Follow my journey toward publication. Laugh, cry, point and stare-- it's all good. I'll leave a trail so that you, my fellow author, may have a straighter path to finding your own elusive publishing contract. Adventure awaits. Let's travel together...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Copyrights and such... News

Small bit of news...

Remember waayy back in early June when I sent out emails and letters to a few song publishers looking for permission to quote lyrics in my book? To refresh your memory, I got directed to a web page with information on purchasing licensing agreement from one song publisher, and an email asking a few questions about my book from another. It's been so long that I didn't think I'd ever hear anything more from anybody without some prodding, but yesterday I heard from the one who'd asked me the book questions. The email simply said:

"You have permission from the publisher to do this."

Cool!! At least, to me it is. (So official and professional!)

Another thing I've done is to join the Christian Writers' Guild. I was waiting on spending the money but I took the plunge! I'm psyched! Now about that conference....

I've also been reading up on others' blogs and getting inspired by their stories. Seeing others on their way helps keep me going. It could happen for me, but I gotta keep working, keep writing, keep seeking God. I crave your prayers!

That's all for now; I promised to keep you up to speed on ANYTHING that happens regarding my journey so I wanted to share that little bit of information with you all right away. Thank you for your encouragement and support. It means the world to me!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Our Two-Day Vacation, Pt.2

We arrived at our hotel and got checked in. My parents headed to the hotel restaurant but we Massaros had already comitted our wallets to the "value menu" at the drive-thru for dinner this night. Here the dollar menu was really the dollar and thirty cent menu, but still.

The girls had been uber excited to swim in the hotel's indoor pool, so even though it was already a quarter till eight, I told them to put on their swimsuits while Dad picked up the chicken sandwiches.

Oh horror! Amy had forgotten to get her suit out of the dryer back at home! Pouting and blaming on her part were transferred to Kait with my decision that they would take turns in Kait's suit. Kait did not like this, famously spewing the words "that's not fair!" but a teachable moment was to be had. We are a family, you are sisters, this is what we do. Get over it. Moving on.

Walking into the pool area assaults my eyes and lungs with a thick cloud of chlorine-saturated air. Wowza! It was muggy. It was warm. "Get-me-out-of-here" humidity wrapped around me. Kait and Dad and Brandon and Trevor swam while Amy played her DSi and I took pictures. When Trevor decided he'd had enough, I took him back to the room. Amy took her turn in the pool shortly afterwards and by nine or so everyone was back to their respective rooms.

Soon, Brandon came from across the hall in my parents' room to complain of an upset stomach. Well, shoot- we have no Tums! Mike must drive around looking for some medicine. When is it time to take that deep breath and sigh contentedly while reclining on the hotel bed? Oh well. Poor guy. Dad returns with Pepto, girls argue over which side of the bed to sleep on, everyone goes to sleep. Tomorrow we're seeing the Canyon!!

To be continued... Read Part 3 Here

Read Part 1 Here

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our Two-Day Vacation, Pt.1

The trip started out simple enough. We packed our things, started the dishwasher, and headed out the door. We managed to keep the baby awake on the way to In n Out, trying to save his nap for the hours of driving we had ahead of us. I impressed, and apparently shamed, my mother by ordering my burger "protein style", skipping the calories of a bun, and she resolved to do better on her diet. Lunch cost more than anticipated, but that's the breaks. We ate, we snapped pictures, we climbed back into our vehicles. We were off.

The baby was asleep before we reached the freeway. His slumber was a blessing. So was the AC. The temperature ticked higher and higher, and watching the van's thermometer became a game. 104... 108... 111! The windows were hot to the touch, but we were safely ensconced in the cool air blowing through the vents.

Shortly we encountered obstacles in our path! We dodged three bicycles in our lane- my husband deftly swerving right and then left while I clutched the arm rests and tried not to freak out. In a flash the crisis was over, problem averted. The road was smooth and straight before us, the chips were plentiful and the iPod batteries still held their charges. We were happy.

Smack... Smack, smack! What the heck? Something was hitting the van outside the passenger door! I leaned forward and checked the side mirror. The rubber atop the van's running boards was flapping wildly as we sailed down the freeway, banging against the van. The heat was melting the glue! Three seconds later it flew off, falling into the distance behind us. Now there's something to remember! Not even out of California yet and already having adventures!

Trevor woke up and was not at all pleased to be sitting in his seat for so long. I crawled into the back to try and console him but to no avail. I briefly considered if there was any way to nurse him without taking him from his carseat but gave up the idea as ridiculous. His screams rose. So did the temperature. At its highest, the thermometer reached 119 degrees. We stopped a couple of times to placate the child. Eventually Trevor napped again and we were able to make good progress. We crossed the state line! And to our immense pleasure we made it to Williams, AZ and our hotel room.
To be continued...

Part Two
Part Three

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If you don't already subscribe to She Reads, I invite you to sign up here. Today's article was thought-provoking, timely and well-said. My recent thoughts on Christians and Grit are a cloudy beginning to the ideas articulated in this article by Eric Wilson. If you are a Christian writer, I highly recomend taking the time to read this essay regarding the Christian Fiction maretplace.

Also worth reading today is Cathy Bryant's insights on the character trait of manipulation. Understanding why our characters do what they do is going to make them all the more "real" and believable on the page.

As for me, I've had little to report as of late regarding my own publishing efforts. This is not because I am cooling off the jets in my quest, but simply that I have decided to reserve most of my querying for face-to-face meetings at the conference I will be attending in February. I am still actively working on refining my synopsis (just reworked it today actually) and will be tackling another combing-through of my full manuscript very soon. (Yikes!)

In between I am shoring up other, more important, areas of my life to make sure they don't get overshadowed by my enthusiasm for "Getting Published". Those areas being my personal relationship with the Lord, and my family life. This blog is first and foremost intended to allow a peek into the process and journey of a pre-published author fumbling toward getting that first book into print. But you can expect to read devotions as they come to me, book reviews, poetry, and hopefully more guest posts. And of course I will keep you updated on any news regarding Beauty For Ashes.

Please stop and say "hello"- I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Review: Soon by Jerry Jenkins

I am pleased to be presenting this book review by my friend and fellow aspiring author Jacki Newberry. Please welcome her and enjoy the review below. You can find this review, as well as the other two books of this trilogy, published at her blog, along with many more. So check it out and drop her a line. =)

Soon by Jerry Jenkins

Paul Stepola, an agent working for the National Peacekeeping Organization (NPO), has been assigned to enforce compliance with the world government's prohibition on religion. Paul relishes his job and is good at it. He is determined to expose underground religion--flush it out, expose it, and kill it--until his life is turned upside down and he is forced to look at life in a different way.
As Paul begins to unravel the truth about what he has found, events taking place around the world start to make sense. Something big is coming--something that can't be stopped. And it is coming soon.

--Soon by Jerry Jenkins, Copyright ©2004 by Jerry B. Jenkins, published by Tyndale House Publishers

My Review

In 2004, in the midst of finishing up his best-selling “Left Behind” series with Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins wrote a separate trilogy, also dealing with the End Times. The first book in this trilogy, Soon, introduces us to Dr. Paul Stepola, an agent for the National Peace Organization. Following the religion-based World War III, all religions of the world have been outlawed. The map of the United States has been redrawn, reducing the number of states from 50 to 7, and the country’s name changed to the United Seven States of America. The NPO is the USSA’s agency dedicated to keeping the peace, in part by eradicating any covert religious factions that may rear their ugly heads.

Paul, who doctored in religious studies, is an eager participant in the agency’s fight against religion. When a new department is formed to fight one-on-one with these factions, Paul joins them and is quickly drawn into the front lines of the battle. Injured on his first assignment in San Francisco, he relishes the fact that he was able to kill two of the zealots and wound a third. On his next assignment in Houston, a member of the Christian sect there is beaten to death in front of him, but Paul does nothing. He’s on the verge of making his third kill when an oil well explodes, blasting a column of white light into the sky and Paul is blinded.

Determined to get to the bottom of the events, Paul studies the New Testament for clues, but the more he studies, the more he begins to question his own lack of faith. Before his trip to San Francisco, Paul uncovered a letter from his now-deceased father where his father proclaimed his belief in God. His leader and mentor in the Army had been outed as a believer and was killed. Now he was experiencing events that could only be described as miracles. He chooses to make the leap of faith…and his sight is miraculously restored. (Is any of this starting to sound a bit familiar to anyone?)

Paul becomes a double agent of sorts, carrying out assignments for the NPO while alerting the Christian underground to any attacks that may be coming their way. Christians across the country have been praying for the persecuted and praying for a sign that will wake the world up and show them how wrong they have been for denying God. When God grants their prayers—in a most stunning, amazing, hard-to-believe fashion—will the world finally change their ways?

Tune in to Silenced to find out!

No, seriously. Soon ends on this miracle and we don’t know how the world reacts until we start reading the next book (which I will start tomorrow).

I purchased Soon when it was released and read the first two or so chapters, then decided to put it aside and wait until the other two novels, Silenced and Shadowed were released so I could read all three books in the series back to back. Here it is, six years later, and I’m finally getting around to reading them—or rather, listening to them as I’m listening to audio versions I checked out from the library. The books I bought are buried in storage and I don’t know when I’m ever going to see them again.

I was a bit startled listening to some of the anti-Christian passages. The people of this era who embrace the anti-religion laws speak with such disdain toward believers that I had to remind myself that the story was written by Jerry Jenkins, a man of faith. The antipathy toward Christians is so harsh, and yet so very believable for the society Jenkins created that openly eschews religion. If the events he wrote of ever truly came to pass, I can imagine this is exactly how those who hate religion would speak.

Paul’s conversion is believable considering his experiences, but I couldn’t help wondering why it didn’t come sooner. Paul has a doctorate in religion so he’s studied God. I can’t help wondering how someone can go so far as to get a doctorate in something without coming to believe in it or didn’t already in his heart believe in. Of course, to get his degree, Paul had to study a number of religions, not just Christianity, and of course, events had to happen in the manner and time Jenkins plotted them, so I can accept this little oddity. But to me, it is just that…odd. I mean, how can you study religion and not believe? Even just a little?

I also found it a bit odd that Paul doesn’t see himself in Saul. Saul, in the New Testament, persecuted and killed Christians before he was blinded by a bolt of light on his way to Damascus. After three days, God restored his sight and Saul became Paul, a believer in Christ. Dr. Paul Stepola persecuted and killed Christians before he was blinded by a bolt of light. Okay, he wasn’t on his way to Damascus and it took more than three days for his sight to be restored, but once he chose to believe, his sight was restored. I can only assume Jenkins didn’t point out the similarity to his readers because he wanted them to make the connection for themselves. Which I did .

Other than these, I found the story to be a good and engaging read, even if it was a times a bit scary. Jerry Jenkins is a terrific writer and I can’t wait to start the next book in this series, Silenced.

I give this story FOUR AND A HALF STARS.

originally posted June 29th 2010 at Jacki's blog. Posted here by permission.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bondservants of God

I was reading James today and didn't even make it past verse one without being knocked upside the head:

    Paul, a bondservant of God...

... Am I a bondservant?

Well of course I am! I'm a born-again Christian, friend of J.C. I belong to Him and that makes me a bondservant... right?

But what is a bondservant? Is that all it means- that I am a believer in Christ? I've heard enough sermons in my day to know that in the Bible, a "bondservant" was not the same as a regular slave. In Deuteronomy 15 God lays out the rules for slavery. If someone sold themselves into slavery to pay a debt they were to be released after six years. But look at verses 16-17:

    But if your servant says to you, "I do not want to leave you," because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, 17then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your maidservant.

            So sometimes a slave would choose to stay and serve the family out of love. They would give up their freedom, their life, and be marked publicly as a forever servant. A servant, a slave. Not just the buddy next door, the fun-loving cousin who showed up and told the guests what great hosts the family were. He served. Every day. For the rest of his life.

            Do I?

            Now, I know that I love the Lord. But have I made myself his bondslave? Have I given up my freedom, my own agendas and plans, and devoted myself daily to His service? Sure, I try to live well, study God's Word, sing the hymns and pray. And it all has great meaning. BUT- is there an awl through my ear? Have I been nailed to His doorway, always living under His roof and not owning a place of my own? Do others see I am not my own, but His? When He calls me to service, do I get up and go, or cling to my freedom to do what I like?

            I think there is a difference between being saved and being a bondservant. And I do believe that many of us in the church today are clinging to our freedom in Christ instead of giving it away for Him. Often it seems we give Him a portion of our freedom, but retain most for ourselves. We feel it is enough if we give up a couple hours per week of our "free time" to go to church. If we spend a few minutes in prayer before bed, if we read a Psalm to start our day, we classify this as Living For God. (Note the air of piety and grandeur with which this is said.)

            But what about the rest of "our" time? (OUR time?)

            Can't miss American Idol! I need my downtime! I better check my email/ facebook/ twitter/ forums/ blog comments again before dinner, after dinner, before bed. I'm in desperate need of a mani-pedi! When I'm interrupted for the umpteenth time, I often want to shout to my family "Can't I have just 5 minutes PLEASE?"..... Sometimes His answer is "No". Not all the time mind you, but probably more often than I care to think.

            Did He ask you to do something today that you chose to push aside? Maybe it was picking up your husband's socks instead of yelling at him for leaving them on the floor... again. Maybe it was humbling yourself to be the first to say "I'm sorry". Or cleaning your house, or bringing a meal to your neighbor, or playing with your kids. Maybe it was smiling at the homeless man who was digging through the garbage rather than averting- or rolling- your eyes. Or maybe it was even saying 'no' to the job promotion that would interfere with your ministry at church.

            Whatever it was that God whispered to you today, did you respond as His bondslave, or His buddy? Is He your Master, or just your Friend?

            Tough questions to ask myself. Because I know the answer isn't what it should be. I don't even like to give up the last K-cup, or refold the blanket I wasn't the one to use. Log off the computer to spend time in the Word? My fingers are practically glued to the keyboard.

            But the tough questions are the ones whose answers bring the most growth. They are the seeds planted by the Holy Spirit, and only by turning over the soil of my heart and watering those seeds with meditation and prayer will I see fruit.

            And I desperately want to see fruit. Especially when I gaze across the room to the couch where my daughter reclines and think:

            "When they say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree... I want that to be a good thing."

            Friday, July 16, 2010

            Book Review- Healing Sands

            Sorry I haven't posted all week. It's summer, the kids are out of school, and we've been busy running through the sprinklers and riding Space Mountain. But I have something for you today... my first-ever book review!

            Healing Sands

            Well, I'm not an experienced book-reviewer but I would like to share my thoughts on my most recent read "Healing Sands" by Nancy Rue & Stephen Arterburn. I picked up this book last week at Barnes and Noble after deciding I needed to be more well-read within my genre (as should you be, oh Would-Be Author). I tend to read just two writers- Francine Rivers (my fave) and Karen Kingsbury. I needed to expand, so I picked up The Shack and Healing Sands. Now, I don't know how to say what I mean except to just say what I mean- know what I mean? So here's a bit about the book and my opinion of it:

              Ryan Coe feels lost- her marriage is over, her kids are living with their dad, her God-life is silent, and her patience is practically non-existent. To top it off, her once exciting job as a photojournalist has been reduced to taking pictures of enchilada festivals and B-level actors. But when she arrives at the scene of a crime and sees her son's face through her zoom lens, her world crashes. Her only mission-- to find out who really did this and why they framed her son.

              But before she can help anyone, Ryan's got to get her anger in check. She turns to Sullivan Crisp's Healing Choices clinic, but even that doesn't go according to plan. Quirky and unusual don't even begin to describe Sully and she soon realizes that he isn't the quick-fix therapist she was hoping for. Between his unorthodox counseling and a group of women who are the first real friends she's had in a long time, Ryan begins to realize it's not control she's looking for, but something much more powerful.

            When I first started reading I was impressed with the writing quality and eager to dig into the plot. I mean, just trying to imagine what it would be like as a mother to find my son in the middle of a crime scene squeezes my heart. And the authors do a good job of setting up that storyline. I wish I could say that the book gripped me from page one and never let go, but that's not the case. It didn't take long for some annoying things to pop up and begin distracting me from the story. It may be nit-picky but I couldn't stand some of the turns-of-phrase that were repeatedly used . Examples are "making pictures" instead of taking pictures, "holy crow", and "God-thing". Ugh.

            This book tried SOOO hard to not use "Christianese" that it sounded even more unnatural than the church-talk would have. It uses what you might call "Donut-christianese". In fact, that's my new term- coined July 2010.

            Named for those Sunday Christians who view church as a social club and like to stand around chatting at the donut table after services, Donut-christianese is speech meant to subtly imply an acknowledgement of God without sounding like a sold-old Jesus freak. I imagine those who use it would explain that "there is a place for church and God in life, but you don't have to go overboard with it." Do I need to expound on why that falls flat with me? I kept waiting for the deep spiritual elements of the story to leap off the page and blow me away. Never happened. It became apparent fairly quickly that this book was something different than what I was used to in the CBA market.

            Nevertheless, I did still enjoy the story. Ryan (a woman, not a dude) is in the unfathomable position of having her teenage son accused of attempted murder. The evidence is strong, he won't deny anything, and Ryan seems to be the only one who doesn't believe he did it. While unraveling the mystery of the crime, she must also unravel the mysteries of her failed marriage and her parental shortcomings- which are sometimes emotionally engaging but other times too pale in light of her current situation. I did want to find out who-dunnit... in more than one plot line. There was a decent subplot involving her counselor, Sullivan Crisp (though his brand of "Christian" counseling was pretty light on Christ) and the loss of his wife and daughter. There was also a pointless sub-subplot that only served to interrupt the rest of the story. But overall I was satisfied with the book's ending, because by that point I had accepted it for what it was- not a spiritual story but simply an entertaining bit of clean fiction.

            Ultimately though, I think it's sad that the quality of the writing did not reach its full potential, apparently for fear of going overboard for Christ. There could have been such a powerful message contained within these pages, but it never emerged. With such an intense premise, it is surprising that it didn't make me cry even once. It entertained but never touched my heart. If you can't go overboard for Christ within the CBA market, where can you? And why wouldn't you want to? After all, Christ went overboard for you and me.

            I don't technically have a star system set up for reviews, but I suppose if I did I'd give this a 2.5, possibly 3, out of 5. There are two other books in the series- Healing Stones and Healing Waters- but I doubt I'll ever read them.

            Sunday, July 11, 2010

            Poem of the Day

            THE WAR WITHIN

            I'm here again
            Face to face with doubt
            Struggling to keep my sanity
            Looking for a way out

            Depression creeps in
            Like cobwebs in the heart
            Wanting joy but finding pain
            Not knowing where to start

            I've tried so many times before
            To give it all to You
            But time and time again I find
            It's easier to say than do

            Please take it all God,
            Take all my pain
            And bring the Son
            To shine away the rain

            These hands are weak
            And too quick to hold sin
            My spirit surrenders
            But not the flesh within

            In my mind confusion dwells-
            A war within my soul
            Flesh against my spirit fights
            Who will win control?

            Wednesday, July 7, 2010

            the THREE THINGS

            Hello everyone! Today I want to talk about the re-focusing of my publishing efforts.

            I've had to really think about how to proceed when I get to the end of my agent list, which is getting close. I'm not done querying yet, but I've been reflecting on the process and have come to realize there are three things that go a long way in helping you secure an agent. And here they are:

              1) Endorsements/referrals - this means having published authors who have read your book, liked it, and are willig to be quoted as saying so- and who will refer you to their agent so that they'll read your query a bit more closely.

              2) Publishing credits- if you can sell an article to a magazine or newspaper, this will positively affect your query.

              3) Face-to-face meetings with agents- this is done at conferences. Many agents will only accept queries from writers they've met at conferences or who are referred to them by one of their current clients (#1).

            So... I have decided I need to seek after one or more of these three things. The one I can begin to work on most quickly (which means you can too) is getting something published in a magazine or newspaper. This isn't to say I'll be successful right away, but it's something I can take action on. So I've pulled out my trusty Writer's Market and have begun looking for opportunities to submit freelance work. (I suppose I need to also actually write something.)

            Next, I have to get serious about getting to a conference. Unfortunately, I will have to wait until at least February. I don't have time to save up for the ACFW Conference in September, nor am I able to leave my son that soon because he is still nursing. So, the next one is the CWG Conference in February. That's a long time to wait! And patience is not one of my virtues. But it's the only way to get a shot at some of the best agents in the industry. So a few months of waiting should be a no-brainer. A conference is also a good place to meet authors who may endorse my book or refer me to their agents. Of course the friendships to be made will far outweigh this benefit, but networking is important.

            So, I'll need to start saving my pennies! I'm not sure how I'll do that. Maybe I'll have a couple of candle parties. Or maybe I'll even sell an article or two and use that to help pay for a conference. Amazing how all that could work together, huh?

            *In the meantime, I'll let you in on a secret (shhhhh): I have an idea for another novel percolating in my brain.

            The idea isn't even in the infant stage yet. Not even an embryo- more like a zygote. But it's there and it's growing. It's exciting to have this new idea to hold onto while I make my way impatiently down the publication road. I've mentioned it to only a couple of people, and you will be the first to hear about any progress I make right here.

            Sunday, July 4, 2010

            Let Freedom Ring!!

            Galatians 5:1
            It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (NIV)

            Today is a day for celebrating our independence, for expressing gratitude to those who shed their blood to bring us liberty. That bloodshed began at the cross two thousand years ago. I thank God that I live in a place and time in which I can freely praise Him, with no threat beyond perhaps the ridicule of a few neighbors. Thank the Lord for our founding fathers who boldly stood upon the Bible in forging this nation, and left us a legacy of godliness!
            George Washington
            1st U.S. President

            "While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."

            --The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343.

            Thomas Jefferson
            3rd U.S. President, Drafter and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

            "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event."

            --Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, p. 237.

            "I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ."

            --The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, p. 385.

            James Madison
            4th U.S. President

            "Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ."

            --America's Providential History, p. 93.

            James Monroe
            5th U.S. President

            "When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored, those which we now enjoy, and the means which we possess of handing them down unimpaired to our latest posterity, our attention is irresistibly drawn to the source from whence they flow. Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgements for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good."

            --Monroe made this statement in his 2nd Annual Message to Congress, November 16, 1818

            John Jay
            1st Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and President of the American Bible Society

            "By conveying the Bible to people thus circumstanced, we certainly do them a most interesting kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced.
            The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; that this Redeemer has made atonement "for the sins of the whole world," and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve."

            --In God We Trust—The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the American Founding Fathers, p. 379.
            Happy Independence Day! Be Safe and Be Grateful!

            *all quotes obtained here

            Friday, July 2, 2010

            THE BLOOD

            The Lamb of God
            Slaughtered by men
            The Lamb of God
            Killed for our sins

            And the blood that flowed,
            The blood that poured,
            Was freely given for us-
            The ones He adored.

            The blood that dripped
            From the tear-stained face
            Of the Son of God
            Who died in our place.

            God veiled in flesh,
            The Living One died,
            I AM became nothing,
            The love was despised.

            And the blood of the Lamb
            Who was sent from above
            Was taken in hate…
            But given in love.

            The blood that was shed,
            The blood that fell,
            All this so that I
            Might be saved from hell.

            by: Michelle Massaro