A Season of Faith

I reached a milestone this week. I finished reading the entire Bible. I am proud of myself; this was no easy feat. I finally can say I have read the whole Bible, every word. I do not know whom in real life, I would actually say it to. But I can say it, and that is something. You might say, that is good for you, but how is this related to your writing blog? My answer, God is my inspiration for writing. I just did not know that for a long time.

This post is not meant to be self-gratifying or boastful. My purpose is to show you how transformative reading the Bible is.

If you have read my work, you know I teeter on the edge of existentialism. This life is a mess, and God gives me a firm foundation in a collapsing world. He gives me a reason for hope. As an artist and scholar, I have long looked for my voice. I think I found it now; Or at least I am close. I do know one thing for certain, my writing is meant for ministry. Whether that is apologetics, fiction, or creative nonfiction, I do not know, but I know I am called to both cloth and pen.

“I Am Second”

W. Alexander

I study creative writing at Liberty University, under New York Times Best selling author Karen Kingsbury. Both play a major role in influencing me. But for once, I do not mind being influenced. When I write about God or themes of God, my heart feels unleashed. I feel nothing, but peace, love, and fire. There is more to my writing than mere words. A higher message is being conveyed. One of hope, in a world that suffers generation-to-generation.

With that being said, I confess I am no pedantic observer of every scriptural truth. I am after all, human. God and I disagree on quite a bit. I lean progressive in scholarship; think C.S. Lewis. But I do submit to God’s design for life, not mine. I do not understand why some things are sin and others are not; etcetera. But my feelings on the subject are not part of the equation. I am second. This is where I find peace. Submission brings inner peace. That is the lesson I learned from reading the entire Bible.

Now, I am curious to learn what inspires you? What makes your heart race when you write? Whom is the reader you imagine reading your manuscript? I cannot wait to read your answers.

Below is my Goodreads review for the devotional Bible I finished a couple days ago.

Wow! I did it. I read the entire Bible, beginning to end. Peterson’s edition is designed to only take one year; it took me three. Life gets busy. I have school, a toddler, work, other books to read, etcetera. But I am proud to say, finally, I have read the entire Bible; every single word. I spent my mornings with the Bible in one hand and coffee in the other.

You should understand that The Message translation is not an authoritative translation. And Peterson’s, The Message Remix is to be read as a devotional. Serious scholarship will be done elsewhere. But you are not reading this Bible for serious scholarship; you are reading it to spend time with God. To have a daily conversation with your creator, I highly recommend this Bible. It took me years, but I am glad I finished it.
W. Alexander’s Review

Beat the Boy; Destroy the Man 

W. Alexander Dunford  I will never forget the television’s blue light that night fifteen years ago. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blood Diamond played. Outside, beneath black skies, rain pelted our windows and the house’s bones braced against high winds. Thunder shook the walls.  It was Father’s idea to watch the movie. He loved violence, and I loved…

The Day God Died: Chapters 1 &2

“…in that moment my fear retreated. I discovered I hated him and his kind. I hated his affluence, his expensive clothes, his chiseled looks, and the arrogance he was born to. But most of all, I hated the power he held over me, his assumption of authority, and the truth of his superiority.”


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A World of Distraction

Many forces compete for our attention. I know I am not the only one exhausted by ultra-capitalist tools to alter reality. I am most susceptible by social media and ever spinning ‘doomsday’ news cycles. My addiction to them is debilitating. But unplugging from it all is not so easy for us millennials. How I wish it was. Where and how can anyone connect in a world that relies on social media? Will not cutting off facebook, twitter, and instagram for good, cut me out of society? How would I know of local events? Do other people actually know their neighbors? So unless I am at some communal fellowship; church, work, or event of common interest, I am completely superficial when meeting new people. I will probably never ask a complete stranger anything about their lives. Cause what if they ask me about mine? That thought alone is frightening. I don’t even know who I am. We are a generation distracted from knowing ourselves. It is lonely.

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I believe social media destroyed the fabric of community. I hear about it all the time. All of us can relate to speaking to those living a generation or two before us. They talk about how interactions between people were deliberate. Premeditated. Can you imagine that? When you had something to say; you called a specific person. You had your say and walked away. There was no burden to make superficial general statements online, so not to upset anyone. They talked to one person at a time; we talk to hundreds at a time. The ramifications of our generation is we have no sense of community. Yet we are connected to each other more than ever. Our grandparents generation never had the burden of context. We worry all the time if something we say will be taken wrong. This can’t be healthy. I have tried many times to step away. But I hate being alone. I already suffer bouts of depression. Losing online connection is unfathomable. Because even though it is harmful, superficial, and honestly unreal; it is all many of us have. I confess I have few real friends and none within five hundred miles. It is no easy thing to write, I am a loser.

But there must be something I can do.

I decided if I can’t pull my attention away from these anthemic forces vying for attention; I would compete them out. That is to say, I would find something ‘productive’ to replace them. The plan is to distract myself into something new. I wanted a new habit that would enrich my life. Something in addition to my writing. I chose nature.

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Let me tell you how crazy this idea has been. I know nothing of nature. Absolutely nothing! I cannot name more than three types of trees on earth. When I first stepped into that other realm; the forest, I found myself lost. Everything was fuzzy. Eerily quiet. Often I mistook a scurrying chipmunk as a terrifying predator. I laugh about that now. It still happens time-to-time. But I kept returning to the quiet realm of trees, birds, fungus, etcetera. I had made a discovery. One in which would make Henry David Thoreau proud. The forest is anything but still and quiet. How did I ever feel alone there? It took time to render myself noticing things around me. Under almost any canopy of trees is a cacophony of songs sung. An ever evolving orchestra. What use to be only mud and rock; the earthen floor was now a freeway of sentient traversing. In time I came to distinguish between types of birds and plants. I have not yet learned all their types. But I notice them now. I wonder if anyone else notices just how loud the forest is? A living organic city. One where God is still mayor. Of course, without the app iNaturalist, I would not be able to tell you one plant from the next. But I am learning. Just like learning a new language; to learn the forest you must first learn her nouns.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Matthew 8:36 KJV

Did that do it then? Have I dropped social media? No, not completely. But I use it a lot less. Will-power didn’t work for me. How could it? But the art of noticing things helps. I still know next to nothing. Despite that, I have heard the song only the wind carries. A melody of a bigger life. Her lyrics permeate through me a sense of higher purpose. I am convinced all the wisdom needed in life can be obtained by sitting in the woods. There I am not alone. But connected to something higher and deeper than the material world’s urgency. What has humanity lost in a world built on screens and concrete? My answer; soul.

Please let me know if you have had a similar experience.

A Nod To Derry’s Son

Derry, New Hampshire was the longtime home of Robert Frost. This poem is in dedication to my favorite poetry book: North of Boston, and his poem October.

I’m Published in The Closed Eye Open

Hi, friends and readers, subscribers and first-time-site clickers. I have big, beautiful news to share with you. I published in The Closed Eye Open, which is an impressive literary journal boasting beautiful art and great writing. If you’re looking for something new, creatively speaking, to delight and inspire you, I recommend reading The Closed Eye…