Friday, August 23, 2013

Booking It

I just finished writing another book. I have been working on it in my “spare time.” (Ha, ha!) A little bit here, a snippet of time there. It is not a very long book, and it is certainly an inexpensive book.

I wrote another book earlier, published in 2006, entitled “More Than a Purpose.” It was a response to Rick Warren’s bestselling “The Purpose Driven Life.” My book did pretty well for a religious book written by an unknown. It sold a thousand copies in the United States. In 2009 it was translated into Korean and sold two thousand copies in South Korea. Those Koreans have good taste! But now it is out of print.

This new book is different. It is more personal, and it is published as an e-book through Amazon. (Apologies to you bibliophile purists.) Book publishing is not what it used to be. More authors are choosing to publish electronically, bypassing the traditional publishing houses. It is quicker, easier, cheaper, and the author keeps control of the process and the book rights.

The “Fifty Shades of Grey” series by E. L. James is a famous example of an author who took this route. The best-seller lists are now filled with e-books that made it to the top and are making their authors wealthy. Young Adult Romance seems to be particularly popular genre at the moment.

There was a story on CBS News recently about Jack and Jasinda Wilder, an unemployed couple from Detroit with five children, who started writing in their basement in a desperate attempt to make some money. They self-published their romance fiction as e-books and have sold nearly a million copies. One of their steamy novels, “Falling Into You,” hit the number one spot on Amazon.

But my book is not a romance. It is decidedly spiritual. It is entitled “Experiencing God Directly,” subtitled “The Way of Christian Nonduality.” The subtitle will have many people scratching their heads. But I hope if they read it, they will be nodding their heads in agreement.

I don’t expect the book to finance my retirement. In fact, I do not expect it to do as well as my previous book, which piggy-backed on the popularity of the Purpose Driven Life. But that is all right. I started writing this book as a way to personally process the changes that have happened in my own thinking.

This book comes out of my own spiritual awareness of God. I do not know who will buy this book. It has no built-in audience. But I did not write it for anyone else. I wrote it for me, and for those who have experienced, or desire to experience, God directly. Hopefully there are a few in e-book land.

Anyone interested in the book, can find it on Amazon. Here is the link: Experiencing God Directly

You do not need a Kindle or another e-book reader to get e-books. You can read e-books using the Kindle app that you can download to your computer, laptop, tablet, or iphone. The app is free from Amazon here: Free Reading Apps

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Consider the Mergansers

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field” and “Look at the birds of the air.” He uses these examples from Nature to make a spiritual point. If he had lived in New Hampshire he might have said “Consider the mergansers.” At least, that is what I heard the Lord say recently.

It was a hot Monday in July – my day off. My wife and I had done some work around the house in the morning. Then she asked what I wanted to do for fun in the afternoon. I said, “Let’s go to the river.” One of my favorite places in the White Mountains is Lower Falls on the Swift River along the Kancamagus Highway.

But July is not the best time to go there. Too many tourists! I like it when there is no one on the rocks but us, but that happens only during the off season. So we went upriver and found a spot with only a few flatlanders. After a little while they left, leaving us to enjoy the river alone. Well, almost alone.

There was a family of mergansers navigating the rapids. I have been to the Swift River many times during my life, but this is the first time I ever saw ducks on this swift moving stretch of the river. It just shows how much rain we have gotten this year! This rocky mountain stream is deep enough this year to attract diving ducks!
The duck clan consisted of a mom and five adolescent offspring.  It was hilarious watching them. They would swim against the current, clambering over the rocks, struggling upstream from pool to pool, until they got to the pool right in front of us.

Then the little ones would hop into the current and slide down the river like they were on a ride at a human water park. We watched them do this over and over again for about twenty minutes. It was one of the most enjoyable afternoons I have spent at the river.

Normally I go to the river to meditate quietly on God and his creation. It soothes my soul. The river speaks with the voice of God to me. This time God gave me a special lesson. It just so happened that the day before I had preached a sermon on The Life of the Spirit.  I had likened being led by the Spirit to riding the current of a river. This is what I said on that Sabbath morning:

“Living in the Spirit is like riding a river. The Spirit is the River of Living Water, and we are invited to jump in. Once we are in the river, we naturally move with the current. Once we are in the Spirit, we move with the Spirit. All we have to do to is not fight against the current, or swim upstream, or climb onto the river bank. All we need to do is stay in the Spirit, and the Spirit does the rest. This is living by grace. This is being led by the Spirit.”

Maybe the Lord sent me those mergansers to let me know that once in a while I get it right. And to let me know that I should have added how much fun the spiritual life is. Consider the mergansers, for of such are the Kingdom of God.