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DVD Review



I apologize for not being more active, but not having other reviewers or books to review, it's been a little difficult. However I want to let you know about this wonderful DVD "God's Not Dead." Working at the library I found it on our shelves and took it home. When I brought it back I raved about it. I wanted to take it out again, but it seems word gets around. It's always on hold for someone else. That's great.

The opening scene is in a freshman college philosophy class. The professor states he is an atheist, and asks that if everyone will sign a paper with 3 little words on it he can dispense of the dust and get to the subject. Those 3 words are "God Is Dead." One student cannot sign that. He is given 3 chances to argue the case of the existence of God before the class.

Fueled by hate on one side and a determined love of God on the other this is not your simple movie. The poor kid researches and goes off on a journey of his own to state his case. The end is nothing short of amazing. I guess telling people stuff like this is one of the reasons I can't get a hold of it a second time. It's really that good.

For more you can go here:
http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/synopsis

To purchase a copy try these links:
Amazon
ChristianBook.com
Barnes & Noble

May our Lord be with you now and always. Remember, God is in control, even when things look like they're crashing all around you. David

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Lord's Prayer (Revisited)

THE LORD'S PRAYER - Rather cleverly done.This is in two parts,
The prayer ( in blue type) and GOD (in red type )-in response.
It is very, very good.
*********

"Our Father Who Art In Heaven.
Yes?
Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.
But -- you called ME!
Called you?
No, I didn't call you..
I'm praying.
Our Father who art in Heaven.
There -- you did it again!
Did what?
Called ME.
You said,
"Our Father who art in Heaven"
Well, here I am..
What's on your mind?
But I didn't mean anything by it.
I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day.
I always say the Lord's Prayer.
It makes me feel good,
Kind of like fulfilling a duty.
Well, all right.
Go on.
Okay, Hallowed be thy name .
Hold it right there.
What do you mean by that?

By what?
By "Hallowed be thy name"?
It means, it means .. . Good grief,
I don't know what it means.
How in the world should I know?
It's just a part of the prayer.
By the way, what does it mean?
It means honored, holy, wonderful.
Hey, that makes sense..
I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before.
Thanks.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Do you really mean that?
Sure, why not?
What are you doing about it?
Doing? Why, nothing, I guess.
I just think it would be kind of neat if you got
Control, of everything down here like you have up
There. We're kinda in a mess down here you know.
Yes, I know;
But, have I got control of you?
Well, I go to church..
That isn't what I asked you.
What about your bad temper?
You've really got a problem there, you know.
And then there's the way you spend
Your money -- all on yourself.
And what about the kind of books you read ?
Now hold on just a minute!
Stop picking on me!
I'm just as good as some of the rest
Of those People at church!
Excuse ME..
I thought you were praying
For my will to be done..
If that is to happen,
It will have to start with the ones
Who are praying for it.
Like you -- for example ...
Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups.
Now that you mention it,
I could probably name some others.
So could I.
I haven't thought about it very much until now,
But I really would like to cut out some of those things.
I would like to, you know, be really free.
Good.
Now we're getting somewhere.
We'll work together -- You and ME.
I'm proud of You.
Look, Lord, if you don't mind,
I need to finish up here.
This is taking a lot longer than it usually does.
Give us this day, our daily bread.
You need to cut out the bread..
You're overweight as it is.
Hey, wait a minute! What is this?
Here I was doing my religious duty,
And all of a sudden you break in
And remind me of all my hang-ups.
Praying is a dangerous thing.
You just might get what you ask for.
Remember, you called ME -- and here I am.
It's too late to stop now.
Keep praying. ( pause .. . )
Well, go on.
I'm scared to.
Scared? Of what?
I know what you'll say.
Try ME.
Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us.
What about Ann?
See? I knew it!
I knew you would bring her up!
Why, Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories.
She never paid back the money she owes me..
I've sworn to get even with her!
But -- your prayer --
What about your prayer?
I didn't -- mean it..
Well, at least you're honest.
But, it's quite a load carrying around all that
bitterness and resentment isn't it?
Yes, but I'll feel better as soon as I get even with her.
Boy, have I got some plans for her.
She'll wish she had never been born.
No, you won't feel any better.
You'll feel worse.
Revenge isn't sweet.
You know how unhappy you are --
Well, I can change that.
You can? How?
Forgive Ann.
Then, I'll forgive you;
And the hate and the sin,
will be Ann's problem -- not yours.
You will have settled the problem
as far as you are concerned.
Oh, you know, you're right.
You always are.
And more than I want revenge,
I want to be right with You . . (sigh).
All right, all right . .
I forgive her.
There now!
Wonderful!
How do you feel?
Hmmmm. Well, not bad.
Not bad at all!
In fact, I feel pretty great!
You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight tonight.
I haven't been getting much rest, you know.
Yeah, I know.
But, you're not through with your prayer, are you?
Go on.
Oh, all right.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Good! Good! I'll do that.
Just don't put yourself in a place
where you can be tempted.
What do you mean by that?
You know what I mean.
Yeah. I know..
Okay.
Go ahead. Finish your prayer.
For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory forever.
Amen.
Do you know what would bring me glory?
What would really make me happy?
No, but I'd like to know.
I want to please you now...
I've really made a mess of things.
I want to truly follow you....
I can see now how great that would be.
So, tell me . . .
How do I make you happy?
YOU just did".

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What is Edgy Writing

Nike Chillemi talks about this in an interview at Inkwell Inspirations. She and a number of other writers made some good comments. What I'd like to do is take a look at things as if we were talking about Jesus. I'm sure some out there will think I'm committing blasphemy, but I assure you I'm not. All I am doing is trying to provide a means to look at writing differently that it has been in the past.

For me, even as a writer, Jesus is my example. He told parables. I tell parables. True the parables of Jesus weren't necessarily 100,000 words or more in length. Still, I think we can still use Jesus as an example.

With the Last Days hub bub still fresh in our minds I offer you the following. Suppose Jesus wasn't edgy? What would the account in Matthew read like. Here's a version you may find humorous, although there are people actually doing this and thinking they are being very spiritual.

You remember the occasion. Jesus and His disciples are returning from Jerusalem after some teaching and a triumphal entry. As they are walking up the hillside they look down into the city and can see the beautiful Temple there. They motion to Jesus and talk about how beautiful this was.

Now, if Jesus was not edgy, He may have said something like this, "Yes, it sure is beautiful."
However, what Jesus actually said was, "I tell you the truth, the time is coming when not one stone will be left upon another."

Sexy? No. Edgy? Absolutely. Because of His answer it caused the disciples to ask the following questions, "Master, when shall these things take place, and what shall be the sign of Your coming?" They were asking Jesus two things. They wanted to know when what He spoke about would come to pass, but they also wanted to know when Jesus would return to set up His kingdom on earth.

The non-edgy response would have been something like this: Jesus had His disciples sit down on the hillside. Once they were seated He pulled out His dispensational chart and began to explain how different things would happen in different dispensations, and how we would then be able to understand when His coming was getting close.

Or He might have said, "Gee guys, that's a tough one. I think the answer is in Scripture somewhere, but I haven't found it yet."

However, Jesus, again being edgy actually said, "Of the time and hour no man knows, not even the Son of Man."

Edgy writing is writing that challenges. It's raw, blunt, honest, or whatever word you want to use to describe it. The thing about being blunt or honest is some people usually get hurt. Consider the scribes and Pharisees who Jesus called nothing but whitewashed tombs, or a brood of vipers. If Jesus were not edgy He may have said something like, "Fellas, could you please keep your voices down?" Or worse, "Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you."

In the words of Brad Stine, while we are not to intentionally offend people, if they are offended because we speak the truth, good. That's how you know you don't have it.

Our society is filled with people who don't want to offend others. This thinking has shifted over to the Christian publishers, and they don't want to offend people. Actually they don't want the words their writers write to offend people. They have no problem offending us with a watered down gospel that is no gospel at all, but is, in fact cursed. They "strain at the gnat and swallow the camel" so to speak. They are so busy saying their writers can't use this word or that word that they are unaware that they are masking the blunt truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'm not for being sensational. I'm not for adding sex, violence or profanity just for shock value. I am, however, for an honest representation of the characters in a story. Right now I have a book I'm working on and some of the characters are Gothic kids, basically fringe pagans. However, I'm to have them speaking with the same clean mouths that mature Christian characters use. This is an affront to me and to the Gospel of the Lord whom I serve. I'm not saying to go out of the way to pepper my work with profanity, but let me be edgy. Let me show you that there is darkness and there is light, and those in darkness act and speak differently than those who walk in the Light of Jesus Christ.

Jesus, edgy? Interesting. Ever notice how many miracles Jesus performed on the Sabbath. Was He just trying to tick the Pharisees off, or was Jesus just being edgy? We are called to complete the task that He set out to do. He has given us all authority in Heaven and earth, and has sent us out. We are to allow His Holy Spirit to move us, motivate us, and give us the words to speak. In other words, we are called to be edgy. "You are in the world, but not of the world." The world is dying, in part, because they don't see any difference between the non-Christian and the Christian. I say it's time to get edgy. It's time to throw off the cozy gospel and start speaking the Truth.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pray for this Man




Pray for this man. His name is Harold Camping. Maybe you have heard of him. This is not a post that has to do with books, reviews or writing, but has to do with the spiritual welfare of people around the world, and it has to do with the spiritual welfare of Harold Camping.

I am not going to lash out at this man. I do not hate him, although I found his monotone voice really boring as a kid growing up. Boring doesn't mean a whole lot. There are plenty of people who are boring (to me, and I'm sure you have your own set of boring people. Maybe I'm one of them). My dad worked as a volunteer for WFME 94.7 out of West Orange, NJ (I think that's where they are). My dad is also in his 80s, but he's nothing like Mr. Camping. The joy of the Lord is my dad's strength.

I wasn't going to do this, but let me put up a picture of my dad to go along with Mr. Camping's. You can see the difference in their faces. Neither has to say a word and you learn something of them already.



(That's my mom with my dad). Can you see the difference? Can you see the twinkle in his eye, the joy that radiates even in a photo. It's quite the contrast between the photo of Mr. Camping.

Okay, let me get back to my main thoughts. Over the years I've heard a lot about Mr. Camping. I know his teachings and have had people recently asking me about his latest prophecy of the Rapture and the End of the World. I could simply say the man is a liar, but I'm not sure it is as simple as that. I could say that he is mistaken, but I think it goes further than that.

I did some research and here are a few facts to consider.

Camping teaches that all churches have become apostate and thus must be abandoned. He encourages personal Bible study and listening to his Family Radio broadcasts.

This sets the stage for self-deception and false-teaching. We find that Harold Camping really hasn't submitted himself to anyone. His life is marked by departures, where he systematically removed himself from teachings and people he did not agree with. Wikipedia lists the following:

Departing from Calvinist doctrine, Camping teaches a relative free will for humanity and that humans are not totally depraved. However, he subscribes to the idea that salvation is unmerited, cannot be achieved by good works or prayer, and is a pure act of God's grace.

Departing from the doctrine of eternal torment for the unsaved in a place called Hell, Camping teaches annihilationism; that life will end and existence will cease for the unsaved soul.

Departing from doctrines stating no one can know the time of Christ's second coming, he teaches that the exact times of the Rapture and the End of the World are to be revealed sometime towards the end of time (Daniel 12:9-13 prophecy).

Now, while he is free to believe in any way he chooses, having made himself a teacher, and an absolute teacher of Truth, he must bear the mantle of responsibility for his teachings.

Because he does not, but rather has departed from all authority over him, from the accountability of others, from the Truth of God's Word, he has fallen into several different false teachings. Look at what he says about other churches:

Camping teaches that all churches have become apostate and thus must be abandoned. He encourages personal Bible study and listening to his Family Radio broadcasts.

This is cultic thinking, not Christian thinking.

I began thinking of Harold Camping's prediction that the Rapture would take place today around 6 PM. I laughed at first, then got a little angry, but now I am filled with sorrow, sorrow for those who will be deceived and possibly lose their salvation over this, and sorrow for Mr. Camping himself.

It is with this heart of sadness that I ask you to join me in praying for Mr. Harold Camping, and for those who have blindly followed him. Pray that God would soften this man's heart to receive Him and His Word. Pray that the blindfold of deceit would be removed from his eyes so that he might be truly saved and can begin to try to undo some of the harm he has caused.

Again, I am not angry with Mr. Camping, for Scripture says that we aren't at war with flesh and blood, but our enemies are those spirits found in all areas of society, particularly in those who have attained authority. As my pastor says, "It's not the person we are to fight against, but the spirit that is motivating that person." Mr. Camping has been motivated by demons to the point where he has made himself an enemy of God. So pray. Pray that he will see what he has done and return to the Heavenly Father. This is my desire, my prayer. On May 22nd I fear he may attempt suicide, if not this evening. That's not a prediction, but a feeling, an anticipation of how he may react to his prophecy not coming to pass. I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. In any event he needs our prayers. So please pray. - David Brollier (May 21, 2011)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Editing, Self-taught

As I'm doing the 6th or 7th re-write of my novel I'm learning. This time I'm going over an edit I paid for. Now I'm usually pretty thick-skinned, but this gal hits where it hurts. Really. I already told you about all those words that Christian publisher's frown upon. Oh, yeah, add to that the word "Sheeesh." Apparently that is also unacceptable because it is a substitute for a know swear word. (Isn't that what we're supposed to do, find substitutes so we don't have to use actual profanity?) I guess this one hurts more because I paid for it, but I'm learning through the process.

Rule #1 - Don't go switching your point of view (POV) all over the place. Try to make your switches come at logical intersections and give readers a heads up. I still struggle with this. I guess I should just write from an omniscient point of view and be done with it.
Rule #2 - I'm told not to use adverbs. I don't know why this is. I spent the better part of elementary and high school learning about adverbs and how to use them. Now I'm told that they are frowned upon. I have noticed that in some instances certain adverse muddle a verb up rather than describe the action, as they are supposed to. Anyway, that's rule #2, cut down if not eliminate adverbs.
Rule #3 - Learn to spot the fat. Fat are those words that are not necessary in the sentence. Here's how to tell if you are using fat or not, read your sentence without one of the suspected words. If it reads well, then eliminate the word. I really appreciate the help I'm getting spotting these tid bits, although we don't always see eye to eye even here. So I have to learn. I have to stop complaining and learn. That is if I want to be a writer that glorifies my Heavenly Father.
Rule #4 - Be consistent. Words like alright can also be written as all write, but if you are going to do it one way, be sure to do it the same way through out.
Rule #5 - Dialogue must be treated differently than the rest of the text. This is something I think this particular editor has to learn. If something is a little crass or if the words aren't exactly grammatically correct in the dialog, well, then you have to consider your character. Would he or she talk that way? If so, let the dangling participle dangle. If it's found outside of your dialog, fix it. This is where I need to learn. So Rule #5 is for both the editor and myself. While they need to learn where things can be poor grammar, I have to learn where things cannot.
Rule #6 - Don't trust your own eyes, get someone else to read your work. You'll be surprised at what they find. Writers tend to piece together the thoughts in their mind and think they have it written out, when they often don't. Only someone reading it without your insight can find those mistakes. And these are blaring mistakes. They're the ones that make you cringe when you read them. So, I beg of you, before you self-publish that awesome novel of yours, have someone else check it first. You'll be glad you did, and it will save you a lot of embarrassment.

Just a few thoughts as I travel this journey of writing. Take care and God bless. Oh, and thank you Ellen C. Maze, for the extra copy of Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider. Our library now has a copy and soon, hopefully, the kids into vampire stories will be reading something edifying, rather than just the blood and gore. - David

Sunday, May 08, 2011

On This Mother's Day

The Pieta, a famous sculpture, one that I once had the privilege to see myself, depicts Mary, mother of Jesus, cradling the lifeless body of her son, that is, the Son of God, Jesus, the Messiah. I want you to look at the picture of this sculpture above. Study it. Apart from having the wondrous privilege of bearing our Savior as her child, she was truly a mother to be admired. With this image now engraved upon your mind and in your heart I wish all mothers a most wonderful Mother's Day.

Why am I doing it this way? Because there are a few things about a mother that we should remind ourselves of. Firstly, without them there would be no children, no societies, no such thing as families. Without them no one would hear the merry laughter of children. Secondly, as we can see by examining the picture above, all mothers work hard for their family, especially their children. Nothing in the whole universe hurts a mother more than to see one of her children in pain, or walking a path that will lead them into pain. Likewise, nothing brings more joy to their hearts then to hear their children laugh or see a wayward child come home.

When Jesus was on the Cross, Mary was there. Think of it. She didn't have to be there. She could have fled with the rest of the disciples and no one would have condemned her for it. Yet her son needed her. Yes, that's right, Jesus needed his mother. This God who became man, as a man, needed his mother's strength to endure the task that he had to face. Her presence gave him that strength. He acknowledged this with the words spoken to her and to his disciple John saying, "Woman, behold your son," and "Son, behold your mother." One of the last acts Jesus performed before his death was to see that his mother was taken care of.

If we are to follow Jesus as our example, the we must show this same degree of honor to our mothers. So I find it fitting that we have set aside a day to do so, but a single day is not enough. We should always honor our parents, for this is the will of God. We should remember how difficult things may be for our mothers and do whatever we can to ease her load, to make her laugh, to bring her joy. And when we cannot look after her anymore, we should be sure that we have made arrangements so she can be taken care of. Mothers, I salute you. I honor you. May God bless each of you richly. You are the cradle of our lives. May we be a blessing to you.

David Brollier

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