Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Psalm 8 - In Rhyme

If you have seen my earlier posts, then you've seen the link to my website www.thebibleinrhyme.com. Today I received a rejection letter from a prospective agent. No big deal. Publishing is a business, and I understand wanting to put your money into something you truly believe in.

And maybe that's why I feel it's such a slam dunk. Because I believe in it. I am so compelled to get this project out into the market. I feel that this was a gift that God gave me to share with the world. It's the light He has asked me to shine, and I cannot hide it under a bowl. I can't turn down God. I won't turn down God. I have to do what He wants of me.

So tonight I felt like sharing one of the psalms as praise to God. So here is Psalm 8. I would love your feedback today. Not praise, but true and honest feedback. But do me a favor. After you read it and before you post a comment, read it out loud. And praise God!

Psalm 8

O Lord how majestic Your name is in all
of the Earth and I sing it wherever I go.
Praise issues out from the children so small,
that stops up the tongues of every foe.
The work of Your hands in the blackness of space
is seen in the moon and the stars set above.
Heavenly bodies that you put in place.
What is a man, that you should so love?
For You set us just a bit lower than Thee
and crowned us as rulers with glory and honor
over the birds and the beasts and the sea;
to rule over Earth and all that’s upon her.
As governors over the great and the small
we are but servants who bow down so low.
O Lord, how majestic Your name is in all
of the Earth and I sing it wherever I go.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Campaign '08

Watching the '08 campaign has been strange for me this year. I find it to be an assault to my sense of ethics. In the past, I have always watched from a more secular view point, but for the first time in my life I am unable to separate my faith from my politics. I know that there have been far nastier campaigns in the past, but I have been able to dismiss God from the process. Not this year.

I keep asking myself, which candidate would Jesus pick. And I pray that I am making the right decision for mankind, not just for me or even for the U.S.

Between McCain, Obama, and Clinton, who will be a good leader? We need someone like David, Solomon, or Hezekiah...someone who does what is right in the Lord's eyes. Now that is not to say that these three did not fall away from the Lord at certain times in their lives, but they tried to be true to God.

A simple life is one in which you can try to live every moment for the Lord. A life as a political leader invariably leads you into gray areas. The President of the United States is not a job I would ever desire, but I feel like even my own life leads me into areas that are not clear cut on the right decisions.

Selecting a president is one of those areas. No president will be perfect. They will make mistakes. So in my selection, I do so with a troubled mind and a heavy heart, because the wrong selection could cost people money, health care, civil rights, or even their lives. People die every year because the President says so. I just want to make sure the person in charge remembers that they must do what is right for America, the world, and God during their presidency. But is it in that order? Or should the order be reversed?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Christian and his Brother

A Christian man was often seen at soup kitchens, halfway houses, and in his own neighborhood ministering to strangers and sharing the Good News. Many knew him as a man of deep faith, having seen the multitudes he brought to faith.

One day the man received a call from the hospital telling him that his brother had been involved in a horrible accident. He rushed to the hospital to be by his brother's side.

When he arrived and saw his brother, he immediately began to weep. The doctors told him his brother had minutes, not hours, remaining. Knowing his brother was an atheist, he went to his brother's side and said, "Please, in these last minutes of life, ask God for mercy so that He will be with you."

The brother, in immense pain, said to him, "I know the work you have done with others, but you never tried to convert me. Not until now. I'm an atheist. It is clear why I would wait until the last minute, but why have you?"

With tears streaming down his face, the Christian man said, "Because you are my brother. And I love you no matter what. I did not want to put a strain on our relationship."

"Because I am your brother, you should have been trying every minute of your life. What do you care if strangers join you in heaven, if I am not there by your side?" And at these words, the brother died.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Back from San Fran

I got back from San Fran late last night. I probably should have put a post up while I was out, but by the end of each day, I was totally wiped out.

Here are some of the things I feel like I walked away with.
  1. The Christian publishing arena is the only consistently growing area of the publishing industry. All other segments are on a roller-coaster like path. You never know if it is going to be an up or a down year.
  2. The Bible in Rhyme may be a tougher sell than I thought. I thought it would probably be fairly simple because it is completely different from anything out there on the market. That actually seemed to be the biggest concern to the two agents I talked to...it is completely different from anything out there. (I don't particularly like competition, so being the only one sounds pretty good to me...but what do I know.)
  3. The industry can't make up its mind about what it wants more...great writing or authors who can sell. I think I've got both, but so did every author at the conference.
It probably sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm really not. My hope was that it would become clear whether I should look for an agent, go straight to the publishers, or self publish. In the end, I think it did become a little bit more clear. I'm going to go after agents and publishers simultaneously for awhile.

I don't like delaying, though, so I am considering either self-publishing or setting up my own publishing company.

I truly believe that the opportunity to help people better understand what the entire Bible says is one that simply can't be passed up. One way or another, I've been called to help spread the Word.

My prayer is that the path becomes clear to me as I proceed. It has too. The more I study and progress, the more I will begin to make decisions. I just pray that those decisions are the ones that God wants me to make, and not my own.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Prayer Request

I'm heading to San Fran tomorrow for a writer's conference. My brother is meeting with his agent related to his books (www.bryceholt.com). I will be meeting an agent for Christian books, and trying to figure out what is the right way to take The Bible in Rhyme.

I'm asking for any readers to say a prayer that God would lead me in the right direction with this book so that I do His will. I don't know what that direction is, whether it's with an agent, straight to a publisher, or self-publishing...or if He wants something else that I can't even fathom right now. I just want to make sure I do His will, not mine.

I really appreciate your prayers.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Brave Man and the Brave Child

A man went to work one day and found out that his company was firing him. After boxing up his possessions, he walked down to his car, put them in his trunk, then burst into tears. He did not know how to tell his wife. He did not know when he would find another job or how he would support his family, but as he got behind the wheel, he said to himself, "I'm a man. I have to be brave. I can take care of things myself."

That night he and his wife put his son to bed and went to their room. He told her the news, and soon their conversation turned into an argument. They began to yell at one another.

Their son lay in his bed. He could hear his parents yelling. He began to cry. He said, "I'm just a little boy, and I'm scared. God please make things better."

When the father found a new job, he was blessed because his son had asked for God's help on his behalf. Though he thought it was of his own doing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Three Boys

There were three boys. One who was smart, one who was full of faith, and one who was smart and full of faith.

The smart boy was easily convinced that God had to prove His own existence, or else he could not exist at all.

The boy full of faith loved God, but was easily led astray by men who could use his faith against him.

But the boy who was both smart and full of faith was neither arrogant, nor easily fooled. Though he looked for God's existence, he knew that the man could never truly prove nor disprove God. And though men came along thinking they could lead him astray, he knew their selfish motives, and he also knew what God wanted of him.

Intellectuals who put the burden of proof upon God show their own foolish. And fools and believe blindly show their ignorance. God did not give you intelligence to be ignored, nor did He give you eyes to be blind.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The False Beggar

A man dressed up like a beggar one day and went out on a street corner. Many people walked by, ignoring the man, until finally a young woman stopped and gave him one dollar. He said to her, "You have been generous with what you have, so I shall be generous in return," and he gave her a fifty dollar bill.

The young woman was surprised by this, and she went and told her friends.

A few moments passed, and an elderly man stopped by and gave the man disguised as a beggar some money. The false beggar told him, "You have been generous with what you have, so I shall be generous in return," and he gave the old man a fifty dollar bill.

The old man was surprised by this, and he went and told his friends.

A few minutes later, a married couple stopped and gave the false beggar a few dollars. The false beggar said, "You have been generous with what you have, so I shall be generous in return," and he gave the couple a fifty dollar bill.

The couple was surprised by this, and they went and told their friends.

After the couple had left, the man went home. Later that day, dozens of people were out on the streets giving money to the poor, hoping that they would find the beggar who handed out fifty dollar bills. Although none found him, the poor were helped, and the people who had given money out felt good that they had helped people, even thought they had not received money in return.

So if people would be willing to help the poor if they thought they would get fifty dollars, why would you not if you knew you would receive eternal life?