Posts Tagged With: Books

“The MOCKINGJAY” / Movie

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The MOCKINGJAY movie may come a little too close to reality for some people’s taste. In our day of “self-serving leadership”, instead of “self-sacrificing”, we want our heroes to end up rich, fat, sassy, and happy. However, Christ showed us true leadership involves paying a high price of dedication, love, and many sacrifices.

I had already read the book and was hoping the movie would stay true to the author. I think for the most part it did. The movie fails to show how much Katnis was struggling with mental, physical, and emotional scars. They give you a glimpse of it at the very start of the show, but then she seems to pull herself together much quicker than in the book. Part I has set the stage for what is an extremely high action and intense Part II. I think Part II will deliver everything it promises.

But the point is we see so many of our leaders today that bare no resemblance to the leaders we had of the past when our country was truly great. Their eyes are more on money than what is true and right. Their eyes are more on what will make them fat, sassy, and happy, rather than your best interest. How did we get here? We can see it in every walk of life, entertainment, politicians, big business, but worst of all… our pulpits across the face of this nation.

The pulpits have always been a “rudder” to steer a great ship, and our Pastor’s are the ones who have their hand upon that rudder. So I ask, where is America going today? A post-Christian nation? Why? Jesus was the ultimate example of self-sacrificial love. If we should see an example of that anywhere, it should be from the pulpits of our Churches. From our Pastor’s who claim to be examples of Christ. Then perhaps there would be more people wanting to follow such an example of true leadership.

I think when the entire MOCKINGJAY package, (all 4 movies), have been delivered, we will look back on the entire package and see that this is a very powerful story with a very powerful message for our time. I expect Part II to be “heavy” also, but you will be so on the edge of your seat from the intense action that you will know it was worth it, and a good taste of reality is what we need. That’s my humble opinion anyway. ūüôā

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“The Encounter” Chapter Twenty 11/2/14

Once again Dan found himself in his truck driving down the road on way to his first sales call. His three day weekend was a blur of activity in his mind, as he had absorbed so much material in such a short time. Nevertheless, he now had the knowledge he needed for his new life, but as yet, nothing had changed. The start of his day was different, in that he was sure to have his devotion time, Praise, Prayer, and Promises, before he left. He had offered up his priestly sacrifices and walked out of the house spiritually prepared rather than spiritually deaf as he used to, but other than that, what had changed?

He was still selling pipe. He was still selling pipe he could no longer brag about the way he used to. He was still dreading his first sales call for fear he would have another dissatisfied customer, or possibly questions about rumors flying around the business concerning product malfunctions. So even though he was different now, walking in the spirit, the “physical” still seemed the same. Their had been no leading from God to quit his job, so here he was, going forward in faith and hoping for the best.

Driving down the road Dan discovered his old habit of talking to God had returned, “So what happens now, Lord? Will I hear a voice from heaven when I’m supposed to quit?” Then another idea came to mind and he simply began praying for God’s blessing, and he prayed until he had peace in his soul.

In this way several weeks passed by, and although there had been some ups and downs, somehow it all worked out and much of his dreading had faded away. He was no longer worried about quitting his job. It would all happen naturally as each day unfolded, and God would order his steps.

Then one day he remembered Mrs. Parker the bird doctor, and reached for his cell phone. Hitting the speed dial he waited for her answer so he could check on Blackie and ask about his trial release date?

Mrs. Parker heard the phone ringing, sat down the bird feed she was mixing and reached for the phone, “Hello, this is Mrs. Parker.”

“Hello Mrs. Parker, so good to hear your voice again. This is Dan, calling about our bird, Blackie. How’s he doing?”

“Oh, Dan, good to hear you, too. Well, our bird will be ready for his big test this¬†Saturday. Are you still planning on bringing your family?”

“Yes, we would really like to be there. I’ve told our kids all about Blackie, how he was injured and might not fly again. They asked me what would happen if he could not fly? When I¬†said he would spend the rest of his life in a pin, they were very sad to hear that, and we have been praying for Blackie ever since. It would really mean a lot to see if he takes to the air that day.”

Mrs. Parker smiled, thinking about this family praying for an injured black bird. “Your family would be most welcome, Dan. Say around noonish?”

“That would be perfect. Count on us to be there.”

“Okay, see you then. Bye-bye.”

“Goodbye Mrs. Parker.” The conversation had been short and to the point, the rest was in Blackie’s hands now, or rather his wings.

When Saturday came, the family was very excited¬†as they pulled into the parking lot¬†with a sign reading,¬†Mrs. Parker the Bird Doctor. Everyone piled out of the car¬†in great enthusiasm. The children were all a chatter with whether Blackie would fly or not. The little girl wanted to know if she could hold Blackie? Her mother, kneeling down and looking into her eyes, “He’s not that kind of bird, dear. He is a wild bird, and he belongs back in the sky.”

“But what if he doesn’t fly, mommy?”

“Then God will take care of that, honey. We’ve been praying, right?”

Cathy gave her daughter a warm hug and then watched her skip away like all was well with the world. Mrs. Parker was already holding the door open, warmly welcoming everyone to the big event.

Dan made all the introductions and the family finally had a face to put with the name of Mrs. Parker the bird doctor. It was an exciting time. There were a few other birds for the children to see, and Mrs. Parker took great delight in showing the children each one, and answering all their questions, but finally it came down to the star of the show, Blackie the black bird. The children oo’d and ahh’d over the shiny black feathers of the bird, but were not allowed to get too close, so they would not scare him. This was Blackie’s big day, and Mrs. Parker wanted¬†him in a proper mood.

She had a specially prepared pin outside. It stood at least ten feet tall and was covered with a wire mesh. There was a small square door in the far upper corner that could be opened. Blackie would be released into the pin and if he flew out that door, then he would be free, but he had to fly at least that good.

Mrs. Parker moved everyone outside, explaining she would unwrap the bandages keeping him from moving his wings, and then she would release him into the pin through a window in the wall. They were instructed not to make any loud noises when Blackie came out, but to simply watch and see what happens.

The family waited in silence. Cathy was knelt down with her little girl, Tammy, and Dan had the two boys.

Tammy kept watching the window for Blackie. You could see the look of concern on her face. “I don’t see Blackie, mommy. Where is he?”

Mother picking Tammy up in her arms, “Mrs. Parker is getting him ready, dear. You’ll see. He’ll be here any moment now.”

Dan was strangely silent during this time. He had a connection with this bird. He had been the bird flapping around on the pavement, wanting to fly but unable, wanting to soar but not knowing how. Since that time God had healed his wings, given him wisdom from the eagle, and now his life was changed completely for the better, and he wanted to see Blackie fly. This bird had represented him when it was damaged and flapping about, and now he wanted to see Blackie fly up to that opening in the cage and take wing! The thought of him being damaged goods trapped in a cage simply would not be a proper ending to this drama. He needed to see the black bird fly.

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“The Encounter” Chapter Five 9/29/14

“Listen here Dan, you stand on that pipe and tell me that’s the same pipe I used to get¬†from you!” John almost yelled. He had a right to be upset. John was a private contractor and¬†an entire line had collapsed beneath a parking lot. A large section was going to need to be dug up and repaved. Farm Co. would share in the loss if it was proven to be faulty pipe, if not, then John was going to be taking a large loss.

“I can’t do that, John. I haven’t been able to stand on our pipe for at least a year now. Our company will have a man out to inspect everything, and we’ll go from there.”

“Dan,” John continued, “It hurts me to have to say this. I like you a lot, and I hope you still come by from time to time, but Farm Co. is not what it used to be. They still expect top dollar from products¬†offering less quality. I’m afraid I won’t be doing business with you guys anymore. And your company better make good on this mess!”

“I hear ya, John. I understand.”

When Dan climbed back in his truck and drove away, the first thing he did was call the company. “Look boss, you got a serious situation here. You’re going to have to send an inspector out. And by the way, it’s Friday and I’m canceling my other meetings. I just took a good butt chewing, and right now I couldn’t sell fire in Alaska. I’m going to need the weekend to get my head together.” The boss knew when not to argue, and Dan was headed home.

Once again¬†he found himself rolling down a black top road…trapped on the road…feeling like he was flapping, flapping, flapping…and no one running to his rescue. He considered John a friend, he had sold¬†him the¬†pipe, and now John was hurt because of him.

“I wish I were an eagle,” he said to himself, thoughts flowing as he drove. He turned the reins loose on his mind to let¬†his thoughts go wherever they would. “I wish I were an eagle, they do less flapping, and more soaring. I could just fly away from all of this.¬†Yeah, soaring…that sounds so good.” He had not been able to get the vision of the flapping black bird out of his head. For days now, every time he looked in his driver’s side mirror, he saw Blackie helplessly flapping on the road.

Dan remembered he had a book at home that was given him by Cathy’s dad. He never read it, but it was some preacher teaching about a supernatural lifestyle. Supposedly, the eagle was a biblical metaphor for what this preacher taught. Cathy’s dad, Don, liked the book so much that he bought a copy for him. That was two years ago, and it still sat on a shelf untouched. Dan liked being a Christian, but he didn’t want to be spooky about it. He had seen Christians like that.¬†He didn’t want to be considered weird. Of course, Jesus certainly was in a category all his own. But that was Jesus.

“I’ve got two days to get my head together,” he considers, “but what shall be the shape of things to come? You can’t keep doing the same old things and expect different results. I’ve got to try something new, and I have no idea what that should be.¬†What does¬†Don mean by, supernatural? Cathy’s dad has always been religious, but he comes across as very sensible. Nothing spooky about him. Could there be another way of living? I thought that super stuff all ended with the Apostles? Or maybe the supernatural does not always mean raising the dead?” Dan knew right then he was finally ready to read the book. Could he find answers there?

He would give it a try, but he wasn’t going to get his hopes up, after all, he wasn’t a bird.

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DIVERGENT > “A Sense of Mission”

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A SENSE OF MISSION.  EVER HAD ONE?

Our quote for today from the book “Divergent” comes from chapter 37 and page 469 and 470. Trise surprises herself as she lays her life on the line to save others and defeat Erudite. She realizes she has taken on what is probably a suicide mission and did not even realize she was doing it, until she was already committed, and that is the way it can be with a real mission that grips your heart.

Today I am combining this article on Divergent along with the mission I have undertaken to develop a “Prayer School” in Indianapolis. This room used to be our living room and it was in bad shape from too much abuse. Now it is becoming “Prayer School”, and I have not even gone back to work yet, as I am trying my best to get this up and running before I do.

IS THERE SACRIFICE INVOLVED? OF COURSE THERE IS. IT WOULDN’T BE MUCH OF A MISSION WITHOUT SACRIFICE.

But here is our two quotes from DIVERGENT: > “If I go up into the building, I probably won’t come back down. The best I can hope for is to destroy the simulation before someone kills me. When did I decide on this suicide mission? Why wasn’t it more difficult?”

WHY WASN’T IT MORE DIFFICULT?

I love that question because it reveals how a vision, mission, or need can so grip you that your heart leaps in without even asking permission.¬† All I have been able to think about since getting this vision for a Prayer School is the mission. I am consumed by it. New drywall has been hung where needed. All walls have new paint, including the ceiling. I now have the hardwood floor laid but not yet fastened down. Soon I will be starting on trim work. It has been a big job and it’s still not done. The entry way needs new flooring also, and the fire pit area needs a privacy fence put up. I can’t afford to hire any of this done, so if this is to be, then I got to do it. We are in Faith Forward Motion and steadily progressing.

ON PAGE 470 TRISE ADDS THESE DETAILS: > “My head pounds. I haven’t eaten; I haven’t slept; I haven’t sobbed or screamed or even paused for a moment.”

EVER BEEN THERE? Usually a mission is also a “burden”. In the movie “Freedom Writers”, the dad tells his school teacher daughter that she has been “blessed with a burden”, and he said he envied her for that.

Yes, a burden that burns in your belly like a mission can be a blessing. Passion, vision, purpose, a sense of something greater than yourself; I consider all these things to be a blessing. A life that has never known such things, and never paid a personal price for such things, is a life greatly lacking.

I thank God for this “Prayer School” burden and vision. On page 476 Trise remembers that her dad used to say: There is power in self-sacrifice. Jesus showed us that power and set our example. His love and power still lives today.

 

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New Update on Jonah Joe!

We now have two ways of ordering “The Last Christmas of Jonah Joe”! I should have thought of this sooner! Our book continues to be carried in Brown County, Nashville Indiana, at the bookstore known as: “The Book Loft”, and they also do mail order! So if you would like to give them a call at 812-988-0202, they would be happy to ship you the book. I will add this phone number to our side bar information.

This is an amazing time we live in. As a baby-boomer, I do not find all these new technologies easy to keep up with, and as much as it baffles me in many ways, every effort I have made to learn even just a little has been well rewarded! As my wife and I were looking at our new website, and I explained to her that what we were actually looking at was a store! A store that someone can enter into, look around, and decide if they would like to make a purchase? How cool is that?

My little store only has one book to offer at this time, but I have four other books written, and all of this has very much inspired me to work towards getting them on the shelf of my store. What a tremendous day we live in. I’ve already chosen the second book and I am hard at work going through it again, in an effort to get it just right. I don’t know how God is going to do this, because all of this requires a certain amount of money to produce, and we all know how challenging finances can be. So one step at a time, I hope to eventually fill my little store with books that inspire us all to live a little closer to our Lord. Amen.

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“The Last Christmas of Jonah Joe”- Update.

1208121235aIn spite of a few challenges, we just had a major breakthrough for my first book, “The Last Christmas of Jonah Joe”. The book is now proudly displayed in the window of a very fine bookstore in Nashville Indiana, an area known as Brown County. The name of the bookstore is, “The Book Loft”, and I will be doing a book signing there¬†this coming Sunday, December 16! This also is¬†a first for me.

1208121234aI’m sorry we have been unable to resolve our problem of having no way to order the book by Internet. I now realize I should have¬† asked for an Amazon.com spot, but not realizing there was going to be a problem with the other site, it just did not seem necessary. We are currently facing a problem of getting more books in quickly enough. So, perhaps, we would not have been ready for Amazon.com anyway? I tend to¬†learn everything the hard way, it seems,¬†and learning the world of being a published author is no exception.

However, I have made two decisions. One is that I will have till next Christmas to be fully prepared, and I plan¬†to hunt bear! A lot of things happened very quickly this year, and frankly, I’ve just had a lot to learn in a very short time. Had everything proceeded perfectly everything would have been fine, but that is not planet earth.

The second decision surprised me. I had not thought about a sequel to Jonah Joe, but due to very positive feedback we have received thus far, I began to ponder where the story would go if I took on that challenge?

Now let me say, if you love to write and you dream of being a writer someday, then you probably know that challenging your imagination to take a story farther, is simply a writer’s delight! I have had such a good time peering into my writer’s crystal ball, looking into the foggy globe of imagination and beginning to pick up a trail of where the story literally leaps to next, for there is a leap! Just getting to see where the story goes next has been a great reward for me.

You must understand that it must make sense. The story can’t just leap anywhere it wants to go, or do anything it wants to do. A certain trajectory has been set. A future book would have to make logical sense with that trajectory. Some writers do enjoy creating totally illogical stories, but¬†I am not one of them. When it comes to fiction, you can literally decide anything you want! Even Mr. Spock can be brought back to life because he somehow got recreated as a planet was birthing! What are the real odds of that?

Don’t get me wrong. I am a Spock fan and was willing to accept the idea just¬†so we could get¬†him back, but really. I mean really!¬† How illogical, Mr. Spock! My story does not have such an¬†impossible development. Actually, the leap it makes is so that it does make sense. The sequel is not actually about Jonah Joe who would be too old, nor even any of his sons who would also be too old, but we leap to a grandson, and there is a great story to be told. A story of the “last days”.

Okay, I’ve said enough. Just wanted to let people know what was going on, and if you happen to be local to Nashville Indiana, it would be great to meet you at the book signing, or if you are local to Indianapolis, please check out our “Real Men Read” ministry! We have a meeting coming up next week, and the book we are discussing is, “The Harbinger”! An excellent book that will give you the creeps!!!1208121235

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