Dr. Bobby Kelly’s portrait from the Oklahoma Baptist University website. www.okbu.edu
Yesterday Dr. Bobby Kelly of Oklahoma Baptist University preached at South Tulsa Baptist Church on John 21. He pointed out that after the extraordinary events of Chapter 20 — the Resurrection and all that surrounded it, Chapter 21 is such ordinary-sounding stuff. The disciples went fishing. Jesus made breakfast on the beach.
But, while Dr. Kelly pointed out the usual agape vs phileo love conversation between Peter and Jesus, he said the point about which word was used when was far less important than something else. Peter denied Jesus three times. He must have been so racked with guilt over that. Yet Jesus gave Peter three opportunities to express his love. Now Peter could get over his guilt and move on. Jesus offers us the same opportunity, to get rid of paralyzing guilt and move on into His service. We should take Him up on that. — post by Mary C. Findley
South Tulsa Baptist Church www.southtulsabaptist.org/
It’s a pain to write reviews. If I liked a book, I liked it. I don’t need to review it. Maybe I’ll tell some friends. Maybe I’ll lend the book to someone else. And it sounds stupid to say, “This book was great! I loved it!” What good does that do anyone? Other readers don’t care about reviews. They pick a book because they get pulled in by the cover, they’re a fan of the genre, or a friend or some bigshot blogger they follow recommended it. Who cares about my little dumb reviews?
Honestly, I can sympathize with those reasons for not writing a review. But I’m still going to shoot them down and give you some help to understand why every time you read a book but don’t review it, you are sucking just a little bit of life out of that author. If people keep taking these attitudes and not writing reviews, eventually, those authors will die, in a publishing sense. Their books will receive little attention and that’s death for a book and for its author. He really can’t keep his story alive by himself. He needs your help.
- “It’s a pain to write a review.” No, it’s not. It’s easy. I even gave you a pattern in a previous blog post. Take a look, follow the steps, and voila! The review is done before you know it. Here’s that link. https://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/how-to-write-a-book-review-the-author-will-love/
- “Maybe I’ll tell some friends.” Please, please, do. But imagine how many friends you can tell if you write your opinion down. You can widen your influence and the author’s if you just take those few minutes and write that review.
- “It sounds stupid to say. ‘It was great! I loved it'” Maybe it does to you, but it sounds like music to the author. It’s like water on brown grass. It’s like food to an author’s empty stomach. Be that water. be that food. Say whatever you can say. Write whatever you can write. Just go there and do that review thing!
- “Other readers don’t care about reviews.” You might be surprised by how many do. Many people read reviews before deciding to buy a book. If there aren’t many, they might skip on to one that has some.
- “Who cares about my dumb little reviews?” But there’s another reason to give an author reviews. It helps give his book reality and credibility with sites where he might want to promote it. Real, genuine reviews are like seeds. They multiply opportunities for an author to get known, get read, and get more sales. You can help in this way that costs you so little. You can help a lot.
I, as an author care about your reviews. They’re not dumb. They’re your thoughts and feelings. People who put their thoughts and feelings into writing a book welcome feedback. What’s the point in writing a book if no one cares enough to share their thoughts about it? I look at my beloved children, my books that I worked on to produce. I think, when some have ten or more reviews, and some have one or two, or even none, that nobody loves those children. Nobody cares about them, so it must be nobody cares about me either. And I wither a little. I get thirstier, and hungrier, and I die a little.
I failed to mention one thing about reviews. They don’t have to be good ones. Sure, parents want everyone to love their kids, but if you’ve got constructive criticism on why a book isn’t what you hoped it would be, put that down, too. Don’t think all we want is a string of fives and maybe a few fours. Lay it out there — what you liked and what you didn’t. If we think our books are perfect, we need your humbling. We need your honesty. Help us be better authors. Even if we don’t do a rewrite of that book, it might help us do the next one better.
So help us. That’s what reviews are really all about. We are flowers. Water us, feed us, encourage us, pinch off our dead blooms and help us grow new ones. Don’t let our books and our fire to write die in discouragement and dim corners. Shine a light on them. we need your help. We can’t do this alone. We are only the authors. You are the readers. — post by Mary C. Findley
A couple of years ago I took the plunge into children’s book illustrating and here is my first effort. This is a fantasy frame tale for children involves a “runt of the litter” kitty named Archibald who helps teach lessons of loyalty and the search for belonging. He travels through Bible history seeking his “forever home,” meeting true heroes of the faith. This first one is about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. You’ve never heard the fiery furnace from a cat’s point of view, have you?
Archie is an odd cat who hates fish, but children will enjoy searching through the story for a hidden fish on each page. The book includes full-color illustrations and at the end there are devotional lessons that make for great snuggle-time teaching moments for anyone who loves teaching kids the Word of God.
Archie visits the throne room of Nebuchadnezzar but even a cat who has experienced the special love and care of God can’t seem to save his new friends from this king’s wrath.
Maybe the angels who sang Archie to sleep as a kitten will charge in to the rescue?
Things certainly don’t look good for his friends, and there’s nothing Archie can do but pray!
Archibald and the fiery Furnace is only 99 cents right now, so come to Christian Book Finds and have a look! http://christianfictionebooks.blogspot.com/
Enjoy the story of Archibald the abandoned kitty’s journey into a better understanding of God and how He works through His Word. — post by Mary C. Findley