Morning News

I mentioned that I had been interviewed by the local paper, The Morning News, regarding my part in Brandilyn Collins’ Scenes and Beans blog. Well, the article is in the paper today! Find all the sordid details here. The elusive author was even caught in his natural surroundings!

Nice article – I hope that people around will check out Violet Dawn and Kanner Lake and find themselves entertained. Thanks for the opportunity Brandilyn!

Morning News

I mentioned that I had been interviewed by the local paper, The Morning News, regarding my part in Brandilyn Collins’ Scenes and Beans blog. Well, the article is in the paper today! Find all the sordid details here. The elusive author was even caught in his natural surroundings!

Nice article – I hope that people around will check out Violet Dawn and Kanner Lake and find themselves entertained. Thanks for the opportunity Brandilyn!

Freedom

I wish I had some blue face paint.

I am done going to my job. I have a little more work to do remotely from home, but otherwise I am FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I’m just a little relieved.

I also had an interview today from our local newspaper regarding my role as Pastor Hank Detcher on the Scenes and Beans blog. And, would you look at that! Seems like the good Pastor had an interesting post today: Scenes & Beans: Feast . . . or Fast! I’ll give y’all more on this as I have updates on the interview for the paper.

Freedom

I wish I had some blue face paint.

I am done going to my job. I have a little more work to do remotely from home, but otherwise I am FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I’m just a little relieved.

I also had an interview today from our local newspaper regarding my role as Pastor Hank Detcher on the Scenes and Beans blog. And, would you look at that! Seems like the good Pastor had an interesting post today: Scenes & Beans: Feast . . . or Fast! I’ll give y’all more on this as I have updates on the interview for the paper.

Power of Praise

I am certainly hoping to be done talking about my work situation soon, as it is tiring even to me. However, insofar as God keeps teaching me things through it, things that may encourage others, I feel compelled to continue sharing.

My last day was supposed to be September 7th. A couple of weeks ago I found out that the person who I replaced didn’t like their job, so then decided to take MY place. Interesting, no? But I also found out that this person would be starting back full-time on 8/28. Hmmm. I was also responsible on 8/25 to help train them on the new computer system installed since they left. Oooooo-kay. The Lord had spoken to me about “finishing strong”, so I endeavored to do so, even though it was an uncomfortable situation to say the least.

Friday I did what I could to train the person, although the way things were scheduled that wasn’t easy to do. Also, I thought I had 2 more weeks where I could help train her, so I didn’t feel the need to cram everything in.

At around 3:30 my boss called me aside and explained that they were going to be paying me and the new (old) person to do the same thing. He suggested that I cover Saturday morning and Monday night, 7 more hours in total, and then I could be done. They had to pay me until 9/7 anyway, but they were willing to pay me to stay away.

I had expected this, but since it was only 2 days away I still was a little shocked. I would’ve thought they’d have done it sooner. Oh well. I accepted, figuring 2 weeks paid vacation would pay writing and blogging dividends. Then on the way out, I noticed that my name had already been pulled from the hallway sign, replaced with the new (old) person.

I had a 25 minute commute home. When I left work in June after finding my contract wouldn’t be renewed, I was a mess. This time, I slapped in Third Day, Offerings II CD and praised Jesus with all I had. When I got home I was in a great mood, and hardly had any lingering feelings about the day.

All of this story just goes to show: there is power in praise. When we can get our eyes off of our own situations and focus on the goodness of the Lord, then our troubles fall away in the light of His glory. If you are having a hard time, see if you can’t lift your voice to heaven, and proclaim the faithfulness of Jesus. If you can, you should find comfort in the storm, reassurance that He holds you in His hands, and He will see you through. If you have a hard time finding that focus, read the Psalms. So many of them were written when David or other authors were in hot water, and even though they are crying out for deliverance, they see that His provision and grace will see them through.

Power of Praise

I am certainly hoping to be done talking about my work situation soon, as it is tiring even to me. However, insofar as God keeps teaching me things through it, things that may encourage others, I feel compelled to continue sharing.

My last day was supposed to be September 7th. A couple of weeks ago I found out that the person who I replaced didn’t like their job, so then decided to take MY place. Interesting, no? But I also found out that this person would be starting back full-time on 8/28. Hmmm. I was also responsible on 8/25 to help train them on the new computer system installed since they left. Oooooo-kay. The Lord had spoken to me about “finishing strong”, so I endeavored to do so, even though it was an uncomfortable situation to say the least.

Friday I did what I could to train the person, although the way things were scheduled that wasn’t easy to do. Also, I thought I had 2 more weeks where I could help train her, so I didn’t feel the need to cram everything in.

At around 3:30 my boss called me aside and explained that they were going to be paying me and the new (old) person to do the same thing. He suggested that I cover Saturday morning and Monday night, 7 more hours in total, and then I could be done. They had to pay me until 9/7 anyway, but they were willing to pay me to stay away.

I had expected this, but since it was only 2 days away I still was a little shocked. I would’ve thought they’d have done it sooner. Oh well. I accepted, figuring 2 weeks paid vacation would pay writing and blogging dividends. Then on the way out, I noticed that my name had already been pulled from the hallway sign, replaced with the new (old) person.

I had a 25 minute commute home. When I left work in June after finding my contract wouldn’t be renewed, I was a mess. This time, I slapped in Third Day, Offerings II CD and praised Jesus with all I had. When I got home I was in a great mood, and hardly had any lingering feelings about the day.

All of this story just goes to show: there is power in praise. When we can get our eyes off of our own situations and focus on the goodness of the Lord, then our troubles fall away in the light of His glory. If you are having a hard time, see if you can’t lift your voice to heaven, and proclaim the faithfulness of Jesus. If you can, you should find comfort in the storm, reassurance that He holds you in His hands, and He will see you through. If you have a hard time finding that focus, read the Psalms. So many of them were written when David or other authors were in hot water, and even though they are crying out for deliverance, they see that His provision and grace will see them through.

Why Do You Read?

Brandilyn Collins has an interesting couple of posts from Thursday and Friday. She asked her blog readers why they stopped reading books, and how long will they give a book a chance before giving up. You can read the original post here: Forensics & Faith: Why We Stop Reading–The Poll, and the results here: Forensics & Faith: The Poll–Results.

What do you think?

Why Do You Read?

Brandilyn Collins has an interesting couple of posts from Thursday and Friday. She asked her blog readers why they stopped reading books, and how long will they give a book a chance before giving up. You can read the original post here: Forensics & Faith: Why We Stop Reading–The Poll, and the results here: Forensics & Faith: The Poll–Results.

What do you think?

Crown of Fire

Day 3 of the CSSF Tour, in which the blogger discusses endorsements and the third book of Kathy Tyers’ enjoyable trilogy Firebird. See the last 2 days for more intro.

First, I have a complaint about the endorsements on the 1 volume version of Firebird. On the cover the endorsement is from Bob Briner, author of Roaring Lambs. He is a gentleman I deeply respected for his position in the entertainment industry and the way he walked out his faith. But his quote sets up the book as “anticipating the coming Messiah. A must read for people of science and people of faith.” The problem is, if you don’t know who Bob Briner is, then any impact of the quote is lost. True, there’s not a lot of Christian Sci-fi to go to an author for an endorsement, but there may have been a “better name” to go with this.

The endorsement by Christopher Parkening, premier classical guitarist, on the back cover is even more puzzling. Why would I care what a musician says about a book? I know Kathy Tyers is classically trained as a musician, but this endorsement is just a little bizarre. Anyway, these are quibblings, but goofy endorsements don’t help the book! Had I seen this in the store, wondering about the book, they would make me think, “Ooooo-kay, they couldn’t get anybody with authority in fiction to endorse it.” What do my fellow tour folks think of this?

Again, the warning of spoilers if you continue…

Crown of Fire is the third installment of Firebird. This book has an interesting history. Firebird and Fusion Fire were written originally in the 80’s, then were re-written in their “definitive vision” state along with Crown of Fire in the late 90’s(a la George Lucas and the Special Edition of Star Wars perhaps?). I mention this, because the third book carries a different tone altogether from the first two books.

Firebird has been called back to Netaia to be reinstated as an heir to the throne. Brennan, weakened in his Sentinal powers from Fusion Fire, accompanies her and the two try to set up a trap to capture a Shuhr agent in order to mount a final attack on Three Zed. Through many official balls and events, Firebird is put into danger as they try to lure out the Shuhr agent tracking them.

Meanwhile, there is infiltration into the Netaian government, and Tel Tellai must rise up from his previous meekness to confront great danger to his homeworld.

Again, Tyers takes us through an explosive finale (I’m sorry, but it can’t be explained any other way!). I can’t really give away too much more about the plot in my synopsis here without major spoilers.

Here in lies one of the problems with Crown of Fire: it has one major set-up that takes up half the book. All the preparation for the major confirmation ball, and Firebird’s personal conflict (again), takes too much time to develop. I really bogged down for a little while, waiting for things to take off. There would be little action events here and there, without much satisfaction as a reader.

As I mentioned before, I think I can really tell the time lapse from when the first two were written to this one. It felt like I was reading a different series, just with the same characters.

Now, once the middle to 2/3’s point is reached, the book takes off and doesn’t let you go – you end up catching your breath at the end, white knuckles and sweat running off your palms. So, don’t lose heart in the beginning of the book. Those who are patient are rewarded with an exciting ending (even though some events are tied up a little too conveniently, but this is hard NOT to do).

Overall, I though Firebird was the strongest book, though not by much over Fusion Fire. Crown of Fire is a little disappointing, but it still is worth pushing through to get the resolution to the series, and is rewarding in the end. It just takes a little more determination in the 3rd book. I enjoyed Firebird’s journey, and there were some side characters like Tel who had very satisfying character arcs.

I enjoy Sci-Fi movies like Star Wars and Serenity more than reading these type of books. However, Firebird was a great summer journey, and it actually spoke encouragement to me in situations I was dealing with through the summer. I recommend Firebird heartily – just don’t put me on the cover as an endorsement just yet…

Jim Black
Rachel Marks
John J. Boyer
Valerie Comer
Bryan Davis
Beth Goddard
Rebecca Grabill
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Pamela James
Tina Kulesa
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Cheryl Russel
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith

Crown of Fire

Day 3 of the CSSF Tour, in which the blogger discusses endorsements and the third book of Kathy Tyers’ enjoyable trilogy Firebird. See the last 2 days for more intro.

First, I have a complaint about the endorsements on the 1 volume version of Firebird. On the cover the endorsement is from Bob Briner, author of Roaring Lambs. He is a gentleman I deeply respected for his position in the entertainment industry and the way he walked out his faith. But his quote sets up the book as “anticipating the coming Messiah. A must read for people of science and people of faith.” The problem is, if you don’t know who Bob Briner is, then any impact of the quote is lost. True, there’s not a lot of Christian Sci-fi to go to an author for an endorsement, but there may have been a “better name” to go with this.

The endorsement by Christopher Parkening, premier classical guitarist, on the back cover is even more puzzling. Why would I care what a musician says about a book? I know Kathy Tyers is classically trained as a musician, but this endorsement is just a little bizarre. Anyway, these are quibblings, but goofy endorsements don’t help the book! Had I seen this in the store, wondering about the book, they would make me think, “Ooooo-kay, they couldn’t get anybody with authority in fiction to endorse it.” What do my fellow tour folks think of this?

Again, the warning of spoilers if you continue…

Crown of Fire is the third installment of Firebird. This book has an interesting history. Firebird and Fusion Fire were written originally in the 80’s, then were re-written in their “definitive vision” state along with Crown of Fire in the late 90’s(a la George Lucas and the Special Edition of Star Wars perhaps?). I mention this, because the third book carries a different tone altogether from the first two books.

Firebird has been called back to Netaia to be reinstated as an heir to the throne. Brennan, weakened in his Sentinal powers from Fusion Fire, accompanies her and the two try to set up a trap to capture a Shuhr agent in order to mount a final attack on Three Zed. Through many official balls and events, Firebird is put into danger as they try to lure out the Shuhr agent tracking them.

Meanwhile, there is infiltration into the Netaian government, and Tel Tellai must rise up from his previous meekness to confront great danger to his homeworld.

Again, Tyers takes us through an explosive finale (I’m sorry, but it can’t be explained any other way!). I can’t really give away too much more about the plot in my synopsis here without major spoilers.

Here in lies one of the problems with Crown of Fire: it has one major set-up that takes up half the book. All the preparation for the major confirmation ball, and Firebird’s personal conflict (again), takes too much time to develop. I really bogged down for a little while, waiting for things to take off. There would be little action events here and there, without much satisfaction as a reader.

As I mentioned before, I think I can really tell the time lapse from when the first two were written to this one. It felt like I was reading a different series, just with the same characters.

Now, once the middle to 2/3’s point is reached, the book takes off and doesn’t let you go – you end up catching your breath at the end, white knuckles and sweat running off your palms. So, don’t lose heart in the beginning of the book. Those who are patient are rewarded with an exciting ending (even though some events are tied up a little too conveniently, but this is hard NOT to do).

Overall, I though Firebird was the strongest book, though not by much over Fusion Fire. Crown of Fire is a little disappointing, but it still is worth pushing through to get the resolution to the series, and is rewarding in the end. It just takes a little more determination in the 3rd book. I enjoyed Firebird’s journey, and there were some side characters like Tel who had very satisfying character arcs.

I enjoy Sci-Fi movies like Star Wars and Serenity more than reading these type of books. However, Firebird was a great summer journey, and it actually spoke encouragement to me in situations I was dealing with through the summer. I recommend Firebird heartily – just don’t put me on the cover as an endorsement just yet…

Jim Black
Rachel Marks
John J. Boyer
Valerie Comer
Bryan Davis
Beth Goddard
Rebecca Grabill
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Pamela James
Tina Kulesa
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Cheryl Russel
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith