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Book Excerpt: When Shmack Happens by Amber Neben

When Shmack Happens coverTitle:  When Shmack Happens: The Making of a Spiritual Champion
Author: Amber Neben
Genre: Christian nonfiction/inspirational stories/sports autobiography
Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Neben Px4 (March 18, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0991303008
ISBN-13: 978-0991303007

Purchase at:

Amazon USA:   http://www.amazon.com/When-Shmack-Happens-Spiritual-Champion/dp/0991303008/

Book website: www.whenshmackhappens.com

Amazon UK and Amazon EU

Have you ever been through a hard time in life? Ever wondered why bad things happen? Amber Neben has you covered. The 2x Olympic cyclist for Team USA knows a thing or two about shmack- her word for describing adversity that comes our way in life. Follow Amber’s journey as she overcomes major obstacles both on and off the bike-and encourages you to join her in developing the perseverance, patience, perspective, and power than only Christ can give us. Very few people may know or understand what road cycling is, but everyone knows what it means to be an Olympian. The champion road cyclist chronicles her disappointments and failures, as well as amazing comebacks and victories-while thrilling audiences along the way with gripping stories of faith and hope. After reading When Shmack Happens, you’ll feel equipped and encouraged to face life’s tough moments, and find yourself cheering for Amber to get back on the bike…one more time. Learn what it means to be a spiritual champion in God’s eyes.

Excerpt:

From Chapter 10

Fear gripped me as I skidded to a stop against the guardrail and looked up at the entire peloton riding toward my head. Another rider had just slid into my front wheel, causing it to turn violently sideways, ripping the handlebars out of my hands, and instantly halting the bike’s forward momentum. Since my body was still carrying the 30-plus mph speed and energy, I launched with my arms out like superman until I hit the pavement. Hard. The combination of the friction of my body on the road followed by the impact with the guardrail spun me around, so I could see what was coming at me. For a few seconds more, I was terrified of being run over until the peloton had passed.

After this immediate danger was gone, I realized my finger was screaming at me. I hadn’t initially noticed it, but now it hurt like nothing I had ever felt. Fear grabbed me again as I connected the pain with the blood and the massive gash on it. I thought for sure I was going to lose the tip of it if I didn’t get help fast.

I had no idea what had just occurred. We had crested a climb and started an easy downhill. I was still up front on the outside of the group. The corner was sweeping to the left, and I was looking far down the road…when suddenly I was tossed. It wasn’t until later that night that the rider who was behind me explained what had happened, and why I had no chance to react or had any sense that it was coming.Amber Neben photo

I was in the middle of the 2009 racing season, coming off of the World Championship win the previous year. Only two days prior, I had won the time trial stage in this race, the women’s Giro d’Italia. The win had catapulted me into the General Classification (GC) lead, and although I had cramped the next day and lost it, I was still close enough to fight back. There were enough hill-top finishes remaining, and I wasn’t planning on giving up the race so easily. However, in an instant, everything changed. I went from being in contention, to being bloodied on the side of an Italian road in the middle of nowhere, waiting for the race ambulance and a doctor.

Amber Neben is a decorated international road cyclist with victories in 11 countries and multiple UCI Category 1 stage race wins. She is a 2x Olympian, 2x World Champion, 2x Pan American Champion and 2x National Champion. She holds a B.S. from The University of Nebraska and an M.S. from UC Irvine. Amber and her husband, Jason, reside in Lake Forest, CA. For information on speaking engagements or coaching visit amberneben.com.

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Interview with Jermaine Gadson, Author of Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy

Jermaine Gadson headshotJermaine Gadson is the Senior Pastor of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-traditional church located in Birmingham, AL. Prior to starting Faith Ministries, he served as an associate minister, youth minister, and pastor for local churches and ministries in the greater Birmingham area.  While, growing up in the Baptist church, he gave his life to Christ at an early age, and is a third generation minister of the Gospel. 

He holds a B.A. in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies and a Minor in Classics from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University.  He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Beeson Divinity School.  

Gadson enjoys reading, writing, sports, outdoors, movies, and spending time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Kristy and they have one beautiful daughter, Khloe. 

Visit Pastor Gadson online at www.JermaineGadson.com.

Thank you for this interview, Jermaine. Can you tell us what your latest book, Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy, is all about?

Yes, Tactics, Trends, and Traits, of the Enemy is about equipping people with the knowledge and wisdom to overcome various struggles in life that are a direct result of spiritual adversity. This book takes the spookiness out of spiritual warfare by exposing the Enemy’s strategies that present themselves in struggles that people face every day, that they may not be aware of as demonic attacks.

How did you come up with the idea?

The idea for the book came from reflecting on my own life and some of the experiences that I have had, thinking about questions and concerns that I have encountered in providing pastoral counseling to others, as well as gleaning from a Bible study series that I taught at my church.

What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

Most of the research for the book came from studying the Bible, and looking at various stories, passages, and illustrations that dealt with the various topics that are dealt with in the book.  A person who is interested in the Bible or who enjoys Bible study material will enjoy this book.  Those who are familiar with the Bible, as well as those who are not as familiar, will be challenged to look at certain passages of Scripture in a new way.  The material in this book is not what you would find in a typical Sunday school lesson. You will be inspired, encouraged, enlightened, and even surprised by what you will find.

If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

One valuable message that a reader can come away with is the understanding that knowledge is power.  People are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. The more we know about the Enemy and his strategies, the better we are equipped to identify his tactics, and ultimate defeat him.

Can you give us a short excerpt?Tactics, Trends and Traits of the Enemy Cover

As human beings, we are not just flesh and blood. We are spirit beings also. Our lives are shaped and impacted by the reality and intertwining of two realms: the spirit and the natural. The natural realm is the one that we are the most familiar with. However, our lack of familiarity with the spirit realm does not negate its existence, nor render powerless its influence in our lives. The spirit realm is just as real and impactful as the natural, and even more so. For everything that you see and experience in the natural, there is something that corresponds to it in the spirit.

With that being said, we have to understand that we have an enemy: a real enemy, a spiritual enemy. This enemy is an adversary against God, humanity, and everything that God has created. His name is Satan. He and his army of countless devils will stop at nothing to destroy God’s great creation, namely the human race.

In this book, I am sharing insights that I have gained from my study of the Bible, personal experiences as a believer, and nearly ten years of experience as a pastor and fifteen years as a minister. God’s people are being destroyed from a lack of knowledge. It is not God’s will for His people to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. It is God’s will that His people be equipped to stand strong and boldly against the Enemy and his devilish schemes. The purpose of this book is to equip the body of Christ to be prepared to recognize demonic tactics and attacks, resist the Devil and his forces, and stand firm in the victory that is already ours in Jesus Christ.

In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

This is my first book, and it is self-published.  Self-publishing is hard work, but if you are willing to do the work to get your message out it won’t seem so bad.  Trying to get published by a traditional publisher has different dynamics, and may be more difficult for some than for others, depending on the topic, genre, publisher, and current market.

What’s a typical day like for you?

A typical day includes getting my family ready to leave home in the morning, spending time in prayer and devotion, writing, blogging and posting for my social media sites, preparing the media presentation and message for Sunday service, run errands or attend to business affairs, picking my daughter up from school, preparing and eating dinner with my family, enjoying some downtime or playtime with my daughter, debrief the day with my wife, and finally, get ready for the next day.

What’s next for you?

Next, I plan to work on a curriculum to accompany the book.  I am also preparing to write a second book to be released later this year or next year.

Thank you so much for this interview, Jermaine.  We wish you much success!

Thank you, so much for this interview. I appreciate it!

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Interview with RL Keller, Author of Man’s Rejection of God: Who’s Responsible?

Rich Keller

Richard Louis Keller was born in Newark, NJ in 1955 and grew up in Middletown Township (NJ). He graduated from Montclair State College in 1978 with a degree in Broadcasting. Rich gave his life to Christ in 1979. Since his conversion he has spent time ministering for the Lord in various capacities. God gave Rich the gift of communication. He uses that gift by writing a daily devotional blog and has had two other books published.

Visit Rich online at www.breadoflifemin.net and his blog at www.minidevos.blogspot.com

 

Q: Thank you for this interview, Rich. Can you tell us what your latest book, Man’s Rejection of God: Who’s Responsible?, is all about?

A:  It’s a book that has a little bit of everything in it.  I define various groups, such as atheists and agnostics; delve into the cult of personality and the psychology of minimalism and individualism; it compares the three main world religions to Christianity and much more in an effort to determine whose fault it is that people reject God.  Since Christians believe man has been given a free will, we can’t take all the blame; however, the inconsistency with which we live our faith provides a convenient excuse for non-believers to turn away from God.  In the end, I call all Christians to take a hard look at themselves in the mirror to determine how much like Jesus they really are.  We must assess and continually reassess our walk with God so that we become less of a reason for others to walk away.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A:   I see Christians all around me struggling with their faith.  This is my way of allowing God to use me to encourage and edify them so that they can re-energize their walk with Christ and be everything God intended them to be.  In all my books I attempt to educate believers in areas where they may be lacking, show them how much they are loved by God and give them something important to think about in the process.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A:  I get an idea of what I want to write and fill in the blanks as I go.  What I mean by that is that I add quotes, scripture verses, and background information as I am writing the text of the book.  Any research I might have done in the past has been saved on thumb drives so I can draw from it as I go along.  I use the Internet to access just about any research tool I might need, from online dictionaries, encyclopedias, bible text or any other historical information. Before I know it the book is complete. Man's Rejection of God Cover

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A:  I wish my readers to realize that our walk with Christ isn’t meant to be a struggle, but rather an exciting adventure.  If we can step back and take a look at who God truly is and who we are in light of that, we may just get the jump-start we need to revitalize a sagging relationship.  And that’s what this walk with God is, a personal relationship with a living God.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: [From Chapter 11 – Consequences; p.113, par.2 thru p.114, par.2.]

There was a purpose for each event in history that has taken place just as there is a reason for what takes place now. I don’t pretend to know the mind of God in all matters; I just know that things happen in life and we don’t know all the details. There are facts that are unknown to us. All we know is what the history books tell us and the media spoon feeds us. I do know this though: it’s a messy, bloody world we live in. Things that are wrong are made to seem right and vice versa. Sins are committed against God every day and the ultimate consequence of those sins is death unless a blood sacrifice is made on behalf of the offender. That blood sacrifice was made when Jesus Christ willingly shed His own blood to cleanse all of mankind of their sins. It must be understood that forgiveness isn’t freely doled out to everyone arbitrarily; we must ask for forgiveness in faith believing to be cleansed.

There is no doubt that Christ was a lightning rod for controversy during His life and still is today? Could it be because His teachings contradicted the teachings of the religious leaders of His day? When you deal with people you are dealing with egos, control and power. Jesus was stripping some of that away from the religious leaders and they took exception to it; so much so that they wanted Him dead. That seems like an extreme way to rid themselves of their perceived problem. They didn’t think about the consequences that would result from Christ’s death. Christ knew exactly what the consequences were as a result of His obedience to God’s plan. They spelled death for Him. The disobedience of all mankind was to be removed by the obedience of one man. Man’s disobedience resulted in millions of sins down through the ages past and present. The weight of these sins must have been enormous. I feel heaviness from the weight of conviction for one sin that I haven’t sought forgiveness for; can you imagine the heaviness Christ felt when He hung on the cross?

The life that we choose to live on this earth is essentially what we make it. We can take a good path or a bad path. We can skate along the fine line that differentiates legal from illegal, right and wrong. We can live Godly lives or follow the path to who knows where. Each decision we make in this life comes with consequences.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

A:  I had my book self-published, which means I paid Westbow Press to publish the book for me.  It is my hope that I will someday be picked up as a contract author for a publishing house such as Thomas Nelson or Zondervan.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A:  I rise in the morning, have breakfast, tend to the dogs, write my daily devotional for my Bread of Life Blog, post an entry on my Author Blog, then either touch up a teaching, write on my new book, design marketing items, change up the home page on my ministry website, or numerous other things that need to be tended to.  I’m at the laptop much of the day.  I might take the dogs for a walk if the weather permits or watch a documentary on an important event in American History.  In between all that I eat lunch and make sure I’m not forgetting anything.

Q: What’s next for you?

A:   I have book signings coming up in NJ at all three Jesus Book & Gift Stores in May.  Consult my website’s Scheduled Events page for details.  I am putting together a speaking tour for the churches of New Jersey for 2014-15 and have just begun writing my 4th book tentatively titled Stark Raving Obedience.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Rich.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for the opportunity, I appreciate it very much.

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Written in Ruberah by P. Christina Greenaway

Written in Ruberah  Cover

Title: Written in Ruberah
Author: P. Christina Greenaway
Publisher: Girl by the Sea Publishing
Pages: 420
Language: English
Genre: Paranormal romance
Format: Paperback & eBook

TRAILER: http://youtu.be/3tvUkabCafo

PURCHASE AT AMAZON!

New York real estate broker Miriam Lewis takes off for a brief getaway to a remote inn on the rugged cliffs of Cornwall. Rest and romance with her boyfriend seem like the perfect cure for a life that appears to be going nowhere, and too fast.

Entering Cornwall, Miriam crosses the River Tamar and glimpses a luminous girl floating in the river. A memory from long, long ago begins to unfold in Miriam’s thoughts—something about a promise she made to perform a selfless act of courage. Could it be true? Could she ever rise to such heroism or is it just a hallucination?

While at the inn, Miriam experiences a series of flashbacks from a life she lived in an ancient land called Ruberah. These startling images convince Miriam that she did write the promise and that she must keep it. But to do so, Miriam will have to let go of everything in her life and place her trust in a guide—the river girl—the wise and eternal spirit of the River Tamar.

EXCERPT:

The light of the ley line locks onto their feet and forms straps similar in style to the sandals they wore in Ruberah. Kate grins. “Cool, right?”

“Cool.”

“Ready?”

“No. Just kidding. Yes.”

A thundering sound like the drumming of kettledrums blasts through the mine, and the ley line shoots forward. Kate and Miriam hold hands and whiz down the tunnel on the beam of red light. Huge rocks at the end of the mine slide apart, and the girl and the woman skid into the ocean. The ley line expands and encases them in a bullet of light that looks like a futuristic, high-speed railway car. Their globes collapse into rings of ruby light and lie around their necks.

“Brilliant!” Kate runs her hands through her hair and tosses it about her shoulders. “We traveled like this in the Time of Ruberah. We could turn the ley line into airships that carried a thousand people at a time, and we controlled our speed and direction from an astral disk—a soft, razor-thin computer we stuck into the palms of our hands, which was programmed to the astral sphere of the Ruby Kingdom.”

Miriam tunes her out. Please God, she won’t have to use this astral disk thing—it’s hard enough to keep up with the computers of this world, let alone deal with some intergalactic system. She wonders what’s governing their speed now, but doesn’t ask. It might be Kate, in which case she’d rather not know. Foretune to travel well. Watching the waters of the Atlantic splash by, she tells herself that gliding along beneath the sea—breathing air without knowing where it’s coming from, losing complete control of her life—is a good thing. Panic beats beneath her every breath.

Christina Greenaway grew up in Cornwall, England in a small fishing village. One of her favorite pastimes as a child was to write a story, stuff it in a bottle, toss it into the sea, andP. Christina Greenaway imagine all her characters – pirates, kings, and others – come to life. Her life twisted and turned, however, in so many ways that she never ventured into writing until now, many years later. Her novels include themes generated from her life experiences including: trust, the fantasy parent, empowerment, work and travel and spiritual power. 

Christina has worked at BBC radio in England, a NYC high-powered ad agency, as assistant to the president of a perfume company in France, as a partner for a frog farm in Costa Rica, and numerous other venues. She has traversed the globe. 

She is the author of Written in Ruberah, published by Girl by the Sea Publishing, and Dream Chaser: Awakening, published by Girl by the Sea. You can visit Christina at www.christinagreenaway.com or her blog at http://christinagreenaway.wordpress.com

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Dreamer by Phillip L. Davidson

Dreamer coverIs the Dreamer good or evil? As war looms between Britain and Argentina over the barren Falkland Islands, Major David Elliott is having nightmares. Long ago, in a dark jungle near Cambodia, he failed to do his duty. That duty was to execute a member of his team. David’s weakness eventually led to his team’s capture. Tortured by the Viet Cong, they revealed the dark secrets of the CIA’s Phoenix program. Forced to leave the service in disgrace, his men now live in the ‘darkness’. What do the dreams mean for them? David’s wife, Sonia, sees them as harbingers of evil things to come. A revolutionary in Argentina before the war, she escaped to America and became a citizen.

Now, Captain Alvarez, head of the Argentine Secret Police, wants her back. He devises a plan that lures her into returning to Argentina where she is imprisoned on Los Estados Island. Meanwhile, a mystical creature has summoned David and his former team to gather once more to honor the ‘covenant,’ a pact they made with each other when they believed their lives were coming to an end. Together, with an errant priest, Father Perez, they reluctantly agree to assault Los Estados and free Sonia. As they travel across Mexico, Central and South America, they encounter the CIA, Contras in Nicaragua, the M-19 narco-terrorist group and the United States Navy; while all along being shadowed by the mystical entity. Is the entity God or Satan? Will submitting to the will of the entity allow David and his men to stand in the light of men once again? Is the Dreamer good or evil? You decide.

Dreamer is a tale of redemption, honor, courage, belief in God and betrayal! If you enjoy military fiction, this book is for you.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Alexandria, Virginia – March 1, 1982 

In the black void of his mind, David could see them again.

Like hunted animals, they scurried through the knee-deep rice paddy water, slipping and falling, cursing, and gasping for breath. Above, unseen in the darkness of night, fast-moving clouds unleashed a torrent of monsoon rain that fell across them in heavy rippling waves.

Suddenly, they froze. Overhead, sizzling noises broke the dull drone of the rain as the sky became filled with yellow flickering candle flares. He dove into the filthy water and fitfully pawed his way along the muddy bottom of the paddy until he reached an earthen dike. Lying with his face against the muddy slope, he could only sense the desperate gathering of the gray silhouettes of his men as they one by one pressed up against the dike.

He looked down at the luminous dial of his Rolex. They were fast running out of night. Before the sun came up, he had to lead his men across this vast expanse of flat rice plain to an obscure island of jungle where they could hide during the day and then escape as night fell.

One by one, the flares died out and the sky became dark once more. Cautiously, he raised his head. Had they been quick enough? Or had they been seen, caught in the open dark statutes framed against the paddy waters’ sparkle.

He turned to his men. He knew they were exhausted. For the better part of an hour they had been moving at a dead run. In the distance behind them, the fires from the burning village gave of a faint shimmering glow.

But it was not how exhausted they were, or the barrage of the rain, or Keaton’s labored breathing that most troubled him. It was Jude’s haunting face. Even in the darkness, he could see it, could feel Jude watching his every move, waiting for what he knew was coming, for what he knew David would soon have to do.

“Where am I?” he asked the darkness.

On course,” answered a voice, powerful and alluring. He reached out to touch the voice, but could feel nothing there.

Dai Uy, why did you have to bring him with us?” Force asked as he crouched next to him in the filthy water.

He grabbed Force’s shoulder strap and pulled him close to his face. “Get the hell back, Sergeant. We couldn’t just leave him there,” he hissed.

“I was afraid we were lost,” he said to the darkness.

He lifted the lensatic compass that was securely tied around his neck and flicked open its cover. The rain was coming down so hard it was impossible to read its dial, so he took of his beret, held it against his forehead, and brought the compass up close to his face. He smiled. The two illuminated dots had nestled correctly between them the compass’s arrowhead indicating that he was guiding the team in the right direction. He closed the compass, let it fall, and climbed to the top of the dike. In the darkness, he could hardly make out the huddled figures of his men who had spread themselves along the dike in various dark contortions

“It felt good,” he explained to the darkness.

It did feel good. He could feel the ooziness of the rice water inside his jungle boots and the trickling rain water flowing inside his tiger fatigues, uninhibited by useless underwear.

His web gear was hooked securely across his back and chest and carried everything he needed to survive in the jungle: knife, first aid pouch, flashlight, and grenades. His canteen was half full and his Webley was resting securely in its holster. Across his chest was strung his faithful Car-15 still awaiting his command. He had forgotten how good it felt to be on a battlefield.

“Keaton?” He quickly turned over. Keaton was too old for his now. Why was he here? “Keaton?”

Even above the incessant drone of the rain, he could hear Keaton’s heavy breathing. He sloshed his way to the end of the formation where Keaton was guarding their rear. As he squatted down breathlessly beside him, Keaton’s rock face turned and he spoke. “Dai Uy.” Keaton’s voice was deep and gravelly. After he spoke, he coughed and spit. “How you holding up, Sergeant?” he asked, getting his wind. “My Ranger tabs keepin’ me warm,” Keaton said under his breath.

“Yeah. Can you see anything out there?” he asked, squinting into the rain.

“They can’t be too far behind. My guess is they’re fanning out, hoping to get a scent or to hear something.”

“Has Jude been talking to himself,” he said, dropping his head.

Dai Uy, I didn’t know,” Keaton said as if trying to explain, but he stopped him.

“It’s not your fault. It’s nobody’s fault,” he said evenly, trying not to meet Keaton’s eyes. No. It’s my fault, he thought. I’m their leader. I’m responsible for everything. Then he returned his attention to the moment. “How far away you guess the jungle is?” he asked.

“Not far . . .” Suddenly, red tracer rounds flew over their heads like a swarm of mad hornets followed the sound of random drum-roll bursts of gun fire. He chuckled, and Keaton coughed again.

“They’re recon’n by fire. They don’t know where we are,” Keaton said with a raspy laugh, hope evident in his voice.

“Let’s don’t let them get lucky,” he quipped. “I’ll get us moving.”

Phillip Davidson - Author

He made his way back to the head of the formation, and grabbing Force by his arm said, “Help Jake carry him.” Force and Jake lifted Jude by the shoulders and with the rest of the men followed him into the gray mist that had begun to rise off the paddy water.

Behind them, not far, fierce warriors pursued. Men with different moralities, different truths, different needs. Men who had forsaken emotion and inhibition. Men who understood the meaning of sacrifice. Men who would stop at nothing until they had killed them all. 

Purchase information:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dreamer-Phillip-Davidson-ebook/dp/B00EZVKPFU/

About the Author:

Phillip L. Davidson is an attorney who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Karen. He is a former infantry Captain who commanded a group of Cambodian and Vietnamese Kit Carson Scouts on a night ambush team in the Mekong Delta. Phil’s life in the military has provided him with a wealth of war stories.  He has used his creative insight to produce a military action adventure of epic proportions. Dreamer is a must read book. He is currently at work on a second novel.

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

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Interview with Ronald W. Kirk, Author of Thy Will Be Done

RonKirk-photo-SAM_1429

Jesus Christ graced Ron with salvation late in his college career at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1974. In entering his first church ministry, a lack of a Biblical material on education led him to the Christian History Movement and the works of R.J. Rushdoony. Since 1980, Ron has studied and taught the Biblically and historically identified applied-faith theology and philosophy outlined in this book.

God gave Ron a voracious appetite for learning about everything. Ron studied math and physics in college, and then pursued professional landscape architecture—design is a central component to his calling. He gained a passion for education after finding that a full-orbed Biblical treatment of education was nowhere to be found in contemporary literature.

Ever since about 1977, Ron devoted his life to understand God’s earthly and eternal purposes for mankind, to help others know them, and to derive and spread a thoroughly Biblical system of education aimed toward God’s ends for His people.

Ron’s success in pioneering day and home schools has long proven the effectiveness of systematic Biblical thinking. His work has been published internationally and translated into Spanish. Gloriously married since 1971, Ron and Christina have five children, five more sons- and daughters-in-law, and eleven grandchildren, all walking with Christ. American Heritage Christian Church ordained Ron in 1984.

Ron’s educational and worldview ministry website is www.getwisdom.us. He’s also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GetWisdomMakingChristianHeroesOfOrdinaryPeople.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Ron. Can you tell us what your latest book, Thy Will Be Done: When All Nations Call God Blessed, is all about?

A:  Some might consider the book an earth shaking premise. What if the Father answered Jesus’ prayer and mankind obeyed God on earth as all do in heaven? What would we see? We all want to go to heaven, but what if God gave us a substantial glimpse of heaven in our earthly lives, not to replace the eternal goal, but to encourage us by His real grace of blessing?

This is no utopian dream. Thy Will Be Done is an eager, popular speculation on the answer in terms of Scripture, best expressions in history and personal experience. It is a culmination of a lifetime of research and thought upon the potential of life in Christ, in every area of life.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: God planted the seed of this book early in my life. As a new believer interested in child education, I could not believe that God wanted Christians to base their views on evolutionary psychology, which was all I could find in the mainstream literature. Discovering God’s providence in what Verna Hall called the chain of Christianity moving westward, prompted learning from the best examples of history tested in light of the Word of God.

My life’s work has been to share the notion that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is far more comprehensive, exciting and real than accepted. Christian life should be an adventure of faith.

In the end, my publisher suggested this particular expression of those ideas.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A: The draft of this whole book came as a kind of stream of consciousness writing, though it covers many topics important to us all. We have collected over several decades what I like to call a Biblical body of wisdom.

This effort, then, flowed out of long held, ever refined and corrected understanding, based upon long Biblical and historic research and study, crafted and corrected educational activity, and other personal experience. Jesus says you know a tree by its fruit. We have been quite encouraged by the fruit we have seen.

For some topics, I needed to go back for a bit of new research to fill in gaps. But I tried to stay with a presentation of Biblical ideas in an accessible manner. I tried to avoid overly technical or academic language.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be? TWBD larger cover

A: In the last two hundred years or so, Christianity has suffered increasingly from a severely shriveled vision for this life. We have settled far short of God’s intent, merely holding out for eternity until we die or are raptured. Church leaders have told believers not to get involved in the world except merely to get people saved because it belongs to Satan. We have been very pessimistic regarding the power of God so often revealed in His Word.

On the other hand, the mainstream of the historic faith, reflecting the whole counsel of Scripture, speaks of an optimistic redemption of the world “as far the curse is found!” At the least, the church has been somewhat derelict of the foundations that support the Gospel work, namely a prosperous economy with generosity, and civil justice and liberty. Jesus bought back the world on the cross. While there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, I believe it is time to return to the big view of the Gospel where the government is on His shoulder, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit is successful. 

Therefore, I hope the reader will take away a sense of individual purpose and vision for a heroic Gospel life, along with some fundamental educational tools for learning to live it in reality.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: From Chapter One:

God gave man an imagination. The imagination provides a faculty for conceiving of things that do not exist or go unseen. Using this imagination, we can envision and design new things as if they already exist in reality. We call this creativity. The fact that the Bible denounces vain imagination (Genesis 8:21)—the selfish, sinful, God-usurping, human one—does not mean that the imagination is solely evil. In fact, the great evangelical, Yale University president Timothy Dwight (1752-1817), claimed that the Bible does not primarily appeal to intellect or emotion, but to the imagination. Consider the lilies…. The Kingdom of God is like….Accordingly, this essay seeks to pique godly imaginations to conceive and formulate a fulfilled Biblical Christianity in the world. We wish to reach every serious Christian, to encourage stirring up every gift, upon obedience, toward the fulfillment of Christ’s instructive prayer.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

A: Yes, it is very difficult to publish on traditional terms. Jerry Nordskog established Nordskog Publishing to fill a needed niche in Christian thinking at the urging of our mutual friend and my pastor the late Chris Hoops. My dad worked for Jerry Nordskog’s dad from the time I was baby. He is thus a life-long friend, and has long supported my educational ministry work. We share the Christian worldview to a very high degree. For the past six years I have served as Jerry’s theology and manuscript review editor. Jerry actually suggested I write this book. I have worked and am working hard to honor his investment.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: Oh, you really don’t want to know…

Just kidding. Long work days are the norm. Aside from Nordskog Publishing duties on behalf of other authors’ work, contractual design obligations as a practicing landscape architect—no joke—and sharing the fruit of my labors in Thy Will Be Done, I am working on developing personal missionary support for an incredibly important and far reaching educational work in Uganda.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I consider the success of this book a most important, however small, contribution to the redeeming of Americans and others to Christ. The reintroduction of the ideas represented in Thy Will Be Done are critical to the restoration of Christian societies and the foundations for the Gospel work worldwide. The Psalmist asks, if the Foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? I have devoted my life to restoring the foundations. I hope to spend considerable time and effort to the book’s success.

For the same reason, I hope to answer the call to the work in Uganda. To expand a little, the work of the Master’s Institute for Education is capable of redeeming the entire country and its culture. It is sponsored primarily by Ugandan Christians themselves. A group there, New Hope Uganda, has used my educational system for the past 25 years. It is catching on because of its success and an increasing number of people, including educators, business people and government officials, wish to reproduce the same good fruit of true Biblical education—relational, character-, faith-, wisdom- and skill-based—and see it become the mainstream in the nation.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Ron.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for the opportunity to share! If I have piqued interest you can read more about Thy Will Be Done online at Nordskog Publishing and at Amazon.com. The book should be in regular bookstore distribution soon. Ask for it! If the message moves you, please share it!

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A Conversation with Gary L. Doman, Author of Vinland Viking

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Gary L. Doman, whose (pen-)surname rhymes with “roman”, the French word for “novel”, was born in Syracuse (New York) and has spent the majority of his life in Connecticut.  He has degrees from Fairfield University and the University of Connecticut.  He has developed an interest in just about everything, especially history, geography, religion, language, and the natural world.  He began writing as a child and has never really stopped, although he does periodically need to eat and sleep, and also devotes considerable time to his other creative and intellectual endeavors; these include his “weblog” the Doman Domain and one of the items of interest found there, namely, “The Best Comic Strip Ever!”.  Further, he has taught himself to sing and founded his own political philosophy.  His greatest accomplishment may be remaining humble despite the preceding! 

Visit Gary online at http://domandomain.blogspot.com/

Q: Thank you for this interview, Gary. Can you tell us what your latest book, Vinland Viking: An Original Saga by Gary L. Doman, is all about?

A:  Vinland Viking is an “epic novella” and a “Christian historical fantasy-adventure” set at the time of the conversion to Christianity of Iceland and Greenland.  The protagonist is a young Northman who longs to lead the storied life of the pagan Vikings. His opportunity comes with Leif Ericsson’s exploration in North America, but his fortunes change in a way and by a means that no one could have anticipated, and which lead him ultimately (in a surprise ending) to the one true god.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters? 

A:  The protagonist, Yngar (later Brand-Yngar) Magnusson, is a native of the Orkney Islands.  He’s basically virtuous but also young and obstinate. He resents the fact that the Scandinavian world is accepting Christianity, which is putting an end to the practice of going “Viking,” that is, raiding.  Like me, he admires character in women at least as much as he does beauty, and he finds both those qualities in Asny Svansdottir, Vinland Viking‘s leading lady (or, to use a silly coinage of mine that does not appear in the book, “Viqueen”).  She’s even younger than Yngar, being just 16 when she first appears. Unlike him, she’s a devout Christian.  These two are really the only main characters.  The supporting cast consists largely of giants, dragons, other monsters, dwarves, and even some gods.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

A:  Only the monsters are based on “real people.”  Actually, I create characters from my imagination, since, for me, the ability to do that is one of the greatest rewards of writing.  I cannot say, though, that no actual human beings have any influence on them.  As I stated in my answer to the previous question, Yngar shares my taste in the opposite sex; he’s also obstinate, and I think that at least the potential for obstinacy exists in my personality.  It ought to be noted here that Vinland Viking is just one tale in what I regard as an “epic cycle” built around several protagonists of a common ancestry, who live in different periods of history (over a total span of 13,000 years) and together represent all mankind, and that I’m trying to give each a different prime character trait that I deem present in myself.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write? 

A:  The plot can evolve somewhat as I write, but my policy is to map it out with as much detail as I can before starting one of this fella’s novellas.  A nightmare of mine is writing a large portion of a story and then realizing that it just won’t work as planned, because of something that I’d failed to consider. (I’ve always succeeded at whittling down the edges of a square peg so that it fits into a round hole, but I’d rather that everything just proceeded smoothly.)

Q: Your book is set in lands that border the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean.  Can you tell us why you chose this place in particular? 

A:  Yes: The reason why my story is titled “Vinland Viking” is that Yngar Magnusson, who has just settled in Greenland, flees to the part of North America that Leif Ericsson has explored and named “Vinland;” in my novella, it’s part of Newfoundland.  This gives him the opportunity to fulfill his dream of becoming a true Viking (one who goes “Viking”, or raiding), although, as I hinted in my answer to the first question, his life takes an unexpected turn. 

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story? 

A:  It does.  One of my chief interests is geography, and so I try to make the most of the location of a scene.  Local weather phenomena such as blizzard and fog, and even local wildlife, play a very significant role in advancing the plot. 

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening? 

A:  If you mean page 69 of the print version, the answer is “nothing,” because that edition is only 67 pages long.  Since the revised, electronic Vinland Viking is readable on various techno-gizmos that allow one to change the font size and so forth, which page is number 69 is largely a matter of one’s preference, but, let me look at the manuscript in “reading view;” this yields 110 screens.  On number 69 of those, I see that Brand-Yngar is examining weapons that dwarves have just given him so that he can fulfill a certain mission. I provide a detailed description of the weaponry, rather as Homer did for the armor and shield of Achilles in the Iliad

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts? Vinland Viking cover

A:  Only if you promise to give it back!  I don’t want to excerpt material that gives away too much of the plot, and I like to think that every part of Vinland Viking is the best part, but I’ll provide the following:

Long after they had left the sight of the Kraken, Brand-Yngar and his cohort could see nothing in the bleakness except an occasional skua, ptarmigan, or arctic tern, all of which were too adept at flying to be caught by a party of such limited resources.  Nonetheless, since snow did not currently cover the ground, the trio considered that they had a good chance of locating whichever animals had already donned their white winter fur or plumage.  They also remembered to examine the nearby shore, knowing that the ocean might provide what they needed.

Later they spotted another avian, but one that seemed to hold out more promise of being caught: a beautiful, black-barred female snowy owl, roosting in a depression in the treeless tundra.  On Brand-Yngar’s advice, he and the others flattened themselves on the frozen earth and inched toward the bird.  As they did so, Brand-Yngar felt hypocritical, for he had recently admonished these same charges of his that “A Viking never crawls!”

The men continued to slide and grind forward on their bellies; if this part of the island had been frosted by snow and ice, they might have resembled oversized penguins.  They had approached their quarry within a few score of yards, never knowing whether it failed to detect their presence, merely bided its time before taking flight, or perhaps had to stay put to protect eggs or owlets, when abruptly its mate winged to the attack from a heretofore unseen post on the summit of a boulder.  In silence the golden-eyed, nearly pure-white partner repeatedly and fearlessly swooped upon the hunters, each time wheeling away to strike from a new angle; the flustered Northlanders sought to down the large bird with their weapons, but it manoeuvred around the flailing steel, getting its talons so close to their eyes that they thought it very capable of gouging them from the sockets.  In frustration they conceded victory to the owls, and swiftly circumvented the area.

As the group trod further along, the air grew noticeably chillier.  This did not alarm anybody until one observed that the very storm that had forced the dragon ship ashore was moving northwest.  Worse, it now qualified as a blizzard, for the winds were beginning to dust Helluland with snowflakes.  Death was merely a possibility to those staying with the Kraken, whereas it was a certainty here in the midst of a snowstorm; Brand-Yngar therefore instructed the other members of the triad to attempt to retreat to the longship, even though this meant going straight into the powerful and blinding air currents.  They saw several animals hiding from the atmospheric fury; to catch these would have been easy, but all their attention was now dedicated to their own immediate survival.

Brand-Yngar felt his legs growing heavier with each step, and he had no doubt that the rest were growing similarly exhausted; the fact that they had to lift their feet steadily higher to extract them from the swiftly accumulating snow didn’t improve matters.  During particularly strong gusts it seemed to the comrades that they were barely progressing, for the might of the wind was nearly equal to their remaining determination.  Brand-Yngar would have offered words of encouragement, but the frigidity had numbed his lips.  He couldn’t avoid marveling that he was experiencing a worse blizzard than any that he could recall as an Orcadian, where his home had lain at 59 degrees North Latitude, yet this was not yet autumn!  Being ignorant of the Gulf Stream, which brought warm water to his birthplace, and of the Labrador Current, which carried cold water south in the Western Hemisphere, he wondered in his distress if this might be a stage of the Fimbulwinter, the severe winter or winters that the sages had foretold would precede Ragnarok.

Hours passed.  His associates faltered, first temporarily, and then permanently.  Their leader wanted to give them a proper burial, but he knew that to expend the necessary time and energy would merely expedite his own demise.  He could only unsheathe each dying man’s sword and place it in each man’s hand, so that the pair would, in Norse belief, be granted entrance to Valhalla.  Brand-Yngar himself continued onward as long as he was capable of movement, and prayed, as long as he had consciousness, to the deity who, as the creator of storms, had the power to calm them: Thor.  Then, he blacked out. 

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Gary.  We wish you much success! 

A:  You’re welcome, and thank you.

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