National Honey Month

By Elaine Baldwin | @elainehbaldwin

I Love Honey!

I know I say that about a lot of things, but it’s because I enjoy life so much and I embrace the many good things God has given us mere mortals to enjoy. And, my dear blogger friends, that includes honey. And so, honey must be the foundation for this week’s One Another Living Challenge.

I thought about challenging you to include honey in your daily diet in some form or fashion, but you might conclude I am on the payroll of some local beekeeper’s union.  So that is not the challenge,. But adding honey to your diet won’t kill you, it probably will help you and it sure is tasty. And it is best, or so I’ve heard, to consume locally “grown” honey to help with allergies. Honest, I’m not on anyone’s “honey payroll.”  I Just Love Honey!

Then I thought about challenging you to express to your “Honey”, whomever that may be, and in whatever creative way that comes to mind, how much you love them, cherish them and honor them.  If that were this week’s challenge, I would actually challenge you to do that everyday for the next 7 days and just see what positive changes will come about simply because you actually express how special your “Honey” is to you. But, alas, that is not this week’s challenge.

Then I thought about challenging you to think wisely about our Father’s command to Adam, and through generations…to us, to rule over the all that is in the Earth. If this were the challenge this week I would ask you to do some serious soul searching as to just what kind of “rulers” we’ve been over this precious gift called, Earth.

I would ask this because of the perilous plight of the honey bee and I would give you a little education on how their dwindling numbers are already causing difficulty for our world and if it continues will effect many food sources, not just honey. (No I’m not a tree hugger or a paid lobbyist for the honey federation.) I’m just concerned that we, especially born-again believers, are so paranoid to be associated with radicals, that we aren’t very good “rulers.” We take our environment and world for granted, and just like any relationship, when we take them for granted they usually go down the tubes.

“God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28 (NASB)

But, alas, the challenge to be “good rulers” is not this week’s challenge. But, you can Google honey bees and see for yourself…just because.

No, none of the above is this week’s challenge.

This week’s challenge is to take time to connect in a meaningful way with your grandparents or if they are no longer living, your children’s grandparents (your parent’s) or if you don’t have kids…somebody’s grandparents.

What do grandparents have to do with honey? Everything!

One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting with my dad’s parents at our kitchen table in the mid-afternoon for tea. My grandparents were British through and through and it just would not do to go through an afternoon without tea. My tea was mostly milk with a dab of tea in it, but Grandpa H. liked his tea strong and Grandma H. liked her tea with just a little cream and 2 lumps of sugar. At least that’s what I remember. I was all of five or six so some of it is fuzzy.

What I do remember very clearly was always and I mean always fresh honey was available and liberally used on whatever cracker, bagel or baguette was offered at the time. And I clearly remember Grandpa and I  dabbing a little on our cookies when Grandma wasn’t looking. It was our little secret. Grandpa loved his honey. And so did I!

Grandpa died while living with us. One day my brother walked into their living area and chatted with Grandpa for awhile, probably about sports. He was sitting in his favorite chair. I’ve often wondered why people, especially grandparents, have favorite chairs. Anyway, they finished their conversation. Then within seconds of each other my brother went out to play whatever sport was in season and Grandma returned from the bedroom. She found her husband eternally asleep.

Grandma moved in with her daughter after that and I never had daily “tea” again. I missed it and I missed them. That was oh so many ages ago, but the precious memory of being delighted with tea and honey and the company of my grandparents is fresh and sweet every time I pop open the lid of my honey bear!

Don’t let a precious memory pass you by. It was Grandparents Day on Sunday, but I think our grandparents are worth more than just one day, don’t you?

I’d love to hear about a precious memory of your grandparents and how they impacted your life.

Turn Write Series-An Interview with Kathy Tyers

Today I have the privilege of sharing an interview graciously given by Speculative Fiction author Kathy Tyers. I first met Kathy through the Speculative Fiction email Loop of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers.)  At the time I had no idea the extent of her author experience or wealth of knowledge she would humbly impart to this fledgling author. I would learn these truths when I participated in a Webinar taught by Kathy through the Christian Writers Guild.

I have come to deeply respect Kathy, not just for her great books, but more for her heart for the craft of writing and for those who strive to master it. If you like science fiction and fantasy or just love a good read from quality authors, I know you will enjoy Kathy’s books and her message.

You can visit Kathy at: or on Facebook at:

And you can find her most recent projects, including the Annotated Firebird Trilogy, at Marcher Lord Press.

Please Welcome, Kathy Tyers


Kathy Tyers has published ten novels in the Christian and general markets, including two authorized novels for the Star Wars expanded universe. If she isn’t writing, she might be teaching a flute lesson, mentoring a hopeful author via the Christian Writers Guild, or battling quackgrass in her vegetable garden. Kathy lives in Montana, has one son and a wonderful daughter-in-law.

  1. How long have you been writing Speculative Fiction? Have you ever written in any other genre? Non-fiction?

I’ve written speculative fiction since 1983. That summer, I found myself inspired by the third Star Wars film, “Return of the Jedi;” the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird’s air show in my home town; and my infant son’s two-hour naps. Yes, I’ve also written a bit in other genres. Several years ago, one of my friends produced a series of coffee-table books and asked me for a text for Exploring the Northern Rockies. I also assisted my friend, guitarist Christopher Parkening, with his memoir Grace Like a River.

2. Why do you like writing Speculative Fiction and what got you started?

It’s a genre I have enjoyed reading since I was about eleven. A friend gave me a copy of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, and I liked it so much I went looking for more at the public library. I started writing Firebird that summer of 1983, then joined a local writers group and learned to self-edit. That group changed my life. I’d never dreamed there was so much more to storytelling than simply putting ideas on paper.

3. Those of us writing Speculative Fiction in the 21st Century have the groundwork and inspiration laid by you and others to help us in our writing and publication. Who laid the foundation for you? Why were they inspirational to you?

I’m sure that my junior-high and high-school trips through Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings laid the groundwork for a love of a well-crafted imaginary world. I love the writing styles of Dorothy L. Sayers and Lois McMaster Bujold, among others. I’ve also enjoyed C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams, although some of their novels seemed too dense to enjoy until I grew up a bit! My favorite end-times novel is the little-known Father Elijah by Michael O’Brien, since it approaches the apocalypse from an unexpected direction. No spoilers here!

4. The Annotated Firebird Trilogy is available from Marcher Lord Press. I remember last year I was the reporter for Jeff Gerke’s session for the 2011 ACFW Conference and he was so excited to announce its release. Tell us about the process and experience of doing this annotation and working with MLP.

It was fun to read all three novels after a long time away, reminiscing with a book and a legal pad, making notes whenever a plot event (or prop, or character’s name, or anything else) stirred a memory. Jeff was gracious enough to let me come up with as many annotations as I liked, without setting an upper limit. We knew the book was going to be mighty thick, even without annotations.

5. Why do you think some fans of Christian Fiction struggle with the concept of coupling a Christian worldview with Speculative Fiction writing?  Give an argument or two for why this skeptic reader should read Daystar, Firebird or other quality Science Fiction and Fantasy.

A tragically high number of Christians in our culture seem to think that science fiction, fantasy, etc. is harmful or even Satanic. But I disagree. I’ve read many speculative novels (not all of them written for the Christian market!) that wake the sense of the numinous and illustrate truths about God and His kingdom. Readers today have been raised in an entertainment-rich but joy-impoverished culture. They’re starved for stories that affirm something they know deep in their hearts — that God is real, truth is deep, and there is joy beyond all sorrows — and they’ve almost forgotten how to believe in the unseen. Something wonderful really is out there! By writing speculative fiction, we can help those joy-starved readers realize that deep down, they still have a spark of God-given faith. They yearn for the Holy Spirit. They want to find God. We can link that longing with spiritual reality.

6. Can you divulge what is up ahead for you as an author and Christ Follower?

I’m listening for God’s voice and watching for his leadings, and meanwhile I’m doing more mentoring and freelance editing than original writing. That, however, is subject to change at a moment’s notice.

Kathy, thank you for sharing with us today. We deeply appreciate your generous gift of time and expertise.

The Millennial Church Exodus

By Elaine Baldwin | @elainehbaldwin

This is a unique weekly One Another Living challenge and not the type of challenge I will be asking you to consider often. But, when something comes across my path that is a practical application of one another living, I want to let you know about it and leave the rest up to God and you.

This is Caleb Jennings Breakey and his wife Birttney. I met Caleb online through our mutual membership in the American Christian Fiction Writers community.

ACFW members will recognize his name. He is a 2012 Genesis Award Finalist in the Speculative Fiction category. What you may not know is that Caleb also writes non-fiction targeted to his own generation-The Millennials. His first book is “Following Jesus Without Leaving the Church” and will be released by Harvest House Publishers in the fall of 2013.

But Caleb isn’t satisfied with just writing about the massive exodus of Millennials from the church, he wants to do something about it. We all know the 18-32 age group is leaving the local church in droves and many of us have sons and daughters among those who have left or are considering leaving. But how many of us are doing anything concrete about it? Maybe we don’t know what to do or where to even begin.

And that is where Caleb has taken up the challenge and is making a difference!

He wants to challenge Millennials not to abandon The Body of Christ, but rather to engage in the battle for The Church. He can do this as one Millennial to another. He understands their frustration and disillusionment because he’s been there. But he stayed in the battle and is impacting Christ’s Body to return to authentic discipleship in Jesus the Christ. He can’t do this alone and he is smart enough not to even try.

Caleb has set up a Webpage explaining his ministry and project needs. I tell you up front that one of the needs is resources. I am not challenging you to provide money to his project. That is between you and God.

What I am challenging you to do is go to this Link…read about what God and Caleb are pursuing and then ask yourself what are you doing?

What are you doing this week to make a difference in the battle for The Body of Christ? Who are you going to impact this week? Whose life is going to be better because they crossed your path this week? In fact, that is the bottom line One Another Living challenge for every week, not just this week.

What can you do this week to build up The Church? Are you up to this challenge?

I applaud Caleb for his passion, foresight and his solution minded vision. And I thank God for you as you choose to make a difference this week!