Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Lover's Spat...

I'm currently having a lover's spat with my husband. My life is a little chaotic at the moment with a lot of different things going on at the same time. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't 'blame' my husband for what is happening. I'm not accusing him of anything or even saying that he's in anyway remotely responsible.

However, my husband is my fortress of refuge and my strength. He's the one I turn to in times of trouble, not just when things are going great. He is my comforter and I expect certain things out of him, like being comforted. He's my shield against these attacks - so I'm a little frustrated at the amount of bombardment that I'm going through at the moment.

I'm not blaming him for these spiritual and emotional attacks, nor am I saying that he could have prevented them. I'm angry that I have to go through them at all, but who wouldn't be? Who truly rejoices when times of trouble comes onto them? Who jumps up and down to see one of their children go through something that's tearing their heart to pieces? Who dances when financial problems start piling up? Who laughs as they watch their dreams one by one being ripped from their grasp? Yet, isn't that what we're supposed to do?

According to Paul's final instructions to the Thessalonians it is: 1Thessalonians 5:16-18 - " Be joyful always: pray continually: give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

It's a lot easier said than done.

I'm angry, but I'm not afraid. I'm secure in my faith and know that I will get through this as I have been taken through before. This is just another time and season in the valley. It's another growth spurt. It's another time to discover that things are out of my control, where they shouldn't be anyway. It' s another time of learning.

I've learned - that I can't make someone else walk my path - no matter how much I desire for them to. I can't make them have the same relationship I do. I can't let them borrow my faith. I can't believe for them. They have to do it themselves. It's out of my control.

I've learned - that being faithful gives me more power than I realize. Though I'm going through a time of tribulation, I can stand before my God with my head held high, because I KNOW that I've been faithful. I can boldly approach the Throne of God and lay my complaint before Him, because I know I have a right - I've been faithful. I can stand against the poisoned arrows of my enemy because I know I have an Advocate, Sword and a Shield - I've been faithful. Doubt has no room, because I've been faithful.

God warned me of this time in my dreams - just go back and read them and you can see. I posted them on this blog. I do not fear. In the dreams - I gained victory and so too shall I now.

So, I'm having a little spat with my husband right now. I'm bringing him my complaints and laying them at his feet. This isn't my burden to carry, but his - I've been faithful. This husband I'm talking about isn't the one I'm naturally married to, but spiritually - Christ. I'm not angry with him, but I'm tired of holding onto what isn't mine. It's time he took over and carried this burden for me. It' s time for him to comfort me and I won't stop petitioning him until he does - I've been faithful.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


As inspired by the great episode of Heroes last night, I'm thinking about them this morning and asking myself, 'What makes one a hero'? I know it's not a super ability, because many have abilities and often use them for their own selfish gain. No, it's not what someone can do that makes them a hero, but how and why they do what they do.

A firefighter is a hero, because he risks his life everyday to save others. He runs into a burning building while the rest of us run out. He faces the danger, while we hide from it. That doesn't make us bad - that makes us human and with common sense. It doesn't make him bad with no common sense, but good and brave - and in my definition a hero.

Here are list of heroes (in my view)
Soldier - who puts thier lives on the line to protect and serve their country.
Mother - who puts the needs of her child above her own desires. (Not everyone who's given birth to a child is a mother.)
Father - who leads, protects and sacrifices for his family.
Pastor - who spritually feeds his flocks.
Teacher - who desires to see our youth learn how to learn.
Tither - one who trusts in God's provision.
Husband - that honors and cherish's his wife and see's her as his crown, his precious gift.
Wife - that honors and cherish's her husband and see's him as the spiritual head and leader.
Children - who submit and obey God & their parents - fulfilling a loving legacy for the next generation.
Friend - who tells you what you 'need' to hear, not what you 'want'.

The world is full of heroes, most that do not have a special ability. While all of those listed above also have people who are selfish, greedy and evil - I tend to believe that there are a lot more heroes than we realize.

While we may not have the ability to fly, paint the future, bend the space-time continuum, heal ourselves, read other's thoughts or split in two, there are heroes among us just the same. But, how cool would it be if some of us could do those things?

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Monday, October 23, 2006

Magic Island - Chapter One Critiques

It looks like the first chapter of Magic Island is turning out to be a big hit in my critique group. My critters are doing a really good job of pointing out any of the little things I sometimes overlook and I appreciate every bit of constructive criticism they dish out. The harder they are on me, the more I feel that they really care about the story. I know... I do the same with stories I care about.

I really love my critique group. I'd recommend finding one for every writer out there. The process alone helps to sharpen your skills, making you a better writer. A true writer has a natural gift to tell a story, however they may not possess the 'structural' knowledge or discipline to put that story out in the best shape possible - and that takes practice, training and lots of lots of rewrites and edits.

When I first started writing, I hated the editing process. I had a story and it sounded great to me. But, I had to realize that my story on paper didn't match the story in my head. Other readers didn't see what I saw, because I didn't write it that way. The difference is - I 'told' a story instead of taking the reader on an adventure.

Well, I have lots of critiques to review and even more stories to critique.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, October 20, 2006

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Reviews 6:4

The Green Arrow arrived with a zing, much like the way his arrows zip through the air.
Lex Luthor rose from the darkened ashes, and it's about time.
Lionel Luthor showed his true colors, and the black is coming out.
Lana Lang revealed she can manipulate as well as being manipulated, which surprised me.
Lois Lane realized her zest for truth, justice and the journalistic pen.
Chloe shone like a beacon on a lighthouse.
Clark realized there's a whole world that needs to be saved, not just Lana Lang.

Issues of secret identities, being journalists, duality, secret affections, truth, justice, etc... all these things were mentioned in subtle ways, which in my opinion, made it great. Though Clark didn't have to do a lot of daring rescues, he showed strength in character. I thought it was done brilliantly. He learned about honor and the possibility of his role as an actual hero, and his possible leadership. His powers aren't what make him great - it's his integrity combined with those powers that make him great.

I loved this episode and I hope there are more like it. It wasn't filled with a bunch of sensationalizm, targeted at the raging hormones of teenagers, but about the heart of a hero. That's what the show should be about.

Till next time,

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Midnight War

The raindrops pound on the roof,
like on an angry warrior's drum.
Pat-a-pat, pat, pat.
Pat-a-pat, pat, pat.

The swishing stirs my soul,
my eyes widen with every howl
and dart at every flash of light.

Wincing, I wait for the boom to come,
tightening my grip on my security.
Holding my breath when it blasts its horn.

A chill travels down my back
like an invisible hand, cold and tingly.
I shiver.

Shadows dance upon the walls of the darkened room,
taunting, playing... laughing.
My heart urges to join in, but I'm too afraid to try.

I listen to the world play its angry song,
releasing all its pent-up frustration.

The floodgates release, the dancers dance,
the instruments play and the audience gasps at its wonder,
exploding with applause and praise.

The curtains slowly fall, the music eases, the beating slows in the distance.
A soft melody plays as the players take a bow.

As the curtains fall, I drift off into a wild adventure,
hearing the sound of the distant war drums,
knowing I survived the battle... this time.
Pat-a-pat, pat, pat.
Pat-a-pat, pat, pat.

Monday, October 16, 2006

One Night With The King

I have to say that I'm a little disappointed in this movie. I wish they would have stayed true to the story, because it's a great story, but instead they (the powers that be) thought it would be better to take creative license. If the film industry really wants to make an impact with the Biblical stories in the mainstream media, they should at least be true to the stories, much like the TNT movies that came out a few years back. (Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David & Samson & Delilah) Those movies were great and stayed true to the story.

I love the story of Esther - I think it was perhaps the premise to great love tales like Cinderella - of a poor orphan who marries a king and makes a difference in the world she lives. But what made Esther an awesome Biblical story was the purpose of God, yet this was reduced in this movie to come down to revenge, vengence and justice. Did she save her people because she believes it was God's purpose for her to do so, or just as a consolation for exacting revenge on the man who she believes was responsible for her parent's death (which isn't in the Bible)? This man's (Haman) hatred of the Jews (in the movie) came from a history that didn't exist. Does there have to be a reason for someone to hate to the Jews - other than God?

To me, this movie rewrote the foundation in which Esther (Hadasseh) risks her life for, causing it to fall flat in its efforts. When she burst through the doors of the King's court and pleading with the King to spare her life, the passion that was supposed to be there - fell flat - because they didn't have the right foundation.

I think this movie will fail, not because it's a Biblically based story, but because it was poorly written, poorly directed and on many cases, poorly acted. My favorite character was the Eunich in charge of Esther's care once she came into the palace. He's the only character that moved me, emotionally. I liked Mordecai, but his purpose also fell lax except when he stood up Haman. The king was lame and whimpy. He reminded me of Fabio (Yuk!). I thought the girl who played Esther was quite beautiful and she did a good job - but she didn't have much to work with as far as dialogue went.

I wanted to much to have a good impression of this movie, like I did with the TNT series, but I didn't. Perhaps the next one will be great.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, October 13, 2006

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:3

Crazy4Smallville’s Weekly Review – 5:3 Whither

While I probably won’t be listing this episode in my top twenty favorites, I plan on focusing on its positives. I don’t want to whine and groan about how lame the battle was with Ms. Vicious Vine, but come on… I expected a little more than that little whimper. Perhaps that should have been the name of the episode, instead of whither. I suppose they didn’t have enough time to do a good battle scene because they had several minutes to fill with Lex and Lana’s sexcapade.

So, that’s all the ranting I’m going to do… the rest of the review will accentuate the positives… at least TRY to anyway.

I’ll start with Chloe and Jimmy, since that’s where the episode started. While I know that Jimmy and Chloe has had a ‘history’, the chemistry just doesn’t seem to be there. They ‘seemed’ like two high-school kids going on their first ‘parking’ expedition. While, they are a little wet behind the ears – Chloe only having the one experience with Jimmy a few years ago, and never having had a steady boyfriend – I think they could have worked a little more on the awkwardness. Also, the sucking and moaning sounds during the make-out session was a little on the gross side. (Oh darn… and I said I wasn’t going to groan.) On the bright side – I do like the idea of them having a relationship. I just wish they’d be a little more mature about it.

It was great seeing Jimmy with his camera. I like Aaron Ashmore’s portrayal of Jimmy, especially his jealousy and possessiveness. It was a great scene when he called Chloe his ‘girl’ and Chloe corrected him. Seeing the perplexed look on Clark’s face was priceless. Welling really ‘showed’ how conflicted Clark feels about this relationship. He wants to be happy for Chloe, but he also wants to be happy WITH Chloe and thus the conflict.

Clark took some really huge steps when it comes to him ‘getting over’ Lana. While he showed concern for her during his argument with Lex, he didn’t whine about her. He even took interest in Ms. Vicious Vine when he first saw her – showing that the Lana blinders are falling off and that other ‘women’ actually roam the earth (they just don’t all happen to be human.)

Ah, the confrontation with Lex was awesome. It was the best scene in the episode. When Lex told Clark that his days of showing up unannounced were over – I found myself really excited and wanted to scream for Clark to punch him across his nose. I love to hate Lex… and I’m glad Lex is finally giving me the ammunition to do it. Yet, a few scenes later he gives me just the opposite… he makes me hate to love him, but I can’t help it. When he spoke about being young and finding out about his mother’s death from a microphone being shoved in his face by nosy reporters, it broke my heart and I found myself rooting for Lex. Rosenbaum does an excellent job with this character and he doesn’t look back doing it either. That Alexander the Great outfit looked HOT!!!

I loved the whole Lois and Oliver exchange. Her first treating him like a delivery boy, then apologizing, then eating crow, then going out with him…etc. … it was great. When she told him to ‘aim higher’ when he was aiming at the can, that was a very subtle, yet awesome touch… because I think she meant that both physically and metaphorically. Oliver looked good in that green outfit and when he’s pulling back that bow… something changes his appearance and he projects that superhero image. While as plain ol’ billionaire Oliver Queen – he looks a little dorky. But, I think that is what’s going to make his character so great. The super part is played up more than the young rich heir.

Martha looked very beautiful and I loved how she rebuked Lois and her ‘quick to make judgment actions’.

Lana – okay – some of you better copy this review because this will probably be one of only a few times I’m going to say this. I actually liked Lana tonight. I liked the fact that she stood up to Lex about becoming one of his ‘kept women’…. I liked how she tried to come up with an excuse to see Chloe, because it showed that she feels bad about the predicament she’s in and shows a little respect for the position that Chloe’s in, but that she really needed a friend’s advice. Also, Chloe was the one who gave her the advice the first time – when she thought about sleeping with Jason – and now with Lex. I loved her Cleopatra outfit – I thought she looked beautiful. I think has been the strongest showing of Lana’s character. I even liked the fact that she ‘took the lead’ when she decided to be intimate with Lex. I’m one that doesn’t believe in sex outside of marriage, but knowing that’s not her belief, I’m glad to see her taking charge of her own decisions.

I missed seeing Lionel, but I’m sure I’ll see him soon enough.

The whole “Phantom Zone Freak of the Week” plot could have been skipped as far as I’m concerned, so I won’t bother to write about it.

Till next time,

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Red Box Parable

Two men lived in the city and walked down the same path everyday for the past ten years, until one day they stumbled upon a red box sitting on the sidewalk.

Upon seeing the box, the first man paused for a moment, but then looked down at his watch and saw that he ran late. He quickened his pace and left.

The second man, however, found himself curious by the sight. He stopped in his tracks and cautiously approached the box, but found himself wrangled by the crowd of people moving on the sidewalk. They flowed like a river and he had to fight against the current.

Pushing his way to the box, he gently reached out and touched it and discovered that it was cool to the touch. He ran his fingers over its smooth surface trying to determine what it was and what it was for. He inquired of many of those who passed by, but no one really knew the answer. Every once in a while, he'd see someone else approach the box, but then they’d leave.

He walked around the box, inspecting every corner and crevice and discovered a small step on the backside. He climbed up the step and another one appeared, so he stepped up, and another appeared. Soon he found himself looking over the top of the gigantic box and he saw a huge red bow.

He called down to a few of the people passing by, "Hey, do you know what's inside the box?" Most ignored him and those who did answer only replied that they didn't know or they didn't care and just wished the box would get out of their way. But, curiosity and intrigue urged him to explore the box even more. He didn't care about the time, he didn't care that he was late - nothing else seemed to matter except discovering what was in the box.

He reached out and pulled upon the ribbon and it unwrapped and fell to the ground. With a strained effort, he lifted the lid and his jaw dropped at what he saw inside. A golden glow wrapped around his face and his eyes lit up in excitement. He quickly shut the lid and looked around him. "Surely they wouldn't just leave this sitting around, out in the open for just anyone to come along and take it?" He scratched his head and his hands trembled. He looked down at the sea of people walking by the box, only noticing a few giving it a curious glance.

The man called down at passerbies, "Is this your box?" No one answered him. "Does anyone know who this box belongs to?" Still no answer. The man didn't know what to do. He didn't want to leave the box and what it contained just sitting there on the sidewalk, so he stood there. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a man walking calmly through the crowd, with his head up (not looking down at the ground) and staring right at him. Without difficulty, the mysterious man made his way to the box and climbed up the steps to stand beside the curious man, lifted the top, reached in, pulled out a sparkling-jeweled crown and sat it upon his head. The curious man asked, "Do these belong to you?" The man smiled at him and replied, "They're free to anyone who would receive them."

A huge smile formed across the curious man's face. "You're kidding, right?" The mysterious man shook his head and walked back down the steps and then into the street, no one paying him much attention.

The curious man stood there for a few moments, desperately desiring to retrieve a crown for himself. He reached out and opened the lid and then looked around. No one came out yelling at him or slapping him on the hand, so he reached in and pulled out a six-pointed crown studded with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. He placed the crown on his head, closed his eyes and held his breath, waiting for the net to fall, but nothing happened. He peeked through slit eyelids and saw the river of people continuing to walk by, no one paying him any attention. He closed the lid and walked down the ladder and then joined into the river of people and onto work.

Throughout the day, people commented on how different he looked, but they couldn't quite pinpoint what was so different about him. When he pointed out his crown, some were envious and others were jealous, but all asked him how he got it. When he told them, many laughed thinking he told them a joke, but some scoffed at him.

After a time, the curious man tried to convince his co-workers, his friends, his family and his neighbors about the box of crowns, but they wouldn't listen. Everyday, he'd stop by the box and get a new crown, seeing very few people do the same. Needless to say, he soon became a very wealthy man, rich beyond his wildest dreams.

One day as he stood at the top, he noticed the man that he had walked with for many years, who had passed up the box because he was too busy. He was older, tired and the soles of his shoes were worn out. The curious man called out to him and he looked up, seeing the red box again. He made his way over to the box and called up to the curious man who stood at the top, "What's in the box? I see it everyday, but never have time to stop and look."

How many times do we allow 'time' to steal away our treasure… a treasure that is freely given to all that will accept it? How often do we walk by that 'red box' on our sidewalks?

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Who Are The Samaritans?

Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman by the well in John 4, why? Who are the Samaritans?

In 2 Kings, I discover that Samaritans are what are called 'half-breeds'. They are children of Israel (Jacob) who fear Jehovah, yet do not keep the 'law' of Moses by making graven images to God and worshipping God in high places, while the orthodox worship only in Jerusalem. Are not all the children of Israel (Jacob) considered Jews? What makes one a Jew? What makes one a Gentile?

What I find amazing is that God's covenant with Abraham (promise of the Messiah) was extended to Israel (Jacob) and all his descendents, which would include the Samaritans. The Samaritan woman didn’t understand why Jesus asked her for a drink (because Jews did not associate with Samaritans or drink out of anything they have touched because it would be considered defiled according to their religious laws) knowing that he was a Jewish Rabbi and she a Samaritan woman.

Jesus' response was: John 4:10 - "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

She responds by asking him if he’s greater than her father Jacob (Israel) who dug the well in the first place, because he didn’t have anything to draw the water with. But, I just wonder if she wasn’t asking a spiritual question, instead of a natural one, because Jesus didn’t give her a natural answer, but a spiritual one.

John 4:13 – “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of living water welling up to eternal life.”

She responds by asking him to give her this water so that she would never thirst. Again, I don’t think her response was a natural response, because he didn’t have anything to draw natural water with, nor did he offer natural water – so it wasn’t natural water that she requested, but spiritual water (salvation).

Jesus immediately starts to address the sin in the woman’s life, bringing to light her promiscuousness, which she doesn’t deny, but confesses.

Is this not what happens to those who come to Christ? Once they accept his free gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit is poured out and then the Christian begins to deal with the sin in their life – confessing that sin and beginning the process of conforming to the image of Christ through the transforming of the mind?

Then immediately after the addressing of the sin they speak of worship. The woman addresses the religious strife between the Jews and the Samaritans, because of a difference in doctrinal belief. The Samaritans worship God on the mountain, while the Jews declare they must worship in Jerusalem. Why would she be concerned about where to worship?

Jesus responds: “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Jesus addresses the difference between religious duty and spiritual relationship. I believe he knew this woman’s heart better than the religious Jews who wouldn’t have given her the time of day.

She then confesses in her belief and hope in the Messiah (Christ) to come and that He would explain the ‘truth’ of all things, and Jesus answers, “I who speak to you am He”.

This is one of the few times that Jesus comes right out and claims to be the Christ and it was to a woman that in the religious world’s eyes was beyond redemption.

But, the story doesn’t end there. When the disciples return they do not rebuke Christ for speaking with the ‘dirty’ Samaritan, but urge him to eat, which he refuses. They look at his response in the natural (thinking he has physically been fed), but Jesus responds to them in the spiritual by proclaiming, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” He speaks of a harvest – not a physical one, but a spiritual one. I have to believe he was speaking of the Samaritans, because his one action with the one woman led to the salvation of many of the Samaritans who would never have been given the opportunity.

Do you think perhaps that once again the ‘religious leaders’ during this time had it wrong? Could they once again have misinterpreted the purpose of the law (used to identify sin and make retribution) and completely missed the spiritual nature and aspect of it?

I don’t know all the answers to the questions that I’ve posed, but it’s given me reason to pause. I’d like to learn all about the Samaritans and see why this encounter was so important that God made sure it was included in his Word. Why was it so important that Jesus speak to this woman?
Why did he make her the offer that he did?
What spiritual significance does it play?
What spiritual parallel are we to draw from it?

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Milledgeville Misfit - Ready to Fly

Whatever's been holding me back from releasing Milledgeville Misfit has passed. I'm going to go over the last few chapters today, print out a few copies and send it off to my agent. Once again I'm pushing one of my babies out there into the big, bad world.

I've got a lot of work to do... so here I go.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Monday, October 09, 2006


Why do we expect so much out of ourselves and the people around us?
Is there such a thing as impossible limits?

I'm not so sure, because we have an Advocate and a Couselor and have been given the tools to do our best, so why is it wrong to expect the best results?

Most of all, why do we feel like such a failure when we don't achieve the results we had intented?

Not sure I really have the answers to those questions, but those are the questions I have this morning. I really try to do the best that I can do, but still find that I come up short on many occasions. When my children act out, I feel like a failure as a mother. When things get hectic and impossible at work, I feel like a failure as an employee. When things don't happen with my book, I feel like a failure as a writer. When I see those dreams slip away one by one, I feel like a failure to God.

Thank goodness my faith isn't based on feeling or else I'd be in a lot of trouble.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, October 06, 2006

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:2

Hilarious! That's what I'd call this episode. It was light and full of small bits of humor.

Perhaps its the mother in me, but I loved seeing Clarky with the sniffles. More than that, I loved seeing his responses and reactions to Lois. They were so adorable and hilarious. That quirky smile just made you want to bust out laughing when he tried to look surprised about the barn door. It looks like he's getting used to Lois' barge in and let her fly attitude. I think she compliments him quite well, because he's such the opposite. That's also one of the things I love about Lois. She stays the same as she moves forward. Glad to see her getting the 'journalistic' bug. With Chloe around, it shows that she still has a long way to go.

I loved the superbreath, but I think they failed in the delivery of explaining how he got it and why now. Just the chance that he picked up some bug in the Zone doesn't really cut it for me. Clark showed no sign of developing this power, he's almost completely grown now and yet it just shows up one day. Perhaps they meant to 'show' its appearance because of him being worn out from doing so much repair work in Metropolis and because he got 'sick' this was the first opportunity for it to appear, but that seems kind of lame to me. I think a little bit more creativity was needed in this area. I loved the special effects and the hilarious results, especially in the Daily Planet. Funny! I also liked his little joke he played with Chloe, teasing her. I let out a loud roar of laughter with that one.

I love how Clark and Chloe are so comfortable around each other. They work great together, Clark can tell her anything, she can tell him anything, they can talk about the hard stuff (Clark talking about Lana) and disagree with each other (Chloe arguing with Clark that she wanted to help) - without threatens the relationship. I think the reason this works so well is because the relationship isn't all about themselves. Clark and Chloe are both givers and not takers. They do for others and have really only had a few selfish moments in their life. (Chloe with the deal she made for Lionel back a few seasons to get the internship at the Daily Planet and Clark not returning to Jor-El to stay with Lana.) Most of the time, these two are out fighting against the evils of society (Chloe with her pen and extraordinary hacking skills and Clark with his super powers) not asking for anything in return. They respect each other and are completely honest with each other about everything. That's the basis of a good relationship - whether it stays in the friends arena or not. I love seeing this type of relationship being portrayed. It shows the most important elements in a relationship and none of it has to do with the physical body.

Lionel - what is up with him? Has the old Lionel returned? It sure looks like it, but then in the next scene he seems like his new improved selfless self. I will always keep a suspect eye on him and question his motives. I know he wants Martha, so that could be the reason for the 'good guy' act when it comes to Clark and trying to keep his secret, but what his old 'ruthless' self when it comes to people who interact with Lex and against Lex himself? I think he's a really intriguing character and I love to see him every week.

Lex - as much as I love Lex and thought he looked sexy when he was driving that car, I felt let down by his actions in this episode. However, I'm still holding out hope that it was because I only got to see 'part' of the story. The way he reacted to his abductors was mild and wimpy for Lex. It's like there was no fight in him. The Lex I know would have been smart and demanding and not so forthcoming, especially about secrets he didn't want to divulge. If he can survive his father having him go through electric shock treatment, the little threat of a pistol should be no problem. Lex gets pistol whipped, except this time he was shot - again. If I were Lex I'd be on a anti-gun protest - he's either getting hit or shot with one every week it seems.

What is Lex up to and how much does he really remember? I'm assuming it was Lana who told him about Zod, because for someone who doesn't remember anything, he speaks the name so casually. Also, he isn't questioning what happened during Terrible Thursday, but giving more a protest of responsibility by not being able to remember. If I didn't remember something, I'd be doing everything I could and asking everybody I knew what happened to fill in the puzzle, just like the measures he went through to try and regain the memories he lost when his daddy electrocuted him. I think he does remember and he's trying to re-develop the serum that gave him the powers BEFORE Zod inhabited him. I think he still has some of those powers, because when he was huddled with Lana, he didn't seem 'scared' , but relaxed. I think he was about to be forced to expose his powers, or else he would knock out Lana first and then use them, but Clark showed up and extinguished the flames and he didn't have to. The reason I think it's more than we were shown is because Rosenbaum is too good of an actor to have been so blase' about the whole thing. He's more like Lionel than he realizes.

So, the Green Arrow has made an appearance. Other than he's cute and awfully sarcastic, I really don't have much of an opinion of him, yet. I look forward to seeing how they will develop his character on the show and see how he interacts with Clark and Lex and even Lois.

Loved Chloe's lame attempt at trying to cover up Clark's little 'snafu' with the barn door to Lois and am not a bit surprised that Lois accepted the theory that Chloe spoon fed her and then ran with it as an article. Typical Lois and quite hilarious.

But, the best thing I loved about last night's episode was the heroic effort on Clark's part - and it had nothing to do with his use of his super powers, but is wrapped up in the fact that he used them with discretion - at the mansion with overhearing Lana and in the warehouse with Lex and Lana. He's beginning to realize who he can trust and who he can't and that there was no sense being seen and having to make up some lame excuse of why he was there. I think he's beginning to realize the need and importance of being discreet and hopefully will soon realize the need for a secret identity. Oh, and I also loved the fact that it was Chloe that helped him discover his true power - super-breath instead of super-sneeze.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Keep On Deliberately Sinning...

Hebrews 10:26 - 27 "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left."

This scripture has really been rolling around in my mind over the past week. I'm astounded by it and I've asked others (both Christian and non-Christian) what they thought it meant, and overwhelmingly most people said they thought this passage is talking about people who have rejected the message of Christ (Salvation).

How do they come to that conclusion? This passage doesn't mention anything about salvation and it wasn't given to the unbelievers, but to the one's who already believe.

Paul said, "If we"... he included himself and those like him (believers). So, this passage is meant for the believer (Christian) that has already received salvation and has already entered into a covenant with Christ and accepted, by faith, His sacrifice for sin. So, this passage couldn't be speaking about 'unbelievers' and their deliberate sinning, but to Christians.

So... If we (Christians) deliberately (to do on purpose) keep on (to do again and again-not just once to twice) sinning (it doesn't mention a specific sin- so I must infer that this means "ALL" sin - anything contrary to the Word of God) after (not before, but at a later time) we have received the knowledge (understanding or awareness) of the truth (not someone's opinion, but the Truth as written), no (none, zero) sacrifice for sin is left (including the sacrifice of Christ - because this counts a sacrifice), but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of a raging fire that will consume the enemies of God (inferring to the 'we' mentioned at the beginning of the passage).

Wow - this is for the Christian, who has already accepted the sacrifice of Christ; not the non-Christian unbeliever. Yet, "if" we (Christians) do this thing (continue to deliberately sin after knowing the truth), we (Christians) will face judgment and the raging fires and be considered as an enemy of God.

Boy, does this put on a whole new perspective of things. For those who don't want to consider that Paul was talking to the Christian in the above passage, the rest of the passage confirms it by speaking exclusively about 'trampling' the Son of God (Jesus Christ) underfoot because they have treated as an unholy thing the blood of covenant that sanctified him and has insulted the Spirit (not a spirit) of grace.

Hebrews 10:28-31 - "Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. (The results of the Old Covenant for breaking the Mosaic law.) How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God (Jesus Christ) under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing (by the actions listed above of deliberately continuing to sin) the blood of the covenant (New Covenant) that sanctified him (cleansed him of sin by faith through grace) and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' and again, 'The Lord will judge his (those who belong to him - believers) people.' It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

Wow... wow... and wow. I do not want to be considered the enemy of God, I don't want to abuse and treat unholy the sacrifice that my Lord has made for me and I don't want to fall into hands of the living God in judgment. So, I will consider my actions and pray for clear understanding. I ask for forgiveness and mercy if I've done this in any way.

As my pastor says often, "This isn't one of those scriptures you want to put up on your refrigerator", or in my case 'my computer', but I will - in hopes that I learn it and write it upon my heart that I might not sin against God.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How Wonderful Life Is... Now That You're In The World

"I hope you don't mind... I hope you don't mind that I've put down in words.
How wonderful life is, now that you're in the world."

That's a line from a song I saw in the musical "Mouline Rouge". I'm not sure who wrote it, I think perhaps the Beatles or Elton John, but that's the song rolling around in my spirit this morning.

I feel my spirit is singing a love song to God, as well as THE Spirit singing back to me. "He" put his love down in words for me in the form of THE Word, and I know that He rejoices over me everyday. I, in return, write my affections to Him every chance I get, and know that my life has become wonderful since the day I discovered Him in my world.

So, that's what I sing this morning... and I put it down in words.

Lord, I hope you don't mind that I've put down in words. How wonderful my life is, now that you're in my world."

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Encourage Ourselves

You ever notice that when you're going through something, there are people around you who like to 'encourage' you, but you know in your heart that the words they speak are not really coming from their heart? Most of the time, it's familiar catch phrases.

I've been hearing a lot of them lately and really thinking about what those phrases really mean to me. But, not matter the amount of encouragement I get from others, the only way that really works for me is when I encourage myself. I honestly don't like encouragement from others - I like the truth. I like for someone to tell me - "Oh, get over yourself and quit having a pity party." - than to hear - "We all must walk through difficult times sometimes, but the key is that we will get through them".

While I understand the sentiment behind the second statement, it really doesn't do me any good. I know that I will get through it - but my trouble is in the moment, not in the future. In a way, it's nursing the downcast sentiment. I don't need nursing, I need to get back to life at hand. In my life, the key to my happiness is found in the living everyday. My frustration and agony is present when I'm planning for tomorrow or thinking about the past. Regretting mistakes I've made and being afraid of making more - all the while missing what's right in front of me and living in the moment.

So, to live in the moment - I don't need a comforting hand, I need a reality check. I don't need words of encouragement that tell me things are going to be alright. I KNOW that things are going to be alright tomorrow, but I've got to get back to living today. I've learned that to do that - I must encourage myself and really think about what I'm saying.

As my spirit sings - I listen to what it's saying. "Draw me close to You, never let me go. I lay it all down again to hear You say that I'm Your friend. Help me find the way to bring me back to You. You're all I want. You're all I've ever needed. You're all I want. Help me know You are near. You are my desire, no one else will do. No one else can take Your place, to fill the warmth of Your embrace. Help me find the way to bring me back to You. "

I know I must encourage myself and allow the Comforter to minister to me, because His words are spirit and life, and He truly is my strong tower that I run to in my time of need. It's not just words I say or sing, but a way of life of how things truly are. I can't give that to anyone else. I can't even 'encourage' someone else to do the same, because my relationship is my own, developed over years of personal experiences and only I can walk in that relationship. Everyone must develop their own by encouraging their self.

"I lift my eyes up to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, Creator of the earth." Psalms 121:1-2