Soldier and the Singer

 

panera

A week ago I woke up in bed with the story from the book on which I am working running in my head. The story is fiction, but the characters are inspired by people who are real. Lots of fun traveling with them. As soon as I was dressed, I took off with my book manuscript to a Panera coffee house.

They were just opening. There was a roaring fire in the fireplace. It is heavily carpeted, damping the noise and granting me a quiet atmosphere. I placed my order for coffee (just brewed) and a cinnamon roll (just made), and moved to a booth near the fireplace. I opened my manuscript and disappeared into the story again.

It’s a flashback to 2014 and a soldier fighting in the Middle East is brought back to Walter Reed hospital. He is paralyzed from the top of his head to his toes. He’s on life support and cannot breathe on his own or speak. The doctors cannot diagnosis it. I was that man in June, 1989. I was paralyzed from the shoulders down with a virus in Switzerland. I lay much like a sack of potatoes on the bed. I was told by the doctors I would never walk again. (Today I walk again.)  I know everything that goes on the in this soldier’s mind (including the dreams) and try to project it to the story.

In the story, this soldier is the son of a famous multi-billionaire businessman. This man loves his son dearly. The father is desperate, weeping, and hurting. He sends someone to find a certain Christian celebrity singer. He wants her to come and minister to his son for two weeks. He will pay her anything to come.

This celebrity singer of m book is inspired, to a large extent, by real lady. This lady is a deeply committed Christian. Piers Morgan says she has a heavenly voice. I call it an angelic voice. The media calls it a golden voice. There is no diva, only a very humble lady that is just as likely to be found in a children’s hospital, with the soldiers in the Middle East, at a soldier’s rehab center, or in a retirement home as on the concert stage. She’s very wealthy (over 20 million), but cares little for that and gives to many charities. The lady is never identified in my book. She has about 300,000 followers on Facebook and her web site.

About three hours later the waitress taps me on my shoulder. I jumped as I came back to the real world, then gave her a smile. She wondered if she could take my empty plate. I’m doing better now. The previous week it was lunch time when I came back to the real world from Panera. I also have to be careful I don’t cry or laugh as I travel at coffee shops. It would look funny.

The working book theme:

“… that you may know… the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…according to the working of His mighty power.”
Ephesians 1:18 NKJV

My major mentor is a leading researcher and Bible scholar in Germany, Christian A. Swartz, also on Facebook. His primary mentor is Thomas Bonhoeffer, related to the famous Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Swartz tells me one thing to remember: The Bible is explosive, and if approached with an open mind is full of surprises.

Book excerpts: http://bit.ly/2bJzd7K

Photo author  Jade Miosotis

 

Where is the Church Today?

The lion roars again. Where's the Church?

Creative Commons, Bert Lamers

The story is set in the year 2032. The American President at that time is a sociopath(1). Of the Senate leaders, one has senile dementia and involved in illegal actions, another is mentally unbalanced. Neither the Senate or House is willing to hold the President accountable for his actions.The southern border is open and terrorists are taking advantage of that. The IRS has overstepped its power and no one has stopped them, the government is mandating an educational system loaded with propaganda. The government is exercising surveillance without regard to any laws. There are wars in the Middle East that threaten America and there is no intelligent foreign policy. Congress is ignoring their Constitutional mandate to impeach and put the President on trial as the President continues to play golf, vacations, gives fund-raising speeches, lies and is lost to any reality.

Inside of this context steps a lonely young man hiking in the wilderness. It’s not just a physical wilderness, but also an emotional and spiritual wilderness. His church (with a little “c”), as most churches, has yet to pick up arms in a battle that defines if America can even continue to exist. There, deep in the wilderness, the young man meets Church. This Church will change his life forever, but could cost him his life.

The lion has roared again.

Enjoy suspense and adventure. The book Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero is available now from Amazon. It is Book 1 of a series.

ORDER BOOK

 

Excerpts from Breaking Light (Restoring America) Book1, Book 2

1. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201305/how-spot-sociopath

Excerpts 2nd book “Breaking Light: Healing of the Hearts”

FireDancer - A step of faith

Here are some excerpts from the second volume of the”Breaking Light” novel series by Carl. This second book of the series is not shipping yet, but continues in development with work often starting early the morning. Enjoy these excerpts Thanks to everyone who has helped me on this. Writing this story has been more fun than any book I’ve done. These excerpts have not passed the final edit.

 

Healing of the Hearts (Book 2)

Healing of the Hearts

 

In the second book of the Breaking Light series, Healing of the Hearts (not out yet), the new President is aware creative commons: Healing of the heartthere is much wounding and a deep need for healing and reconciliation, even within the church. Mark Pearson, as the new President,  has a vision to lead the nation to this healing and to an awakening by mobilizing the church, in unity, to take the lead.

Mark is saying in a pre-inaugural speech to Christian leaders:

‘I want to see a significant work of God in the restoring of America.’

I want to see healing, reconciliation, and a bold work of the Holy Spirit in this nation. I believe it can happen.”

Soon you see a flashback from 2033 to 2014: a wounded soldier is brought back from the Middle East and is at Walter Reed Hospital. He is on life support and critical. From his bed, the soldier stares at the ceiling and has no voluntary movement. Paralyzed. The soldier’s father, a billionaire businessman, offers to pay a famous and wealthy Christian singer whatever she asks if she can bring his son out of wherever this is – and they don’t know what it is, yet. The businessman only pays if she is successful, but he believes God can use her for the healing. Down the hall from the soldier is a second soldier with his face blown away by an IED and now blind and angry. The singer realizes the blind and angry soldier holds the key she needs for the healing of the soldier on Life Support. The singer will need more than her angelic voice and prodigious beauty to see it happen.

In some posts here soon, you will see each of the key characters in the book are created from people who have inspired me deeply: The President, the singer. a very famous doctor, a German theologian, and more. Every one exists or existed in real life. The soldier on life support and paralyzed? That’s me. In 1989 I was suddenly paralyzed from the shoulders down and told by the doctors I would never walk again. I walk today by God’s grace.

Read free excerpts of this second book Healing of the Hearts

Order first book of the novel Breaking Light: The Birth of a Hero :

 

Excerpts from “Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero”

Arararagorn, authenti manhood

aragorn, creative cmmons

 

Here are some excerpts from the first volume of the”Breaking Light” novel series by Carl. This first book of the series is shipping from Amazon.com. Enjoy these excerpts Thanks to everyone who has helped me on this. Enjoy in Paperback or Kindle.

 

 

Restoring America -Carl Townsend

“Paralysis (masquerading as “confusion”) haunts every man when a looming decision will require a lot of us.”
John Eldredge

Restoring America

Founding Fathers

I want to see American restored. Like Nehemiah, I share a deep pain for my country (America) that has lost its way – no visioon, no passion, no leadership, no freedom, and no security. It hurts. There is a deep, deep burden there to see the America again for which those early forefathers bought with, sometimes, their lives.

In this lostness I see two churches. One is a church that tries to adapt to a dying culture and paradigm. This church, as in Germany before World War II, is experiencing a slow death in America. The members hardly recognize their dying and they continue to do what they’ve always done as the nation continues to fall, trying to adept to a failing culture. This is the cultural church.

The other is the confessional church. This Church sees there is a war, a spiritual war. They move to the front line, risking everything. Like Nehemiah, they take on the burden, the pain. We see Nehemiah praying and fasting for 40 days, asking God to forgive him and the nation. In World War II Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a part of this Church.

So I asked God what this meant for me.

I felt led to begin a multi-book Christian fictional novel that shows a path to national rebirth.

The story follows the strategies identified by George Otis (see his Informed Intercession: Transforming Your Community Through Spiritual Mapping and Strategic Prayer) where Otis found total transformation (spiritual, political, economic, healing, agricultural) had already started in certain cities and regions. The key components that were always there in each story included persevering leadership, fervent, united prayer, and often power encounters, diagnostic research and spiritual mapping. The basic problem today lies not with a particular person or political party, but rather is spiritual. There is a real war going on, and God calls you to be a part of it.

I started by defining some aspects of this story in the novel. In the first book of the series, the leadership is established.

The story is positive, uplifting, and exciting. You see hope and faith. The bad guys don’t stand a chance. God is in charge and this Church is committed to God’s authority.

  • The story has mystery, adventure, romance, risk, suspense.
  • It’s a heart story. Lots of hearts, romance, and love.
  • It is a VERY positive story full of hope and faith. The bad guys are out of the WH and Congress by the end of the first book. From that there is a lot of healing to do.
  • The conflict is real. We almost lose our protagonists at times. The actions of the bad guys, however, don’t dominate the story line. The story is driven from the characters and their relationships.
  • The story is biblically-based.
  • The plot line and story is believable. It is built from the stories of what God has done in my life and the lives of others. Sure, there are miracles, but no magic hat tricks.
  • Lots of music. Music is one of the only activities that activates, stimulates, and uses the entire brain. Book 2, in particular, has even more than Book 1. Dancers as well. It is no accident that Psalms is the longest book in the Bible.
  • There is overt and some direct evangelism in the story.
  • The story is highly mythic. The story begins with a lone young man striking out on a desolate wilderness trail to find a spiritual community he has heard about. The wilderness is not only physical, but also emotional and spiritual. In the second chapter there is a mist, a river, and more. All are mythic symbols. At the beginning our young man is frustrated, unable to change anything from his cultural church. In the second chapter he is frustrated, lost in a mist (another symbol), and has fallen on the ground and lying in the trail. He can hear the river (another symbol) and struggles to find the water he needs. It is at this point he meets the confessional Church.

You see all of these in Book 1. An early copy of my first chapter is online and free here. (The map in the chapter can be blown up on the PC using Shift-Ctrl buttons on the keyboard & mouse), the entire book is at Amazon.com. I’m working on Book 2 now. It is really fun.

Get involved – Let’s restore America

Book 1, Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero is already out and and can be ordered from Amazon.com:

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero (PB)- $11.00 by Carl Townsend More information (“fiction”)
First book in a fictional novel series about what happens in America when then the Nehemiah strategies are applied.

Read the First Chapter Free

Here is Carl’s book on the Nehemiah story:

Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality – $18.86 by Carl Townsend (PB) (Non-fiction)
Carl in this book tells the story of Nehemiah. The nation was without vision, passion, or security.. Sounds like America today! He turned the nation completely around in 52 days. At the same time he faced internal and external warfare.

 What”s Next?

Carl is hard at work on Book 2 in the Breaking Light series. The working title is Breaking Light: The Healing of the Hearts. Don’t expect a lot of political games as the new President begins his term. He is far, far more interested in seeing healing and being a catalyst for healing. Lots more music. The President is shifting leadership to the people and making the government smaller and less visible. Also you will discover the back story of the first book made visible in Book 2.

Desperate to Restore America – Carl Townsend

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians   3:14

Restoring America

Creative commons: Breaking through

In the movie The Man from Snowy River, Jim Craig (Tom Burlinson) makes that incredible ride over the cliff. Tom did the stunt himself (as well as the other stunts in the movie), without having ridden horses much before. In the movie, the rugged ranch-hands and mountain men are chasing the brumbies, to which Harrison’s prize stallion has escaped. A brumby is an Australia term for a wild, free-roaming horse, especially  one descended from runway stock.

You watch as the experienced mountain men  chase the brumbies all over the mountain using a wild, but  objective strategy (“Go at them from the jump,” Harrison has told them.). Finally you watch these mountain men stop abruptly at the top of a cliff as the brumbies go over the cliff almost straight down to a deep valley below. The mountain men stare helplessly at the brumbies far below with no way to reach them. Then they hear the hoof-beats of a horse at full-speed gallop behind them. Parting, they see Jim and his horse continuing at full gallop through them and over the cliff. There is the determined look of authority and faith in his face as he takes the risk.

What you see next is Jim (Tom Burlinson) taking the horse (Denny) straight down the face of the cliff at full gallop in a single, long movie take. I watched this in a theater and my stomach went to my throat.

Just like Jim and those horses, God is also wild. Look at your Bible and the stories there. Sarah was 90 when she bore the child of promise. Moses was 80 when he led a nation to freedom with a series of miracles. There was David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, a virgin that gave birth, and a man that rose from the dead. Pretty wild stories. There is no limit on what God can do.

God created you in His image. That means you are wild. In what way do you see you see yourself as free roaming and wild? Just like that horse Jim was on. We are supposed, however, to run under  the control of our Creator – God. In this analogy, you are the wild stallion and God holds the reins. The problem, to quote C.S. Lewis, is that most men see themselves as geldings, emasculated, and (as the gelding), unable to birth anything.  Yet Christ told us we can do everything He was doing and more in His name. This binding we tend to live under is an illusion from Satan himself. In what way do you see yourself in this war for your heart today?

Stand up, speak out, and act to protect your freedoms. My novel (which you can order from Amazon below) shows how a small church, with God’s help, can turn the nation around.

Get involved – Let’s restore America

Book 1, Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero is already out and and can be ordered from Amazon.com:

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero (PB)- $11.00 by Carl Townsend More information (“fiction”)
First book in a fictional novel series about what happens in America when the Nehemiah strategies are applied and Transformation occurs. The story is driven by characters who have a vision and dream of restoring America and drive the changes from that.

Read the First Chapter Free

Getting Your Message Through Part 1- Carl Townsend

megaphoneIf your are serious about God’s call on your life, God will give you  a burden, a message. You then begin to respond that call and call other people to join you in terms of that call God is placing on your heart. That is your message. There are many ways to get your message out: social media, a blog, magazine articles, authoring/publishing a book, speaking, singing. and more.  How you share is important, but also here are some issues common to all of these.

  1. Who shares your message? Identify, in contemporary language, who is your tribe? Who also owns the same message? This “tribe” defines others you know that share your burden and message. This identifies your tribe and may exist within your current church, a viral church, your network of churches, or you may need to create your own “Church”. One major pastor shared with me as I left for a new job: “Stay with the vision God gives you, even if it costs your your life. Join a church that affirms that vision. If  you cant find it,, build it yourself with others that share it. As an example, back in the eighties Dr. Joe Aldrich began sounding a message that he wanted to see one city or region anywhere totally transformed by the Power of the Holy Spirit. By the early nineties, George Otis, Jr. had identified a dozen cities in the world where that was already happening.  His Sentinel group published the video story of four of these cities on  a DVD. Last time I talked with Otis, he had identified some 250 cities or regions worldwide, with fires started in some 500 more as this grows. This didn’t make your local newspaper, did it? In my own city. Dr. Joe identified those pastors who wished to see this locally and called them to prayer. We had a database of 1800 churches in our four-county area. In the Christian language, you define the harvest force.
  2. Define your audience very specifically. The “audience” defines those whom God wishes to hear your specific message. To use the Internet, which is very inexpensive, you need to aim at a very specific audience. This is very different from traditional advertising, which casts its net to a very broad audience to get a few people within it taking action. Your audience should be a group of people you are naturally called to. In the Christian language, this is your harvest field.
  3. Define your message. What is your specific message to your audience? What is your burden and passion? In Chapter 1 of Nehemiah, what was Nehemiah’s burden and passion? It was not building a wall. This wall isn’t even mentioned in the first chapter. For example, it might be “Restore America” or “Transformation of America” as the message. Your message should be one that your audience can understand and relate to their heart -need.
  4. Add value to the vision of your audience. For this you need to know the need of your audience. This is heart question. What is the heart of your audience? Now you need to communicate your message in terms of the heart need. With Nehemiah, the heart need was security. Jerusalem, or what was left of it was destroyed and they were surrounded by enemies. Nehemiah was going to address that by building the wall. Their real need was a unity and oneness and spiritual recovery.  He spoke to that by leading them in building the wall. The wall was the vehicle for the real need. Some years ago in Portland we had discovered using powerful mapping tools a Hispanic community without a church and needing one. Their want was ESL classes to learn English so they could get jobs. We started by addressing their need. We can confuse needs and wants if we are not careful. Define each for your audience, then add value.
  5. Define the warfare. What is keeping you from carrying your message forward? Finances? time? education? health? depression? Define your counter strategies for each. If the Lord wants you to deliver this message, He will provide a way if you commit. You’re the “postman”. Your job is to deliver the mail, not fight the dogs.
  6. Go personal. When younger I, like others, kept a journal (still do). I’d  get upset if anyone read it.  Now I journal on Facebook. So does a lot of my tribe. And I want you to read it. The personal posts that I do get read  the most, and are also shared the most.  If you want your posts to go viral, getting your readers to share you is essential. Don’t use Truth to beat others. Build relationships in trust and love.
  7. Evaluate. Make sure you have some type of feedback system to measure your on-going success.

(You may share his post. Please share. We do SEO (search engine optimization), SMO (social media optimization), web site design, and more. Contact us for more information.)

Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality

“For the revelation [vision] awaits an appointed time ,it speaks [as to kindle a fire] of the end [the Karios moment]. Though it linger, wait for it.it will certainly come and will not delay.” Hab. 2:3

get beyond illusion
Look at the Nehemiah story.  Those guys doing the spiritual mapping of Jerusalem were reporting to Nehemiah that there was no vision, no passion, no security, no leadership and that those chosen people there were in disgrace. Is that a picture of America today? So here this one man goes in and turns that completely around in 52 days. Really? Remember this “one man” first spent four months in prayer and fasting. For what was Nehemiah praying? There is no wall mentioned in that first chapter of Nehemiah. He wasn’t praying for a wall. For what was he praying?

Carl’s book. Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality, speaks into this change. Take a look at the Table of Contents, then order your copy from Amazon.com.

 

 

The Healing of America – Carl Townsend

Healing of America - Carl Townsend

When growing up, I remember my mother reading Bible stories to me as I sat in her lap by the fire. I loved them. One hero after another. One story, in particular, continues to amaze me today – the story of Nehemiah. Nehemiah’s friends had spiritually mapped Jerusalem and the story starts with those friends (one of them his brother) reporting to him what they found [1] the report showed a spiritual lethargy, a cold-hearted indifference to God. They found in Jerusalem there was no vision, no passion. There was no leader. These friends found apathy and discouragement. For those in Israel, there was no security, no walls. It was an economic disaster. Wow! Sounds just like America today. (See ongoing reports from PEW and Barna Research) I pray daily for a healing of America.

As Nehemiah and his friends examined the Jerusalem report, both Nehemiah and his friends saw the same data. But look at the difference with Nehemiah! His friends they saw objective data from which to make decisions. To Nehemiah, it became a burden, a burden of the heart.

The amazing thing is that Nehemiah went in, and with the Lord’s (Yahweh’s[2]) help, turned the nation around in only 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15-16). How did he pull that off? I have a friend – mentor, really – that said the book of Nehemiah should be named Management 101. There is a lot of truth in that. Here is the Nehemiah strategy.

  1. First, identify the burden. I remember praying with a lady that was trying to decide whether to go to Haiti to do some mission work. She had some people telling her to go to Haiti, others telling her not to go. I asked her one question: Where is your burden? I ask you now as the reader now: Where is your personal burden?
  2. Pray. Nehemiah spent four months in prayer and fasting before taking any step. Read Chapter 1. There’s no mention there of a wall he will soon be helping them build. What was he praying for? What was his burden that he is bringing before the LORD (Yahweh)? There is confession and repentance there – both corporate and personal. Then Nehemiah reminds God of the covenant God made with Moses and claims authority on that covenant. Wow! God will never give up on His part of a covenant. What covenant has God made with you? It will be in term of the burden He has given you.
  3. Third, Act. In Chapter 2, we see his vision of building the wall around Jerusalem begin to take shape. As each family rebuilds the wall near their house, they will want to make the part of the wall there as strong as possible. Families will be networking with each other and working together to share information, resources, and tools. Community will emerge. Nehemiah doesn’t tell the king this. He tells the king that this outlying part of his kingdom (including Jerusalem) is not protected and needs a wall. Notice he brings his vision to the king in terms of the king’s vision – not his own. The king is going to actually help him. How?

Read though the book and see the story. Circle each time Nehemiah prayed in the entire story. In each case identify what he was praying for.

Identify the outward battle he faced and how he dealt with it. Then identify the inward battle he faced with the Israelites and how he dealt with that. What battles (outward and inward) do you personally face in the healing of America?
What aspects of servant leadership do you see here? What does servant leadership mean to you?

  1. Fourth, Celebrate. Nehemiah’s primary objective was NOT the building of the wall but the restoration of the Law. The celebration lasted many days with many complex and legal ceremonies, including the confession of sins and the dedication of the wall. Most of this was led by Ezra, the high priest.

What parallels do you see with America and where we are today?

What does all this mean for the ekklesia (Church, The called out) today? At the beginning of World War II, there were two churches in Germany: the cultural church and the confessional church. The cultural church compromised with Hitler and the Nazi forces. The confessional church, which was much smaller, did not compromise. What happened? Is there a growing parallel today? There have been several spiritual wakenings in the history of America. Who led each of these and what is their history?

Order the books from Amazon

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero (PB)- $9.90 by Carl Townsend More information
Fictional story of a small church committed to turning America back to God. This is book 1 in a novel series.

Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality – $18.86 by Carl Townsend (PB)
Carl in this book tells the story of Nehemiah. The nation was without vision, passion, or security. Sounds like America today! He turned the nation completely around in 52 days. At the same time he faced internal and external warfare. Non-fiction.

Notes:

  1. Jerusalem was 1000 miles away. It would have taken four months for the researchers to reach Nehemiah. The book of Malachi describes the state of Israel.
  2. The word used in most Bibles is LORD (see 1:5), which translates from Yahweh, implying a personal, covenant-keeping God.