Interview on the Parker J. Cole Show

Tune in to my discussion with Parker about “The Adulteress Principality.”

To listen to the broadcast, click here.

She is everything a woman wants to be — glorious, beautiful, and vivacious. All men want her. She is so captivating, exciting, and desirable that men can not help but succumb to her charms.

Hiding among the pages of a magazine, pictured on billboards, or clicked on by a mouse, the Adulteress Principality exists only to destroy the first relationship God created: marriage.

The Adulteress Principality has existed for eons, changing shape and form…. With silken words, she reaches out to embrace us women with words of cunning. “You do not look, act, or talk like me. I will take him from you and there’s nothing you can do.” To the men, she whispers sweet-honeyed words, “Stolen water is sweet.” With such words she entices the men to her canopied bed. Under the auspices of pleasure, she latches chains of bondage meant to steal, to kill, and to destroy.

The Adulteress Principality is not the ‘other woman’ who may take on her guise. She is a spirit who seeks to destroy not just marriages, but self-esteem, virility, and more.

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Guest Post on Speculative Faith

Check out my guest post, “Mind Games,” today on the Speculative Faith blog at LoreHaven.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Share them in the comments at http://speculativefaith.lorehaven.com/mind-games/

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Live Facebook Interview Today

I’m going to be interviewed by Lori Twichell about the workshop I will be giving at the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference. Go to http://www.facebook.com/socalcwc at 1 pm Arizona time, 4 p.m. EST today to watch the interview!

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Spiritual Warfare for Writers

I will be presenting a workshop for Christian Writers of the West on the topic of Spiritual Warfare for Writers. 

The written word has the power to change minds and transform hearts. As Christian writers, we understand this. So does our enemy. He is threatened by the power God can wield through us, and therefore he works diligently to dishearten and disarm us. Far too many writers are uninformed about his schemes.

This workshop will focus on several varieties of enemy attack including discouragement, negative self-fulfilling prophesies, and intimidation. We will discuss how to counter these attacks by putting on the armor of God. We will also examine common temptations that the enemy uses to entice writers to veer away from their true calling.

Join us on Saturday, April 21 from 1:00 pm-3:00 pm.
Denny’s Restaurant
3315 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

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Interview with Sharon Norris Elliot at SoCal Christian Writers Conference

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A Twist of Fate Anthology finally published!

The waiting is over! A Twist of Fate A Collection of 11 Twisted Fairy Tales anthology has been published and is now available on Kindle! My short story “The Pre-Med and the Frog Prince” is included, along with twisted fairy tale from ten other authors. All proceeds will be donated to the Global Scoliosis Fund. 

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Twist of Fate Anthology–New Release Date: December 12

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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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