Tag Archives: christian

Works in Progress….

As I’m currently working on the prequel to Times of Trouble, which is taking me a whole lot longer to write than anticipated because of having to replace a computer part, causing me to re-install Windows 7, with everything else on my computer, then not having an updated version of Word, since it was at my brothers’ house (who is my IT guy), and finding out that I’m doing more research than I had originally anticipated, I had an idea pop into my head as I was watching the “Gospel Music Showcase” on Daystar (I enjoy Southern Gospel) the other day.  It’s an idea that I have no idea if it’s been done before, so I’ll share it with you, my readers.

Here’s what I wrote down in a notebook I have for such occasions:

The novel starts off with a narrator on a TV show  focusing on the life of a once famous musician, I guess like what they do on, I think it’s on VH-1, sort of a “Where Are They Now” kind of thing and how they got to where they were at. Then, the story will go back to the time when this musician was only known to his friends, family, and fellow church members, because he sings in church. He’s discovered, is asked to show up on a national singing competition, sort of like “Star Search” or “The Voice,” and he wins the competition. As he begins recording music with a record label when he gets the contract, the singer begins experiencing various temptations. He also ends up with an agent that will eventually convince him to leave Christian music behind because no one important listens to it and he’ll make more money in secular music (shades of Amy Grant, Whitney Houston, or Katy Perry). So our singer begins recording secular music (not sure which kind of rock yet). At a party, he’s introduced to a girl, who the singer eventually marries, but she is most definitely not a Christian. She introduces him to drugs and alcohol, while his agent gets the singer into all the right parties, eventually giving him enough visibility to win awards, like a Grammy.

He gains the attention of President-elect David Collins, who invites him to sing the national anthem at the inauguration, followed by an invite to the NFL to sing at the next Super Bowl, and an invite by NASCAR to sing the anthem at the Daytona 500. Our singer’s on top of the music charts, along with being the most popular singer on Earth, when tragedy strikes. His whole family dies in a plane crash on the way to wherever he was touring. Unfortunately for him, he had an argument with his wife over his gambling and all sorts of other things he shouldn’t be doing, and he went on tour without apologizing or patching things up. The singer feels guilty, but instead of praying and trying to get right with God, he responds by drinking more and more. His grief and general drunkenness gets to be so bad, he gets dropped by his record label and agent, his expensive cars get repossessed, and house gets foreclosed on. In an attempt to help him, his home church tries to reach out to him, but he angrily rejects their help, because he’d rather rely on his worldly friends, but they reject him. At his lowest point, when he’s living in a broken down car, he prays for the first time in years by asking God to forgive him for going down this path. He feels a peace come over him, when he hears a trumpet sound, and is taken up along with thousands of other Christians.

The novel  ends with the TV show saying they hope the singer is happy wherever he is.

So, what do ya’ll think? Would you read something like this? Or back to the drawing board?

 

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What if…. Limited Government

Lately, the writer in me has been thinking of a story where the U.S. breaks into two, peacefully(maybe). The conservative-libertarian states would create the limited government they want, while the liberals/progressives/socialists would have as much big government as they could stand (California comes to mind). Since three of my novels are heavily political, I thought I’d write a post on my thoughts (to a point, I could go on a rant if I’m not careful). I’ve been thinking about this on and off since the early 1990′s, when I was in high school, when RINO George HW Bush was President. Sure I’m unhappy with Obama being re-elected, but I could see that coming, what with the Republican Establishment forcing Romney down our throats. Being in Texas, I couldn’t vote in the Primaries until May, so my vote for Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, or Governor Perry would have been pointless. Thanks RINOS! Anyway, I’m sure you’ve heard about the petitions on the White House’s website where people from at least 20 states (since yesterday) have asked that their states be peacefully released from the Union. As of 11/13/2012 at 8:50 am Central time, the Texas petition has received 65,630 signatures, out of the 25k that was needed.  I know people think states can’t secede thanks to the War Between the States, but if Puerto Rico can vote itself into the U.S., then why can’t states vote themselves out? Food for thought.

Here are my thoughts on what my theoretical conservative(or would that be libertarian?) country would govern like:

1. No central government, which means no fixed central capital. If there are enough states that join, for a chosen period of time, say 4 years, a state capital would be chosen to be the nation’s capital. The Chief Exec would be the Governor of that State. The Legislative Branch wouldn’t meet in person. Since we have video chatting, they can stay home and telecommute. This would limit the ability for lobbyists and others to corrupt our representatives. Judicial Branch would also be elected, that means no more sitting on the Supreme Court for a lifetime.

2. All laws and constitutional amendments are to be voted on by the people. The politicians would be required to live under the same laws because of this. Politicians would be limited to a term of twelve years, and their salaries would be less than the average citizen makes, since most politicians already have a lot of money. Voting would be a requirement, even if you don’t want to vote for anyone, you would still have to show up at your polling place.

3. Churches and charities would take care of those less fortunate, no more spending billions on people who never lift themselves out of their situations, causing generations of people to be on the government dole. These churches and charities would teach people how to do things for themselves, how to make a living, etc. Families will be encouraged to take care of their elders.

4. The education system would be run locally. Each state and each local community has different needs, so it wouldn’t be possible to have nationwide standards. I wouldn’t expect a farm state like Kansas to need the same education that an oil/cattle state like Texas would have. All that would be required is that the Bible be part of the education and that Creationism also be taught in addition to the “established” sciences. University education will have less of an emphasis, that way having a low-level college degree will be a bigger deal, instead of making everyone have one just to have a job, which dilutes the importance. The free market system will dictate the needs of the education system.

5. We will have no official denomination, so this will not be a Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish, or even a Catholic nation. However, due to the inherent conflict with our nation being mostly Judeo-Christian, Islam will not be welcomed, as it is in direct conflict with our beliefs. Other faiths are welcome as long as they don’t try to change the culture of our nation. We will also not sell alcohol on Sundays.

6. Immigration – Considering how unlimited immigration ruined the United States, we will limit who can come here. We will welcome all conservatives from other states who are stuck in liberal/progressive/socialist hell, and if liberals in our new country want to leave, we will propose a trade agreement with the USA: Your conservatives for our liberals, kind of like a trade in sports. As for other immigrants, only those that contribute to our overall technological progression as a society can live here; i.e. scientists, inventors, people with knowledge. Other than that, all illegals who try to cross our borders(including liberals) will be immediately returned to where they came from. No amnesty. Asylum will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Anyone who needs medical care will be welcomed for the time it takes them to get the required care.

7. Defense/Military – All citizens will be required to buy a gun, learn how to use it, and open-carry will be encouraged. Graduates from high school will be required to serve at least 2 years in the military or in service of some sort that will teach you to be invested in your nation, so that way you will care what happens. We will not have entangling alliances with other nations; no military bases or embassies so we won’t be tempted to get involved in other peoples’ affairs, nor will we recognize the United Nations. If we’re attacked, we will respond in kind, maybe with a stronger response. When we go to war, it will be all-out war, none of this hobby war stuff the U.S. engaged in. One caveat to alliances: we will have an alliance with Israel, because it is the Christian thing to do, God blesses those that do, and they are one of the few nations that wouldn’t need us to hold their hand or fight for them in a conflict. Each state will have a ready-to-go militia, but the nation as a whole will not have a standing military. All militia will train for three days a month. Some of our states have nuclear weapons facilities, so those will also be at the ready to show others that we will not be trifled with.

8. Medical – The government will stay out of the way to let the Free Enterprise system handle this. Tort Reform will be done to prevent lawyers from suing every Doctor or Hospital, which would cause skyrocketing medical costs if there is no Tort Reform. Insurance can be bought across state lines so that costs can stay down. Technological progress will be encouraged and we will strive to have the best medical care in the world. We will be a Pro-Life nation; you can be abstinent, use protection, or carry the child to term and give it up for adoption (there are many families who would adopt). If you are unable due to your life being threatened, we will do all we can to help you both survive, but there are times when an infant can’t be saved. We will mourn the dead unborn as we do any person who has been alive for any period of time.

9. Resources – Since the new government will not gobble up all the unused land for themselves, companies will be encouraged to search for new sources of energy: oil, coal, natural gas. These companies will be asked to search for energy as cleanly as possible, since it would be in their best interest for us to stay healthy and our environment not damaged, since they have to live here too. No more subsidizing ethanol production, since that drives up the cost of food and other products made from corn. Large windmills will be taken down, since that kills off birds, instead of actually contributing to our energy production. If it makes economic sense, car companies will be encouraged (but not given oodles of “stimulus” money) to see if electric powered or hydrogen powered cars are actually feasible. We will encourage the mining of gold and silver, and base our monetary system on one of these minerals. Eminent domain will not be used by the government, state or local. If a person’s property has some resources beneath it, the company will pay for the use and royalties will be paid. Conservation will be encouraged and the free market system will dictate what works and what doesn’t.

10. Spending/Taxes – Instead of an income tax, we will have a flat sales tax, 10% will be the rate. Since we won’t have permanent military bases overseas or embassies, we won’t need to spend that money. We will not send monetary aid to other nations. There will be no Departments of Education, Energy, Homeland Security, HHS, or Labor, no IRS, no Federal Reserve, along with other pointless agencies that only spend money. We will go back to having only a Department of State, Treasury, Interior, Commerce, and Defense (or War). The States will build their own roads and maintain the interstate highways. Government will require that contractors bid as low as they can stand, no more paying $20k for something like a hammer. The government will live on a budget, like everyone else.

That is all I can think of for now. I know there are plenty of people who disagree, and will probably voice their displeasure. But remember, this is all theoretical and I’m writing out a possible storyline. Do I seriously think this will happen? No. But, having differing opinions is what used to make the United States such a good place to live, but now it seems like everyone is just angry with each other. In the immortal words of Rodney King…. can’t we all just get along?

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Book Review from Christian Book Review

I received another book review, this one from Christian Book Review. They gave it 5 stars on Amazon, which is the non-spoiler version:

TimesofTroubleversion6Times of Trouble novel’s backdrop is on the End Times and all the other events leading to it. It is like a true story as most of the character sketches, circumstances, and plots are familiar and possible to happen in real life.

Honestly, this is the very first Christian fiction novel I have read and reviewed and I appreciate Cliff Ball’s heart to keep on stressing and repeating the importance of God, Bible, prayer, salvation, church, fellowship, close family ties, purity before marriage, and honesty about the character’s feelings and weaknesses.

I love the many prayers included in this novel and many times, at some point of the story, I can readily identify with the lines of the characters and the situations. Times of Trouble ministered to me greatly right now and it inspired me to keep the faith and never to give up in times of trouble knowing that the ending of everything–the world, mankind, and my own troubles are glorious when Jesus Christ returns on the earth and we will be raptured and caught up in the clouds at the trumpet blast.

Also available here:

B&N Nook, Sony, Diesel, Lulu, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, EBook Mall

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Times of Trouble, a new Christian fiction novel

Times of Trouble is my sixth novel, which will I will upload to Smashwords, B&N, and Createspace sometime in the next few days. It’s a Christian speculative fiction thriller. I’m aiming for the group of Christian readers who read the Left Behind series back in the late 90′s, and I’m hoping they’ll enjoy reading this novel.

What it’s about:

In the near future, the U.S. government has turned into a tyranny as the government agencies known as the EPA and TSA grow with ever more power, taking away the liberty many Americans had known for over two hundred years. They’re joined by a government agency, the Health Administration, which was put together in the mid-2010′s to regulate healthcare.

Told in first person point of view, Brian Atwood, our main character, is a field agent for the FBI in Omaha. His work involves mostly cyber terrorism and actual cases of potential real world terrorism. Eventually, his wife gives birth to their third child, who has Down’s Syndrome, which does not please the Health Administration because there are rules and regulations set-up in cases like these to prevent “genetic freaks” as they like to call them, from sucking up a lot of Health Admin money. Because the Atwoods are born again Christians, they never considered aborting the baby, so now the Health people have to take him away to deal with the problem later.

Meanwhile, the Secret Service decides to recruit Brian to be the personal agent of POTUS due to his great work involving a case that dealt with terrorism that would’ve involved Offutt Air Force Base. Brian’s faith is tested every day as he deals with a man that has no morals from what Brian can see, and is tested even more when his wife finds out that she’s dying from a fast growing form of breast cancer. Trouble in the rest of the world occurs as Iran attempts to nuke Israel, which fails spectacularly, so Israel takes care of the problem. This brings condemnation from everyone, including the US, which takes the side of Iran.

When the re-election of POTUS doesn’t turn out the way he wanted it, he and his people declare the election nullified because of supposed “irregularities” with the ballots. POTUS claims that the new President-elect may take the seat sometime in the middle of next year, if everything looks to be sorted out. POTUS purges his staff of what he considers unloyal people, including Brian. At the same time, he loses his wife, but regains the son he thought he had lost.

Brian moves back to his family home in Nebraska, where we follow what happens as the country slowly falls apart. Events play out as Brian and his family sees the End Times approach.

Stay tuned for news on when it can be purchased.

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