Monday, February 27, 2012

The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

The Bishop of RwandaThe Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones by John Rucyahana with James Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First and foremost, The Bishop of Rwanda is a book about truth. It was written from the heart and soul of one who has witnessed mankind's most deplorable depravity and cruelty. Throughout the book one finds example after example of the brutal inhumanity of the Rwandan genocide of the mid-1990s. These are ugly, dark-souled truths. These are acts so sadistic and disturbing that one's heart and mind are challenged to accept them as truths. Yet, truths they are, and the evidence speaks for itself. Genocide is ugly and unspeakable. It is a truth that no one wishes to accept or acknowledge, but if Rwanda and the nations of the world are to move forward, the first thing that we must do is leave the relative safety of denial. We must accept the truth, and then we must do what is right.

Within the pages of this book, John Rucyahana and James Riordan show that truth is beautiful and uplifting. Even though this book is an indictment of the numerous failures of governments and individuals, it is also a gentle plea for forgiveness that drowns out any shouted demand for retribution. This book is an invitation for Tutsis and Hutus to find reconciliation without revenge. The Bishop of Rwanda is a chronicle of the long and arduous road to forgiveness upon which all Rwandans must travel: a road that must be taken, and a road that cannot be traveled alone. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”

The survivors and the perpetrators of the genocide have been deeply affected by the horrors of those days of tumult, torture, rape, and mass murder. Because of the genocide, the perpetrators and their misguided followers must find the strength to admit their sin and ask for forgiveness. Because of the genocide, the survivors must gather the will and courage to forgive those who committed these unthinkable crimes against their neighbors. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-16, NIV)

Tyler Edwards, author of Zombie Church: Breathing Life Back Into the Body of Christ, reminds us, “The truth is, the Devil's job is easy.” One need only to look at what happened in Rwanda to know this is the case. Genocides have occurred far too often throughout history, and until the world comes to recognize the signs of this evil and resolves to prevent it, there will be more genocides. The Tutsis and Hutus of John Rucyahana's homeland have suffered through the anguish of genocide. Today, through understanding, forgiveness, cooperation, and faith, Rwanda stands facing a new dawn. True peace and prosperity have become very real possibilities as a direct result of repentance, forgiveness, and faith following the genocide in Rwanda. John Rucyahana's message of peace and forgiveness serves as a guiding light for not only Rwandans, but for all of mankind. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37, NIV)

Finally, The Bishop of Rwanda is a testimony of hope and transformation. As Rwandan survivors of genocide learn to forgive those who committed these acts, the nation itself is transforming, a phoenix rising from the ashes of its own immolation. The hope for a true transformation in Rwanda is, perhaps, best summed up in the Bible: ”Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)

Some books offer profound wisdom. Some books leave a lasting impression. Some books guide mankind onto the right path. The Bishop of Rwanda does all three.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Project 62 announced at tHP

In Black & White
What hath Harris Burdick wrought?

Deadline: April 30th, 2012


Wikipedia states: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is a 1984 picture book by the American author Chris Van Allsburg consisting of a series of unrelated, highly detailed images in the author's distinctive style. Each image is accompanied by a title and a single line of text, which compel readers to create their own stories.
A fictional editor's note tells of an encounter with an author and illustrator named Harris Burdick, who provided the images and captions as samples, each from a different picture book he had written. He left with a promise to deliver the complete manuscripts if the editor chose to buy the books. Burdick was never seen again, and the samples are all that remain of his supposed books. Readers are challenged to imagine their own stories based on the images in the book.”

In Project#62 we ask you to create stories, poems, or artwork based on those Harris Burdick images and captions. Share with us the dreams inspired by any of those fourteen Harris Burdick illustrations. If you can’t write, then draw. If you can’t draw, then write. If you are uninspired, then please take time to offer your comments and constructive criticisms of the work of others.

Have FUN with Project 62.
Bring the black & white to life

As always, the theme and spirit of this edition must be apparent in your story, poem, or artwork, regardless of your chosen genre or medium. Email your In Black & White piece to

Jim, Sabrina, Jamie, & Marijke

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Where the Wild Walkens Are

Is it just me, or would

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Project 61 announced at tHP

Spin Me A Tale

Put a new spin on an old favorite!

Deadline: March 31st, 2012


Once upon a time... [events occur] ...and they all lived happily ever after. Or do they? Here's your chance to rebuild one of those time-honored fairy tales or fables—make it right, or make it so very, very wrong!. For a brief time, allow your artwork or writing to transform you into a modern-day Æsop, Mother Goose, or brother Grimm... In Project#61 we ask you to create images, poems, or stories which put a new spin on one of those beloved childhood fables, nursery rhymes, or fairy tales. Share with us something that is both timeworn and original. If you can’t write, then draw. If you can’t draw, then write. If you are uninspired, then please take time to offer your comments and constructive criticisms of the work of others.

Remember to have FUN with Project 61
even if there isn't a happily ever after...

As always, the theme and spirit of this edition must be apparent in your story, poem, or artwork, regardless of your chosen genre or medium.  Email your Spin Me A Tale piece to

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Premonitions - Closing the Doors

After pausing an entire month beyond the window for submissions (while wondering if my suspicions were correct), I'm now forced to admit that the climate isn't getting any warmer on the anthology front.

Due to a tremendous lack of interest -- both within tHP and outside our walls -- it appears that the planned Premonitions anthology will also be going the way of Paying the Boatman.

It saddens me to consider the apathy that surrounded this anthology, and I can only hope that... someday... eventually... we will get it right with one of our efforts to publish an anthology that features the writings of tHP's members.

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