An Inspiration: Pentecost

Where did Pentecost go? - The Catholic Miscellany

It’s now May, the days are getting warmer, and I want to start writing the next Bell Mountain book.

So I’m sitting outside, re-reading Behold! to jog my memory and waiting for an inspiration. And as I was doing that today, Pentacost came to mind.

Suddenly I saw it in a new light. At the tower of Babel, God confused humanity’s language so that they couldn’t understand each other: suddenly there were a hundred different languages, mutually unintelligible. That was the end of that project; the tower couldn’t be finished.

But what did He do on the day of Pentacost, centuries later?

He did the reverse of what He did at Babel.

Suddenly all these people, in all their different languages, could understand what Christ’s disciples said. It’s important to bear in mind that all those languages which the disciples seemed to be speaking were real languages. Each person there thought he was hearing his own native language spoken.

“Now… the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongues, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia… we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?” (Acts 2: 6-12)

The exact opposite of what God had done at Babel.

We can see this miracle as a down payment, as it were, on a future in which God will restore, through the Holy Spirit, the unity of the human race. Not by government programs, not by “education,” not by coercion and force, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. By God Himself.

It’s this unity that we look forward to, and not any of the counterfeits proposed by the world government crowd. The unity that can only be found in Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord.

Guess What I’ve Got!

What a morning! Hand in our votes, supermarket, pay rent–and all with a cold wind blowing, with 40-mph gusts. Complete with a great big black walnut branch breaking off and falling in the yard. Fortunately it didn’t hit anything. And my leg was just killing me, too.

But all that hassle must’ve cleared out the cobwebs for me, because when we finally got home again, and I sat outside to have a cigar–voila!

I’ve got the climax for Behold! Now I’ve seen what the people in my story are going to behold. And if I can find the skill to write what I saw, as I saw it–well, it’s gonna knock your socks off.

Meanwhile the computer I normally use has gone on strike. Ain’t working.

So kick back and enjoy some dinosaur sounds: it has a bearing on the story.

Thank you, Lord Jesus!

Sing Along! ‘Yield Not to Temptation’

Another beloved Sunday school standby, here performed by Nathan and Lyle in Texas, on mandolin and guitar.

Horatio Palmer wrote this song, words and music, in 1868–wrote it pretty fast, too. Here’s how he recalled it (source, Cyberhymnal): “I was at work on the dry subject of Theory when the complete idea flashed before me… I hurriedly penned both words and music as fast as I could write them…”

That is so cool when that happens! A gift from God, and no mistake about it.

A Brilliant Stroke of the Pen–by Accident

Laurel and Hardy only pretended to be chuckleheads; but they did it so convincingly, they got rich.

Even so, the finest specimens of chuckleheadedness are only unearthed  by accident. And some of them are gems.

Just this morning I read an Customer Review of my Bell Mountain–five stars, so I’m certainly not complaining–which featured a rare and valuable typo that has since been corrected. And please don’t think I’m making fun of the writer, because I know well that anyone can take a prat fall, big-time. You should see some of the whoppers my editors have saved me from committing to publication.

So this reviewer wrote of Bell Mountain as “the battle of goof vs. evil.”

Think about that!

Can goof actually defeat evil? You know something–I’m pretty sure it can. I’m pretty sure it has, all throughout history. How many fiendishly evil plans have been scuttled by pure incompetence?

This has the makings of a story. Maybe even a whole novel. Certainly a chapter, here and there. Most certainly, a chapter.

Inspiration comes when you least expect it, and from the least-expected direction, too. Don’t waste it when you’ve got it.

Again, again! ‘Behold the Mountain’

The news this morning is so disgusting, I may decide not to report it, after all.

But this is the good news: “Behold, the Mountain of the Lord in latter days shall rise!”

Yes, I know, I’ve posted this hymn before. Well, I need it just now. I need the solace. I need the inspiration. My heart is full now. I’m ready to begin my work.

And Suddenly It Hits Me…

So there I am, plugging away at my new book, The Throne (No. 9 in the Bell Mountain series), without the foggiest idea how the story’s going to end.  I’m used to this by now.

For years I wrote very differently. I had detailed biographies for every character. I had color-coded index cards, each subplot assigned its own color, so I could lay them out on the table and move them around and around until I found the best arrangements. I would be months and months at these preparations before I wrote a single word of the manuscript.

I’ve been writing The Throne since April. Each day I sit down with my pen and paper and say a prayer, asking the Lord to give me the story He wishes me to tell, and to make my work fruitful in His service. And He always gives me the story. This has been my method for each and every one of these books.

I’ve also been asking Him, lately, to show me how to end The Throne.

I was going upstairs yesterday afterno0n when, in just the time it took to climb the last two steps–whoom! I had the ending. Like a whole picture being flashed into my head. The whole thing.

Now all I have to do is write my way to it.

Sometimes I start with the ending and have to wait for the beginning. Or I start with a few key scenes in the middle of the story. Maybe even just one scene.

It’s a cool way to write, and I enjoy it. Thank you, Father.