Archive for July 2015

Testing the Worthiness of Our Cause   Leave a comment

The question is not “Can Christians disobey the governments they find themselves under?” Clearly early Christian did and Jesus told them they would have to. The question is really “How do we say ‘no” in a godly way?”

Returning to our definition of Christian civil disobedience, we need a way of testing the validity of our disobedience. It’s human to want to rebel, as evidenced by Adam and Eve. It’s important for Christians to rebel only when authorized by God to do so. So how do we determine when we’re within God’s will in our desires?

Five Tests for Civil Disobedience

  • The law opposed is immoral, in conflict with a higher claim;
  • Every possible non-disobedient recourse has been exhausted, with the definition of “possible” and “exhausted” being tempered by the situation;
  • the protest is not clandestine;
  • there is a likelihood of success (drawing a distinction between purely personal action taken for conscience sake and the sort of social disobedience which seeks to change society and thus must have its potential bad effects balanced against the good likely to emerge);
  • there is willingness to accept the penalty.

Three Additional Tests for Christian Civil Disobedience

  • The witness must be representative of the church’s clear conviction;
  • the witness of the church must be consistent with her own behavior;
  • the church should speak only when she has something to say, rather than feeling obligated to make a statement.

If we follow these suggestions, there is much more likelihood of civil disobedience being truly holy obedience.

Open Book Blog Hop – 21st July 2015   Leave a comment

Open Book Blog Hop – 21st July 2015.

Posted July 24, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Interview with Lynn Whyte-Heath   1 comment

Lynn Whyte-Heath is stopping by the blog today. Lynn and I know each other from the Booktrap, a writer’s marketing cooperative. Welcome to the blog, Lynn. I had a few technical difficulties this week, so we’re not posting on Wednesday. Tell us something about yourself.

We live in Farley green, Albury, UK. Although I am originally from Manchester and my Husband is from Cornwall.
I retired from the railway in November 2013. I am married to Alan and have four grown up children, between us.
Alan works as a bus driver for a private company. We are members of a lawn-green bowling club and have two allotments,
where we attempt to grow our own vegetables.

Attempt … that’s about my experience with vegetables, too. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I began to write my first book in 1977. We lived in Germany and as my first Husband was working and the Children were at school, I began to write ‘Hope for the Future’ I occasionally returned to it but didn’t actually publish until Nov 2014, I began my second book ‘They Came to Help Us’ straight away and published in May 2015.

Tell us about your writing process.
I build an outline in my head, I take note of anything I dream and use my best dreams. Once I have the beginning and end, I start writing and the story tells me what to write.

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?
I like to read Murder/Mystery; my favourite writer is James Patterson. I like to write Fiction including Sci-Fi, History, religion, anything really

What are you passionate about?
Politics and any form of bullying.

What is something you cannot live without?
My Family, my Laptop and Chip butties.

When you are not writing, what do you do?
I like oil-painting, bowling and learning to play guitar. I do housework and also work on the allotment, as I said earlier.

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you?  In what way?
Since writing the books, I am spending many hours on the computer. Talking to other Authors and answering or deleting e-mails.

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?
My very strange mind.

What sort of research do you do for your novels?
The first Novella did not require any research but the second Novel did, I had to research Historical events and Politics and still a reviewer mentioned I hadn’t got the ‘Tide times ‘ right. Oh well, you will never get everything right.

No, perfect isn’t possible, though some reviewers think it is. If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?
I would say, I write as I think. My writing is easy to read but you still have to figure things out for yourself. I do not like to explain everything in my books, because I assume my readers are intelligent and have imagination. I write fiction with somebody in turmoil and mental anguish, add a demon/Angel/ alien and run with it.

Do you have a special place where you write?
I write in my lounge at the table, all my work has to have been done, dinner prepared and Dog walked. I like white space.

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?
Yes in both of my books, A Mother loses a Child. This was not intentional and I have no idea why.

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?
Both, I think they link themselves.

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?
Again both, I have an outline and then discover the plot as I go. I get excited about what is going to happen.

What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?
I like to be telling a story about what has happened to a main character and their Family.

Do you head-hop?
Slightly.

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?
Ha, my Kindle full of Books, swimsuit and laptop. I will sunbathe, swim, Read and Write a bestselling Novel. When do I go?

My husband and son just hiked in the materials for the first floor this week, so maybe in a year. Talk about your books individually.

They Came to Help Us – Aged thirty five Charlotte had led an idealistic lifestyle, under the regime of The Martians! Who came to Earth to save us from self-destruction in the year 2015? On the Birth of her second Daughter ‘Holly’ Charlotte began to realise that all was not has it appeared, There had been a price for the help the Martians had given, Was the cost too high? Having being kept in the dark for Thirty five years, she was now on a mission to complete her education, fighting against her Families advice and her own emotions, Is she endangering herself and others? Does she have the strength to overcome her mental demons? Or will she turn a blind eye, and allow them to deceive many Mothers without their consent. Just because our (predominantly Male) Government had made an agreement

‘Hope for the Future – Childhood sweethearts Maria and Zach finally marry. Zach is seriously injured and in return for his life Maria makes a deal with Aliens, not quite sure what they want from her, she agrees. After several years the Devil comes to terrorise both Maria and her Daughter but there are something’s a Mother will never sacrifice.

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?
Yes I think so.

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?
I would like to think the readers  are thinking,  she has a point.

There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

No I don’t agree, I believe there will always be both. Because if self-published authors continue to give their work away, Readers will think they must be worthless, until they read them of course. But traditional publishers can afford to promote worldwide, I also believe if I was rich and could afford to throw thousands at a reasonable good Book, it would become a bestseller.

I agree. A well-promoted book doesn’t even necessarily need to be well-written, which is sort of sad and an indictment of some trad publishers. What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?
Although I used a publishing company for my books, I will self-publish my next book. Because you can re-address your work and make changes, even after publishing. Also you can choose how much you charge for them.

What do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?
Publicity and promotion, Self published Authors have to do all the work themselves,
With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?
With help from wherever I can find it and keeping on going.
Who designed your book cover/s?
The publishing company.

Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?
Yes I do, I think a good cover is worth paying for, but if the storyline is good you just need to use the best you can afford.

Do you belong to a writer’s cooperative? Describe your experience with that.
Yes I belong to three. The first one is called ‘Booktrap’; the other authors have been a great help and inspiration. The second is called ‘Clean Reads 4U’. This is a group who promote books that have no sexual references or swearing. The last is called ‘Readers Gazette’ this is mainly re-tweeting and quizzing.

As a writer who holds to a religious faith, do you write specifically for a Christian audience? Why or why not?
No I write for myself but as a lapsed Roman Catholic, I tend to mention references to religion. But like to hope my books can be enjoyed by everybody.

What are some of the special challenges of being a Christian writer?
The main challenges would be if you continuously mention the fact that your book is aimed at the Christian audience, you could alienate people who would potentially enjoy your work.

Christians are told to be “in the world, but not of it.” As a Christian writer, how do you write to conform to that scripture?
It is my view that we can write our books without hurting anybody, if you feel the need to swear or be offensive, perhaps you should take a walk and calm down first. Try to take a wider view of the world around you, it is a wonderful place.

Do you feel that Christian writers are expected to conform to some standards that are perhaps not realistic to the world?
No not really, we create our own boundaries.

Do you feel that Christian writers should focus on writing really great story or on presenting the gospel clearly in everything they write? Or is it possible to do both?
Write a really great story whilst keeping to what you believe is right, People like to read for relaxation and enjoyment. The Bible has already been written,

If you write speculative fiction, do you find that the Christian reader community is accepting of that genre?
Yes, I feel you don’t have to be judgmental to be a Christian.

Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/lynn.whyteheath

Twitter – https://twitter.com/lynnnanna

Hope for the Future – http://www.amazon.com/Hope-Future-lynn-whyte-heath-ebook/dp/B00PU5SNJ0/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

They Came To Help Us – http://www.amazon.com/They-Came-Help-Lynn-Whyte-Heath-ebook/dp/B00WGQU18C/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Posted July 24, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Stay Tuned for … Writing Wednesday … on Thursday?   Leave a comment

dad3b-l114087125281280x9602529Okay, something came up yesterday that prevented my posting my interview with Lynn Whyte-Heath, but I will do it today.

Some days are like that, ya know?

Posted July 23, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Traffic Stops – Where We Have Rights We Can’t Exercise   Leave a comment

People might think I’m all over the map on this subject, but that’s because I don’t care about the skin color of the people involved. I care about the constitutional issues and the attitude of the people involved.

Michael Brown had just come from a strong-arm robbery. The officer didn’t know that fact, but his training told him he was dealing with a dangerous individual acting in an aggressive manner. Witnesses confirm those details.

Eric Garner was selling untaxed cigarettes. He showed (minimal) “attitude” to the cops. That shouldn’t have resulted in a half-dozen of them kneeling on him and killing him. Witnesses and video evidence confirm those details.

The kids at the pool party were trespassing on private property and giving (lots of) “attitude” to the rightful owners of that property and the police. Witnesses and video evidence confirm those details.

Sandra Bland was stopped for failure to signal, the cop had given her a warning but not told her she was free to go, and the cop escalated the “voluntary” investigation into resisting arrest. Sandra Bland was rude to the officer, but the officer was clearly trying to escalate her.

Unlike the race-baiters I believe this could and does happen to all races. These stories made the news because they involved blacks, but it happens to white people too, perhaps less often.

Why less often? Some of it may be racism by police, but I think the larger issue is attitude. If the trespassing black kids had just run away from the pool like the trespassing white kids did, they’d not have ended up being “abused” by the cops. Had Michael Brown gotten back on the sidewalk, the cop would have had no reason to follow up, although Brown should have been arrested for robbery.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/23/us/sandra-bland-traffic-stop-rights/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/23/opinions/cevallos-sandra-bland-traffic-stop/index.html

The Bland case is more complicated, however. Yes, she showed attitude and these articles above advise us not to do that. Don’t, they say, fight for your rights when the officer is violating them. Say “yes, sir”, take the tyranny, and go to court to make it right.

Uh-huh. With all due respect to these commentators, cops should not have this authority. I don’t care what the Supreme Court says, cops should treat the public with the respect owed their employer … because we ARE their employer. But more than that, a citizen doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting any sort of justice in today’s courts. The judge will rule with the cop because the judge and the cop draw their paycheck from the same source — the very citizens they are abusing. The Founders fought a revolution because of such usurpation of rights.

Why do we allow it? Because the Supreme Court says we must? Maybe it’s time to rethink that. Once our rights have been violated, all the post-facto court rulings in the world saying the cop violated our rights will not heal our damaged rights. It’s kind of like closing the barn door after the escaped cow has been eaten by lions. If we cannot exercise our rights at a traffic stop when interacting with our employee, then we really don’t have rights. We just have a fiction of rights.

But let’s bring it down to the very narrow focus of the traffic stop. Don’t give the cop any ammunition. Pull over, shut off the car, roll down the window, turn on the dome light at night and keep your hands in view. While you’re taking a deep breath to calm yourself down, hit your phone’s record feature, set it on the dash and let the cop know when he comes to the window that you are recording the encounter for your own protection. When he asks “Do you know why I pulled you over today?” you say, politely, “I don’t answer questions, officer. Why don’t you tell me why you pulled me over today? In the meantime, would you like me to get my license and registration for you?” Trust me, you asking the questions and refusing to directly answer his will fluster most of them, but it will also establish that you may know your rights. Cops like the one in the Bland case are hoping you don’t know your rights. An officer is authorized during a routine traffic stop only to ask for license and registration and to issue a citation or warning. EXCEPTION: If pot smoke or the smell of alcohol wafts from your car when you roll down the window, I have no advice for you. However, if you’ve just been pulled over for having snow on your license plate during a blizzard (I have been), you are well within the rights I’m describing. The same for failure to signal, brake light, seatbelt, etc. My daughter used this technique when she was briefly detained for being parked after curfew so she could text me to tell me that she was running late.

When I was pulled over for snow on my license plate during a snowstorm, when he told me why he was pulling me over, I laughed and said “Seriously? I just drove from Delta (100 miles) in this and you expect my license plate to be snow free?” That violated the rule of minimal communication. He then asked me where I was headed. I wanted to say “You’re making me late to work”, but I don’t answer questions, so I repeated that. “I don’t answer questions, officer. If it’s really against the law to have snow on my license plate during a snow storm, I would be glad to wipe it off rather than be cited.” He asked me to stay in the car, which I did. He issued me a warning, which has no dollar value or points off your license in Alaska. If a cop saw me with snow on my license plate a week later, he could cite me for that and failure to obey a prior warning. The humiliation of being pulled over on my way to work peeved me, but fighting with him was just going to make me later to work.

As the above  articles indicate, once the citation or warning has been issued, the encounter is over, but don’t just drive away because cops have shot people for that. You are within your rights, but you will be dead, so …. The cop may ask you a question at this point — mine chose “May I look in your car?”

STOP! The citation has been issued and he’s now fishing for something to escalate into an arrest. Stay cool, polite. You don’t answer questions, so you aren’t going to answer “Yes.” Instead, you’re going to ask a question of your own. “Am I free to go now, officer?” By law, cops are supposed to say “Yes”, but some don’t, which is where your phone recorder, now forgotten on the dash, comes in. You don’t answer questions. You don’t give personal information. You have been stopped for failure to signal or a broken tail light and the encounter was legally concluded when he gave you a warning or citation. “Am I free to go now?” is the only thing you should need to say from this point, but my daughter had rather good luck with saying “I do not choose to submit to a Terry search, officer” when he asked the question the second time. She was a 17-year-old kid driving her mom’s car past curfew, but she had not been stopped for a moving violation (she was pulled over in a parking zone texting me when the cop pulled in behind her).  Establishing that she knew her rights was a good thing to do. Because it was after curfew the cop pushed it a little further, asking again, and she said “You know, officer, this is my mom’s car, so if you want to call her, we can see what she thinks.” I said she had my permission to come home now and that he did NOT have permission to search the vehicle.

In both of these cases, I called the officer’s superiors and objected to their behavior AFTER the encounter. I recorded the snow-plate incident and had my daughter write out a transcript of her encounter and I have these on file for a future court case. I’m not pursuing one, but I’ve prepared the ground work should it ever be necessary … like if the next cop just transferred in from the Texas Rangers.

By the way, my husband used this same technique with an animal control officer in our driveway while the dog the officer was investigating was, uh, nose raping the man. It worked great. They can’t claim you were giving them attitude because it is perfectly legal not to answer questions. You have a 5th amendment right not to incriminate yourself and to remain silent. Because my husband refused to answer questions like “Was your dog loose this morning?” the officer couldn’t make a case and had to move onto harassing someone else.

I do not answer questions! Am I free to go now? I am recording this conversation for my own protection. I do not choose to submit to a Terry search. And keep saying “officer” or “sir” a lot, because your phone will pick up that you were polite even if the officer’s deranged paranoia prevents him from hearing that.

Posted July 23, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

How to Have Stronger Character Beginnings   Leave a comment

A Writer's Path

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What’s the best way to initiate a solid protagonist character?

View original post 1,050 more words

Posted July 22, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

This week’s interview will be with Lynn Whyte-Heath.

Posted July 22, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Inside My Mind

My name is Ryan Langdon and I accidentally blew the minds of over 10 million people.

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Tales + Tail Wagging + Book Love + Writing + Art + Food + Dance + Travel + Joy

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A New Dimension to Explore!! Love for books and series is all we need. Life can be lonely without books. All I love is books, series, and talking about serious causes like bodyshaming. Do join me if you love to live your life to the fullest

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