Friday, November 24, 2017

In the Image of God ( A Seriously Write Blog)


As I sat in the waiting room a couple of Wednesdays ago, wondering what news the doctor’s report would bring, God did what He seems He has to do quite often with me.

Refocus.

I’m a gung-ho kind of guy. Give me a task, and I’m on a mission. The more passionate about that task I am, the higher the urgency increases. This can be a good thing, but like so many “good things” in life, you can get too much of it.

Or lose yourself in it.

Amongst all the races I run (to use my Apostle Paul-like voice here), as a husband, as a father, as a grandfather, as an assistant principal, as a writer, and as a son of God, it was sitting in that waiting room, next to my youngest daughter, waiting to hear how extensive the disease had or had not spread, I realized how much I was branded in the image of God.


To see the remainder of this article, click HERE!







Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Author Behind the Story Series - Craig von Buseck

As I see snow falling in the mountains...on TV, and I witness Christmas decorations popping up all around me, I'm reminded of how much I live in the south. Eighty-six degrees today for a high. Nov. 8. But alas, a cold front in on the way. Break out the parkas. It will drop all the way to 79 by Friday. Brrr...or is it Grrr? 

Nevertheless, we are going to plug ahead with life and welcome a special guest to our big Florida front porch. Pull up a chair and help me welcome author, screenplay writer, radio personality, and speaker, Dr. Craig von Buseck!

Craig, it is a pleasure having you here on our Author Behind the Story Series! Could you tell us a little about yourself? Something to get us kickstarted? 

Dr. Craig von Buseck is a published author and a writer for Inspiration.org, the website of Inspiration Ministries. He is a contributing writer for CBN.com, MTL Magazine, and Generals.org. He is a regular guest on Susie Larson’s “Live the Promise” program on Faith Radio Network. He holds a Doctor of Ministry and an MA in Religious Journalism from Regent University, and a BA in Speech
Communication from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Craig’s most recent book is “Nobody Knows: The Harry T. Burleigh Story”. Craig is also the author of "Praying the News: Your Prayers Are More Powerful Than You Know", co-written by 700 Club co-host Wendy Griffith; “NetCasters: Using the Internet to Make Fishers of Men”; “Seven Keys to Hearing God’s Voice”; along with other ghost-written books. He has just completed a biography examining the Zionist Movement and the life of President Harry S. Truman to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and the 70th Anniversary of the birth of Israel. This new book, “I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel”, will be released soon.

That is so cool. Very intriguing title for your latest, soon-to-be-released book. Now, before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?

During my high school years I attended a church where the youth group sat together in the balcony. During many of the sermons I could “see” what the pastor was describing in my imagination as though I was watching a movie. I determined then and there that I would spend my life as a storyteller. Over the years I have told these stories through the written word in articles and books, through songs, and also through TV and film. 

I know you mentioned some of this above, but what educational background do you have?

I did a joint degree between journalism and divinity for my Master’s program at Regent University. I was attracted to Regent University because of its reputation for academic and artistic excellence and also its commitment to biblical orthodoxy.

A decade later I returned to Regent to complete a Doctor of Ministry.

I attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania because it was affordable and it had a strong communication program. I attended Strong Vincent High School because it was a block away from my home.

Nothing like close proximity to help further an education. Are you married? Single? Have kids?

Single with three kids in their 20s.

I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category and then tell us in one sentence why it is your favorite.

Favorite Food: Steak, loaded baked potato, and salad with extra blue cheese dressing.
Favorite Drink: Sparkling Ice Tangerine
Favorite Song: Be Thou My Vision
Favorite Non-Fiction Book (other than your own & besides the Bible): “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand
Favorite Bible Verse: The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives. (Ps. 37:23, NLT)
Favorite Movie: Seabiscuit
Favorite Actor or Actress: Jeff Bridges
Favorite Novel (other than your own): “Rhett Butler’s People” by Donald McCraig
Favorite Novelist/Narrative Biographer (other than you): Laura Hillenbrand
Favorite Sport: Baseball
Favorite Team (Can be any sport, any level): Pittsburgh Pirates
Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: History
Favorite Subject Now: History
Favorite Teacher in School: Dr. Bob Slosser
Favorite Time of the Year: Autumn
Favorite Place to Vacation: Hawaii

If you had one person you could meet (think outside the Bible here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be?

Abraham Lincoln – one of the wisest and one of the most compassionate presidents we have ever had, I would love to spend time talking with Lincoln to learn of his worldview, his core beliefs, his method of coming to a decision, and why he chose to do some of the things he did in life and as president.

“Nobody Knows:
The Harry T. Burleigh Story”
I agree. He would be an interesting person to talk to. If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus?

Barnabas – one of the most important of the early disciples, and one of the most overlooked. Barnabas embraced Saul (Paul) when the apostles were afraid of him; When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles in Antioch, Barnabas remembered the call Saul received on the road to Damascus to minister to the Gentiles. Barnabas traveled to the desert to find Saul and bring him to minister with him in Antioch; Later the Holy Spirit separated Barnabas and Saul for their first missionary journey. In the midst of that ministry trip Barnabas stepped back and allowed Saul to step fully into his ministry to the Gentiles. Luke begins the 13th chapter of Acts by identifying “Barnabas and Saul”, then he ends that same chapter identifying “Paul and Barnabas” – highlighting the changed that had occurred in Paul’s life and ministry, which came in large measure due to the love and maturity of Barnabas; Later Paul and Barnabas have a falling out over the immature actions of John Mark. Barnabas chose to go after John Mark and disciple him further, while Paul cut them both off and chose Silas as a new ministry partner. Later John Mark re-emerges as the ministry partner of Peter and pens the Gospel that bears his name, which was dictated by the apostle. In an amazing twist, at the end of his life Paul calls for John Mark to come and visit him and expresses his admiration for him. All these things occurred because of this giant of the faith, Barnabas.

Besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author?

I started at Regent in the Divinity School, but I knew writing would be a part of my ministry. Someone recommended the class “The Craft of Good Writing” as an elective. The course was taught by Dr. Bob Slosser, who had been an editor with the New York Times before moving to Virginia to help build Regent University. Throughout the semester Bob continued to drive home the idea, “make writing your ministry, not just your career.” This message resonated with me and I spoke to Dr. Slosser about my idea of pursuing a joint degree. I’ll never forget his response: “There are a lot of ‘right-thinking’ pastors, missionaries, and Bible school professors out there, but there are not a lot of ‘right-thinking’ writers and communicators. If you feel God calling you to this I want to support you in that decision.” I graduated with a joint-degree and my Master’s thesis would later be published by Baker books as “Nobody Knows: The Harry T. Burleigh Story.”

"Right-thinking" writers are definitely something of which the world needs more. I heard someone say that we have been great at being salt and light, but unfortunately, the salt has lived in the mine and the light has remained in the light bulb factory. So, besides becoming an author, what’s the craziest thing you have ever done?     

During my freshman year of college I jumped off a 3-story cliff into an abandoned quarry without first checking to see how deep the water was. Dumb. Fun at the time, but dumb.

Why do you live where you live?

I recently moved to the Charlotte, North Carolina area to work for Inspiration.org, the website of Inspiration Ministries. My Family used to take vacations in the Charlotte area and so I’ve loved this region since I was a kid. I was thrilled when God opened the door for me to do media ministry in one of my favorite places in America. Inspiration Ministries, the parent company of Inspiration TV and the INSP cable network, is located just a few miles south of Charlotte across the line in South Carolina. I chose to live on the South Carolina side, which is a both urban and rural. It is a beautiful area with rolling hills, pine forests, a river and lakes.

We have some good friends who live in Rock Hill, which must be a hop, skip, and a jump away from you. They pastor a church there. Small world, huh? 

We know “Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers.” Is there a book you’ve read in the past five years or so that has helped you become a better you? If so, which one was it, and how did it affect your life?

In the groundbreaking book, “Discipling Nations”, Darrow Miller comments on Romans 8:19-22, “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

Miller gives this optimistic interpretation. “Here we learn several critical facts: (1) creation’s fate and ours are inextricably bound together; (2) God’s work of restoring all things to Himself is a process, a story, that will one day be consummated; (3) man has been commissioned to be a part of that process; and, by extension (4) science and technology are tools in this process.” He doesn’t think it is getting darker and darker in the world and that the Devil is alive and well on planet Earth. He agrees with Larry Tomczak’s observation, “The Devil may be alive, but he’s not doing well. In fact he knows his time is short.”

Now is the time for the Church to rise up into its proper place of dominion and creativity – believing God for strategies to reach the nations with the Gospel so that all may know of God’s plan of salvation. Jesus said, “…the Kingdom of God suffers violence and those who take it, take it by force.” It is time for the Church to take possession of all that has been promised to us and like Caleb said to Joshua, declare that, “I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day” (Jos 14:11-12 NKJV).  In Christ and for the Church and the world, relying on the leading and creativity of the Holy Spirit, and using the dynamic tools on the Internet and through digital technology, I believe the best is yet to come.

When you look for a new home, what are the things that are important to you?

Near water, surrounded by woods, comfortable, with its own movie theater, and a fully equipped kitchen. I like a combination of wood and stone both on the interior and exterior.

When you look for a new car, what are the things that are important to you?

My next vehicle is going to be a pickup truck. Since I live relatively close to some beautiful lakes I plan to  purchase a pontoon boat and I need a truck with enough power to haul it. I’d like a truck with four-doors to seat 4 or 5 people so I have room when my kids come to visit, or during vacations.

When you are looking for a book to read, what are the things that are important to you?

Like most things that I buy or consume, I do a decent amount of research before I buy a book. I want to know what both the critics and readers are saying. I look to see what kind of leaders have endorsed the book, both within the covers and in the press. I am not usually a person who will spontaneously pick up a book based on its cover. I have way too many books that I want to read in my own library. I don’t need to be adding books that I’m not sure are worth the time and expense.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why?

In John 16:13, Jesus tells His disciples “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” I often say, “I’m an amateur at life – this is the first time I’ve ever lived, so I need all the help I can get. From the time I was in high school I’ve relied on the leading of the Holy Spirit to “guide me into the truth.” So in high school, college, and graduate school I prayed before every test and before beginning any major paper or project, asking that the Holy Spirit would guide me into the truth. Throughout my career, when I begin a new book, movie script, article, or some other project I always ask for the guidance and anointing of the Holy Spirit – because apart from Him, I know I can do nothing of eternal significance.

I like that: "I'm an amateur at life-this is the first time I've ever lived..." Great line. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover?

The world celebrates three remarkable anniversaries this year: the 100th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration; the 70th Anniversary of the U.N.’s vote on the partition of western Palestine; and the 70th anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel. In this momentous year, watch for my new book I Am Cyrus – the remarkable story of Harry S. Truman and his part in the rebirth of Israel. I have also recently completed a screenplay based on the true story of a young woman who survived the Holocaust. Watch for announcements on the progress of these two projects on my website, www.vonbuseck.com
  
The days are numbered. The world is in labor. That's for sure.

Craig, it has been wonderful having you as a guest in our Author Behind the Story Series. Your non-fiction prowess has helped to bring balance to this heavily-laden fiction blog series. :-)

Readers, want to find out more about Craig's ministry? You can find him at the following sites:



May God Bless You, and May You Bless God!

Until next time, 



Kevin





You can find Kevin's books at his website: www.ckevinthompson.com







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