THE BULLIES NEVER CHANGE BUT WE CAN TAKE THE WIND FROM THEIR SAILS

By James A. Wilson

The most humiliating moment I can recall from my childhood is the time when I was seven years old and changing from my swimsuit into street clothes after swimming at the home of a neighbor. The neighbor’s daughters were knocking on the locked bedroom door where I was changing and my nasty brother chose my moment of stark nakedness to open the door and invite them in. It was a nightmare moment for a pre-pubescent boy and he did it for one reason…because he could. Bullies are like that and they never change unless they have a come-to-Jesus moment.

Democrat congressional leaders are attempting the same move on Donald Trump, through their persecution of William Barr, and for the same reason. House Judiciary Committee members have voted to hold Barr in contempt of congress for failure to answer their subpoena of the full and unredacted Mueller Report, and for refusing to testify before them. I call this bullying on two counts: First, Barr is obeying federal law by refusing to release the roughly ten per cent of the report he has redacted; Democrats are threatening him with jail for refusing their orders to disobey the law, and so their subpoena has no force of law. Secondly, they never issued a subpoena for his testimony; it is unclear whether they include this in their resolution but – if so – the citation is even more absurd on its face.

There are four areas of the report Barr has declined to publish. (He has offered to show even these items to congressional leaders in a closed-door meeting but will not permit making notes or copies.) Grand Jury testimony is confidential under law; this is because it is not trial evidence but simply the argument made when seeking an indictment. If an indictment is issued relevant testimony will be repeated and come to light; if not, it can serve no purpose but to embarrass the innocent, like me at age seven.

Information gathered from intelligence sources is likewise confidential, as disclosure places lives at risk. Information on peripheral players – those not under investigation – is by law confidential for the same reasons that police searches must pass constitutional muster under the Fourth Amendment. Material from ongoing investigations or prosecutions is likewise legally non-revealable; it compromises those processes. That makes four up and four down. Committee members know the law; they are attempting to do this because they think they can.

The utterly unjust judiciary committee chairman – Jerome Nadler – claims the situation has created a constitutional crisis. He is correct in this but totally dishonest when he claims the crisis is the result of AG Barr’s behavior; the crisis is the creation of Lawyer Nadler’s outrageous threat to bring the AG into his chamber in hand cuffs for the “crime” of obeying federal law. He makes such threats because he can, and this should come as no surprise.

Nadler is a leader in the party of lawlessness. His own committee has just referred HR 5 to the full House; this bill spits in the eye of the First Amendment by denying religious exemptions for people uncomfortable with gender dysphoric people insisting on using bath and shower facilities meant for the other gender. The bill’s author says the exemptions under law still apply; they just may not be used in such a case, or whenever a mental health professional is begged for help with unwanted same sex attractions. How again does a provision apply when its use is forbidden?

His own party includes leaders like California Governor Gavan Newsom and 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris. Both of them declared their cities and state to be sanctuary cities, in defiance of state and federal law; Harris joined Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, in arguing against state law re marriage when their oath of office required them to defend it, while Newsom blocks enforcement of a voter adopted initiative reinstating capital punishment with his illegal executive order. We are not even getting into the mayors of Oakland, CA, and Portland, OR, forbidding police to intervene in riots in their cities because the mayors are sympathetic to the rioters. These people shriek their outrage at law abiding leaders like AG Barr…because they can.

Law abiding citizens have two difficult tasks in front of us – especially if we are people of faith but – frankly – regardless of whether we love King Jesus. First, we need to bless the people who wrong us and our whole culture; doing otherwise only increases the hatred and rage already permeating the atmosphere. Second, we need to fight for what is lawful and true and respectful of one another with every means legally available to us…beginning with the effort of AG Barr to investigate those who have attempted a coup on our watch. These people – beginning with Nadler and his minions – do it because they can. We do it because we should, and because we must.

James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books, Amazon, or at praynorthstate@gmail.com

THE FACE IN THE FIRE

By James A. Wilson

Perhaps the most chilling report to emerge from the overwhelming disasters of 2018’s wildfires in California’s Shasta County comes from pilots who flew water drops on the monster. Several observed a face leering at them from the flames they overflew. It was the face of a demon, these hard boiled pragmatic men declared, ascribing a character of malevolence to this thing devouring land and livelihood.

Similar reports emerge from the even more devastating fires in Butte, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties. Some eyewitnesses report the face of a woman – a woman infused with rage – peering from the flames. I have not interviewed witnesses, and so I cannot judge their objectivity. Yet – given these reports are both multiple and unprecedented – I will dare to consider their implications.

This personification of catastrophe draws my mind back to the written words of God. He takes a very personal view of every event, claiming all events are all about Him and His revelation. Concerning so-called natural disasters, He says He permits them – 2 Chronicles 7:13 – when He is seeking our attention. He implies getting our focus on Him transcends even life or death issues. He names the simple remedy in verse 14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

God forbid any words I write might be construed as blaming victims who continue to suffer horrific damage. Jesus personally addresses this issue in Luke 13. Asked whether people massacred by Pontius Pilate deserved their fate, He says neither they nor the eighteen Galileans killed when a tower fell on them were any more deserving of death than the rest of an unrepentant world. The condemnation we all share – and our suffering is not punishment but natural consequence – is not this or that law we have broken but our mania for living life unto ourselves. That shared obsession – if we believe the Word of God – throws the whole creation out of kilter and chaos inevitably ensues. The nearly one hundred known killed, the thousands missing or homeless, have been caught in the crush sooner rather than later. They are deserving of nothing but our compassion and active caring.

That said, let us re-focus on 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, words from a Word addressing the people of God. It is people called by His Name alone who are accountable for the conditions in which all live.

The most dramatic difference between the relational basis of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the religious basis of Old Testament legalism is the former is meant to pro-actively bless people into the Kingdom while the latter seeks to prevent people from finding themselves cast out of it. The Old Testament is just as grounded in Christ as the New – it begins with God pursuing-to-love us from Creation to Flood, to the Patriarchs and to the Exodus – but somewhere along the way to or from the Exile people became so fearful of offending God they put all their attention into observing matters of law until the Law became a defacto substitute for the One Jesus calls Abba – Daddy.

Fast forward to our variegated and fractured Church today – each piece convinced its piece is the true remnant – each believing its particularity alone adheres to the deified Law, and we find a judgmental gaggle of people offering God only what they deem He needs, not what He says He wants. We have Christians grimly defending God – who needs no defense – and failing to protect the weak and the injured who desperately do need protection. We have other Christians – aware of the flaws of legalism and excited by the overwhelming presence of God outpouring miracles in our midst – but unaware of the reality signs and wonders are to accompany the proclamation of the Gospel without being mistaken for the Gospel itself. We have a mess.

Our God is calling for and birthing a fourth Great Awakening before us. He has shown forth His glory time and again in this day. He has spoken multiple words to enable us to navigate the highway He paves.

The words are simple. Embrace the whole of scripture, not just our pet passages, and be appreciative of anyone spotlighting something we may have overlooked. Seek the whole of Holy Spirit, from the wildest wonders to the still small voice that guides us into all truth, and be grateful to anyone sharing a revelation of the Spirit we may have missed. And – once and for all – sacrifice our sacred cows – those doctrinal oxen we will not permit to be gored. They are just too precious to us and utterly problematic – because of our misplaced devotion – to the Lord our God.

Finally we are called to extravagant and public worship, twenty-four/seven, disregarding the rage we will so incite, and humbly choosing to love those who rage by healing their hurts and feeding their hunger in the power of the Spirit.

These fires suck, and that is putting it politely. The enraged woman and the hideous demon are manifestations of the source of all death and devastation; we know it as the enemy of all life and the lord of infestation. This faux lord, however, can only operate in the absence of our visible devotion to the real One. The very gates of hell – we are promised – cannot withstand our devotion to the real One.

James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books, or at praynorthstate@gmail.com

Indie Company supports Indie Bookstores

By Sean Frankel

Libro.fm is a company on a mission –to assist independent bookstores and serve the world with amazing books. The company partners with independent bookstores to give them access to sell audio books to their customers. It is super simple because all the bookstore has to do is sign up and provide some basic info. Then they have access to this amazingly simple and well built platform that they are able to share with their customers.

Why is Libro.fm so great?

The application and website are so easy to use and navigate. Once the app was downloaded it takes you immediately to your library of books where it gives you access to anything you have purchased off the website. Now granted, the app does not allow you to buy books through the app, as of yet, but I almost prefer it this way because the app works a lot faster. I legit can download any audio book on my data in a matter of minutes.

How do I get started with libro.fm?

I would first connect with a bookstore near you that you would want to support. This would be the most beneficial because you plug in to their community, and you are supporting them. The other thing you can do is just head over to libro.fm and get signed up. Libro.fm does have offers all the time and if you are switching from audible they will compensate you with some free books. The membership rate is only $14.99 with one book credit included in that every month. Which I think is a great deal because for a 16 hour audio that normally sells for double or triple that will take the average audio book listener a month to finish!

How does it benefit your bookstore?

It has benefited us by allowing us to get in to a market we couldn’t compete in before. It also allows for our customers that travel a lot to still support their local or hometown bookstore in sales. Libro.fm also gives us ALCs (Advanced Listening Copies) so that we can have product knowledge in the audio books we are recommending. They also give us a lot of assistance with any marketing we do that involves Libro.fm –which is AMAZING.

final thoughts

Libro.fm is one of those amazing companies that has you saying “DO NOT GO ANYWHERE, WE LOVE YOU!” They have amazing value to the book world because they connect the book seller to the reader. Something that Audible can never do. Make the switch, you won’t regret it!

May The Force Be Read

By Sean Frankel

May Fourth is a day of celebration for Star Wars fans everywhere that has been labeled as the infamous “Star Wars Day.” It was chosen to be May fourth due to the famous phrase “May the force be with you.” People everywhere go crazy sharing memes, binge watching the movies, and dressing up for parades.

How does the bibliophile enjoy Star Wars Day?

There are tons of books out there based around the Star Wars universe which are all based off the movies and expanding the lore. There are books that go far back before the Skywalker story, and books that go far in to the future and follow characters that are completely unaffected by the events that happened in the past. Nevertheless, the books give a whole new experience to the Star Wars franchise.

What are the books?

There are TONS of Star Wars book. Some take the universe back 25,000 years and others are 100 years plus in the future. No matter here are some books I recommend;

  • Dawn of the Jedi by Tim Lebbon
  • The Old Republic: Revan by Drew Karpyshyn
  • Knight Errant by John Jackson Miller
  • The Rising Force by Dave Wolverton
  • Heirs of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson
  • Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore

But there is a much larger list of Star Wars books and really it is what you want to dive in to and read. I suggest going and picking up books before “The New Hope” era and making your way to the new age.

HAPPY STAR WARS DAY!

NEARLY FIFTY YEARS ON

By James Wilson

It is nearly fifty years since the Supreme Court discovered a constitutional right to take human life if that life resided inside another person’s body. That right has been exercised some sixty million times in this country alone; it is easily the most contentious political issue in our nation and certainly the social issue carrying the greatest moral and spiritual weight. Many Americans believe the reversal of Roe v Wade – the case over which that right was established – will be overturned during the Trump presidency. Many rejoice – and some dread – the end of abortion on demand in our land. However, the reversal of Roe v Wade will not end abortion on demand; it will only make its end possible. It will still be necessary to enact legislation in each state declaring the human personhood of each conceived child…or enact a human life amendment to the Constitution. As difficult as it is to amend the Constitution, changing it will be far easier than persuading states such as New York and California to respect life for all. It is imperative that lovers of life work now to enact this amendment.

One of the many promises outfits like Planned Parenthood trumpet as the fruit of ready access to abortion is a reduction in the number of out-of-wedlock births coupled with increased equality of opportunity for women. The reasoning is something like, “If women have access to abortion their capacity to become pregnant can no longer be used against them in employment practices.” In fact, the percentage of children born out of wedlock has more than tripled since the 1980s while gender-selective abortions targeting women have become commonplace. Opportunity gains for women have come about through other legal and cultural means despite access to abortion. Abortion itself simply puts the onus on women to eliminate obstacles – like babies – to the plans a couple may have for their future. A human life amendment would close the door to what seems an easy solution but in reality leads only to guilt and shame for women accompanied by occasional medical complications that can be catastrophic.

The biggest promise Planned Parenthood cannot keep is that easy access to abortion will reduce child abuse and neglect. They say only wanted children will be born alive – forgetting abortion itself is the most radical child abuse imaginable; babies can feel pain and will struggle to survive very early in pregnancy. Outside the womb the number of reported child abuse cases has risen – since 1973 – from fewer than two hundred thousand annually to more than three million. Cases of infanticide – children murdered between birth and their first birthday – have risen from seven-point-two per one hundred thousand in the 1980s to nine-point-one in 2000. Child homicide was the only cause of infant death to rise during this period, and we have known for decades the vast majority of abused children were wanted children. A human life amendment – necessarily adopted by an overwhelming majority of American voters through their representatives – would begin to reverse the cultural atmosphere that turns a blind eye to adults venting their frustrations on the nearest innocent and helpless target.

There has never been a better time to push for a life amendment. The success of films such as Unplanned is increasing and solidifying the existing pro-life majority in the United States. The current younger generation is reputed to be one of the most pro-life in our history. Despite big states like California, New York, and Illinois becoming more radically pro-death it should be possible to get the required thirty-eight states once Congress is again in the hands of a pro-life majority; one can hope fall-out from the Mueller report and the coming scandals as its instigators are exposed will make that a near term reality. In the meantime – once Roe v Wade is reversed – we can work on the additional front of passing life legislation where possible.

The most important task for all of us remains to bring the message of God’s peace and abundant life to all those we contact. Unplanned starkly illustrates the contrast between those who share this message and those who can only shriek of coming retribution. The historical record reflects the success of the one and the failure of the other. When we recognize and behave like the Lord who came not to condemn but to offer life and that abundantly to all – all – we will find a pro-life amendment is a sidebar to the culture of life we are rebuilding in America.

The abortion holocaust is nearing fifty years of age. It is time for a jubilee.

James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books, or at praynorthstate@gmail.com

Our TBR May 2019 New Releases

By Sean Frankel

With some many amazing books coming out this year it is definitely difficult to narrow it down to a few that we ABSOLUTELY MUST READ! So here are some of the books being released in May 2019 that we have on our TBR (To be read) list!

1. We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal

An Arabic female Robin Hood — who would have thought to hear all of that together?! This looks like an awesome read that is bringing a new twist to the “steal from the rich to feed the poor” story line.

” Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.  “

This book is released May 14th, 2019. So it is still a ways a way, but as soon as it comes out, this is going to be my MUST READ.


2. Romanov by Nadine Brandes

This book is about a girl, Anastasia, who is tasked with smuggling a spell out of the Russian Empire in to Siberia. She only is doing it to save her family. It really looks like a fun read and reminds me a little bit of The Fantastic Beasts by J.K. Rowling mixed with some Romeo and Juliet aspects. Releases May 7th, 2019.


3. Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth KeanE

Is it a love story or a story of falling back in love? Either which way –it LOOKS thrilling. It has been described as a book explaining the power of forgiveness, lost of friendship, and the ripple a tragedy can cause. Releases May 28th, 2019.


4. Things My Son Needs To Know by Fredrik Backman

Finally, a book that confirms that I am not alone in the hardships of fatherhood. Fredrik Backman is releasing a book to share his experiences raising children with the intent to help new fathers all over.

” In between the sleep-deprived lows and wonderful highs, Backman takes a step back to share the true story of falling in love with a woman who is his complete opposite, and learning to live a life that revolves around the people you care about unconditionally. Alternating between humorous side notes and longer essays offering his son advice as he grows up and ventures out into the world, Backman relays the big and small lessons in life, including:

-How to find the team you belong to
-Why airports explain everything about religion and war
-The reason starting a band is crucial to cultivating and keeping friendships
-How to beat Monkey Island 3
-Why, sometimes, a dad might hold onto his son’s hand just a little too tight “

This book is being released on May 7th and will be the perfect read for new and existing fathers everywhere!


5. Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich

From the same author who brought us the book The Accidental Billionaires, which; was the basis for the film The Social Network: we are given a new story on the Winklevoss brothers. Mezrich is telling the story of how these brothers became the very first bitcoin billionaires and the trials they went through.

“Planning to start careers as venture capitalists, the brothers quickly discover that no one will take their money after their fight with Zuckerberg. While nursing their wounds in Ibiza, they accidentally run into an eccentric character who tells them about a brand-new idea: cryptocurrency. Immersing themselves in what is then an obscure and sometimes sinister world, they begin to realize “crypto” is, in their own words, “either the next big thing or total bulls–t.” There’s nothing left to do but make a bet.”

The book releases on May 21st, 2019.


6. The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

This book almost didn’t make the cut for me. But after reading reviews and what other people are saying about it –I decided to put it on my TBR. This book is a multi-generational saga that is exposing a families hidden secrets.


“And when the novel begins in 1935, they still do. Kitty and Ogden Milton appear to have everything—perfect children, good looks, a love everyone envies. But after a tragedy befalls them, Ogden tries to bring Kitty back to life by purchasing an island in Maine. That island, and its house, come to define and burnish the Milton family, year after year after year. And it is there that Kitty issues a refusal that will haunt her till the day she dies.

In 1959 a young Jewish man, Len Levy, will get a job in Ogden’s bank and earn the admiration of Ogden and one of his daughters, but the scorn of everyone else. Len’s best friend Reg Pauling has always been the only black man in the room—at Harvard, at work, and finally at the Miltons’ island in Maine.

An island that, at the dawn of the 21st century, this last generation doesn’t have the money to keep. When Kitty’s granddaughter hears that she and her cousins might be forced to sell it, and when her husband brings back disturbing evidence about her grandfather’s past, she realizes she is on the verge of finally understanding the silences that seemed to hover just below the surface of her family all her life. “

This book is being released on May 7th, 2019.


7. Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

It is rare that I do this but… OH MY GOSH I AM SCREAMING LIKE A LITTLE GIRL EVERY DAY IT GETS CLOSER TO RELEASING! This book is going to be so intellectually deep, and so in to the subject matter –that you are not familiar with– that it will keep you engaged! This book is still a mystery on the plot, but from the reviews and what people are saying –it was purposeful.


“Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.”

Releases May 7th, 2019


8. One World Kill by Mark Lawrence

EVERYTHING you love put in one book –horror, fantasy, dungeons and dragons, nerds, and physics! This book is the first in what will be an incredible series that I think will be brought to the big screen.


“In January 1986, fifteen-year-old boy-genius Nick Hayes discovers he’s dying. And it isn’t even the strangest thing to happen to him that week.

Nick and his Dungeons & Dragons-playing friends are used to living in their imaginations. But when a new girl, Mia, joins the group and reality becomes weirder than the fantasy world they visit in their weekly games, none of them are prepared for what comes next. A strange—yet curiously familiar—man is following Nick, with abilities that just shouldn’t exist. And this man bears a cryptic message: Mia’s in grave danger, though she doesn’t know it yet. She needs Nick’s help—now.

He finds himself in a race against time to unravel an impossible mystery and save the girl. And all that stands in his way is a probably terminal disease, a knife-wielding maniac and the laws of physics.

Challenge accepted. “

Book releases on May 1st, 2019.

A MAVERICK SEASON – THEN AND NOW

By James A. Wilson

The sixties were what I call a maverick season; so is ours.

The term maverick originates in a pioneer Texan. Samuel Maverick was a patriot who fought at the Alamo and helped draft the Texas Declaration of Independence. He owned large tracts of land but was indifferent to the bean counting practices that make business possible – so neglectful of branding his cattle it became proverbial in Texas that stray cattle on the prairie were referred to as mavericks. Yet he was utterly civic minded, serving multiple terms as a city mayor and state legislator known for his integrity and outside-the-box thinking. His reputation for blowing off the party line when it proved un-useful added dimension to the term that took his name. When something needed doing Maverick would turn up, do what needed to be done, and move on to his next engagement. It was this maverick spirit that animated so many of my generational peers – the Boomers – and which is so needed today.

The sixties were a time of uncommon patriotism when multitudes of young men and women – all colors and creeds – answered their country’s call although Vietnam was an undeclared war and many voices urged them to absent themselves. (Despite the draft countless Boomers volunteered.) Countless others volunteered for the John Kennedy created service organizations. In these organizations they did construction, medical missions, and educational activities for poor people in the US – Vista – and around the world – the Peace Corps. They marched for civil rights and found the content of character really was more important than skin color, as Martin Luther King preached. They opened and staffed free clinics, food banks, and addiction recovery homes. They offered humble service – whether military or civilian – in response to the strident voices of their time.

Of course there were plenty of needy people to serve. The decade saw countless people – of all ages – trapped in drug and alcohol addiction, ignorance, dysfunctional family structures, and abject poverty. This multitude was always with us, but the emerging Boomers showed an unprecedented level of compassion and a curiosity to develop new ways to help – ways that required ownership and pro-active participation from those served.

The biggest and most colorful cultural phenomenon of the sixties was the advent of the Jesus People. Birthed on the beaches of California and Oregon, many of them were drugged out hippies miraculously brought down from their acid, speed and opioid highs, re-launched with what they described as the spirit of Jesus Christ. They addressed a world of demonstrators chanting, “Hell no; we won’t go,” bombings, and hard hats rioting against them with a supernatural love and a can-do spirit. They began the modern recovery movement through ministries like Teen Challenge. They launched the short-term missions movement with its emphasis on local control and initiative through ministries such as Youth With a Mission and Frontier Missions. Fallout from their influence included a general democratization of commerce and politics, community literacy programs, and a spirit of what this author calls warfare by honor. Such an approach leads to reconciliation across the board through mutual honoring and engagement. They rediscovered respect for tradition as a supernatural gift without kowtowing to traditionalists.

What can their movement – and their season – teach us today?

In our current culture of rage and promiscuous prejudice – we believe things not because they are demonstrably true but because our buds believe them – we can learn from them the things they attribute to that spirit of Jesus. We can value the quest for what is really real for its own sake – like my characters in Generation – choosing to believe that commitment will produce good fruit if we stick to it. The Jesus People understood why Jesus led His disciples on an eighteen month journey over a three days’ walk from Galilee to Jerusalem; He obviously valued more than destination.

We can learn that we all live in glass houses; there really is something to that Golden Rule, especially when we think the other guy undeserving. These Jesus People got it that love without truth is not loving, and truth without love is not truthful. Respect beginning with repentance from our own bad behavior before we expect it of others is really the highway to resurrection.

Finally, we can learn that a rising tide lifts all boats, and this is crucial. The Jesus People knew enough to focus on the tide more than on their own personal boats. They re-focused – which is the essence of repentance – on clearing the swamp instead of battling one alligator at a time while the other gators are closing in.

James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books, or at praynorthstate@gmail.com