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Madman in a Box

Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor

Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, so my family is hooked on Dr. Who. My kids found it first on Amazon Prime and said we had to watch it. Now, I was never a fan of Dr. Who back in the 70s. Just never got it, never got into it. But this new version with Matt Smith as The Doctor. Wow. I think I finish every episode exclaiming, “This is the greatest show ever made!”

(For those of you interested, you can get back episodes on Netflix or Amazon Prime and probably other places).

In one episode, “The God Complex,” The Doctor needs to convince his sidekick, Amy, that he’s really not the hero she thinks he is and she shouldn’t put such faith in him. Just because he travels through time in a British police call box doesn’t make him anything special. At one point he makes the comment, “I really am just a madman in a box” and the viewer knows he’s speaking just as much to himself as he is to Amy.

Now, I watch shows like this for entertainment. I enjoy the plotlines, the acting, the suspense and intrigue. I usually don’t expect to get anything of real value out of them, but every now and then I’m pleasantly surprised. This was one of those times.

I really am just a madman in a box. Words for all of us. We’re not as strong as we think we are; we’re not as important as we think we are; we are not as useful as we think we are; and we’re definitely not as in control as we think we are. We’re just madmen in boxes. Limited by our own humanity, corrupted by our own selfish desires. Pretty depressing, huh?

But it’s in the realizing of the truth that we find freedom from that box.

For the child of God, He throws open the box. With God, we are stronger than we think we can be; we are of eternal value and called to do eternity’s work. And though we’re still not in control, we can be okay with that because we serve the One who controls all things.

We don’t have to be madmen in boxes. Freedom is there for the choosing.

You Can Still SCREAM for FREE . . .

A couple things to note:

SCREAM is still being offered for FREE at all the major online outlets. Here’s where you can get your copy. And please help spread the word by sharing the page with your Facebook and Twitter friends.

Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Christianbook.com

Also, FRANTIC, is available through all major outlets both online and brick and mortar, including most of your local independent stores.

In case you’re on the fence about FRANTIC, here are some reviews you can peruse that will give you an idea about the story.

One Desert Rose
Katy’s Reviews
Chino Valley Review
Clash Entertainment
Reading Great Fiction

More to come . . .

Christian Propaganda! 1-Star!

Here’s something that’s been bothering me for some time and I have to get it off my chest. In advance, sorry for the venting that’s about to take place.

From time to time I check in on my books on Amazon to see how they’re doing sales-wise and see if there’s been any new reviews posted. This always leads me to browsing other authors’ book pages as well and checking in on their reviews.

I’ve noticed something disturbing and upsetting, though I should be neither disturbed nor upset because it should come as no surprise to me: 1- and 2-star reviews based solely on the fact that the book is a Christian book.

The comments usually go something like this . . .

“I didn’t know this was a CHRISTIAN book!” 1 star!

“I was looking for a thriller and wound up with a CHRISTIAN thriller!” 1 star!

“This would have been a great story if not for all the CHRISTIAN propaganda.” 1 star!

Are you serious? In this glorious world of tolerance and acceptance someone would dare give a book a lowly 1-star rating only because it’s a Christian book. And we Christians are lit up for being the “intolerant” ones? Folks, I have to honest here, every time I read a poor review because someone was caught off guard and didn’t know he or she purchased a CHRISTIAN book (in these negative reviews, Christian is often in all caps as if to serve as a flashing warning sign) I have to loosen my proverbial collar.

Look, I’ve started plenty of books (well-written books, mind you) and never finished them because of excessive language or violence or sex. But I don’t go right to Amazon, blast away, and leave a 1-star rating. I wouldn’t do that.

Note to Amazon buyers: Do a little more research on a book before you buy it. If a book is really full of CHRISTIAN propoganda it’s not going to be hard to find that out before you lay down good money for it. And if, by chance, you do purchase a book and unexpectedly find yourself reading a bunch of CHRISTIAN propaganda, how about reviewing it based on the quality of the story and writing.

Now, all that being said, this leads to some interesting insight into how we market Christian books, who our target audience is, and how we reach them without catching them off guard or leading them to feel like they’ve been duped. I understand no one likes to feel duped or back-doored. I don’t either. So how do we get our books with Christian messages into the hands of non-believers without them feeling like they’ve been carpet-bombed with CHRISTIAN propaganda?

On a side note, and totally unrelated. I recently did an interview with Jeff Gerke and WhereTheMapEnds.com. You can read the interview and get a sneak peek at the prologue for Darlington Woods here.

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