First Baptist Church of Orlando is a large church; a large campus; a large membership; and a pastor with a large heart. This shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s a Louisiana boy!
Mark Sutton called me about two weeks ago and wanted to know if I could be in Orlando on Sunday, October 28th. I had a full schedule the week before that Sunday. I had a doctor’s visit on Monday, a Reason to Believe Chapter meeting Tuesday, a speaking engagement for my friend Chan Hearron to his high school senior class Wednesday afternoon, my radiology practice meeting Wednesday night, a speaking engagement for Laveer Financial Management meeting to over 100 people Thursday night . . . AND we were driving to Dallas Friday morning to meet with my son and his wife and their two foster children for a long weekend of fun and grand parenting (and Aunting for Casey). Whew! And, somehow, I was to magically appear in Orlando on Sunday morning!!!!
Well, the Lord knows what is happening in our lives. Turns out I could fly nonstop from Love Field Saturday afternoon from Dallas to Orlando nonstop and then fly back to Dallas Sunday afternoon and we could drive home to Shreveport Sunday night.Read the rest of this entry
As we move into the holiday season I want to remind everyone of a book that would make one of the best holiday presents. “The Homecoming Tree” is set in Shreveport, Louisiana at the beginning of World War II and features a powerful and moving story of a young boy coming of age and a man who has lost touch with his morality. Filled with historical references of northwest Louisiana’s involvement with the war effort, this story will not only educate readers but will entertain readers. Let me just say if you like “It’s A Wonderful Life”, the movie, you will like “The Homecoming Tree”.
So, check out the “Books” tab on how to get your hands on the ebook or the printed book. And, stay in touch as Mark Sutton and I are planning a book signing before the end of the year when he releases his new fiction book, “Pitfall, Book One: Angel Wars”. More on that soon!Read the rest of this entry
I simply couldn’t believe the email I had just received. My author representative from B&H Publishing informed me:
“Hello Bruce, so sorry for the late response. Your title Hope Again is actually out of print and B & H does not have any plans to take this to a Print On Demand Product. With that being said, since the book is co Authored, we will need written request from you and Mark Sutton to revert the rights to you. Please forward that request or any questions you may have to your Author Care Specialist at email below. Let me know if you have any questions.
Blessings to you
Person’s Name Deleted
Author Care Specialist”
I had simply asked to order more of our book, “Hope Again: A 30 Day Plan for Conquering Depression” for an upcoming seminar only to discover our book was no longer in print! No one had bothered to inform us of this! When I kindly complained about this we got this response:Read the rest of this entry
I have some sad news.
Mark Sutton and I have written two books on depression. The second book, “Hope Again: A 30 Day Plan for Conquering Depression” was released in September, 2014. Now, we have discovered, that book is no longer in print.
When Mark and I discovered this fact back in late spring, I was disappointed and we decided that the end had come for our depression book. The very next day, I received an email from a person who claimed the book “saved her life”. In desperation, she reached out in prayer and God led her to our book. The 30 day program led her away from her decision to end her life! And, this person was from South Africa!
It is difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that something that Mark and I wrote based on our painful experiences with depression could be used by God to change the life of someone else! But, this is how God works. As soon as I read the email, I called Mark and we bent every effort at that point to putting out a third book as soon as possible.
And, we continue to get weekly orders for our LifeFilter cards from our website conqueringdepression.com!
So, now for some good news.Read the rest of this entry
On this day in 1969 the newspaper headlines spoke about a massive infantry invasion near Saigon in North Vietnam. 47 enemy combatants were killed with no American casualties. On the same day, the newspaper reported that in the days before Senator Ted Kennedy was pulled from his submerged car and Mary Jo Kopechne, age 29 drowned at Chappaquiddick Island while she was a passenger in a car being driven by the senator. The scandal would haunt him for the rest of his life.
In Bienville Parish, the school board signed off on a desegregation plan for integrating black and white schools. Along the Red River, Shreveport’s famous “shantytown” of homeless and indigent occupants was demolished. In other news, plans to implement an anti ballistic missile treaty with the Soviet Union were stalled in the midst of the height of the cold war. The world was awash with war and possible nuclear annihilation and political scandal and the churning war against the “establishment” by the hew “hippie, free love” movement. America was in turmoil! Soon, oil prices would escalate thanks to the newly formed OPEC and the economy would tank in the aftermath. One of the casualties would be the Apollo space program.
But on this day, America had landed a man on the moon. America had succeeded in putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade. We made it by 5 1/2 months!
I was 14 years old and managed to keep my eyes open long enough to watch Neil Armstrong step off the Lunar Excursion Module onto the surface of the moon at around 2 A.M central time. The dark, shadowy image on my television was difficult to discern, but the enormity of that moment was not. I have shared before how my father and I shared a love for the space program. And, the prospect of one day going into space and walking on the moon was always my greatest dream. But here, in a moment of incredible historical significance, all of the bad news of the world around me was vanquished by the deep appreciation of our combined, unified accomplishment as Americans. For a brief moment, millions of Americans put aside their differences and rejoiced in man’s ability to reach out for the unknown.Read the rest of this entry
Okay, I’m guilty of neglect.
I was working on my Author’s Page on Amazon this morning because of some confusion from people trying to order “The Homecoming Tree”. It seems there are entities out there who purchase the book and then sell it second hand and for some reason, when you search for the book, THEIR listing comes above my own!
Anyway, while reviewing my settings I stumbled across the REVIEW page that lists all of the reviews for all of my books. Honestly, I have such a poor self image from my childhood, I have avoided reading the Reviews. I was afraid of what they might say.
But, let me put this as kindly and as humbly as possible, THANK YOU for all of the reviews, both positive and negative. I was truly humbled that anyone would choose to read something that poured out my imagination onto the written page. THANK YOU all!
You can check out the reviews at this link.
I am currently working on two books. First, I hope to finish “The 8th Demon: A Wicked Numinosity” by the fall. Second, I am putting together the first book in my science fiction trilogy, “The Node of God” and hope to have it available by the end of the year.
Also, Mark Sutton and I are working on a book about the lies of culture. And, I am outlining the sequel to “The Homecoming Tree” — “The Homecoming Prayer”.
If you are interested in our depression book, go to this link.
I followed the trail of blood from our library across our living room floor. Drops of it had congealed on the carpet in our bedroom leading like bread crumbs to the bathroom. My wife, Sherry, was hunched over her bathroom sink running cold water over her hand. She had cut herself. Again.
Let me pause here and assure you that this was not a deliberate act. Sherry likes sharp scissors. Very sharp. She sharpens them regularly. Why does she like sharp scissors? The better to cut her blankets with. A few years ago, Sherry learned how to make blankets from simple material. Not the intricate quilting most people know about. These blankets were made from two pieces of material with ties around the edge. What made these blankets different from any other involved the process of constructing the blanket. Each tie around the edge is made while saying a prayer for the person for whom the blanket is given.
In time, our library, once the province of my books, was transformed into Sherry’s blanket production center. Over the past few years she has produced dozens and dozens of intricately designed, colorful blankets. Each blanket has a singular colored back piece and a very colorful front piece. And the designs on the front she has chosen to match the intended person’s personality.
When she found there were lots of scrap pieces left over, she developed a way to make smaller blankets as baby burp pads or tiny blankets of dolls. Nothing was wasted.
But, the heart of her endeavors are the prayers and the Bible verses. Sherry developed a laminated card containing the favorite prayers of those who knew the person for whom the blanket was intended. Sherry would ask various friends and relatives for their favorite Bible verses and then place them on a large laminated card attached to the blanket. You see, the blanket was more than just a piece of material. It was a creative act of worship, prayer, Bible reading, and very intentional in every part of its creation.
Today, I am sitting on the balcony of our condominium on the beach at Perdido Key, Florida. Sherry and I are talking about the Bible verses we have just read in our morning Bible readings. What you must understand is how creative is our daughter, Casey. She draws. She paints. She creates constantly. It is her way of working through her epilepsy and its emotional toll on her life.Read the rest of this entry
I am afraid.
I’m not, pardon the pun, afraid to admit it.
There is a lot of hatred out there.
News. Internet. Blogs. Facebook. Instagram.
A lot of hate and anger.
Most of that hate and anger is directed at Christians. We are the new pariah; the new villain. Christianity is intolerant, hateful, judgmental, phobic. Think of a vile adjective and it has been hurled at Christians.
What is our response? Hunker down. Bunker down. Retreat into our communities of like minded people.
Take a look at one of those inwardly focused communities. There was a class of very religious men. Devout. Faithful to the rules. Pure and clean and undefiled. These men had very little love, mercy, or compassion. In their eyes, if you were suffering it was a punishment. Maybe you were at fault. Maybe your parents. Someone, somewhere was to blame for your misery.
This class of religious leaders were feared by the people over which they presided. They called anyone who deviated from their teachings as hypocrites. When they saw someone suffering, they passed on by. After all, the sufferer deserve what they got!
Into this morass of religious perversion a lone man appeared. He taught something very radical.Read the rest of this entry
I tied the last knot on my piece of leather string and handed it to my friend sitting next to me. Nicky Nix, one of my best friends and my brother in Christ tied the string around my left ankle. I turned to my right and tied a similar string around the ankle of another of my deacon friends. We were to wear the strings around our ankles for several weeks as we prepared for the production of “The Deacon Led Living Last Supper”.
That was many years ago and I marveled at the deacons who had never been on stage in their life showing a reluctant willingness to portray one of the disciples seated at the table with Jesus on the night of His last feast with them. For weeks we practiced together, we prayed together and we drew closer and closer as a deacon body until the night of our performance.
Our educational minister and associate pastor at the time was Bruce Edwards. Bruce had brought the script to me and asked me to update the language for a more modern audience. The original script was written, I believe, in 1953. The script Bruce handed me didn’t even have the author’s name on it. I took a stab at the script bearing in mind which deacon would be playing which disciple. This meant that some of the monologues would have to be significantly shortened!Read the rest of this entry