Monthly Archives: May 2015

Can You Change? Will You Change? — Post by Mary C. Findley


We love books. But we live in a semi truck. Yes. We live there, full-time, hubby and I. It’s not one of those with a motor home setup. It has small storage spaces here and there, but we have to have clothes, food, tools, personal care supplies ,,, Not a lot of room for books. We have perhaps a dozen books, if that many, in the truck, and they fill an entire cupboard. They are reference books that only exist in print, or samples of some of the books we have written in print format.

We also have a Kindle Keyboard, a Kindle Fire, and a tablet. Among all three, we may have 2000 books. Not sure. But it’s probable that we have more than you do in your whole house.

Do you read ebooks? More and more people say they do. It’s still kind of like a novelty, reading ebooks as opposed to print books. Some get them on their phones, their tablets, or even own an ereader especially for books. Some claim they buy a lot of books there, or take advantage of the free ones that are EVERYWHERE online. You can certainly save a ton of money, in most cases, by buying ebooks versus print books.

But many people still prefer “real” books. They want to hold them in their hands, and they have bookshelves filled with them. Why not? Books are nice. Hardcover books are substantial, and last a long time. They can even become valuable. For thousands of years, people have valued physical reading material, be it clay tablets, scrolls, parchment, or paper books. They are treasures, and can be ornaments to a home. Beautiful scroll cases. Ornate bookshelves.

But what happens when you no longer have a home? You say that won’t happen? It has happened to many people, for many reasons. I’m just going to focus on just two reasons, though. I’m not necessarily talking about homelessness. That’s a different issue, for another time.

One reason for not having a home is the need to be mobile, like our current need. Our work requires constant travel. Go where a load is, pick it up, go where it needs to deliver. We have some stuff in storage, but that’s mostly more books, which are kind of becoming a burden, because storage has to be cared for and paid for.

Another reason for travel is to make personal appearances. Many sales jobs require that. Public speakers of all kinds have to do that. We are trying to segue into that, to be teachers and to promote our books by making appearances at conferences and conventions. Go where the people are, to tell them about what you want them to buy from you. But even people who do that usually have a home base — a place they keep coming back to. Normally that’s a home, with books and bookshelves.And they sell physical books at these appearances.

But there’s a third reason for constant travel. It’s called persecution. People have suffered that for thousands of years, too. Elijah in the Scriptures is an excellent example. Where did he come from? Where did he live? We have no idea. But we know of two incidences in his short career where he had to pick up and move out, fast. He predicted no rain for around three years and then God told him to run and hide. After the drought ended with that spectacular sacrifice on Carmel, he ran again. Pretty sure he didn’t take his book collection with him. Maybe, you’ll say, he didn’t have to make that second move. He just did it because he was scared. He still did it, fast, and likely didn’t take a lot of baggage.

The point is that we as believers are too rooted in our homes and our stuff. What if we had to move, suddenly? What would happen to our books? How would we study, learn, teach, and even amuse or distract ourselves and those we care about? Don’t give me the excuse that earlier believers didn’t have electronic devices. We do, but we’re relegating them to the toy department. It’s time to realize they are tools God has given us.

Apocalyptic stories drill home the mantra that we will be at a mere survival level. We will trudge, and kill the enemy, whatever it is, and trudge some more, and scrounge for food, and hide, and become hardened and tough, and nothing else will matter, until we reach that refuge, however elusive it is. One day we will get home again, and start accumulating stuff again.

But what about the people in the Scriptures who wandered in sheepskins and goatskins? What if we never have a regular home again? What will we do for books then? How will we teach our children?

I haven’t seen the movie The Book of Eli, but I understand that Eli listened to recordings for most of the movie as he traveled. That’s one way to “read,” and necessary for him. It sounds like a great idea that he had to barter for power sources to recharge his listening device. A nifty, practical concern.

Still, the movie, to me, seems to have had a rather silly point — fighting and struggling and killing and nearly dying to possess or preserve a physical book. When are we going to realize that digital books can live forever, go anywhere, come to us easily, instantly? They take up almost no physical space. They can have beautiful, color illustrations. They can have sounds, even be listened to rather than just read. These things are treasures in the aether. They can flee persecution with us, in our pocket or our backpack.

Christ said to the disciples to go to the ends of the world, sharing the Good News. But we won’t go, because we won’t leave our stuff, and some of that stuff is physical books. Print Bibles, concordances, study guides, devotionals. Homeschoolers even have tons of paper to teach their children, with the best of intentions. Maybe the disciples wouldn’t leave their stuff, either, and that’s why persecution came. When it did, they went everywhere, preaching.

Most of us still haven’t got the message that anyone can go and tell the Good News, because we’re stuck to our stuff. We can’t even answer a question out on the street without going home and looking it up in our paper Bible. What if your Bible was right with you, in your phone? What if, instead of your kid using his handheld device to play games or check Instagram, he had his Bible, his schoolbooks, wondrous, edifying pleasure reading, right there in his hands?

When there’s a fire or a tornado or some other disaster, we have to pick up and move fast. What do people grab first? Their phones. Sometimes nothing else.

When we are persecuted (and we will be) we will have to move fast and travel light. Many people already are fleeing death for their faith. What will you be able to take? Not those bookshelves of Bibles and homeschool curriculum and reference books. Probably not any of your physical books. But what if your tablet or phone is also your book shelf? What treasures can you take, and preserve, and share?

Just think about it.

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Filed under Bible Teaching, Current Issues, Education, Everyday observations, History, Humor, Publishing, Travel

From The Most Dangerous Game –Notifying the family of Bill’s surgery

new sue dangerous game cover 25

This was not the conversation I had forseen with Jasmine. I thought Bill’s condition might tug at her heartstrings but I didn’t intend to bring up the spirits. The intensity of the conversation was deeply disturbing. I was having a lot of trouble keeping Bill’s airways clear. I thought I would have to take him away and maybe even get help from Van Helsing if he got much worse.
“Did God hurt papa because I was so wicked? Was it my fault?”
That one didn’t take much time to consider. “I don’t think so, little girl. There are plenty of wicked spirits that want to hurt people. Those spirits had nothing to do with you.”
“Why doesn’t God take all the bad spirits away? Then we could be good.”
“Little girl, it’s not what comes from the outside that makes us bad. It’s the choices we make on the inside. We open up the door of our own bad self and the spirits just waltz on in and make themselves at home.”
“John Silver … He tries to be my daddy, but only when he’s away from Fat Fleur Lisel … Why does she take and take and take everything I have?”
“Jasmine …” It was getting so late. Bill was so distraught. “We came down to see you because Papa is going to have an operation in the morning. We think it might help him to at least be able to talk through a machine. But we’re not sure …”
“Not sure of what?”
“Not sure if he’ll come out all right. Not sure … if he’ll wake up.”
“I could look in the quicksilver and see … but I don’t have my bowl …”
“I don’t want you to look in the quicksilver!” I couldn’t stop that flash of anger. “That spirit’s not part of this. God’s spirit will decide what happens to your daddy. He always has. God holds your daddy in the palm of his hand. We have to go. Don’t you be giving those other spirits entrance here, Jasmine. Don’t you do it.”
“All right, mama. I won’t. Can I pray for papa? Will God hear me?”
“Little girl, that’s between you and God. It always has been.”

sue shapeshifter secret

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Jasmine Silver kidnaps Sluefoot Sue — from The Most Dangerous Game

jasmine alone

Jasmine Silver gave me a hand up and I settled the cross-piece of the crutch under my arm. I hadn’t used any sort of crutch in so many years it was an adjustment, to say the least. “Thanks for your kindness.”
“It ain’t kindness!” she squalled. “I expect you two to do your part to man stations. This is a small ship, but it’s not one I can run alone. It was set up to be crewed by automatons but for some reason they are not working.”
I took my first good look around the small, bowl-like vessel and was stunned to see half a dozen smooth bronze bodies standing motionless around the soft-surfaced center. They were kinda built in place, and clearly supposed to be operating solar sails or shoveling coal or any number of things that would keep the ship flying.
“What happened to them?” I asked.
“If I knew, would I be asking for your help? We are far off course. My instruments are frozen or spinning, and the only thing keeping us in the air is the Aether Beastie, but she doesn’t understand much I say. Just come, or go, or eat, or up, or down.”
I risked a look over the side and saw an immense creature beneath the ship. I could mostly see through its bluish-pinkish hide, but its tentacles hung far below us and its multiple crests bobbed us up and down like swells on the ocean. Wherever we were, I couldn’t see any land. No Europe, no British Isles, no nothing.
“How long has the ship been stalled?” I asked, stumping my way to what looked like the main instrument panel and pushing an automaton aside to get a look. I had to ignore the way it rocked and went over ninety degrees, then just stayed that way.
“Almost since I cleared land.” From the look on her face, it plumb galled Jasmine to make that admission. Immediately it crossed my mind that Ollie Twist could have figured out there was an airship in the game and begun to jam the controls. I risked a glance around at the cloudy sky but saw no sign of pursuit. We’d learned a few tricks about stealth ourselves, so that didn’t necessarily mean a rescue wasn’t being attempted.

new sue dangerous game cover 25

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