What Makes Heroes So Heroic?

Ring, Gold, Middle Earth, Golden Ring

All heroes struggle, but it is their very struggle to overcome their weaker selves that their true heroism is born.

Heroes believe in something beyond themselves and their belief leads to conviction and conviction draws them into action.

Heroes keep faith with faith.

Heroes are capable of deep, enduring love.

Heroes offer and receive spiritual gifts.

Heroes pay a price for their choices.

Tolkien loved and wrote about heroes.  In the process—he became one.

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

A World Worth Saving

Recently, I read that there have been several cases where surrogate mothers discovered that they were carrying babies with downs syndrome, and they were told to abort their babies by the biological parents, but they refused and decided to keep the babies.

I have also read, that Richard Dawkins believes that it is immoral to allow a “Downs Syndrome baby” to come to term. Notice, for him, the syndrome comes first, not the humanity of the baby.  For him, abortion is the only moral option.  I have to wonder at this current attitude in face of the barbaric cruelty of ISIS. After all, they believe that killing infidels is the only moral option. Sometimes, those infidels are little children.

The other day, as I was walking with my son in the late evening, mourning over the recent gruesome tragedies inflicted by ISIS, my son asked me how come it was gruesome for ISIS to behead men women and children, but there was little moral outrage when babies in the womb were dismembered and beheaded. Abortion is every bit as violent as ISIS, but it is funded by US tax dollars. Millions of babies have been brutally murdered through abortion in the last thirty years. It is so horrifically common it seems to slip by people’s conscious thought.  Every day in the US, we basically behead innocent babies.

This leads me back to the eugenics movement to rid the world of people with Downs Syndrome. I find it interesting that Christians and Downs Syndrome children are especially targeted for extermination. Why is that? The people I have known with Downs Syndrome, and the parents who care for them, tend to be very happy people. In fact, one mother  I know who recently lost her adult daughter with downs syndrome to cancer told me that her daughter was the best gift she ever had. Her daughter taught her to love in a way she had never experienced before.

Clearly, people with Downs Syndrome are still people. Just as Christians are still people, even though they may not believe what ISIS believes. Yet in both cases, there are those who would convince the world that we all would be better off without them. Their kind. Their influence. What is the danger exactly? Are they hurting anyone?  Are they aggressively trying to take over the world?

No, they just ask something of us that perhaps we do not want to give. People with Downs Syndrome ask for an unconditional love, which they more often than not, fully return. Christians ask for a sacrificial love, which, when lived as Christ lived, is also fully returned.

So I have to ask myself – what are we saving the world from? Love?  Perhaps we need to wonder less if we are saving the world, but rather, are we making a world worth saving.

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

Mortal Eyes

Background Image, Fantasy, Trees, Lake

There’s life…and then there’s life.

When I read a good book, I feel like I get the value, meaning, purpose, and passion of life’s struggle better than when I am just doing the ordinary duties of the day. The kids and I are currently reading Anne Of Green Gables, a story where the author draws out the fantastic elements of the ordinary. Her descriptions of a sunrise and sunset allow you to see the grandeur of the moment. I see through her eyes more powerfully than my own.  When reading a What if… story like Flowers for Algernon, I understand the value of a human soul a little better. Strange?

Perhaps it is because writers try to see what is lost in the glare of “ordinary.”  They try to recover what we forget to notice. We all have the potential of a good writer, if not to put things down on paper, at least to look again and see what is before us with new and vivid appreciation.

Well trained actors do much the same.  They take real life, act it out, play it up, and help us to see what is right in front of us. Authentic writers and actors can help the blind see and the deaf hear.  Life is meant to be lived passionately, but it takes skill and determination to do that. Occasionally, we can be pulled from the ordinary into the extraordinary and reminded that there is more to us than we see with our mortal eyes.

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

Music

There are a lot of sounds in the world, but it tends to be the simple ones that move my heart the most. I love to hear the sound of a single bird announcing the day and the way a chorus of chirping voices grows to an orchestra of gladness. I love to hear the laughter of children as they play and the tune a person resonates when his or her spirit is happy.

Our kids started piano lessons young, and one has chosen to move from the piano to the violin.  Music lessons are an investment in money, time, energy and patience, but as I listen to them play each day, I realize I have received much more than I ever gave. They play classical music, themes from movies, hymns ancient and new, patriotic marches, and music I never heard before but which moves my soul nonetheless.

Like any real art, music is a source of grace. It is a reflection of God’s astounding beauty and it cannot be contained. Once you make music, you enrich the very air around you and you have the ability to change the world. Even when I am most irritated, angry, disappointed, frightened or despairing when I hear the kids playing music, my soul is lifted and my spirit is recharged.

So, as I thank God for all His glory, I am grateful for all the sounds that make our world a better place and our children’s amazing ability to play musical instruments.

Through their passion, the world is born anew.

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

J. R. R. Tolkien

In my mind, J. R. R. Tolkien is a heroic figure. He understood that the greatness of humanity lies within each of us through our faithfulness to our daily mission. He was a Catholic, the son of a Catholic convert, and an ardent believer in God. It was under his influence that C.S. Lewis embraced the reality of Christianity.  While a young man, he formed a club with some close friends, and despite the small size of the group, they had some very big aspirations.  They believed that they had a mission to change the world, to make it a better place.  As for many people during World War I, (and later World War II) this vision was put to test when several of Tolkien’s friends died. They were not able to live out their noble aspirations. But in a letter, Tolkien was reminded of their ardent dreams, and he was encouraged to go forward—to fulfill his own potential. He did. An ordinary man in so many ways, yet his faithfulness to his family, to his wife and children, his students, his friends, and his stories reach us today.

After I had read most of his major works and become astonished at his incredible insight and clarity, I decided to read more about him so I could better understand his background and his mindset. In one book (J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter), I read about one of his typical days where his bicycle broke down and he was late for dinner while a stack of papers waited at home to be corrected. I was nearly pulling my hair out thinking about the fact that he could have been home writing great literature.  But then, (after I became more reasonable), I realized it was because he knew how to fix a bicycle, cared about being home for dinner, made it to meetings, and corrected innumerable papers that he was the kind of man who could write so faithfully about the human heart and the reality of suffering as well as the idiosyncratic silliness of common human interactions.

Tolkien, like many of his characters, could not predict the future, but he was engaged in humanity’s struggle to overcome evil, nevertheless.  May I today aspire to the same noble faithfulness of a simple Hobbit—and an honest writer.

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00