My fourth book just hit the (Internet) streets!

29 June 2014

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I was surprised to realize that I hadn’t posted anything since the release of my third book, “The Glory of a King” (still available for only 99 cents at Amazon.com and BN.com!). In my defense, I’ve been busy … working on my fourth book. And now “One World, Infinite Possibilities” is done, and it’s out, and its beautiful bold cover is staring you right in the face! Yayyyy!

And of all my books so far, I’m kind of happiest about this one. Not because it’s the latest, or that it’s intrinsically better than all my other books (I love ALL my books equally). But because it’s representative of a lifelong love affair with science fiction.

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On depression and grace

23 February 2012

Another week and a half, another absence from the blog.  No matter how often this happens, I never seem to get used to it.

I know I should be more consistent with this.  For one, I have plenty of things to say.  For another, people seem to like them (or at least read them).  And I know the best way to “build traffic” to a blog is to post something, anything, every day.  So I know these long absences are working against my best interests.

And yet they still occur.  The reason they still occur, while simple to state, is not so simply remedied.  Basically, I find it hard to write when I’m depressed.

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The latest on Sean – the struggle continues …

12 February 2012

First (and last, and middle), thank you to everyone who has been praying for my son Sean for the last 2½ years in his battle against Leigh’s disease, and praying for us as we battle alongside him.  It’s been a long, hard, tiring struggle, and will continue to be one for … well, as long as it takes, I guess.  But we know that we wouldn’t have gotten this far without the help of God – or of our circle/cloud/polygon of friends who have stood by us in all this.

It’s been about four months since I last wrote, so I suspect you’re probably wondering what changes have taken place over that time.  And the answer is … well, not a heck of a lot, actually.

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So hard to get started in 2012

6 February 2012

It’s only taken me five weeks to write my planned New Year’s Eve post.  Impressive, huh?

In all seriousness, I didn’t plan a month-plus layoff from this blog — it’s just kind of happened.  Every time I went to write something, there would be a distraction, or something else would come up, or I couldn’t get the words together, or I’d be too depressed, or … well, you get the idea.  Writing is not easy for that exact reason: it’s too easy to be taken off-track by almost anything that comes along.  It takes a discipline that I haven’t been exercising, or at least not exercising enough.

And then there’s the depression thing.  I’m thankful that (these days at least) I don’t get depressed seriously enough that I just quit functioning, or require medication to get moving again.  But something about the calendar turning over to 2012 really sent me into a funk.  Mostly, I suspect it was thinking back and realizing that I was barely recovered from the events of 2009 — Sean’s illness, my mom’s death, my continuing unemployment, my wife’s job difficulties, etc.  It’s a lot to move on from (especially when most of them have still-ongoing repercussions), but now I’m finally able to start working on the on-moving.  (Thus, the Churchill quote.  Seemed to fit.)

And so it goes, as Linda Ellerbee used to say. But at least, thank Heaven, it goes!

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Christmas on the down low

27 December 2011

So the Christmas season is winding down here at Chez Anselmeau.  Which in many ways is the best part of the Christmas season.

Now I’m not going to play Scrooge and pretend I don’t like Christmas, because I do.  I love  remembering what God did for us in coming to live among us in the person of Jesus, and how much He loves us that He was willing to be with us dirty apes at all.  I like the talk about peace and joy, and the reminders to give to those less fortunate (I need those reminders).  I enjoy the old hymns and stories — Christmastime is the only season where you get to hear 200-year-old songs on most radio stations, and it’s nice to see Charles Dickens and O. Henry get some attention.  And I enjoy spending time with family (my wife’s family these days, to be precise) and catch up on the year that’s past.

Furthermore, while I know many of them have pagan antecedents, I enjoy many of the secular traditions as well.  We always have a good-sized and very busily decorated tree in the house (a Douglas fir, always — for the price and the smell), and set up other holiday decor besides.  I can’t indulge in my wife’s baking as much as I used to — had to cut back on the carbs to avoid rampaging indigestion — but the season’s first batch of gingerbread is still much anticipated.  And I really, really like buying gifts — even more than getting them!  (This year, it was my daughter Charlotte who hit the jackpot — a 21-speed bike from Mom & Dad, an Snap Circuits electronics set from the grandparents, and a Kindle from her great-aunt and -uncle in Florida.  But she got me a book on the Giants’ 2010 championship season, which was perfect.)

But what makes the days after Christmas the most wonderful time of the season?  Easy.  We have all the thoughts about God and Jesus still in mind, all the decorations still up, all the gifts (which now we can enjoy) … and none of the spectacle.

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On the death of an atheist

16 December 2011

Last night, author and essayist Christopher Hitchens died of complications from esophageal cancer.  He was 62.

Hitchens is not someone whose work I enjoyed — or even respected.  I read a number of his essays and found them to be mean-spirited, insulting, and bereft of logic or evidence to support his assertions.  He was militantly anti-faith — one of his books was entitled God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (I wonder how he explained all the hospitals, rescue missions, rehab centers, etc.) — and came across as sort of an atheist “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy.  Some say he challenged people’s faith; I tended to find that he spit on it and considered that a challenge.  (This is what I experienced of him; your mileage may vary.)

So upon reading of his death, I did have the obvious mental picture of Hitchens suddenly finding himself in the presence of the God he had so stridently denied.  Several ideas for Twitter tweets or Facebook statements came to mind, making light of what would seem to be his awkward position vis-a-vis the Omnipotent.  A few times I even typed them out …

… only to delete them, unposted.  Because I realized that there was nothing funny about it.

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Women in ministry: another view

13 December 2011

I was over at InternetMonk.com, reading an article dealing with women ministering in the church — specifically, with one (male) teacher’s statement that women should not be allowed to perform general teaching ministry in the church.  This concept usually goes under the title of “complementarianism” in Christian circles, though it also shows up in Islam and some sects of Judaism.

Now, I hesitate to leave it there, because to give this general theological stance a single name is kind of misleading — there are dozens of differing opinions even among self-proclaimed complementarians as to where the line between what women are and aren’t allowed to do in ministry should be drawn.  To some, no public ministry is allowed for women, ever.  To others, women are not allowed to preach or teach except to other women, or except to small children, or at some church functions but not others, or in hiding where the neighbors can’t see it … and so on.  I saw one report recently where a prominent evangelical leader, in answer to a question of whether it’s OK to listen to female Bible teachers on the radio, said that it’s probably all right … as long as the woman in question wasn’t the guy’s “primary teacher.”  (He left “primary teacher” undefined, so who knows what he meant.)  In regard to women in ministry, there’s a lot of that kind of hair-splitting in Christian circles.

One of the commenters on the article (credit where it’s due) was a fellow who calls himself “Eagle” — an outsider like myself, only more so.  He shared something he’d gotten from elsewhere, that was too pertinent for me not to steal and share with you. Read the rest of this entry »


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