Monthly Archives: January 2014

Many Strange Women by Parker J. Cole – Book Spotlight

many strange women

I have not read Parker’s book, but it sounds like it’s well worth checking out!

Many Strange Women, an inspirational romance novel by award-winning author Parker J. Cole, is a story of an unlikely couple Solomon Greene and Celeste Martin who never expected their relationship would be anything more than a bargain.

Synopsis: Solomon Greene made a deal with God–If He’d send him an unattractive woman, he’d marry her on sight and do what was spiritually right by God. After all, he needed that kind of wife to help him escape from his sordid past.
Celeste Martin made a deal with Solomon. She’d be his ugly wife. All she wanted in return was his name. She was in love with her sister’s fiancé and he would be the only man she’d ever love.
Solomon had no idea that he’d find his wife fascinating. Celeste didn’t know that one taste from her husband’s lips would have her wanting more. Yet many strange women were between them. Could Solomon ever escape from his past? Could Celeste ever love her husband?

Book release date: January 28, 2014

You don’t want to miss out on the two-day Many Strange Women launch from January 28th to January 29th. Like her Facebook page and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway. In addition to the Facebook party, you can enter the grand prize drawing below for a chance to win a $100 gift card to either Target or Amazon (you choose!), or choose from the prize gallery.

Buy Link: http://www.electiopublishing.com/index.php/bookstore#!/~/product/id=32916957

Parker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their beloved dog, Sarah. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. Visit her website at www.parkerjcole.com

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Review of the Movie Frozen : A Biblical Definition of Love — Post by Michael J. Findley

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The Disney movie Frozen is a vast improvement on the Hans Christian Anderson Faerie Tale The Snow Queen. The animation is the best of Disney. Rushed and somewhat confusing in places, it is much better than The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, the Lion King, or Beauty and the Beast.
It is entirely 3D without the massive limitations of Toy Story or Cars. It is a story of people and the people move and act like people. The clothing looks and moves with enough realism that it does not distract from the story, which is the way it should be. For anyone who has ever been frustrated with 3D clothing in programs such as Poser, Elsa’s gown transformation is more than astounding.
The building of the Ice Palace is a must see. Period. We are in our 50s without grandchildren and you do not need children to enjoy the snow queen’s abilities.
It is a musical. The music is much better than what passes for music on Broadway these days. Sadly, it is not based on Classic Themes like Beauty and the Beast. I think it is still better than the music in the Little Mermaid.
The story is better than anything Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm ever wrote. With better music this might have been the best animated movie Disney/Pixar ever made.
The key is that the animation contributes to the story. In most animated movies, there are a few things which cannot be done in real life, such as crossing the Red Sea in Dreamworks’ Prince of Egypt, but the goal is normally to tell the story without the animation being too distracting. The size of the empty rooms, the way the parents’ ship vanishes, the ships freezing in the harbor, the incoming snow storm — all of these and more contribute to the story.
The important part is the story, not the music, not the animation. There is just the right amount of humor. Olaf, the snowman the sisters made as children, is brought to life. Sven the Reindeer, Oaken the shopkeeper, and the many cute trolls keep us smiling and lighten up a rather grim story.
*Spoiler Alert*
If you truly understand the concepts of good and evil, Hans is one of more (most?) vile, evil villains in Disney’s collection of animated villains. Anna is simply naive and easily deceived She also loves with purity and sacrifices her life for her sister and her people.
Evil is portrayed as evil. Good is portrayed as good. The magical powers of Elsa, the Snow Queen, are consistently shown to be in need of control. When Elsa decides to be selfish and use powers for herself to build an Ice Palace, the results are disastrous for her entire kingdom. Enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season cause enormous misery for everyone, including Elsa, later on.
While there is romance, love is both stated and shown to be doing what is best for others. Greater love has no man than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friend.
The movie rating service, Rotten Tomatoes, gives Frozen an overall average of all reviewers professional and viewers, of 89%. It is very much a love/hate movie, with most people giving it a perfect or near perfect score. However, several people gave it nearly a zero score. These people noticed the same qualities I did. They simply hate what is good.

 

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Burning Through the Basket — Post by Mary C. Findley

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This morning we visited a church, and the message came from Luke 12. People by the thousands were stepping on each other to hear what Jesus had to say, but He started talking, not to the thousands, but to the disciples. In part, He said this:

“But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.”

We who have Christ living in us have a light automatically shining in us. But sometimes we keep that hidden. In our typical backwards human thinking, we believe we do not have to share that light. It’s optional. We live the opposite of that other passage, one example of which is in Mark 4:21:

And He was saying to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand?”

So if our lights are safely tucked under that basket … umm … folks, that basket is just made of reeds, or even grass. It’s flammable, and so is our bed. We can’t hide it! We can’t!

God will let His light shine. It will shine. Are you shy? Too bad, that bed and basket are gonna burn. Trying to live lifestyle evangelism and never say a word about the Eternal Word? God might catch more than the bed and the basket on fire. Look at Jeremiah 20:9:

But if I say, “I will not remember Him
Or speak anymore in His name,”
Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
And I am weary of holding it in,
And I cannot endure it.

The Sunday school lesson at the same church today had another very important message. Peter tried to deny the Lord a he warmed his hands at the enemy’s fire during Jesus’ trial in John 18. You can understand his confusion. Jesus had told them at the Last Supper to get swords. And Peter seems to have had one of the two mentioned.

When the Roman Cohort and Temple guards came to arrest Jesus, He just told them who He was and they fell to the ground. Peter thought the time to seize the earthly kingdom had come. He lopped off an enemy ear to prove he was ready. But Jesus said no, no fighting, I’ll go peacefully. Let my disciples go.

Peter was pumped full of adrenaline and still willing to follow Jesus, but when push came to shove he didn’t know what to do. The Sunday school teacher said people were asking if he was one of the disciples. Maybe he would have been surprised to find a willing audience. But he did worse than just keep silent. He denied knowing the Lord.

But don’t forget, that’s not at all where Peter’s story ends. After a few more stumbles Peter emerges from Pentecost as a fearless leader and speaker and spends the rest of his life almost flawlessly speaking the Word and serving Christ.

So, whatever you’ve done that’s hidden the Word, under the basket, under the bed, know that God will get you proclaiming his Word. The pastor urged us to understand that “it’s time to step up.” It’s time to bring those Words out of the shadows and proclaim them on the housetop. It will happen. Don’t make God wait any longer. Don’t make it burn through the basket. Let it shine. Step up. Put it on the lampstand. Do it now. It’s time.

Image by Piotr Siedlecki from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=65103&picture=fire

Piotr Siedlecki

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A Not So Simple Look At Relativity — Post by Michael J. Findley

3 book covers on time
The importance of the theory of relativity is the religious conclusions rammed down our throats by religious bigots. This strong language is necessary to understand the unyielding priesthood these men have erected. These people have convinced themselves and many others that they are open-minded, kind and gentle. In their world, however, disagreements are only tolerated within their general framework of their view of the universe.

The first tenet of their religion is that the current universe and the way it operates can be examined to discover all truths. The second tenet of their religion is that the universe is at least billions of years old, if not eternal. The third tenet is the necessary and important conclusion of the first two. The entire human race is an infinitesimally small and insignificant part of an eternal, or nearly eternal cosmos. The only significance anyone can ever have is the decisions we choose to call significant. At one time the concept of God creating the universe was permitted, but even that kind of a God is now intolerable. Everything is relative and the guardians (as they were to do in Plato’s Republic) tell us what is good and how to live in order to best serve society.

Though it took longer than predicted, 1984 has arrived. The uniforms are blue jeans. Newspeak is a combination of psychobabble and pseudoscience jargon. All their conclusions claim a basis in relativity. In reality, Einstein’s theory of general relativity has no relationship with moral relativism. The principles of general relativity are only observable on the cosmic level. Personal relationships, physical as well as personal, do not use relativity. We are all in the same co-ordinate system.

The concept of a space/time continuum is essential to understand general relativity. Time is just as much a dimension as space. The universal constant is the speed of light. Time can be altered in two ways. The first is the well-known Twins Paradox. If you are not familiar with the Twins Paradox, the 1956 juvenile story Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein is an interesting introduction. A pair of twins have telepathic abilities which are not limited by distance. Because of this ability, one twin is placed on a spacecraft with near light speed and heads for the stars while the other twin remains on earth to receive and relay messages As the mass of the starship approaches the speed of light, the relative time on the starship slows down. Both twins experience a “normal” life with what they perceive to be a normal timeframe. As the twin on the spaceship travels and the twin on earth ages and the telepathic responsibilities are transferred first to his twin’s daughter on earth, then his granddaughter and finally his great granddaughter. By the end of the book, the traveling twin has aged only a few years while time on earth has gone through decades. If you are not familiar with the book, there is a somewhat cute ending. This Twins Paradox concept is a frequent topic in space travel discussions, because people and spaceships have mass.

According to the theory of general relativity, an object with mass will have its perception of time altered as it approaches the speed of light. Since the amount of energy needed to propel a spacecraft at the actual speed of light is infinite, actual light speed is impossible. But as mass approaches the speed of light, time will seem to slow down those in other co-ordinate systems. A spacecraft near the speed of light will have normal time to those on board the spacecraft. Those on the spacecraft would view those on earth as racing around furiously as time raced by. Those on earth will view those on the spacecraft as moving in extreme slow motion.

Since we are unaware of any actual starships, our real, daily experience is actually reversed. On page 43 of Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time there is a picture of a tower with two clocks, one in the base and one in the top. The clock at the top runs faster than the one in the base. “Another prediction of general relativity is that time should appear to run slower near a massive body like the earth.” He takes several pages to explain this, but the important point is that satellite navigation systems which fail to account for this time difference caused by general relativity can be off by miles. Massless particles, such as light photons, traveling completely outside of gravitational fields, such as between galaxies, could easily travel at the speed of light yet travel for millions or even billions of years while only brief periods of time, perhaps only seconds, transpire on earth. The same principles apply to any electromagnetic energy. This important aspect of general relativity is rarely, if ever mentioned.

The reason for this sin of omission is explained by Dr. Russell Humphries in his work, Starlight and Time. The idea that the universe is billions of light years across and therefore the earth is millions or billions of years old is the single greatest deception in the secular humanist’s arsenal. They frequently say that a look at distant galaxies is a look at the beginning of the universe because the light we see left those galaxies just after the big bang. Relativity is ignored when it is convenient.

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What Is A Lie? — Post by Michael J Findley

boy swinging on frame
For all of those friends of mine who post on facebook that someone is a liar, we must understand that there are 3 requirements for a statement to be a lie.

First and most obvious, the statement must be incorrect.

Second, the person making the statement must be aware that the statement is incorrect. This too seems obvious.

Third and the most difficult to detect, there must be an intent to deceive.

Suppose that you are given, without your knowledge, a counterfeit $20 bill (or use your currency if you are not an American). Someone asks you if you have $20 and you respond in the affirmative.

1) You are incorrect.
2) You are not aware that you are incorrect.
3) You have no intent to deceive.
You are wrong, incorrect. But you are not a liar.

You are in bed and someone in another room asks you, “Are you in bed?” You immediately stand on the floor and respond, “No, I am not in bed.” This is a little more nuanced. Though your statement is technically correct, there is the issue of intent. If the questioner simply wanted to know if you were out of bed, you told the truth.
“Are you in bed?” often implies more. Are you getting dressed? When will you be down for breakfast? When will you be ready to leave for work/school/shopping? If you understand that the question means more than just “Are you in bed?” then your simply answer, “No, I am not in bed.” Is a lie. You basic information is correct, but you are aware of the intent of the question. You answered with the intent to deceive.

In everyday life these subtle nuances, and often not so subtle, are the rationalizations we give to ourselves in order to delude ourselves. We convince ourselves that we are technically correct, so everything is fine. Continuing to tell these lies of intent or lies of convenience makes understand right and wrong, truth and a lie increasingly difficult.

When we become skilled at shading the truth, we will unable to discern when others are lying to us. At this point, truth will no longer matter to us. We will only be concerned we self-gratification.

You will know the truth and the truth will make you free. John 8:32 NASB

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The Case of the Elongated Skulls — post by Michael J. Findley

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In all things Charity (love). Pictures and articles about these ancient skulls constantly show up under every possible category. So I must admit that I have no idea what they are. This article is simply a brief list of the facts about these skulls.

1) Skeletons with elongated skulls which otherwise look like modern humans really do exist. The cranial capacity is much larger than any modern skull. So the theory that they were bound at birth to deliberately deform the person is not a possible explanation for these skulls.

These skulls images of people looking like this are found all over the earth as far back as ancient Egypt. There are hundreds, if not thousands of these skulls and skeletons.

2) They are not in the same category as individual skulls such as the so-called starchild where there is only one existing specimen. These single specimen cases are either diseased individuals or hoaxes.

3) Several ancient fetal skulls with elongated cranial capacity exist, the most well publicized from Peru. However, children today are often born with elongated skulls. These skulls of modern children return to a normal shape rather quickly.

4) DNA testing has been plagued with bacterial contamination and damaged samples. There is no solid, confirmed DNA test on any skull.

Conclusion; insufficent data. The elongated skulls and skeletons look like normal human skeletons, except for the elongated skulls. The skulls do not seem to be the result of binding the head because there is too much cranial material to account for that.

My personal opinion is that these skulls are not evidence of much of anything. Perhaps a higher quality, more detailed DNA test might shed more light on this, but until then, I will not use these skulls as evidence of anything.

Elongated skull of a young woman, probably an Alan (possible ancient resident of the area now known as Iran). On display at Yverdon History museum.
Photographer Rama Wikimedia Commons

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The Alexander Legacy Company Is on the Move — Proposed Cover Designs for All Eight Books! — Post by Mary C. Findley

8 alexander legacy books

 

Here they are … possible covers for the whole series. If this is the first you’ve heard about it, Sophronia Belle Lyon is Mary’s pen name for this steampunk series. It is inspired by movies like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but seeks to glorify God by using classic literary characters who honor God in their decisions and actions. Each book is narrated by one of the company. Florizel of Bohemia from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Suicide Club stories handles the introductions in the first book, and chronicles the formation of the group. They pursue a mysterious enslaver of souls who wants to overthrow the social order of London and perhaps all the empire.

Book Two is narrated by Oliver Twist of Dickens fame, and takes on questions of regeneration, rebirth, and immortality. Book Three shift narration duties to Sluefoot Sue, wife of American folk hero Pecos Bill. They find themselves on the track of people who delve into the occult and learn the price of seeking ultimate power. Book Four puts Fun See from Louisa May Alcott’s Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom front and Center. Fun pursues a spectral dragon ship while uncovering an ancient civilization of Chinese faithful to the true God, and tries to protect them from the evil master of the dragon ship. Book Five takes Zambo of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World to Algeria on the track of a subterranean empire reaching out tentacles to control many of the enemies the company has already faced.

Book Six takes Edward Ferrars of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility into the underground churches seeking to escape a persecution little known and understood. These people have clues to help the company fight against the looming terror they see forming a devilish alliance across continents. Book Seven shifts to India where Mowgli of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book must help an old comrade protect English and Indian believers and find astounding secrets in an undersea city.

Phoebe Moore-Campbell, the company’s leader and a character from the same Alcott books that Fun See appears in, concludes the series. She has discovered ancient device plans, some by Leonardo da Vinci, that may dovetail with other discoveries made by her comrades around the world. They will need all the steam technology they can command to defeat the one who seeks to be emperor across the globe and fulfil the prophecy made by Kera Mion in the first book — “Some ruler will rise and take the throne of a true empire where the sun never sets, and where the people will never again be free.”

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