Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Monday, July 25, 2011


After a word race on the appropriate topic of fear with Matthew Lauser/Luke Alistar this morning, I decided to copy the less "emotionally vulnerable" part into a blog post. ;)

"Giants in your life. Pride, ambition, vanity, selfishness, idolatry. So many more obvious that we fight daily, yet there’s something about fear which makes it a very deadly giant to face. Fear is cold, grey oblivion that steals up on us, wrapping dark fingers of soft thick vapour over our eyes so that the glory of God is dimmed and appears, at times, to have vanished. Fear is the giant that turns our vision dark and our gazes fall to the earth to search for the light. Fear is what leads us away from God in the hardest circles of life and sends us cowering into a corner instead of facing the pain with our hands in God’s – with a smile.

Fear is the darkness; faith is the golden light. Light conquers darkness. Faith conquers fear. And to receive faith, we ask God. And search after Him. When you seek Him diligently, you will find Him – IF – you search for Him with all your heart. And He will give you faith. A shield against fear.

And to keep that faith, you need hope.

To keep faith and hope, you need love. And Love is God. Faith and hope both come from God.

And God conquers fear. Because perfect love casts out fear."

I'm off to Houston now, and would ask your prayers for God's Hand of protection on my luggage and Hand of non-sleepiness on my eyelids.

God bless you!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Humble Man

Sitting in front of the lectern the final day, watching Mr. S. stand there and thank us all for being part of OYAN, for being who we were, for wanting to change the world through our writing and being willing to let God use it, the word I'd been looking to describe him struck me.


Most of us would describe Mr. and Mrs. S. as totally awesome, epic, amazing, pirate-ninja people, and lovers of writing - and writers. All of which is totally true. But there's something different about the Schwabauers that has impacted all of our lives in a way that most authors fail to.
Sure, one part of it is that they created the most phenomenal writing curriculum out, because, not being content with creating his own people and world, Mr. S. had the passion and creativity and calling to share his gifting with others. Something that most authors wouldn't do, but would just be content to sit back and collect their laurels.
Another part of it is that they have the most epic writing Workshop out, once a year, which brings kids from all over the globe into one place to share life, love, joy and laughter, to learn and to experience, to develop and to grow, to share our hearts and our talents and our callings with one another.

Ever wondered, though, just why OYAN has the greatest community out? Why it hasn't stopped growing and died? Ever thought - it might be the Hand of the God that the Schwabauers serve, blessing it? And do you know why He blesses it? Because they're willing to be willing to be used of God.

Mr. S didn't just sit back with satisfaction as an author and collect the money. He didn't carry on writing to satisfy the inner drive. He created a curriculum that would reach out and inspire a young, a new generation with a passion for writing. He didn't just stop there, happy to collect the profits and sit back and lecture his young students with techniques of writing.

OYAN lives. Because of God's blessing. Because of the humbleness in Mr. and Mrs. S.

At the Workshop, several things were noticeable.
Mr. and Mrs. S.'s dislike of praise and applause, although they accepted it uncomfortably because they knew it would hurt us for them not to let us show our appreciation, love and respect.
Their down-to-earthness. They weren't high and mighty on a pedestal. The "I'm an AUTHOR! Bow down to me!" attitude which quite a few authors have; provoked, one must admit, by adoring fans like us aspiring writers. If you caught Mr. S. signing a book, it was usually a hasty scribble while talking to a group of students. They MINGLED with us. Laughed with us. Joked with us. Lived with us. And they love us.

I have several very vivid memories of my time with the Schwabauers. Most of them are not to do with writing.

The first memory was the day I met them. The Lucchis were around at the Garners, and Mr. and Mrs. S dropped by with "Little S", as we nicknamed Gabrielle. I stood there, looking at the huge group of about fifteen kids sat together on the sofa and the floor, and looked over at Mr. and Mrs. S laughing and chatting with Mrs. Garner, just before leaving (without Gabrielle), and thought, "Wow. If God hadn't used Mr. S. to create OYAN, and if the S's hadn't been willing to be used of Him, then this wouldn't be happening now. None of these people would know each other. I wouldn't know them. And I wouldn't be here in America."

The second strongest probably is when we all (ignore ringleader's guilty cough) set up a chant of "Mrs. S., you are awesome!" followed with "Mr. S., you are awesome!" Their reactions were distinctive to the person, but similar. Mrs. S. waved for quiet, faintly, before pretending to run out of the room, and Mr. S. turned a faint shade of red as he headed down to the front.

The third memory I have is of that last night after Mr. S. finished his talk. The whole group of OYANers, in one last attempt to show how deeply grateful we were for everything they'd done for us, rose to our feet to applaud him - and then climbed chairs and tables.

The fourth memory is of when we were waiting for my baptism of Andrew Beals with Coke. Yes, an entirely different story, but it was an event highly enjoyed by OYANers. I wanted the Schwabauers present, but we had to wait a while - because a student needed to talk to Mr. S. privately. (I don't know who or why and don't want to, just in case that person reads this.)
Not only were they and did they come to participate in the fun of a lively bunch of young people, but they made time for those who needed it above everything else.

The fifth memory would be of when Mr. S. explained the comic that he draws and writes for prison inmates, and stories of people saved - from crime, death and hell - by reading them. Letters they had written him. And the awe and near tears as he said how wonderful it was that God used a little thing like that to reach so far.
He wasn't proud God had picked him. He was awed. Humbled. Amazed. And praising.

The sixth memory has to be of when Mrs. S. and he stood there and thanked us for being who we were, and for being part of OYAN.
There was this great but _humble_ couple that God has so mightily used, thanking us, a group of wild, crazy, fun-loving young teens that long to serve God and change the world, when he inspired us with that vision.

The seventh memory is when I said a final goodbye to all of my wonderful friends. I left the Schwabauers til last (Laurale was second to last) and then said goodbye to Mr. S. before realising the Garner girls were still talking to Mrs. S. Mr. S. and I began to chat, and I asked him to pray for my family back home and the stuff we're going through. I don't care to share the majority of the conversation, but the one thing that stuck with me that I want to share was his explaining of God's love to me. That God doesn't love us because we're more special than everyone else, but because He made us each individually and loves us as we are.
That also struck home to me; that he was willing to take time on the final night to talk to me and try to show me the love of God.

And Mrs. S? She who is epicness and awesomeness in one amazing human? I'm willing to bet she has been supporting and encouraging Mr. S. every step of the way, in both his writing and the forum. We all know how active she is on the forum (which is a lot for someone as busy as she is), but she never shoves her weight around. She always takes time for those who need it. And no one could imagine Mr. or Mrs. S. without the other. There's a match made in Heaven for you.
Behind every good man there is a good woman. And I'd like to ask you to join with me in thanking God for creating and using the Schwabauers, and that God's blessing would be mightily upon them for their willingness to be used of Him, and for everything that He has done through them, that whatever they touch would prosper.

Thank you so much, Mr. and Mrs. S., for everything you've done for me. There's so much more I wish I could say in tribute, but words fail me. God bless you both. God bless you.

With love, respect and thankfulness,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weird Dreams

For the past four nights (excluding last night) at the Beals' house, I have had extremely weird dreams.
The first was regarding an old friend and I - we were touring England, and a steam engine and another guy were involved. Not much more I want to recall.
The next two I can't remember, but the fourth was so weird I made a point of trying to remember specific points and write it down.

My Dream 09-07-11

There was this train station I was at...a train from America to the UK. It stopped in front of some big glass panels, white framed, with sliding doors. I was in a sort of wide area that lead to it off a corridor. Mom and Dad were there, with my Uncle Pete and I seem to recall something to do with or someone like Bill Jackson. I have a vague recollection of me having some kind of stuffed animal, probably missing Harry Kyle.
I was off somewhere important, the atmosphere had a kind of urgency around it and I felt very sure of where I was going and that I wouldn't be back for a long time and there was danger involved. The style of clothing gave the impression of WWII style, but that it was winter. Which is confusing. I hugged everyone goodbye. Dad was kind of nonchalant and Mom looked very concerned. I went off onto the train with my suitcase.

Next thing I remember is hearing this woman with shoulder length blonde curly hair in a suit sitting behind a desk, listing off in a crisp voice my "crimes". I was accused of arson in a building, and funnily enough, I could see it burning almost as though it was in a real living photo in front of me, as she said. I was a secret agent of some kind, and she was after my life.

Next scene was her torturing my son called Timothy, who resembled a kind of muppet, by squeezing him behind a door, trying to get him to tell her where I was. I was watching, horrified, but unable to stop it. It was put to an end by a big, elderly man (who also resembled one of the muppets) squeezing through the door and thus forcibly stopping her - and then ordering her to. I got the impression this man was Scrooge.

Following this, I recollect Timothy, me and Scrooge were in this boat, rowing upstream in a river of blood with this woman, who might have been called Helga or Hilde. We had an open area of water we were heading towards, with thick trees, like a tall forest, on either side. I was aware I was under some kind of capture, and that I hated her, and that she intended to kill me. She stopped off to stand in the water (which was clear at this point) to talk to something, and I seized the oars and was rowing frantically upstream as she continued her conversation. Then I looked up with horror to see these raging wolves heading towards me. They looked like some cross between a wolf and a dog, tongues lolling, eyes glistening as they leaped over the water, as over land, towards me. I tried to row backwards and the woman laughed, did some few fantastic swimming strokes which brought her from about a quarter of a mile away to the boat and leaped in, taking over the oars.

Next I am aware we are in some kind of wooden log shed, with the wolves trying to get in from outside. My Uncle Peter was there, and we were putting bricks in clear plastic containers, the kind with the clip on lids. I seem to have reduced in age somewhat, as, although Timothy is there, I feel and am treated as a much younger person, without the responsibility I appeared to have had before. I was putting the bricks in and clipping on the lids, as were other people. The wolves were snarling and snapping outside, and I remember being terrified in case they tried to chew underneath the structure, as it was a dirt floor. We were in there for some distinct period of time, when they paused and I knew they were sniffing around the edge of the shed. Suddenly, a wolf who must've been the chief began to call out dog names in a distinctly human voice. One was Bandit. The wolves, one by one, vanished. I remember peering outside the shed through a letterbox crack and seeing only one left - and I was the only one that noticed this. My Uncle Pete eventually went outside and came back in, slamming the door behind him, leaning against it with both hands and saying, They're all gone! At this point we all looked at each other, wondering why, when suddenly it struck us all that "of course! It was Christmas Day and Scrooge (who was there) had changed his heart at this time on Christmas Day."

We were at some kind of party, some kind of celebration. It felt like a homecoming one for me. I was standing hugging my sister, who I remember was 50 something years of age. My brother sat at a tiny kid's table to my right, looking over my nephew George's left shoulder, who was sitting at the left hand of my nephew Jamie. Both my nephews were a little older in years but not much changed physically, but my brother Simon had grey hair. We were in a big room from the feel of it, and I was watching someone undo a present. It may have been my young niece, Ayanna. Scrooge was standing there, stooped over, watching it, and as the wrapping fell away the last wolf came out, and it was to kill Scrooge. I don't remember what happened, but suddenly it changed into a little girl, with blonde hair and big blue eyes, who looked like a kiddie's cartoon creature.

That's the fourth weirdest dream I've had in four days since I've been at the Beals'. I really can't figure this out!