Thursday, February 26, 2009

My New Book Available Now

My new book is available now, at Go to to learn how to get a discount code toward the purchase of my book.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

BOOK: 24 Hours With Spencer Field

24 Hours With Spencer FieldMy new novel will be available shortly at, but you can purchase it now at my eStore. For a discount code to save $2.00 off your purchase, email me.

Of course, you can still download the Prologue and First Chapter for free. If you do, I would appreciate your feedback.

Also, after you've purchased and read the book, please submit a review at RedRoom.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Your comments?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Download A Preview of My Upcoming Book

PDF DownloadIf you haven't noticed yet on Twitter, a preview of my upcoming book is available for download now.

That's right, you can download the prologue and first chapter to get a taste of what's coming. While you're at it, I'd appreciate a little feedback.

So, what are you waiting for? download now and start reading.

Your comments?


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book Review: Fireproof Novelization by Eric Wilson

Book Review
Having seen and enjoyed the movie Fireproof when it came out last year, and having recently read Eric Wilson's Field of Blood, I was anxious to read the novelization (by Eric Wilson) of the movie. Wilson's treatment of Fireproof was true to the movie, with a few minor exceptions.

As many authors might be inclined to make the story their own by virtually rewriting it (see The Black Hole, if you need an example), Wilson did a wonderful job of staying true to the movie's story line, while adding a couple of minor scenes and characters that served well to enhance the original. The Fireproof movie has been called the best inspirational movie of the year, and Wilson did well to carry that accolade over to the written version of the story.

Everyone who has ever spent more than a few days married knows that it isn't all peaches and creme. Marriage takes work -- sometimes lots of hard work -- and determination if it's going to last. Disagreements, money, and the chaos of managing a home around a career or two can prove to be quite taxing on even the strongest marriage. The characters in Fireproof know just how hard it can be to see eye to eye.

Caleb Holt is a Fire Captain, putting his life on the line daily for complete strangers. Working long shifts that sometimes keep him from seeing his wife for days, Caleb seeks other avenues for fulfillment of his desires: saving for a huge new boat, and internet pornography.

Catherine Holt, the daughter of a retired Fire Captain and Caleb's wife, as well as head of Public Relations for the local hospital, has learned that her prince charming isn't so charming as she always dreamed. Feeling unappreciated and unloved, she shifts focus to her career and the flattery she receives from a young new doctor at the hospital.

John Holt, Caleb's concerned father, hasn't been without his own marital challenges -- but has managed to pull through them and come out stronger on the other side. When John hears of the difficulties -- including talk about divorce -- that Caleb and Catherine are struggling with, he decides that he can't hold his tongue.

Fearing that his son might lose his wife, and concerned that there might be much more missing in Caleb's life, John rushes off the greatest care package he can: The Love Dare. Challenging Caleb to follow the instructions in the brown leather journal for forty days, John puts his trust in his son and his God that Caleb's marriage will survive.

Wilson and the Fireproof creators take us on a journey that many readers may have seen in their own lives -- the journey to rebuild a fragile marriage, to rekindle a dying love. As Caleb starts half-heartedly into The Love Dare, he sees his efforts repaid in kind. Catherine -- at first angry with Caleb -- grows quickly suspicious of the motive behind Caleb's sudden attention, rebuffing his feeble attempts to earn her favor.

The Love Dare isn't some magical cure-all drug for what ails your marriage. But then Fireproof isn't really about The Love Dare. It's about the Love that One Man dared to have for us two-thousand years ago -- such a Love that He gave His life for us. It's about how accepting and embracing that Love -- and sharing it with others -- will change our lives. It's about how that Love -- the Greatest Love of All -- can teach us how to really love those around us.

There is something to be learned by everyone between the covers of Fireproof. The question is, will you open the book?

I dare you!

Your comments?


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Joe Show 92 - Coffee

Average Joe Radio presents
The Joe Show
Average Joe American

Episode Ninety-Two: Coffee

Free MP3 Download

duane rod | coffee with the king | indie heaven | mixposure

joshua smith | i am | indie heaven

joey nicholson | i glorify the name | indie heaven

comedy minute: obama heals many | thanks to national conversation

brad reynolds | in the real world | indie heaven

book review | riven | by jerry b jenkins

damascus road | masterpiece | airplay direct

sidewalk prophets | let her be loved | sidewalk prophets

a breath of fresh air | you light my way | podsafe music network

Thanks to Steve for calling about ISP 's.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Working On The Proof

Book ReviewA United Parcel Service van rolled up today with a long-awaited delivery -- very long-awaited. The UPS man today delivered the proof copy of my first novel. There are some minor modifications to be made before printing, but the final product will be ready and available soon.

It has been a lifelong dream of mine to be an author -- to write something more than just rants and opinions. I have been writing since my early teens. This is the culmination of a dream, and only the first of a series of novels.

Stay tuned for updates and publication information (so you can be one of the first to get your copy). In the meantime, you can get a preview of what's to come by following the teasers on Twitter.

Your comments?


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Book Review: Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins

Book ReviewJerry B. Jenkins calls Riven the book he has always wanted to write, unlike anything he has ever written before. In Riven, we follow two main characters down two entirely different paths.

Brady Wayne Darby, a high school student with a bad-boy image, can't seem to find his place. After failing with the high school football team, he tries out for the school's performance of Bye, Bye, Birdie. An outcast from a broken home living in a trailer with an alcoholic mother who doesn't care what happens to him from one day to the next, Brady is the last person anyone would expect to picked for the school play -- especially for the high profile role of Conrad Birdie.

Reverend Thomas Carey, a small church pastor who can't seem to land a supportive flock, finds himself suddenly assigned to a group of several small churches, all of which he is expected to lead as spiritual guide. When he finds himself losing a power struggle with an elder at one of the small churches, Reverend Carey once again finds himself out in the cold, without a church home or even a place to live.

The author takes us on a journey through the lives of these two men: one who can't seem to stay out of trouble and away from the courts, and another who refuses to give up on God and pursue a secular career. We witness as Brady moves through the criminal justice system, from Juvie to the county jail and beyond. We see the Reverend Carey accept a highly unlikely assignment as the Chaplain of a Supermax Prison with the State Department of Corrections -- an assignment that allows him little to no contact with the very flock he is supposed to lead.

When an unfortunate turn of events throws Brady and Reverend Carey together, they become the most unlikely pair you could imagine, and highly unlikely things begin to happen. As Reverend Carey finally finds the hope he has longed for his entire career, and Brady Darby finds the hope he has rejected all of his life, the two become fast friends on a course that will shock the reader.

Of the many books I have read by Jerry B. Jenkins -- including the Left Behind series and The Underground Zealot trilogy, Riven is by far the most thought-provoking and most inspiring. The character development is some of the best I have seen from Jenkins, and the shocker ending will leave you wanting for more. A highly recommended read!

Your comments?


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Heart PizzaOkay, so Valentines Day is almost over, but Happy Valentines Day, anyway.

I had to work today until five o'clock, so my family celebrated Valentines Day on Tuesday by going to Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. Of course, there was more tonight. On the way home from work tonight I stopped at Papa Murphys Pizza to pick up a heart shaped pizza for the family. It's sort of a Valentines Day tradition for us. The family and I had a small Valentines Day celebration after I got home. For my wife and I, Valentines Day (like every other holiday) is all about the kids, not us. We're getting ready to watch a Charlie Brown special on TV.

I'm hoping to get a new episode of The Joe Show / Soapy Joe out soon. I have received several submissions from artists and have some great new tunes to share.

Speaking of sharing, my first novel will be available soon -- in paperback on Amazon, in PDF and Palm DOC eBook formats, and even in Audiobook soon. Best of all, the sequel will be out this fall. Stay tuned for updates, plus a great discount code and some bundle specials.

Hope your day was a great one!

Your comments?


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vacation: Day Five - The Final Day

VacationMy last of five short days of a short vacation is coming to a close. Today was a day of rest and relaxation, for the most part. My wife took the kids to a Valentines Day party this afternoon, while I stayed home working on the cover art for my upcoming book release (stay tuned for details on that when the time comes).

Thunder CatsThis evening we've just been hanging around the house watching some OnDemand cartoons -- my son, for some reason, has become hooked on Thunder Cats, a show that I never got into. Watching it with my son lately, I still don't understand what anyone every saw in it.

Most of the evening, we've been listening to the howling winds outside, while most of the Midwest is under heavy wind warnings. Earlier, I had to chase parts of the kids playhouse down that had blown across the yard, and retrieve a ball that blew from our backyard some six houses away. All of this in the dark and swampy (from recent rains and melted snow) backyard. I'm concerned that the basketball goal might blow over before the night is over, as it has done once before. I hate these windy evenings, when the wind blows so hard against the house that I can't even sleep.

Tomorrow, it's back to work. While I don't look forward to returning to the daily grind, it's probably time. It'll take me three days to get back into the swing of things -- and to reorganize what wasn't done while I was away. Why is it that vacations are never long enough, and that there's always more work to do when you return from one?

Your comments?


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Vacation: Day Four

VacationDay four of vacation was a good day. Without telling the kids where we were going, we took them to the Indianapolis Childrens Museum. If you have children and you ever have a chance to take them to Indy's Childrens Museum, do it -- it is one of the best in the country. Our kids had a great time, and we'll be going more often since we bought an annual membership today.

After leaving the museum, we went to Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. The food was very good and the service was exactly what you would want, but rarely receive.

After getting home, my son and I ran out to return a DVD rental to RedBox and picked up WALL-E. My son and I saw it in the theater (find my review in the sidebar), but my wife and daughter never saw it. Upon second watching, my review was right on.

After chasing the girls off to bed, my son and I made a tent in the living room and camped out watching OnDemand cartoons. I think he has finally fallen asleep.

Tomorrow is my last day off before returning to work -- a day to relax and prepare for returning to the daily grind. We'll be going to see a potential pre-school for my daughter in the morning -- an idea I'm not crazy about -- and the wife is taking the kids to a Valentines Party in the afternoon. Me, I'll be relaxing.

It's been a nice little break, and I'm sad to see it end.

Your comments?


Monday, February 9, 2009

Vacation: Day Three - Date Day

VacationToday is day three of my mini-vacation -- meaning I have only two days left before returning to work. As I stated earlier, today was date day. My wife took my son out for several hours this afternoon, and I took my daughter out.

My daughter and I had a great time, just the two of us. We had lunch at Chick-fil-A, where she got to play for almost two hours in the indoor playground. She is just under three years old and has never been able to play in the indoor playgrounds, because she has always had a hard time climbing up into hamster-style tunnels to slide back down the slide, but today she was unbelievable. She was climbing and crawling and sliding all over the place. She was even playing with several other little girls there.

After Chick-fil-A, we went to Barnes and Noble, where I read her a Strawberry Shortcake book and bought her a little stuffed Pablo from Backyardigans (which we ended up exchanging for Uniqua after my wife told me she already had Pablo). We then walked through the OfficeMax next door and looked at the clearance stuff. My daughter's eagle eyes spotted a small package of Tinkerbell pencils, so I bought her those as well.

Our next stop was for ice cream at Maggie Moos. If you haven't tried Maggie Moos ice cream, you really don't know what you're missing. It really is some of the best ice cream you will ever try. My daughter had a sample of Buttered Popcorn flavor ice cream before choosing Blue Cotton Candy. I had Dark Chocolate and Udderly Cream.

After ice cream, we headed home because my daughter wanted to watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with her Daddy.

After the movie (and chips, pretzels, and Chee-tos), we played with her Chick-fil-A balloon while we waited for my wife and son to get home.

It was a very nice day, just getting to spend some one-on-one time with my little girl. Tomorrow we have another surprise for them: an unexpected trip to the Indianapolis Childrens Museum. We usually go on Presidents Day when admission is free, but this year we'll be buying a membership so we can go more often and not feel like we have to stay all day just to see everything.

Your comments?


Video of the Day - Trader Joes

Book Review
Because my wife is HOOKED on Trader Joes now.

Direct video link.

Your comments?


Vacation: Day Three - Not Lovin' It

VacationMcDonaldsDay two of vacation ended with a stop at McDonald's on the way home from Terre Haute last night. We stopped so my daughter could use the restroom, then we made the mistake of having something to eat before we left. I should have known better when my burger was cold and my fries were hard. At 3AM I found myself awake and sick, swearing off McDonald's forever.

Today, day three, is Mommy/Son and Daddy/Daughter date day. My wife will be taking our son out for a few hours today while I take my daughter out during the same time. Time for us to spend a little special time together. My son wants to go to BouncerTown, and I don't know where they'll be going for lunch. I got my son on a White Castle kick the other day -- not that he's ever gone, but he won't stop asking to go -- but I'm sure my wife won't take him there. She hasn't eaten fast food in three years, and I'm sure she won't start now.

My daughter wants to go to Chick-fil-A for lunch, because she wants to play at their indoor playland. It's just a little too muddy outside from all of the melted snow to go to a real playground. Lucky for me, I just happen to love Chick-fil-A, and think that they have the absolute best customer service in the industry. She also wants to go to the bookstore and read a few books, and who knows what else we'll do after that.

The nice thing about going on a date with a three (in May) year old is that it's an inexpensive date. She just wants to spend time with Daddy, and I could probably take her to a hardware store and walk around all day and she would be perfectly happy.

Your comments?


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lift Them Up In Prayer -- UPDATE with Link

VacationA nice, relaxing, enjoyable second day of vacation today took a somber turn, when what was an otherwise enjoyable church service ended with the announcement that four young children lost a father in Afghanistan today.

UPDATE: From Chicago Sun Times

I haven't seen anything about it in the news online yet, so I don't know the details of what happened, but two of the members of our old church, which we attended tonight because we spent the day visiting the in-laws, lost their son-in-law today in Afghanistan. He left behind a widow and four young children.

Your prayers, please, for the family.

Your comments?


Vacation: Day Two

VacationMy second day of this short vacation started very early, as I uploaded my debut novel to the publisher at around one o'clock in the morning. It will soon be available at as well as Average Joe American. In addition to paperback, the book will be available in PDF Ebook and Palm DOC format. Stay tuned for updates.

In a few moments I'll be loading the family up in the car and taking the kids to see their grandparents in Terre Haute, where we'll be attending our old church tonight.

Your comments?


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Vacation: Day One

VacationToday is the first of five days of a short vacation. A very short vacation. Too short, I'm sure. I'll be taking the family to Walt Disney World in Florida on a real vacation in September, but desperately needed a break from the chaos of the daily grind -- a break that cannot wait until September. So, here I am.

I started this vacation break by falling asleep on the couch last night after several hours of reading (see WHAT I'M READING NOW in the sidebar for more). My son had decided he wanted to sleep in bed with us, which meant that he went up with my wife and crawled into my spot in the bed. I probably slept better on the couch than I would have with him kicking me in the head all night long.

This morning the kids woke me up and I served them up some breakfast while I sat at the table eating with them and getting caught up with the news on my PDA. Yes, I still (again) use a PDA -- this one a Garmin iQue 3600 PDA/GPS that I picked up at a pawn shop a couple weeks ago while investigating an internal theft case at my store.

Shortly afterward my wife came downstairs to join us.

After breakfast, I began processing my 2008 Federal and Indiana Tax Returns using TaxAct Online, just as I have for the past three years. Happily, we'll be receiving a nice refund that will more than cover a nice trip to see The Mouse in the fall.

In the middle of preparing to file the return (researching online sales tax due, interest earned, etc.), my wife interrupted me to tell me that her vacuum cleaner sucked. Or, rather, didn't suck, which is what sucked about it. You know what I mean. I stopped my work online to take apart the offending appliance and diagnose the problem. My diagnosis sent me to HH Gregg for a belt for the vacuum.

At HH Gregg, I experienced some of the worst customer service I could have hoped for. My son and I walked through every department in that store and not one person ever asked us if we needed any assistance. We didn't but it just felt odd not to be asked. I felt neglected. Sure, if they had offered I would have said, "No, thanks," but it would have been nice just to be asked. When we finally approached the checkout with our vacuum belt, we waited and waited while a salesperson slipped someone else in front of us, even, before we finally got to make our $3 purchase. I would have protested the wait and the rude cut in line, but I choose to protest silently, instead. I very, very rarely make a purchase from HH Gregg. I mean, it's been several years since I last made a purchase from them.

I'm home now, we've had lunch, and I've completed filing my tax returns online. My wife is now having school with my son while my daughter watches Caillou on PBS Sprout OnDemand. So far, the first day has (for the most part) been pretty relaxing.

We have plans for most every day of the rest of the vacation (starting with watching The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian on DVD with the kids). We'll be going to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis this week, paying a visit to the in-laws and going to our old church in Terre Haute tomorrow evening, and evening have mommy/son and daddy/daughter date day. It should prove to be a nice respite from the daily grind of work.

Stay tuned for updates.

Your comments?


Friday, February 6, 2009

Remembering Greatness

Ronald ReaganHappy Birthday to the last Great American President, and one of the Greatest our country has ever known. We will not likely ever see his equal.

Happy Birthday,
Ronald Reagan!

Your comments?


Podcast Update

I was planning to put together a new episode of The Joe Show tonight, but it has been such a long, exhaustive week (month, quarter, etc.), that I can't seem to muster the motivation. Maybe I'll get out in the next couple days.

Your comments?


Blogging From Gmail Offline

If you haven't noticed, Google has added many features to Gmail in the past week. In addition to the appearance of some of the interface buttons, they have added Offline Access (through Google Gears , which is preinstalled if you use the Google Chrome browser). In fact, I'm writing this post right now through Google's webmail interface while not connected to the Internet. Next time I connect, the post will automatically be uploaded and sent via email to Blogger , creating the post you're reading now.

In addition to offline access, Google has also added multiple Inboxes to Gmail. Simply put, when you open your Gmail Inbox, you can see your Inbox mail, plus several other Inbox windows created based upon search criteria you designate. You can have these other Inboxes displayed above, below, or to the right of your actual Inbox.

All of these features require you to enable Google Labs, which you can do from the Settings tab withing Gmail -- but if you're using Gmail and haven't enabled Google Labs, well, you really don't know what you're missing.

Kudos to Google for giving their email a real offline presence. What will they think of next?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Joe Show is Returning

I'm starting a short vacation Friday evening -- only five days -- but it's a much needed break. I hope to start it off Friday evening with a new episode of The Joe Show, featuring some great new music from Magnatune and Miles High Productions. I haven't put out a show since December 3rd, so this'll be a good one.

Check back Saturday for some great music, lots of opinion, and a little ranting.

Your comments?


Sunday, February 1, 2009


26 During the meal, Jesus took and blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to his disciples: Take, eat. This is my body. 27 Taking the cup and thanking God, he gave it to them: Drink this, all of you. 28 This is my blood, God's new covenant poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins. 29 "I'll not be drinking wine from this cup again until that new day when I'll drink with you in the kingdom of my Father." Matthew 26:26-29 [MSG]

When I moved my family from Terre Haute to Indianapolis thirteen months ago, we embarked on a lengthy church hunt, visiting different churches every weekend, hoping to find one where we felt welcome, at home, where we felt God was calling us to return. Week after week we found ourselves disappointed, with the sermon some weeks, with the music other weeks, even with the offerings for children's worship at times -- and each and every week, we were disappointed with Communion.

In Matthew 26, Christ instructed His disciples to remember Him through Communion (a term not used by Christ, but later used by Christians to label the practice): the breaking and eating of bread and drinking of the cup. Just as Christ instructed us to follow Him in Baptism by immersion, He instructed us in the proper way to remember Him in Communion. Christ did not tell us to practice sprinkle Baptism, and He did not tell us to practice Communion by dipping bread into the cup. We follow His instructions for Baptism to the letter. Why, then, did every church we visited insist on dipping Communion bread into the cup?

We finally found a church on the northwest corner of Indianapolis where we felt comfortable, where we felt welcome, where the kids enjoyed their worship time and we felt they spent it learning and worshipping. We finally found a church that observed Communion in the manner Christ instructed. It has been "our" church ever since.

A month ago, our church started a Saturday night service -- in an attempt to accomodate a growing congregation (5000 most weekends) and to reach out to those who don't (or can't) attend on Sundays. We attended the first Saturday evening service and loved it. We felt that God had blessed us -- everything about the service was just what we had been looking for all along.

We missed the second week due to obligations at my work, and returned on week three to find that everything had changed. The worship music -- while still played by the same band -- had become somehow countrified. Worse yet, when it came time for Communion, we were instructed to break a piece of bread off the loaf and dip into the cup. Why? We both felt very out of place during the service, and later agreed to try Saturday night one more time.

We did just that last evening, and were pleased to see that the music was much more to our liking. Don't misread me, I understand that going to church is not an entertainment event. I don't expect the worship band to cater to us. I understand that we go for worship and praise, but it's much easier to worship through song when you know the songs and enjoy the style of music.

What we weren't pleased with was Communion. As we entered the sanctuary and saw Communion implements designed for the dipping of bread, we were both disappointed. We both chose not to partake of Communion -- not out of protest or purpose.

This is my issue with it: the dipping of bread into the cup is not Biblical. No matter which book of the Gospel you read, or which translation, you won't find a passage where Christ instructed us to dip the bread into the cup.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke all described Communion as drinking from the cup. Only John even mentions dipping the bread, but not in reference to Communion. John speaks of Jesus dipping a crust of bread into the cup and saying "The one to whom I give this crust of bread after I've dipped it" will be the one to betray Me. So dipping the bread was not an act of Communion, but instead Christ's way of identifying the one who would betray him.

Dipping the bread into the cup is not a Biblical way to remember Christ through Communion, just as sprinkling water is not a Biblical way to follow Christ in Baptism. Why, then, do so many Christian churches choose this method of "Communion?" To me, if it is not Biblical, then why do it? Why practice something that Christ didn't teach in lieu of following His instructions literally?

My wife and I did not -- and will not -- observe Communion through the dipping of bread. Maybe this is God's way of telling us that the Saturday evening service was not what He had planned for us. Maybe He's telling us that we should return to the Sunday morning service, or possibly continue searching for a new church home. Unfortunately, God doesn't often write His message on a wall for us to read as we drive down the street. He often leaves it to us to interpret what He is trying to tell us.

Next Sunday, we will be returning to the same church, but not on Saturday evening. The dipping of bread might be fine for the other 443 people in attendance on Saturday night, but not for us. We will return to Sunday morning, and hopefully feel the same calling we felt several months ago when we first attended a Sunday morning service at this church. Neither one of us wants to start searching for a church home again.

Don't believe that the quotes above are the same in every translation? Click them, then feel free to select a different translation at BibleGateway, and you'll see that they all tell the same tale of Communion.

Your comments?


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