I discovered soap operas in the 1990’s. Perhaps I should clarify that…. I began watching soaps with my parents’ approval in the early 90’s. My favorite was Another World. I watched Days of Our Lives, too, but could have lived without it. It just didn’t hold the same intrigue for me that Another World did. Perhaps that’s because my mother told me that Bay City, the setting for AW, was in Michigan. That was always so cool to me, that a show would be set in my home state.
Above the Line, Take One
As I grew older and closer to God, I began to wonder what a Christian soap opera would be like. For years I wondered about that. Could there still be good looking men, pretty women, bad choices, and romance if God was in the center of it all?
I found my answer in an unexpected place—the pages of Karen Kingsbury’s Above the Line series.
It started earlier than that, actually. There is a lot of soapishness (I sure hope that’s a word; if not it should be!) in all of her Baxter Family stories.
Above the Line, Take Two
That’s what kept the fans coming back, begging for “just one more” story about the Baxters. Still, it wasn’t until reading her most recent series (which does still feature some of the Baxter family characters) that I began to really feel that soap opera feeling.
The Baxters always seemed so insulated in their own little world. In the books of Above the Line, new characters are introduced who love God every bit as much as the members of the Baxter clan do. But they have a different back ground. Chase Ryan and Keith Ellison are former missionaries to Indonesia. Both feel God is leading them to make Christian movies. This puts them in direct contact every day with people who know nothing about Christ’s love. It also puts them in opposition to the “conventional” world of Hollywood. Keith’s daughter, Andi, is a student at Indiana University and questioning her parents’ beliefs. Her roommate is Bailey Flannigan, a character well-known to readers of Karen
Above the Line, Take Three
Kingsbury. She tries to be a good influence on Andi, while trying to make sense of her feelings for two young men. Cody Coleman is busy caring for his drug-addicted mother, working toward a college degree, and building a life after an injury during the Iraq war. The blending of all of these characters leads to situations every bit as entertaining as any seen on daytime television, but more heartwarming because God’s presence is always felt in the middle of everything.
I must say, I much prefer to read a good Karen Kingsbury book over watching the selections on daytime TV these days. Each relationship proves there is a lot more to romance than just sex.
Above the Line, Take Four
A message many young people in this world desperately need.
September 7, 2010 -Posted by Lynn McMonigal | Authors, Books, Reviews | Above The Line, Another World, Arts, Bailey Flannigan, Cody Coleman, Days of Our Lives, Indiana University, Karen Kingsbury, Keith Ellison, Soap opera, Take Four, Take One, Take Three, Take Two, Television
Ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day to all that needs to be done? If you are a parent, an employer, an employee, a student, or even just a human, you probably feel that way at least once a week! Around here, that has been the norm for the summer.
In June, I had some unexpected surgery. Well, it was expected. Only it was expected to happen at the end of the summer. Knowing the surgery was coming, I had a list of things I planned to accomplish this summer. The biggest things on my list were outlining three novels that I have had in mind for some time now and organizing a clothing closet the women at my church are starting in August. Then my symptoms got worse and the surgery was moved up.
I was supposed to take six weeks off of work. Where the clothing closet was concerned, that made sense to me. I mean, my mid-section had just been cut open and a portion of my anatomy removed. Lifting boxes was not something that I wanted to do. But I thought that writing would be acceptable. It’s not a physically taxing thing. Mentally draining at times, perhaps. I understood my inability to write while I was taking the pain meds. Those things dulled the pain, but also made my brain feel rather fuzzy. I didn’t expect to be able to write much with my head feeling that way.
But even now, six weeks post-op and 4 weeks after I quite taking any pain meds, I am having trouble concentrating. Have I dulled it too much with the silly little Facebook games I’ve been playing? Are there really no more tales for me to tell, no more stories for me to write?