Category Archives: Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Ancient Sources — Post by Michael J. Findley


Cuneiform inscription found on the south side of the Van Castle hill, eastern Turkey. It’s several metres tall and wide, 25 centuries old and the message comes from the Persian king Xerxes. In Old Persian, Babylonian and Elamite Bjørn Christian Tørrissen – Own work by uploader, http://bjornfree.com/galleries.html Wikipedia

“Can you please reference some sources you used for your Hittite series?”
Seems like a simple, innocuous question. However, the first series of books I wrote include What Is An Establishment of Religion?, What Is Secular Humanism?, and What Is Science? As SCOTUS Justice Scalia wrote “The United States Supreme Court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion.” Antonin Scalia, in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, U.S. Supreme Court, 1987

Modern authors are so indoctrinated in the Established Religion of Secular Humanism that using them as sources for ancient history are worse than useless. You will need to spend considerable time unlearning their indoctrination before you can begin learning actual history. So here a few essentials before recommending sources.

1) Archbishop Ussher’s dates are essentially correct. Sir Isaac Newton also wrote a history of the world based on the evidence in Scripture and came to similar conclusions, that the world was created approximately 4000 BC. Sir Isaac Newton admitted that his dates could be off by decades, which is reasonable. Both Ussher and Newton use the Hebrew OT Masoretic text. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, the LXX or Septuagint add names to the geneaological records, making the creation centuries older. The first tablet of the Sumerian king’s list is different from the rest of the tablets. The rest use a base 60 numbering system. However, if the first tablet uses a base 10 system, then the number of kings are the same number and lived for the same number of years as the geneaological records in Genesis 5 between Adam and Noah in the Hebrew Masoretic text.

2) There are many minor adjustments which been made recently. Ussher has the date of the Exodus 1491 BC. Theile The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings cross references Assyrian chronology and dates the Exodus 1446 BC. The Hebrew chronology during the time of Hezekiah is uncertain. Many dissertations have shifted the exact dates back towards Ussher’s 1491 BC, but not quite that far. https://answersingenesis.org/bible-history/evidentialism-the-bible-and-assyrian-chronology/

3) Carbon 14 dating is based on a constant formation of 14C by cosmic ray bombardment of 14N high in earth’s upper atmosphere. However, a ratio of 14C:12C the nonradioactive stable isotope is necessary to arrive at a date. The established religion of Secular Humanism begins with the belief that 12C has been stable and constant for over 100,000 years. The worldwide catastrophic flood 1656 years after creation was caused by the single antediluvian continent breaking up. That volcanic activity resulted in a massive outpouring of 12C. According to Ussher the flood occurred approximately 2350 BC. The levels of environmental 12C did not fall to the levels we have measured for the past 2,000 years until about 600 BC. Items radiocarbon dated during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and his father Nabopolasser are in line with Ussher’s dates. The Minoan eruption of Thera is 14C dated between 1640-1540 BC. Making the reasonable assumption that the Thera eruption coincides with the Exodus, 14C dating is between 60-160 years older than actual dates at this time. Artifacts 14C dated 2300 years old and older have actual dates very soon after the flood.

4) Like the Assyrians and the Egyptians, the Hittites have an Old Kingdom, an intermediate period, and a New Kingdom. There are many works correlating the dates of the Egyptian and Hebrew chronologies. This one is usable. https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/unwrapping-pharaohs/

Comparing Egyptian and Hebrew chronologies, the Exodus ruined Egypt. That fits best with the end of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, which ended with the mysterious disappearance of the 13th dynasty. This begins the ruin of Egypt, the 2nd Intermediate Period. During this time Amalek ruled Egypt. Saul’s campaign to destroy Amalek brought about New Kingdoms of Egypt, the Assyrians, and the Hittites at the same time as the Israelite monarchy. The tel el Amarna letters, found in Egypt, written in Akkadian cuneiform, document diplomatic relationships during the New Kingdom. The letters between the Hittite Queen Puduhepa and Ramses the Great are especially enlightening. http://www.amarnaproject.com

5) The 8th century BC library of Ashurbanipal in Ninevah: https://www.academia.edu/2394909/The_British_Museums_Ashurbanipal_Library_Project
The Ugarit texts: http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/ugarit.html
The official chronicles of Babylon and Assyria: https://www.livius.org/sources/about/mesopotamian-chronicles/
The Babylonians reference the Hittites as the Hattie, with some spelling variations.

6) Many years of searching pyramid texts, funerary art, and obscure but interesting documents to learn how ordinary people lived in the 2nd millenium BC. The most massive and helpful collection along this line is Sacred Texts. https://www.sacred-texts.com
The editor of the sacred-texts website died in 2012 and to the best of my knowledge the site is maintained, but not updated.

7) The most important source for Hittites, the library of their capital city Hattusa.
https://eduscapes.com/history/beginnings/1400bce.htm
https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/the-last-days-of-hattusa/
https://vici.org/vici/24102/
http://www.ancient-wisdom.com/turkeyhattusa.htm
http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/1/777777190247/

I hope that this minor overview is just a start. These are “some sources.” I read several thousand cuneiform documents while writing these books. Translations, not the original Akkadian. That is not as difficult as it seems, since most cuneiform tablets are small and only a few sentences contain important information. One interesting fact I learned along the way is that over 2 million cuneiform tablets have never been translated. If anyone needs something to do…

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Mapped Out Murders Ready for Readers

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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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12 Days of Christmas: Authors want to meet readers and give you stuff!

Don’t let Christmas shopping get you down! You don’t have to get out of those fuzzy slippers to find great books and get to know great authors waiting to meet you!

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Please join us starting Monday December 10th and continuing through December 21st. Every day you can see what authors are up to. You could win a $250 gift card or one of two Kindles, not to mention authors will be having their own giveaways.

You’ll find Christian fiction and maybe even devotionals or nonfiction to warm your heart and draw you closer to the reason for the season. Romances will flourish, adventures will thrill you, and clean and wholesome stories will charm away the stress and give you a few less presents to worry about.

Join our facebook group here to be ready for Monday’s festivities.

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Enjoy, like, and share this video made by Samantha Fury

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Mapped Out Murders: a NaNoWriMo Project by Mary C. Findley

 

My NaNoWrimo project for this year is called Mapped Out Murders. NaNoWriMo, by the way, is a project to write at least 50,000 words on a new novel project during the month of November. You need to write a little under 1700 words a day to reach that goal. I won’t tell you how far behind I am, because it’s very far. I used to get very stressed out about being behind, but right now I’m just happy to be writing pretty much every day, and to have this story to work on.

Mapped Out Murders is the story of Sarah Groben, a homicide detective. She has a very strange quirk that keeps getting her in trouble at the precinct. She won’t be alone with her male colleagues. That means no male partner. Yet Sarah has had the highest case closure rate of any detective in the department for years. When Sarah’s partner Rachel comes down with the flu, the captain orders her to go alone to the scene of a murder. The victim has been stabbed multiple times. When Sarah looks up to find the witness who called in the crime, she is shocked to see an old pastor friend and her husband, Don, who happens to be the department chaplain.

Don becomes her temporary partner as they investigate a series of killings linked by Google maps taking them from location to location. All but one of the victims are middle eastern men. I got the idea for this story from two recent events: One is the scorn endured by Vice President Mike Pence over his refusal to be alone with a woman not his wife, and the #MeToo Movement. I wondered what would happen if a woman took the same stand against being in potentially compromising situations with men. The other inspiration was a recent Voice of the Martyrs conference, where an Iranian man told the story of multiple Christian leaders in Iran, including his father, being murdered and left with a paper in each pocket with an address where another body could be found.

VOM

Detective Sarah Grobin and her police chaplain husband Don struggle to solve a string of murders featuring the brutal early morning stabbing deaths of middle aged men, all in the same day. Map printouts found on the bodies lead Sarah to each murder site but the third body doesn’t fit the perfect profile.

From mugging to hate crime against middleastern immigrants to a sudden dead end, the motive just won’t stay neatly pinned down. Worse still, Sarah and Don fear withholding evidence when they discover what appears to be the one sure connection between the first two victims. Revealing it might endanger a fragile work by hidden believers ministering to those who may have left Islam and embraced Christianity.

A man and a woman of european appearance communicate with each other.

Khalif Nour struggles to understand the murder of his father while grappling with a growing mountain of contradictions between the abusive, unfaithful man he thought he knew and what he learns from those who knew a completely different man. Secrets kept by the victims and family members like himself muddy the already turbulent waters as the body count starts rising again. Khalif is forced to cooperate with his tempestuous sister Taif as well as the strange detective and her husband.

Sarah is at her wits’ end until a text by mistake may give her a “persecutor for hire” and a way to unmask the Mapped Out Murders killer.

Excerpt:

“What’s your read on this guy?” Homicide detective Sarah Groben asked as she and her husband Don waited in the hallway. “I’m sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t ask you to help with this. You’re still trying to process his father’s death. At least someone is mourning for him.”

“No, it’s okay. And you’re right,” Don replied.” It’s hard to miss the fact that Nasir’s not grief-stricken. He was genuinely surprised, though, when he saw his father’s face. And he certainly doesn’t seem to be relieved, or happy, or anything that would suggest guilt.”

“I agree. That was a look of shock. Curiosity, too, maybe. But for a second, he looked angry. Why would he be angry at his father?”

“There had to be something seriously wrong in the family for Fares to leave them, and to leave Iran. That was another shock to his son, finding out Fares had come here. He never talked much about his past. We try to take the view that whatever happened to a person who comes to us, it’s under the blood, but it’s so strange that Fares wouldn’t tell us he had family members living.”

“That emergency contact card was fresh and new-looking,” Sarah pointed out. “If he’d found out where his son was, why did he never contact him?”

“Can I see the card?” Don asked. Sarah handed the white pasteboard to him. He turned it over and gasped.

“What is it?”

“It was dark, so I didn’t notice it when you showed me before, but this is one of the cards Fares had made up for his ministry. “It’s all embossing, with no actual ink. You can hardly tell what it’s for, but if you hold it up to the light, you can see he had it specially printed.”

Fears cast out,” Sarah read. “Tongues loosed. What does that mean?”

The book goes live tomorrow! Preorder yours while it’s still 99 cents!

http://mybook.to/MappedOutMurders

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What Is the Best Way to Learn What Your Opponent Believes? — post by Michael J. Findley

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In answer to a Quora question: What’s the best way to learn the opposing side’s arguments when it comes to politics?

What is best varies from person to person. I read Plato’s Republic, then acquired an audio version to listen to it many times. Rather than the Communist Manifesto, Plato is the real foundation of the left. Communism/socialism is older than Plato, but Plato is a good beginning. I also read the works of the French revolutionaries, such as Voltaire.

While they were influential in their day, they lack an overall depth of thought. Next I read the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, which I bought for 50 cents. When a dog ate them, I did not think they were worth replacing. Next I read the personal experiences of those who lived in countries where these religions where forced on the populace, such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. 

I learned that the term “the left” came from the French Revolution. Revolutionaries took over the French Parliament and sat on the left side of the King. Everyone who opposed them sat to the right of the King. So the term “the Right” means opposed to the Left. “The Right” is not a specific belief or position. It simply means opposed to Communism/Socialism/Fascism. All are various versions of dialectical materialism; tyranny, to use the language of Thomas Jefferson. With Communism, dialectical materialism is god, controlled entirely by the government.

Socialism permits business to join the ruling class of government. Fascism permits anyone who is willing to join the party to rule over those who resist Fascism. Conservatism is quite different depending on the country. In the USA, it stands for private property, personal responsibility, free enterprise, and the understanding (belief), that these gifts are rights from God as explained in the Word of God. Government can only take rights away. It cannot bestow God given rights on anyone.

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When Moving Day Comes: CreateSpace to KDP

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Among my indie author friends, I am seeing a good deal of excitement and concern over the fact that CreateSpace, the go-to print book destination for many of us, is closing down. Our books will now be merged with Kindle Direct Publishing. I am going through this conversion now, and, with 50 titles in print, you can imagine it made me a bit nervous. For the most part the transition has been pretty smooth. I will share the steps in my process in order, and hope to help with what is easy and what is a bit tricky.

Most of us have gotten an email announcing the changeover. Some were able to go straight to CreateSpace and follow three easy steps to transfer books. Some of us, however, were a bit bewildered when we didn’t find any way to activate the process. I was able to take the first step, to verify and link up the two accounts. but that was as far as it went. I waited very impatiently, followed other author comments as they got the nod and did the switch. Nothing for me.

Then one day I had to send a question to KDP. That’s when I saw that one of the things you could ask them about was the changeover. When I clicked on that option, the ability to make the transfer blossomed before my eyes. So I took the plunge and made the transfer. Almost all the books came over very easily. Time will tell if there are problems with the books themselves, but so far it went very easily.

I saw that other people were still talking about the transfer. Some mentioned that there were a few things to be aware of. I wanted to share those here to try to get everything in one place.

  1. You may need to link some print and ebook files manually. Just run through your bookshelf list and see if they all appear to be linked up on your KDP dashboard. If not, follow the instructions. It does a search for the same/similar title and links them up.
  2. You will have access to two more keyword slots. Be sure to take advantage of those.
  3. You can choose one more BISAC category. This helps with discoverability.
  4. You will want to check worldwide rights to potentially reach readers in more countries.
  5. Check your prices and royalties. KDP print figures them differently, especially on shorter works. Adjust as needed.

Here are a couple more items that won’t affect everyone, it seems, but they have affected me.

  1. After changing my books over to KDP print, I got an email saying I would need to change my Benny and the Bank Robber study guides. They implied I wasn’t the author of the original works (I am), or that the original work isn’t included (it is). Happily, when I explained, they published the student and teacher editions without changes.
  2. The first time I tried to publish a print book directly through KDP print, I couldn’t get it to accept my cover. I’ve been designing print covers for myself and others for years with basically very few problems. But the print preview for this kept showing that the cover was sized and positioned wrong, no matter how much I adjusted. I finally gave up and went back to CreateSpace. But now, there’s no going back. So, yesterday I wanted to redo a book already published on CreateSpace and ported over to to KDP. I had no real problem with the interior. The cover, however, kept coming out too high, text at the top outside the dotted line. But, after a few adjustments, I got it to work, I think. Still waiting for final approval, but it looks good. I am hopeful. I think KDP Print is improving its customer experience and they will get it right.

So take the plunge! Please comment about issues you have had with the changeover. We can all help each other get through this. That’s what the indie author community does best. I’d love to hear how the process went (or is going) for you.

Post by Mary C. Findley image from Pixabay User Fabianne1

 

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The Write Stuff with Parker J. Cole: Interview Time!

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Parker J. Cole has a radio show called The Write Stuff. It exists specifically to encourage and showcase writers of all kinds. Earlier this year she asked many authors to join a group to help her line up guests for her show. I had wanted to do this for some time, but when we lived in the truck bandwidth and minutes were scarce. Also, I was scared of doing a live interview, even just a voice one. So I took my courage in both hands and signed up for the list. Today was the day, and it was a great experience. I’m going to share the link here so you can listen for yourself.

The subject of my interview was mostly my newest series, His Sign. The first book is called The Wait Is Over.  A few of the themes we talked about included people waiting for a sign to serve God. Drew Goddard got a sign nobody could ignore. We also talked about people who have left the church, especially if they believe it has hurt them. Some have left because they only got milk, never meat to help them get stronger and grow up in God. Another topic we covered was avoiding people we think may hurt us. We lose the ability to trust, and we run from those who, if we just took the time to listen to them, we might see mean to do us good.

God is in all these themes. He will tell us how to serve Him, in His way and His time, not ours. He is not responsible for the failures and hurt caused by sinful people in the church. He is perfect love, grace, and mercy.

Whether you are a reader or a writer, you need to become a fan of Parker’s show. She gives insight into so many kinds of books. There’s encouragement, faith, and great advice of all kinds on the show.  Readers are going to hear about books they’ll want to read. Writers are going to hear that someone shares their struggles, their dreams, and their desire to get words out about God’s truth. Be sure to tune in, for more interviews than just mine.

http://tobtr.com/10972971

 

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