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10th January
written by Alden

From Mockingbird:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20


I’ve written on Stephan Pastis’ work before; Pearls before Swine is my favorite comic strip, and I read it daily. Pastis typically displays what we might call “great acumen about human nature.” And he’s done it again here in the above (and below) strips.

It’s naïve Pig’s response that caught my eye. When asked why he’s excited, Chained-up Dog replies with tremendous enthusiasm, “New Chain!!” Pig’s right, being excited about a new chain is quite optimistic. In fact, it’s nothing to be excited about, because it’s not good news—the dog is still chained up.  But, truth be told, don’t we all get excited about the new thing/behavior/rule/diet/routine that will be the key to real success, to us finally achieving control over our lives. It’s in our fallen nature to be oriented as such. I’ve seen this in my own life, and I’m sure you’ve seen it in your own. I’ve seen it in my tendency to be attracted to the newest diet craze (where are we now, gluten?) to my fruitless efforts to watch just one show at night (wait…how is it 12am?).  I desperately try to control broken behavior with behavioral changes, and that is just switching out an old law for a new one; that’s not freedom and it’s certainly nothing to be excited about.

The good news is that the Gospel is not a new chain, a new law. It is a word of freedom, silencing the law and its tyranny in my life, in our lives.

Read the rest here.

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  1. Emma

    Hi Alden, I am a new author and my first book is being published by westbow press, I was just reading a blog from a Timothy! And your name replied to him saying you hadn’t gotten your final books from them but were waiting for them. How did you like the final product? Did you use their marketers? I just don’t want to waste my money. Thanks for your help and input. Emma

  2. 22/03/2013

    Hi, Emma, Congrats on your book! I am very happy with the product itself. I had a lot of input on both interior and exterior design, and they did a great job of putting the book together. Overall, I think Westbow was a good choice, although if I do another book I may try a different route.

    The only thing I had Westbow do re marketing was to pay to feature the book in their booth at the Christian Booksellers tradeshow. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any impact whatever from this. I’m not as impressed with Westbow’s marketing staff as with their publishing folks. In fact, they’ve become just another annoying telemarketer. It seems their focus is to get me to pay for more services and buy more books, however I haven’t spoken to a book rep yet who has actually looked at my book, so they have nothing of merit to say (but this is just my experience with them, I’m sure others have different impressions). I’m considering looking for a “real” publisher now, who actually has the resources to market it. We’ll see… that’s a hassle, too. I hate the “big business” of Christian publishing, but it is what it is.

    Good luck with your book!

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