What About a Forum?

I’m brainstorming other ideas here and this one popped up:  would you use a forum?

A forum is where you join and can post questions and answers to topics.  So, let’s say the topic is:  BSF Lesson 1.

You could discuss answers and get a dialogue running.  You can get fancy too and set up your profile with your name and location and stuff.

Preliminary research (let’s say the last 10 minutes or so) has been this would cost me money to set up.  But it’s something I’ve dreamed about with this site.  Getting discussion and dialogue going like a discussion group but without a time frame.  You could debate God’s word all day long if  you wanted and everyone got a chance to participate–even anonymously if you wanted.  All you’d be known by would be your screen name.

It would increase the participation and not just be me.

So, would you use a forum for BSF and participate in one?  A forum has no value without you all.  The people make the forum.  Just like people make the church.

The Book of Fairies

The Book of Fairies by Michael Hague is a compilation of short stories about fairies.  This comment was in the appendix and it struck me:

“A world without magic and danger would be boring.  Stories of fairies remind us how unpredictable and interesting the world really is.  And they remind us that we must have times of struggle before we can have happy endings.”

It’s a sentiment we’ve all heard before, right?  You got to have the downs to have the ups.  But I’ve never heard it quite put like this before.  Since I’m a writer I guess the simile impacted me more.

But it’s true.  It reminds us all to keep plowing through the rough spots to find the smooth road; that the pot of gold lies at the end of the rainbow; to follow the Yellow Brick Road to return to Kansas.

I think that’s why I switched from writing non-fiction to fiction: because I like a good make-believe story as well as the next person.  And I believe I can create one as well as or better than others.

If I keep trudging through the muck to get to the shower…

Why Would Anyone EVER Pre-Order a Book?

I am anxiously awaiting the release date of the final book in the Inheritance Cycle (called Inheritance) by Christopher Paolini as a lot of other fans are on November 8.

So, I go online to Amazon to pre-order it.  Well, as most of you know, you have to spend $25 or more to get free shipping so I thought I’d order some other books I’ve had in my queue.

I go through the whole process to the end where it says, “Your books will not be shipped until November.”

What?!

I thought books from Amazon were shipped when they arrived so I’d get separate orders.

I cancel that order and hop over to Barnes and Noble.com and see what they say.  I call a physical store to ask,”If I pre-order this book along with others, will it be shipped separately?”

“Oh, yes,” the employee assures me.  “You’ll get your other books first.”

Once again, I go on-line to order my books along with pre-ordering Inheritance.  Again, same message:  “Your books will not be shipped until the pre-order is available.”

Of course, I don’t believe the young man on the phone and I just cancel my order.

In the end, I don’t order Inheritance (much to my chagrin for I really want the book) and just order the stuff I need now (some are workbooks for homeschool) along with a book my daughters really want (the new book in the Magic Tree House Series called Dogs in the Dead of Night #46 by Mary Pope Osborne) to get myself over the $25 mark.

Why would anyone ever pre-order? I wonder.

Amazon has changed the price on Inheritance THREE times since I’ve put it in my cart.

I decide to just order the book when it comes out.  Easier. Safer.  Less hassle. And confusion.

And if I pay shipping, so be it.  But by November, I’m sure I’ll have something else I need (all books are a need, ya know!).

“When Have You Realized that Jesus’ Plans for Your Life Were Different from What You’d Expected?”

This is a question in the sidebar of my study Bible and I had to laugh.

Let’s see:  where should I start?

If you have lived any length of time on this planet, you will see how your plans are not God’s plans.

It’s fun to think back to your dreams as a little kid; how innocent and naive the mind was; how wondrous the world was; how all of that changes as you grow and experience life and learn.

How in your adult life you let go a little more each day and let whatever be, be.

How you watch your kids and the simplicity in their lives and think of when your life was not so complicated.

How you know one day none of the hardships will matter and all that will endure will be God’s plan.

How I know sitting here in my bed with my 3 year old cuddled beside me (he usually crawls in with me in the early morning), my old dog sprawled on the bed leaving dog hair in my husband’s spot, a fly buzzing around, and my Bible lying on the night stand where I just placed it is merely a drip in time.

These drips that I lap up so eagerly.

All God’s plan.

After all, how could my little mind have ever planned any of it?

Certainly not the complex human body, the mechanisms it takes to fly, nor the words on a page that were written just for me–a nobody yet a somebody.

To Him.

The Only One that Matters.

Was Anyone Baptized Before John the Baptist?

Dove-tailing my Born-Again post, my next question that arose in my mind was this one.

We have previously explored the question in this blog of did anyone go to heaven before Jesus (see discussion here).  It was determined that Jesus went first and then those who had been awaiting to enter heaven did so.

I believe this: One does not have to be baptized to get into heaven; one only has to accept Jesus into their heart.  Others said one must be baptized to reach heaven and quoted scripture as well.

So when did baptism arise and what’s it purpose?

John the Baptize began baptizing people before Jesus.  John the Baptize baptized Jesus and in so doing, “The Spirit descended on him like a dove…and a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:10

Was John the Baptist the first to begin baptizing people?

I believe so, yes.  He is called John the Baptist, right?

Then Jesus came along, was baptized, and commissioned his disciples to do the same.

I have concluded with two links.  One describes how the Old Testament leads up to baptism and even says how the flooding of the earth and the crossing of the Red Sea was a form of baptism.

It’s interesting so I’m including it here.

But baptism to me is accepting of Christ so I’m hesitant to see how these above examples could be baptism in the modern sense of the word when Christ didn’t exist yet.

This second link does a great job about explaining baptism and its purposes here.

I’m curious as to what your knowledge/opinions are on the history of baptism.