Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Waiting Game

I had an interesting dream last night. I don't want to bore anyone with the details. Yet, I often wonder if my dreams are stories I should tell. That is for another post...

I woke this morning thinking about Psalm 84:11. That thought reminded me of the story of Hannah. Hannah's story is the classic waiting game story. In addition to that, there's the need vs. want subtext. Let me explain...

Psalm 84:11 reads For the LORD God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the LORD withhold from those who do what is right. 

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas or did you get what you needed? What we want and what we need don’t often go hand in hand. There are things that I have wanted for a long time now that apparently the Lord has not seen to be necessities in my life just yet. I know He knows what is best for me, but it is still hard to wait. And it is difficult not to look longingly at what others have received and wonder why I cannot be the recipient of such things as well. This kind of struggle is not new to any of us. And Hannah, who we read about in 1 Samuel, is a great example of how to live when what you want is not yet something God says you need.

For years Hannah had wanted to become a mother. To bear a child. To give her husband, Elkanah, a son—just like his other wife, Peninnah. Being barren was considered a disgrace for a woman in those times, so Hannah most likely felt ashamed and alone and perhaps like a societal outcast. Instead of turning away, though, Hannah took her sorrow and her request for what she wanted to the Lord. We don’t know for sure how long she waited (perhaps years)—and we don’t know the exact purposes of God’s timing in her life—but we can still learn a great deal from Hannah’s example:

1. She was persistent and continually sought the Lord.She did not give up and stop asking the Lord for what she wanted. Like clockwork, Hannah kept bringing her request to God, year after year (v. 7). No doubt her want continued to drive her to the Father and most likely deepened her relationship with Him.

2. She did not give in to ridicule or naysayers. Even when Peninnah, who was fruitful and had children, taunted her because she was barren, Hannah did not add insult to injury (v. 7). She did not retaliate when ridiculed for her condition or her faith.

3. She shared her “want” and was encouraged by others.When the high priest Eli observed Hannah praying in the temple and inquired as to her condition, she shared with him what she was asking of the Lord. Eli encouraged her and asked God to answer her request (vv. 12-17).

4. She gave back to God what he had given to her.When God blessed Hannah with a child, she did not cling tightly to him. She kept her promise, let her son go and dedicated him to the Lord (v. 11, vv.21-28). That is model faith!

Like Hannah, are you waiting on the Lord to give you something you want in your life today? A new job? Reconciliation in your marriage? Blessing in your finances? A cure from illness? To find your soul mate? Victory over an addiction? A baby? Each of us has something we want in our lives. But is up to God to decide if this is something we really need. May we continue to come to Him with joy and thankfulness as we acknowledge that He knows what is best for our lives.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Friends---How many of us have them?

The weekly Alphabet Bible Study rolls on. This week, our letter of focus is F. That reminded me of my favorite song by an 80's rap group. FRIENDS: How many of us have them? FRIENDS: Ones we can depend on? Friends is a word we use everyday but most times we use it in the wrong way...

Yessir, God are times when all you need is a true friend. The key is a TRUE friend. It may take a lifetime to find a true friend but once you got one, you normally got them for life. Today, I am going to go to 1 Samuel 20. In this passage, we find David, the newly anointed king of Israel, fleeing for his life from Saul, the newly rejected king of Israel.

1 Samuel 20: 1-4

1 Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?”  2 “Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!” 3 But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”  4 Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”

Now, be honest. How many of you would go against your parent to help your friend? I know you're saying, "If moms is wrong, she is just wrong." Yet, when it all falls down, it's still your mom or dad. It must be hard to go against your parent. Yet, we see Jonathan sacrificing for his friend, David. Jonathan could die behind this decision. Not only that, Jonathan is giving up his right to be king by helping David. Now, I have some true blues in my world but giving up power and riches on their behalf...  *thinking*

Hopefully, we will never have to make that sort of choice. Still, it is refreshing to know that friendship are important to one's very existence. It's even more refreshing to know that I have friends in my life that I would count as sisters from different misters. Friends, I believe, would make some difficult choices on my behalf. I thank God that they are in my life. There are indeed blessings from above.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Emotional Creatures

The Alphabet Bible Study goes on. This week, the letter is E. I have chosen Emotions to tackle. Emotions are a touchy subject. We are warned about those deceitful emotions and how closely we should guard our hearts.

Galatians 5:16-17
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

It's weird to think of your emotions as your sinful nature. In essence, they are. Emotions are selfish. And selfishness is not selflessness. (Hope I didn't lose you.) When we want something, we want something. Most times, we don't care how we get it, just so we are satisfied. Emotions can be a good thing but they need to be kept in check. That's the key.

I didn't want to fill this post with scriptures. I was hoping you would pick up where I left off. There is a list of emotional desires that we should avoid. Like any good Father, He lists the feelings we should have in our hearts.

It's sad to say that we are fighting a battle within our hearts YET we know who wins. Thus, it should be easy to decide which side to fight for. But those pesky emotions...

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Your Plans vs. His Plans

God has so much planned for us. We have no idea. We look for crumbs under the table when He has prepared a feast for us in the royal banquet table. We wonder if He remembers who we are when He has been calling our name. We wait for Him to notice our plight as He waits for us to take His hand. He moves powerfully at our request, yet we don't even recognize the answers to our own prayers. We have trouble trusting Him fully with our future although the future He has for us is better than the one we dream of for ourselves. You have no clue. Just remember it's His timetable; not yours.

1 Corinthians 2:9 "Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor have entered into the hearts of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

You wanna make God laugh? Tell Him your plans...

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Disobedience All Around

The weekly Alphabet Bible Study focuses on the letter, D. Its word: disobedience. It seems like an east choice. Now for the example from the Bible.

Jonah 1:1-3
1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.

I know most of us know the story of Jonah. He was the dude that got swallowed by the whale and found himself in a fishy situation. Some may not know that Jonah was being disobedient when he got caught up like that. God told Jay to go one way and he went in the totally opposite direction. So God had to get him back on the right track because the Lord needed him to do something.

How many times have you gotten a word from God and you chose to do something else? Listen to that small, still voice. It's the Holy Spirit asking you to do something on the Lord's behalf. Don't make God have to use drastic measures to get your attention. Be ready...

Deo Volente,

Step Brown

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stories Abound...

Nothing is certain until it happens. These ideas will never become a reality unless I make them happen. Guess I have a lot of work to do. The first step is creating a 25-word or less summary. Leggo...

1. A womanizer decides it is time he settle down but his old girlfriend decides it is time he settle up.

2. A pill-popping magazine owner confronts her long-buried past in order to receive her inheritance. 

3. An over-achieving basketball coach aims for  her perfect season despite her imperfect players.

4. Old college friends examine alliances and differences when their 'voice of reason' dies.

5. Suffering from an empty nest, a wife longs for attention and gets it from her new boss.

6. A celebrity desires privacy but her audience only wants more.

7. When seven high school seniors need one class to graduate, they learn that their differences only make them the same. 

8. Best friends for over twenty years, two women struggle to keep their perfect secret a secret.

9. A workaholic executive invites her woman-chasing best friend home for Thanksgiving to convince her family she isn't single. 

10. A group of siblings return home to face each other and the differences that separate them.

I know some of them are corny but I can still revise. Just had to share the ideas. Any suggestions to liven them up?

Step Brown

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In retrospect...

So I've finally caught up with the yearly challenge. I'm on the sixth week and it is December 11. This prompt stuck an emotional chord with me. I am going to be really transparent with this post. So here goes...

Week 6: Start your story with, "In retrospect, I wouldn't say it was my best idea." And end it with, "And that's how I attempted to make this world a better place."

In retrospect, I wouldn't say it was my best idea. At the time, it seemed like the only answer. I was in so much pain---physically, mentally, emotionally. I saw no other way out. I simply wanted my pain to end. With everything I had gone through, I figured this would make it all better. So I walked from my apartment, at the time, to a hotel. I rented a room and locked myself in the room. I even barricaded the door. I really did not want to be bothered. After saying a few prayers and asking God for His forgiveness, I swallowed more pills than I ever should in one sitting and drank more alcohol than I ever should in one sitting. I don't remember anything after that. I only know what I've been told. The one thing I do remember is how much I wanted my pain to stop. It wasn't the best idea but it was the one I had at that time. And that's how I attempted to make this world (my world) a better place.

Step Brown


Great Balls of Fire.

Greetings from the lab...

Week 5: You're hosting a Fourth of July party at your house. Your closest friend is in charge of the firework show and it's a spectacular display of colors in the sky--that is, until one rogue firework misfires in to your neighbor's home and catches her roof on fire. Write this scene.

Everyone enjoys the party, the food, and the camaraderie. When the fireworks show begins, it's a sight to behold. The show lights up the night. And then...

A bottle rocket goes astray and lands atop my neighbor's house. The  small flicker becomes a roaring flame in a matter of minutes. The sky turns into red and orange waves with gray-black clouds surrounding them. With a strong south wind, the fire department could not get to our neighborhood son enough. When it was all over, my neighbor's house was a black and smoky reminder of why fireworks are not allowed within the city limits. The last thing I heard my neighbor say: "Wait until you hear from my lawyer."

Until next time,

Step Brown

1, 2, 3...

Greetings from the lab...

Week 4: You bump into a genie and she offers to grant you three wishes. What are your wishes and why?

It has taken me a while to come up with three wishes. I am still not sure what my three wishes are. So I decided to free write...

Wish #1: I ask Ms. Genie for a cure for my fears. My fear of failure, my fear of success. I have so many ideas and dreams. I realize that laziness and procrastination hinders me the most, yet, I also realize my fears cripple me more than anything. So Ms. Genie, help me face my fears.

Wish #2: I ask Ms. Genie for financial assistance. I know I am not good with budgeting and spending. I also say I never have what it takes to make money in the end--that's money in the beginning. Honestly, I think it's about strengths and weaknesses. And one of my weaknesses is a lack of financial savvy. So I ask Ms. Genie for financial wisdom.

Wish #3: I ask Ms. Genie for more time. More time to get things right. More time to make up for the time I have wasted with my fears, my laziness, my procrastination, my financial inabilities. Time to come up with a better wish. Time is the one thing you can never replace. Once it's gone, it's gone. So I ask Ms. Genie for more time.

Disclaimer: I don't believe in genies. These wishes are essentially my daily prayers.

Until next time,

Step Brown

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How They Do That There?

Greetings from the lab...

So I got a little behind with my yearly challenge. Time to play catch-up.

Week 3: Babies typically talk in babbles that adults can't understand. But one day, while at the park, you're sitting on a bench next to two babies. They start their babbling, when all of a sudden you realize you can understand what they are saying. Even more, they are plotting a nefarious plan.

One beautiful October afternoon, I decide to venture out from the lab to work on my new stage play, Statistics. Loaded with my MacBook and snack pack of water and fresh fruit, my creative muse and I head to Piedmont Park. After a short search, I find the perfect spot. All goes well until a young mother (or nanny) rolls her double stroller beside me. Twins, I assume. Not more than a year old, the little boy wears Diego while his sister matches with Dora. Nothing distracts me from my story until...

Tyler: I hate that heifer. We got to find a way to get rid of her, Skyler.

Skyler: Stop that mean talk, Tyler. She's a cool nanny.

I stop typing and look over at them. They smile at me and continue their conversation as if I am not there.

Tyler: Look, Ms. Thing must go. I've got the perfect plan.

Skyler: Not another one of your half-baked schemes. I refuse to be a part of it.

Tyler: Well, forget you then. Cause T-Weezie don't need thee. I can get rid of her myself.

Skyler: Like you did the last nanny.

Tyler: Hey, the authorities ruled that an accident. But we can't have two accidents in the same fashion. I'll need to be more creative.

Skyler: What you need is a psychiatrist.

Tyler: Shut up! I'm thinking...

As the nanny wheels them away, I hear:

Tyler: Maybe the next time we're all napping together...

Skyler: Leave me out of it.

I pinch myself. Nope, it wasn't a dream. So I open a blank page on my MacBook.


Deo Volente,

Step Brown

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Called by Him...

I'm back with our weekly bible lesson. The Alphabet Bible Lesson this week surrounds the letter, C. Today, we are talking about being CALLED.

A little backstory is that Israel wanted a king, just like all the other countries. Talk about keeping up with the joneses (or should I say neighboring countries). Anyway, God granted their wish and they got Saul. Well, Saul got beside himself, drinking his own kool-aid. God had to put him in his place. So God sent Samuel to find a new king. God told Sammie, "Look, I know who I want to do this thang. So just go where I tell ya and pick the man I say pick."

1 Samuel 16: 7, 10-12 
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

Now, the thing about this passage is that God picked David and had him anointed King of His People when David was still a boy. David was like twelve years old bible scholars say. He was in no way a man. But God knew what David would become. God knew what destiny He had for David. God knew...

God has the power to call you what you are before you become it because He knows where and when to shake you and where to break you so He can get the gift from you that He gave you in the beginning. God has a plan for each of us. Be palatable and let the Lord have His way.

Step aside...

Until next week,

Stay thirsty, my friends.

Mariah Carey - Outside

It's hard to explain. Inherently, I've just always been strange. Neither here or there. Always somewhat out of place. Everywhere. Ambiguous. Without a sense of belonging to touch. Somewhere halfway. Feeling there's no one completely the same. Standing alone. Eager to just believe it's good enough to be what you really are but in your heart, uncertainty forever lies. And you'll always be somewhere on the outside.
Early on, you face the realization you don't have a space where you fit in and recognize you were born to exist. It's hard to be understood as you are. And God knows that you're standing on your own--blind and unguided--into a world divided. You're thrown where you're never quite the same. Although you try to tell yourself you really are okay. But in your heart, uncertainty forever lies and you'll always be somewhere on the outside.

Mista - Blackberry Molasses

I woke up Sunday morning and got a little bad news today. My thoughts say life ain't worth living and time is slowly ticking away. Don't think that I'm going crazy because these thoughts keep running through my head. I know I got to be strong and got to hold on but sometimes I'd rather give up instead. It seems like I'm better off dead.

Don't tell me how to live my life after all I've been through. I don't want to hear about your hardships because I've been there myself a time or two. Still life goes on if we just keep holding on. So many things to survive once you realize there's no such place as paradise---at least in my eyes.

Blackberry molasses is one of the things that never changes. You got to keep pushing on. The sun don't rain all the time. There's going to be some heartache and pain.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Strange Thing About the Johnsons Trailer

I know I am behind on my postings. I promise to catch things up THIS WEEK.

Aside from that, a friend asked me if I had heard of this short film. I googled it and found the trailer and the film. I will admit--this is a very sensitive subject. The trailer that I have above does not do the film service. I suggest you google the film yourself. I can promise you it will be the most interesting, yet disturbing thirty minutes of your life.

My friends who have seen it will ask, "why are you promoting this?" Promotion is not the correct word. As an aspiring filmmaker, I will give props where they are due. And this filmmaker took a very delicate subject and handled it with gusto. I am blogging about this because my subject matter sometimes goes against the grain. I am blogging about this because I want people to walk away from my work and still remember the experience. I am blogging about this because this film left an impression on me. And to me, that is what good storytelling does. Good storytelling leaves the viewer wanting more. Mission accomplished...

There is definitely something strange about the Johnsons. Google it and see for yourself.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blame it on the...


This week's bible lesson surrounds the letter B. I chose the word blame. People have been blaming others for their actions since people got their start. Let's take a look-see.

Genesis 3: 8-13

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”  10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

So yea, we have this dude who has been given everything he could ever want. He's got this slamming garden, a cool job, a dutiful wife, and God who loves him beyond imagination. All he had to do is stay away from one tree.  God tells dude, "This is your world. Do what you like. Just don't touch this one tree." One rule, one stipulation, one little guideline---and what happens...

No one knows why dude took that bite but today's story isn't in the bite. Disobedience is in a couple of weeks. The teachable moment isn't in the punishment. Blessings and curses deserve their own section. The meat and potatoes of today's lesson is in what happens when your actions, good or bad, catch up with you.

First of all, sometimes, ignorance really is bliss. Think about it. As a baby, adults feed you until you learn to feed yourself. Adults carry you until you learn to carry yourself. Although knowledge is great power, great responsibility comes with it. Therefore, no one can make you do anything.

Life is ultimately about choices. I often wonder why God gave us free will. We have it and yet we still won't take the responsibilty for it. From the beginning...

God: Where y'all at?

Dude and Dudette: We heard You coming so we got ghost, being naked and all.

God (with that all-knowing look): Who told you that you were naked? What y'all been eating?

Dude and Dudette: See what had happened was...

Dude: It was her, Lord. This woman You gave me.

Dudette: Oh no, he didn't, Lord. It was that serpent. He tricked me.

They all look at the serpent.

Serpent (shrugs shoulders): What?

And the rest, as they say, is history. Still there is something to be said about this short passage. If nothing else, it serves as a reminder that life is filled with defining moments; those before-and-after episodes when the instant it happens you know your life is forever seperated into before it happened and after it happened.

In an instant, dude knew just how wrong he was and when God called him out, without hesitation, dude knew he had to blame someone. (I can't believe he tried to throw God into the debacle but desperate times call for desperate measures.) Even dudette copped a plea. The serpent was the realest deal (aside from God) in this whole outfit. The serpent accepted its responsibility, took its punishment, and slithered on about its way.

It's time we stop blaming others for our actions and choices. Assume responsibility for all of your deeds because you do them. No one can do that for you. Accept your role for your predicament in life. Stop saying your daddy didn't love you enough. Stop saying your mama didn't hug you enough. Stop putting it on your home environment. Stop complaining you didn't get the quality education. Stop it!

The heart of the matter is this: God gives us EVERYTHING we need to get the job done that He has set before us. Now, whether or not you let Him catch you with your work undone is on you.

Until next week,

Step Brown

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ask Yourself...

I know I am a few days off with the question of the week. I wanted to make I had a great question. 

So yea, we've all heard the definition of insanity. You know the one about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  How about this old age adage--'If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.' What about when folks tell you to 'step out on faith' or they remind you that you can't swim if you are still on the boat. Help me off this soapbox because I got plenty of quirky euphemisms to illustrate my point. 

Tonight, I am asking myself one big question. I encourage you all to do the same inquiry. Granted, you may not get all of the answer tonight. Hell, you may not get a tiny tidbit of the answer tonight. But if there is something in your life that you have the power to change, what you are going to do it?

Tonight's question: So you want a different result? What are you going to do differently to get it? 


Step Brown

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No Regrets--The Short Story

Greetings from the lab...

Week 2 of my year-long writing challenge. And my prompt: Write a short story based on your favorite song, using the song's title as your story's title and the lyrics for your plot.

                                                 NO REGRETS

Claire walks to her car and knows it will be the last time she sets foot in the building. Since her program will not be funded for the next year, she is out of a job. All she has with her are stories--the stories she has spent the last ten years writing. 

At the gas station, Claire looks at her last paycheck. Pay to the order of Claire James. While pumping gas in her car, she thinks of taking a road trip but she is afraid to go too far. With no prospects of work, Claire finds herself walking on a financial tightrope. She tries to balance everything but inside she feels like she is falling emotionally. 

Claire goes home and sits in front of her computer. She applies for a few jobs. She contemplates sending query letters to different production companies and publishers. Yet, she knows if she dares to press that button, it might be the end. Claire walks around thinking of the future she could have if she shares her stories with others. She knows she has decisions to make but there are people in her life she must please. She wants to do what is best for them but somehow, leave something for herself.

Claire's one wish for her life is unconditional love and freedom of her mind. She decides to ask for her worth and to give from her heart. She chooses to leave the past behind and watch her blessings rain from the sky. She realizes what she has to do. She must get up and dust herself off. She has to accept herself and move on. She is stronger and wiser and better than she was before.

Although her body's strong, her mind is stressed. So she says a prayer and jumps the fence. She finds her confidence and Claire sends her story, Still Not Satisfied, to a production company. They like it and sign Claire to a production deal. She moves to New York to fulfill her dreams. There is road in front of her. What is there, she cannot see. Still, there is no looking back and no regrets. 

No regrets...

Deo Volente, 
Step Brown

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Alphabet Bible Study: A

Greetings from the lab,

So I got this idea to do a weekly bible study via my blog. I'm not sure you could call it a bible study. It's more like topics and I am using the alphabet to decide the topic. 

I know some people believe the bible is not contemporary. Like the stories in the bible were for a time long ago when the bible and its stories are very modern. As the Good Book says, it ain't nothing new under the sun. What you doing now has already been done.  

So every Wednesday, I plan to post a different topic based on the order of the alphabet. 

First up: A for ANGER

Genesis 4: 3-8
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field." While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Can you imagine being so angry that you kill your brother? Or just another person? To add insult to injury, you are angry because that person did the right thing and was favored for it.

Anger comes in all shapes and sizes, fashions and forms. It can overwhelm you, consume you, and destroy you. Be aware of your anger.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Monday, November 7, 2011

Question of the Week

I woke up this morning with my mind and it was stayed on Jesus. ~Talking Tom.

Greetings from the lab,

I always have a problem with this time of the year. Daylight savings time ends and I wake up before day and want to go to sleep before night. This year is no different. 

I'd like to start a Question of the Week. Every Monday, I will post a thought-provoking, soul-searching question that readers can answer to themselves, in journals, or in the comments. Basically, just some fat for us to chew on as we go through our week.

This week's question is borrowed from my Daily Bread reading. 

QoW: What is your worst fear?

Please know that if you should ever have to face that worst fear, God will be there with you. Trusting Him through prayer makes available "the peace which surpasses all understanding" and it will "guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). The secret to peace is to give every anxious care to God.

Today's question: think on it, write on it, speak on it. 

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Apologies...

Prompt: Most writers make the New Year's resolution of completing a manuscript during the year. As usual, we neglect it. Tonight, I must write an apology letter to my manuscript explaining what happened and how I plan to make it up to the manuscript by December 31. Leggo....

Dear Still Not Satisfied,

Let me start by saying I thank you for never leaving me. You stayed in my head until I finally got you out on paper. So thank you for being persistent. When 2011 started, you were a novel and I promised you I would adapt you into a screen play. Well, here we are, November 2011 and you are still just a novel. Please forgive my inconsistency and procrastination. You know I love you but I have let self-doubt and lack of discipline intrude. Hell, even laziness plays its part. I can't leave out fear--fear of no one liking it, fear of everyone liking it--and its role in this process.

Today, I stand up and I say no more. SNS, you are my first literary child and I will dedicate my time to completing your film version. I have been talking to others about you. Some very important people want to read you. Together, we have piqued their interest and now I must give the people what they want. 

I can understand if you don't believe the words that are being typed on this page. Therefore, I will show you. I am a firm believer in actions trump words. From 8am-4:30pm, I belong to ETI (for now). From 6pm-until, I'm all yours. I hope you will accept my apologies for not completing you sooner and allow me the chance to square you away in the next two months. At least, your first draft...  I'm good but I am no water-walker.

Writing even in my sleep,

Step Brown

My Year Long Writing Challenge

Greetings from the lab,

In June 2010, I found another author's writing challenge. So I kept it although I knew I wasn't ready to follow it. After some recent events, I feel I need to get serious about this writing jones, lest the Lord give my gift to another. This will be the venue where I unleash my creativity from the challenge.

Here's the deal: Pick one day of the week. ( I pick Sunday) Carve out 30 minutes and dedicate that time to creating a story based on the writing prompts provided. There is one prompt for each week of the upcoming year (Nov 2011-Oct 2012).

So let the games begin. Writing as if the pen never leaves my hand...

Step Brown

Friday, November 4, 2011

Seasons Change...

Ecclesiastes 3:1--There is a season for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.

Just as there are seasons in nature, there are seasons in life. As you progress in your spiritual life, you will go through seasons of change and growth as well as dormancy and doubt.

Spring is a season of joy when new growth occurs. God seems very close in both big and small stuff during this season.

Summer is made for relaxing, vacationing, and renewing. This is when your life seems like it is on cruise control with little to no concerns.

Fall can lull you into complacency. You may even take God for granted. Fall is the season of disappointments and unfulfilled expectations.

Winter is the time when you need God more than ever, even though He seems far away. Call out to God and He will answer---not by removing your winter but by giving you the strength to get through it.

Take some time to ask yourself which season are you in. Ask God for the discernment of the seasons and once you get your Word, pray accordingly.

Until next time...

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Monday, October 24, 2011

Secret Crushes

We all have one or two. You know, crushes on folks we don't even tell our BFFs about. They are sometimes people we see in passing. Other times, they are individuals we spend a great deal of time with. Nevertheless, we develop crushes and for whatever reason, we keep it a secret.

Well, I've had my fair share of secret crushes. In fact, I have one right now. I often think of Nat King Cole's version of "What I'll Do"  or wonder...

What I'll do when you are far away and I am blue? What I'll do? When I'm wondering who is kissing you, what I'll do? What I'll do with just a photograph to tell my troubles to? When I'm alone with only dreams of you that won't come true, what I'll do?

I have my secrets. Care to share yours?

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ode to my Folks...

Sorry for the hiatus! I'm just gonna jump right into this thing.

I love my parents. They weren't the best in the world but they weren't the worst out there either. No matter, they are the ones God saw fit to give me. For that, I will always be grateful.

So I am a BIG Ledisi fan. Sometimes, I think she delves off into my world without me even knowing--which is a true sign of a talented artist. She has a song called, "Someday". When I first heard it, I instantly thought of my mother. Months later, I included my father and step-father. (Be patient with me. God is still working.) So here's how I feel about my parents, Linda, Silas, John, and my heavenly father...

Mama, I love you. And Daddys, I love you too.

Mama, when I was a little girl and I saw the things you were going through, I promised myself that I would always be there to take good care of you and give you all the things that you never had. I know that someday things were going to change and someday get better.

Daddy, now that I have you in my life, I understand how hard it was for you to grow up and be a man. I'm so glad destiny followed through and put you right here in front of me. Now, you are here growing with me.

Someday, you'll see I'm going to make you proud of me. One day, you'll see you're never going to have to worry about what you are going to do. Someday, you'll see that I'm going to take good care of you. Someday...

Deo Volente,

Step Brown

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

He's Enough

He knows where you've been. He knows where you're going. He knows how you will get there. And you know Him. Learn to let that be enough.

Deo Volente,

Step Brown

Monday, March 21, 2011

Better Than Blessed

Many times, I had to learn my lesson. I did not appreciate my blessings. I complained that I had no shoes but then, I saw a man with no feet to use.

I got no mind to complain at any time. For God has mixed my clouds with His bright sunshine. Although this is rough and rocky road I'm on, I know it will take my soul to my home.

I've got God the Father above me. I've got His Son, Jesus Christ, walking beside me. I've the Holy Spirit within me. I've got God's angels all around me. I know I'm blessed--better than blessed. Thank You, Lord.

I may not have houses and wealth. I may not have all of my strength and health. Yet, I know I am blessed--better than blessed. Praise the Lord!!!!!!

Deo Volente,

Step Brown

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Beautiful Day

Life is a journey; not a destination. There are no mistakes; just
chances we've taken. Lay down your regrets because all we have
is now. Wake up in the morning and get out of bed. Start making
a mental list in your head of all the things you are grateful for.

Life is a challenge; not a competition. You can still smell the roses
and be on a mission. Just take a moment to get in touch with your
heart. Sometimes you fell like you've got something to prove.
Remind yourself that there is only...ONE YOU! Just take a moment
to give thanks for who you are.

Early in morning--It's the dawn of a new day. New hopes, new dreams,
new ways. I open up my eyes and I open up my mind and I wonder
how life will surprise me today. I open up my heart and I'm going
to do my part and make this a positively beautiful day.


Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Monday, January 24, 2011

Still Not Satisfied...

SAB Entertainment and Blue Planet Publishing announces the first release of the 2011 Publishing Year, S. A. Brown’s Still Not Satisfied. Sized at 5 x 8, the paperback is categorized under General/Literary Fiction and Fiction – Urban Life. The title is available worldwide on book retailer websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble for a suggested retail price of $13.95.
About the Book (Synopsis & Info):  

Some people are willing to do anything in the name of satisfaction. What would you do? What risks would you take? Whom would you betray? Whom would you disappoint? Find out how far Christian is willing to go as he arouses past desires, yields to current temptations, and awakens new passions — all for the sake of satisfaction.

Deftly constructed at 276 pages, Still Not Satisfied is being aggressively promoted to appropriate fiction markets with a focus on the General/Literary and Urban Life Fiction categories. With worldwide wholesale distribution through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and pervasive online availability through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere, Still Not Satisfied meets consumer demand through both retail and library markets with a suggested retail price of $13.95.

Additionally, Still Not Satisfied can be ordered by retailers or wholesalers for the maximum trade discount price from the Blue Planet Publishing vendor wholesale bookstore at

ISBN: 978-09824298-7-7 Format: 5 x 8 Paperback SRP: $13.95

For more information or to contact the author, visit or contact the author’s publisher, Blue Planet Publishing, at

About the Author:

As a native of the Mississippi Delta, S.A. Brown’s colorful childhood and life experiences provide her a plethora of tales to inspire and entertain her readers. As a former secondary teacher and coach, she witnesses the human plight in real-time and her driven imagination concocts almost everything she sees into a story to tell.

S. A. believes her purpose is to write. With her passion restored and her “box of ideas,” she hopes to inspire, encourage, and entertain readers with compelling characters and thought-provoking storylines. Currently residing in Biloxi, Mississippi, she wants her audience to walk away with a life lesson every time they walk away from a piece of her work.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

When you should believe…

A farmer was cutting grass when he ran over a snake. Half-dead, the snake begged the farmer to nurse him back to health. Filled with compassion, the farmer takes the snake in. For months, the farmer feeds and cares for the snake. One day, the farmer handles the snake and it bites him. Dying, the farmer asks why would you bite me? The snake replies you knew what I was when you picked me up.

When they show you who they are, believe them…

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown