"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it." Matthew 7:13
Jesus said..."I am the way..." John 14:6


We are very grateful to the folks at

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who have listed


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in their notification library of fantasy, SF, and supernatural books,

a fantastic (pun intended) resource for

Christian fans and authors alike!

 

Also, be sure to check out their sister publication:

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THANKS FOLKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who ordered Finders Keepers and The Dragon Catcher for free -- another big response!


Hope you all enjoy the books.


Tell us what you think. (Go ahead. We can take it.)

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Hi again folks!

My thanks to everyone who ordered Skipjack and the Baleful Banshee free on Amazon.  I’m very grateful for the big response. Hope you enjoy it.

For those who do and are curious about the characters from a previous age referenced in Skipjack (I’m trying to avoid a spoiler here), I’m making Finders Keepers available for free too.

Plus, here’s my wife’s story, The Dragon Catcher for free as well. It also takes place in Jorgan’s / Jack’s universe, though its plot is not directly related to Skipjack or Keepers.

Both of these shorter tales are free from 8-18 to 8-22-17.

Thanks again!!!!!!!!!

GK

FREE

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FREE

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Hi Folks! Special announcement time!
 


(originally entitled P. S. Corsair)

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      is now FREE on Amazon

8-11-17 to 8-15-17

 

If you like unhinged, apocalyptic SF with a dash of fantasy; if you are one of the hundreds of readers who enjoyed an earlier version of the first three chapters (still posted here on Narrow Way Storytellers); or if you like epic stories with multi-POVs and intricate plots (not to mention counter-plots) – you need to check this one out.

 

It’s a Game Within story

that takes place in the same universe as

Jorgan’s Saga

but in its far-flung future.


 

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Folks, loved ones--it's time to read and believe the truest story of all. Please share this article from a wonderful man of God who recently went home to the Lord.

Click on link or read it below:


https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/the-bibles-authority/how-to-interpret-the-bible/




A Bible Study by Jack Kelley


The Bible isn’t such a complex document that it requires years of formal education before you can begin to comprehend it. I’ve always believed the Bible was meant to be understood by any believer who can read and has a serious interest in knowing what it says. I say this because I believe the Bible is best approached by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit rather than one’s own intellect. James 1:5 says that any of us who lacks wisdom need only ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault.
Conversely the man without the Spirit can not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God regardless of his mental prowess. (1 Cor. 2:14) This is why we hear of people who tried to read the Bible as non-believers and found they couldn’t figure it out, but as soon as they were born again it began to make sense. They didn’t suddenly become more intelligent, they simply gained the supernatural insight of the Holy Spirit who teaches us all things. (John 14:26)
Over the 25 years or so I’ve been studying the Bible I’ve picked up a handful of principles that have also given me a better understanding of what it says. They help keep me honest so I know it’s the Holy Spirit teaching me, and not just my sin infested intellect coming to its own conclusion. From time to time I get asked about these principles, having mentioned them in answers to various questions, so here they are.

The Golden Rule of Interpretation

“When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.” Dr. D.L. Cooper
This hasn’t become known as the Golden Rule of Interpretation for nothing. If you ignore all the others and only follow this one rule you will avoid almost all the mistakes people make in reading the Bible. And the next one is like it, sort of an expanded version of the first.

Literal, Historical, Grammatical, Contextual

These could be called the most important words in Biblical Hermeneutics, which is the science of properly interpreting the Bible.
Literal means that each word is given the same exact basic meaning it would have in normal, ordinary, customary usage, whether employed in writing, speaking or thinking. Unless it’s clearly indicated otherwise, we’re to assume the Bible means exactly what it says. Examples of passages that are not intended to be taken literally are parables, dreams, and visions. These are all identified as such, alerting us to the fact that they’re meant to be understood symbolically.
Historical means that each passage is put into its proper historical setting and surrounded with the thoughts, attitudes, and feelings prevalent at the time of its writing. In Biblical times the Jewish view of the Messiah was one of a charismatic leader like King David. In other words, a man, not God in human form. Knowing that helps us understand how they failed to recognize Him, and why they accused Him of blasphemy when He claimed to be God.
Grammatical means that words are given meanings consistent with their common understanding in the original language at the time of writing. Grammatical interpretation also includes following recognized rules of grammar and in its more advanced form, applying the nuances of the Hebrew and Greek languages to the understanding of a passage.
A good example showing the importance of following the rules of grammar can found in Daniel 9:27 where the subject of the first sentence in the verse is a personal pronoun. “He will confirm a covenant with (the) many.” The rule of grammar regarding personal pronouns is that they refer to the closest preceding personal noun. In this case it’s “the ruler who will come” in verse 26 indicating that the person who will confirm the covenant with Israel is the anti-Christ, not the Lord as some commentators assert.
Contextual interpretation involves always taking the surrounding context of a verse/passage into consideration when trying to determine its meaning. The Holy Spirit has usually prompted the Bible’s writers to place indicators in the text surrounding a passage to guide you in interpreting it. In 1 Cor. 9:24-27 Paul compares our life to that of an athlete, training and competing for crowns. The mention of crowns tells us the passage is not about salvation, which is a free gift, but rewards believers can win after being saved. (In this case it’s the crown of victory, awarded to those who overcome the ways of the flesh by getting rid of selfish desires, bad habits and attitudes, etc.)
When you stop to think about it, reading the Bible this way actually makes perfect sense. If you received a letter from a friend you wouldn’t have to be reminded to apply these principles. You would naturally assume that your friend was using words that meant the same thing to both of you. You would understand them within the parameters of your shared history, you would assume that the rules of grammar you had both been taught applied, and you would interpret what was written within the context of your relationship. You would expect your friend to alert you if any of these assumptions were not going to apply, and explain the reason for it.
The only difference with the Bible is that it was written over a long period of time, during which the meanings of some words changed, and society is generally different now than it was when the Bible was written. This makes books on Bible history and a good concordance valuable additions to your library.

Expositional Constancy

This is a fancy term to remind us that symbolism in scripture tends to be consistent. For example, through out the Bible leaven, or yeast, is used symbolically to stand for sin. Therefore there’s no justification for claiming that in the Parable of the Yeast (Matt. 13:33) and there alone, it stands for the Gospel. Expositional Constancy only applies to words that are used symbolically, so be careful. Peter’s statement in 2 Peter 3:9 that with the Lord a day is like 1000 years and 1000 years is like a day does not justify substituting 1000 years for a day every time it comes up. Peter was simply explaining that the Lord’s concept of time is way different from ours.

Internal Consistency

The Bible, being the word of God, cannot contradict itself. The Lord is just and righteous so He can’t say something in one place and something different in another. He knows the end from the beginning so He can’t change His mind or take back something He’s given. Everything He says has to agree with everything else He says. For example, if the Bible says it’s God who makes us stand firm in Christ, that He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us and put His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee of what’s to come (2 Cor. 1:21-22), then it can’t say that we can walk away from our salvation or have it taken away from us someplace else.

Principle Of First Mention

Often when an important concept is mentioned for the first time there is elevated significance in the context of the passage in which it appears. The first mention of the Church is in Matt.16:18 where Peter declared that Jesus is the Messiah, son of the living God. Jesus said that this truth would be the foundation upon which He would build His Church. Notice who’s going to be doing the building and whose Church it is. Studying the passage where an important concept first appears can be very helpful in interpreting subsequent passages on the same subject.

Use Clear Passages To Interpret Obscure Ones

Some passages of Scripture are more difficult to interpret correctly than others. When confronting one of these, it’s best to locate the clearest verses on the subject and use them to help interpret the difficult one. A classic example is Hebrews 6:4-6 which, when taken alone, seems to say that we can fall away and lose our salvation, and if that should happen we can never get it back. But the clearest verses on salvation are Ephesians 1:13-14 and 2 Cor. 1:21-22, and they plainly state the opposite. The Ephesians passage says we were included in Christ when we first heard and believed the gospel. Having believed we were sealed with the Holy Spirit, a deposit that guarantees our inheritance. In 2 Corinthians Paul went even further saying that God himself has accepted responsibility for making us stand firm in Christ and has set His seal of ownership on us, like a rancher brands his cattle.
Applying the principles above we must conclude that the writer to Hebrews had to be talking about something else. When we look at the context of the letter, we find that it was written to Jewish believers who were being lured back into the Levitical system, which used the sacrifice of a lamb to atone for sins. For the Church, the Lord’s death fulfilled what the sacrifice only symbolized, so going back to this was tantamount to sacrificing Him all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace, because by their actions they were saying that His death was not sufficient to atone for their sins.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, going back to the sacrifice was no longer acceptable to God because the Law was only a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the realities themselves. For that reason it could never make perfect those who draw near to worship no matter how many times they repeated it. (Hebr. 10:1) But when the Lord offered His sacrifice once for all time, He made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Hebr. 10:12-14) During the Church Age all we have to do after sinning is confess our sins to receive forgiveness, be brought back to repentance, and be purified from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) Now Hebrews 6:4-6 makes sense because it conforms to the internal consistency of God’s Word.
There are lots of other rules and principles man has developed for application to God’s word, but in my opinion if we just apply the ones I’ve listed above we’ll stand a good chance of avoiding the errors and misinterpretations that seem to be so common these days.
The Bible is quite simply the most amazing book ever written. Some parts of it were written at least 4000 years ago, and by 95AD its most recent chapters were finished. But according to Paul it was written to teach us, upon whom the end of the age has come. (Romans 15:4, 1 Cor. 10:11) If we’ll just read it the way we would any other document, as if it means what it says, the Holy Spirit will reveal wondrous truths from within its pages. Truths that will give us an anchor against the storms of deceit and controversy that have become so common in our time. Maybe that’s why it was written primarily to us. Selah 11-14-09
ADVICE FROM
OLD STORYTELLERS
  
"O villain, villain, smiling damned villain!
My tables (calling for his writing tablet)--meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain..."

                         --Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act I, Scene V, lines 106-109


Great characterization example from Bill the Bard.
Great insight regarding real-life villains!






The Bible says, "There is no God."
Did you know that?
It really does.
Check out Psalm 14:1.

Get it?
Now go check those verses non-believers like to quote.






same old story...








Scientist: "I can make anything you can."


God: "Oh yeah? Make a man."


Scientist: "No problem." He reaches down for a handful of dirt.


God: "No, no, no. Go get your own dirt."






I've seen this letter all over the place. Typical of still other arguments down through the centuries. Wanted to respond. Finally did, for what it's worth. Wrote this quickly--probably needs editing. Thought I'd share and ask for thoughts. Here's one of the versions going around. My pretend letter follows.

So.... homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstances as preached by many, including a certain Dr Laura from a well known US radio talk show. The following was an open letter to that doctor! 

Dear Dr. Laura

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan,
James M. Kauffman,
Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia
P.S. (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian.)



Dear James M. Kauffman (whoever you are),

Dr. Laura (whoever she is) is unavailable at the moment, so allow me to respond to some of these. (I got tired after a while and had to take a break.) I'm sure she would advise you to double check your Biblical references and place verses in context to be sure they mean what you seem to think they mean, and are addressed to you in the first place. (Are you a son, that is a descendant, of Israel living in Old Testament times who is being addressed at the start of most of these chapters out of which you have liberated verses?)

It is nice that you complement and acknowledge a radio talk show as the source of your “learning”. But did you know that God specifically honored the Bereans for putting his Word above what anybody told them, even the Apostle Paul? Even when Paul was telling them the central message of the Old and New Testaments and how it had recently been fulfilled? (Acts 17:11) “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

You are correct that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states homosexuality (not homosexuals, mind you) is an abomination to God. He is speaking directly here to His people who he had rescued from Egypt. And, unlike everything else you try to tie in with this verse, it is applicable to all people, being supported throughout the rest of Scripture. Just keep in mind that it is not our job as Christians to beat everyone over the head with this. Our job, our 'Great Commission' (Matthew 28:18-20) is to spread the Good News of Jesus' death and resurrection that paid the price for our sin and gives us eternal life—the fact that God loves us so much (even though we all sin against him) that He would become flesh and blood and die on the cross in our place. Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, (which even as Christians in this life we still are) Christ died for us.” If God doesn't love homosexually active people, then we are all in a lot of trouble. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 2:23) “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

1. Leviticus 25:44
 
2. Exodus 21:7 does not “sanction” slavery but it does lay down very specific protections and rights for people, especially women, who were slaves in a time when this was a common practice. Check out all the restrictions (ordinations) in the entire 21st Chapter or Leviticus. God is certainly not ordering you or in any way encouraging you to sell your daughter or anyone else into slavery. Where do you get such ideas?

3. Lev.15: 19-24. (see 6)
  1. Why do you insist on burning a bull on the altar as a sacrifice? Are you a descendant of Israel living in Old Testament times? And do you really believe the Lord wants you to smite your neighbors for not liking the odor? Where do you read of this in the Bible? (Admittedly, it is hard to understand neighbors not liking the odor. I very much like the odor of my neighbors' cook outs. Especially steaks.) BTW, did you know that according to I Samuel 15:22 – "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”
5. Exodus 35:2 does clearly state to the congregation of the sons of Israel (Exodus 35:1—context, remember?) that any of them working on the Sabbath should be put to death. But rest assured, you are not morally obligated to kill anyone for this yourself. First of all, are you a member of that Old Testament congregation? And keep in mind that the Sabbath is not Sunday. Don't confuse the day New Testament believers got together to celebrate the risen Lord with the Hebrew Sabbath. And the new testament tells us – “... no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)

6. Your friend's question raises an interesting point. Since hating your brother is the same thing as committing murder from God's point of view (I John 3:15), and lusting after someone is the same thing as adultery from God's perspective (Matthew 5:27–28), I suppose eating shellfish is as much an abomination to Him as homosexuality. I guess there are no 'degrees' of sin to the Lord. Although I would not concern yourself with the shellfish issue since, again, these were dietary laws given to the children of Israel for their protection and health in an age that had little understanding of medicine, sterilization, refrigeration, or disease control.
  1. Lev. 21:20 is addressed to His priest, the sons of Aaron. Are you a priest in the Jerusalem temple that doesn't presently exist? Don't worry about it.
8. Are you a member of the tribe of Israel (Leviticus 19:2)? And though trimmed hair is expressly forbidden to them by Lev. 19:27, where does it say they should die? You seem obsessed with slaying people for sin.
  1. Lev. 11:6-8
  2. Lev.19:19 says nothing about stoning people who plant two different crops in the same field or wear garments made of two different kinds of thread. Lev.24:10-16 and Lev. 20:14 are other matters entirely. But, again, if you are not a descendant of Israel in Old Testament times you needn't concern yourself about cursing or blaspheming God or sleeping with in-laws. People do it all the time nowadays and rarely die as a result.

You are correct in saying that God's Word is eternal and unchanging. The best advice I can give you is to dig into the Word of God. Read the Bible the same way you read any other history, biography, poetry, song, letter, etc. The basic rules of solid, astute reading don't change suddenly when you open the Bible. The critical reading process (observing, inferring, analyzing, explicating, synthesizing, evaluating, and applying within textual and historical context) must still be studiously applied.