fb

Rose Sheffler

  • The divine is an elusive subject to capture, yet humans have been fascinated with it since the beginning of time, exploring it through poetry, stories, music, art, and various other mediums. Whether God shows up […]

    • Love this article and totally agree!

      I do need to add that any writer attempting theophany should have a deep and daily fellowship with their Creator, including prayerful openness to the guidance of His Holy Spirit.

      Teach me to do Your will, For You [are] my God; Your Spirit [is] good. Lead me in the land of uprightness. [Psalm 143:10 NKJV]

      Writing a theophany instance of the Most High, if attempted, should always and only be done in a deep personal reverence for Him.

      “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. “He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. [John 16:13-14 CSB]

      The goal of a portrayal should always glorify God and especially the human touch of God in Jesus.

      Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. [1 Corinthians 12:3 KJV]

      One of the methods I appreciated about Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, in the Left Behind depictions of theophany, was the use of God’s Word in any divine communication since we do know the ‘words of God’ reverently recorded there. (2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16)

      Job’s, Abraham’s and the OT prophet’s discourse with God, shows God to be interactive and personal–relational–rather than just a sovereign who issues forth divine edicts. The ground principle, however, is God has the full detailed and timeless perspective in all things. Any depiction should never limit that awesome sight aspect.

      Both Peter and Jude admonish people not to slander “glorious ones”, but be mindful of the position God has permitted them to occupy. (2 Peter 2:10-12 & Jude 1:8-10)

      Finally, any depiction of a theophany must never contradict God’s Word or His Nature as represented in Scripture. This requires any writer to seek out what the Bible reveals about God, rather than what we assume we need from God to serve the story we are writing. We serve Him, not the other way around. He loves us, but that love does not make Him subservient to our whims. Anything we ask of Him should be in accordance with His Will and not our own.

      Without humility and reverence and a personal deferential relationship with Him that involves pursuing and yielding to Him, it is my belief that a writer should not attempt theophany.

      One other point is that God’s Power is never conjured. It always serves His Will not that of a wielder. Those in the biblical who demonstrated either “the supernatural quickening” of the Holy Spirit or we used as channels to perform miracles did so at the behest of God’s prompting. The power never came from them, only through them.

      God’s nature is often to do what is unexpected by mankind’s rationale. (Isaiah 55:9)
      As He told the Apostle Paul (2 Cor. 12:9), “[His] strength is made perfect in weakness”, signifying that reliance on Him, rather than operating in our own self-sufficiency, allows Him to manifest His Power to bring Him glory through us. It is in yielding to Him, that we are then empowered by Him. And that holds for all things, not just in our writing and striving to co-create with him in our offering back our writing gifts for His glory.

      (This was just my two cents’ worth and an Amen!) 🙂

      Thank you, Rose, for writing this article! It contains many pearls of wisdom and admonishments I will be reminding myself of as I continue to pursue the call to write for His glory.

      I am looking forward to the next installment in this topical series! I very much appreciate all you and the staff of Story Embers are doing for us in addressing these topics.

      God Bless!

    • This is such an important topic. Thanks Rose!

    • Thank you for the great Article, Rose! Point number four is one I’m struggling with. My book has a conversation between literal Jesus and a lowercase-d disciple who’s a bit hostile toward Jesus, and there’s a point where the character asks “Isn’t everything I’ve suffered enough?” and I legitimately don’t know how to have Jesus answer. The content of the response is fairly easy, but the I struggle with the delivery!

      One note: What do you mean by Aslan not being Christ Himself? Do you just mean that Narnia isn’t the Bible? There’s that whole bit from Dawn Treader: “’I am [in your world] … But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.’” that makes it pretty clear Aslan was intended to be Christ.

    • YAY I’M SO GLAD SE IS DOING A SERIES ON THIS!! Man, did/do I struggle with this. In my first ever full-length novel I portrayed Jesus physically and called him Adonai. But that SO did not work, and when (like, 5 years later) I rewrote the book I took out my “Adonai” and instead am using the Trinity as I am experiencing him in everyday life – NOT physically. This article is so helpful as I struggle with this!! Thanks, Rose!

    • Great article, and I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the series! I only write supernatural type stuff in fantasy where my god-figure points to God, instead of actually BEING Him, you know? I feel more free and comfortable doing it that way.

  • Riah, I’m so glad to find a kindred spirit! This name thing has ALWAYS bothered me and I’m just lucky enough to have a great platform to express my own convictions. Godspeed in your writing.

  • I’m glad you found it. I’ve always admired (and been a little envious of) Tolkien’s ability to synthesize names.

  • I hope it opens up a new perspective for you and makes your stories even stronger. Godspeed!

  • Every human perspective has value, but some are second nature to writers while others are more unfamiliar and intimidating to explore. That isn’t an excuse to exclude characters who are in different life stages t […]

    • Good post! I recently did a short story from the perspective of a mother…thanks for reminding us that the important thing is that each person is unique, no matter what role they play.

  • Ella, it was a huge team effort at Story Embers, but thank you for your encouragement. It was my pleasure to share.

  • Thank you so much.

  • Terah, thank you for reading and leaving feedback. I’m glad my story touched you.

  • Thanks for reading, Joelle.

  • I’ve noticed a growing and concerning trend among writers when they’re developing a cast of characters. In an effort to make a protagonist memorable, they slap on a unique, edgy, and complex moniker and call it […]

    • AHA!! SOMEONE ELSE NOTICED THE PROBLEM!!

      I’ve gotta say that names are my favorite part of any character. Okay, maybe not FAVORITE, but they’re high on the list. I love names. In Andrew Peterson’s thrilling series The Wingfeather Saga, he had a host of names that, if you dig into them, open up new meanings. Kalmar is the name of a castle in Sweden. Ronchy (actually spelled raunchy) is a real word. Ever noticed how “Tumnus” is in the Wingfeather family tree?

      Bottom line: names are awesome.

      Thank you for the article, Rose!

    • Wow, I never really thought about this, but it makes so much sense! Totally have to apply this. Thank you, Rose. 🙂

    • Can I just say….FINALLY SOMEONE ELSE HAS SPOKEN!!

      I have always believed that names are a vital part of creating a character, but have never found anyone who thought the same until now. I agree 100% with this article.

      • Riah, I’m so glad to find a kindred spirit! This name thing has ALWAYS bothered me and I’m just lucky enough to have a great platform to express my own convictions. Godspeed in your writing.

    • I’m glad you found it. I’ve always admired (and been a little envious of) Tolkien’s ability to synthesize names.

  • In memory of Chris
     
    “John’s dead, Maggie.” Ann stood in the doorway, her voice hollow and her cheeks streaked. In the two years that she’d been my roommate, I’d never seen her cry.
     
    I dropped the handful of […]

    • *sobs* That’s SO sad!!! Will be revisiting this. *wipes eyes*

    • My heart… this is beautiful, Rose.

      • I was inspired to write this poem by your story. Hope you like it I apologise for wasting your time otherwise.

        ~She should have loved John
        He was the kind of guy girls say that they want.
        The type that told them everything.
        And apologized when they were wrong
        And when they shouted and when they forgot
        The kind who poured all of himself in- sometimes by the trickle, sometimes by the gallon.
        The type that didn’t realize that he was tipping over into a cup with holes.
        That he’d never fill her, he wasn’t David after all.
        Of course she didn’t love him- not enough.
        But she was a nice girl.
        Too nice to hurt his feelings.
        So compassionate that she only subjected him to the torment of loneliness.
        The fact that “I love you” was an illusion he carried to the grave he made, the grave he laid.
        Then he died, and she loved him, she loved him because how else was she going to apologise for not loving him enough when he was alive?
        It didn’t matter now though, he was dead, not past not asleep, not in another life. Because death and sleep weren’t a d##n thing alike.
        She loved him now at least, and that was supposed to be enough.~

      • Thank you so much.

    • I’m crying!! THIS IS SO GUT-wRENCHING!! You’ve forged real humans who are sad and have intense feeling without making them have a constant stream of why it’s so terrible It’s so buetiful! I LOVE IT!!!!!! *wipes the tears from my eyes*

    • *sobbing in a corner* That’s tragic, Rose, but beautiful! You are such an AMAZING author!!! Thank you so much for sharing. ❤

    • Thanks, Kathy!

    • This… this has really brought me back in time…

  • Abi, hold on to that peace! And Godspeed in this coming year. I hope everything you found in this article helps you reach your writing goals.

  • Kristianne, your body and your mind are connected in so many ways. The five senses really do so much to prep your mind without you really noticing. Try it out and see what works. I’m so glad I could help, even a little bit.

  • It was my pleasure. I hope you can work out a schedule that works well for you.

  • I am so glad I could help. Writing schedules are the worst but being flexible is a great skill to nurture. Good luck!

  • You can call me “Rose.” And you’re welcome.

  • Load More
Story Embers

Enroll in Our Seven-Day Mindset Challenge Course

Enter your email to begin taking the course. We'll send you a link to begin the mindset course along with emails to help you grow in your writing craft!

You've joined the course! Check your email to watch the first video.

Plotting Is Hard

That’s why we created a worksheet that will help you make sure your story hits all the right plot beats.

 

Sign up below to learn how to ace story structure.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the plot sheet in one moment...

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.

 

Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the character questionnaire in one moment...

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

 You can download the entire Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers series in e-book form for free!

 Learn how to wisely handle subjects like violence, language, and sex as a writer.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Worldbuild Smarter, Not Harder

 Some worldbuilding questionnaires force you to answer as many questions as possible about your world.

 

Ours doesn’t. Answer targeted questions that reveal what’s actually important about your world.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the worldbuilding questionnaire in one moment...

Take Your Style to the Next Level

Take Your Style to the Next Level

The written word matters to God.

 

Does it matter to you?

 

Learn how to develop an eloquent, practical, and personal style by downloading our free e-book.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

 Don’t be the next.

 

We understand how exhausting writing can be, so download our free e-book and find inspiration to press on!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Don't Be That Kind of Christian Writer

Want to impact the world for Christ with your writing—without being preachy or cliched?

 

Learn how to avoid common pitfalls and craft powerful themes by downloading our free worksheet!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the theme worksheet in one moment...

So You Have Clichés in Your Novel...

Thankfully, we’re here to help!

 

Enter your email below, and we’ll send you a simple process for smashing clichés.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the cliche worksheet in one moment...

Sign Up for Updates

Enter your email to receive updates on the Engaging Plots Summit, along with emails to help you grow in your writing craft!

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Does Christian Fiction Need to Be Clean?

Our Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers e-book examines how to depict sensitive topics like violence, language, and sex with realism and wisdom. Sign up to download it for free!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

It can also help novelists write better stories!

Get our Harnessing the Power of Poetry e-book to learn how techniques used by skilled poets can enrich your storytelling.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

You can download the entire Harnessing the Power of Poetry series in e-book form for free!

Learn what surprising insights and techniques novelists can glean from poets.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Learning how to help readers connect with your story's characters doesn't need to be a mystery.

Get our Evoking Reader Empathy e-book to discover how successful authors build empathy.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.

 

Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.

 

 

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the character questionnaire in one moment...

Plotting Is Hard

Plotting Is Hard

That’s why we created a worksheet that will help you make sure your story hits all the right plot beats.

 

Sign up below to learn how to ace story structure.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the plot sheet in one moment...

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Enter your email to get your guide, along with other resources to help you grow in your writing craft!

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Pin It on Pinterest