This is a great question for someone who claims to have seven teaching books helpful to both the seasoned and new Christians. I've had a hunger to know the Lord since childhood. God has given me the talent of writing songs and books. I have no credentials other than my life experience with God. I've tapped into His creativity and He has used me as a fountain. My books speak for themselves as to which credentials I have. Man's credentials: Associate Arts degree from Miami-Dade Junior College. God's credentials: The books and songs declare the works of God in my life. I only pray they bless you, too, in some mighty way.
What's the story behind the first of your seven teaching books, "The Opening Window"?
"The Opening Window" is a good place to start reading my teaching books because it is my spiritual autobiography. I was living in Mauckport, IN when I began to get an inner prompting to sit down and write my story. As I was writing it, trying to remember some of the details of my life, God periodically inspired me to veer off course and creatively share some teaching.
There are three different writings going on in this book and they are distinguished by three styles of type. The styles are bold, italics and regular. The italics writing is simply where I lived and what I was doing as I lived my life. The regular type are the stories that would qualify as miracles in my life. The bold type is where God interrupted the narrative to interject a teaching. Will "The Opening Window" bless you? I believe it will.
What is the story behind your second teaching book, "Advanced Christianity"?
When I first moved to Indiana to marry my wife, Eva (that story is in "The Opening Window"), God inspired me to write a book which I entitled, "Extreme Christianity." As I was writing each chapter of "Extreme Christianity", I kept getting material that did not seem to be part of that book. I didn't know what to do with that material. God was taking me in another direction and eventually, over time, I culled some of the less inspiring chapters of "Extreme Christianity" and combined the rest of the chapters with the newer material. The new book became "Advanced Christianity." There is an emphasis on following Jesus's commands in our daily life with a lot of information on why this is a good idea.
"Advanced Christianity" is often poetic in its presentation (condensed and flowing prose) so that the writing itself helps one get into the nature of God and truly be motivated to think and act as He would want us to. What more would you want a book to do?
What is the story behind your third teaching book, "How the World Works and What Jesus Does Through Us to Overcome It"?
Throughout my life, I have been inspired to write many short and lengthy treatises, articles, if you will, and even poetry. When I was influenced by the New Age belief system (which you will have read about in my first book, "The Opening Window") my writing reflected the errors of that system. Many things I wrote had to be tossed out because they didn't turn out to be true (as the Lord worked with me). This book is a collection of writings that stood the test of time OR made it successfully through a revision process and still came out refreshing and insightful.
The first section of the book is "Prose for the Mind" and the second section is "Poems for the Heart". There is no duplication of material in any of my teaching books and this one will stimulate discussion and give you plenty to ponder and assimilate. Have an enjoyable journey through, "How the World Works and What Jesus Does Through Us to Overcome It."
PS: All of my books have been made into free serialized audio books found at Podiobooks.com. This book, however, was the most energetic and inspiring of all my books to produce as an audiobook because I was able to use as background music 38 different bands/musicians which provided 95 different musical elements for the prose and poetry under Creative Commons licensing. Please consider checking the production out here: http://podiobooks.com/title/how-the-world-works-and-what-jesus-does-through-us-to-overcome-it/
What is the story behind your fourth teaching book, "Shall I Pray or Watch TV?"?
"Shall I Pray or Watch TV?" is definitely written in a different style. It asks a great question that begs a change in our behavior to being more prayerful and less entertained. Ultimately, though it may be hard to believe, the best entertainment turns out to be getting into a better relationship with God.
This book was inspired by God. He told me, out of the blue, that He wanted me to write something on television. It wasn't my idea. I then, prayerfully, asked Him if He wanted me to write a short article on it. His answer, though not audible, but quite pronounced, was "No, I want you to write a book."
I didn't have a clue as to where to begin but as I researched a little on the Internet, I found a site that shared the history of TV and began to condense that information. This is where some of the humor of the book began to come through. I also shared my own, sad experiences with my TV addiction (and exactly how far I'd go to be entertained by it).
Many years ago, I felt God's Spirit tell me not to watch the murder mysteries and crime shows (even though some wonderfully creative crime shows have emerged -- like "Monk" and "Columbo." that really entertained me). God has insisted that I not become preoccupied with that genre of show. As I wrote this book, toward the end of it there is a chapter that deals with crime on TV and it utilizes portions of Peterson's "The Message" (a version of the Bible that utilizes colloquial modern language). You will be amazed at the biblical backing there is to shunning the murder mystery genre. And, if nothing else happens, you will be inspired to look carefully at what you have accepted into your life, asking, "Is this for my best interest?"
What is the story behind your fifth teaching book, "The Atheist Delusion"?
I was visiting a library in Mauckport, IN when I saw Richard Dawkins' book, "The God Delusion" on display. Suddenly I got an inspiration to read his book and write a commentary. I asked my wife and partner, Eva, if she would mind if I had Richard Dawkins' book in the house for a while as I worked on this. She agreed.
For the next few weeks I perused Richard's book and was inspired to share many thoughts and feelings that may be of help to those who deny God's existence. I don't think the book is perfect, but it sure tries hard to be a good book. Sometimes it asks us to be tolerant and loving to the atheist and other times it slams their arrogance to the ground. But, I suppose there is an arrogance the Christian has that irritates the unbelievers, too. Anyway, if you read this book, it will surely stimulate thinking about this whole subject.
What is the story behind your sixth teaching book, "Calling God and Casting Lots"?
This book is an unbelievable journal I wrote about our experiences using the biblical casting of the lot to ask God pertinent questions. The stories in this book all happened and you will come away from reading it with an enthusiasm to try it yourself.
This teaching book is outside the box of traditional church doctrines because someone of "authority" apparently decided God doesn't allow us to fully trust Him and use casting of the lots to receive answers from Him any more. I say hogwash. Our personal God is interested in building faith in our hearts and He will surprise us by answering honest inquiries either by the flipping of a coin or the drawing of the lot. The hows and whys and plenty of illustrations are found in "Calling God and Casting Lots." Plenty of fodder for teaching.
What is the story behind your seventh teaching book, "How to Avoid Positive Stinking"?
This compilation of articles Eva and I wrote have come from our website, "TheFinalHarvest.org." They are The Passaround Pages that you can click on. Eva and I felt a rush of the Holy Spirit who encouraged us to write down these relatively short articles covering everything from "How to Avoid Positive Stinking" (a look at the difference between looking at life through a biblical lense or trying to force your thinking into a positive track, which the New Age beliefs do) to what it means to die to self. You will be blessed.
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