Why I write: Stories are like breathing. Life without a story in my head is one-dimensional, stagnant, vapid. I love the life God has given me, but I think I love it better because I’m able to live out so many other lives on the page. I’m more content to be who I am because I’m not trapped in that identity. When I sit down at my computer and put my fingers on the keys, I can be anyone or anything, at any time in history. I write because it’s freedom.
Writing routine: I set aside two hours, five days a week, to write, usually between four and six p.m. I’m a firm believer in Peter de Vries claim: “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.” I spend the first half hour scribbling ideas in a writing journal, reviewing character sketches and research notes, reading an article on the craft, and proofreading what I wrote the day before. Then I pick a soundtrack, say a prayer for guidance, and dive in.
Process: It takes years sometimes for my ideas to find their way onto the page. After the first kernel of inspiration takes root, I play with it and play with it, discovering characters and scenes and plot twists. Finally, when I think it’s ready, I dig out a notebook and start sketching ideas and outlines. Depending on the subject matter, I spend a few months researching, then take a deep breath and pray that all the work will pay off in a way that will glorify God.
Inspiration: Most of my story ideas begin with a character and a place. An outlaw in the Wyoming Territory. A mercenary knight in the Crusades. A vigilante plantation owner in Kenya. A female spy in the Napoleonic Wars. A barnstormer in early 20th-century Kansas. After that, who knows? Inspiration is a gift from God: bits and pieces, tiny ideas that bloom into unexpected treasures.
Advice: Writing is both a gift and an art. As a gift, it must be approached with humility: the writer is only the vessel through which inspiration flows. As an art, it must be approached with passion and discipline: a gift that’s never developed wasn’t worth the giving.
This is not a story I have read about on Facebook or some other social media sharing site. It is not a story that needs to be shared to get ‘likes’ or retweets in fact it is not just a story at all.
This is a true story that as you read you, may not believe that one family can endure tragedy after tragedy. One of which would be the demise of most of us. Yet they have endured and only because of one thing Faith and that Everlasting Love and Peace that passes all understanding and only comes from above. From a Heavenly Father who holds each of us as a mother holds a newborn baby. With utter love, a protective hand and a love that cannot be fathomed.
We met the amazing O’Neill family over 17 years ago and what an amazing family! Gorgeous mom Anna her breath takingingly beautiful daughters Colleen and Merle and the handsome and kind Gorwyn and their son, Quinton.
After many holidays together and lots of family time we grew to all love each other – parents having fun and the ‘kids’ even more!
The first tragedy struck when Colleen, at 21 possibly one of the most beautiful girls I have known, was killed in a car accident on the way to Durban. The family still stood strong and united amazing us all.. Next the equally lovely (inside) and gorgeous Merle married her wonderful sweetheart. They were blessed with a son, wise beyond his years with a heart of gold, Conner. A little while passed and in this fairytale was no happy ending, Clint had an embolism whilst Braaing for his family and passed away. I will never forget Merle saying at his funeral ” she thanked God that even though she had her sister and husband for such a short period of time they were the most special gifts anyone could ever have asked for, and she was not angry because of this- yes tears! After losing so much she was still just grateful for having had them in her life.
A few years passed and Gorwyn became ill will Cancer. With his Faith ( he used to sing in the hospital room about praises and his savior) we never thought he would not survive and yet God wanted this amazing man by His right side in Heaven and sadly just a few months later Gorwyn passed away.
Anna, the whole reason for this blog, is one of the most incredible, ladylike, loyal and beautiful woman I know. She is now fighting a tough battle against Cancer. Her situation is not good as she is not in a good financial position and in her early 60’s has to go and sit at the Johannesburg Gen for hours at a time waiting for someone to see her and then administer her chemotherapy. she is weak and fragile and gets little help from the nurses. Her son and daughter in law help as much as possible but they too have to work and look after their twins.
I would like to start a prayer chain for Anna. She is not ready to go home to Heaven. I really stand by this scripture “Matthew 18:20
20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” We can make a difference! One by one every hour of everyday of of us needs to be praying for our Anna’s miraculous recovery. Please comment on this to let me know when your time will be or if you can assist in any other way. Also share as a chain goes, we can build it link by link with one small click.
if you read this and you doubt that such Love could let this happen to this family, remember that to our Daddy above, life is but a whisper and Heaven a place he knows we will all find peace, joy and love forever. Death is just a soul leaving a body to enter a place more magical then we could ever imagine. Also, don’t forget evil does exist in this world ,tragedies occur, after all this world is not perfect … Yet if you have that Peace and Faith you get through .., we know because of what my sister went through.
Me: God, can I ask You a question?
Me: Promise You won’t get mad
God: I promise
Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do u mean?
Me: Well, I woke up late
Me: My car took forever to start
Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
God: All right
Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that
Me (humbled): OH
GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.
God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.
God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.
Me (softly): I see God
God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.
Me: I’m Sorry God
God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the bad.
Me: I will trust You.
God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.
Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.
God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children…
I am a “strong” Christian…. never believe when someone says that they are faultless and sinless because they are “believers” believe me we all sin everyday in varying degrees. The most poignant thing about John Waller’s testimony is his triumph over what the medical world describes as an incurable mental disease “Bi-Polar” … he was healed of this almost dramatically and has take a turn for God in his life to worship, honor and share our Father’s amazing love with the world. No judgement just love. If he can be cured of manic depression my anxiety and any of you out their suffering with mental “disorders” as doctors would say, their is not only hope of healing their is proof. Its just a matter of asking and believing, praying and serving.
From his early days leading the critically acclaimed band According to John to his impactful ministry as a solo artist, John Waller has continually used his gifts as a singer and songwriter to inspire, educate and encourage the body of Christ. With such powerful songs as “The Blessing” and “While I’m Waiting,” Waller articulates what it means to live a God-centered life in a turbulent world.
He continues to do so on his new album, “As For Me and My House” a potent collection of songs buoyed by Waller’s insightful songwriting and compelling voice. “I don’t think I could write a record in any less than a year or two years because you really have to walk with the Lord and you have to experience life and allow the Lord to teach you something. The title track is, to me, the heart of this record,” Waller says of “As For Me and My House”, which joyfully declares “we belong to the Lord, and we will not give our hearts to another.”
“I’ve been parallel to the children of Israel in a lot of ways,” Waller says of his life. “I suffered with depression for so many years. I was in bondage for years and then the Lord set me free about seven years ago. He healed me and taught me a lot about blessing and speaking life. Many of the songs on my first solo album came out of that. The Lord has given all of us so many promises that are ours for the taking; yet there is a battle to lay hold of what God has promised us.”
A devoted husband, a loving father and a fierce believer in God’s word, Waller pours a torrent of emotion into the songs on “As For Me and My House”. “This album has promises. It’s about the clarity that comes when we remove anything that takes the place of God,” he says. “There have been a lot of idols in my life in the last couple of years—one being music. Wanting to make it and be established as a Christian artist became an idol in my life. I came to a place where I said, ‘I’m done doing that! I’m done building my kingdom, Lord I give it all to you. I just want to build your kingdom and I don’t care how that looks.'”
The talented Georgia native first caught the attention of the Christian music community as frontman for According to John. When the group disbanded, he and his wife Josee felt led to move to Colorado where they helped launch Southlink Church. Though he had given up his aspirations as a recording artist, he began writing songs at Southlink that led to new chapter in his ministry when he signed a deal Beach Street Records/Provident Music Group. His major label debut, “The Blessing,” introduced a wider audience to Waller’s music and gave him a national platform. He followed his debut solo album with “While I’m Waiting,” a powerful project that included the poignant title track, which was featured in “Fireproof,” the No. 1 independent film in 2008. Waller’s song was the only song in the film played in its entirety and its powerful message resonated strongly with audiences.
In recording “As For Me and My House”, Waller once again sought God’s direction and penned a potent collection of songs. Produced by Jason Hoard, the 11-song set is teeming with the passion and integrity that have become hallmarks of Waller’s artistry. “Jason gets what I do and we’ve been working together for so long—since According To John—and he just knows what I’m going for,” Waller says of working with the Georgia-based multi-instrumentalist. “With Jason we took each song and built it from the ground up and made sure it was built around the vocal.”
The album opens with the anthemic “Our God Reigns Here” a song Waller felt strongly about revisiting from the his previous album, which is direct spiritual warfare. “Yes” is a sonically vibrant song that reverberates with the truth of God’s goodness and positive touch on our lives. Penned by Waller, Hoard and Third Day frontman Mac Powell. “Because God is Good” is a celebration of the Lord’s grace and sovereignty. “Every believer that I know can relate to the fact that life doesn’t go the way we plan it all the time,” Waller says, “but the Bible promises all things work for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Things have not gone the way I thought they would go, but God has always been good to me. It’s because God is good that sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want it to go. It’s because of his goodness that he spares us from going the way we think things should.”
“Man of the Valley” is a poignant song about the challenges that help us grow. “I love mountain top experiences,” Waller says with a smile, “but my life has really been shaped in the valley. In the desert where it seems dry and it seems like God isn’t doing anything, that’s really where He’s molding me most. I speak with authority because I have been in the valley and my story has really been written in the valley.”
Among the album’s many highlights is “The Marriage Prayer,” a beautiful duet featuring John’s wife Josee. “She’s always sang with me and when we lived in Colorado, she was on my worship team. She’s done backup vocals on my records, but this is her debut singing her own,” Waller says of the song. “I adapted it from a prayer that author named Patrick Morley wrote. I changed it around and made it fit to a song format. It’s a great song and I’m excited about people hearing this one.”
“Somebody Else’s Story” is a tender prayer that captures Waller’s heart for sharing Jesus with others as he sings “I want to be a part. I want to be a part of somebody else’s story, somebody else’s story of redemption. I want to be the one to shine the light of Jesus into their darkness. Lead me to that someone I pray. Lord I want to bring you glory.”
John Waller is a talented man who continually uses his gifts to bring glory to God by encouraging fellow believers and by introducing others to the Lord he so passionately serves. “God has definitely taught me to completely live by faith and I can honestly say that my wife and I completely live by faith in everything we do,” Waller says. “God always provides. He always comes through and one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that God’s plan for each one our lives is not going to look like someone else’s. I’m an individual and unique and God has a unique plan for me. I’ve had to learn to not compare myself to someone else and it’s hard not to do that especially in this industry. You want to measure your success by what you see others doing. I’ve learned that I’ve had to let that go and know that I am successful, but I’m successful by God’s standard and not by man.”
Below is the theme song from Fireproof a phenomenal and REAL movie…. no sugar coating as well as another of my fave’s. Also here is the link to view more of John Waller’s music. http://www.johnwallermusic.com/