Starting another great book by Bodie & Brock Thoene

I was saddened a few years ago to finish Bodie Thoene’s The Zion Chronicles series. You know a novel—or series of novels—is great when the characters seem real, when you can feel heartache at the adverse moments and joy at the triumphant ones. When I finished The Key to Zion (the last in the Chronicles series), I wanted to keep reading about Moshe, Rachel, Yacov, Ellie, David and so on.

And now, I’m reading Jerusalem Vigil, the first book in the Zion Legacy series. Woo-hoo! Oh vey! Am also reading two other books in my spare time: The Reagan Diaries and Dutch: A Memoir. Lots and lots of reading.

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By richardzowie Posted in Books

Questions about God

I frequent a bulletin board where other Christians gather, and someone posted this question: “Why does God exist?” An interesting question, but it’s not one with an easy answer. For one thing, the question implies that God has to explain Himself to us. He doesn’t.

One person had a response I liked, where they speculated how God would reply to such a question: “I AM.”

The idea is that humans will always have a hard time trying—with their finite minds—to understand an infinite God. I would compare it to trying to explain calculus to a newborn child, and even is a loose comparison since the bridge between our and God’s intellect is far greater.

This question reminds me that there are just some question about God that will have to wait until I trade this imperfect mind for a glorified one.

By richardzowie Posted in God

My "To Do" list

Things I’d love to do if only I had the time:

Over time, I may add to this list. As a Christian, getting to know the Bible inside and out goes without saying, as does furthering my relationship with my wife and sons and expanding my professional career as a writer. Here are a few things I’d love to accomplish in what little time I might have left on earth***:

* Brush up on my Spanish, Russian and the miniscule I remember from Mandarin Chinese
* Learn Hebrew (I’d love to visit Israel someday; I also feel Hebrew will be the official language * of heaven and is, if you will, God’s “first language”)
* Learn German (the language of my great-grandfather
* Develop my hobbies of cooking and photography
* Travel around the world, particularly Europe, the Middle East and Far East
* Watch how a movie is made
* Meet Robert DeNiro, Michael Mann, Ted Levine, Wes Studi, Diane Venora and Kevin Gage and tell them how much I loved the film Heat.
* Learn how to play the guitar and even a little of the drums
* Spend a few nights in a German castle (such as the one in Neuschwanstein)
* Visit Germany and spend time with distant cousins of mine
* Visit Russia, and buy a chess set made there
* Meet Garry Kasparov and Boris Spassky (I’d probably have to go to France to meet Monsieur Spassky)
* Make my own chess board and pieces
* Further my chess collection with a set made from metal, marble and a heavy wood (I already have a glass one)
* Become the spokesman for Papermate ink pens
* Have a Culligan or Glacier water machine installed in my future home so I can always have excellent iced tea freshly-brewed

***James 4:14

Want to know how much ‘street cred’ Richard Zowie has?

If my bank account were dependent on how much “street cred” I had, I would be overdrawn.

I became curious about the subject of street cred after reading the latest legal escapades of Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr. (a.k.a. Snoop Dogg). The Urban Dictionary defines street cred in several ways:

* Your “coolness” factor
* Imaginary “points” you get when you do something cool
* Commanding a level of respect in an urban environment due to experience in or knowledge of issues affecting those environments
* Respect from urban communities. Usually something essential for making it big in the rap world.

The Urban Dictionary has a series of points to measure how much street cred you’d have within the 12-30 year age group in the African-American community. The more points, the more respect you’ll have. Being born black and in a single-parent home combined is worth 10 points. Born poor is 10 points. 75 points are for being shot multiple times and surviving, while you get 70 for being a member of the Crips or Bloods. If you’ve been to prison, that’s 65 points and if you are “16 years old and have a baby mama” you get 20.

Then there are the negative points. Minus five for being born white (such as Marshall Bruce Mathers III). Minus 100 for no criminal record. Minus 35 for smiling when someone takes your photo. Minus 2000 points for being born in the following states: Utah, Maine, New Hampshire, Montana or Arizona. I guess that means that horror novelist Stephen King (born in Maine) is out of luck.

I took up the test and tallied up my results. On the street cred scale, I scored a minus 340. I don’t count smiling in pictures (which would give me 375) since I only smile when the picture taker tells me to.

And as for being shot and surviving, I’m guessing immunization shots don’t count.

In short, like “Weird Al” Yankovic, I’m too “White and Nerdy” to be a gangsta. Oh well.

Getting paid

Ahhh, received a couple of modest freelance paychecks today. Time to get gasoline and head out for an assignment! Things are tight now, but I really do enjoy the freedom of freelancing. So much less bureaucracy than there is in a 9-5 job. The Lord may open the door for me to work full-time again, but for now, i’m learning to be content in all circumstances.