Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A New Cold War?

I don't like to get into politics in this blog. I have from time to time but I've tried to keep my observations on political issues to a minimum.

Today, though, the news reports are rampant with reports of new sanctions on Russia. Vladimir Putin continues to exercise dangerous activities in the Ukraine. Russia took the Crimea and is trying to take eastern Ukraine. Putin may want to restore the old borders of the Soviet empire but more likely he's pushing to control as much of the old empire as he's allowed. Time will tell of course!

What strikes me is how all these pressures--the Ukraine, Israel, and our own Southern borders--are cropping up now. I want to point out one simple fact. While the Bushes led the country in two offensive wars in the Middle East every other conflict since the Civil War occurred during the presidency of Democrats.

A look at military history leads you to one conclusion--wars occur during Democrat presidencies because Democrats generally gut the military and focus on social issues at home. For the most part Democrat foreign policy is unable to recognize the reality of the enemies aligned against us. They prefer to wage war with words rather than acts. I could provide lots of examples to prove my point but I'll just leave it here for the time being.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Books Recently Published

Since retiring I've been spending a lot of time at the computer. But then, when did I not spend time at a computer? The answer has to be: prior to 1985. Even then I was learning Wordstar on Intermountain Bible College's Altos computer. Now I'm spending as much as eight hours a day at the computer.

I've always wanted to write. For several years this blog provided a public outlet allowing me to express myself. Then Lee Mason asked me to write a column for the Restoration Herald. It's always been an ego boost to see my writing in print in a magazine. From the few scattered articles in Lookout and Christian Standard to the Restoration Herald it has always increased my self-image. Since I retired in July 2013 I've directed my writing to the production of books. As of today I have two available books and two more in the "pipeline." 

I chose to release my books through Create Space. Create Space is an Amazon.com company specializing in publishing independent authors. I looked at several but chose Create Space because of their cost, assistance, and professionalism. I know marketing my books is more difficult through Create Space but I never expected to be a "best selling" author anyway. As I is I'm surprised a bit at what's happening. It is slow but the growth and interest is coming along. I wanted to  control the content of my books. I didn't want the editor from one of the Restoration Movement (or other) publishing firms to tell me what to say, how many chapters to include, or where I could market them. Create Space is "user friendly" and books become immediately available on Amazon.com.

So what are the books in print and those I'm working on?

  1. On the Move: The Story of an Iowa Boy. This book tells the story of my life. It is my recollections of where I've been and what I've done. It tells of relationships, dashed hopes, personal experiences and so on. The chapters are in chronological order starting when I was about 4 and taking the reader on a journey through time to last year's meeting with three brothers and sisters I did not know I had. The recollections in each chapter are not exactly in chronological order. They are largely vignettes I wrote as I remembered them.
  2. History of the American Restoration Movement. I always wanted to formalize my classroom material in book form. I just never had the discipline to do it. I wrote a beginning effort while serving First Christian Church in Canton but it was brief and incomplete. Lee Mason gave me permission to serialize it in The Restoration Herald. I figured that would give me the push to discipline myself and write it. So it is done and on the market. It is somewhat different than most of the movement histories because I try to place the movement into its social and historical context and I spend quite a bit of time writing about what was going on in the general American culture noting the impact it had on the developing Restoration Movement.
  3. Questions People Asked. This one is now in the proofing stage and will be released after making corrections. I based this book on questions submitted through the First Christian Church website in Canton. A few of those questions were no longer available because FCC had a brief controversy over baptism and the elders asked me to remove a few of the answers which I reluctantly did. The questions cover a wide range of topics from biblical questions to social and political matters.
  4. Early Church History: From Pentecost to the Reformation. This book originated from a request of the leadership at the Moriah School of Ministry in Australia. I intended to write a companion briefly surveying Christian history from the Reformation to the present. I still intend to do that if the Lord permits me to live long enough. The book is a concise survey (less than 125 pages) of early church history. It too is in the proofing stage and I hope I can make it available in a few weeks.
Charles Krauthamer's recent book Things that Matter spurred me to go back through all my Disicpler blog entries and essays to consider a book entitled Christian Things that Matter. I'm just starting to work on that. There are several other ideas rattling around in my head including some ethical studies, theological material, and church leadership. I'm hoping my friend Bob Kuest will work with me on the last topic. He's the expert in church leadership!!

I hope to have all the titles in eBook form within the year. That takes some coding expertise I have to learn. So I'll see if you can teach an old dog new tricks.