James Scott Bell, author of gripping thrillers like No Legal Ground, Presumed Guilty, City of Angels, or A Certain Truth, writes stories that leave you looking over your shoulder before the last page. Thrilling and unexpected, he’s been able to cross genres and keep readers gripped by his story-weaving for years. He’s also a wonderful teacher – animated and easy-to-follow. I had the honor of hearing him lecture on novel-writing at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2007.
You can learn more about his books at www.jamesscottbell.com
So, what were his top 3 hero character traits? They might sound amazingly familiar.
Courage, Humor, & Honesty- AGAIN
Strength & Tenderness
Devotion to God
Nice back pockets J (Go, Tina)
The most common in the list so far are: Strong, Brave, Sense of Humor.
Do you know what my top three are: (one is in the list above).
In this order:
- A gracious spirit (quick to forgive)
- A gentle heart (slow to judge or criticize)
- A sense of humor (ready laugh and wit)
Not much else woos my heart than someone who gives love when love isn’t due. I think it’s one of the reasons we love Francine Rivers’ book Redeeming Love so much. Grace. (not the don’t-fall-down-stairs-and-dances-like-a-ballerina kind either).
We all need grace at some time or other, and it’s one of the most beautiful acts known to humankind. Underserved blessing.
Some definitions refer to grace as a ‘privilege’, ‘special favor’, or ‘approval’, but I like this definition best – “a virtue of favor to others coming from God” “freely given, unmerited favor and love of God”.
When a person understands the favor of God, then they are more likely to show grace to others – overlooking slight offenses and seeing the best in the person.
Of course, it takes GOD to help us ever work this way. Our human natures are quick to judge, condemn, and hold a grudge. But God calls us to do what is contrary to our natures by loving even if…. (fill in the blank)
Just as Christ loved us.
I have a particularly long verse today – but it’s worth every word from The Message paraphrase. It really gets to the heart of Grace…a characteristic we all should strive to show because of God’s immense love.
~ Not the glittering weapon fights the fight, but rather the hero’s heart. – Proverb
1-6It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
7-10Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. This is what God’s love is all about – what grace is all about. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.” Wow – I once heard an acronym for Grace: God’s Riches At Christ Expense. Oh, what a Savior!