Friday, December 30, 2016

Living in the Spirit of Charles Dickens (An More to Life Magazine Blog)





An excerpt from "Living in the Spirit of Charles Dickens":

Being party to the spiritual world, realizing there is much more to this Earth than rocks and air and water and material possessions obviously helped Ebenezer “see” for the first time. When his mortality rose to the fore, his eternal state became the real issue.

And the same should be said of us, don’t you think? If anyone should believe in the spiritual world, it should be a Christian. Yet, I just read an article recently which spoke about how “Christians” are leaving “organized religion” churches left and right. One of the things cited as a puzzle piece to the larger picture of this exodus was the growing lack of belief in “the miraculous” because of “evolving views.” They no longer believe in God because of science, common sense, or what they claim as a “lack of evidence” (also rooted in science, I might add). Some would say these folks never believed at all, and fall into three of the four categories Jesus listed in The Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13). I agree. In the words of Keith Green, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald’s makes you a hamburger.”

Want to read the blog post? You can @ Living in the Spirit of Charles Dickens






Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Story Behind the Story - An Interview on Liz Tolsma's Website




It all began with a conversation.
My wife Cindy and I are both in the field of public education. We were having a discussion one evening about some of the laws affecting education and how they are getting manipulated into something far different from the original intent.

Click here to read the rest of the story!






Friday, November 25, 2016

Blooming Where We Are Planted (A Seriously Write Blog)




“I want to write full-time.”

“Oh, how I wish I could write all day long.”

“I’d write more if the day job didn’t get in the way.”

Ever utter these kinds of words? I would wager there are few if any writers out there who haven’t at some point in their life. Some writers are fortunate enough to realize those dreams. Others, not-so-much.


Click HERE to see the rest of the article!







Friday, October 28, 2016

Deadly Research Can Be So Uplifting (A Seriously Write Blog)





I wrote a series of articles several years ago when 30 Days Hath Revenge originally came out. It was a quick history of The Plague. It covered The Justinian Plague of 542 A.D., The Black Death, or Black Plague, in the 14th century, and the Third Great Plague of the 17th century. There were other, more recent outbreaks, too, which I discussed, like The Barbary Plague in San Francisco during the early 1900s, and smaller outbreaks in Chandigarh, India (1994) and in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa (2003).

Come read the rest of the story HERE!







Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reviewing the Mindset of Reviews (An ACFW Blog)




As many authors know, good, critical, honest reviews are important. Future readers often base their purchases on them. Therefore, reviews are gold when talking bottom lines.

Because Amazon uses the review system as one of its major marketing arms, keeping reviews as pure as possible is paramount to good customer service. 


To prevent others from manipulating this system, Amazon has vowed to pronounce an author anathema if they seek to manipulate reviews. The consequence? Banishment from the Amazon kingdom. They sued four companies for doing exactly that: contaminating the overall quality of the review process. One of them had a very inconspicuous name: buyamazonreviews.com.


Come read the rest by clicking HERE!

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Butcher, the Baker...and Brantley (An MTL Magazine blog)




We sat waiting on our meals in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, at Blackbeard’s Inn. Our middle daughter and her family were with us for a day of our four day, mini-vacation. Our daughter’s two children, Addisyn (5) and Brantley (3), sat opposite each other. Brantley colored his paper placemat.
Without warning, Brantley dropped his crayon and started to get out of his chair.

To Read more, click here!



Friday, September 23, 2016

Keep Writing...and Get Better Along the Way (A Seriously Write blog)



I’m reading Robert Benson’s book, Dancing on the Head of a Pen. It’s a thought-provoking, journal-of-sorts on the career of writing. Robert’s life experiences are woven into the fabric of this work, helping to bring to light some topics writers must tackle, whether they like it or not.

Although I’ve chuckled numerous times at Robert’s singular wit, one section, in particular, made me laugh out loud. Robert gets asked the question we all do from time to time: “So, how’s the job going?” But as you know, our friends and acquaintances don’t use those exact words like they would of their doctor friend or their school teacher buddy. Instead, we often get the question put to us this way: “So, are you still writing?”


To Read More, click here.









Friday, August 26, 2016

T-Shirt Revelations (A Seriously Write blog)




As an assistant principal at a middle school, I see a lot of what is deemed “fashion.” Much of it comes in pithy sayings, cartoonish figures, and sparkling letters. Rarely are all three of those combined, though. But they say a lot about us, nevertheless.

One shirt showed a slice of bacon and a cracked egg lying in the street with crime scene tape around it. Standing at the tape was a chicken and a pig. The pig says to the chicken, “Oh no! That looks like Harry.” To which the chicken replies, “Yeah. I think that’s Mildred with him.” My guess was, this kid’s a goof. Likes to laugh. Probably a class clown. Will be the next Gary Larson.


To Read More, click here.





Friday, July 22, 2016

What is Truth? (A Seriously Write Blog entry)




Over the last year or so, as we watch our nation literally burn, both physically and figuratively, I’ve been wrestling with an ideal. The ideal of “truth.”

My personal dialogue comes from the conversation between Jesus and Pontius Pilate in John 18.

Do you wrestle with this concept, too?

Come read the rest of my blog, "What is Truth?"




*Photo used courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Am I the Only One Who Struggles? (An ACFW blog)




Watch this video, then we’ll talk.

Do you feel a little small after watching that video? Insignificant, perhaps? Hopefully awestruck, though, right?

Now, read this article, then come back for the finale.


I watched this video and read this article within a couple of weeks of one another. Although the article was not quite so factual, as Dan Balow notes at the end, it still caused me to do some thinking.


To Read more, click here

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Birth of a Serpent (A Seriously Write blog)






Ever wonder how other novelists get their ideas?

We were strolling out of Islands of Adventure years ago. It had been a good day. Our family had enjoyed a sun-soaked, July afternoon in the Orlando-based theme park, but it was late. It was still hot. We were tired and on a quest—for A/C.

The park has a central corridor leading into (and out of) the complex designed to mimic storefronts one might find nestled in a fairy tale land. It’s a quaint section—one I’d like to pattern my backyard after someday. However, air conditioning beckoned us inside a long string of shops instead of enjoying the scenery.


To read more, click here: "The Birth of a Serpent."












*Photo used courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Friday, May 27, 2016

A Reason for Being (A Seriously Write Blog entry)



Lajos Egri, in his book The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Emotions, calls it premise. He says that without a premise, a writer doesn’t know where he or she is going. The writer is wandering through a self-made, literary desert, looking for a reason to continue and having no earthly idea which direction to go.

Others refer to it as "purpose." Some call it "Learning Goals."

What's your purpose for writing? Your premise? Your goals?

Come read my blog, "A Reason for Being," to find help for the future.





*Photo used courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Friday, April 22, 2016

My Story - Part 6: The Not-So-Final Chapter (A Seriously Write Blog entry)





You get an idea. Feel the urge to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). You forge a story out of the block of marble that is your imagination, and voilĂ , you have a novel, short story, or whatever.

What's next? Come read Part 6 of "My Story."





Friday, March 25, 2016

My Story - Part 5 (A Seriously Write Blog entry)




In the months, weeks, and days leading up to the writer’s conference, I remember looking over the brochure that came in the mail. I must have perused it seemingly a thousand times, checking out authors, agents, and companies on the internet, trying to find out information about each one. I also prayed and asked God to guide me. Some of the people and companies I had heard of, many I had not. I did not want to get bamboozled again by a scoundrel.

Come read Part 5 of "My Story" to find out what happened next.






Friday, February 26, 2016

My Story - Part 4 (A Seriously Write Blog entry)



I'm wearing my granddaughter's glasses


After my incident with the unscrupulous agent (Part 1 of my story) and my aversion to Christian writers conferences and fledgling, self-publishing houses (Part 2 of my story), I realized I still had to keep writing (Part 3 of my story). I also decided to give one of those “Christian Writers Conferences” a try.

Come read Part 4 of "My Story" to find out what happened.





Monday, February 1, 2016

Church Under a Tree (A GFA Blog)




A church building in South Asia provides a safe home for believers to meet together for worship, prayer, and fellowship. Imagine what it would be like for your church to meet under a tree, even during the rainy season!

Yet, when the walls went up and the roof was built, what looks like a dilapidated structure by western standards becomes a joyful event.

Watch this video, Church Under a Tree, then read how you can help bring permanency to God's children in South Asia.



Thank you.





Friday, January 22, 2016

My Story - Part 3 (A Seriously Write Blog entry)





After my incident with the unscrupulous agent (Part 1 of my story can be found here) and my aversion to Christian writers conferences and fledgling, self-publishing houses (Part 2 of my story can be found here), I understood one very important thing: You have to keep writing.

What else did I learn? What else happened? Come read Part 3 of "My Story" to find out.









Monday, January 4, 2016

Top Ten Countries for the Persecution of Christians (A GFA Blog)






In 2012, 100 million believers worldwide suffered persecution for their faith, many of them living in South Asia (according to the Open Doors World Watch List).

Persecution is a way of life for many missionaries and Gospel For Asia workers in South Asia. Beatings, death threats, and imprisonment are a few of the things they encounter on a daily basis. But despite great hostility, they continue to press onward as they proclaim the Good News of Christ to the unsaved souls of Asia. They are not willing for any man to perish without hearing the name of Jesus, even if that means they themselves might physically perish.




“Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Hebrews 13:3
The top 10 countries for persecution of Christians:
1. North Korea
2. Saudi Arabia
3. Afghanistan
4. Iraq
5. Somalia
6. Maldives
7. Mali
8. Iran
9. Yemen
10. Eritrea
(source: Open Doors World Watch List 2013)
Pray for the workers of the harvest.
Thank you.



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