Book Review: Behind the Book: Making the Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan Four Stars

Book Review: Behind the Book: Making the Death of Dulgath by Michael J. and Robin Sullivan

Four Stars

“To me, it’s more realistic to believe that with effort, perseverance and a bit of luck dreams can come true.”

Less the Zen of writing fantasies than the Chilton.

“The universe doesn’t abide vacuums and has a particular dislike for plans.”

A brief recapitulation how Michael and Robin Sullivan wrote a publisher-ready fantasy novel in about sixty days. (A good novel, I might add. See my review.) The reader of fictions in general and fantasies in particular may be entertained; the writer of fiction and fantasy will be captivated. This isn’t how everyone does it, but it’s a look behind the curtain. For that Continue reading

Book Giveaway!

living coverGot your attention?

If you’re a member of Goodreads.com, you can register there for one of ten copies of Living in the Spirit to be given away in January.

If not, you might consider joining. Goodreads is the world’s largest online community of book lovers. Their 30 million members use Goodreads to track books they’ve read and plan to read, connect with other readers, join group discussions, write reviews, and receive book recommendations.

Enjoy.

Living in the Spirit Available … Again

living coverLiving in the Spirit, my study of Paul’s letter to the Romans, went out of production when Cross Books stopped publishing this April.

Fortunately, WestBow Press, an division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan, has picked it up.

I took advantage of the opportunity and made almost a hundred changes in the text, mostly very minor.

The new ISBN is 978-1-4908-9223-8.

Ebook’s ISBN is 978-1-4908-9224-8.

Re-Publishing Update

cover2

Living in the Spirit has not been available since CrossBooks closed in April. WestBow Press, an imprint of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan, will be my new publisher.

When the book is republished it will have over seventy changes. Many corrected typos, but some involved adding or deleting whole paragraphs. I sent the last text changes to Gateway Press this week. The cover “polish” is complete.

Hopefully, a better, more readable book will appear this fall.

Thank you for waiting.

U Read 2?

Do you read the labels of condiments at restaurants? Me, too. Do you read four-month-old People magazines at the dentist because everything else is worse? Me, too. Do you read free House For Sale flyers when nothing else is handy? Me, too.

My Nook saved me from much of that insipid reading, but I’m still read all the time.

I didn’t start this way. Attending three schools in my first four years, I was functionally illiterate. Continue reading

Amazing Faith

Excerpt from Living in the Spirit, pages 46-49

“Jesus asked, ‘When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?’” (Luke 18:8). What kind of faith will he be looking for?

A Roman centurion asked Jesus to cure his servant (Matthew 8 and Luke 7). As with all such humble requests, Jesus agreed, even though most Jews wouldn’t even talk to an officer of that hated occupying empire. In fact, just to enter a Gentile’s house carried the probability of contamination, rendering Jesus ritually unclean. But “Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him’” (Matthew 8:7).

The centurion’s response is memorable.

“Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” (Matthew 8:8-10)
“[Jesus] was amazed,” Matthew reports. Surely not that the centurion had humbly requested a miracle from a Jew. Others had asked and received healing from Jesus. Surely not that the centurion balked at Jesus’ offer to come to his house. Jesus understood ritual cleanliness, even if the centurion didn’t. He was amazed that this Roman—this gentile defiler of Jesus’ homeland—knew what authority was and recognized it in Jesus.

Do you know how many times the gospels report Jesus being amazed?
Many times others are amazed at the words or actions of Jesus, but only twice the Bible records Jesus himself as amazed. Here in Matthew 18 and in Mark 6:6, when he visited Nazareth, and “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.” That was not good; here his amazement is positive.

On this occasion, Jesus goes on to say, “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:11-12)

When Jesus suggests that “subjects of the kingdom” may be thrown out, many of us complacently picture the Jews being evicted to make room for us. Perhaps we should be concerned that it isn’t we ourselves being ushered to the door.

Jesus is making an important point: he is looking for followers showing the unquestioned faith the centurion describes, and which the centurion exhibits by acknowledging that Jesus needs only say the word for his servant to be healed.

Such servants [as the centurion’s] we all should be to God; we must go and come, according to the directions of his word and the disposals of his providence. But when the Son of man comes he finds little faith, therefore he finds little fruit. An outward profession may cause us to be called children of the kingdom; but if we rest in that, and have nothing else to show, we shall be cast out.
— Matthew Henry

Is Matthew exaggerating? Was Jesus really amazed? Read on, “Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.’ And his servant was healed at that moment” (Matthew 8:13).

Jesus responded in proportion to what the centurion believed. If Jesus told you, “Let it be done just as you believed it would,” what would result? …

Will Jesus be amazed at your faith?

(All Bible references are from the Holy Bible New International Version ® NIV ® Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

Loving My Neighbor

Living in the Word, pages 145-146
(Every Saturday for a few weeks I will shamelessly promote by posting an excerpt. I will rest Sunday and resume postings Mondays.)

You ask, why should I care about a bunch of infidel fanatics who are trying to blow up my country and kill me? These are my enemies. Or the illegal immigrants. Or the White, Black, Asian or Hispanic. Or this man or that woman.

No. Moslems are not your enemy. None of those people are your enemy.

Satan is your enemy. (Not even the world or your flesh. Those are the means by which Satan attacks you.) Those other people are under attack, just as you are.

Gerri Dickens said, “You can’t experience joy until you love your enemy.” Are you experiencing joy?

But, you say, they are my enemy.

No, they are your neighbor. Yes, some of them are still slaves to sin and the sin nature, but so are some of you. And white, black, yellow, red or brown, Continue reading

Facebook Page for a Book

cover2My book has its own Facebook page now. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-in-the-Spirit/999652076716416?ref=bookmarks

Yeah, I set it up. It’s supposed to reach more people.

It’s also listed on goodreads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22965740-living-in-the-spirit.

Bear with me. This looks a little like a self-licking ice cream cone to me, too, but all the Great Experts tell me I should do this. So, …

I’ll post excerpts here one of these days.

Living in the Spirit Available

cover2Living in the Spirit, a study of Paul’s letter to the Romans, is now available in both paperback and ebook formats.

The print version of Living in the Spirit has been available for several week, however I’ve been waiting for the ebook version to become available before “announcing” my book.

It is; I am.

Living in the Spirit is a straightforward examination of Paul‘s timeless message to all Christians in any time or place.

The ISBN of paperback is 978-1-4627-3705-5.

The ISBN of the ebook is 978-1-4627-3704-8.

You can order it at your local book store, or from any on-line book retailer, or directly from the Publisher at http://www.crossbooks.com or call 866-879-0502.

Happy Reading.