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Guest Post Nishoni Harvey #2 — a very special course!

🌟 Your instructor, Nishoni Harvey, has authored eight books and now develops aspiring writers into published authors through Authors Aflame.

🌟 She has been teaching English for 13 years with a Bachelors degree in education.

🌟 Now, she wants to teach you how to become an Authority Author to influence and impact the world through your story.

🌟 Her course will teach you how to get published!

🌟 Author Organizing will teach you how to market your book!

🌟 Everyone gets $500 off today!

🌟 The first person from this blog to email me will receive 30% off!

🌟 My email is nishoni@authorsaflame.com.

🌟 Tell me your name, what blog referred you, why you enjoy writing, what you write, and your email address! I’ll get back to you!

🌟 Good luck!

For more information on Authors Aflame, please visit www.authorsaflame.com.

Nishoni Harvey Authors Aflame
Nishoni Harvey Authors Aflame

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This Is How to Get Your Book Written and Published! — Guest Post by Nishoni Harvey

Are you ready to write your book? Are you ready to get published? Are you ready to receive the recognition you deserve? Are you ready to get your story out there so you can influence and impact lives?

Are you ready to help others in your niche? Are you ready to promote your business by getting the credentials under your belt that will lift you as an authority in your field?

Are you ready to start how for $500 off PLUS an additional 30% off?

Authors Aflame is here to help.

Logo of Authors Aflame: Creating Authority Authors
Logo of Authors Aflame Creating Authority Authors

The Author Organizing Course starts June 10th and runs the 11th, and then the 13th through the 15th from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM each night.

It covers:

✏️ Organizing Your Story

✏️ Organizing You, the Author

✏️ Organizing Your Tools

✏️ Organizing Your Plan

✏️ Organizing Your Book

✏️ Organizing for Publication

✏️ Organizing for Marketing

We are doing a giveaway! The first person from this blog to email me at nishoni@authorsaflame.com will receive 30% off their ticket to the Author Organizing Course! Everyone will receive $500 off until June 10th! In your email, tell me your name, which blog referred you, your email, and tell me why you enjoy writing, what you like to write, and what you have written! I’ll get back to you! 😊

For more information about Authors Aflame, visit us at www.authorsaflame.com.

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Mapped Out Murders Ready for Readers

mapped out murders 25

Sarah Groben is an LAPD Homicide detective and a pastor’s wife. She’s got six murders she wants to solve by Sunday. Members of a fledgling group for 10-40 window transplants seeking Christianity are being killed. A Muslim charity interested in better relations with Americans seems to be connected by the death of a former financial manager. Family members of the victims might also end up in the crosshairs if Sarah is right about a “Persecutor for Hire.”

Sarah’s partner is down with the flu and her husband Don seems like a tailor-made substitute with his knowledge of Middle eastern languages and cultures. But the case keeps getting more complicated by the minute, and Sarah and Don might not be able to crack it before the killing starts again.

Avoid the lines and crowds to be a first reader of this murder mystery with a twist. You can request pdf, epub, or mobi versions. Email me directly at mjmcfindley@gmail.com.

Here are a couple of snippets:

“You cannot pretend to charge me with a hate crime,” Suleiman sneered. “Christianity is the only thing the whole world is allowed to hate and to discriminate against. Look at your own schools! You ban candy canes because they represent Jesus, and celebrate Muslim culture freely. Everything else is protected, taught, encouraged. Who these days hates Christianity more than Americans?”

“Raif Izzettin, my old friend,” Don said as a shrunken, twisted old man with a thick cloud of white hair and beard opened the door of a run-down efficiency apartment in North Hollywood. “This is my wife, Sarah.”
“Groben, Groben, welcome! This is your wife? You never told me she was such a beauty!”
“Well, her name is Sarah,” Don said with a grin as they entered the tiny but tidy dwelling. 
“God bless you for putting up with this rascal, my dear,” Raif said as he waved them to seats. “I am making tea. Give me just a moment.”
Sarah looked around at the shelves and small tables crammed with Middle Eastern curios. “You have so many beautiful things,” she exclaimed as the man brought a tea tray.
“They are not mine. I keep them in trust until the day they are reclaimed,” Raif said as he served them tiny cups of sweet mint tea. “Perhaps Don has told you that we met when I was known in Turkey as the Moses of Istanbul. I do not boast to say that for many years God allowed me to hold a position in the government that I discreetly used to help the persecuted find safer places to live, or to leave the country altogether. All glory to Christ, that I was privileged to be used in that way.
“So many wanted to cling to their family possessions, but they could carry nothing past inspectors, so they entrusted the things to me. I still have people arrive at my door and ask for things. I praise God with them, that they still found refuge and safety after I was forced out. These are like sacred things to me. I know the story of each one of them.”
Sarah nodded. “I would love to hear some of those stories, another time, sir, with respect.”
Raif heaved a great sigh. “But of course, you are the detective. You are here about the deaths. How many now?”

Mapped Out Murders is available for preorder on Amazon for 99 cents, and is free on Kindle Unlimited. http://mybook.to/MappedOutMurders

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Music In The Early Church — post by Michael J. Findley

lastsupperJesus and the disciples attended Jewish synagogues and temple worship. These services included stringed, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The book of Psalms was the hymn book of the second temple. After finishing the Passover meal they sang a hymn, presumably not a Psalm, and presumably without instruments, before walking across the Kidron Valley to the garden of Gethsemane. Until forced out, first century Christians continued to worship in synagogues and follow Jewish customs.

Paul wrote to the new Gentile converts “Let the word of the Messiah inhabit you richly with wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and singing to God with thankfulness in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16 and “Then you will recite to one another psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; you will sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts,” Ephesians 5:19. This admonition was taken by some to mean antiphonal singing, with either two choirs or dividing the congregation into two parts and alternating the parts of the hymn or song.

Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to Trajan (61-113) about the proper punishment of Christians. “They had been accustomed to come together on a fixed day before daylight and to sing responsively a song to Christ as God.” (AD 112?)

Five times in the book of Revelation a song is sung in heaven; 5:9, 5:11, 14:1, 14:3, 15:3. Harps are played heaven. Revelation 5:8, 14:2, and 15:2. The musical instruments of Babylon are condemned, Revelation 18:22. Trumpets in heaven are sounded, but not used as musical instruments. Zechariah 9:14, Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Hebrews 12:19, Revelation 1:10, 4:1, 8:2, 6,7,8,10,12,13, 9:1,13,14

Justin the Martyr wrote (AD 155?) in his Apology to the Emperor Chapter 13 “to use [material possessions] for ourselves and those who need, and with gratitude to Him to offer thanks by invocations and hymns for our creation …”

“Chapter 41. The crucifixion predicted And again, in another prophecy, the Spirit of prophecy, through the same David, intimated that Christ, after He had been crucified, should reign, and spoke as follows: Sing to the Lord, all the earth, and day by day declare His salvation. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, to be feared above all the gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols of devils; but God made the heavens. Glory and praise are before His face, strength and glorying are in the habitation of His. Give Glory to the Lord, the Father everlasting. Receive grace, and enter His presence, and worship in His holy courts. Let all the earth before His face; let it be established, and not shaken. Let them rejoice among the nations. The Lord has reigned from the tree.”

Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome, approximately AD 235? “Then, rising up after supper, the children and virgins having prayed, they shall sing psalms. Then the deacon, holding the mixed cup of the offering, shall say a Hallelujah Psalm. Then, the presbyter having commanded, ‘And also such-and-such Psalms,’ after the bishop has offered the cup with the proper thanksgiving, all shall say “Hallelujah” as the Psalms are sung. And they shall say: We praise Him who is God most high; Glorified and praised is He, Then, when the Psalm is completed, he shall give thanks over the bread, and shall give the fragments to all the believers.”

Music had only two purposes in the earliest Church. It was used to instruct, build up, edify, believers. It was also used in direct address to God to worship God. There are no recorded instances of performing music to please those who listened. Performing music just to please the listeners has been condemned as a sin by thousands of pastors for over 1500 years. At the same time, music to glorify God is essential to worship in the Christian Church. The Spirit of the prophet must be controlled by the prophet and this includes music.
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Fue la llamada “Ultima cena” el seder de Pesaj??? | Blog …

 

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Thoughts on Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time — post by Michael J. Findley

A Wrinkle In Time 1st edition cover

Front cover art for A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. The book cover art copyright is believed to belong to the publisher, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, or the cover artist. Wikipedia

Thoughts on Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (from one who has not seen the movie) after just re-reading the book.

I personally believe that Disney did us a favor by removing all mention of God from the movie version. The name Jesus is only mentioned one time in the book, and in that instance as an equal with Euclid, DaVinci, Einstein, Gandhi, and others opposing evil. It is not a Christian book, though it promotes many Christian doctrines such as family, love, and faithfulness. It seems to be on a similar level to Harry Potter, but with Bible verses.

The writing style is very interesting. Like most books based on feelings, L’Engle gives just enough thought to the serious issues (raised on almost every page) to drive me crazy. It is well paced, with interesting action. For a very short book, Meg’s character is well developed.

Why did Disney wait so long to make this movie? The book seems to be founded on every modern Disney ideal. The protagonist is a teenage girl. Her parents are not together until the very end. Dad is a prisoner whom the children must rescue. The three spirit guides are female (Think Sleeping Beauty and her fairy guardians). One actually dresses in black like a witch. They are more powerful than any human. One of them used to be a star. Stars are living, spiritual beings in the book. There is a medium with a crystal ball, and she is called a medium. Discipline suppresses individuality. The universe is filled with planets, each one inhabited. The three children, with Calvin added to make three, all have psychic powers. Psychic powers are not only good, but necessary, to fight evil.

The book is told through Meg, the protagonist’s, feelings, a Disney’s standard formula. She is unsure of herself, yet attacks and beats up an older boy to defend her siblings. His mother calls her mother complaining that Meg injured her son. In the end it is Meg’s love for her 5 year old brother that breaks the hypnotic spell and saves him. Her love is a feeling, an emotional outburst, rather than any deeper concept as in the Scriptures.

Like C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength, earth is a silent planet being attacked by an evil psychic force. But Meg’s father is held prisoner on another planet in another solar system which is completely controlled by an evil disembodied brain called IT, which hypnotizes and requires complete obedience. In the end, they barely escape with her 5 year old brother Charles Wallace and return home to earth. Evil is left unchallenged, which cries out for a sequel.

 

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Yes, We Do Have a Newsletter!

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If you look down the left side of our blog you will see a newsletter subscription link. It’s been there awhile, but, finally, we published our first newsletter! Now, if you missed it, because you’re not a subscriber, we hope you’ll sign up for the newsletter and help us build a line of communication you’ll be glad to see coming. We can’t do that without you, though. Please sign up, get our first one, and give us a critique. We have questions. You have answers. We have new releases, free stuff, sales, promos, and more. But we need you to help us do a better job of communicating. If you’re a blog subscriber, thank you! If you’re also a newsletter subscriber, thank you again! Please tell others about us, so we can reach more people and have a greater effect for Christ. Thank You!

(PS: Subscribers will get access to a free book each time we send out a new letter. Join us!)

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What Is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World? — Post by Michael J. Findley

BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition

BraveNewWorldRevisited

“The nightmare of total organization, which I had situated in the seventh century After Ford, has emerged from the safest remote future and is now awaiting us, just around the next corner.” Brave New World Revisited 1958 Aldous Huxley

Brave New World ends with John, also called the Savage, hanging himself. John certainly viewed that civilization as an inescapable nightmare. The very terminology of Brave New World is the language of a nightmare. Yet if Aldous Huxley did not believe these principles to be good and desirable, he seems to at least believe that they were inevitable. “…Impersonal forces over which we have almost no control seem to be pushing us all in the direction of the Brave New Worldian nightmare; and this impersonal pushing is being consciously accelerated by representatives of commercial and political organizations who have developed a number of new techniques for manipulation, in the interest of some minority, the thoughts and feelings of the masses.” Brave New World Revisited

It certainly shows a lack of understanding to deny the influence of evil spirits. It seems odd, even hypocritical, that Huxley believed representatives of organizations are impersonal. Yet the justifications for total organization spoken by Mustapha Mond, Resident World Contoller of Western Europe [one of ten throughout the world], when talking to John, Bernard, and Helmholz in a private meeting to banish Bernard and Helmholz, seem to represent what Aldous Huxley believed in 1931.

“Because our world is not the same as Othello’s world. You can’t make flivvers without steel-and you can’t make tragedies without social instability. The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get. They’re well off; they’re safe; they’re never ill; they’re not afraid of death; they’re blissfully ignorant of passion and old age; they’re plagued with no mothers or fathers; they’ve got no wives, or children, or lovers to feel strongly about; they’re so conditioned that they practically can’t help behaving as they ought to behave. And if anything should go wrong, there’s soma.” Mustapha Mond Brave New World.

The phrase (sentence actually), “they’re not afraid of death” is a lie. It might be that citizens of the Brave New World are too busy and too conditioned to face or even think about death. But the death of John’s mother Linda shows death when they actually faced it. She returned to civilization after living for decades on an Indian Reservation in New Mexico. “At forty-four, Linda seemed, by contrast, a monster of flaccid and distorted senility.” She choose to escape reality and live entirely in a soma induced wonderland until her death shortly after her return.

“”Every one belongs to every …” Her voice suddenly died into an almost inaudible breathless croaking. Her mouth fell open: she made a desperate effort to fill her lungs with air. But it was as though she had forgotten how to breathe. She tried to cry out-but no sound came; only the terror of her staring eyes revealed what she was suffering. Her hands went to her throat, then clawed at the air–the air she could no longer breathe, the air that, for her, had ceased to exist.

“The Savage [her adult son John] was on his feet, bent over her. “What is it, Linda? What is it?” His voice was imploring; it was as though he were begging to be reassured.

“The look she gave him was charged with an unspeakable terror-with terror and, it seemed to him, reproach.

“She tried to raise herself in bed, but fell back on to the pillows. Her face was horrible distorted, her lips blue.” pp. 227,8

It is a society with no moral purpose or even reason for existing. Huxley uses the third person omnipotent point of view to explain this emptiness and loss. “In the taxicopter he [John] hardly even looked at her [Lenina]. Bound by strong vows that had never been pronounced, obedient to laws that had long since ceased to run, he sat averted and in silence. Sometimes, as though a finger had plucked at some taut, almost breaking string, his whole body would shake with a sudden nervous start.”

This moral vacuum is the result of rigidly enforced choices. “The author’s mathematical treatment of the conception of purpose is novel and highly ingenious, but heretical and, so far as the present social order is concerned, dangerous and potentially subversive. Not to be published.” He [Mustapha Mond-Resident World Controller of Western Europe; one of ten world controllers] underlined the words. “The author will be kept under supervision. His transference to the Marine Biological station of St. Helena may become necessary.” A pity, he thought, as he signed his name. It was a masterly piece of work. But once you began admitting explanations in terms of purpose-well, you didn’t know what the result might be. It was the sort of idea that might easily decondition the more unsettled minds among the higher casts-make them lose their faith in happiness as the Sovereign Good and take to believing, instead, that the goal was somewhere beyond, somewhere outside the present human sphere, that the purpose of life was not the maintenance of well-being, but some intensification and refining of consciousness, some enlargement of knowledge. Which was, the Controller reflected, quite possibly true. But not, in the present circumstance, admissible. He picked up his pen again, and under the words “Not to be published” drew a second line, thicker and blacker than the first; then sighed. “What fun it would be,” he thought, “if one didn’t have to think about happiness!”

Government existed solely to produce happiness. “”Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, one of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrown by passion of doubt. Happiness is never grand.”” [Mustapha Mond]

Like the Dark Ages, the greatest crime is novelty, something new. The established religion declares itself to be infallible. “Every change is a menace to stability. That’s another reason why we’re so chary of applying new inventions. Every discovery in pure science is potentially subversive; even science must sometimes be treated as a possible enemy. Yes, even science.” [Mustapha Mond]

“Yes,” Mustapha Mond was saying, “that’s another item in the cost of stability. It isn’t only art that’s incompatible with happiness; it’s also science. Science is dangerous; we have to keep it most carefully chained and muzzled.”

People today also claim to believe in science. “”Yes; but what sort of science?” asked Mustapha Mond sarcastically. “You’ve had no scientific training, so you can’t judge. I was a pretty good physicist in my time. Too good–good enough to realize that all our science is just a cookery book, with an orthodox theory of cooking that nobody’s allowed to question, and a list of recipes that mustn’t be added to except by special permission from the head cook. I’m the head cook now.””

“Helmholtz laughed. “Then why aren’t you on an island yourself?”

“Because, finally, I preferred this,” the Contoller answered. “I was given the choice: to be sent to an island, where I could have got on with my purer science, or to be taken on to the Controllers’ Council with the prospect of succeeding in due course to an actual Controllership. I chose this and let the science go.” After a little silence, “Sometimes,” he added, “I rather regret the science. Happiness is a hard master–particularly other people’s happiness. A much harder master, if one isn’t conditioned to accept it unquestioningly, than truth.” He sighed, fell silent again, then continued in a brisker tone, “Well, duty’s duty. One can’t consult one’s own preference. I’m interested in truth, I like science. But truth’s a menace, science is a public danger. As dangerous as it’s been beneficent. It has given us the stablest equilibrium in history…”

Brave New World, written 1931, published 1932

“We who were living in the second quarter of the twentieth century A.D. were the inhabitants, admittedly, of a gruesome kind of universe; but the nightmare of those depression years was radically different from the nightmare of the future, described in Brave New World. Ours was a nightmare of too little order; theirs, in the seventh century A.F. [After Ford], of too much. In the process of passing from one extreme to the other, there would be a long interval, so I imagined, during which the more fortunate third of the human race would make the best of both worlds – the disorderly world of liberalism and much too orderly Brave New World where perfect efficiency left no room for freedom or personal initiative.

“In the light of what we have recently learned about animal behavior in general, and human behavior in particular, it has become clear that control through the punishment of undesirable behavior is less effective, in the long run, than control through the reinforcement of desirable behavior by rewards, and that government through terror works on the whole less well than government through the non-violent manipulation of the environment and of the thoughts and feelings of individual men, women and children. Punishment temporarily puts a stop to undesirable behavior, but does not permanently reduce the victim’s tendency to indulge in it. Moreover, psycho-physical by-products of punishment may be just as undesirable as the behavior for which as individual has been punished. Psychotherapy is largely concerned with the debilitating or anti-social consequences of past punishments.

“The society described in 1984 is a society controlled almost exclusively by punishment and the fear of punishment. In the imaginary world of my own fable, punishment is infrequent and generally mild. The nearly perfect control exercised by the government is achieved by systematic reinforcement of desirable behavior, by many kinds of nearly non-violent manipulation, both physical and psychological, and by genetic standardization.

“And why has the nightmare, which I had projected into the seventh century A.F., made so swift an advance in our direction?”

Brave New World Revisited 1958

This is the best those who deny God and claim that His purposes cannot be known can do. They understand the results of certain forms of evil. They understand that this vision of the future is a nightmare. But without God, their solutions are only different forms of nightmares. Without God, there are many other possible nightmare scenarios besides a totalitarian 1984 verses a manipulative Brave New World.

“But as it is written, No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” I Corinthians 2:9 quoting Isaiah 64:6 ISV

“You cause me to know the path of life; in your presence is joyful abundance, at your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 116:11 ISV

“And since I’m going away to prepare a place for you, I’ll come back again and welcome you into my presence, so that you may be where I am.” John 14:3 ISV

“Dear friends, we are now God’s children, but what we will be like has not been revealed yet. We know that when the Messiah is revealed, we will be like him, because we will see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2 ISV

“For everything that is in the world–the desire for fleshly gratification, the desire for possessions, and worldly arrogance–is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world and its desires are fading away, but the person who does God’s will remains forever.” 1 John 2:16,17

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