What’s the Big Deal about Looking Our Age?

People used to be surprised when I told them my age. They would invariably say, “You don’t look that old.” Now that sixty-nine is just a few months away, I’ve suddenly realized I haven’t heard that comment as often as I used to. At some point I must’ve started looking my age. What’s the big deal about that?

Am I supposed to get a hair transplant or buy a toupee? I think not! I was bald long before I reached this age. It didn’t matter that much then, and it matters even less now.

Should I color my hair–or at least darken my beard and mustache? That gray doesn’t look nearly as nice in photos. Nope on that, too. How many people are apt to study pictures of me and criticize the way my hair looks? If anything, they should note how nicely styled it is. It looks much better now than it did when I was younger.

Wrinkles? If I have any, I haven’t even noticed them yet. I don’t expect to have anyone greet me sometime with a “Boy are you getting wrinkled!” How rude would that be. The problem would be theirs, not mine.

Oh, my! Are my teeth white enough? Doesn’t matter. At least I have all but one of the ones I’m supposed to have, and the missing one doesn’t show.  Although I wish my teeth were perfectly aligned–braces weren’t even discussed when I was growing up–I really wouldn’t want to put myself through that now, even if money weren’t an issue.

Hmm. My arms look a bit flabby. Should I take up weightlifting now to do something about that? As if I don’t stay busy enough doing things I consider important.

Okay, so I use a walking stick for my almost-daily walk. But it’s not because I need it to walk. It just helps me keep my rhythm better. When I need it to get around, I’ll already be almost used to the idea.

By the time I got hearing aids–probably ten or eleven years ago–I was too concerned about wanting to hear better to worry about whether other people noticed them. Now that they’re starting to fail me, my concern still isn’t how they look, but how many important things am I failing to hear properly.

As I look back at what I’ve written, I can only conclude that I might not win any prizes for my looks, but who cares? Not I. I’ve done a pretty good job of accepting myself as I am. And that includes looking my age.

What about you? Do you look your age? Would you do–or DO you do–anything to make yourself look more youthful? How about sharing a comment?

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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.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
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Best regards,
Roger

One of My Little Quirks

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It’s no wonder I write quirky fiction. I’m a quirky person. Not dangerously so, I hope. Not yet, anyhow.

Since my wife, Kathleen, loves to tease me about this particular quirk–she dares to call me obsessive about it–I decided to share it here. I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Long before gas got so terribly expensive, I was a real Scrooge about wasting it. I haven’t changed.

When I go to Sonic for my daily diet cherry limeade, I use the drive through. I didn’t used to, but I’ve moderated my habits a tad over the years. But that doesn’t mean I’m less economical.

If there’s a car in front of me, I turn off the engine. Same if they don’t take my order the instant I stop at the intercom. And I turn it off again when I reach the pick up window.

Each time the cars in front of me move, I start the car and move, too. Then I turn it off again. I don’t know if this is a fact, but I remember hearing back during those horrible days of gas shortages that if a car has to idle longer than a minute, it’s more economical to stop and restart it.

Even if someone were to prove to me that my belief is inaccurate, I doubt that I’d change my habit. It’s too deeply ingrained.

Let me assure you of one thing, however. I do NOT follow that rule at stop signs or traffic lights. Safety comes first.

One thing I love about my Honda Civic is the equipment that shows me how economically I’m driving. One gauge shows blue if I’m being totally wasteful, teal if I’m only somewhere between wasteful and economical, and a nice bright green if I’m doing really well.

In the first picture above, I’m not doing very well. Of course, maybe that’s because I had to stop in order to take the picture. The gauges don’t function unless the car is running. Kathleen took the second picture while I was doing seventy on the Interstate. Green and getting more than thirty-five mpg.

Accelerating is tough. No matter what. A jack rabbit start–I’ll do one only for safety–is sure to be blue. But so is any and acceleration that’s not uber-gradual. I pay attention to whether I appear to be holding up whoever is behind me and may accelerate faster than I want to.

There’s also a gauge that shows how many miles per gallon I’m getting at that particular moment. It’s such fun to coast downhill and see my car getting seventy mpg! (The gauge only goes to seventy.) And I’m always clicking the “I” button on the steering wheel to see what my overall average is for that tank of gas.

People sometimes ask if I write about myself in my novels, and in many instances the answer is a resounding YES! In my yet-to-be-published novel, Impractically Yours, the female protagonist teases the male protagonist about having the exact same gas-economy practices I have.

Did I mention that I rarely let Kathleen drive my car? That’s because she refuses to pay attention to what the gauges are telling her about how she’s driving. Doesn’t that explain why she likes to tease me so much?

I told you I was quirky, didn’t I? Is there some characteristic of yours that others describe as quirky? Or do you have something to say about driving or being economical? How about sharing it with us in a comment?

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

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
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Best regards,
Roger

Sacrificial Love

It makes me sick to hear of women having abortions because their unborn babies are deformed or handicapped in some way. If those women are even capable of love,  giving the babies up for adoption would be the more humane thing to do.

There are people in the world who have enough love to care for handicapped children. Much better for the children than growing up with parents who continually gripe because their handicapped children are “inconvenient” to care for.

But what of babies who appear to be perfectly healthy and normal at birth, only to show signs of being handicapped months or years down the road? Do the parents cease to love them because of that? I would hope not, although I’m sure it happens in some instances.

When I was writing The Devil and Pastor Gus, B.L.ZeBubb (the Devil) was complaining about handicapped children. Gus responded with this story about a couple from his church, a true story about a couple I used to be close friends with:

“Handicapped children aren’t an embarrassment. A sweet couple from church lost a severely disabled daughter some years back. Requiring round-the-clock attention, she was exceedingly difficult to care for, and her folks lived in a permanent state of physical and emotional fatigue. Spiritual burnout plagued them at times, too.”

Gus pretended not to notice B.L.ZeBubb smiling gleefully at his mention of spiritual burnout.

“But were they relieved when she died? No way. They couldn’t have grieved more over the death of a healthy daughter, and they still remember her fondly these many years later.”

That couple’s self-sacrificing love for their daughter still inspires me. And it always will.

Self-sacrifice? Isn’t that what love sometimes involves? How can you have love without at least a willingness to sacrifice?

Probably the best definition of love I’ve ever heard is “wanting what’s best for the other person–and being willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to bring that about.” My friends’ sacrifices couldn’t change their daughter’s handicap. But they didn’t let her handicaps change them. They gave their all for her.

Several  Sunday nights ago, a young lady from my church who was barely out of her teens died from health problems that could not be cured. I barely knew her, and I don’t know her parents at all. But one thing I’m sure of. They know the meaning of sacrificial love.

Ellen Masters, I’m thankful to have known you ever so slightly and to have had the privilege of praying for you for years. I’m sure your parents did everything in their power to keep you alive and return you to normal health. But, in this case, sacrificial love meant having to let go when nothing else would help. We believe you’re in God’s presence right now, whole for the first time in years. I look forward to getting to know you better when my time comes.

Comments are welcome.

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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.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
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Best regards,
Roger

Never Too Old for a Good Snooze

I’m getting drowsy right now. Ready for my afternoon nap. But I felt the need to at least start working on this blog post. While I didn’t have a subject five minutes ago, I’ve kind of just yawned my way into one. Let’s see if it works.

By this time of day, I’m normally ready for a change of scenery. After staying in the living room all morning (except for a ten-minute run to Sonic for a large diet cherry limeade, easy ice) five mornings of the week, that could mean getting outside. Cutting the grass. Picking up something at the grocery store. Checking out what’s new at Barnes & Noble. Taking a walk. Any of those activities would qualify as a change of scenery.

But in my retirement years I’ve come to prefer taking a nap. A simple siesta on the sofa in the living room. With Happy–the happy miniature dachshund–snuggled up on my lap. Or between me and the back of the sofa, depending on how I’m lying.

Getting to sleep isn’t normally a problem. I have relaxing music playing in the background, and that helps me tune the rest of the world out. Not counting phone calls, which I have little control over but a wonderful capacity for ignoring. No wonder. Practically none of them are personal.

I don’t normally sleep long. Half an hour is normal and forty-five minutes is almost unheard of. These naps don’t usually leave me groggy, either, thank goodness, but they do leave me refreshed and ready to get something done.

I remember too well when my daughter, Kristi, outgrew her nap-time as a child. Having her awake all of the time sometimes proved to be a real chore.

At least I don’t bother anyone else whether I nap or not. I’m just thankful I can enjoy those snoozes and hope I never get too old for them.

Until I take that final nap, anyhow. But I’ll be heading into the pearly gates of Heaven at the end of that nap.

What about you? Do you enjoy an occasional siesta? Do you have a favorite day and time for one–for example, a Sunday afternoon nap? How about sharing with a comment?

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

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
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Best regards,
Roger

The What Ifs of Life

I got a phone call  one afternoon recently that started me thinking about the “what ifs of life.”

What if my birth parents had chosen to keep me? How drastically different would my life be now?

And what if someone other than the couple who adopted me had become my adoptive parents. And what if my father had remained a lawyer rather than going to seminary and becoming a Christian minister?

What if I’d died or survived only in a vegetative state as the result of acute viral encephalitis when I was in the eighth grade?

What if I’d majored in music instead of English? Would I be a better song writer–or a less accomplished one? Would I still have become a teacher? Would I have remained in teaching rather than changing careers twice, always looking for the more-fulfilling job rather than necessarily the better paying one.

What if I’d married the first girl I thought I wanted to marry? What if I hadn’t met and married my ex-wife? What if our baby hadn’t died of an improperly developed heart three days after she was born? What if my ex- had been able to get pregnant again after microsurgery at Johns Hopkins?

And what if we’d never moved to Richmond? That question alone opens up a bottomless can of what ifs.

What if I’d never started writing songs, poems, monologues and short plays, and short stories? Would I have found equal satisfaction being creative some other way?

And what if I’d met Kathleen at a different time in our lives?

But let’s bring this up to the present time. The present is the result not of the what-ifs, but of the said-and-dones.

That doesn’t keep me from what iffing, though. What if an irritating problem hadn’t led me to the doctor recently, and what if he hadn’t decided to do some tests to determine whether I’m still reasonably healthy at going-on-sixty-nine?

And what if the PSA hadn’t been elevated enough for him to recommend going to see my urologist? What if the problem had turned out to be serious?

I’ve always said it’s better to know that something bad is going on than to have to wonder about it. But even more important is the realization–the assurance–that my life is totally in God’s hands. He can deal appropriately with all of those things I can only ponder.

What about you? Do you have any significant what-ifs going on in your life right now? Why not just turn them over to God? Please feel free to share a comment.

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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.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
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Best regards,
Roger

Ebenezers Coffee House

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 If you didn’t read my post from this past Sunday about our interest in the National Community Church and the Ebenezers Coffee House they own and operate, you might want to go back and do that now.

That’s a fine-looking building in the first two pictures above. You’d never know it was an abandoned crack house at the time Pastor Mark Batterson saw it on his prayer walk around Capitol Hill and felt drawn to it. His church didn’t own any property and–despite years of praying over it–it was a while before God opened the right doors for purchasing and renovating it. For the complete story, I highly recommend one of Mark’s books. I’m currently finishing reading Draw the Circle — The 40 Day Prayer Challenge.

My wife and I had only two time-specific agendas for our long weekend vacation in Washington, D.C. The first was to visit one of the theater-locations of Mark’s church (the church is made up of seven theater locations) on Sunday morning. The other was to visit Ebenezers Coffee House on Saturday night.

We had learned from their website that a local folk singer, Michelle Lockey, would be performing from 7:00 to 8:00 that evening. We took the Metro from our hotel and wasted some time trying to follow the directions from Union Station to Ebenezer; it turned out that the coffee house was much easier to find than the directions indicated. Nonetheless, we arrived in plenty of time to grab a table–as well as a cookie each, plus the Mark Batterson book I mentioned earlier.

We hadn’t been there long when Michelle arrived, toting Taylor guitar and Luna ukelele in gig bags, along with two stands and a box of CDs.

The folks working the coffee house made a brave attempt to set up the sound equipment, which had never failed them before. Unfortunately, it failed this time, so Michelle would have to perform without amplification. I can tell you from my own experience that doing that when you’re not used to singing and playing without a PA is tough, but she was very gracious about it.

She was all set well before 7:00, so I took advantage of the opportunity to introduce myself and tell her jokingly that we had come all the way from Richmond, Virginia, just to hear her. And to explain that was actually partially true. I enjoyed talking with her, but finally returned to our table.

Time for Michelle to start, but there were only a few customers hanging around. Somebody had moved a couple of comfy chairs to maybe five or ten feet directly in front of Michelle, so Kathleen and I took them. Great spot for pictures.

I can’t say enough good about Michelle’s performance. Her songs were terrific, and so was her singing. Although guitar was her primary instrument, she did several songs with her ukelele. I have to admit that gave me a whole new appreciation for ukeleles, which I had never cared much for before.

By the way, that one weird-looking picture–I love it!–was her whistling during part of one song.

After her performance, she was gracious enough to let me share one of my songs with her.

And I learned that Michelle is far more than just a folk singer. She’s also a good song writer and has written music for movies and TV. And she’s won some important awards. Quite a list of accomplishments.

I won’t say anymore except to add that we came home with her four CDs–and they’ve kept playing on our stereo ever since. Check out her website for more information. And to say that Ebenezers Coffee House was everything we expected and more.

What about you? Do you have a favorite place to go and hang out–with or without entertainment? How about sharing a comment?

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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.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website. Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Family Christian Stores. Go HERE for links to those places.

Best regards,
Roger

Looking Back: Mr. Matney

I participate in an online program called the Daily Challenge. It presents something for its members to do of a health-promoting nature–often physical, but sometimes mental and emotional. Participants receive points and work their way up the ladder to higher and higher rungs. I can’t say that I always find DC to be beneficial, but I’ve made friends with some of the people who exchange comments with me.

Today’s Challenge–I’m writing this three days before you see it–was special. To share one’s favorite class or school subject from way back whenever and list three reasons it was so special.

At first I was stymied, as I often am by that type of Daily Challenge, but once I thought about it, I had to mention two classes rather than one.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Government class in high school; I guess they call that Civics now. My teacher was a wiry little fellow named Keith Matney. (It seems strange that I would have even known his first name.) That man was energetic, and that was good. He could keep me awake even while other kids were dozing. I’ll never forget an impromptu speech he gave about the fact that nobody is free unless everyone is.

I don’t recall the details, but that made me want to become a teacher. A teacher of Government at that.

When I transferred from junior college to senior college, still firm in my conviction that I wanted to follow in Mr. Matney’s footsteps, I took a class called The American Political Party System. We were required to attend a particular political rally–1966 was an election year–and that was my initial introduction to the realities of American politics.

Forget teaching Government. Especially if it meant taking more classes like that one. I’d been naive enough to think that majoring in Political Science was all about the kinds of things I’d studied in Mr. Matney’s class.

Nonetheless, I didn’t lose my desire to teach. Since I’d accumulated more English credits than anything else in junior college, I changed my major to English.

Once I started teaching, I learned that the one thing my education classes had failed to to teach me was how to teach. I’m greatly relieved to hear periodically from former students on Facebook who remember my classes as beneficial.

But I was no Keith Matney, and I changed careers shortly after the beginning of my seventh year.

I have to admit I never totally lost my interest in teaching, though. I taught a computer programming class once at a Black and Decker plant in Easton, MD. I taught guitar off and on part-time for a number of years. I did a little bit of Sunday School teaching. I gave technical presentations at nationwide computer user conferences and even taught a full-day class once in Australia.

Even now I’m tutoring/mentoring a writer friend on a regular basis.

Maybe I do have at least a little of Keith Matney in me after all.

What about you? What was your favorite subject in school? How about leaving a comment?

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I’ll be back again on Wednesday with a post about my other favorite high school teacher. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.
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Best regards,
Roger

 

Spiritual Warfare?

Let me begin by saying that  spiritual warfare is a biblical concept. So is the Devil, although the Bible doesn’t describe him in the stereotypical way we often think of him. I believe the Devil has a great deal of power.

At the same time, I’ve long marveled at the number of Christians who accuse the Devil (don’t ask me if he’s one person or many) of being responsible for all of the hard times they’re going through. Yes, he was responsible for Job’s woes and God permits him to do evil even to good people, but many of our most serious problems result from our own mistakes and bad choices–and sometimes from those  of other people.

And let’s not ignore original sin. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God couldn’t allow them to remain in His perfect Garden, Eden,  and continue to live perfect, carefree lives.  So He expelled them into a world that was–and continues to be–filled with trouble. And death. Those things are to be expected. So why blame the Devil for all of them?

All of that to help you understand the rest of this post more easily…

On Tuesday the 25th, my novel–The Devil and Pastor Gus–releases. Of the eleven novels I’ve written (this will be the third one published), this is one of my favorites. If you read my recent post about legacies, you already understand that.

Martin Luther made this observation, quoted by C. S. Lewis in Screwtape Letters: “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.”

And that’s exactly what The Devil and Pastor Gus intends to do–make fun of the Devil.

But how does Satan feel about The Devil and Pastor Gus? Does it so anger him that he would attack the publication of the book? What can he do–if anything–to express his resentment?

Here’s where I’m just thinking aloud. My book’s publisher, Lighthouse Publisher of the Carolinas (LPC), is small. But they do a great job. However, by oversight–certainly not intentional–some steps in the publication process got behind schedule.

Hmm. Human error. Understandable. Can’t blame the Devil for that.

But then my author representative–the person I could ask all of my questions about the publication process–cut her foot, and the resulting infection went to her heart. Her condition was life-threatening, and she’s been out of commission ever since.

I was assigned a new author rep, one who already had her own caseload. And she ended up in a car accident. She’s recovering, but not back at work yet.

Another LPC employee–I don’t know if her work had any direct connection with my book–lost her husband in an accident.

And then my marketing representative lost a family member she had been very close to. Very unexpectedly in a horrible accident. Understandably, that has affected her ability to help.

Spiritual warfare? I don’t know. But it makes you think, doesn’t it?

If you have anything to share on this subject, please leave a comment.

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

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

Be on the lookout for The Devil and Pastor Gus, which releases this Tuesday. Here’s the link on Amazon.

Best regards,
Roger

My Legacy

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Some years ago I wrote a song called “What Will You Leave Behind?” While I don’t dwell on the subject of legacies constantly, I do think about it fairly often. Especially as I advance in age.

One thing for sure. Unless something drastic happens, my financial legacy won’t be measured in millions of dollars. Or even in the upper thousands. My wife and I have everything we need, but we’re in no way well-to-do in earthly terms. So, girls, you’d best earn your own money, since you’re not going to get rich on your mom and me.

But financial legacies are only a small part of what we leave behind. Often the least important part.

I’ve long since concluded that my most important legacy as a Christian is the books and songs I’ve written. And will continue to write as long as God permits me to.

I pray nightly for my readers–past, present, and future. I pray for God’s help in writing what He wants others to read, and I pray that His message will be clear to my readers in their individual needs and circumstances. And I pray that I will continue to improve in my writing and in writing about only what God wants me to write about.

That’s why the release of my third novel on Tuesday, November 23, is so important to me. The Devil and Pastor Gus (see the tentative cover at the top of the page) tells the story of a middle aged man determined to leave a Christian legacy in the form of a novel ridiculing the Devil for his foolish pride.

In the process of feigning friendship with Satan to get back story for his novel, Gus’s prologue is unwittingly published in a popular Christian magazine. Aware now that Pastor Gus has played him for a fool, the Devil sets out to destroy Gus’s life in every way possible. As if killing Gus’s wife and unborn baby aren’t enough, Satan tricks Gus into thinking that signing a contract for his soul is the only way he can save his church.

I won’t tell you the rest of the story, but suffice it to say that Gus knows he’s made a terrible mistake. He can’t undo it, though. The question is whether he can beat the Devil at his own game…or whether God’s mercy is greater than Gus can imagine.

Uh, let’s see…where was I? Oh, yes. Talking about my novels and songs as my legacies.

I can’t say that I have any personal experience with the Devil, but Gus and I are a lot alike in wanting to leave a legacy that will affect Christians in profound ways for years to come. I’ll write other novels if God permits me to. But The Devil and Pastor Gus is what I tend to view as my ultimate legacy. Not necessarily my best book. Not necessarily my most popular one. But the one God will use to make a difference in a number of lives.

What better legacy could I want than that?

What legacy are you leaving to your survivors? Please share a comment.

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Please come back again on Sunday for another post. If you prefer to receive my blog posts by email, sign up at the lower right corner.

I have another blog, “As I Come Singing.” I use it to share the lyrics of the almost 200 songs I’ve written over the past fifty years. You may see it HERE. You’ll also find free lead sheets (music, lyrics, chords) for many of them HERE.

If you’re interested in seeing more about The Devil and Pastor Gus or pre-ordering the book, GO HERE.

Best regards,
Roger

What’s My Legacy?

(Click on pictures for larger image. But since this post doesn’t have any, please pretend hard.)

Ever since writing The Devil and Pastor Gus, a novel about a minister who wants to leave a worthwhile legacy to future generations, I’ve been thinking about that subject a lot.

Poor Gus didn’t think his accomplishments as a minister would have a very wide-ranging or long-lasting effect. As I look back at my three pre-writing careers, I can relate.

Although I occasionally receive encouragement from former students that I was more successful as a teacher than I thought at the time, what I taught them isn’t likely to touch their children or grandchildren.

Working as a counselor/interviewer in a Federal jobs program put a little money into the pockets of the participants who learned to play the system. But even if I helped change anyone’s life, the effect of that won’t last long, either.

No matter how successful I was during most of my computer programming career, my prize accomplishments were about to become obsolete–no legacy possibilities there–at the time I was transferred into something I proved highly inept at. I hope nobody will remember my failures there.

Although Kathleen will remember me as a loving husband (assuming I die first) and my daughter may remember me as a loving father, how can I continue to have a positive influence on them–much less to touch future generations?

I’ve written over two hundred Christian songs and some poems and short plays as well. But the songs have never been published or sung by anyone else and my other writings were published in newspapers and magazines that future readers will not have access to or care about.

No wonder Pastor Gus got so upset at the realization that his life wasn’t going to count for much once he was gone. He didn’t mind the thought of being forgotten. But he wanted to do something that would be remembered and accomplish a lot of good, even without his name attached to it.

Maybe that’s why The Devil & Pastor Gus, which is due out on November 25 of this year, is so special to me. Maybe that novel will prove to be my legacy.

What have you done that you think/hope will outlast you and have a positive effect on others in the future? Won’t you share that with us by leaving a comment?

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

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

Best regards,
Roger