How to ‘Witness’ to Catholics.

Imagine this situation on social media. There is a Catholic discussion group and the members are currently discussing good First Communion gifts, and a new group member breaks in. ‘Hello, I’m a REAL Christian, not like you hellbound Catholics. I know this is supposed to be a Catholic group. I lied about being Catholic to get in. But that’s OK because I’m here to SAVE YOUR SOULS by getting you to repent of your sins of worshiping Mary and the Pope instead of Jesus. And you call your priests ‘Father’ and my father always told me it’s a sin to call any man ‘father.’ I have ten great books written by the pastor of my church on why all Catholics are hellbound, I will give you the list, and you can buy the books, read them, and then I can explain to you all the things you don’t understand…’

Now, is this person witnessing, or just Catholic-bashing? Most Catholics would say the latter. It doesn’t matter how sincere you are, when you insult people you are trying to witness to, you are not planting seeds of your faith but pushing people farther away.

If you feel called to ‘witness’ to a Catholic, you must know actual facts about what the Catholic Church really teaches. Don’t go by some anti-Catholic book written by a member of your denomination, or even the testimony of someone who came from a Catholic family and got ‘saved’ in your church. Many childhood Catholics never had any sort of Catholic religious education and may know less about what practicing Catholics believe than anybody.

Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church to know what real-world Catholics believe. This document has many references to Bible verses or sayings of Early Church leaders that back a certain teaching up. If you are not willing to read from a Catholic source, perhaps you should restrain from making claims about what Catholics believe.

Read The Catholic Verses by Dave Armstrong. He is a former Protestant who became Catholic.

Another important point is to know what you believe and why you believe it. If your church has a catechism or statement of faith, read it. If you don’t believe in ‘doctrine ‘ but just in ‘what the Bible teaches,’ learn more about the many different teachings different Bible-believers find in the same Bible. Learn from Bible commentaries or by learning to read the Bible in the original languages.

Above all, be civil enough to see things from other points of view. You may think a Catholic is hellbound, the Catholic may think you are hellbound. Bickering and insulting is not the way to win people over.

I find that a good number of those who purport to ‘witness’ online are just exposing their ignorance and incivility. Remember, Jesus did not win over the Samaritan woman by declaring she was a whore from a false sect. She had heard insults before, she would not have been moved. But Jesus cared enough about her to be kind even when she was in the wrong on some things.

Let us hope we can all be more like Jesus and less like the online jerks we have all encountered.

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Contact Nissa Annakindt on MeWe, the less censored social medium.

Ye Prologue that Sucketh

There is a writing rule that your shouldn’t write prologues. That rule should be don’t write prologues that suck.

A classic prologue that sucks can be found in certain SF and fantasy books where they open with a prosy, dull rehashing of the history of the kingdom or galaxy of the fictional world. In a trilogy in also sums up what happened in the previous books— in the style of a particularly dull history textbook.

Cut that kind of prologue. Start with chapter one with a character in action– learning to use a sword or pilot a starship, chasing a buxom alien woman or an escaped riding dragon, coping with the fact he’s just been turned into a cockroach and that might make him late for work…

There is another kind of prologue often used in horror novels that you can keep. The prologue introduces you to a character who is about to be murdered by the monster or serial killer or whatever you’ve got that kills people, and this killing launches the story. Calling this story start a ‘prologue’ acts as a suggestion to the reader not to get too attached to the prologue viewpoint character.

If you have a prologue in mind that isn’t that kind or a history lesson, and it features your Lead character, is there any real reason to call that a prologue instead of Chapter One? Many readers have been so burned by bad prologues that they don’t read them. Putting ‘prologue’ on a first section just diminishes the number of people to read it.

‘Don’t write prologues’ is not a valid writing rule. Write all the prologues you like. Just don’t write ones that suck. If you put your best foot forward and write things that make the reader curious, you have hooked the reader, and that’s the job of any kind of book beginning.

The Great Facebook Exodus

Facebook has done itself in. In September they made a dreadful new Facebook that you can’t get away from, and forced it on everyone. In October, there are rumors that they will retroactively ban people. My guess is that my conservative or libertarian friends are more likely to get banned than my foul-mouthed stalkers. 

I’ve been annoyed by Facebook for a while because they use what I post on Facebook to pick which ads to throw at me. When I mention my diabetes, I get flooded with ads for diabetes gimmicks. When I mention my low-carb, ketogenic diet, I get flooded with keto gimmicks. You don’t want to know what happened when I mentioned I had an appointment with a kidney doctor.

I’ve never been banned by FB even though I’ve expressed opinions I hate. I only had one post taken down, and that was because I mentioned my stalker, asking people to pray for him. FB likes my stalker more than it likes me, I guess.

I’ve had MeWe and Gab accounts for some time now. I did Gab when a lot of people from the Conservative/Libertarian Fiction Alliance recommended it, and I started on MeWe when the CLFA group migrated there from MeWe.

MeWe seems dull, but I have fewer friends there and a lot of the friends I have there are only there part-time. I have found when I do more things, like comment on posts from pages, I get more interactions. Posting on MeWe is important. I try to post my blog posts onto my timeline, or in some cases in an appropriate group.

Gab has strong free speech policies, but it has a minority of troublesome troll users. Many of the trolls are political extremists of one type or another. Others are ‘88s’— they use the code 88 to signal their sympathies with the NeoNazis or KKK. I dislike it when trolls try to bully me. Which is why it is good that you can block people.

For writers and bloggers, I think it’s important to look into Facebook alternatives. What if FB takes down YOUR page or account overnight? It is only prudent to have a backup. Though I think FB is catching wise. Today a number of people posted links to their MeWe profiles or groups. And when I clicked on the links on my cell phone, MeWe wanted me to sign in again. Even though I have the MeWe app and used it earlier in the day. That didn’t used to happen. 

Join me on MeWe: : https://mewe.com/i/nissaannakindt

Be sure and add a link to your own MeWe profile in a comment, if you want more MeWe friends.

World-Building: Enforcing Laws

In the process of world-building for fantasy/sci-fi writing, we not only need to make up laws for our worlds, we  need to think about how the laws are enforced. Without any enforcing of laws, chaos arises. Why shouldn’t someone steal all your stuff if there were no consequences? Why shouldn’t they stab you to death to get a chance at your wife/husband? Or do it just for the hell of it?

Most people don’t look forward to going to jail for long sentences, being hanged or beheaded, being put in the stocks, or whatever other punishments your world has. Many early societies didn’t have actual police forces to catch the criminals— families often had to catch their kin’s murder themselves. Among the ancient Norse, when some one killed your brother, you were free to kill any member of the murderer’s family in vengeance. 

More civilized societies as in most sci-fi worlds have a system more similar to ours. Criminals need to be caught. Perhaps technology will give better ways to find the criminals— we see that already in places with CC-TV cameras everywhere, and the use of DNA identification. 

In our world some charming people have decided ‘defund the police’ is a cool slogan, but they get dismayed by a resulting crime wave that affects them. Being a person tasked with law enforcement will always be a tough job. You have to gain control of possible criminals who are high on drugs, or drunk, and who may be belligerent and think there is nothing wrong with what they have done— even if it’s murder. And if a law enforcer makes a mistake— catching an innocent person, who dies in police custody— they can get called murderers, even if they had no way of preventing the death.

Some people think that looting and shoplifting from a business is OK because the business owner is insured and rich enough to afford insurance rate hikes. But people who own a business, large or small, aren’t in business just for the fun of it. The business needs to make enough money to cover the costs, both of the wholesale cost of anything sold and the cost of paying employees’ wages. As a bonus, the business owner usually expects a little money for his labor— if he’s not getting it, he might as well go home and do things he likes.

High shoplifting rates, or an incident of mass looting, makes businesses go away. That’s why so many urban ‘bad neighborhoods’ don’t have any of the chain discount stores in the area. They have individual stores with higher prices, because of the shoplifting rates. 

My father, who worked as manager in a discount store most of his working life, dealt with shoplifters all the time. He liked to say they had never caught anyone stealing a loaf of bread. I think what he meant was that people didn’t steal basic food items, but things they didn’t need to survive.

Out-of-touch people think looting is OK because it means people— including non-employed Leftist professional protesters— get fed. Real-world poor people tend to get food it more legit ways. If there are no wages to buy basic foods, they panhandle, or apply for charity/Food Stamps, or go to a food bank or soup kitchen. I’ve never panhandled, but I’ve done some of the other things— food banks are frustrating when  you have to be on a low-carb eating plan and most of what they have is Hamburger Helper and ramen noodles. 

Some people think training the young people with the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule would help reduce law-breaking. It might— a lot of crimes that are common now were less common when most kids were taught these things in home, religious education and school. But this training gets overcome when there are loads of people promoting ‘situational ethics’ or the idea that there are no absolute rules without exceptions.

Not murdering and stealing are good rules. In a major crisis, we all agree that one may use deadly force in self-defense or the defense of others, and in an apocalyptic situation one can break into a sporting goods store to get a crossbow or ball bat to kill zombies with. But if your mind is filled with the exceptions more than the rules, you are always finding good reasons to break laws. You speed through the school zone because you’re running late. You steal ‘protein bars’ from the mini-mart because you’re hungry and you left your wallet in your other pants. You kill Joe because he flirted with your wife, or he cussed you out, or you want his stuff…. I have read about a lady serial killer who was a devout church-going Christian on the surface. But she kept feeding people ant poison when they caught her stealing to get drug money. I’m sure she knew the ‘Thou shalt not murder’ rule. She just got in a habit of not applying it to herself.

In fantasy and sci-fi stories, the shared moral rules may be similar to those of the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments, or quite different. Maybe one rule is that you don’t say the Fearless Leader or Dark Lord’s name, or he will get you, through magic or technology. Maybe your hero will obey his society’s rules, or be looking for a better way. In either case there will be some sort of law enforcers to keep him on track.

You Need To be Mean to your Characters!

Zombieland (2009)

You put a lot of effort into creating characters. You hope your Lead character is interesting, and that readers can identify with him. But what will make that happen? Trouble!

How many readers would have liked Harry Potter if an evil wizard hadn’t killed his parents, leaving him to be raised by horrid Muggle relatives? How many would have identified with Katniss Everdeen if she had lived in a peaceful, prosperous society with no ‘Hunger Games’ competition in sight? Would we have followed Scarlett O’Hara through the Civil War if she’d got Ashley to dump Melanie for her right at the beginning?

Being a big meany to your characters makes those characters more relatable. Most readers have had troubles, and even if their troubles were very minor, they felt big. It’s easier to care about an orphan, an unfulfilled person, even a doomed person, rather than someone for whom everything goes right. Everything going right is what happens to other people, the ones we don’t like so much.

Lots of troubles give characters lots of chances to show good qualities. If Katniss never had to volunteer for the Hunger Games to save her sister, and therefore never allied with little Rue in those games, we might think she was just a self-involved teen with no redeeming qualities. In ‘Gone With the Wind,’ we are shown that Scarlett is shallow and self-centered, but she stays with Melanie and delivers Melanie’s baby, and then helps her sisters and the servants survive when she returns to Tara to find everything she had known destroyed. 

Imagine instead you write a character named Mary, who is popular and a good student and has a wealthy family who gives her everything. Will we even like her? Probably not— unless we make her lose her popularity, lose her family, and have to drop out of school to work in a cotton mill. Troubles like that will make any good qualities Mary has shine forth so that even the more inattentive readers will notice.

Now, you don’t have to give every character the same set of troubles. There have been many fictional characters who were not orphans, or not poor, or not unpopular. You just have to give your character some troubles.

The center of most fictional plots is the things the Lead character wants but can’t seem to get. It must be something important to him— for example, if he can’t get the girl he wants, he can’t have 10 other more available girls around him that he likes just as much. Getting the girl has to seem like life-or-death to your character if that is at the center of your plot. Your Lead can best be defined as someone who wants something, and wants it with all his heart. 

Without being mean to your characters, in particular the Lead character, the characters are just going through the motions of something that won’t much matter to anyone. Your readers might not even know what’s missing, why they could never really ‘get in to’ the story, or care enough about the story to finish it, or why they couldn’t give it a good review. But now, YOU know what is missing. Get writing, and add some troubles to your fiction!

Preaching To or At Catholics Online

Jesus. He’s a Friend of mine.

I am a former Protestant (Presbyterian, Lutheran) who is now a convert to the Catholic church. And lately I’ve noticed something that bothers me. There are Protestant/Evangelical preachers or would-be evangelists who troll Catholics in the comments section of various posts on Facebook and MeWe, and I have also noticed at least 2 who have joined Catholic groups under false pretenses, don’t interact with the group, and post long, long sermons, clearly Evangelical, in those forums. In one group a guy was posting sermon-videos at a rate of one a minute for a while. Another fellow posted the exact same sermons in two groups, one Catholic, one about Christians who support Israel. That sermon mentioned neither Catholicism nor Israel.

I am a firm believer in the idea that throwing sermons at the unwilling is not a way to win over hearts and minds. Nor is calling Catholics or other non-you Christians ‘hell-bound’ going to do the trick. Other Christians are mostly as convinced of the truth of their branch of Christianity as the online-preacher is about his.

And being insulting isn’t too convincing. Since I have a controversial, pro-man/woman-marriage page on Facebook, I have a lot of ‘athiests’ calling me a crazy liar and calling my disabled kitten ugly, and somehow those insults never made me doubt my faith. Nor want to become that kind of ‘athiest.’ If I lost my faith I would be an atheist— properly spelled— and I would still be civil to other human beings, because that approach is better. I can’t imagine the beloved writer C. S. Lewis, during his atheist youth, insulting other people’s disabled kittens to spread the atheist nonfaith.

What if these fire-breathing Protestant/Evangelicals had instead joined the Catholic group, made 10 encouraging and denomination-neutral comments for every one that might be perceived as being a bit non-Catholic, and had never posted any long sermons at all but just done a little ‘seed-planting?’

I believe in is seed planting. You can plant seeds of faith, and trust the Lord to bring the harvest. Yes, I know, Jesus preached long sermons like the sermon on the mount. But you are not Jesus. Jesus also spoke in parables— short illustrations— and we don’t know for sure how often He used the one method rather than the other. 

If you honestly think Catholics are ‘hell-bound,’ using an approach that will give the Catholic in question one more story about how Evangelicals/Protestants are hateful of Catholics is not effective. That’s how you get Catholics who question whether Evangelicals/Protestants can even be saved enough to get to heaven.

You want to save some Catholics? Do this: Buy a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a Bible with the Deuterocanonical books (Apocrypha), and get the little leaflet from CHResources on how to read through the whole Bible and Catechism in a year, and do it in a year. Next step: get a good book by a Catholic apologist that explains why Catholics believe the things we do, such as ‘The Catholic Verses’ by former Protestant Dave Armstrong, and read it. 

Then you will be equipped to go out amongst Catholics, knowing what they really believe, and plant seeds of what you think are the essentials of the Christian faith. Be encouraging, kind and loving. You may find after your studies that you no longer believe that getting Catholics to doubt their faith and leave their Church is your goal. Perhaps you will think it’s enough to lovingly encourage Catholics to draw closer to Christ and to the Bible, even if they stay Catholic. 

My personal belief— and I’m just a laywoman not a priest, pastor or bishop— is that God wants us to follow Jesus in the best way we know how, and even if we are in the ‘wrong’ church and believe false doctrines God still wants us in heaven if at all possible. I do believe my Catholic church has the correct and Biblical teachings, but I know there are also people who don’t believe like I do and who love the Lord. Let’s ignore the sad Christian divisions and recognize one another as fellow believers when we can. 

 

The ‘Cult’ of Imposing Writing Rules on Others, IWSG

One thing insecure writers so often do is get on a mad search for absolute writing rules and then proceed to impose those rules on other insecure writers— whether asked for feedback or not.

This is a post in the Insecure Writers’ Support Group blog hop. Learn more at: https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

Some people support the rule about ‘no clichés’ by condemning every actual fantasy element in a fantasy novel as ‘cliché.’ No dragons, no elves, no vampires, no magic rings… no readers, because fantasy novel readers like books with fantasy elements in them, even though they have seen these things before. 

Some people like to complain about ‘head-hopping,’ or shifting the point-of-view during the scene. It IS an amateur move to shift point-of-view accidentally or in a confusing way. But author Stephen King wrote a scene where the reader starts off in the head of a bad guy on a shooting spree, shifts to a frightened observer who is the next to get shot dead, and then moves back to the point-of-view of the shooter. Does this make Stephen King an amateur hack-writer who will never be published? No, it makes him a skilled writer who is too experienced to bow to a lot of absolute amateur-writer rules.

Our need for rules dates back to our very early days of being able to read or write. When teacher admonished us that the word ‘cats’ must not be spelled ‘ka777z,’ it was wise of us to obey that rule if we wanted others to be able to read our childish little attempts at writing sentences. 

But we kept on learning more and more, and I hope we will all keep on learning more about writing until we die. There are very few absolute rules other than the ‘traffic signals’ of correct spelling, grammar and punctuation that make other people able to make sense of our work. Imagine if Jeff Lindsay had gone to a bunch of rule-oriented writers and explained his idea for the Dexter novels. A serial killer who’s a blood spatter analyst and the ‘hero’ of the series? You can’t do that! Lead characters need to be— at least more moral than someone that gets a thrill out of making other people dead. But Lindsay did pretty well with the Dexter thing after all.

The point I have to make is we have to develop our writing confidence enough to ignore the people who want to impose various rules on our work. If we are writing ‘OK-enough’ fiction and not groupthinking it to death through critique groups, we can ignore alleged writing rules. And if our writing skills have a long way to go, no amount of slavish rule-obeying will save us. (Hint— if you fear your writing is ‘not good enough,’ read more books. Write more novels and short stories. Your skills will improve.)

Fiat Currency of the Apocalypse

I’m currently reading ‘The Sheriff’ by M. R. Forbes, and in this post-apocalyptic novel, folks are using a paper currency which is a government stamp on paper for trade. Even paper notes made by the hero who happens to own a stamp. Which is incredibly unrealistic.

A paper currency is  sometimes called ‘fiat currency,’ which means it’s money because some government said it’s money. American dollars these days— on paper or in electronic form— are fiat currency backed by the government. We accept it for practical reasons— that paper or electronic signal may not have intrinsic worth, but we can trade it easily for the stuff we need.

US dollars didn’t used to be fiat currency— at one time it was backed by gold, and you could just take your paper dollars in to a bank and trade them for US gold coins. That didn’t last and FDR actually forbade Americans to own gold. Gold was good because many people accepted that gold was an item of value and would trade for it. And governments can’t print more gold to fake paying their bills.

Fiat currency in the US keeps working because the government that backs it continues to exist in a way that gives people confidence that the dollar has worth. But what would happen in an apocalyptic situation where the government is helpless or disappears altogether? Would people actually trade stuff with survival value for the former government’s approved printed paper?

Here is, in my opinion, the transition of fiat currency in an apocalyptic situation:

Stage 1: People are pretending things are normal in spite of the crisis. They only get worried if they can no longer cash their paychecks or get money out of their bank. The more the government insists that it can bring things back to normal, and doesn’t deliver, the less people trust in government-backed paper money.

Stage 2: The crisis is well upon us. Stores are closed, perhaps forever, some people loot to get needed supplies. Trade, where it exists, is mostly barter, and mostly food or survival items such as guns, milk goats or hand-crank grain grinders. People trade stuff they have a surplus of, for things they need.

Stage 3: Things are getting more stable as some survivors learn to adapt to the new conditions. Since some survivalists have stockpiled gold and silver coins for just such a crisis, some people may take the risk of accepting it in trade, at first perhaps only for non-essential items because there is a risk. People won’t trade food or a gun for mere gold unless they become convinced that they can trade that gold for something useful someday. 

Stage 4: The difficulty of barter is that you may have an item for barter and no one has anything you need or want to trade for it. So things like valued coins or other things used as mediums of exchange will grow in use. These things may be of different types. In some areas the medium of exchange may be bags of rice, or boxes of bullets. Gold and silver coins may be used in some areas and not others. 

Stage 5: This is the part where the survivors have settled in to the task of producing/finding their own food and protecting their own families. They may produce surpluses of things which need to be sold or bartered to obtain other things. Perhaps a stable medium of exchange — precious metal coins, bullets— has been established locally. Fiat currency still won’t be respected, even if government manages to re-emerge. Governments might have to mint their own precious metal coins for a time to pay their soldiers and buy supplies until a more normal life can be established— if it can be.

Fiat currencies, useful as they are right now, are highly unlikely to be respected in an apocalyptic situation. People trying to survive won’t think of bundles of paper money as something they would trade food or useful supplies for. And if a great number of people died in the apocalyptic situation, there may be great bundles of paper money floating around to be scavenged. But would you trade away a can of tuna fish to get a wad of paper money? Probably not, unless you knew for a fact that you could use that paper money somewhere, somehow to get other food. 

Everyone Needs an Encouraging Word

Writers are weird. You see so many of us begging to find a critique group, or get their work critiqued, and then they go off and hire a scam artist calling himself a ‘content editor’ to tell us more of the crap that is wrong with every word we write— and all along we know we’ve all got an ‘inner critic’ perfectly capable of telling us our writing is all crap for free.

What most writers need is encouragement. We don’t believe in ourselves and our work, even the parts we ought to know are good and of higher quality than that produced by many published writers. More critical voices tearing us down are exactly what we DON’T need— unless we are hoping to chuck the whole writing idea because we are No Darn Good at it. 

Quitting writing, though, guarantees failure. Sticking with it means that even if you start out hopelessly bad, you will be getting better, through practice. Maybe you are so dim compared with other wannabe writers that the first 4 novels you write are dreck (pardon my Yiddish.) But if you keep at it, novel #5 will be better, novel #6 will have its good points, and novel #9 will draw fanatic fans. 

Many readers find after a time that their old favorite authors start to feel boring and predictable. These readers may not know it, but what they need is to start trying some new, fresh authors. Because no two authors are the same, and the more authors you try, the more likely you are to find new and exciting stories.

Know this: YOUR writing has its good points, even if it, and you, are weird, off-base, and not like all the other writers. That doesn’t make your ideas bad— it may make them just what readers are looking for.

Imagine this nonsense as a writing idea— a police blood spatter analyst whose hobby is serial killing. Dumb, huh? Yet Jeff Lindsay did pretty well with this ‘dumb’ writing idea in his Dexter series. Your inner critic may be telling you that your current writing is based on ‘dumb’ writing ideas which will only embarrass you if you write them down and show them to anyone. But why are you listening to that inner critic? Throw (metaphorical) rocks at it until it goes away!

If you believe in your writing and your writing ideas, and you put in the work on them, each one will turn out better than you might have imagined, and certainly  better than the critical voices said it would. And why not believe? Your writing comes out of your individual unique self, created by God. And God doesn’t make junk. 

The same goes for the critical voices holding you back in your non-writing life. Maybe you are, objectively, not as good at housekeeping tasks as your mother or grandmother. But you are probably better than those ladies on that hoarder show, right? At least, you are still trying. Which you probably wouldn’t be doing if you gave up and listened to those critical voices. 

Have courage enough to be yourself. Because you are the best person— the only person— who is really good at that job. Don’t let other people or your inner critic paralyze you. Yeah, they say you shouldn’t dare try because you might be less than perfect. Well, you WILL be less than perfect, just like everyone else. But being afraid to try will make your life even less perfect than that. 

Eating Your Daily Frog

In several different self-help books I have read a quotation from Mark Twain, that if the toughest chore you have to do today is eat a frog, eat that frog first thing in the day.

Frog-eating seems to stand in both for the concept of a high-priority task, and for a dreaded task you don’t want to face. Facing such a task first thing in the day, when possible, gets the task out of the way, so you don’t have it hanging over your head, and and gives you a feeling that you really accomplished something.

In your writing life, what ‘frogs’ are coming up? Both in the sense of high-priority task and of dreaded task? I rather dread organizing-type tasks, which is why I don’t outline, but I do have stuff I need to have available like lists of characters and their major characteristics, or places and place names, or what the people in the Old West called their space-alien neighbors…. 

Your writing life doesn’t take place in a vacuum, though. Do you urgently have to cook some meals to freeze for future use, vacuum the living room, persuade a mama cat to raise her kittens somewhere other than a kitchen drawer? Do you have a report due at work or a test to study for in school? These things shouldn’t replace your writing life, but they must be done or your writing life will suffer. 

You have to get good at judging priorities rightly. You can’t let your real life slip because you are putting your writing tasks in first priority all the time. But you also can’t decide that the real life tasks always have a higher priority than your self-imposed writing life. That will not only kill your writing dreams, but make the rest of your life feel less shiny. And if you are a Christian/other person-of-faith who does prayer or devotionals on a daily basis, having a faith-life is a priority also, but you don’t want to have just a faith life. You have to have a clean-enough house and feed your cats/family also. 

As I write this I have just done a ‘frog’ chore I have been dreading and putting off for too many days. It makes me feel great and lessens the depression I’ve had for a while. I even think I can face up to tomorrow’s ‘frog’ chore promptly.