Category Archives: Books Worth A Look

Charles Simpson 1937-2024

One of the most influential men in my life has departed this earth for heaven. This morning, I sit in silence and solitude by the fire, grateful—full of joy and peace. I’m still inspired by his inspiring life, incredible Bible teaching, and leadership within the church as a minister of the Gospel and along the pathways of life wherever he went. And go, he did, to the ends of the earth and crisscrossing the country until he fell ill a few months ago.

Reflecting now, I think it was his fear of the Lord, humility, and close walk with God that touched me most. Also, it was his familiarity with the Holy Spirit and the way he flowed in the Spirit so effortlessly. “A person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with an argument” is one of his quotes that comes to me now and often. He lived that and helped me do the same — a quiet assurance of faith that comes from spending time with God in His Word, meditation, and obedience to what you hear.

A quote from his website says it succinctly, “Embracing the truth with our lives. In an age of confusion and challenge, there is a great hunger for clarity and courage. We believe that we are called to stay rooted in the Bible, to listen to God’s Holy Spirit, and prophetically declare what we hear Him saying in this generation.”

A friend from Louisiana just texted me to ask if I was coming to Charles’ Celebration of Life service. It’s a hike from here, but I’m planning to go—to honor one of the most humble, gracious, influential, and godly men I have ever known and to celebrate his life with friends who knew and walked with him.

I read many of his articles in New Wine Magazine and listened to many hours of recorded teaching and sermons before I met Charles. Then, once on an F-4 deployment to Gulfport, MS, a squadron mate and I drove to Mobile, AL, to hear him speak on Father’s Day an incredibly inspiring and insightful message, “The Missing Man.” It was the first time I saw him and shook his hand after hearing his Spirit-given, razor-edged wisdom and truth in person.

By the grace of God, I eventually had a couple of one-on-one conversations with him. With a small group of friends, I also visited his home for an evening of coffee and conversation. Just last year, he graciously wrote an endorsement of my latest book, Puzzling 2020.

I have no words to communicate what the man means to me for the infusion of the Word and Spirit he deposited in my life or was a catalyst for the Lord to deposit in my life. I can only sit in silent awe with a joy-filled and grateful heart, reflecting on the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living to His servants and friends.

I just read a blog by Charles’ oldest son, Stephen, which caused my heart to swell again with thanksgiving, love, and joy.

I remain very quiet in my spirit—thankful. My heart is full of quiet joy to have known him. What a race! And victory won. And Sabbath rest for him… the first Easter with his Redeemer and Friend.

Easter Shalom to you all.

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“One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4).

“O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come” (Psalm 71:17-18).

“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand” (Hymn by Edward Mote, 1834).

A Time for War — Day 19

A Time for War — Day 19

Those who know me know I don’t watch the news much — that is an understatement. I speak to that and why in my latest book Puzzling 2020. It’s something along the lines of these verses and what they convey:

“Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil, he will dwell on the heights; his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure. Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty; they will see a land that stretches afar” (Isaiah 33: 15b-17a ESV).

It’s also so that I can be still and quiet in my spirit and hear impressions from the Holy Spirit. I’m a fighter pilot and a warrior at heart, so I can get as stirred up as anyone. But I try not to do so. Not being tied to the news aids my joy and effectiveness in living the kingdom life God has gifted and planned for me. The following verse speaks to this aspect of living:

“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10).

Who’s Reporting Can I Trust ?

All the above said, I can quickly tell you who’s reporting to trust, or at least that I trust — Amir Tsarfati, a Jew living in Israel. He has a historical, Biblical, and God-fearing perspective. He also has served in the IDF and has military insights and battle-field awareness. I would call it finger-on-the-pulse awareness of how the Israeli defense forces and intelligence community are thinking about the defense of Israel and her people. Also, what’s really happening there on the ground.

Objective, truthful, no hype, to the point — that’s how I see his messages and briefings. If you want to know the man, and hear some of his reporting click below.

Recent Amir Tsarfati Interview where he shares his own life story and Biblical/historical perspective on the nation of Israel. Who is Amir Tsarfati and what is the truth about Israel?

Amir Tsarfati  War Day 17 Report

His Bible teaching is best accessed on his YouTube channel, Behold Israel.

His military and world perspectives are best followed via Telegram. [Download this App then enter “https://t.me/beholdisraelchannel” and select “View Channel.”]

Another Good Perspective

I was in a men’t meeting early this morning that concentrates on the spiritual habits, disciplines, or rhythms like reading the Bible, prayer, mediation, etc. so we can hear better spiritually and follow those leadings to live joyful, productive lives while getting to know the King better and better. The leader, Ron, introduced us to another preacher and his Biblical/historical perspective on Israel, and also the Book of Ecclesiastes, which is excellent, so I’ll share.

Here’s Some Related Music With Relevance to Israel Today

Psalm 121 by Joshua Aaron performed in Jerusalem

Zion by Aaron Shust

Raise Us Up by a Hebrew/Arabic ministry I’ve visited in Jerusalem

Pray! For the peace of Jerusalem, Israel, and the world — to the One Who can make it happen and controls world events ultimately. Shalom שלום

A Time For War

Jeremiah & Ecclesiastes October 2023

How ironic and synchronistic that I am reading Ecclesiastes and Jeremiah at this time, the same time Israel is embroiled in a war against a bloody, evil enemy, gunning down innocent women and children and committing even more grotesque atrocities.

As bad as it is, it’s child’s play compared to what happened to Israel in 722 BC, 586 BC, and 70 AD. If you read the Bible and history, you know this is not at all that unusual and is predictable – just not the time, place, or scope. The Biblical narrative is the only explanation that makes sense as to the why of it all.

My eyes fell on Ecclesiastes 7:14 this morning. And it brought to mind Ecclesiastes 3:8 (3:1-18) where Solomon speaks philosophically of life on the planet before God. He mentions “there is a time for war.”

Israel — A Time for War

It seems the church in the west is woefully ignorant about Israel, her place in the Bible and history, and how God sees her – which is the most important part. How God sees things is how they really are! See Isaiah 46:9-10 & Psalm 2. 

How are Christians, all nations, and all people to view Israel? First, we should honor and bless Israel! God made Abraham a promise, then extended it to Isaac and Jacob and their descendants forever: “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you, and in you all the nations of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Secondly, we are to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). Thirdly we are to realize the miracle that is Israel (Isaiah 66:8), and visit Israel if we can. You will bless them, and you will be blessed beyond your expectation! Fourthly, Israel is the apple of God’s eye, and He gave them the land, forever (Genesis 35:10-12 and others). Even if they don’t keep their covenant with Him, He will honor His word to them because that’s who He is – a God that is faithful and keeps His word forever (2 Timothy 2:13, Isaiah 40:8).

Lastly, he will punish or correct his children as any good father would, for their own good. Throughout history God has used other nations to do this or has allowed it – then He has crushed  those people and nations because they raised their hand against Gods anointed, and often went beyond their boundaries in doing so. (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Hebrews 12:6-7 ). God’s judgments are true and altogether righteous (Ps 19:9, Rev 19:2). He can make the punishment fit the crime, and He sees into the very thoughts and intent of every human heart.

That’s enough for this short blog. I have a chapter about Israel as God’s chosen nation and God’s time piece in human history in my latest book Puzzling 2020. The best short history of Israel with an accurate Biblical perspective I’ve read recently is Miracle of Israel (Frazier & Fletcher). The most insightful book I’ve read on Islam is in the past few years is The Mystery of Islam (Little).

Enjoy Your Life — Sow Seed — Let God Be God

As the world focused on Israel again, I found myself reading: “In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man will not discover anything that will be after him” (Ecclesiastes 7:14).

The secular humanist and Christian humanist (which should be an oxymoron), will focus on Israel or other hot spots of war in the world, wring their hands, watch the news to constantly be in the know, be fearful, and feel that humans must fix this situation! 

People with a proper and accurate view of God and an ongoing relationship with Him, will leave that up to Him, pray, and do what they can or feel led to do, but go about their lives obeying the impressions of the Spirit and doing what their hands find to do — usually to love and serve others and grow their relationship with God by spending time with Him daily. And they will enjoy their lives — a beautiful gift! (Psalm 46:10, Isaiah 30:15, Psalm 121, Ecclesiastes 2:24, Hebrews 4:11-13, I Thessalonians 4:11, Matthew 11:27-30 and many other Scriptures speak to this.)

This year I’ve found myself actively involved in our multigenerational, collegiate community of believers, mentoring and being mentored, helping churches in Honduras and Uganda, and being involved in men’s groups. And I’ve gone with my wife and friends on a Rhine cruise. I’ll blog on these events later. I have a mantra, “It’s better to live life than to record it.” But I am behind blogging and keeping the book’s webpage fresh, so I’ll report soon. I think you get the idea. Read through Ecclesiastes and Jeremiah this month if it isn’t clear. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as you go about doing good (Ephesians 2:10), and spending time with God daily in His Word and prayer. Shalom, and Godspeed as you journey.

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A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.

He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him” (Ecclesiastes 3:8-14).

In the day of prosperity be happy,
But in the day of adversity consider—
God has made the one as well as the other
So that man will not discover anything that will be after him
” (Ecclesiastes 7:14).

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
‘May they prosper who love you
‘” (Psalm 122:6).

Puzzling 2020

Einstein said, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” The pandemic and explosion of events beginning in 2020 certainly did that to Americans and the world. As busy lives slowed to a crawl, isolated people worked thousands of puzzles, and people got outside, slowing to the pace of living and to being human. This book of 70 short chapters or puzzle pieces makes sense of what we experienced from a perspective of spiritual, historical, and current events. It also provides inspiration and insight to live hopeful, meaningful, courageous lives. Enjoy!

Many things were stripped away from our lives as we pondered how to stay healthy. Some reacted in fear, and some in faith. It caused everyone to reexamine who they trusted for valid information about safety, health, and hope for the future. Puzzling these events, even after two years, a resolution is still inconclusive. This book seeks to answer some basic questions: “Where are we? How did we get here? Where do we go from here, or how do we live in these puzzling times?” We look to the Bible, history, and God for insight and truth  — and for grace to live with purpose and without fear. These puzzle pieces will help you “Light a candle, instead of cursing the darkness.” Click here to order.

Dwayne Bell holds degrees in mathematics and theology, and was a school teacher before pursuing a career in aviation. He served in the United States Air Force and reserves for twenty years flying F-16 fighter aircraft while concurrently concluding a twenty-five-year career as an airline pilot, flying Boeing 777s to Europe and Asia. He retired early to begin a new chapter of kingdom life and adventures. He enjoys back country flying, writing, photography, and biking. He and Elizabeth, his wife of forty-seven years, make their home in Springdale, Arkansas. You can reach Dwayne at: www.afriendoftheking.com

Your Portals

We recently received a new mezuzah. Our good friend Flora went to Israel last month on a spiritual pilgrimage with a friend and brought one back at the request of my wife to replace a cracked one on our back door. Ours has been with us since our first trip to Israel with friends in 1994.

A mezuzah is a small half-cylinder container that Jewish folks have affixed to their doorways for centuries, if not millennia. They contain specific, short Torah portions of Scripture to remind them (and us) to revere the commandments and keep them: “Write the words of God on the gates and doorposts of your house” (Deuteronomy 6:9; 11:20).

Many will touch or kiss the mezuzah (a Hebrew word for “doorposts”) as they enter and exit their homes in a show of affection and loyalty — to be grateful for the commandments and live by them. These are affixed on many Jewish homes, whether they are observant or not, and the homes of many Christians who wish to honor the roots of their faith and show their thankfulness for the commandments, celebrating the Giver.

Placing the new mezuzah and relooking at the inside scroll made me think again about the doorways of our homes and hearts. Who keeps or guards those for you? Are you mindful and grateful for what enters your home or doesn’t? Of who or what protects your home or doesn’t?

Two chapters in my newest book Puzzling 2020, came to mind as I pondered these thoughts. One was entitled “Israel ישראל” because it’s a piece of the puzzle in our day and any day. The other is entitled “Cell Phones” because of the entrance they give to our homes by outsiders and influences 24/7/365, crowding our space for solitude, silence, meditation, and being alone with our thoughts — something prized and valuable to humans since the beginning of time.

Israel ישראל


Here’s a blurb from the upcoming book: ’’A couple of years before my mom passed away, she gave me a book for Christmas entitled, ‘What in the World is Going On?: 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford to Ignore’ by David Jeremiah. When I opened the cover, the first words staring at me were ׳May 14, 1948.׳ I knew immediately it would be good, and I read it in very few settings.


“Israel has been a part of the puzzle from the beginning, in God’s mind, and God’s eyes. And she will be until the end. You can’t read the Bible or history and fail to see that. Her presence in the world and history is too remarkable to overlook. I would like to plunge into all the evidence for that statement, but a book like this won’t permit it. Accept it by faith and evidence. Then keep your eyes and ears open to whatever the Lord will show you about the small nation, and what she teaches us and the world about the Lord.


’’All you need to know is that Israel is highly favored by God, and any wise, God-fearing person will bless them and support them any way possible. Abraham, the father of the faith, is also the father of Israel. In the first book of the Bible, about four thousand years ago, we see God make Abraham a promise: “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).


’’A brief, telling look at history is to look at all the nations who have blessed Israel, and all the nations who have cursed Israel. Note what happens to them. A couple of God’s attributes acted out in history tell the tale. First, God doesn’t lie or change His mind: ‘God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?’ (Numbers 23:19 NIV). Secondly, even if people or nations don’t keep their word to God, He keeps His Word. It’s Who He is: ‘If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself’ (2 Timothy 2:13).


’’Allow me to wrap up this introduction by quoting three observations about Israel by well-known people. King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher and mathematician, to give him proof of the supernatural. Pascal answered: ’Why, the Jews, your Majesty ― the Jews.’”

I then recall famous quotes by Mark Twain and Leo Tolstoy and give other evidence for Israel’s remarkable place in history and the world.

Cell Phones

Here’s another blurb from the book: “We were talking about this book, and the topic of cell phones came up — how much they affected the world’s population, especially the youth or the next generation. We were talking about deception, but our discussion was broad. I asked Mugger to recap some of the thoughts we shared, mostly his. Here they are:

‘Social media is a way to inform and influence the entire world instantly. The control of SM (social media) controls the message people receive, a good way to get a consensus on social and moral issues since most people do not filter what they receive. It has instant credibility, especially with young people and the unthinking. It used to be ‘as seen on TV,’ now it’s ‘as seen on Twitter.’ Controlling people’s thoughts makes a one-world government easier to sell.


“Cell phones now connect the world because the infrastructure is much easier than landlines. Only a couple of decades ago, a significant percentage of the world population was isolated in its location and culture. Now kids in third-world countries can explore an entire world their parents never even knew existed. That can be good, except when the content is controlled. It’s a great way to indoctrinate the next generation. Maybe there was safety in isolation.

“Kids now live through their phones rather than reality. Their reality is what’s on the phone. They sit together in groups working on their phones rather than interacting with the person next to them. Apparently, the virtual reality in their phone is better than the reality of the present moment. They develop a false sense of what real life is. They are exposed to humanistic junk, porn, and leftist ideology, all at an early age, rather than having a chance to grow up as kids playing sandlot ball, etc. Despite parental controls, they can get exposed to all kinds of stuff well above their maturity level that they can’t process properly.


“Cell phones and SM are the perfect tools to generate one-world group think.”

Summary

Give a little thought to the commandments — God’s ways. Give a little thought to the portals of your life — what you allow in and keep out. There is much to be gained or forfeited in these two activities. Godspeed as you journey.

New Mezuzah

Blessings at Gerizim

Greetings and welcome again to a current thought and my newest book Puzzling 2020.

I consider this book a somewhat eclectic group of puzzle pieces that when connected describe [1] where we are as a culture and church, [2] how we got here, and [3] how we should live in these strange times going forward. It’s addressed mainly to the community of faith and Christians, but truth is truth wherever you find it, and we all profit when we know the truth and act accordingly. “Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth” (Blaise Pascal).

In addressing where we are and how we got here I chose to simply point to a time in Bible history 3500 years ago when God spoke through Moses a blessing and a warning to a nation. True it was a nation, Israel, who had entered into a covenant with Him, at His invitation and by their free will. But since He’s the God of creation and the King of the universe, (the same yesterday, today, and forever), these conditions for grace and blessing, judgment and correction have been true for Israel and all the nations of faith and the whole earth for millennia as demonstrated throughout history.

The Times

When I first got the vision and leading for this book, I considered a title like Bonhoeffer, Isaiah, and Solzhenitsyn. I knew that would never fly for a title, but it described what I was seeing. These men lived in times very much like our own, in nations that were not only ignoring God, but shaking their fists at Him, going there own way, ignoring the Bible and His ways while making policies and laws in direct opposition to His truths. The three named above were seers, who saw where this would lead, tried to do something about it by speaking the words of the Lord to the people and their leaders. But the people wouldn’t listen. They were blinded by an enemy, and determined to go their own way, until the evil, injustices, and cancer of their sins invited the action of the Almighty, to save the whole, make a correction, and protect people going forward from themselves. People of faith in Germany, Israel, and Russia had read, but apparently forgotten Deuteronomy 28.

Book Blurb

“Where are we, and how did we get here — as a church and nation? Doesn’t that seem puzzling? It is to most if they are even aware our churches and country have plunged into some moral morass. This swamp has economic, health care, political, national, energy, business, security, and international ramifications unheard of and unexpected two short decades ago.
“Shortly after the COVID outbreak began in 2020, I read this chapter in a daily quiet time of reflecting and engaging the Bible. Deuteronomy 28 is timely and timeless in describing what’s happening in America and speaks to what we need to do in response. As our country went into isolation for the better part of two years, that gave us time and a chance to ponder our ways, consider what was happening, and why it might be happening.
“This chapter of the Bible describes an isolated situation. Still, it’s far from isolated in its summary and the story it tells for ancient Israel, Israel through the ages, all nations through the ages, and the USA today.
“I encourage you to read and meditate on the entire chapter so you can see its relevance. The message is very plain — the imagery is clear and explicit.”

I go on to quote a good portion of chapter 28 which is very straightforward but not unique in the Bible: “…, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you. The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them [emphasis added]“ (Deuteronomy 28:1-14).

Daniel and “The Respect for Marriage Act”

As you’re no doubt aware the bipartisan congress of our country passed the act referenced above and the president signed it into law two days ago. Our country and the West has been on this tact for sometime. But this is the most incriminating, public, line-in-the-sand crossing to date. It remains to be seen how and when the Lord will react, and when and if people of faith will wake up and speak up publicly, and to the Lord in prayer.

Yesterday the thought came to me of how Daniel reacted when the bureaucrats, not the wise men, of Persia, the most powerful nation on the earth, pushed through a very bad law. Daniel, the prime minister, and one loved by the King of Persia, and the King of Kings, at great risk to himself, went on to do what he always did, in direct opposition to the bad law, honoring and fearing God more than man. “Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously” (Daniel 6:10).

Something Changed

Has something changed with this latest law being passed and enacted? It seems to me something is changing with the publication of Eric Metaxas’ new book Letter to the American Church. And other books like Strange New World by Carl R. Truman, and a host I’m hearing about but haven’t become familiar. It seems that the Spirit might be leading us to say and do things differently going forward. Stay tuned or wake up! Whatever and whichever applies. Follow Daniel’s lead. More to follow…

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“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be” (Thomas Jefferson).

“Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe” (Thomas Jefferson).

Write Your Book !

Go ahead! Write that book. “…Give wings to the truth…” (Gutenberg).

My First Book

All along the authoring path I’ve had people pull me aside and ask questions about the process of writing and publishing a book. So it’s time to speak to that briefly while it’s fresh on my mind.

As far as writing goes, I suggest to aspiring authors, “Just write!” Journal, blog, or communicate with your pen or computer whenever you feel inspired, or are given some opportunity or occasion to express yourself. All practice hones and improves your skill and effectiveness. You know if you enjoy writing and if you have something burning in you to communicate or there’s a message you want to share. Take opportunities and practice.

Personally, I journal a lot and find more and more that inspiration comes as I write. Much of my current book was lifted off the pages of my journals these past two years. In the early morning while fresh is the best time or whenever you feel inspired with thoughts or insights you haven’t known or considered before. Keep a journal or notebook handy.

It seems that the biggest reason people don’t follow through on writing or the dream of publishing a book is the mysterious publishing aspect of the process. That’s what I want to address briefly while it’s fresh on my mind. In a word, what it’s come down to for me is Booknook.biz.

This is my third book so I’m no expert, but I’ll share my experience thus far and at the moment. Amazon is the easiest place to publish — certainly for beginning authors. Their publishing company is Kindle Direct Publishing known as KDP. One can go to their website and they will lead you through their publishing process once you have your book ready as a PDF document.

However, there are “conversion” companies who exist for good reason. They help guide authors through the maze at KDP and perhaps make your book look a good deal more professional than it might otherwise, while avoiding some common pitfalls — for a price, usually a few hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on the size and complexity of your book.

New Book to be Released This Month

After researching the web for the best of these services I chose Booknook.biz and couldn’t be more pleased. They are pleasant, professional, service-oriented, and they employ an excellent website and secure email model to help guide you from start to finish through the Amazon publishing process. They also use a good deal of humor to keep you at ease and in the proper state of mind, during the stressful moments culminating in the publishing process, when you’re trying to get your book finished and get it right.

Kimberly Hitchens is the owner of Booknook.biz, “An Amazon Professional Conversion Service.” She and her staff have hundreds of books under their belts, (actually over 7,000 ebooks and 1,000 paperbacks, over the last 13 years by actual count) and many in production at any given time. They are physically located in Arizona, but everything is done on line. You can read testimonials and reviews here.

Their main service and value is taking your Word or Pages document containing your book, and formatting it to a PDF that is industry standard, artful, pleasing to the eye and attractive to the reader. That’s what you then submit to Amazon/KDP through their website. They also educate you about everything from ISBN numbers to print and book size, with sage suggestions. If you wish help to create a striking, professional cover, which I recommend, they can connect you with those services too, for an additional fee.

My Second Book /by Booknook.biz

We read in the Old and New Testaments: “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (Luke 10:7b). Booknook.biz is one of the most reasonably priced services, and they will expeditiously get your job done on a first come, first serve basis, saving you hours of format correction time. This alone makes them worth their wages. When you throw in their expertise in making your book the right size, look professional, avoid common missteps, and be aesthetically pleasing, it’s a no-brainer to employ their services — unless perhaps you are technically skilled and have the simplest of books. You’ve spent a lot of time and energy writing your book. It’s time to make it the best looking book it can be to expand its reach, make it successful, have your message heard, and give it wings.

Send them your text document containing your book and they’ll give you a free quote. For one fee, they can guide you in preparing your book so it’s ready to be printed on demand by Amazon as a hard cover, soft cover, and/or an eBook. Within a matter of days after your Booknook.biz-assisted submission to Amazon/KDP, your book will be available for purchase and shipping anywhere in the country. Enjoy your journey, and Godspeed as you write and publish what you’ve dreamed in your heart to share.

Oh yes, a word needs be said about editors. Every author needs an editor — another set of eyes and an objective mind to guard against grammatical and mechanical (spelling, punctuation, etc.) errors making your work more readable and enjoyable for your audience. I have a very good friend who’s adept at that, shares my vision for writing, and can also advise me on content due to his wisdom, education, and world view. I will mention I used Grammarly this time, to make his job easier, and my writing perhaps a bit crisper. I feel they are worth the expense. If you don’t have an editor, Booknook.biz can put you in contact with one, for an additional fee of course. That is tedious work.

I’m not sure if writing is a gift, a calling, or a dream — maybe all of those — but I do feel it’s important along with all I’ve shared to spend some time alone, in nature, and in community or people’s lives for inspiration and leading on what to say and how to say it. The most important aspect may be to spend time alone with God while you’re in these places — it is for me. His blessings and leading to you as you write!

Sunrise view to the east from the remote mountain top near our cabin — solitude

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“Religious truth is captive in a small number of manuscript books, which guard the common treasure, instead of diffusing it. Let us break the seal which holds the holy things; give wings to the truth that by means of speech, no longer written at great expense by the hand that wearies itself, but multiplied as the air by an unwearied machine, it may fly to seek every soul born into the world!”

Johannes Gutenberg (Inventor of the printing press, Mainz, Germany, 1436)

Midterm Election 2022

On Election Day, November 8, during her early morning neighborhood walk my wife sent me this quote someone tweeted: “Before you vote please fill up your car with gas, buy your groceries for the week, take a peek at your retirement account, and look at current government spending.”

What’s happening at the moment to our economy and way of life is no mystery to those who carefully read their Bibles and have some grasp of history. I would recommend Deuteronomy 28, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich as a beginning place. No socialistic, secular-humanist people have lasted long as a nation. Without God’s blessings and actions in our individual and corporate lives we implode, make poor decisions, become easy targets for our enemies, and demonstrate we really do need Him — unable to rule ourselves.

In my upcoming book Puzzling 2020, Connecting the Pieces I mention that I don’t put my hope in the political process or politics. I do think politics are important and touch our lives deeply at times in very personal ways, so I vote and pray for candidates with the best character to win. I encourage my friends to do the same. But my hope is in God, the Rock, the Everlasting One — the God of history and Ruler of nations.

I recall now a favorite quote from Charles Simpson: “Good men can make a bad system work, but bad men can’t even make a good system work.” God is the X factor in making men and women, as well as nations comprised of the same, flourish or perish, for their own benefit.

A few relevant Bible verses come to mind: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance” (Psalm 33:12). And, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan” (Proverbs 29:2).

Before leaving you with these thoughts to ponder as fodder for action, I’ll give a shout out to an excellent book addressing this subject in an insightful way. Its title is Letter to the American Church by Eric Metaxas. Our 20/20 Men’s Book Club and friendship group is currently reading it. I’m only 10 pages into this succinct 139-page book and can see it’s worth the money and time spent reading it already. May God bless you and yours.

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“Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’ He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain’” (Psalm 2:1-6 NASB).

“But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20b NKJV).

Puzzling 2020

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” 
RENE DESCARTES

Greetings All, my blog has been rather silent for the past weeks and months as I’ve focused on finishing my third book Puzzling 2020. It should be available in mid December, and I’m very excited. The book’s cover blurb speaks to its purpose:

“Einstein said, ‘Adversity introduces a man to himself.’ The pandemic and explosion of events beginning in 2020 certainly did that to Americans, both the culture and the church. Many things were stripped away from our lives as we pondered how to stay healthy. Some reacted in fear, and some in faith. It caused everyone to reexamine who they trusted for valid information about safety, health, and hope for the future. Puzzling these events, even after two years, a resolution is still inconclusive. This book seeks to answer some basic questions: “Where are we? How did we get here? Where do we go from here, or how do we live in these puzzling times?” We look to the Bible, history, and God for insight and truth — and for grace to live with purpose and without fear. These puzzle pieces will help you “Light a candle, instead of cursing the darkness.”

I hope you’ll give it a look. I think it certainly gives readers a better grasp on where we are as a culture and church, and more importantly, a healthy paradigm or world view for how to live in our day — the present, a gift from our Creator God.

Its seventy short chapters, or puzzle pieces, could be used as a devotional or daily meditation. Hopefully it will bring spiritual sight, light, joy, and renewed purpose.

By using the Descartes quote I didn’t mean to claim a “fine mind,” but simply give a shoutout to reading as a spiritual discipline. By reading, you humble yourself to hear someone else’s thoughts. You also slow yourself, still yourself, and are alone with your thoughts as you read, away from the din of the media, technology, and rush of our time. It’s like a mini vacation refreshing the soul.

Shalom, and stay tuned for more frequent blogs this beautiful autumn.

Dwayne

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.”
― Aristotle

BLM is a Crock

This line came to me in the early morning as I was lying in bed and contemplating all that I had been reading in Voddie Bacuham Jr.’s “Fault Lines.” But it sounded sort of harsh and judgmental so I didn’t want to use it, until I looked up the meaning of the word “crock.”

crock

NOUN 1. an earthenware pot or jar. a broken piece of earthenware 2. (informal) something considered to be compete nonsense.

VERB cause an injury to (a person or part of the body)

It fits what I thought when I first heard the phrase “black lives matter,” in light of Scripture and a world view informed by Scripture. It’s nonsense and nothing that should be attractive to a Christian with a Biblical world view. So it’s shocking to me that many well-meaning Christians have fallen for the deception, including a few well known Christian leaders. It’s another gospel, such as Paul warned the early church against, and a very inferior one.

I know I’m not going to convince anyone who believes the Black Lives Matter deception on a blog with a few paragraphs, nor do I wish to try. I’ve done you the biggest favor I can by recommending to you the best book that could possibly be written on the subject, with the best research, outline, and clarity; treated with the most honor, respect, and kindness. The search for truth is up to you. You’ve probably heard the Proverb, “One side sounds right until another comes and presents his case.”

I’ll just leave you with two thoughts from Voddie Baucham and his book. “So when Zambians began to ask me questions about the murderous and corrupt American police hunting down black men, I could not remain silent. I began to tell the stories and raise the issues that I will share with you…”

He goes on to say that the United States is the least racially prejudiced country he’s ever known or visited. After a twenty-five year career as an airline pilot, and the last fifteen of it flying internationally, I would whole heartedly agree. So who came up with this narrative (lies unfounded in fact or by evidence)? Who? What? When? Where? Why? And what are the facts?

You should ask these questions, and then decide what you believe. It’s important for you personally, for your church, for your culture, for your country. Ask God in prayer to show you truth, and the truth of this matter.

Oh, one last thing! Be kind and loving when you discuss this. You usually don’t fight fire with fire, but with water. You fight lies with truth, simple truth, spoken in love. And you trust God to do the heavy lifting. He’s the only One Who can fix this deception. Pray that He will be willing and do so.

Continue to enjoy your life of adventure and love with Him and in Him. The world changer, Paul the Apostle, said his mission was this, “To [preach] Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” [I Cor 2:2] He said his passion was this, “To know Him, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering….”[Phil 3:10] It would seem profitable and wise to do the same.

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Get to know Voddie Baucham

Hear a black theologian speak about this subject

Hear a white theologian speak about this subject

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“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8

“The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.” Proverbs 18:17