hauer upon learning that he had died this week, I did not ponder the countless times I watched that movie. Or […]
July 28, 2019

CS Lewis and Karl Rahner

CS Lewis and Karl Rahner Most likely they never met. But the atheist turned Anglican Christian CS Lewis and the Roman Catholic Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner perceived their God in radically similar ways. Both men served as apologists for their faith causing more than a little consternation in the minds of more rule bound colleagues. “I think all Christians would agree with me if I said that though Christianity seems at the first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond. One […]
July 14, 2019

Environmental Activist and Oxymoron

Environmental Activist and Oxymoron There was a time, many years ago, when I was more of a radical environmental activist than most people I knew. And would not have conceived of a phrase like environmental activist and oxymoron in a single phrase. No more. The first part of the phrase carries the heft of religion. In some cases, political actors are the most fanatical of religious zealots when dealing with the environment. Governmental policies like the recent decisions of our federal government to lay waste to hundreds of orchards, ranches, farms in order to divert water for an endangered small […]
July 7, 2019

Defining Freedom: The Old/New Lure of Socialism

Defining freedom: The old/new lure of socialism On this Independence Day weekend, taking a few moments to consider defining freedom – for ourselves, our lives and our choices-seems fitting. I find this old/new lure of socialism antithetical to what we stand for in this country founded under God. But this is clearly not so for a growing number of us here and around the world. Since I have been wondering at the reasons for resurgence of socialism, an intriguing book by Kristian Niemeitz caught my attention with this promo: Socialism is strangely impervious to refutation by real-world experience. Over the […]
June 30, 2019

Forbidden Fruit and Its Consequences

Forbidden fruit and its consequences This painting, Sarah Leading Abraham to Hagar by seventeenth century painter Matthias Stom is displayed in the Gimaldegalerie in Berlin. Even a quick look at the figures portrayed by the artist even briefly, conveys something unseemly, even odious. All too evident is the purpose of the intrusion of the elderly woman ushering the very young girl into the bedchambers. I learned of this painting in a most intriguing meditation by Dominican priest, Fr. Anthony Giambrone called Forbidden Fruit and the Fruit of Faith. Far from being aroused, Abraham is withdrawing from the ‘gift’ being offered. […]
June 23, 2019

The Cover: Does It Matter?

The Cover: Does It Matter? The short answer is yes, book covers hugely influence our decision to buy or pass. In fact, a whopping eighty percent of readers and bloggers say their decision to buy a book is determined by the cover.  For best selling authors like Lee Child, Dean Koontz, Harlen Coben, David Baldacci, the cover designs are less critical. These authors have become brand names and no longer need to spend marketing dollars to gain readers. At least, I made that assumption until I cruised though the list of 100 best selling authors at Amazon. Lee Child, David […]
June 16, 2019

Procrastination Revisited: Or Justification, Which Is It?

Procrastination Revisited: Or Justification, which is it? Well I am past the first 10,000 words of My Name is Saul, but just barely. And June is halfway gone. By now, I am usually at the halfway point of my newest book and with Saul I am not even close. Why is that? There are a number of possibilities: writer’s block, simple procrastination, distraction, I have lost my passion for the subject matter, poor use of my time, and/or I lack the discipline to stare at the blinking cursor key. Each of these has an element of truth. But only an […]
June 9, 2019

Her Name Was Karen: Illness as Metaphor

Her Name was Karen: Illness as metaphor. Karen worked as a staff nurse in the CCU at the hospital where I had been hired as the director for medical nursing. With astounding clarity, I can see her face and the variety of scarves she wore to cover her baldness. It took me some time to learn, more accurately notice, that Karen was dying of cancer. To be fair, it wasn’t just my self absorption but also because she was so filled with life, vitality and grit. A brand new manager, experienced solely in the clinical side of academic medicine, I […]
June 1, 2019

Feast of the Ascension-Why Does It Matter To You And Me?

The Feast of the Ascension: Why Does it Matter? Last night, Fr. Paul began his homily during the vigil Mass for The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus, with that question. It’s a fantastic scene, isn’t it? This event witnessed by eleven ordinary people a couple of thousand years ago; fantastic to them then and fantastic to us now. Perhaps so absurd that most of us believe it as fictional as the Marvel comics. The event is described both in Acts and in Matthew: When they had gathered together, they asked the question they’d been asking for the entire three […]
May 26, 2019

CS Lewis The Great Divorce: A Rereading

John Chillingworth/Picture Post/Hulton Archive, via Getty Images CS Lewis- The Great Divorce: A Rereading …the bus was full oflight. It was cruel light. I shrank from the faces and forms by which I was surrounded. They wereall fixed faces, full not of possibilities but of impossibilities, some gaunt, some bloated, someglaring with idiotic ferocity, some drowned beyond recovery in dreams; but all, in one way oranother, distorted and faded. One had a feeling that they might fall to pieces at any moment if thelight grew much stronger. Then-there was a mirror on the end wall of the bus-I caught sight […]
September 23, 2014

Dolphin Tale 2

In these days of wars on three fronts, headlines of missiles raining down on Syria, ninety minutes of a story based upon a dedicated group of people with the single, pure and loving goal of rescue, rehabilitate and release of Dolphins and other marine animals was just what we needed yesterday. Dolphin Tale 2 is the sequel to a movie telling the true story of  a group of people in Clearwater Florida who rescued a dolphin they named Winter pictured here with the prosthetic device devised to function for the amputated lower part of her body and her tail. The […]
September 28, 2014

The Divine Symphony

The phrase ‘divine symphony’ was coined by a naturalist, whose name I cannot recall, who studies the effects of clearing the forest in order to diminish the danger of fires. This unnamed researcher audio-taped the sounds before the clearing and after. The effects were both stunning and upsetting: what was a cacophony of sound prior to the removal of every other tree became nearly silence following the actions of the Forest Service. His point? So much of the time, what seems reasonable and ‘natural’ to us can have inimical effects upon the very world we here trying to protect; hence […]
November 16, 2014

Happiness: Is There A Key?

Happiness: is there a key? Strange question, maybe, maybe not. “So, how exactly, do you decide to be happy?” My friend looked bemusedly at me as she replied to my statement that I thought happiness was a decision we made. “LOOK at that tree!” I exclaimed loudly and with vehemence, knowing that my reply to her question required more than a little explanation. My psychologist husband, knowing this story, entered the fray by asking “Lin, when was one of your happiest times in your life?” Silent for a moment, I thought about his question and reviewed major events in my life; hallmarks […]
November 19, 2014

Success: Will Power And Self Control

Will is not a word any of us uses as a matter of daily discourse. Either as a noun or a verb, will is not a word we use in the twenty-first century, unless we’re talking about virtue and in 2014, who talks about virtue outside of the Bible or Sunday church? Are self-control and will power irrelevant and outmoded concepts, belonging to the former Christian age? In a recently published book, Willpower, Discovering the Greatest Human Strength, authors Roy Baumeister and John Tierney approach will and self control from a social scientific viewpoint, claiming in their introduction that success, however […]