Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Pens of Praise

Christian Writers Group


Next meeting…

Saturday, November, 9th   at 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Faith Church

2201  42nd Street, Manitowoc, WI  54220

§   Faith Church is located next to Festival Foods

§   Not far from the Manitowoc exit off Interstate 43

We shall explore the adventures of writing short stories at our November meeting. Susan Kinney will present information on gleaning ideas and plotting a short story for either your own personal enjoyment or for publication.

We will also discuss different opportunities for short story pieces.

Our prompt is “Abundance or Lack Thereof”

The prompt may be written in the genre you are familiar with: poetry, short story, article, or memoir. Or you can challenge yourself and write in a different genre altogether. You are not required to write to the prompt, but I’m sure you will enjoy yourself more if you do. We are a safe place where you can share and enjoy others, who entertain or minister by the glide of their pens.

We will also share healthy boundaries for our Pens readings. Sometimes a writer is uncertain about sharing the content of their latest work in progress. I recently read A Novel Idea Best Advice on Writing Inspirational Fiction, a Tyndale book, written by many top notch writers. This book suggests many excellent guidelines’. Quoting page 212, Closing the Bedroom Door by Terri Blackstok states: When you write a Christian novel, you make an implied covenant with your readers to give them a clean story, one that doesn’t put a stumbling block before them.

We invite you to bring a short five minute sample of your WIP, or what we call your work in progress. But, that is only if you desire to share it in a safe, friendly environment. You are not required to bring writings to attend the meeting.

We may share a book report on a novel or a “how to” for writing!

 Warning you may end up loving to write!

Remember to visit a local shop or bring your coffee or cappuccino with you.

Let us know if you are attending so we can save a seat just for you.

We look forward to seeing you there! May God bless you richly and always as you write for His glory!



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My All-Time Favorite Antagonist Taught Me…

My All-Time Favorite Antagonist Taught Me…

For Pens of Praise Prompt–By Susan Marlene Kinney

October 12, 2013


Worthy antagonists such as Darth Vader, Sylvester the cat, and Carry Grant’s sweet old aunts in Arsenic and Old Lace, danced and flirted with the curser on my computer screen. Though they were all excellent choices to write about, for our Pens of Praise October prompt, only one antagonist truly captured my fascination. She irritates and fascinates me, but also makes me chuckle.

This antagonist may remind you of a next door neighbor, a relative or fellow worker. But, let’s hope not. Between pages 80-83 of a certain book, which I will name later, are the insufferable, irritating characteristics of my memorable antagonist. Let’s do a rundown of her particular qualities.  She is needy, demanding, sharp tongued and full of sarcasm— just to begin with. Did I mention controlling and cheap concerning everything in the household? She can’t bear any noise or a breath of fresh air and she certainly never smiles. In fact, the protagonist in this book finds herself, “wondering what would happen to her face if she did smile.” This antagonist acts like a hypochondriac, waking her daughter each hour at night with demands, since she sleeps during the day. She constantly complains about those who help her the most, making the tender of heart feel that they are never… enough. She is not easily influenced to another opinion and she uses the guilt card whenever she can, to control other people’s choices. She accuses the innocent of ulterior motives and crushes any joy or pleasant musings with her sour, grating words—

What? I ask. Are you begging me to stop already, before I tell you how suspicious and meddling…

Okay, I could go on about her crusty character, except I’d run out of white space.

You have just met Mrs. Gibson straight from the pages of Anne of Windy Poplars, or from the movie Anne of Avonlea, a character created by L. M. Montgomery

When I list Mrs. Gibson’s characteristics, all I see is how unlovely and unlikeable she is.  Yet, when I observe her greatest stab at manipulation toward her daughter, which include the silent treatment, refusing to eat, and seeming to holding back forgiveness before she passes, she speaks up to say something that melts my heart. She tells Anne, “If you’ve managed to get Pauline to accept that Isaac Kent, you’ve accomplished more than I thought was humanly possible. I think we shant have to climb down and tell him to take her.” Though her ways are demeaning and destructive, I start to believe that this negative woman is actually trying to strengthen her weak willed, passive daughter.

What have I learned from this lady? I’ve learned how entertaining the power of control is for some individuals and that when someone is selfishness and demeaning that I can respond in a way that is honorable and life-giving, if I use a little creativity. I’ve learned not to despise this type of person, but to somehow find it within me to pity or pray over their heart condition. Last of all, I’ve learned to not allow them to control me, like Pauline did for so long. Thank goodness she does overcome, in spite of her mother’s mind games! When I see that spark of amusement in Mrs. Gibson’s eyes each time Pauline finally speaks out, I think to myself, maybe Pauline’s mother does have a heart with a freckle of love beating in her breast after all!


Sunday, October 13, 2013


Antagonist Wanta-be

By Susan Marlene Kinney

Pens of Praise Devotion, October 12, 2013


That would be me, an antagonist wanta-be! I want to be like my FATHER IN HEAVEN, for HE fosters life … For instance, in the book of Romans, in a passage, which speaks of Abraham being our father, the Scripture reads…

God who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did, who contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” Romans 4:17

In the movie ‘Les Miserables,’ Javert, Montreuil’s police chief, is passionate about keeping the law, but he is actually Jean Valjean’s antagonist. I suppose, in a similar way, I want to be the devils antagonist. I want to speak life and not death. I want to pray interruption and destruction to the devils plans. I want to encourage and strengthen my brothers and sisters in Christ.

 I want to be a part of rescuing those who feel unworthy of God’s favor by bringing them into the truth and light of the father’s love for them.

The Lord says about the wicked, “You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit.” Aren’t we to bring the opposite, to displace Satan’s wickedness? I want to harness my mouth for life, purity, and to keep my tongue from evil. In the movie, ‘Les Miserables,’ the government’s faulty system treated the innocent like Cosett unjustly and also harshly treated those who stole bread because they were starving. No forgiveness or opportunity could be found for Cosett’s mother. This movie represents to me a system of law without grace without love without godly truth.

How do we prevent ourselves from such error and coldness of heart? “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, LORD, will I seek.” Psalms 27:8. And also, “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” Psalms 105:4

It’s up to us to meditate and ponder the word of God, because no one can do that for us. Our father made us in HIS image. How joyful HE must be when we resemble HIS goodness, kindness, grace and love when life tosses its worst at us. We are his ambassadors. How about this new thought— we can be the Antagonistic Ambassadors of the LORD Most High!

That is the title I would be honored to embrace.

Oh Lord, your kindness penetrates the deepest darkest holes. You are unwavering with unconditional love, grace, and holiness. Help me to be you willing antagonistic ambassador who is successful in thwarting the plans and evil intentions of the devil and his minions. I asked this day for a natural flair of bringing your grace to the graceless, your patience to the inpatient and generosity to greedy. Help me to represent purity in a way that is not legalistic but is instead life-giving.

As Jesus prayed, “Our FATHER in heaven, hallowed be YOUR name, YOUR kingdom come, YOUR will be done on earth as it is in heaven…
*The very next day after our Pens meeting, we had a guest speaker at church.  Guess what Pastor Andy Shanholtz spoke about.....Well the title of his sermon was "The Labels We Wear!" I've ever thrilled with our Lord!  Sorry about the photo I couldn't think of anything else that would represent antagonisgts any better! LOL!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pens of praise

Christian Writers Group

Next meeting…

Saturday, October 12th   10:00 am – 12:00 pm


Faith Church

2201  42nd Street, Manitowoc, WI  54220

§   Faith Church is located next to Festival Foods

§   Not far from the Manitowoc exit off Interstate 43


The teaching for October is Antagonists who needs them? We do!

Susan Kinney is supplying the teaching for this enlightening lesson on those characters we love to hate and how we can know their purpose.

Our prompt is, “My FAVORITE all time antagonists taught me…..” Yes dear writer you fill in the blank!

Keep in mind these teachings can sharpen and improve the skills needed for many genres. You are welcome to bring your latest work in progress for a five-minute reading, but this is not required to attend the meeting.

Remember to visit one of our local shops and bring your coffee or cappuccino with you. Let us know if you’re attending so we can save a seat just for you.

For those who can attend the October meeting - we look forward to seeing you there! May God bless you richly and always as you write for His glory!