California Seeks a New Way to Burn Books

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.” Ray Bradbury
My book–Restoring the Shattered–may be banned in California before it hits bookstores in January. A situation, which–if the courts uphold it–may spread to other states.
The California General Assembly has passed a bill (it now goes to the Senate) that would ban the sale of texts that promote the idea that a valid marriage is one that includes one man and one woman only.
That would also mean the bill would ban the sale of the Bible.
Furthermore, under the provisions of the bill, there is no allowance for disagreement about a condition called gender dysphoria–confusion over one’s sexual identity–also known as transgenderism. There will only be one legal way to consider that issue–the way that insists people can choose their own gender and everyone else must agree. This law would mandate affirmation rather than assistance to alleviate the confusion. Continue reading “California Seeks a New Way to Burn Books”

One Step Closer to Publication: 'Restoring the Shattered' Cover

Restoring the Shattered: Illustrating Christ’s Love Through the Church in One Accord is an account of our family’s journey through single-motherhood and material need. Our journey shows the power Christians of varying traditions manifest when we live out the Gospel for the sake of those in need.
Restoring the Shattered: Illustrating Christ’s Love Through the Church in One Accord is not a call to discard our differences and become a melded Christianity devoid of doctrinal distinctions. It’s a call to respect each other and work beside each other to obey Christ’s call for accord, in love for Him, for our Christian siblings, and for those outside the family of faith. Christian accord produces obedience to Christ’s call to minister to those in need.
Design Credit: Morgan James Publishing

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A Scary, Quiet Place: A Worthy Film

No spoilers.
In spite of my love for dystopia and The Twilight Zone, I am not a horror movie person. Being scared out of my mind with images that rival or exceed my worst nightmares is not my idea of fun.
But I went to see A Quiet Place anyway.  And I am glad I did.
We went to the late showing. I sat next to my 11-year-old granddaughter whom I have cultivated over the years with Twilight Zone episodes. I love the storytelling. She thrives on the suspense and quirky stories. Not surprisingly, she handled the tension better than I did.
Yet the characters, acting, and unique allegory made my stress worthwhile. The film is beautiful both in its cinematography and in its message. Continue reading “A Scary, Quiet Place: A Worthy Film”

Christian Adoption Under Fire

“Though they might push for it, homosexual couples—and all couples for that matter—possess no right to adopt. Rather, children have a right to grow up with the love that only a mother and a father can jointly provide. Adoption placements should acknowledge that placing a child in a family structure with a married mother and father is in the child’s best interest. Unfortunately, current anti-discrimination policies and judicial decisions often negate the best interest of children in the name of tolerance and equality.” Focus on the Family
We can’t say we didn’t see it all coming when Obergefell became the law of the land in 2015. Same-sex marriage became legal. What became freedom for gays and lesbians to marry became a threat to religious freedom, first regarding the meaning of marriage, and later on, the meaning of family.
But even before Obergefell, SCOTUS had already upheld one lawsuit against a wedding photographer unwilling to compromise his faith and provide services for a gay wedding. Other suits against florists, bakers, and wedding planners followed. Some are pending before the court.
Also under attack are religiously based adoption agencies who refuse to place children in homes with parents other than a married mother and father. Continue reading “Christian Adoption Under Fire”

Can Schools End Bullying?

“Bullying in school is prevalent. You may believe that your child’s school has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying, but you would be wrong. . . . The school system is so afraid of lawsuits that they will do anything to prevent punishing a student for bullying, fearing an angry parent will sue.” Anonymous Public School Teacher
But Izzy Kalman in Psychology Today takes a different tack. Kalman says it’s a “false assumption” that “bullying would be stopped if schools would intervene.”
He continues: “Researchers have been finding repeatedly that the most highly respected anti-bullying programs, developed by university-based psychological researchers, barely make a dent in the bullying situation in schools and often result in an increase. Several meta-analyses of school anti-bullying programs have been published since 2004, and they all find that at best they result in a 20% reduction in bullying and often result in an increase. One large-scale study found that children are more likely to be bullied in schools that have anti-bullying programs than in schools that don’t.”
The lack of response is specific to each case. The anti-bullying effort is general to each student body. That’s the problem. Continue reading “Can Schools End Bullying?”

America's Suicide Epidemic

“Society is not a bunch of people way out there who sit around big tables and think up political trends or cultural drifts; society is you. Your actions, your decisions, matter. What you do or don’t do has a ripple effect on everyone around you.” Joni Eareckson Tada 
Two men stand on the balcony of a big city high rise building. One of them is desperate and hopeless. The other is dealing with the baggage from his youth–rejection, anger, bitterness.
It is my favorite television moment ever. NBC’s This Is Us aired an episode in which Randall talks to a friend planning to commit suicide. Andy is losing his marriage and his career. He’s unloaded his belongings of value and plans to leap off the balcony to end his anguish. Continue reading “America's Suicide Epidemic”

Publication Update for 'Restoring the Shattered'

It’s an exciting conversation. You and your publisher discussing the details of your upcoming book.
“My upcoming book”–words I thought might never be able to say–and now I can thanks to Morgan James Publishing.
Here are some details:
The revised title: Restoring the Shattered: Illustrating Christ’s Love Through the Church in One Accord.
The front cover: Morgan James designers are working to bring the cover to life. I should have an image to show you in a few weeks.
A foreword: William D. Watkins–author, president of Literary Solutions, and my editor–has graciously agreed to pen the foreword for my book. I’m so honored that he accepted this commission. Continue reading “Publication Update for 'Restoring the Shattered'”

Easter Is Here

He has risen.
He has risen indeed.
Clouds and earthquake accompanied His death on Friday. Did the sun blaze in the disciples’ eyes on that Saturday of despair and lost hope?
Would I have been one who stood at the cross? Or would I have mixed in with the jeering crowd hoping no one would notice I was His follower? Continue reading “Easter Is Here”

Broken Bread, Risen Lord

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19-20 NIV)
On Thursday, He blessed and broke the bread.
On Friday, the Bread of Life let Himself be broken for us.
On Sunday, He defied death, sin, and oppression.
He rose.
Rise and stand for Him. Continue reading “Broken Bread, Risen Lord”