Twist of Fate Anthology coming November 21

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Twisted Fairy Tales Anthology

I’m pleased to announce that my short story, “The Pre-Med and the Frog Prince,” has been accepted for publication and will soon be appearing in A Twist of Fate: A Collection of 11 Twisted Fairy Tales.

Some of you may remember when I drafted the first version of this story a couple of years ago for a flash fiction contest. The story received an honorable mention back then in its very abreviated form.

Later on, I submitted it to an online magazine. The editors wrote back with one of the most encouraging rejections I’ve ever received. The basic gist of it was, “We love your story idea, but feel it could be more fully developed.”

So I went back to work, expanding what had been a 500-word flash fiction piece to a fully developed short story of about 7,000 words. Unfortunately, by the time I resubmitted it to the online magazine, they had undergone some major cutbacks.  They now only publish bi-annually, and so no longer had space for my story. It was time to look for another market.

I got a tip about the Twisted Fairy Tales Collection from a fellow writer in a Facebook Group. I kept working on it with critique partners and with Marylee MacDonald, the writing instructor who served as Writer in Residence at my local library. With their help, I was able to continue refining the story. At the start of October, it was ready to submit. By November 1, I received word that my story had been chosen for the anthology

On November 21, “The Pre-Med and the Frog Prince” will finally be published on Kindle in A Twist of Fate. The road to publication for this story has been long and winding, but that somehow seems only fitting for a twisted fairy tale.

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Protection Against Abuse–Part Two

Tolerating abuse does no favors for the abuser because it prevents him from truly confronting the consequences of his sin. God is deeply angered by husbands who harm their wives when they are supposed to lay down their own lives for them. The Father is enraged by men who cause their children to stumble and provoke them to anger when they ought to be nurturing their children’s faith. The only hope such men have of escaping the terrible wrath of God is true repentance.

In his book, Mending the Soul, Steven R. Tracy maintains that an abuser who is truly repentant will do all of the following:

  • take full responsibility for the abuse (make a confession);
  • acknowledge the widespread and extensive damage done to the victim and demonstrate remorse for the harm done;
  • enact new boundaries that demonstrate respect for the victim and help ensure that the abuse will not reoccur; and
  • take active steps to change the sinful patterns of behavior that led to the abuse (190).

This four-step process is far more involved than merely saying, “I’m sorry.” An abuser who truly wants to change will acknowledge the horror of his sin, publicly confessing all the ways in which he has abused his spouse to a support group of dedicated accountability partners. He will not ask for leniency or offer justification for his behavior. He will submit himself to ongoing accountability as he seeks to overcome the sinful patterns of the past.

He will show remorse for the ways he has deeply wounded his wife and family. Having broken their trust, he will acknowledge that he is not “entitled” to any relationship with them in the future. He will respect their need for time and space to heal. Those whom he has victimized should not be pressured to take him back or even meet with him, if they don’t feel safe doing so.

A repentant perpetrator will seek help, and not just from a local pastor or marriage counselor. Because most abusers are skilled in the art of manipulation, it is far too easy for them to deceive well-meaning people who lack expertise. An abuser who is serious about changing his ways needs the help of professional therapists and psychiatrists, people with the clinical experience necessary to treat the complex psychiatric problems, personality disorders, and destructive attitudes underlying the abuse. Only if all of these steps have been accomplished should reconciliation even begin to be considered.

It is very common for abusers to justify their behavior and deceive themselves regarding the seriousness of their crimes. I feel that the most merciful thing an abuse victim can possibly do is to stop covering for the perpetrator, and instead force him to recognize the enormity of his sin in light of God’s holy standards.

Excerpted from the section entitled “Protection Against Abuse” from Chapter 8 of A Wife of Valor: Your Strategic Importance in God’s Battle Plan,
Copyright © 2016 Rebecca D. Bruner

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Protection Against Abuse–Part One

When it comes to domestic violence, Christians are too often the least informed and the most ready to judge the victims, instead of showing them mercy.

God designed marriage as a partnership between two different people who are both equal in His sight. In 1 Peter 3:7, the apostle stresses the importance of a husband granting his wife honor as, “a fellow heir of the grace of life.” An abusive relationship makes a mockery of this design, elevating one partner to the position of an all-powerful tyrant, while oppressing and demeaning the other partner.

In her book, Family and Friends Guide to Domestic Violence, Elaine Weiss explains that in normal relationships, control is negotiated. Even when they disagree, even when their relationship is dysfunctional, there is some amount of give and take between the partners. By contrast, in an abusive relationship, the abuser wages a concerted campaign to gain complete control over his or her spouse.

Marriage is a sacred covenant, but the Christian community must beware of turning it into an idol upon whose altar victims of spousal abuse are sacrificed. In cases of domestic violence, I’m convinced that continuing to put up with a spouse’s sinful behavior in the name of forgiveness or “turning the other cheek” is both foolish and unbiblical.

There is no virtue in allowing oneself to be victimized, as the apostle Paul demonstrates by his example in Acts 25. Paul knew that, as a Roman citizen, he was entitled to legal protection against the Jews who intended to ambush and kill him while he was in Jerusalem. Even though he clearly had the courage to face martyrdom, he did not simply submit to being brutally murdered, but appealed to the Roman court system for justice: “If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar” (Acts 25:11).

Here in America, we have laws against both child abuse and domestic violence. Nobody “deserves” to be abused. If your spouse is violent or abusive, separation and legal action, including restraining orders and criminal charges, might be required, even if you are not at peace with dissolving the marriage. If you have children, you have a responsibility to protect them from the trauma of an abusive environment, whether that abuse is directed toward yourself or toward them. If you take no action, chances are high that your children will repeat the abusive patterns modeled at home in their own future relationships.

Excerpted from the section entitled “Protection Against Abuse” from Chapter 8 of A Wife of Valor: Your Strategic Importance in God’s Battle Plan,
Copyright © 2016 Rebecca D. Bruner

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Domestic Violence Happens to Christians, Too

I recently returned from a large women’s retreat. The main speaker was a best-selling Christian author from a nationally recognized ministry, so the retreat drew about four hundred women from all over the United States and several foreign countries.

Nothing about the speaker’s books or the theme of the retreat was specifically geared to minister to abuse survivors. Yet whenever I voiced my own grief over the heart-breaking history of domestic abuse in my extended family, woman after woman responded with stories about abusive relationships in their own pasts.

I won’t assume that the women I spoke with represented a random sample of conference attendees. I know Holy Spirit has a way of connecting us with those who can specifically minister to our own hurts. However, the prevalence of this theme brought home to me how big a problem this really is in the church, and how little we speak out about it.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing excerpts from my book, A Wife of Valor: Your Strategic Importance in God’s Battle Plan that touch on the topic of domestic abuse. Because it’s time to break the silence.
#domesticviolenceawarenessmonth

 

 

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The Phoenix Rattler Writing Contest Open Through August 31!

Rattler ImageAttention Writers!  The Phoenix Rattler is a writing contest sponsored by Christian Writers of the West, the Arizona Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. This year, we have some great final round judges lined up, all of whom are well know agents and editors.

The entry fee is just $25 and the contest is open for submissions from August 1 through August  31, 2017. For complete contest details go to http://www.christianwritersofthewest.com/contest-info.html

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Rebecca D. Bruner is Live on the Parker J. Cole Show

August 19,
11:00 am Arizona Time

Listen Now

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Radio Interview with Parker J. Cole This Saturday

Hear Parker J. Cole interviewing Rebecca D. Bruner live on Saturday, July 19, 2017 from 11:00 am-12:00 pm Arizona time.

Parker and Rebecca will be discussing themes from Rebecca’s book, A Wife of Valor: Your Strategic Importance in God’s Battle Plan. To tune in, click here.

 

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The Phoenix Rattler Writing Contest Now Open!

Rattler ImageAttention Writers!  The Phoenix Rattler is a writing contest sponsored by Christian Writers of the West, the Arizona Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. This year, we have some great final round judges lined up, all of whom are well know agents and editors.

The entry fee is just $25 and the contest is open for submissions from August 1 through August  31, 2017. For complete contest details go to http://www.christianwritersofthewest.com/contest-info.html

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The Phoenix Rattler Writing Contest Opens This Tuesday

Rattler ImageAttention Writers!  The Phoenix Rattler is a writing contest sponsored by Christian Writers of the West, the Arizona Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. This year, we have some great final round judges lined up, all of whom are well know agents and editors.

The entry fee is just $25 and the contest is open for submissions from August 1 through August  31, 2017. For complete contest details go to http://www.christianwritersofthewest.com/contest-info.html

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