Designed for both the serious student and for the simply curious, this book will help the reader to gain a thorough understanding of how the Bible evolved from a collection of oral works and written works into the highly recognizable book of today. Dialoguing the Bible contains both fictional dialogues and historical facts that will allow the reader to not only grasp how the Bible was developed, but also why. Don't just learn about the history of the Bible, FEEL it!
This excerpt is from the chapter on the Pentateuch. Here I am imagining how someone in King David's royal court is passing on the king's order for the scribes to begin writing down all of the vast collection of oral histories, poems and songs that the people of Israel are known for. It is pretty much an accepted fact that the formal beginning of the writing down of what we call the Pentateuch or the 5 books of Moses started during the David and Solomon reigns. (My money is more on David than his successor.) Barukh, the lead scribe being charged with this massive new writing project is somewhat skeptical. Probably for good reason. He is being asked to do something that goes against centuries of treasured tradition for his people. He is being asked to write "stuff" down that has been transmitted orally since the times of Abraham. I can imagine that indeed, he must have wondered, "Has King David lost his mind?"
This excerpt is from the chapter on the oral tradition of the Old Testament. Here, young Aviel is sick and tired of hearing his story telling father blabber on and on about some old guy named Abraham who supposedly was the original patriarch of the Israeli people. In this chapter, I combine a fictional dialogue between Aviel and an old man from the village who helps the rebellious youngster to realize he has something to be proud of. Instead of seeing his father as an out of touch man who is stuck in the past, Aviel gradually sees his dad as an important part of the community and his people's future.
This is a spiritually based motivation book designed to guide the reader to get the most out of his or her life. By adopting the mind of Christ and living up to His definition of greatness, we can increasingly fulfill our God-ordained purpose. Our lives can be enhanced through the power of anyhow and the uplifting effects of spiritual bounce.
In this chapter, I discuss how David was seen as a shepherd by most people who knew him. Can't you imagine the whispers that trailed him as he made his way to confronting Goliath? "Isn't that Jesse's youngest son?" "Shouldn't he be home tending the sheep?" "That little boy has no business trying to take on the giant!" But God saw something great in him and David accepted God's view. At the point David put his faith in God's purpose for his life, he began to access the power of anyhow.
If we are not careful, we might begin to get used to the idea that our current state is our normal state. The status quo has a way of sneaking up on us and lulling into a deluded sense of lethargy. Wake up! God has greater plans for you, even beyond what you can imagine. Shaking off the doldrums of complacency is the beginning phase of the power of anyhow. God will meet you if you sincerely move toward Him. What are you waiting for? The ball is in your court.
This novel is set in the northern kingdom of ancient Israel during the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. Yered, a prosperous merchant, is obsessed with arranging an interview with the mysterious prophet, Elijah. To accomplish his goal, he must out maneuver two separate military troops who are in hot pursuit of the fugitive prophet. Even if he somehow figures out a way to reach Elijah before the two army units, Yered still has another major obstacle to overcome. Once face to face with the elusive man of God, he then must convince him to come out of hiding long enough to answer a few questions at the risk of being captured or killed. Will Yered’s preoccupation with questioning Elijah result in a revealing interview that will stand the test of time? Or will his fierce determination to meet with Israel’s most visible and most dangerous prophet cause him to lose everything including his life?
In this excerpt, Yered the main character comes across three strangers just after he was nearly run over by a fleeing Elijah. The leader of these three strangers is a mysterious man of few words, but when he speaks, strange things and feeling occur. Hint Hint. As an author, I wouldn't introduce these 3 strange strangers if they weren't going to play a major part in the novel. Did I gave away a major thread of the plot. Well, in the vein of the lead stranger, "Not exactly!" (Inside joke. Once you read the book, you'll get it.)
Gavri and Lechiy are two brothers living in Samaria, the capital of Ancient Israel. Lechiy is one of the priests of Baal while Gavri is a soldier. Without giving away too much of the plot, something is going to happen to Lechiy and Gavri is going to blame Elijah. A good portion of this novel takes up Gavri's pledge to make Elijah pay.
Traditionally, Elijah has been portrayed as an intensely passionate and pious prophet. After extensive research on this iconic Hebrew religious leader, I think that only tells half of the story. My novel highlights the very traits that make him human. He was a man of great humor, fears, passions, virtues and weaknesses. The more we understand just how human Elijah was, the more we can grasp a better understanding of the God he served.
I can hear you now. Yered who? Well, let's hear from him in his own words. My name is Yered and people say I am just the figment of some guy's imagination. But, I think I did something quite astonishing. I was able to get an exclusive interview with none other than Elijah the prophet. That's quite a feat from over 3,000 years ago. Not to brag, but I did interviews when no one had any idea what interviews were. So, how you like me now!
"Some guy went in front of King Ahab and his vindictive wife and predicted a drought?" When Yered the rich merchant heard about the straggly man with the audacity to threaten the king in his own palace, he knew he had to find out more about him. "Elijah? What kind of name is that? Where in the world is he from?" Yered assumed that only someone not from the capital city of Samaria would be bold enough to predict a drought. It was at that point that he decided to find a way to catch up with the elusive prophet and ask him a few questions.
Wayne Frazier is clueless about the trouble heading his way. If only he’d broken the law or gotten fired from his job, maybe he would understand the predicament he faces. But, as he soon will find out, he has bigger problems than he can imagine because he messed up with the very person he can least afford to disappoint. By not listening to his wife, he has stirred up a hornet’s nest of trouble and it may just cost him his marriage. And to make matter worse, he will learn the hard way that there are real good reasons why he and other Christians should go to church.
Wayne doesn't know it yet, but he's being played. He was told that he was attending an awards banquet to receive an unspecified award. In this excerpt, he still thinks he can get through this mysterious program in time to head to the gym afterwards. Well, it's been said that God works in mysterious ways. So does Wayne's wife, as it turns out! Warning: reading this funny and enjoyable book may make you forget that it is a serious book on why Christians of all people should go to church.
This novel covers Faye Becker's quandary about whether or not to tell the truth of what she witnessed when an unarmed Black male is shot and killed by the town's local White troublemaker. Everyone thinks the shooter is guilty, but Faye (to her regret) knows differently. While the shooter has been guilty often in his past, he is not guilty in this particular incident. Will Faye tell the truth or will she lie to keep the peace in her community?
In this excerpt, 60 plus year-old Faye Becker is staring down the barrel of a pistol that is aimed her. To make matters worse, the guy holding the gun pointed at her is the son of the man suspected of killing her husband several decades ago. Feeling like things are beyond her control, she is having a running dialog with a disembodied voice she hopes is an angel or messenger from God. If I could speak for Faye, I am sure she would say to those of you reading this that feel Faye is losing her mind. Hey desperate times call for desperate measures and if a mysterious voice is going to get me out of this predicament, then I am in no position to be picky!
Unfortunately, Faye was no stranger to the pain of losing a loved one. Just as many African-American mothers, wives and lovers endured the tragic deaths of loved ones, Faye still grieved the death of her husband from four years ago. She, like too many Black women, have had to make do without the special men whose lives were snuffed out due to racism. But moving forward is something they must do because of the children. Faye is no different. Thankfully, she also has her lifelong friend Shonda to help her keep on living. Good thing, because with what she will be facing in the not to distant future, she will need a strong ally.
One of the parts of this novel I really enjoyed writing was the relationship between Faye and Shonda. These two women, now in their sixties, grew up together in the fictional town of Rawleysville, SC. They did each others' hair, giggled their way through high school and served as maids of honor at their weddings. In this excerpt, Faye has called to let her friend know the locksmith she recommended just finished installing new locks in her house. Based on their close familiarity with each other, their conversation flows between playful teases and serious interchanges. At the end of this excerpt, Shonda once again tries to warn Faye that their recent spate of troubles will continue. Although Faye tries to lessen the seriousness of what her friend is trying to tell her with her flippant response, deep down inside she knows that things will probably get worse before they get better. The only consolation she can draw from this part of the conversation is the closeness of her relationship with Shonda. As you read this book, I hope you enjoy peeking in on the relationship between Faye and Shonda as much as I enjoyed writing it.
In this excerpt, Faye has made it home after her near death encounter. Before she could get too caught up in the grips of what she felt was a panic attack, she heard the voice of her now deceased mother. Her mom is basically reminding Faye of the burden that many Black women carry. "We Black women don't have the time or luxury to lose our minds." Rightly or wrongly, many Black women subscribe to the myth that they need to be superwomen. As a Black man who admires Black women, I understand that impulse. But my author side would like to remind them that it is not their supposed heroic nature that is attractive, but their humanity including their vulnerabilities. Will Faye understand that to make it in this world, she doesn't have to be tough and unfeeling?
In this excerpt, Faye is dealing with having a gun pointed at her by the son of the man who murdered her husband. Just as she was beginning to surrender to the idea that she was about to be shot and killed, a friend of the man pointing the gun at her intervenes. The thing I like to highlight about this scene is Faye's sense of humor. Even in the face of death, she manages to keep things from becoming too depressing. Thankful that a stranger has rescued her, she still playfully chides him for referring to her as an old lady. In many ways, Faye reminds me of my mother because both seemed to always find a way to laugh. To be honest, I hadn't really noticed the similarity between Faye and my mother until now!
Faye, the lead character, likes to view herself as just a faithful Christian African-American woman who likes to mind her own business. If she had her way, she would spend most of her days at home staring at her prized photo of her deceased husband. But fate has other plans for her. Or is she being guided by the unseen hand of God? Not for the first or last time in this novel, Faye wonders what challenges her unrelenting sense of right and wrong will drag her into.
In this excerpt, the main character, Faye Becker, voices the pain that far too many Black women experience at the deaths of their husbands, lovers or sons. Bad enough these courageous women have to suffer with the tragic deaths of their unarmed male loved ones, they also have to endure seeing and hearing the reputations and humanity of their loved ones being denigrated by the very people who killed them. Unfortunately, Stand Your Ground laws are used to make double victims of Black women as described by Faye Becker. People like Faye remind us that Black lives do matter!
One of the questions I get about this novel is why did I chose to feature a sixty-plus year old woman as the main character? Starting with the tragic deaths of Trayvon Martin and continuing with the deaths of other un-armed Black males, one thing that caught my attention was the grief stricken faces of Black women, mostly mothers. At news conferences, during public protest rallies and in the court-room proceedings, their grim faces formed part of the constant background to the outrage over these men's tragic deaths. Through Faye (the main character), I can symbolize the pain that is unfortunately all too familiar and prevalent in the Black community.
Working Title: Sweet Hour of HYMNS
This Book Is In Development
A collections of anecdotes and reflections by people about the special hymns in their lives.
This excerpt is from an actual submission that will appear in the upcoming book, Sweet Hour of Hymns. She talks about how she heard this song sung by the senior choir as a teenager. As with most of us, our understanding and appreciation of the special hymns in our lives grows as we mature. The more we grow in our understanding of the reality of God's existence, the more we can proclaim with great fervor, Oh Yes He Is! Most of us have fond memories of at least one special hymn. Why don't you share some of your fond thoughts about a special hymn in your life? Email your submission to: email@example.com
In this excerpt, I discuss how I used the message behind this hymn to summarize the mission for the nonprofit I worked for many years ago. For you, there may be a hymn that has special meaning on your job, at school, in a special relationship or relating to a highly emotional period in your life. Somehow I believe you can think of at least one hymn that has touched or inspired you in some way. Somehow I believe you will eventually get around to submitting your commentary for this book celebrating hymns. If you don't do it, then I believe the Lord will make a way somehow!
It's funny how a particular song can take me back to a time in my life that had receded to a secluded part of my memory bank. Thinking about this hymn reminded me of when I used to ride my yellow ten-speed bike to work as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. The point I am making here is that all of us have hymns that bring up certain memories or emotions. It is those thoughts and feelings I am asking you to share in this upcoming book. Don't worry, we won't peek in on your high school pictures when you had that weird hair style and those stubborn pimples! Email your thoughts about a special hymn to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an interesting reflection of someone who is uplifted by the lyrics to this hymn. I thank D. Beard for submitting his comments to be included in my upcoming book. Don't let Mr. Beard be the only one! If you've attended more than 3 worship services in your life, I bet you have a hymn that has touched you in a special way. The hymn you choose may not be your favorite, but it probably holds some special meaning for you. Share your thoughts on your special hymn and you stand a good chance of blessing someone!
The excerpt is from a forthcoming book that celebrates the special hymns in our lives. In this excerpt, a regular person (just like you!) has shared how the hymn, In The Garden has emotionally moved them in some way. Now it is your turn. If you are like most people, you know of at least one hymn that stands out to you. Well, don't just sit there, tell us about it so we can include it in our forthcoming book!
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