Hymn, ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’


This hymn has been in my head all morning, so I thought I’d share it with you.

This is one of those hymns that go straight to your heart: open the door and let it in.

I’ve selected an a capella version because I couldn’t find one with just a piano and the congregation singing.

Good News for ‘Bell Mountain’ (and for Me)

On Thursday this blog went wild with 260 views–and that was good for my Bell Mountain.

For the first time ever, the Bell Mountain paperback made the amazon.com Top 100 list for Science Fiction and Fantasy. It was ranked #43 when I discovered it there, so it may have done even better earlier.

To order a copy of Bell Mountain for yourself, or any of its sequels, all you gotta do is click “Books” and then click either the amazon.com logo or the little shopping cart.

You could also browse the archives of this blog and read various reviews of my books; and I invite you to check out the amazon.com Customer Reviews. Honest, folks–people do enjoy these books! Give yourself a treat, why don’t you?

You will also be helping this blog live up to the purpose for its existence.

A Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom

Pax Demonica by Julie Kenner was recently No. 1. on Amazon.com’s “Christian Fiction” list. That was the only reason I wanted to review it. I mean, really–“A Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom Adventure.” What could be sillier?

Except for a weak theological foundation that gets progressively weaker until it just collapses, Pax Demonica turned out to be mostly good instead of gut-wrenchingly awful. Julie Kenner makes writing a novel look easy–always the mark of a pro. She has also published “dark and sexy paranormal romances,” and it will not make me a better person to find out any more about them.

Oddly–very oddly!–this book appears to be self-published. Ms. Kenner has had titles published by several different major publishers, and has appeared on both the New York Times and USA Today best-seller lists. It’s hard to believe she really has to worry about getting turned down by any serious publisher.

But on to the show.

Suburban soccer mom Kate Connor has an interesting past: orphaned in infancy, she is taken in and raised by a secret Vatican unit whose mission is to hunt down and destroy demons. This is a very adventurous job. Pax Demonica is the latest in a series, so when the story opens, Kate is in a second marriage, with a teenage daughter and a toddler, and the family is flying to Rome for a vacation.

I know, I know. I thought the whole thing sounded ridiculous, too. But it’s not. Julie Kenner really does know what she’s doing… mostly.

I’m going to save the theological faults for another time, because they’re quite serious, and go on to make two observations about how to write an action-adventure novel.

The action in Pax Demonica is compressed into two days, requiring plus-200 pages to tell. From the moment the airplane touches down in Italy, hellzapoppin. You never saw so many attempted murders in one book.

This was fun at first; but by and by, I got to feeling, “Like, oh, well, another knife fight.” Hint: When you’re writing an action-adventure novel, the action sequences should be islands, not the whole continent. If you’ve got something going on every page, the action loses impact. Trust me on this.

Another Hint: Try not to rely on things that simply cannot happen. Here, the only sure way to get a demon out of a human body is to jab it in the eye (a technique not exhibited even once in the Bible). So all the demon-hunters pack knives; and what they often have to do is throw the knife so that it stabs the demon’s eye.

All right, I’ve never tried this myself. I have a feeling it’s impossible–especially when your target is a demon who’s rapidly moving to attack you and to avoid getting his eye poked out. I couldn’t help wondering how many tries you’d need before you actually succeeded in throwing a knife into the eye of a moving human target. A million? Ten million?

It was hard enough for me to live with Ms. Kenner’s made-up-as-she-went-along theology.( Hint No. 3: Just because amazon.com lists a book as “Christian” doesn’t make it so.) But after a while I lost count of the demons’ attempts to kill off the Connor family, and lost patience with fantastic martial arts techniques that outclass even jumpin’, spinnin’ kicks done with back flips.

I enjoyed it for a while, but she lost me down the stretch.

‘Gay Marriage’ Study–Fake, Fake, Fake

Not that this should come as any kind of surprise to anybody, but a major “scientific” study support same-sex “marriage” has been retracted by its author… because it has turned out to be a fraud ( http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/science-retraction-gay-marriage-views-fake-data-118131.html ).

Is science even science anymore? Do they ever tell the truth? We’ve already seen this in regard to Global Warming–suppressing some data, overemphasizing other data, claiming press releases are “peer-reviewed scientific papers,” suing, bullying, and mobilizing political pressure against critics and dissenters: all justified in the name of the good cause of Saving the Planet.

In the case of the “gay marriage” study, we were asked to believe that Science “proves” that most Americans are gung-ho for it, and anyone can be converted to the cause just by twenty minutes’ worth of conversation with a “gay person.”

Now the alleged researchers have admitted that they faked it. Oops.

Common sense break: If it were true that the American people really do want “gay marriage,” there would immediately be legislation to establish it and we wouldn’t be in the freakin’ Supreme Court waiting for the judges to ram it down our throats. If it’s so popular, bunky, just put it on the ballot!

I was brought up to believe in science.

I don’t anymore.

Excuse Me–Is This Your Brain?

Nine loose brains have turned up along a street in a little village in upstate New York–yes, just lying about on the street ( http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2015/05/possible_dog_brains_found_in_st_lawrence_county_a_mystery.html ). And no, I’m not pulling your leg.

Police turned the brains over to a local veterinarian, who thought they might be dog brains, although he’s blamed if he knows how they came to be reposing on the sidewalk. Another authority thought the brains were more likely sheep brains.

No one is considering the possibility that these are undersized human brains, either mislaid by their owners when not in use, or else that fell out during strenuous exercise and have not as yet been missed.

Shouldn’t there be at least an advertisement in the local weekly? FOUND, in such-and-such a place, NINE BRAINS. To report a missing brain, contact the Governeur Village Police Dept.

We all know there are large groups of people who function without brains all the time–academics, college students, journalists, liberals, etc. Nevertheless, a lost brain can become a serious inconvenience, especially when playing bridge or trying to write a grocery list.

UPDATE; A check of the county voter rolls has shown nine voters who have only just recently registered as Democrats. Police are checking allegations that the Party requires new recruits to dispose of their brains before they can receive food stamps.

Man–with High Heels, Hot Pants, and Pole-Dancing Moves

[Warning: The images displayed in the video are quite disgusting, although they are certainly relevant. With that in mind, view at your own risk–LD.]

The United Kingdom has soared back into first place in the cultural meltdown sweepstakes, brushing aside America’s ROTC cadets in ladies’ shoes and the new Internet marketing of lingerie for men.

Britain’s entry is a car insurance ad.

See, this guy has just saved some money on his car insurance. Does he read the notice and smile, and maybe whistle a happy tune? Nope. He dons hot pants and high heels and gets out on the sidewalk where he can show off his pole-dancing moves. In the background we hear some alleged music whose lyric asks, “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?”

Uh, no. Absolutely, positively no.

A colleague in England alerted me to this abomination, observing that men in the UK don’t dare complain about something like this for fear of being branded Homophobic (which, you know, contributes to Global Warming and is Very, Very B-A-D).

Let me repeat a law of nature.

If you kill your culture, your culture will kill you right back.

Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong.

PETA Demands Ancient Pub Honor Chickens (Honest)

When I read that the notorious wacko “animal rights” group, PETA, had sued the oldest pub in England to force it to change its name, because its old, old name was “offensive to chickens,” I didn’t believe it at first. Had to be a hoax.

I should know better. No lawsuit is too asinine, when PETA is involved. ( http://www.opposingviews.com/i/world/peta-asks-pub-change-its-name-because-it-offensive-chickens )

The pub, Ye OIde Fighting Cocks, is over 1,000 years old, going back to the age of Alfred the Great. Yes, once upon a time cock fighting went on there. Cock fighting has been banned in England since the 19th century, there is no cruelty to animals going on here–but hey, we’re lefty prigs, why not force them to change the name?

I’d change the name, if it was my pub–to A Pox on You, PETA. Or something more Anglo-Saxon, in keeping with the great age of the place.

Rush Limbaugh suggested that the reason people get involved in high-handed but profoundly stupid groups like PETA, and ridiculous actions like this lawsuit, is because they have no God in their lives.

I think it’s more a case that they have way, way too many gods in their lives, every single one of them a false god. But of course what they’re really worshiping, always, is themselves and their own vast self-righteousness (to say nothing of their self-importance). Every time. Out of the way, you peasants–here we come from PETA! We’ll make vegans of you yet!

Well, you can think of as many colorful replies as I can.

A Test to Decide Who Gets Out of Grade School

Ha ha! That other guy he had to go out, so my prefesser he said I should come over here and rite something else from that Christin Talaban stuff that you get here every day. That guy is alyaws trying to impose his religin on everybody and he shouldnt be allowed to rite about religin unless he is writ about how not true it is.

My prefesser he has invented a test for everyone to take and if you cant pass it you have to stay in grade school till you do. Of course its easy for us interllecturals to pass it, but that is because we have been to collidge.

Here is part of the test so you can see what its like.

1. Name the 50 (fitfy) genders reckonized by the smart peoplle of America.

2. If you are allready in one gender, change over to a diffrent one.

3. Which of these causes Global Warming?  a) Income Ineqaulity  b) Homophobia  c) Captalism  d) Eating Meat  Ha ha, this is a trick question! You supposed to say they all do!

4. True or Flase: There is No God because Science says so and Science is alyays right.

5. Give ten reasons why everybody should ouht to go to collidge, and writ a parragrap about why we cant have no dumocracy unless there is more and more collidge and if you dont stay there for at least six years you cant postibly learn how to be a interllecturle.

So that is what the test is like, and it will pertect us from Christins and groups what have got no educatin. And thats all I got to say. Except PS make sure and vote for Hillery.

We Have a Comment Contest Winner!

Actually, we have two of them–a tie. No, I’m not going to say, “In that case, nobody wins.” Nope–I’ll send out two First Prizes. Come to think of it, there weren’t any second or third prizes. Anyhow, both comments are recorded as having come in at the same time, so that’s two winners. They will receive each a signed copy of one of my books, their choice of title.

Way down the road I’ll have another contest for Comment No. 4,000 (this was for 3,000). I hope it doesn’t take a whole year, this time.

Don’t be expecting really lavish prizes like mink stoles, or new cars, or rings of power. I need to sell a lot more books before I can move up into that neighborhood.

To everyone who posted comments–thank you, and keep ’em coming! :)

My Grandfather’s House Is… Gone

I really must vent today.

In 1917 my grandfather bought a house and had it moved to what is now my home town. My mother and her five sisters were born there. Aunt Gertie, in fact, died in the same room in which she was born, 90 years before.

Yesterday there was nothing in its place.

We were a large, close-knit family, and I spent as much time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house as I did at home. We lived only a few blocks apart, which made for convenient baby-sitting at all times.

The house was on a big lot, so there were a chicken coop, red and black raspberries, Concord grapes and white grapes, a pear tree, catalpa tree, and hosts and hosts of flowers. Later there were lovely dogwoods and bright flowering shrubs.

All gone.

One by one everybody died until there was only Aunt Joan, whose health required that she be moved to an apartment. She needed the money, so we sold the house. And for two years it sat there empty.

A few days before yesterday it was still there, dogwoods and all. But yesterday it was gone. In fact, it was so gone, my eye couldn’t process the information: it kept telling me that the house next door–which really doesn’t look anything like it–was Grandpa’s house with some kind of shell glued on to it. We had to go back again and stop the car. Then I saw that there is now an empty space where a big chunk of my life used to be, all raw earth and bulldozers. No trace left of the dogwoods.

Gone as if it had never been. Gone as if I’d dreamed it. If I live long enough, my memories of it will grow less sharp and accurate, get muddled up with memories of other places, other things, and it really will be a place that never actually existed.

So another place of beauty is ripped out of the world, to be replaced by a parking lot, law offices, nail salon, or whatever. Almost a hundred Christmases were celebrated in that house. No more; nevermore. The Orcs come with their bulldozer and Mordor captures another little piece of our reality.

But if you don’t walk by faith, you wind up unable to walk at all. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2) We shall come to that place by and by, and He that prepared it for us shall make all things new.

Except for all that Orc-stuff.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 196 other followers

%d bloggers like this: