October 29, 2010

Tuesday is Election Day and Hope Springs Eternal

48 hours and we could witness a substantial act of mercy on God’s part by greatly hampering the powers of a government gone awry. These United States have been marked by unprecedented freedoms, founded on the principals of a Judeo-Christian ethic. This is why we have succeeded. In recent years, those principles have been eroded or upended. One could argue "they" have been well-intentioned. That could be, but to rephrase a well worn cliché, “The road to destruction is sometimes paved with good intentions.”

America is not only on a bad course; it is on a course for an utter deconstruction of what it means to be American. No nation should be compelled to shy away from a national pride, especially when the nation is the most generous of any nation on the earth--by FAR. Our children need not be ashamed of its heritage and we should not have to apologize to anyone because we speak the language native to our country.

The upcoming election is not the answer to America’s woes; but God designed government (Romans 13) to constrain oppression and injustice. We are not a perfect country to be sure, and we need to improve on its character. But its character must be shaped after the image of God, not after the image of ideologues—liberal or conservative—for real change will only come one soul at a time as changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. So let us go forth as faithful Americans, and more, as faithful followers of Christ to the glory of God

October 22, 2010

Production scheduled on "The Proper Pursuit of Prosperity"

Received word today that I am on the January Schedule for production to begin which takes roughly 6 months. Oh well, it will be worth the wait!

October 19, 2010


Free speech: Rarely have two words been responsible for as much inconsistency in the application of law. When it comes down to an issue of common decency or common sense, the courts become apoplectic if faced with the not-so-hard to define bounds of propriety.

Currently before the Supreme Court is the case of the obscene little cult of people who go by the name of Westboro Baptist Church. If you don't know their name, you know their hatred. They are the ones that picket the funerals of our fallen military heroes and others of note holding signs that say, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," "God Hates Fags," and "Thank God for Breast Cancer," to mention only a few. How in heaven's name this is confused with the Apostle Paul's admonition concerning "Speaking the truth in love…" is a mystery. Never-the-less, Jesus' words are reassuring; "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the Day of Judgment." (Matthew 12:36)

The "church's" lawyer, one of the members of the cult, is a confused cesspool of biblical quotes removed from any biblical context. As Shakespeare wrote in The Merchant of Venice, "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul, producing holy witness, is like a villain with a smiling cheek…"

So when Albert Snyder's son was killed in the Middle East the Westboro Baptist church arrived with their demonically infused venom. Mr. Snyder sued the church for emotional distress and invasion of privacy winning a $5 million judgment in one court only to be overturned by a higher court. Now it rests with the Supreme Court of the land and the wrangling among the justices sounds like children trying to explain the origins of life. Only a wayward society struggles with such issues of decorum and there always seems to be a panic whenever "free speech" is uttered in defense of something offensive.

In today's bizarre world of hypersensitivity, I agree that even offensive speech must be protected. But let's face it, the standard of "free speech" is so consistently misapplied that on the same campus one set of students may display fallacious pictures, profane posters, or vulgar signs supporting the campus, cause-du-jour. Yet on the same campus, students are prohibited from access to military recruiters or a teacher is called on the carpet for having a Bible laying out in plain view. These things are rarely an issue of what is obscene or offensive but more, who is going to decide.

In 1957 the hand wringing began over what constitutes "obscene" behavior in Roth vs. United States. While the issue was pornography, the standard is still valuable. Obscenity was deemed to be that which "to the average person applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interest" and which is "utterly without redeeming social importance..." Striking the "appeals to prurient interest" segment, the statement yields a succinct yard stick to measure speech that serves utterly no purpose (in this case) but to inflict emotional pain on honorable people at a particularly defenseless and vulnerable place in their lives.

Maintaining free speech while restricting where that speech might be exercised is not a new consideration. For example, the Supreme Court determined that no one was entitled to yell "Fire!" just for kicks in a crowded theater. Such a common sense restriction abridges no one's freedom. And if I am in my church building Sunday morning and someone begins shouting me down, they will be removed from the venue. Their hallowed freedom of speech isn't abridged, only the time and place it is exercised.

We can only hope the Supreme Court rules against the Westboro Baptist Church--for the issue isn't their speech as vile as it is, but the venue in which they spew it.

October 16, 2010

The Proper Pursuit of Prosperity

My manuscript is on its way to the publisher! Now it's just a matter of time!



Timing in life is everything or so the axiom goes. Having embarked on "every writer's dream" of getting their first book published I am in the midst of a rude awakening. If you thought it was difficult to be "traditionally" published in years past, you should try it in the midst of a digital world.

The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 25, 2010) contains an article titled, "The ABCs Of E-Reading." Startling statistics were revealed underscoring the changing habits of readers as we move to electronic books from the traditional paper page. Just a couple weeks back my grandchildren were confronted by their Sunday school teacher believing they were playing video games during class. In fact, the three of them were diligently following along on their digital E-readers.

According to the Association of American Publishers there was a 51% drop in book sales from 2008 to 2009. That's not encouraging for someone trying to get published in the traditional ways of old. Several people who have reviewed my manuscript have stated that it is well written, and the subject matter--a biblical review of what is known as the "prosperity gospel"--is much needed today. The fact remains though, I am a virtual unknown. I was hopeful that writing as a columnist for two decades with four writing awards on my resume might open some doors. But the fact is a "national platform," as one agent informed me, is more important today than content.

So the industry is being recreated battling for its survival. In this industry's fight for life, the economies of digital, on-demand, and self-publishing are being integrated by more and more traditional publishers. Hybrids are being spawned which combine some of the traits of traditional publishing with elements of the other three.

What does it all mean for the written word and especially THE written Word--the Bible? Although a change of medium is occurring this is nothing new if one reviews the sweep of history. Through the ages, cave walls, rock hewn tablets, and clay ostracon, gave way to papyrus, vellum, and parchment. With each developing epoch technology improved making the written word even more available than ever. With digital technology and wireless transmission the written Word of God is now penetrating politically and religiously fortified walls of prohibition making the Good News of God's love in Christ even more accessible than ever before in history.

Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." (Luke 21:33) Jesus makes the statement three times in the Gospels indicating that through one form or another, God's unique message to mankind explaining the remedy for our problems is timeless. It will outlast any and all literary convention and forms. So in the days ahead we most likely will not be flipping pages at all, but scrolling an arrow or more likely, sliding our finger across a small hand-held screen. Whatever the form, the timeless message of the love of God for those He created will go forward changing lives of desperation filling them with real hope and promise. The Bible--even on an "E-reader" will remain the inspired, infallible, inerrant, authoritative Word of God, having been superintended by His Holy Spirit. On this we can stake our very lives--here and hereafter.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091; amyfoundtn@aol.com