Not The Story They Taught Us In Sunday School
Acts of the Women follows the women of the New Testament telling their story in the days after Jesus’s resurrection. What was the inspiration for telling this story?
When I published my first book, Second Born, reimagining the life of Jesus as he grew up with his brothers and sisters in a wealthy family in the capital city of Galilee, I realized I had given voice to his forgotten brothers but neglected his sisters and the countless other dynamic women who played crucial roles in the birth of Christianity. So, Acts of the Women starts right where Second Born left off. But this time it is narrated by the women, and it is not the story they taught us in Sunday School.
What drew you to the genera of historical or biblical fiction?
It’s odd, I usually write humor and satire. But I have a strong faith based in Christianity and have studied it for years, including biblical studies courses at Stanford University and other sources scattered around the country. I have always been bothered by some of the central notions held either consciously or unconsciously by so many Christians. For instance, that this exceptional man was not human but a god, THE God, for that matter. Or that he already knew everything that was going to happen, so he didn’t need to have the faith that we are expected to have, because he already knew the end result. Or that we humans are powerless to correct the wrongs we see in the world, that we must ask Jesus to wave his magic wand like Harry Potter to repair the evil around us. I am convinced that Jesus was a man, and that he had the same fears, joys, worries and victories that fill all our lives. I think he found a way to become one with God, and he was showing the rest of us that we can too.
So, this contradiction that faced me every Sunday when I went to church bothered me. What do I do when I get hot and bothered? I’m a writer. So, I started writing about it. Second Born and Acts of the Women are the results so far.
Was there anything that surprised you in your research for this novel?
As much as the male-dominated church has tried to suppress the history of women’s enrichment of the faith, a lot of evidence can still be found right out in the open. For instance, in the gospels you will find Jesus’ brothers identified by name, but his sisters are barely mentioned in passing. But in other places women are mentioned briefly for traveling with Jesus’ group and providing financial support. Well, it would be a scandal in that culture for a woman to travel with a group of men unless she was close kin or married to one of them. Read through the gospels from beginning to end and start identifying some of these women. And examine Acts of the Apostles and all of Paul’s letters. Watch for references to the women. You will find some real gems that you may have missed before.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
In this genre, I will complete the trilogy with a mystery surrounding the First Council of Nicaea, which occurred in 325. The council was called by Emperor Constantine to determine a universal (i.e., catholic in its non-capitalized definition) view of the nature of Christ. People with alternate views to those adopted at the Council were branded as heretics and, in many cases, excommunicated. I will treat the subject with my usual reverence for orthodoxy. That is, there will be little or none in evidence.
But I have an itch to get back to humor, so I am simultaneously working on a modern-day tale of love and romance on the Internet. When will these two books be available? (Glances at wristwatch while stroking his beard.) Hmm, it’s already 10am and I have an appointment at 1:30, so I won’t be able to finish them today. Maybe by November? And then there’s the lengthy publication process. (Comes out of his musings with an upward snap of his head and suddenly widening eyes.) I hope to have them out in 2023. And before you ask, no, I am not accepting pre-orders currently. But thank you for thinking of offering, as I am sure you were about to do.
Posted in Interviews
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Look Deep Inside And Discover
Bible, God And Free Will takes an in-depth look at the Genesis, Scriptures, and the concept of Free Will. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I have wanted to write this book for many years. I read a lot of books about the Bible and the different interpretations that were given to the Scriptures. I have noticed some inaccuracies about Genesis in the Bible and have tried to give my own interpretation even though it may not be the most acceptable. I was very impressed to read the books of the hermits in Christian Egypt (written more than 1,000 years ago); what I liked most was their tenacity in seeking God. I have been making notes for years and a year ago I decided to structure all my notes and compose them in a book. I believe that everyone finds God where they feel. For our inner peace we need God; how we visualize or “materialize” it is not important. I considered it important to discuss the Bible, God, and Free Will in order to emphasize my view that God does not forbid us or oppose anything.
What challenges did you encounter when writing this book and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I had in writing this book was how to write it so that no one would be offended by my interpretations. I tried to overcome my fears by treating the various topics with sincerity.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I think that those who read my book should have a very sincere introspection. They need to look deep inside and discover. They need to know who they really are and what their priorities are in life.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am a visual artist – abstract painting and for a long time I want to write a book about the “beauty” of abstract painting. I think in 2 years the book can be ready.
Posted in Interviews
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Who Says, Women Can’t Lead? – Book Trailer
This book is about a biblical topic that is probably as controversial now as it was when Christ walked the earth.
What it has to do with is whether a woman can be called by God to any of the leadership positions in the church.
The traditional perspective that a woman is to be subservient to church authority; to her husband in the home; and the conjecture to males in the leadership positions of society has permeated culture for thousands of years.
I believe there is a worldwide audience of men and women in church, the political realm, and the home that would be interested in finding out if there is an alternative view to this biblical perception that would present a convincing case by providing both circumstantial and direct scriptural evidence that would support a women’s ordination in the church, her rightful place in the home, and her capacity to assume leadership roles that have for so long been against cultural norms.
Could an argument be made that might support such by providing both circumstantial and direct Bible scriptural evidence?
Join me in the search for the truth in this matter.
We will begin a thorough study by looking at those Jews who were called to the service of the priesthood, followed by some of the other positions of leadership such as Judges, Kings, and Prophets of the Old Testament, and ending with looking at those who were called to the leadership offices of the New Testament church, while including all that is in between.
In connection with this, we will revisit the many reasons that have been used in the past to support the conjecture that only males are called, such as Adam being created first by God; Eve being formed from his rib and being made to be his help meet; the husband designated as the head of the home; Jesus only appointing males to be his disciples and the slogan that this is the way it has always been.
You’ll find this study enlightening, thought-provoking, and with the presentation of earth-shattering direct evidence that will turn traditional views about this subject on their head.
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Family Leadership in Times of Crisis – Book Trailer
Leaders have one thing in common: they come from a family. Family leadership is one of the most important concepts of life because family is the source of human ingenuity. With good family leadership, we can push for greater justice and racial equality in the United States and around the world, and maintain a more just and loving humanity. Family leadership is even more essential during times of crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic when this book was written. When difficult situations threaten to weaken the strength of your family, you need a solid structural foundation of leadership. Family Leadership in Times of Crisis provides this foundation through five practical principles, relevant scriptures, counseling skills/techniques, and biblical teaching to equip you and your family with the skills to successfully navigate any crisis.
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Holy Grams: Past Present Future Through Anagrams
Holy Grams: Past, Present, Future Through Anagrams’ gives readers a new experience of the bible. The author divides the book into three parts that focus on the past, the future, and the present. The arrangement of the parts in the book make reading Trenet Worlds book relaxing and easy. The text in the book is biblical and does not go outside of the stories in the bible. Going through every topic in the book gives one a different perspective of the bible and spirituality. In between the text are lessons for Christians too. Trenet Worlds blends biblical stories and links them with experiences believers go through. This element in the book is eye-opening and helps people on their journey of reflection.
I applaud the author for starting with the story of the creation and fall of man. This story is important for every Christian as it shows them how they came into being. Starting the book with this story gives the reader a chance to go back and reflect on their lives and check if they are living life as instructed by God. Holy Grams: Past, Present, Future Through Anagrams is generally about understanding the bible through anagrams. The author recounts the Genesis story, highlighting crucial parts that will have Christians thinking deeply and asking questions. Trenet Worlds answers pertinent questions that sometimes seem ambiguous.
Just like the first part of the book, parts two and three are also enlightening. The selection of stories is marvelous and the breaking down of the stories even better. I got the impression of reading the lite version of the bible when reading Holy Grams: Past, Present, Future Through Anagrams. The reader is also informed on the lives of followers of Christ who try to seek the kingdom of God as they navigate through this secular world. Part two of the book has some of my favorite topics as the author was real with her words and open with the discussions. Some of my favorite topics include apostasy and spiritual delusion, persecution of the saints, and merger of the church and state.
Holy Grams: Past, Present, Future Through Anagrams is relatable to many Christians who are trying to live a righteous life but are obstructed by wordy obstacles. It is also a great book for those that love literature. The inclusion of different bible stories spices up the reading. The author covers the beginning of life to the end and everything in between. Readers learn that there can never be a present without a past. And that the future is as important as the present.
Pages: 321 | ASIN: B07V4MTCWD
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
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A Saint and A Sinner
Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest, by Stephen Donnelly and Diane O’Bryan, is a memoir of Former Catholic Priest Fr. Stephen Donnelly. It tells the life story of Donnelly – from his childhood to his eventual exit from the ministry.
The book is a real-life story that tells a truth most of us are not willing to accept – no one is sinless or perfect, even religious leaders. Donnelly’s story also proves that what we go through during childhood has a great impact on our character and the choices we make as adults.
From the title, it’s obvious that Donnelly is not perfect. However, what eventually gets him booted from the priesthood, is a “lesser” evil compared to the thing he had done in the past. Unfortunately for him, he got caught at a time when the Catholic Church was trying to save face from the ever-increasing allegations against priests.
For me, the book was an immersive experience. It took me into the world of a Catholic priest; their way of life, virtues, and challenges. It was also a page-turner – the chapters flow naturally and chronologically, and the story is so captivating that you will have a hard time putting the book down.
What I liked most about this book is the vivid first-person narration of events. While other memoirs plainly recall events, Donnelly and O’Bryan chose to include even the conversations that happened. Ultimately, that made the story more real, engaging, and entertaining.
Saint and a Sinner is one of the most riveting memoirs I have read this year. The story was a candid look at one man who battles his inner demons. Whether you are religious or not, you will definitely find this a thought-provoking read.
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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“Revelation” the Patmos Vision Unveiled
“Revelation” the Patmos Vision Unveiled provides a deeper meaning to the book of Revelation from the Bible and interprets the symbols, metaphors and figurative language in the same book. The author also covers the similarities between the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation.
The author, Rev. Gerald F McPeters has brought a new perspective to how Christian’s interpret the Bible, especially the book of Daniel and Revelation. The author understands and respects different religions and also different perspectives of Christianity. His perspective sheds new light on what most Christians have been brought up knowing and maybe overlooked. Although Rev McPeter’s interpretation of the book of Revelation is possibly controversial, it has created room for people to think outside the box. He has done a great job of comparing the relationship between the United States of America and Israel to what the bible talks about God’s chosen nation. The author uses real life scenarios and current events to explain his understanding of the book of Revelation and this helps in creating a vivid image in the mind of the reader.
“Revelation” the Patmos Vision Unveiled does not have fictional characters but the author has done a marvelous job of creating perfect images of all the symbols and metaphorical figures in the book of Revelation using simple language that can be easily understood. A good example is of the seven seals that are mentioned in Revelation 5. The book makes many references to Christianity and the United States so if you’re not within one of those two groups you may have a different experience with this book. Besides that, the book is an thought-provoking piece of literature that provides guidance, new perspectives and new ideas to the biblical knowledge of Christians all over the world. I would recommend this book to Christians and anyone who wants to learn more about the life of Christ and end times.
Pages: 130 | ASIN: B0793NSBST
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
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The Confessional: A Peerless Short Story
Reinhold Commons Webster likes being in church. His family hopes he will follow the priesthood path, and his only desire is to be an altar boy. However, he is thrust into an abyss of sadistic abuse. He watched his friend penetrated with impunity until he could no longer hold on to life. The same end awaited him. Therefore Reinhold makes a deal that provides him with a little reprieve. With no one else willing to help him or the others, this deal is his only hope. The deal does nothing to erase what has already happened but what comes next will have to be enough.
This story, albeit short, is aggressively evocative. Written in such detail, the candor of it is well justified by the desire to shine a light on this abomination. The author also puts a spotlight on the role of parents and other authority figures in all of this. Their adverse reactions to the damaging situations the victims are plunged into. Figures who choose to ridicule these children rather than save them from their plight.
This is a very purposeful book. It might seem a bit crass, but the painful detail in this story is very necessary and intentional. It works to ingrain an image that would potentially start a movement for the rescue of actual victims. The end is quite alarming and should serve as a warning to perpetrators.
The confessional is a place where people go to seek solace and relief from the burden of sin. However, in this instance the title serves as a reminder that these places represent personal hells for some people. As a reader, one cannot help but weep for the poor boys. One cannot help but advocate for the punishment of the perpetrator. This is the extent of the writer’s to appeal to the reader’s soul by use of words and language.
This story should be used as a rallying call against child abuse everywhere and especially of the sexual sort. It should stand as a war cry for abused children everywhere to appeal to their parents for help. It is evocative and stern in no uncertain terms. The author’s passion for this cause is obvious and this story is engaging and thought provoking.
Pages: 49 | ASIN: B07PGTS8LC
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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