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

 

The Characters in “Healing of the Hearts”

Arararagorn, authenti manhood

aragorn, creative cmmons

Many of the lead characters in Carl’s Christian novel “Breaking Light: Healing of the Hearts” (soon to be published) are inspired by real people. The names of the real people are never given. Try to identify who they are. Mark, the American President, is created from a real person. The quotes of the person are scattered in the book. The message Mark gives in the last chapter on a mountain in Switzerland to 18 of his spiritual warriors is created from the outline of a message given by the real person. And now I ache to hear that message again from a real-life pastor to his church. I never have. The outline was used by Moses in Duet 11.

Now see if you can identity the real-life woman that inspired the singer in this Excerpt from “Healings of the Heart”

#healingsofthehearts

Breaking Light – Birth of a Hero (Book1)

firewooks

As America finds itself hurtling toward a major election in 2032, the country finds itself trapped in divisions, multiple demonic forces, and corruption. No white knight has emerged to bring unity in the election of the next President. Out of this rubble a small church deep in the Cascade wilderness of the The American Northwest leads the nation and plays a major role in destroying a network of dark forces to move a strong Christian leader to the new Presidency almost overnight. This  first book of this Breaking Light series, Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero, ends in November of 2032, as Mark Pearson celebrates with this wilderness church and others the win of the country’s Presidency.

This wilderness church, Sunodia, uses an online network of secure computers with church leaders across the world, called The Phoenix, to do most of their communications ministry. This Phoenix name refers both to their small core group as well as their larger electronic network of seriously committed churches. This network is calling the nation to repentance and the transformation of America.

Order the first book in the series now from Amazon or get info at: http://creatingnewworlds.org/breaking-light-the-birth-of-a-hero/

 

 

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 :

 

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.

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.

 

 

Dealing with Stress

creative commons + stress

In 1992 I was under an incredible amount of stress after three years of major spiritual warfare. In 1989 I was hit with GBS during a mission trip to England. I was paralyzed me from the shoulders down. On returning home, the doctors told me there was major damage to the neural system from this GBS. The two longest nerves in my body from the hip to each foot were gone, among others, and could only grow about an inch a year. I would need two wheelchairs for the rest of my life. I didn’t see their prognosis as theologically correct. A little over a year later was walking again with no wheelchairs or crutches.

As I began to walk again, my wife was diagnosed with leukemia (AML) in April of 1991. I walked with her through multiple chemos and a bone marrow transplant. The transplant was successful; but back home in Portland the local doctors made three mistakes and I lost her.

As I looked very high personal stress level then, I discovered T.H. Homes and Richard Rahe at the University of Washington had done some major research on stress as it related to disease. You can take a simple test and identify the stress issues in your life, look at your score, and from that you can determine the probability you will me hit with a major illness within a year. The research has been updated since their original 1967 research, but you can take the test yourself and see your score at:

Stress Test and Scoring

There are several web sites that expand the research if you wish more information. You will see, however, that the death of a spouse, divorce, or death of a child all score the highest and almost assure you are set up for serious issues yourself. This was August of 1992. My score at the time over 300. I was set up for serious problems!

During the next year I kept very close watch on potential stress issues as well as staying close with high-level mentors. By May of the next year (1993), my friend and mentor Bob Waymire was asking me to travel with him to visit a Christian research center in London and do a teaching there. This was where previously I got hit with the GBS in 1999. I did a “Gideon” here and asked the Lord for signs. God gave me 11. I consulted multiple mentors. They all said “Go”. Fear, they said, was not a reason to turn Bob down. My pastor even made a decision to go with me after a prophet told me not to go alone.

A month before leaving I came down with shingles. I called Bob to let him know the trip was off. I was down with shingles. Bob said nonsense. He was on a lunch break with a board meeting that included some other Christian leaders. They would pray at 1 p.m, and that would fix that. By 5 p.m. that day the shingles was gone and I let Bob know the trip was back on. On Monday I checked again with my doctor. He verified the shingles was now gone but I needed to kick the immune system up for the trip and gave me a very high-powered antibiotic.

The trip was great, and my pastor was with me. Peter Batchelder is gifted with a very strong intercessory prayer gift. (Thank you Peter.) At one point while there, Peter told me a man from Germany had driven all night to join us and wanted some time with me. We decided to spend some time with him at a nearby coffeehouse. He asked me one question: “If I could tell him the single most important thing in spiritually mapping an area what would it be?”

I looked him straight in the eyes. “Prayer.” I said. “Spiritually mapping an area is highly strategic. The enemy will do everything possible to discourage to shut you down. Make sure you are covered with prayer constantly. If you don’t believe it, look at the book of Nehemiah. Read it, mark each time he prayed, and see what he was asking each time.”

Resources:

Here are a few resources we suggest for this. To save postage, order more than one. Catch Carl at church or about and he should have the latest book with him and maybe more.

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.

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero (PB)- $9.90 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.

 

 

 

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.

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero

Breaking light cover

Cover for Breaking Light, photo by Mark Metternich

Carl’s next booktitled Breaking Light: Birth of Hero, is now shipping from Amazon or available from him in person.. The book is Christian fiction story set in the year 2032. Then again, maybe I’m playing with the reader. The tagline, or what some would call the elevator clause, is: What happens when a small community of believers risks everything to change everything.

Really, writing this book has been a very wonderful and fun experience. The entire book has been authored now (and it looks like it may spill over to more books). One of the editors (whom I shall call my co-pilot), went very creative with me on her edits. I’m not complaining – she’s very, very brilliant and I love her ideas.

One interesting story will illustrate an issue I experienced. I actually started this book back in the seventies but stopped when it seemed the protagonist was doing a lot of running around but not getting the mission he had been given done. He was committed to the mission, it was just that everything he did seemed to lead to a dead end.  This went on for over three chapters. I was about ready to email another fiction author that had already helped me and asked her what she did in a case like that.Should I take those chapters out, or backtrack and rewrite?

The answer seemed to come from God without sending an email to anyone. If I was frustrated at how the story was going, think how frustrated my protagonist is. Moreover, think how often all of us are frustrated when God gives us a mission and we don’t see any way of even getting to the first base.

The solution was to identify my own frustration with the dead end path of the story and project it into the narrative through the feelings and actions of the protagonist. Poor Ken: depression, anxiety, anger, stress and you name it. In the book we see him sitting with Lorraine in a cafe; and Lorraine is trying to lead him out of this. Ken shares with Lorraine that he is lost as it relates to his mission. He has no “place”, he doesn’t see that God is doing anything. How many Christians do you know at a point in their life like that? Lorraine is telling him that God is working even they don’t see it. Think of the Israelites as they stood at the Promised Land. God wants Ken to see that place,  that Ken has place and God is working through him, even if he doesn’t see it. If he prays and asks God to show him where God is working God will show him because God wants Ken to see it. God will reveal it. They pray together asking God to show this to Ken.

I continued on with the book. Nothing seemed to be revealed to Lorraine, to Ken, or even to me – and I’m the writer! Several chapters later God showed me how everything fit together and led to an incredible experience in the narrative. God had been working and I hadn’t seen it in the story. I didn’t have to rewrite anything in those early three chapters. It was all there.

Now the interesting thing is that this fictional story played out in my own life in reality 2009 as I lunched with a lady. I was”Ken”, lost to place. We were eating in a restaurant. She spoke the very words Lorraine spoke to Ken in the book. This was the most powerful dialog I have ever had with anyone. In other words, this book really isn’t fiction or fantasy. All the stories in the book are true, I just shifted the time line to play a game with the reader.

Last week I prayed with the collected group of pastors in my church. They asked me how to pray for the book, and now I ask you to pray with me in this.

  • That God will be glorified in the story.
  • That Jesus will be lifted up in the story.
  • That the Holy Spirit will anoint the story.

I think it is pretty exciting as I talk with people about the weird characters. It’s a very revolutionary story.

Birthing a Heart Fully Alive

birthing the heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken turned to Tom.

“It’s like all of creation is groaning to see the heart fully alive.”

“It’s not ‘like’, Ken. There is a birthing in our age, in our time, in our place.”

Carl is hard at work on his first “fiction” book. This is an excerpt. Lots of fun, fellowship with God, and plenty of laughs. Don’t know when it will be ready yet – maybe this year or early next. Basic plot outline and overview is mostly done.