More on When Compromise Isn’t Possible

Back when the Tea Party movement was in the limelight, I thought it was pretty cool. America had gone so far downhill I couldn’t blame other nations for hating us, and any movement to restore us to what we used to stand for was worth supporting enthusiastically.

Except…

The more I read about the Tea Party, the more convinced I was that their thinking had one major flaw. They were totally unwilling to compromise. It had to be their way–even though I approved of their way–or else. They didn’t seem to recognize that major changes take time. And often they can only be accomplished by taking baby steps in the right direction.

While I wasn’t certain what I thought of Mr. Trump during the early days of his gaining popular support, I’ve come to appreciate him more and more. While his actions thus far may seem a bit drastic at times, he’s only doing what he’s promised to do. Therefore we elected him to do those things–to do what it takes to make America great again–and I’m counting on Congress to make sure he does that sensibly.

Is Mr. Trump a man who’s open to compromise? I have to smile at the very thought. He seems to have strong convictions and doesn’t plan to deviate from them. I can’t fault him for that. But does that make it easy to get things done? Obviously not.

Because there are the people on the far left who have equally strong convictions. And theirs couldn’t be further from Mr. Trump’s. I’m not sure they even believe America needs fixing, and they certainly seem incapable of seeing the damage Mr. Obama did during his presidency. So those people are afraid of what Mr. Trump is trying to do.

Compromise between the right and the left? Do moderates stand a chance? Alas, it doesn’t seem possible. Not unless the media chooses the middle road: truth.

Please join me in praying that what is best for America will be done in whatever way and at whatever time God desires. How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


rosagus

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Best regards,
Roger

When Compromise Isn’t Possible

We all have to compromise at times, don’t we? I don’t know anyone who gets his or her way all the time, anyhow.

And nobody is right all the time, either. Right?

Probably. But with one extremely important exception. We may not always understand God’s ways–why He allows certain things to take place, including the martyring of so many of His children–but if we believe in Him, we believe He’s always right. He doesn’t make mistakes, and He doesn’t compromise.

And that fact sometimes seems pretty extreme to non-believers. After all, aren’t there many roads to God? Don’t they all lead to the same place? Aren’t Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and all the other world religions equally valid?

Not if you believe the Bible. Especially where Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It’s not us “intolerant Christians” who came up with the idea that other religions are worthless; we’re just quoting the man we believe to be the Son of God. The one who died for our sins and rose from death to give us eternal life.

If we study the Bible, we can’t miss some of the issues there’s no room for compromising over. The one at the top is there is no God except Jehovah. Allah isn’t the God of the Bible, regardless of what countless sincere Muslims (and a host of non-Muslims) believe.

Another issue is homosexuality. Of course, the Bible also takes a strong stand against other forms of immorality–any type of promiscuity, including sex outside of marriage. But regardless of how some Christians act–and consequently what many people mistakenly believe–the Bible doesn’t tell us to hate homosexuals. Indeed, even if we considered them “enemies,” which we shouldn’t do, Jesus told us to love our enemies.

Even though the Bible doesn’t speak about abortion as such, it speaks of people as being created in God’s image. It talks about keeping the body a proper dwelling place for God’s holy spirit. It tells about the way God knows the most intricate parts of our beings, including our formation in our mothers’ wombs.

No wonder we take “Do not kill” as a no-compromise issue regarding abortion.

I realize that not everyone reading this post is a Christian, and some of you may strongly–vehemently–disagree with some or all of what I’ve written. Feel free to leave a comment. But keep in mind that even though I must compromise about some areas of life, the things I’ve talked about today are not things I can compromise about.


kindle-coverRosa No-Name is the coming-of-age prequel to Roger’s first young adult novel, Found in Translation. It will be releasing sometime within the next couple of months. If you want to learn more about it, check Roger’s website or join the Rosa No-Name Tribe group on Facebook. That may qualify you to receive a free ARC (advanced review copy).

 


NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Divisiveness – Not Something to Laugh At

American comedian Emo Philips is credited with having authored the following joke.

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What denomination?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

“Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heathen!” And I pushed him over.

I actually first heard it at a computer users symposium, although I can’t imagine why. I had no idea where it came from, and I’ve made a couple of minor changes to Emo’s version so it would match the one I was already familiar with. I hope Mr. Phillips won’t consider me divisive because of that.

But divisiveness as it exists in America today is nothing to joke about. When Mr. Obama took office, he claimed he wanted to unite Americans. All Americans. Only history will reveal whether the disunity that broke out during his eight years in office was intentional, but some people–perhaps many–believe Mr. Obama wanted to create division in this country. Perhaps even to start a civil war.

I just sighed. I wish you could have heard me. It was a sigh of deep frustration.

Thank goodness–thank God, that is–Heaven will be a place of peace and unity. In spite of jokes like this one:

St. Peter was showing a recent arrival around Heaven. A Methodist. On passing a room with a closed door–no windows–the Methodist asked Peter who was inside.

Peter laughed before answering. “Those are the Baptists. We keep the door shut so they won’t see they’re not the only ones in Heaven.”

Even though we’ll never know perfect unity among diverse groups here on earth, I get a small preview of what it might be like when I walk at the mall. There I encounter other walkers, custodians, security guards, and mall employees. Among those are blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians, and probably people from other racial groups as well. Some I know to be  Christian. Others are conspicuously Muslim. I have no idea what the rest are. I dare say we probably vary in our life styles and politics as well.

But we walkers are unified in purpose. Even though many of us are there by ourselves–at least part of the time–we’re there to walk. Some of us walk clockwise, on the left facing “traffic.” Others stay on the right in a counterclockwise manner. And a few like me reverse directions periodically.

Yet, the walking is not the only thing that unifies us. It’s the sense of comradery. With rare exceptions we greet one another as if we’re really glad to see each other. And we’ve learned some of one another’s names as we often end up walking in the same direction at the same time as another walker. It’s very uplifting.

My prayer today and every day is for God to break the spirit of diversity that has created too many different “us and them” groups and to unify us in His name.

If you have a comment, I’d love for you to post it.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Obstructionists or Sore Losers?

Until recently my vocabulary had never included the words obstructionism or obstructionists. But I would have to be a total dunce not to recognize that the root of both words is obstruction. A roadblock of some kind, physical or symbolic.

A few days ago I came to a place where one lane of the road was blocked so some heavy branches could be cleared. But that wasn’t an obstruction. Road workers stopped cars coming from one direction to allow people from the other direction to get through. Then they switched. That maintained a fairly free flow of traffic.

No roadblock. Not an obstruction, but a workable compromise.

I can’t say how conservative voters would’ve reacted if Mrs. Clinton had won the election, but I’m reasonably certain we would not have been demonstrating violently or otherwise acting like unrestrained children.

I have to laugh at one thing, though. As  the election drew nearer, I caught myself thinking, “We need elections to be by popular vote, not by an electoral college.” Only after the election, which Mrs. Clinton won by popular vote but not by electoral college count, did my wife explain why the electoral college method is so important. Otherwise, the three largest cities in America could swing any presidential election, thus robbing some states from having a real voice.

Not good!

I can understand why people who think the way I used to were upset about the election. You’ll notice I said, “were upset.” How long can people go on protesting? Why can’t they get a grip on themselves and watch to see what Mr. Trump does?

Hmm. Could it be because they believe they’re right and that the majority of Americans are wrong? Especially us hateful conservatives.

Nonetheless, free speech is still important, even for the demonstrators and all who oppose Mr. Trump’s policies and decisions. I wouldn’t even think of trying to stifle them.

But the Democratic members of congress are something else. Rather than give Mr. Trump a chance to prove himself, they are such poor losers they’re doing everything they can to prevent him from succeeding.  If that isn’t the most selfish form of obstructionism I’ve ever seen, I’m not sure what is.

I would say, “Get in touch with the Democratic Senators and Representatives from your state and tell them what you think.”

But I won’t. I don’t believe they’d be willing to listen.

So let’s pray for them instead. They may think they have the ability to do as they like, but we know Who has the real power. More power than even Mr. Trump.

Please leave a comment. Even if you disagree.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

What Makes You Happy?

Nothing makes me happy the way chocolate does. And pizza. Not together, of course.

But that kind of happiness doesn’t last long. And too much of that kind of happiness could take my weight back up from 147 to where it was five years ago, over 200 pounds.

Hmm. I’m not an overly materialistic person; I pay strict attention to the family budget and to the amount of space we have. Still, wouldn’t a $2500+ Taylor guitar or a BMW sports car make me happy?

Both of those things would bring a different kind of happiness and one that might seem more permanent than pizza and chocolate.

But I know enough about myself and about happiness to know I wouldn’t ultimately be any happier if I had both of those things. Even if I didn’t reach the point of taking them for granted, either of them could be stolen, damaged, or destroyed. And where would I be then?

Would I cease to be happy if something happened to either of those things? Or to favorite photographs and recordings that couldn’t be replaced?

Nope. I would undoubtedly be upset at first, but then I would count my blessings. And I would remember that my happiness is not dependent on things.

Looking back at my seventy years of life, I can pick out a number of successes (and ignore a number of failures). Things I’m proud of. But does the memory make me happy? Not really. Not anymore. Especially if I’m failing to do anything noteworthy now. The happiness I gained from having three novels traditionally published has faded into remembered pleasure. But it’s the next book that will bring happiness of sorts…until that fades and I must focus on the book after that.

Happiness is an odd bird, isn’t it? One that won’t remain in its cage, even with the door shut.

Nonetheless, I am happy. Not usually an exuberant kind of happy, but a peaceful kind of happy.

Peaceful? Now there’s the secret. Happiness and peace are very similar, and peace isn’t necessarily the absence of violence or of conflict. It’s an attitude. We can decide to be happy.

Yes, it’s easier when everything’s going right, but it’s not dependent on that. When our relationships with God, other people, and even with ourselves are the way they should be, peace is a natural byproduct. And that peace brings happiness.

So, what makes you happy? Are you conscious of the effect of good relationships in your life? Or of bad relationships? Please leave a comment.

I’d like to express my thanks to Andy Stanley for his video series on happiness. Although we’ve only seen the first program so far in our Wednesday night Bible study, he inspired some of the ideas I elaborated on in this post.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

The Daily Challenge

Each of us probably has something he or she considers a daily challenge. For some people, it’s getting up in the morning. For others, it’s getting to sleep or staying asleep all night. And then there are people who are challenged by having to stay awake all day.

Some challenges are more serious than others. Putting up with impossible work situations, trying to solve financial problems that just won’t go away, making important decisions when none of the alternatives seem right–these are just a few of millions of difficulties a person might have to struggle with on a daily basis, and each one is important to the individual, even though it might seem less important to someone who has a different problem.

I have one or more of my own daily challenges. But the one I want to talk about is quite different. In fact, it’s not even a “daily challenge,” but “The Daily Challenge.”

I don’t recall when I first signed up for The Daily Challenge’s, uh, daily challenges, but I’ve been getting them for years now. Unlike other challenges I might face on any given day,  I can easily ignore one of these if I want to. And occasionally I do.

In fact, I would probably discontinue the program if I hadn’t made several good cyber-friends I would really hate to lose contact with.

If you’re not familiar with The Daily Challenge, you’re probably wondering what in the world it is. But first let me tell you what it isn’t. It is NOT a news item about something we need to start fretting about.

It IS about something that relates (sometimes questionably) to health and well being. The partial screenshot below is an example of one of the challenges that–to me, at least–was of questionable value. I’m sure some people complete these these challenges just to get the points, but I see less point in acquiring points than I do in some of the challenges themselves.

dailychallenge

Don’t get me wrong, though. I’ve learned (and, unfortunately, forgotten again) some nifty exercises. And it feels good to mark a challenge “Done” when it’s something I’m already doing. Like eating whole grain bread that day or a fruit or vegetable that contains a particular nutrient.

Today’s challenge (I’m writing this the Friday before I post it) was to have a meatless meal. What sacrilege! By the time I saw that, it was too late to leave the tiny piece of ham off of my breakfast sandwich. But I’ve recently started having peanut butter sandwiches fairly often, and what could be more tastefully and tastily meatless than that?

Please don’t let the fun I’ve poked at The Daily Challenge keep you from checking it out. Who knows? You might learn something that will help you with one of your more serious daily challenges. Learn about it at this URL.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

My Current Project

What is an author to do when he has nine unpublished novel manuscripts on his laptop and one of them, ROSA NO-NAME, is his wife and daughter’s favorite? They even prefer it to the three novels that have already been published.

It doesn’t help that he has recently parted ways with his agent. Not because he dislikes her or because they don’t get along well. They are still friends. But because she doesn’t think she can do anything with any of the four manuscripts of his she’s looked at.

So, what is that author to do? Especially if he’s not in love with the novel he started writing months ago and not making much progress on?

As you’ve undoubtedly guessed, I’m the author in question. Even though I’m in good health at seventy, there’s no guarantee how much time I have left. God has given me the ability to write, however, and I feel led to keep using it as long as I’m able to.

By the time my first two novels were published in 2011, I had already written ROSA NO-NAME as a prequel to FOUND IN TRANSLATION. It wasn’t a Young Adult novel, though, and my publisher wasn’t interested. No publisher  would be interested in a book that related to another publisher’s series.

But Kathleen and Kristi loved ROSA so much that I reread it and fell in love with it all over again myself. I knew I could self-publish–I’d done that with two little books of my shorter writings–except for two things. A self-published book–they call it “independently published” now–needs a professional cover and it needs to be professionally edited.

I spoke to Ken Raney, the talented graphic artist husband of novelist Deb Raney. His quoted price wasn’t nearly as much as I’d expected, but it wasn’t something the family budget could handle. I told Ken I would start saving. And I did.

Can you imagine my joyous shock when I opened my Christmas presents and found that my wife had gotten the other members of the family to chip in money for the book cover? They not only contributed enough that Ken has already been paid in full, but enough money was left over to add to what I had saved for me to seek someone to  do some basic editing. I’m meeting with an editor this coming Thursday.

On January 2 I verified with my former publisher that I am free to proceed with my project, even though some of ROSA tells part of the story from FOUND IN TRANSLATION, but from Rosa’s point of view.

Ken will begin working on the cover later this week.

I’m really excited! I have a very worthwhile project to work on, and I hope the thousands of people who read FOUND IN TRANSLATION will want to read ROSA NO-NAME and learn some of the back story they’ve had questions about.

I  hate talking about myself and my project this way, but I’m too excited not to share it with my blog friends. You can’t blame me for that, can you? All comments gladly received.

NOTE: I wrote that earlier this past week. Ken has finished the cover, and it’s GREAT! People who see that will be likely to take a second look and turn it over to read the back cover. As much as I want to share the cover with you, I’m holding off till my wife and I get a handle on preparing for ROSA’s release.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger