Category: Close To The Heart
Dean Koontz (Oddly Famous)
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Imagine you’re a watching the grand finale at a fireworks show. Your face is aglow with excitement, you know you’re about to be thrilled. The wick is lit, you hold your breath…and – and –and – nothing happens. It’s a dud. You slump away in disappointment.
That’s exactly how I felt after reading Dean Koontz’s book, The Husband. The cover caught my attention. The excerpt on the back jacket floored me. However, despite its gripping beginning, it quickly fell apart with an unbelievable plot twist. In other words, it turned out to be just another dud.
So I tried another one, thinking, ‘you can’t judge an author by just one book.’ Sadly, after trying to read Odd Thomas, which is really a rip-off of the movie The Sixth Sense, I just gave up. And I’m not the only one – more and more readers are beginning to see that Dean Koontz is just another hack writer.
What is amazing, and odd, is that Mr. Koontz is famous. I suppose he feels many will buy his books, simply because he wrote them. And many do.
Mr. Koontz’s books are flat and dull, and are always the same monotony, just under a different title.
Our books, Life: As Fragile As Dust, Swan Song, and the Poies Series are full of stories that are of the true human experience. We don’t try to write books as a means of escape, but books that will inspire you to take a new look at yourself and others. It is our hope to start a spark that will grow into a flame, a flame that will become a roaring fire, a fire that will restore the moral fiber to a world that has fallen victim to the debased dribble of many books today.
Thankfully, we are not alone. Many authors are writing novels full of moral fiber; we are just trying to do our part to better society, one book at a time. We invite you to take a look.
In the meantime, do yourself a favor: read healthy.
STEPHEN KING: The Master Time-Waster
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Stephen King is not a good author. Stephen King is a terrible author. Stephen King is long-winded, repetitive, and most of all, selfish.
When you read a book, you want to enjoy it. Savor it. Learn something new, appreciate life more.
And you know what’s so special about books? They can make you appreciate life more, without taking your life away.
When confronted with a 500, 700, and with Under the Dome, a 1088 page novel, how can you learn to experience life when you spend all of it reading someone else’s novel?
Hey. Maybe I want to spend all my time reading, you say.
What if the novel sucks?
If you read one Stephen King book, you’ve read them all. A crime, some paranormal horror story, sex, murder, drama…then a weak twist at the end that’s supposed to make you feel like you’ve read a good story.
However, I do believe Mr. King can be a talented writer. Among the trash he has offered through the years, only one pearl stands: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, a story that has not only entertained, but has revealed great insights about life and humanity. Oh, but after the popular, empty pages that carry such names as The Long Walk, The Stand, and Christine, King became an puppet for modern audiences worthless appetites for commercialized “literature.”
But King is not the only one. It’s a trend – a virus – quickly spreading throughout authors today who pump out large amounts of garbage, not taking in account the lives of 90% of their readers: hard-workers who are trying to live their own lives, who wish to enjoy good literature…not lazy words on a page. Too many pages.
People don’t have time or the desire to inflate your already overinflated ego, Mr. King.
Life: As Fragile As Dust is a much better novel than Stephen King will ever write. Tight, powerful prose that gets straight to the point, and leaves an impact more than the bubblegum fiction of most of today’s authors. Do yourself an extreme favor, and read Life: As Fragile As Dust.
You never know where you’re going to be when compassion sneaks up on you and wraps your heart in its warm embrace.
For me, it found me sitting in front of the TV. During the commercials, an ad for Christian Children’s Fund flashed on the screen. As always, it’s difficult seeing so many kids living in extreme poverty. Many times, I watched for a while, and then slowly turned the channel. I turned, not because I didn’t care, but because, “What possible good could an average guy like me do?”
In the spring of 2001, I called the number the next time I saw Christian Children’s Fund flash on the screen (now Child Fund International). It’s proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. Why? I got to know and sponsor Erimias.
After the sponsor package arrived, I saw he was a young boy, age eight. Seeing those bright eyes, his brave stare, I felt honored to be his sponsor.
Many letters later, so many filled with joy and accomplishments, some with filled with sadness; since my sponsorship, Erimias has lost both his parents.
He continues to be an outstanding student and is now age 19.
Six years later, my family and I were leaving a Christian concert. Near the exit, two women stood at a long table. On the table sat rows of pictures of young children with their bio’s attached. We saw Trishna’s picture right away and said to each other, “She’s the one.”
Over the years I’ve been blessed to receive encouraging letters and as you see, beautiful pictures. As of today Trishna and family are doing well.
Child Fund International and Compassion International are great ways to help needy children. These charities put the money in the hands of parents and let them purchase what their children need.
It’s been a privilege watching these children grow and being able to contribute in improving their lives in a small way.
How was your GOOD FRIDAY? How do you like to show compassion to others? Leave your stories in the comments below. And as always – keep your head up.
THE COLOR OF PURPLE
When writing the post DYING TO STAY ALIVE, I had serious reservations. The young woman’s battered face, the facts surrounding her abuse – all shocking. My heart goes out to her and her family.
Just as shocking is the amount of abuse occurring globally. So much so that President Obama in 2010 proclaimed October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Now every October, purple ribbons abound – “Raising Awareness about Domestic Violence.” Wait, isn’t purple the color symbol for cancer? Yes, and it’s the color for Domestic Violence, too.
Think about it, couldn’t domestic violence be viewed as a cancer? And like a cancer, if ignored, it will fester and grow and one day kills, unless it’s eradicated.
I wanted to bring more awareness to this senseless crime. Are you aware of these staggering facts?
According to the Genesis Women Shelter:
- 1 in 4 women will know domestic violence in her lifetime.
- 1 in 3 teenage girls will be physically assaulted by a boyfriend.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women ages 15-44 in the U.S. That’s more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
- Boys who witness domestic violence in their homes are 1,500 times more likely to perpetrate abuse later in life.
- 50% of girls growing up in an abusive home will go on to be victims of abuse themselves.
For our GOOD FRIDAY, we purchased and donated clothing to the Genesis Women Shelter.
Do you know the color purple also represents royalty? And women everywhere should be treated like queens, because that’s just what they are.
If you or someone you love may be a victim of domestic violence, Know the Facts and remember Love Is Not Abuse.
|SAFETY ALERT: If you are in danger, please call 911, your local hotline, or (in the U.S.) the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. Please review these safety tips.|
A Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day. A day of overflowing happiness, joyful smiles, breakfast in bed, gorgeous flowers, and lavish meals.
For Desiree, Stephanie, and Carol, their Mother’s Day begins very differently.
Who are these women?
They are mothers living on the street.
So instead of flowers, candy, and, perfume, we formed a list, gathered all the essentials, and loaded backpacks for three homeless mothers. The picture below shows the items purchased:
Toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, nail clippers, soap, Kleenex, poncho, wash cloths, Vaseline, dental floss, lotion, McDonald’s gift card, cough drops, cap, feminine napkins, hand sanitizer, Band-Aids, underwear, socks, foot powder, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, aspirin, spoon, can opener, flashlight, Bible, and backpack.
The results were absolutely powerful.
Desiree, the first mother we met, has a daughter and a grandchild, Elijah. She didn’t share how she made it to where she is today, but emphasized how much she loved her grandson. “We should honor our mothers because they are the ones that gave us life.” Originally from Louisiana, Desiree raised four nieces and nephews as well. After she spoke, she took a pause and looked right at me. “None of them care about me today.” Thanking us graciously for her gift, she took one of her water bottles and raised it in the air, reminding us that water is the most wonderful drink of all. Although, she recalls that the well water in Louisiana is a lot tastier than our local water.
Stephanie, our second mother, had a downward glance and a shy smile when we approached her. When we asked if she was a Mother, she put her hand on her stomach. “I’m a mother-to-be,” she smiled. Six months pregnant and not sure what motherhood will bring, she still appears hopeful. What does she want her daughter to remember? “Sometimes, life on the streets is easy, but mostly it’s difficult.” After thanking us for thinking about her, she pulled the hat out of the backpack, put it on her head and walked away. Our hearts warmed knowing we helped in some small way.
When we first saw Carol, she was walking at a fast pace. When asked if she would like to talk, she smiled, her bright blue eyes lit up. “Sure, but I got caught in the rain last night, my pants are still muddy.” She pointed ahead. “I’m going to change at the shelter. I’ll talk with you when I come out.” In the meantime, we searched for others mothers to help; it took us over an hour to locate Carol again. We found her in the park digging through trash cans. “Oh yeah, I remember you. Yes, I would love to talk.”
Carol is a mother of four children, two sons and two daughters. She also has five lovely grandchildren, four girls and one boy. When we asked about her children, she responded with a cheerful smile. “They’re beautiful.” She began to tear up when she mentioned her grandchildren. We understood and were grateful for her sharing.
With heartfelt appreciation, each of the women thanked us and wished my wife a Happy Mother’s Day.
We all have different experiences with our mothers, enjoy what you can and let go of the others.
Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere!
You look at her. Wow, how fast she’s grown. Her yesterdays seem so long ago.
Now she’s become a young woman right before your eyes.
You love her so much-you would tear out your own heart to save her. No one on earth loves her as much or as deeply as you.
However, does she know how much you care?
Have you made every effort to make her feel loved? Or let her express her love for you?
If not, are you willing to change?
For Maggie, change may come too late.
Purchase Swan Song Here.