Christ's Glory, Not Mine

Devotions, advice, and book reviews from science fiction author Andrea J. Graham

It’s back!

A couple years ago, I spoke off the cuff at my local writer’s group about how God helped me recover from an injury that had set me back professionally with the Web Surfer series. I later wrote that testimony down, along with a three part follow up, and my original publisher for Web Surfer had published the testimonies as blog posts, but those got removed when I had to change publishers. Bear Publications has re-released the serial as Avatars of Web Surfer but doesn’t yet have a blog. However, New Authors Fellowship took interest in my testimonies about what God had done in my life and taught me through my work while I recovered from a head injury. So my testimony is back online over there under the title, “How God Rescued Web Surfer.” (God has needed to do so repeatedly now, actually. This project has come under more enemy fire than any other I’ve tackled.) Go check it out and comment, please. Oh, and the three-part follow up will also be posted at New Authors’ blog each Tuesday for the next three Tuesdays.

Remember also we’re having a party next week to celebrate Avatars of Web Surfer’s re-release, and the party’s raffle is open to entries now. Activities that earn you entries include things like signing up for my newsletter (It reprints articles from my blog and notices like this one,) owning the book and leaving a review, and the latter requires reading it first, so please do take advantage of the opportunity to get started early.

One final housekeeping note–my husband, Adam Graham, is running in four half-marathons to support AIDs orphans in India at Heaven’s Gate. He ran his first race last weekend, finished in just over four hours, but you can still sponsor Adam to help the children.

Graham’s Razor (AKA Gabrielson’s Razor)


I originally penned my twist on Occam’s Razor five years ago, in a sci-fi novel that has not been released yet, and I’ll spare you the details, but lately I’ve been finding just how true it is, or rather how needed it is, as Occam’s options of “stupid or malicious” are making way too many folks feel good about themselves for calling political foes in particular stupid rather than evil–and then there are the folks who note stupidity often doesn’t explain someone’s political views, and therefore feel justified in their assumption anyone with views that oppose theirs are malicious and deliberately causing harm.

This is simply not true. Yes, we do have to watch out for deceitful, corrupt wolves who seek power in order to use it maliciously, but they can worm their way into nigh any political movement, religious group, etc–including your own. I like to hope most humans aren’t one of those monsters, whatever their walk of life, and the popular assumption today that someone with opposing views is either malicious or stupid is simply not helpful. It’s not creating peace and understanding. And, more importantly for Christians like myself, it is not showing the love of Christ to the world, nor have I seen it persuading anyone to accept Christ and/or the ways of Christ’s kingdom.

So let’s understand, for the most part, differing worldviews explain people’s behavior better than deliberate malice or stupidity. Mind the deliberate; someone’s actions may well be evil within the context of your world view, but you won’t encounter many real-life Saturday morning cartoon villains who are deliberately evil. It takes wisdom from God for us to know how to speak the truth in love, respectfully, rather than hurling the truth at someone without any consideration for how things look from their view and how our truth will be simply insulting, rude, hateful accusations that shut down communication and any hope of reaching that person.

Some will still be uncertain about my claim that it is not true that only stupidity could possibly explain someone disagreeing with your carefully thought out, highly intelligent views. So let’s pretend we’re talking about math here. Surely there is only one right answer, and you know you’ve done your math correctly, all your colleagues say so. The mathematicians at your rival college who got a different solution to the problem must be stupid.

No, not necessarily. They could be doing their math using a different order of operations. Now, in math, there is one and only one correct order of operations–one order in which to solve complex problems with many additions, subtractions, multiplications, divisions, etc. One of these two colleges does have the wrong answer, no matter how sure both are that their own order of operations and solutions are correct.

The same way, God’s Truth, the ways of the Kingdom of God, are the only truth, only his “order of operations” for dealing with life’s problems will give solutions that truly work in the world God created. If we use any man-made “order of operations” that differs from God’s, it doesn’t matter how smart we are. It doesn’t matter how intelligent we are. We’ll get a wrong answer. It can be fun for a season, but pursuing wrong answers ends in death. That we can be sure of. But let’s remember, most of the time, that a bad end is not purposely being sought. The person plowing toward it is usually smart and usually truly wants to better the world. They have done their calculations and are sure this is the way to good things. They simply are misled by a inaccurate worldview.

I can’t say what is the most effective way to show them that is the case and prove to them what God’s solution is and that it is right. However, a good start toward effective dialogue and peaceful relations with our neighbors is respecting that they are smart, well-intentioned people.

Just for fun, we’ll close with this meme:

Flashback Friday: Sheol

I wrote this in college at eighteen or nineteen years old. Note Sheol is the place of the dead in ancient Hebrew.


CristiYor / Pixabay

There used to be others here, once.
But that was a long time ago.
They told me pretty stories, fables,
Things I have never felt,
Touched, heard, or tasted.
She, I think she was my mother,
Spoke of color and light,
She spoke of stars above,
A world without pain so constant
You forget it is there,
But it was all a lie.
There is no light,
Just this suffocating darkness.
I trip and stumble,
My fingers are oozing again.
I place them in my mouth,
And taste salt, metal, grime.
I am down to the wiggly long
Slimy creatures since the carcasses
Are stripped to the hard parts.
Once again I fling myself upward,
Toward the alleged stars,
My claws are outstretched, ready
To tear down anything they grasp.
I fall back to the wet, black ooze;
I hear a crack and feel a pain
Intense enough for me to notice.
I run a hand down my leg. Yes.
Tensing, I snap the hard part
Back into place. It is agony,
But I am used to agony,
What else is there?
Then IT comes,
This nameless thing I
Cannot describe with any
Of my four senses.
It burns my eyes and melts
The comforting darkness,
As I realize, too late
That maybe, just maybe
The myths were true after all.
I retreat on hand and knee,
Stumbling back, trying
To escape this brightness
But even behind my eyes it seeps
Finally, my darkness shelters me
Again; yet IT is still there.
A voice calls from IT,
“Come child, come
Come to me, and face yourself,
Surrender to me
And I will cleanse you
Believe, and I will save you.
Come, child, come,
Come serve me and be free.”
I cry out, ragged, “NO!”
And it vanishes with a sigh
But my pounding heart tells me
It will be back.
For me.
For you.

Pair this with: 1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen race [people], a royal priesthood, a dedicated [holy] nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth [declare] the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.