Friday, December 12, 2014

A Free Preview of My New Book: Grace In Shoe Leather - Now Available on!

I'm pleased to announce that my new book "Grace In Shoe Leather" has been published and is available on  It is a remarkable true story of God's grace in the lives of two ordinary yet remarkable people.  Here's the description:

In March, 1998, the Evansville, Indiana area was rocked by "The MotoMart Shooting" and the ensuing arrest of a local youth for murder. "Grace In Shoe Leather" is the true story of one victim's widow who refuses to take the path of bitterness and resentment, but instead chooses the path of forgiveness and grace. In a surprising turn of events, that widow, Ina Kae Simpson, eventually befriends Erick Schmitt, the man convicted of taking her husband's life. The unexpected results of this unusual friendship are inspirational!

I already have several good reviews that have been posted, for which I'm really grateful.  I'd like to share some of these with you:

I have read Wayne Nall's book "Grace In Shoe Leather" and found it to be informative, encouraging, and touching. In my view the theme is "the value of forgiveness." It is about real people living in a real world of problems, trials, and discouragement, yet finding hope in having a forgiving spirit, which Jesus taught throughout the gospels. It contains pictures which add to the import of the text. It is written in a style that is easy to to read and once I started it I could not put it down. I would encourage all to read this book, it will be well worth your time. 
 When reading Wayne Nall, Jr.s book, Grace in Shoe Leather, I was touched by the unfolding of an amazing story. It really shows that there are people in this world who live their faith "out loud" and that can have real and lasting consequences that ripples like a stone tossed into a pond. Thank you for sharing such an uplifting story!
As our son was getting some driving practice in this evening, I began reading the forward aloud while we drove around town. He commented that the forward was just what it should be. He was "hooked" and ready to hear more. His thirteen year old sister asked for my phone and continued reading chapter one aloud till we got home. And at 1:00 a.m. I've just finished the book. I couldn't lay it down! Thank you, Ina, for extending grace. Thank you, Erik, for receiving grace. Thank you, Wayne, for taking the grace from "shoe leather" to print. In this day of un-grace, this story shines as a must read! 
I love to hear stories of people who live their faith "out loud", don't you?  "Grace In Shoe Leather" is one of those stories, and it's one that people need to hear about.  I've chosen to put a very reasonable price on this book, in the hopes that more people would read it.  It's actually only $2.99 on Amazon.  That's really affordable for just about anyone.  And I hope that, after you read it, you will think that this was worth much more than this price.

Here's some good news: you can read the first part of this book for free!  Just follow the link below to the Amazon webpage for the book, then click on the book cover on the left right under the "Look Inside" banner.

Don't have an Amazon Kindle?  No problem!  Amazon has free Kindle reading apps available for download.  You can read this on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet, or your computer as well as on your Amazon Kindle device.  To get the free app, just go to the webpage and follow the instructions under "Free Kindle Reading App."

If you read the book, I would love to hear from you to let me know what you think of it...good or bad.  You can email me at privately, and you can also post a review on Amazon.  In fact, if you do, I would really appreciate it!  I'm a new and unknown author, and reviews are what makes the difference in a book getting noticed or "staying on the shelf."  I'd love for this story to "get out there."  After you read it, I hope you will too!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Stonewalled by Sharyl Attkisson (Part 2)

This is a continuation of a book review of Sharyl Attkisson's new book Stonewalled: My Fight For Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington. To read Part 1 of my review, click here.

Chapter 4: Benghazi: The Unanswered Questions

For anyone who has followed this story, the attacks on our compound in Benghazi, Libya on the night of September 11, 2012, conjure up a web of deceit, duplicity and intrigue that we are still trying to decipher. The number of angles that could and should have been covered by reporters is multitudinous. However, outside of Fox News and a small number of mainstream reporters, the national press corps moved on after a short time. No story here. "Just a ginned up Republican story", they say. One of the few of those mainstream reporters that went against the grain and doggedly dug into Benghazi was Sharyl Attkisson. In Stonewalled, she chronicles her attempt not only to press through resistance from the Obama Administration, but from her own network.

Among the questions about Benghazi that she would ask were these, which she put to an Obama spokesman:

What were the President’s actions that night?

What time was Ambassador Stevens' body recovered, what are the known details surrounding his disappearance and death including where he/ his body was taken/ found/ transported and by whom? Who made the decision not to convene the Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG) the night of the Benghazi attacks?

We understand that convening the CSG is a protocol under Presidential directive (NSPD-46). Is that true? If not, please explain. If so, why was the protocol not followed? Is the administration revising the applicable Presidential directive? If so, please explain.

Who is the highest-ranking official who was aware of pre-911 security requests from U.S. personnel in Libya?

Who is /are the official( s) responsible for removing reference to al-Qaeda from the original CIA notes?

Was the President aware of General David Petraeus' potential [sexual scandal] problems prior to Thursday, November 8, 2012?

What was the earliest that any White House official was aware? Please provide details.

What is your response to the President stating that on September 12, he called 9/ 11 a terrorist attack in light of his CBS interview on that date in which he answered that it was too early to know whether it was a terrorist attack?

Is anyone being held accountable for having no resources close enough to reach this high-threat area within 8 + hours on September 11 and has the administration taken steps to have resources available sooner in case of emergency in the future?

A Benghazi victim's family member stated that Mrs. Clinton told him she would find and arrest whoever made the anti-Islam video. Is this accurate?

If so, what was Mrs. Clinton's understanding at the time of what would be the grounds for arrest?

Good questions! She (and we) are still waiting for answers to these and many other questions about this sordid episode in which an American ambassador and three other brave Americans lost their lives.

By the way, can you imagine what the press would have done with this story if this had happened under George W. Bush's watch?

As elsewhere in the book, the stonewalling by "the powers that be" at CBS and other networks is as much the story as the stonewalling by the current administration. I find it very interesting to note that the president of CBS News is the brother of top Obama advisor Ben Rhodes. Though she doesn't ever come out and say it, I felt that Ms. Attkisson definitely leaves you feeling that she suspected that CBS President David Rhodes is trying to run interference for his brother and the Obama Administration. Just a few weeks after the scandal broke, Attkisson states that "the lights went out" on the story. All of sudden, top brass at CBS are not interested in any more Benghazi stories (especially with the elections coming up in a few weeks). She makes the following comments about that time:

The height of popularity for the Benghazi story inside CBS is when I get Colonel Wood (a Benghazi security specialist) on camera in October 2012. But even then, not everybody is happy. I happen to be in New York City, where I've just picked up an investigative Emmy for Fast and Furious. It's the first New York visit that my producer on the Benghazi story, Kim, has made with me. She quite correctly detects that she's getting the cold shoulder from New York colleagues she's never met before. I'm getting it, too. I tell her I call it the Big Freeze and not to worry. There's no point in trying to figure it out; their response isn't logic based. It's visceral. Having worked at CBS for nearly twenty years, I tell Kim that there are groups of people who are so ideologically entrenched, they literally see you as the enemy if you do stories that contradict their personal beliefs. They may not even consciously understand why it is that they hate you— and I do mean hate— but they do. "It has nothing to do with you," I explain to Kim. "They don't like you because you work with me." She thinks it's crazy. I'm used to it.

She tells later in the book that CBS intentionally withheld a damning portion of a Steve Kroft 60 Minutes interview with President Obama that he held on September 12, the same day that the president made the famous rose garden speech, in which he called the attack everything but terrorism. The president would later claim in a debate with Mitt Romney that he had called it terrorism. (He didn’t, he was talking about 9-11-01.) Had the 60 Minutes interview aired in its entirety, it would have shown clearly that the administration was trying not to call the attack “terrorism”. This would be one of the many reasons that Attkisson would leave CBS earlier this year.

Chapter 5: The Politics of (and Covering It)

In this chapter, Sharyl Attkisson details her behind-the-scenes work in trying to unearth the reasons for the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website last fall. Here again, the chapter is as much about the resistance from her bosses at CBS and the overall antagonism of the press to following up in what should have been a goldmine of stories related to the failed website.

One of the more interesting things that she reveals in this book is the strategies that the Obama Administration uses in "working" the press, i.e. the various ways that they manipulate gullible reporters into following the administration line. In this chapter she defines some of these tactics:

KNOW YOUR ENEMY Get to know the reporters on the story and their supervisors. Lobby them. If they don't adopt your viewpoint, try to discredit them.
MINE AND PUMP When asked to provide interviews and information for a story, stall, claim ignorance of the facts, and mine the reporter for what information he has.
CONTROVERSIALIZE Wait until the story is published to see how much the reporter really knows . Then launch a propaganda campaign with surrogates and sympathizers in the media to divert from the damaging facts. Controversialize the reporter and any whistleblower.

As I mentioned before, this last one is being used against Ms. Attkisson now during the rollout of her book. The "controversialize" strategy is something that you see playing out over and over when the Administration and Democrats and their media surrogates run up against someone who is damaging them. Attkisson would further define this strategy this way:

"Controversialize," as in the PR tactic that involves launching a propaganda campaign using surrogates and sympathizers in the media to divert from the damaging facts. They try to turn the focus on personalities instead of the evidence.

In the rollout, they would do this to House Oversight Committee Republican Chairman Darrell Issa among others. If your eyes are open to it, you can see this strategy play out again and again against various administration opponents. And the press is only too happy to participate in the character assassinations that ensue.

Chapter 6: I Spy – The Government’s Secrets

The last chapter of the book (although the Conclusion, in which Ms. Attkisson tells of the reasons for her parting CBS, is as long as a chapter) tells the story that is getting so much publicity. With the NSA scandal as the backdrop, she gives and account of her experience in finding out that her computers had been hacked. This chapter is like something out of Mission Impossible, except it’s totally credible. Three separate analyses of both her personal computer and her CBS computer found extremely sophisticated software installed in her computers which could have only been done by the government. One of her computer experts (who she calls “Number One”) made the following statement to her after examining the computers:

“First just let me say again I’m shocked. Flabbergasted. All of us are. This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America”

Then, in one of the most chilling sections of the book, she records this part of her conversation with “Number One:”

There’s one more finding. And it’s more disturbing than everything else.
“Did you put any classified documents on your computer?” asks Number One. 
“No,” I say. “Why?”
“Three classified documents were on your computer. But here’s the thing. They were buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists”
“Well, I certainly didn’t put anything there.”
“Just making an educated guess, I’d say whoever got in your computer planted them.”
That’s worth pausing to let the chill run all the way up the back of my neck to the part of my brain that thinks, Why? To frame me? A source? My heart accelerates. I’m thinking it, but it’s Number One who finally breaks the silence to say it.
“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point.”

One of the more disconcerting things in the whole book is the attitude that her CBS superiors had about her bugged computers. While initially supporting her and then having their own analysis done of her computers, they at first refuse to release the findings to her. She then states:

CBS finally agrees to provide me a copy of Patel’s draft report. I’ve had further conversations that lead me to conclude my company may try to spin my computer intrusions as something dubious and indefinite . I’m given additional pause for thought when I learn that some CBS managers are quietly implying to selected colleagues, who are happy to spread it around, that the computer intrusions might be a figment of my “paranoid” imagination. I can’t figure out why they would say such a thing when their own analyst had long ago confirmed the intrusions verbally and in writing, in no uncertain terms. Why would some in my own company now attempt to discredit the computer issue and their own forensic expert? Weren’t they as alarmed as I was to learn that unauthorized parties were in the CBS system…Even more disturbing, word came to me that a CBS manager had convened a private meeting with a colleague asking him to turn over the name(s) of the inside confidential sources who had first helped me identify the computer intrusions back in January. The colleague didn’t have that information. Weird.
This and other parts of the book lead me to conclude that, as disturbing as her findings are, she may have only scratched the surface of the collusion between the mainstream media and both the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress. You can just go back to the mid-term elections that were just held to see that something odd has been going on with the press. The website “Newsbusters” found that:

when Democrats were feeling good about their election prospects eight years ago, the CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, and ABC’s World News aired a combined 159 campaign stories (91 full reports and another 68 stories that mentioned the campaign). But during the same time period this year, those same newscasts have offered a paltry 25 stories (16 full reports and 9 mentions), a six-to-one disparity!
Overall Conclusions

Honestly, to say that “Stonewalled” is an eye-opener is something of an understatement. If there is any overall takeaway from this book, it is that we are at least being grossly underserved by the mainstream press in our country, and (I would add) we may be intentionally mislead by them. In most instances, she lays the blame not on the reporters but on the “media elites” who run the show, not only in the newsroom, but in the executive suites in New York.

Yet, ironically, we are also living in an age in which there is a wider variation of news outlets and sources of all kinds of news than ever before. I get my news from many different sources. I start with Fox News (which has itself been “controversialized” by the other members of the mainstream press). There’s no doubt that Fox leans conservative, especially in its evening commentary programming. However, I think its straight news programming is far and away better than any of the networks or the other cable channels. If it weren’t for Fox and a few courageous reporters like Ms. Attkisson, we would know virtually nothing about “Fast and Furious” and “Benghazi” and a host of other scandals that the mainstream media avoids. Yet, I also scour many news sources around the world daily, both liberal and conservative, before I make up my mind about what the real story is. We simple can’t allow ourselves to ingest the "homogenized, milquetoast news” that we’re being served up day after day. Sharyl Attkisson says it best at the conclusion of her book.
Do your own research. Consult those you trust. Make up your own mind.

Think for yourself.

Below are links to other articles I've written recently about current events:

The High Cost of Inaction
Is War In Europe Coming?
Oklahoma Beheading: Let's Call It What It Is!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Stonewalled by Sharyl Attkisson (Part 1)

I just finished reading one of the most remarkable and yet disturbing books that I've come across in some time.

Former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has written a blockbuster of a book with a blockbuster title: Stonewalled: My Fight For Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington. Despite the attempts to denigrate her in the media (which ironically follows the same pattern of "controversializing" an opponent which she describes in her book), she is eminently qualified to write this book. She has been a working journalist for more than thirty years (over twenty years of that time being with CBS News) and has been described in the Washington Post as a "persistent voice of news-media skepticism about the government's story." She is the recipient of five Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting . Her work has appeared on the CBS Evening News, CBS Sunday Morning, 48 Hours, and CBS This Morning. Up until recently, Sharyl Attkisson has been "an insider's insider." She has done multiple investigative stories critical of both Republicans and Democrats.

Since the book came out last Tuesday, I have read and watched multiple interviews of Sharyl Attkisson. (Not one of these has been with any of the Big Three networks - surprise!). There is one sensational and disturbing section of the book in which Attkisson discloses that both her CBS computer and her personal computer were found to have unauthorized software installed on them that were too sophisticated for anyone but the government to have installed. Almost every interview focuses on this one part of the book, which is indeed incredible and frightening. One of the three separate investigators who analyzed her computers stated that it was "worse than anything Nixon ever did." However, few of these interviews really delve into the bigger picture of what the book is about. In this post, I want to concentrate on the first three chapters of the book. I plan to cover the last three next time, which includes the alarming section about the computer breach.

Chapter 1: "Media Mojo Lost: Investigative Reporting's Recession"

As a consumer of news for the last forty years (I remember watching the Watergate Hearings gavel-to-gavel when I was ten years old. I was a strange kid!), it has been obvious to me that the national news media was and still is flagrantly biased towards the left side of the political spectrum. The difference between the way that a Republican Administration and a Democratic Administration are reported on should be obvious to any thinking person. However, in Stonewalled, Attkisson not only confirms what I've known all along, but shows how endemic this tendency is, citing multiple examples by playing "The Substitution Game" throughout the book. In each of these sections, she chronicles how the mainstream media covers a story coming from the Democratic side, then posits how reporters would have covered the same story if it had come from the Republican side. One example that she gives is then-Senator Obama's remark in 2008 presidential campaign that he had visited fifty-seven states. The news media by and large gave Obama a pass. While stating that everyone knows that he meant forty-seven states, she states, "the remark, nothing more than a verbal gaffe, didn't make big headlines. Substitution Game: What if Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin had uttered the same misstatement? Do you think the news media would've been so quick to overlook it?" Anyone who paid attention to the way the press excoriated Palin would know the obvious answer to that question.

Yet, Attkisson, in her book, shows that the endemic liberal bias of the press is only one of the barriers to fair and honest reporting of the facts. She also makes the following point:

Pushing original and investigative reporting has become like trying to feed the managers spinach. They don't like the taste, but they occasionally hold their nose and indulge because it's good for them—or because it looks good. They much prefer it to be sugarcoated , deep-fried, or otherwise disguised so that it goes down easier.

She states that the mainstream press as a whole has lost its "mojo", which she describes as the press's "ability to serve vigorously and effectively as the Fourth Estate (and be the) watchdog to government and other powers that may otherwise overstep their bounds." The national news media has become compliant. In many cases, they have allowed the government under the Obama administration to bully them into submission. They also practice "playing it safe."

Playing it safe means airing stories that certain other trusted media have reported first, so there's no perceived "risk" to us if we report them, too. We're not going out on a limb; we're not reporting anything that hasn't already been reported elsewhere. But it also means we're not giving viewers any reason to watch us. Playing it safe can mean shying away from stories that include allegations against certain corporations, charities, and other chosen powerful entities and people. The image of the news media as fearless watchdogs poised, if not eager, to pursue stories that authorities wish to block is often a false image. Decisions are routinely made in fear of the response that the story might provoke.

She later states:
The tendency to stick to mostly "safe" stories means you'll see a lot of so-called day-of-air reports on topics that won't generate pushback from the special interests we care about. Think: weather, polls, surveys, studies, positive medical news, the pope, celebrities, obituaries, press conferences, government announcements, animals, the British royals, and heartwarming features. They fill airtime much like innocuous white noise.

She describes this as "homogenized, milquetoast news." She illustrates this by comparing stories from one evening's news on the Big Three networks:

On February 21, 2014, all three networks lead with three minutes on the troubles in Ukraine. Everyone has two to three minutes on the weather: a new popular favorite dominating the news almost every night. Everyone has stories on the Olympics. Everyone does the exact same feature in the middle of their broadcasts about a woman who saved her baby nephew's life (a story widely circulated on the Web the day before). Everyone reports President Obama's decision to award the Medal of Honor. Two of the three networks devote more than two minutes of their precious, limited news time to tributes to their own network's employees: one who passed away and another who is retiring. Are we producing a newscast more for ourselves and each other rather than the public? What did we really tell America on this night that they didn't already know?

What are some of the stories they could have covered instead?

My own network is passing up stories on the crumbling Affordable Care Act; an exclusive investigation I offered about a significant military controversy; an investigation uncovering a history of troubles surrounding Boeing's beleaguered Dreamliner; and massive government waste, fraud, and abuse. Largely untouched are countless stories about pharmaceutical dangers affecting millions of Americans, privacy infringement, the debate over President Obama's use of executive orders, the FDA monitoring of employee email, the steady expansion of terrorism, the student loan crisis, the confounding explosion in entitlements, the heartbreaking fallout from the Haiti earthquake, continuing disaster for government-subsidized green energy initiatives, the terrorist influences behind "Arab spring," various congressional ethics investigations and violations, the government's infringement of and restrictions on the press, escalating violence on the Mexican border, the debt crisis, the Fed's role and its secrecy, to name just a few.

In this chapter, she also describes the many fascinating ways that the government, especially the current administration (which even the press now acknowledges to be the most obstructive in history), manipulates the press for their own ends. In one of the most shocking ways (to me) that they use it what is called "The Astroturf Effect," in which the Obama administration teams up with a cadre of special interests who:

…disguise themselves and write blogs, publish letters to the editor, produce ads, establish Facebook and Twitter accounts, start nonprofits, or just post comments to online material with the intent of fooling you into believing an independent or grassroots movement is speaking.

One of the "astroturf" websites is the ultra-liberal Media Matters, which is an Obama administration sycophant. Even before her book came out this last week, they have been publishing multiple articles supposedly "debunking" this book. Must be hitting close to home!

If the book had only this first chapter, it would have been worth the price of the book. However, there's much more.

Chapter 2: "Fast and Furious Redux | Inside America's Deadly Gunwalking Disgrace"

I admit that I didn’t follow “Fast and Furious” too closely when it was big in the news.  Actually, it wasn’t big in the news except on Fox, which covered it extensively.  It got labeled by the national media as a “Fox story” and pretty well faded out everywhere except on FNC.  However, the story that Sharyl Attkisson tells here is as much about the pushback that she got from “the powers that be” at CBS News as it is about “Fast and Furious.”  This chapter actually got me up to speed on the sickening details of the investigation.  It is just unbelievable that our government was involved in such a harebrained idea.  Not only did it tragically cost a border agent, Brian Terry, his life, but our government’s reckless and illegal “gunwalking” scheme probably cost countless Mexican lives as well.  It is just unbelievable to me that this got ignored by the media.  It is far worse than Watergate, and really a case could be made that it was worse than Benghazi, considering the number of lives that could have been taken (and may be yet taken) with these weapons.  In this chapter, she makes the case that the entire scheme could possibly have been conjured up as a Machiavellian way to promote the Obama administration’s gun control initiative.  By having these guns show up in Mexico, they could bolster the administration argument that we need tighter gun control laws in order to prevent guns from getting to Mexico! How convoluted is that!

Unfortunately, most of Attkisson's fine work on this scandal never made it to the network news, being relegated to the CBS News website. Somehow, this spectacular scandal just didn't interest the CBS News folks up in New York enough to merit attention. (See chapter 1 above.)

As a side note, I found it fascinating that one of the cities that she found evidence or allegations for "gunwalking" was Evansville, Indiana, just a few miles from where I'm writing this today. For me, that brings this literally "close to home!"

Chapter 3: "Green Energy Going Red: The Silent Burn of Your Tax Dollars"

The "poster child" for the Green Energy debacle was Solyndra. Just conjuring up the failed company brings up the image of hundreds of millions of our tax dollars being poured into a company that would soon go belly up. However, in this chapter, Sharyl Attkisson shows that Solyndra was just the tip of the iceberg. She tells of the "Think Global" electric car company (also right here in Indiana), which was given $17 million by the Obama administration. They ended up building a few dozen cars. An even more spectacular failure was another car company, Fisker, who built a car so bad that Consumer Reports stated, "We buy about 80 cars a year and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process." In this case, hundreds of millions of our tax dollars were wasted. Fisker would make 1800 undriveable cars before going bankrupt.

Unfortunately, Sharyl Attkisson's work on this scandal couldn't be shown on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. See Chapter 1 above. They had bigger fish to fry at the network's flagship news program. More weather, polls, celebrity gossip. In this case, it was relegated to the weekend news program…and the web. She was told that this was "old news." She goes on to tell of an anecdote provided by one of her colleagues:

Evening News executive producer Shevlin and a CBS News executive in New York were discussing those green energy notes I'd been circulating. Here's the account as told to me: 
EXECUTIVE Attkisson's green energy stories are pretty significant. . . . Maybe we should be airing some of them on Evening News? 
SHEVLIN What's the matter, don't you support green energy?

Click Here to read Part 2.

Below are links to other articles I've written recently about current events:

The High Cost of Inaction

Is War In Europe Coming?
Oklahoma Beheading: Let's Call It What It Is!








Saturday, October 18, 2014

"Church Etiquette" - Wisdom From A Bygone Age

One of our church members recently brought me an old bulletin from a nearby church that she found stuck away in a book.  It was dated January 10, 1963.  The front of it was entitled “Church Etiquette.”  As I read these, I was amazed at the wisdom in many of these points.   I don't necessarily subscribe to every one of these, but overall I found them to be quite helpful.

We live in a ultra-casual age.  Where people used to dress up for public functions, whether it was work, church, or some kind of other event, but now it's "anything goes."  Actually, I admit that I like some of this.  I often don’t wear a suit and tie to church, and we have members that come in all types of garb.  I would much rather someone come to church in a pair of ratty jeans and a shirt with holes in it than not come to church at all! 

However, somewhere along the line we’ve lost our way in the way we approach meeting with God.  We don’t have a nonchalant God, so we shouldn’t approach him in a nonchalant way!

These points from a bygone age are instructive to me, and I hope they may be to you as well:

1.       COME. Never miss unless absolutely necessary. George Washington's pastor said of him, "No company ever kept him from his church."
2.       COME EARLY. Rushing into service at the last minute is not conducive to true worship, yet often scores of our people will come in after the service has started when they could easily have been on time.
3.       COME WITH THE WHOLE FAMILY. The service is not a convention where a family should merely send a delegate.
4.       TAKE A PLACE TOWARD THE FRONT of the church.  Leave the rear seats for those who of necessity may come late.
5.       BE DEVOUT. The church is not a theater or place of amusement. You come to worship God, not to whisper, lounge, or sleep. If you must talk, talk to God, pray for the preacher.
6.       BE THOUGHTFUL of the comfort of others. Never make a haystack of yourself at the end of the pew and expect others to climb over you to reach a seat.
7.       HELP STRANGERS to follow the service by sharing the hymnal and following the order of service. Always remember that strangers are guests of the church. Treat them with the
same courtesy you would if they should visit in your home.
8.       GIVE A GOOD OFFERING TO GOD. It is one of the highest acts of worship.
9.       NEVER RUSH OUT BEFORE THE BENEDICTION. This is the critical time of the service and someone's future or eternity may depend on your action. After the benediction, remember to stay long enough to speak to and be spoken to.
10.   NEVER STAY AWAY because the church is not perfect. How lonesome you would feel in a perfect church.

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; His truth endureth to all generations." —Psalm 100:4-5

Following are links to similar posts on this blog:

Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm Writing A Book...Here's How To Get Your Free Copy!

Ina Kae Simpson
In 2007, an elderly lady and her family began attending the church where I serve as deacon.  I noticed right away that Ina Kae Simpson's body may be elderly, but her outlook on life is youthful.  She had and still has such a youthful, buoyant spirit!   Not long after this, a news report on a local television station featured Ina, and I was shocked to learn what my new friend had been through.  In 1998, her husband had been killed in a convenience store robbery by a young man who was high on drugs.  I was amazed to hear the details of her story in the news report.   Not only had she not let the excruciating difficult experience destroy her, but she had recently developed a friendship with the young man who had killed her husband!

Recently, I have been writing an Kindle eBook about Ina Kae's story that should be ready for publication very soon. There's much more to this story than what I've shared above, but I wanted to give my blog readers a "heads-up" on what is coming.  I've enjoyed writing this blog for several years now, but writing a book is a new experience for you.  It's challenging, but very rewarding.  The manuscript is about 3/4 completed, and I hope to have this eBook uploaded to Amazon by Thanksgiving.  The name of this book will be "Grace In Shoe Leather".

The eBook business is exploding right now.  In just the last year, eBook sales have far surpassed traditional book sales on Amazon, which is far and away the top venue in the world for ebooks.  Hundreds of eBooks are uploaded every day, and it's hard for a new author to get noticed.  This is why I'm assembling a team of my blog readers who would be willing to read my book and review it before it comes out to the general public.   If you would like to participate, please send me an email to  When the book is out, I will gift you a copy.  All I ask is that you read it and post a review within a week. It will be a short read, so this should not be difficult at all.

Once the book is uploaded, I'll be posting excerpts from the book here, so, even if you choose not to participate, stay tuned!

P.S. If you don't have a Kindle, it's no problem!  Amazon has free software that you can download on your computer, tablet, or phone.  I'll send you details via email, once you sign up.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

These 300 Year Old Resolutions Are Still True Today!

Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was a Christian preacher, philosopher, and theologian. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian," and one of America's greatest intellectuals. (Wikipedia) He was one of the leaders during the First Great Awakening and saw some of the first tent revivals in America.

Those the words were written almost three hundred years ago (and contain some rather archaic language!), they still challenge us today…

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humble entreat Him, by His grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake. [I will] remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

  •  Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.
  • Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
  • Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
  • Resolved, Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
  • Resolved, Never to do anything out of revenge.
  • Resolved, Never to speak evil of any one, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
  • Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
  • Resolved, Never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession which I cannot hope God will accept.
  • Resolved, To ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
  • Resolved, Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
  • Resolved, After afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them; what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.
  • Resolved, Always to do that which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak.
Following are links to similar posts on this blog:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

God Can Do Things In Prayer That Are Just So Cool!

God can do things in prayer that are just so cool...

Just this morning, I was praying for a friend of mine and his wife, Kenneth and Glynis Kintsel...a missionary couple who have a ministry to Latin America.  I knew that they were flying out of Miami sometime today to enter a country south of Miami to minister to the church there.  (I'm not going to name the country, but you probably can figure out an island nation that is not very hospitable to Christians.) As I was praying for them, I felt that I should text them to let them know that I was praying for them as they enter a potentially dangerous situation.  After I texted him, I felt compelled to add to my prayer that there not be any problems in customs as they bring important religious material into this country.  I hadn't thought of that (which may seem rather obvious, but it just hadn't occurred to me until that moment.) until I sent the text.

Less than a minute later, my friend called me.  He thanked me for praying for him, and told me that they would be boarding the plane in about ten minutes. He then asked for an additional prayer request...that I pray that they not have any problems in customs with the religious material they were taking to the people of this country!  Exactly what God had just put on my heart to pray for! Wow!  I told him, "Brother, I just prayed this for you seconds ago!"  God is working!

I asked if I could pray with him briefly, and we had a short but sweet time in prayer together.  The Lord brought to my mind an incident in Corrie Ten Boom's account  "The Hiding Place", in which she and her family were taken to concentration camps in Germany during World War II for harboring Jews from the Nazis.  She wanted to bring a Bible into the camp desperately, but had no way of getting it in except that God would simply close the eyes of the guards as she passed by.  So that's what she did.  She prayed and trusted God. she was going through the inspection line with her Bible under her thin shirt, there was a big ruckus in front of her as they interrogated another prisoner.  Their attention was drawn to the prisoner, and she just walked through without being touched!  She would use this Bible to bring many to Christ and bring hope to those suffering in wretched conditions at Ravensbrook.

So...I haven't heard yet, but I feel confident that Jesus made the way for them to get the materials in that they needed.

These are not isolated incidents.  I know for a fact that God can do incredible things through prayer that can't be done any other way.  I know this from my own personal experience, and I know it from the experience of many others.

P.S. Please pray for this couple as they minister in this Latin country for the next couple of weeks. Bro. Ken and Sis. Glynis have an awesome ministry that I know that they would love for you to be a part of.  You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter by clicking on the links below:

Kenneth Kintsel's Facebook Page
Glynis Kintsel's Facebook Page
Kintsel's Twitter Account

Check Out My New Facebook Page - Flyover Country!