My Update: 5 things

Okay, I’ll get right to it…

My work. I’m a retired painter—not a lot going on. Tomorrow or the next day I will wash a deck and paint it. I do this particular deck every 3 or 4 years. The next two jobs are doors—to repaint a few doors—easy. After that I have a bedroom to paint. So, what I have lined up is easy, a little boring, but just enough to keep me out of trouble.

Bible reading. I always manage to keep myself busy, but for some reason I feel that I have sadly neglected my time in the word. Yesterday I decided that I would spend two half-hour periods reading the bible—where I am at in Exodus. I liked it. It did me good. I’m gonna try to keep doing that. I have sort of prided myself for being faithful to a morning quiet time. But recently I feel the need for more and something less structured. My goal is to fill my mind with the word of God; to meditate more on it.

My book writing. I’m sort of at a lull in my writing. I had two different books going, but I finished them. Now I’m going through them one at a time, editing them; so I am basically just checking grammar and spelling and to make sure everything is said right.

Photography and walking. For me those things go together. Without my camera walking would be too much of a chore. But walking with my camera is like hunting and an adventure. I’m always hunting with my eyes for the perfect shot. Yesterday while walking I was quite disappointed by all the overgrown weeds and grass, but I did spot two beautiful purple Morning Glories (pictured). My walk was worth it just to see them. And the way the light reflected out of the middle of the trumpet bell is gorgeous!

The Coronavirus and globalism. I am getting so turned off by all the hype and news that the pandemic is getting. I really don’t think that it is as serious as the media is telling us. But the globalists are ecstatic about it. Finally, something came along that will help unite the world. Now all they need is one vaccine for the whole world. The only disappointment they have is the US, Israel, and the Christians.

They are so angry at Donald Trump and his nationalist views. If only they could somehow get Biden to win the November election. We will see what happens. But I have a feeling that they will be in for a constant fight until the Rapture. But after the Rapture everything will change. The Rapture itself will be the driving force for globalism. It will propel all the world leaders to come together to strategize their global agenda. I think, instead of being horrified at all the disappearances the devil will cause them to be gleeful at the new global prospects.

Update: Book Reading, Book Writing

I can’t think of anything in particular to write on that would be enough for a blog. But there are a few things I’m thinking about that, put together, would give you an update of what’s going on with me. Let me first tell you about the books I’m reading. The book I just put down a minute ago is Nikki Haley’s book, With All Due Respect. It will never be a best seller, but I enjoy reading it. I liked her before I started reading it, but now even more. She has a good character and I loved how she stood up to the people at the UN over their disrespect for Israel. I also love how she stood up to Kelly and Tillerson over their divisiveness against President Trump. It was refreshing.

Another book I’m reading is a very large book, The Presidents Fact Book, on all the Presidents and also their wives. It is very interesting and kind of fun to read. It’s a book that I might read again, because it is so loaded with valuable information—a good book of history; and we need to learn history before it is lost, because so many crazy people these days want to destroy our history.

As I refill my coffee cup, let me share my thoughts on a possible next book to write. Actually, I’m just finishing my latest two books: one entitled, After the Rapture: What Happens On Earth and in Heaven After the Rapture; and another book on my life story, which I don’t have a title for yet. I’m presently self-editing them, then I will write an intro for both of them, and then go through the publishing process.

So anyway, I’m already thinking of what my next book project will be. My most enduring thought is to do a book on a book of the bible. I don’t consider myself a biblical scholar, so it wouldn’t be a book of any great depth. My thought is that I need to be more in the word, so I thought that a writing project would help me get there. One thought would be to writing on the book of Revelation. I kind of wanted to write on the Tribulation anyway, so maybe that would be a good option.

Another idea is to delve into a book like Ephesians. I know that would be quite beneficial for me—for my spiritual life. I think I might enjoy getting into the Greek, doing word studies; and also, getting into the history of those times; and just determining what the main themes of the book are. Mostly, I would hope that the writing would bring me closer to Him, and that my thoughts would be constantly on Him and His wonderful words of grace and truth.

I find that since I am more and more retired, and that my painting jobs are fewer, I have more time now to do whatever. I pray that that whatever is well spent. Retirement time can be foolishly wasted. I pray that that won’t be true of me.

When Am I Most Believable?

If you’re like me, you hate it when people don’t believe what you say. There is no worse feeling than when you share an important bit of information with a friend, and he or she immediately turns to someone else to get a different opinion—to check the validity of your statement.

I hate that. Why don’t people just believe me? But then I ask, what makes me unbelievable? Maybe it’s the way I look. Do I look like a dork? A crazy person? An imbecile? Uneducated? Not confident in myself? What is it?

Or maybe it’s more than just the way I look. Maybe it’s the way I come across. The way I act. Maybe I don’t come across to people with confidence. Or maybe they just don’t know me well enough.

Maybe the question I should be asking is, when am I most believable? That’s easy. I am most believable at my job. I’m a house painter; have been for 30 years. Most of the people that call me for work are repeat customers. They know me and know that I do a good job for them. I love it most when they give me a key to get in if they are not going to be home. I love that because that tells me that they trust me.

You know that I’m a blogger; but I’m also a self-published author. It’s important for me to know, or at least to believe, that people believe me, to believe what I say in writing. But it has been especially hurtful when someone I regard as a friend has had no interest in reading one of my books. I don’t mind if they judge me after they have read some of it; but to judge me before they read one word of it is especially hurtful. It is almost like telling me that I have no business writing a book on anything, because I’m just not of that caliber; that I should prove myself first; that I should make a name for myself before I put a book out.

I think it’s most important for people to believe in an authority figure like the President or the governor or a policeman. These days people are really distrusting the police—that’s so sad. But it’s even more devastating to know that they mistrust our President. Many love the President; but sadly, far too many despise him—thanks to the media who constantly spew lies about him.

I think everyone has watched the TV show Bonanza. Out of all the characters in that show, who is the most believable? Well, it has to be Benjamin the father. He is the oldest and has proven to be the wisest. Adam, the oldest son, I think is also quite believable. He just has that look of maturity about him. But little joe and Haus, not so much.

Back to Presidents. Which President do you think has been the most believable—trustable. George Washington is a good choice. But FDR I think is a better choice. He took us through over 3 terms—12 ½ years. Everybody loved him and trusted him (Democrats and Republicans), even though we knew he was less than perfect.

You know, now that I have had a chance to think about it for a while, is it most important that people believe you, believe me? After all, most haven’t and don’t believe in Jesus as they should. I think our greatest effort should be to convince people to believe in Him. But can I convince them if they don’t first believe in me when I try to tell them about Him?

I don’t know. All I can do is try to make myself believable and present the gospel as well as I can—and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. That’s a good thought. I think the Holy Spirit will help to convince a person to believe where I can’t. He will do the work in a person regardless of my inadequacy, my clumsiness, my lack of wisdom and maturity. Thank God that we have such a helper available to us. With His help I indeed am most believable.

My Writing: Rewriting and Writing More

I’m not sure exactly what I expected in terms of sales for my books. I thought that I would get some sales, at least for my e-books that I was selling on the Lulu website for just two or three dollars. But nothing! —for months and months. Finely, I decided to make them free. That way at least people wouldn’t have the excuse of not being able to afford them. Well, right away people were starting to order the free e-books. And I felt better, because now the books were at least getting out there.

I know there is a lot more I could do to sell my books, but I hate that part of it—the marketing part, which takes money, something I don’t have. But maybe someday. In the meantime, I will just keep writing. My first project was to rewrite, or edit my prayer books. After reading a few chapters I realized there was so many things I could improve on—ways to make the writing better, clearer. My mom told me that I repeat myself a lot. She was right. My roommate James also mentioned that I use the words thus, therefore and hence far too much. He was right too. Then I found a book by William Zinsser entitled On Writing Well. I learned so much from his book about how not to be so wordy, to say things in less words. So anyway, I went over my book (and that also included my six smaller books), and in just about every paragraph I found something to change. Basically, the content remained the same, I just did some editing that made it read better. It took about a year.

After that I was eager to move on to my next project. I chose the subject of bible prophecy. That entire field has intrigued me for many years, and I really wanted to write a book about it, particularly on the subject of the rapture of the church. I have been a big proponent of the pre-tribulation rapture, and I was ready to lay out the biblical evidence for that view. Even before doing any work on the subject I decided that the title of the book would be, Biblical Evidence of a Pre-tribulation Rapture.

The book was outlined in four parts. In part one, in four chapters I lay out the ground work for the rapture. I describe it from key Scripture passages, including from Daniel 9:24-27. I also talk about Israel and the church, particularly the false teaching of replacement theology.

In part two, I decided to take a detour from the rapture study and look briefly at the kingdom of God—the Millennium. I thought it would be good for the reader to get the big picture of what God would be doing in the future, especially for the Jews. That was a great study. In fact, I got so into it that I decided to make a separate book from it, which I entitled The Coming Millennial Kingdom. Wow! What a detour that was. So, what I did for part two was to just write an abbreviated version of that book.

Part three is basically a bible study of all the Scripture verses of both the rapture and the second coming, which I refer to as two phases of His coming. The first phase is the rapture, and the second phase is His second coming to the earth to set up His kingdom. I concluded from the study that there are 29 verses that refer to the rapture, and 34 verses that refer to the second coming. I also found 16 characteristics of the rapture and 16 characteristics of the second coming. I remember that I thought it was so profound to find 16 characteristics for each phase of His coming.

In part four I show why the rapture must come before the tribulation. First, I give 19 reasons why the pre-tribulation view is the correct view. Then in the last chapter I look at four conflicting views and offer my rebuttal. The four views are: the partial rapture theory, the mid-tribulation rapture theory, the pre-wrath rapture theory, and the post-tribulation rapture theory.

At first, I admit that I was a little afraid of doing this study, thinking that my view in my mind would be weakened. But the reverse was true. I was able to very easily bring a good rebuttal to each and every point. None of their views hold any water. I found that the only view that is biblically correct is the Pre-Tribulation view.

My Writing: Smaller Books, Self-Publishing

These books can be seen on my Lulu website.

Even before I had completed writing Prayer A to Z, I was contemplating also putting the entire work together as six smaller books. I had gotten some comments about how large the book was and so I began to think that people might be more willing to purchase it as a series of smaller books. So, I began the process.

First, I started brainstorming on possible book titles. I needed six titles that would take in all of the topics I had in Prayer A to Z—forty-three topics, plus the five chapters on all the prayers of the bible. It didn’t take too long. After only a few hours I came up with six book titles: Basics of Prayer, Purpose of Prayer, Principles of Prayer, Joy of Prayer, Service of Prayer, and Zenith of Prayer. The next step was to fit all 43 topics, plus the prayers of the bible, under one of those six titles. And since the titles were quite general, it was an easy process. I just went through each topic and picked the book title that fit best. It was like a puzzle, and I love puzzles.

Somewhere along the line I met Preacherwin. That was (is) his blog name (he is a preacher in a church in Pennsylvania). His name is Win. At least that’s what he calls himself. I can’t remember how it all happened. I think it was when I was impressed with some of his blogging. Well, anyway, he found out that I was interested in getting my prayer books published and he recommended Lulu, a publishing company that would assist me in publishing my own work; and they would print and bind it for me at a very low cost. So, essentially, I would be a self-publisher with Lulu’s help. And they would also give me my own book website.

Well, I was kind of interested; but I became much more interested when I saw all of Win’s books that he had published through Lulu. From then on, we began emailing each other—mostly, I was emailing him with my questions. And he was so willing to help.

My first book project was Basics of Prayer. Win kept telling me that all I had to do was to go on to Lulu’s web site and they would walk me through the entire publishing process. So, one day I mustered up the nerve to do it. It was kind of scary but also adventurous. Let’s see, first I had to choose what size of book I wanted (I chose 6 by 9), then what kind of a cover I wanted: hard cover or paperback, then what would be the title.  After that I had to download a pdf version of the book to them. I found out that that was the hardest part, because they had certain requirement—a list of them. On my first try my download was rejected. What a downer. I emailed Win. Help! Eventually, with Win’s encouragement and after a few adjustments, my download was accepted.

Next, they gave me an ISBN number and a bar graph. And the last step was to do a book cover. I could either let Lulu do it for me—I just had to send them a picture of myself and a picture to go on the cover; or, I could design it myself. Win encouraged me to do it all myself, and he helped me. I’m glad I did it that way. It was harder, but it looked so much better.

After I published Basics of Prayer, I went on to the next book, Purpose of Prayer, and then the next one, and the next, until they were all published, all six books. They were all published in 2011. After that I began working on Prayer A to Z. That took me a little longer, but finally got it published in 2013.

10 Uses for Prayer A to Z

It took me about 20 years to finally finish writing Prayer A to Z (from 1992 to 2012). I won’t bore you with any of the details here. It would be too long even to try to summarize it. But if you will go to my blog, https://studyingprayer.com/, you will see not only a summary, but sections of the book itself. Most of the book is on the blog site—in short excerpts with just a few extra comments. I’ve gotten some very nice blog comments, and I have a suspicion that many have ordered the book, either the hard copy or the pdf free eBook version. Thanks to all who did.

Now in this post I will list all of the 52 chapters so you can get a good overview of the book. Then I will give you ten suggested uses of the book other than just reading it through.

All 52 Chapters of PRAYER A TO Z

  1. Answers to Prayer
  2. Aroma of Prayer
  3. Authority of Prayer
  4. Burden in Prayer
  5. Confidence in Prayer
  6. Definition of Prayer
  7. Desire of Prayer
  8. Earnestness in Prayer
  9. Evangelism and Prayer
  10. Failure in Prayer
  11. Faith and Prayer
  12. Fasting and Prayer
  13. Forgiveness and Prayer
  14. God’s Idea Prayer
  15. Holiness and Prayer
  16. Holy Spirit and Prayer
  17. How to Pray, Part 1
  18. How to Pray, Part 2
  19. Importunity in Prayer
  20. Intercession, Part 1
  21. Intercession, Part 2
  22. Intercession, Part 3
  23. Jesus Name
  24. Kneeling in Prayer
  25. Length of Prayer
  26. Ministry of Prayer
  27. Necessity of Prayer
  28. Obedience of Prayer
  29. Possibilities of Prayer
  30. Power of Prayer
  31. Praise and Prayer
  32. Praise and Prayer
  33. Prayerlessness
  34. Quietness of Prayer, Part 1
  35. Quietness of Prayer, Part 2
  36. Quietness of Prayer, Part 3
  37. Quietness of Prayer, Part 4
  38. Revival and Prayer
  39. Specific Prayer
  40. Survey of Prayer, Part 1
  41. Survey of Prayer, Part 2
  42. Survey of Prayer, Part 3
  43. Survey of Prayer, Part 4
  44. Survey of Prayer, part 5
  45. Travail in Prayer
  46. United Prayer
  47. Vigilance in Prayer
  48. Vigilance in Prayer
  49. Word and Prayer
  50. Xanadu
  51. Yielding in Prayer
  52. Zenith of Prayer

Ten Uses for Prayer A to Z

1. I suggest not reading it through as a regular book. The book is more like a textbook on the broad subject of prayer. But if you insist on reading it through, take your time and set some reading goals. You may even find it helpful to take some notes as you read in terms of application so you don’t get lost in the weeks.

2. Sunday School teachers or Bible School Teachers to use it as a text book for a class on prayer.

3. Use it as a comprehensive personal or group study on prayer. Its 52 chapters would make an excellent weekly year-long study. But some would prefer to lengthen it to a two-year study. Two pages of reading a day would take you through the book in two years.

4. Use it as a source book. It’s a great book to have handy setting on your shelf for any questions that may come up. The alphabetical table of contents will be helpful.

5. Use the pdf version as a good concordance. I have found that the pdf version is very helpful to look up key words or scripture references anywhere in the text. It is especially helpful if you are studying a particular prayer subject and want to see all the places in the book it has been mentioned. I offer the pdf version free.

6. Use for daily devotional reading. Besides your daily bible reading, Prayer A to Z may stimulate some good devotional thoughts.

7. Use as a character study. I would begin by using the pdf version to look up all the occurances of a particular character, like Moses or Daniel. You could also go to chapters 40 through 44 and check out the prayers of those characters.

8. Use it to study all the prayers of the bible from chapters 40 through 44.

9. Use it to start a prayer ministry. A good start would be to read chapter 26 in this book.

10. Use to improve your prayer life. Start by reading chapter 1 on Answers to prayer, then read any other chapter you see that you think would be helpful.

My Writing: My Progression, My Ritual

As soon as I had all my topics decided on, the next step in the process of writing my book Prayer A to Z was easy. I just took one topic (a chapter) at a time, did whatever reading and bible study I thought was sufficient for that topic, and went from there. I always highlighted important material as I read, took some notes, and then made an outline.

At first my idea was to make the chapters short—about two typed pages. I was still using the material as an insert in the church bulletin, so I didn’t want it to be too long. Eventually, after about the first ten chapters, I changed my mind about the length. I could see that there was much more I could write on each topic. So, I made a big decision to go back and re-write all that I did before moving on. Now, instead of each chapter taking only a couple days to write, it took sometimes a couple weeks—or more. But it was what I wanted and it looked better. More importantly, I was sure that it was what God wanted; and more and more I regarded the entire project as His.

I remember so clearly those early days of the writing.  I didn’t have a computer yet, so I just used my typewriter, and then I managed to persuade the church secretary to go over it (retype it) using her computer. She didn’t seem to mind, and at the time, it was for the church. After a few years though she was no longer the secretary and I decided I needed to get a computer. What a difference that made.

Most writers spend hours at a time writing. Not me. I had a full-time painting business with employees, and I had to be to work by at least 8 A.M. So, I chose to write early before I went off to work, and for only about 20 minutes at the most. I would usually do my bible reading and prayer first, and then tag on the writing. It worked well that way; and since I rarely missed my morning devotions, I hardly ever missed my writing time. It became my regular morning ritual—or an extension of my devotional time. And though some days it was hard to get into, after each writing session I felt a sense of peace and accomplishment. And it helped to set a good tone for the work day.

I kept that same ritual for as long as it took me to write my first book (20 years), and even a few years after that. Now however, since I am semi-retired, things are a little different.  I still have my quiet time in the morning, but I prefer to do my writing at a separate time. For my more technical writing, it is always easier to be near my computer, because I do so much of the research on the computer. But for the writing I am doing at this present time, which is my own story, I find it easier for me to go to a restraint and write while drinking my coffee. I also—as I am doing at this very moment—like to sit in my truck under the shade of a tree, with a coffee or water. I found a place at a park and ride location where there are several shade trees, and I hear the noise of the highway just 50 yards away. Some may regard that nose as annoying, but I’ve gotten used to it and is even kind of soothing—a good noise for writing.

My New Free-Flowing Blogging Style

This is my second article for my new personal blog. Actually, I wrote it a while back but now I’m rewriting it because I thought it would work well for this new blog. I have four other blogs going: a prayer blog which I started I think in 2011, then a few years later I began a bible prophecy blog, and then more recently I began a political blog and also a nature blog. The first two blogs are still going fairly well, but the nature blog and the political blog aren’t doing well at all. So, I have decided to delete those and put this one in its place. It will be freer flowing and easier. The following is the article I wrote a while ago. I think everything is still relevant.

My New Free-Flowing Blogging Style

Up till now, when I’ve blogged, I will usually study a subject, do research, or go off of other sources, especially on the topic of politics and government. I just haven’t felt confident enough, or really smart enough. I have never really been interested in politics or government so I have felt that I need more input. But recently I have been thinking that it would be good for me to think more on my own, to develop my own thoughts. I think it would stretch my mind out a little. And I think it would help me to be able to more freely and confidently express my thoughts—even though most people tend to be quiet on the subject of politics. They are so afraid to talk about it—about Trump. I guess we are afraid of starting a fight and a very tense situation. People where I live—in Minnesota—don’t like that. We are Minnesota nice. We are so polite.

I’m not sure what I will blog about on this subject, whether it will be just rambling, or on a particular topic. I think I should have some direction, some topic. Here are a few political topics I have in mind:

  • How I got more interested in politics
  • How I have been thinking about President Trump
  • The evil democrat party
  • The never Trumpers
  • Why the Dems are so hateful of Donald Trump?
  • What will become of the U.S. if Trump gets re-elected, or if a liberal like Bernie Sanders get elected.

Wow, that sounds scary to think of Bernie Sanders as President. But sadly, I think our country may be headed in that direction…. after Trump.

But maybe we should think more positively. Maybe 2020-2024, with the house and senate as Republican we will see the country being forever set in a new direction, with a godlier government. We should pray that way. We can be a shining light to the world—until the Rapture. After that I think the U.S. will be gone. I mean since so many of our people will be taken to heaven, I’m afraid other countries will sweep us up—like the EU.

Well, these are my new thoughts. Hopefully, the Lord willing, I will be able to continue on this path of freer blogging. Maybe next time I will have something more specific to blog about.