Saturday, February 28, 2009

Moving to a new home

I am moving my Uncommon History blog to my homepage:

If you link to my blog, please update your link...

Happy blogging

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

These are the times that free men's souls

Yes, like many an amatuer blogger, I have fallen behind yet again. I will not bore the reader with the reasons for my delay, but will instead jump right into my entry for today.

The recent election has been on the hearts, minds and lips of the world for nearly two years. I apologize for being among the number keeping the spirit of discontent alive. However, I hope to assuade the dejection of those who were upset by the outcome.

There are no shortage of naysayers out there and of course there are even more singing the praises of our newly elected President. I myself had a pretty strong feeling that the current situation is where we would end up. The only suprising thing for me was that I was not dismayed on the morning of November 5, 2008.

Yes, a controversial yet popular political leader has risen to power. Yes, a liberal congress has grabbed the reins of the most powerful country in the world. So what! That is what I have to say.

I don't say this due to any cynical or dejected mentality. What the election results did to my mind was free it to accept and embrace the promises of the gospel. Recent sermons and conferences have persuaded me to believe that peace and prosperity is not the hot-bed of religious reform.

Sure, it is nice to have a comfy, cozy place to go to bed at night and to wake again in the same cradle of security. But...when things go bad, who do we turn to? As I look back at my life, and the lives of countless Americans, it has not been the King of Kings. We have absolutely relied to heavily upon the promises of politicians and processes to further our cause. We have turned away from where our true hope lies.

So what if we lose our jobs, our homes, our cars. It would certainly be uncomfortable, but then again, which of the apostles had any of these things? Is it so amazing that they too were happy without a mortgage and a paycheck to pay it with?

I will leave the reader now with two verses from the Old Testament and hope that they will speak what my feeble mind is unable to convey at this point.

Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wherefore Art Thou?

You may be wondering where I have been as of late. To answer the question, in addition to preparing for NaNoWriMo, I have recently been converting some of my short stories into scripts. I have been really enjoying some great quality Christian Audio dramas online and thought, "Hey! All of my children love to act and most are involved with theater in one way or another."

Thus, I ventured to a couple local electronic stores and invested in some beginner-level audio equipment (a condenser microphone, a mixer, and audio editing software). I turned the little closet under our stairs into a "recording studio" and began recording my children's attempts at the lines I wrote for them. If all goes well, hopefully there will soon be at least one of our family audio dramas online!

In a similar twist, I also am rewriting a story into a script for a group of Christians who met online for the purpose of seeing what it would take to put together our own quality audio drama. That show too will hopefully be available for your listening enjoyment.

November promises to be a very busy time so please bear with me through this blogging dry spell.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On a Whim with No Prayer

Our Heavenly Father saw it coming, did you? On September 29, 2008, the United States stock market dropped 777 points. Is this just a coincidence? Although I am no apocalyptic soothsayer, I am no believer mere chance or coincidence.

I typed in “pray for our economy” and the result was 4030 hits. I have not had the opportunity to peruse through each solitary instance, but what has been striking to me has been the lack of any of these hits, minus one, to be linked to a single government official.

The very first link in my search leads to John Piper’s “Desiring God” website, and the date for his article was September 19, 2008. John Piper saw it coming, and he encouraged us to pray.

The second link was from the Presidential Prayer team. Unfortunately, the underlying message in that article is a discussion about legal attacks on the National Day of prayer. Really? When we are in the midst of a global economic catastrophe and should be on our knees, people are suing President Bush regarding a single day of prayer. This single article explains very well why we are in this mess in the first place.

One shining moment among the list of Google links is an article dated October 4, 2008. In that article is a single, obscure quote by Democratic Representative Marcy Kaptur, "Pray for our republic, she's being placed in very uncaring and greedy hands." My concern for this is that it doesn’t seem as much a prayer to God for our Republic, but rather a political plea against the Bush Administration. Never-the-less, it is a public call for prayer.

A vast number of the remaining links are to apocalyptic naysayer websites doing little more than sounding an alarm and pointing out that the end is near. Yes, it is, and it has been for quite some time.

I must confess that I am not a news channel junkie, nor do I subscribe to any newspapers, but I have yet to hear any of our government leaders, minus the one quoted already, to call for prayer for our nation.

Our government jumped in overnight to throw $700 billion dollars at a problem whose price tag they really have no clue about. Hmmm… 7 hundred billion dollars. Another interesting number.

Christian, our country does need prayer. I have been neglectful in my responsibilities in this regard. Have you? Where will our help come from? I dare say it is not the government, but that is where we seem to be placing our highest hopes.

Please join me in praying for our economy, our country, our leaders, our world and the peace and security of Israel. Let us not fret over hard times. After all, it has traditionally been the hardest of times that the gospel flourishes.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Friday, October 10, 2008

An Historic Debate

As the saying goes, "timing is everything." Such it is with the timliness of my reading and research for Uncommon Brethren. Whilst we are in the throngs of the hype and hysteria of a loud and tedious Presidential campaign, the two leading contenders have engaged is somewhat of a civilized debate.

In the summer and fall of 1858, there too was somewhat of a civilized debate in progress. Not between Presidential candidates, but the outcome of that series of debates did propel the next President of the United States onto the national public stage.

The debates between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln were essentially a debate between slavery and abolitionism. As a result of these debates, path was laid and a coures was set.

I have known for several years that part of my story would involve these important historical events, yet I still have not decided to what degree. I have spent the past several weeks pouring over material related to the debate, and through the incredible resource of the internet, stumbled across an astonishing resource.

The fine people at Google Books have been spending untold time and energy making digital copies of historical manuscripts available to the public. One such resource is "The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858." While I have no intention of pouring over every one of the 630 plus pages, my focus on a specific two of the debates has been fascinating.

Reader, if you love history and you have the time, I highly recommend reading this tremendous historical text. If you do not have time, wait for the publishing on Uncommon Brethren for a brief and small taste of the spirited exchange!

Favorite Books

  • Portals to Hell
  • To Die In Chicago
  • While God is Marching On

Favorite Movies

  • Dances With Wolves
  • Gettysburg
  • Glory
  • Master and Commander
  • Red Badge of Courage