NEWS RELEASE – MY FAVORITE ANGEL STORIES – NEW BOOK

BLOG #48, SERIES 4
WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE
MY FAVORITE ANGEL STORIES
November 27, 2013

NEWS RELEASE

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Joe L. Wheeler, Ph.D., is author of a new book, My Favorite Angel Stories (Pacific Press Publishing Association, November 13, 2013). This is Wheeler’s 83rd book (and 68th anthology).

Only once before has Wheeler compiled a collection of angel stories. It was Stories of Angels Seen and Unseen (Guideposts Books, 1997); the same pool of stories was restructured under the title The Wings of God (WaterBrook/Random House, 2000). Thus sixteen years separate the two collections.

Wheeler’s Introduction: “Is There a Difference Between Biblical and New Age Angel Stories” ought to be most significant to Christian readers who are unaware that all biblical angels are portrayed as being masculine.  Even Billy Graham has confirmed this in his angel-related research. You will note that Pacific Press editors commissioned artist Marcus Mashburn to paint for this cover an angel who is clearly masculine.

Also, Wheeler points out in his Introduction other fascinating differentiating factors between Biblical and New Age angel story portrayals.

The book features a fascinating and spiritually uplifting collection of angel stories new as well as old. They are taken from the archives of a number of Christian faiths, for God’s angels minister to all His children, wherever they may reside, or in whatever time-period they may live.

All the following are included:

INTRODUCTION

“Is There a Difference Between Biblical and New Age Angel Stories?” – Joseph Leininger Wheeler

SECTION ONE

“The Turning Point” – Kirby Palmer
“Firewood and Candles” – W. A. Spicer
“Angel in the Darkness” – Kari Surdahl
“The Master Controls the Switch” – Elna English Mays
“Guardian Angels” – Betty Jones
“Hanging On by the Fingers” – Joseph Leininger Wheeler

SECTION TWO

‘Through the Storm” – Mildred Wilson
“An Angel Walked” – Lois M. Parker
“The Telegram That Saved My Train” – Author Unknown
“When Angels Rode Horseback” – Barbara Westphal
“John G. Paton and the Cannibals” – W. A. Spicer and John G. Paton
“The Touch of Angel Hands” – Frances Daisy Duffie and Martha Duffie
“Prayer and the Terror by Night” – Lieutenant Frank Lee

SECTION THREE

“He Shall Give His Angels Charge Over You” – Lois Wheeler Berry
“The Hand on the Wheel” – Deloris Bigler
“Run!” – Josiah Litch
“A Thousand Miles of Miracle” – A. E. Glover and W. A. Spicer
“The Power of Song” – Nina Case
“The Angels of Chortiza” – Gwendolen Lampshire Hayden

SECTION FOUR

“The Calling Card” – Dixil L. Rodriguez
“Underneath” – Martin Pascoe
“A Monarch’s Restless Night” – W. A. Spicer
“Whiteout!” – Teresa Sales
“Providence in Revolution” – Ellsworth Schneider
“Omnipresence” – Robert T. Jack
“We Should Have Been Dead” – Marla Palmer Marsh

SECTION FIVE

“The Sea on My Back” – George Plume
“Faith” – Mildred Hatch
“Stop the Ship!” – W. S. Chapman
“God Will Take Care of You” – J. Echo Cossentine
“The Mysterious Rider on PG-16″ – Merton Henry Jr.
“Maximillian’s Wish” – Author Unknown
“Let’s Run Tell Our Friends!” – Marla Palmer Marsh

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Release date: November 13, 2013
Binding: Trade Paper
Cover Painting Artist: – Marcus Mashburn
Pages: 192
Price: $15.99
Packaging and mailing: $4.75
Personally signed or inscribed at no extra cost, if requested

SAGE AND HOLLY DISTRIBUTORS
P.O. Box 1246
Conifer, Colorado 80433
WEB Page: http://www.joewheelerbooks.com
Email: mountainauthor@gmail.com

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Published in: on November 27, 2013 at 5:00 am  Comments (1)  

Thanksgiving – Just Another Shopping Day?

BLOG #47, SERIES 4
WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE
THANKSGIVING – JUST ANOTHER SHOPPING DAY?
November 20, 2013

I can’t remember much sadder society developments than the recent greed-based decisions of large store chain executives–such as Macy’s–, to open their doors on Thanksgiving this year. In the process, depriving their own employees of the opportunity to celebrate the sacred holiday of Thanksgiving with their families. ‘To say nothing of their blatant attempt to shatter the heretofore sacred family day for millions of other Americans.

If anything can evidence clearer than this, a nation that has lost its spiritual moorings, I can’t think of it. I can imagine what Abraham Lincoln would say–who helped to found it during the darkest days of the Civil War. Thanksgiving was then a call to the nation to make that occasion a national day of prayer.

I’ve been waiting to hear from the nation’s spiritual leaders, as well as every minister in every parish. Where is the outcry from government leaders, from the President on down? About the only thing purveyors of greed will listen to would be a national boycott because of the outrage they are perpetrating.

Nor have I heard from the other great retailers. Where is their voice in all this? It’s like when one giant airline announces a fair-hike; if the others do not follow suit, there is an ignominious retreat from the fare hike. Why is this not happening?

How about you and me? Where is our voice in all this? This year, it’s not Black Friday – it is the Blackest of Thursdays!

I’m listening.

Published in: on November 20, 2013 at 5:00 am  Comments (4)  
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Golden Wedding Anniversaries — The End of an Era?

BLOG #46, SERIES 4
WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE
GOLDEN WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES
THE END OF AN ERA?
November 13, 2013

It happened on board Celebrity Cruise Line’s ship Summit, as it was serenely sailing down that great Canadian seaway, the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It was September 28, a very special day in the lives of two cherished friends of ours, Ed and Jo Riffle of Glasgow, Kentucky. Bob and Lucy Earp of Murphreesboro, Tennessee and Connie and I were there to complete our traveling six-pack.

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We had ordered a small cake in order to celebrate the fact that half-a-century before, on September 28, 1963, a young bride and groom were married. Back then, that was what we all did. As Doris Day would sing it, “Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage–you can’t have one without the other.”

Not so today. Marriage is no longer the norm in America. About half of all couples merely cohabit a dwelling-place, living together without any commitment to be there for each other for the rest of their lives. As one of my aunts put it, “It’s like an automobile is parked in the driveway with the engine running–first bump, and “I’m out of here!” Once there were two, and now there is only one. Welcome to our age’s throw-away society. Everything is transitory: nothing lasts–not even relationships.

But you just don’t realize the long-term effects. Not until you sing “Happy Anniversary” to a couple who have been married to each other for fifty years. After we had done so, and the ship’s Blu Room had erupted in applause, our maitre ‘d, an effervescent young Lothario of about forty, came over to congratulate Ed and Jo. But it was what he said next that gave birth to this blog. There was a regretful poignancy in his voice as he said, “I’m not married – so there will never be a golden wedding anniversary in my life.

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A society with fewer and fewer couples who have shared the ups and downs of life with each other for half a century is bound to be very different from the one that was born in what we call “The Normal Rockwell Era,” graced by picket fences and marriages and children born to couples committed to being there for each other, and for the children who would grow up safe and secure in a home where their parents continued to love and cherish each other. And when the children grew up, married, and had children of their own, there would always be a “home” to go home to.”

Today, more often than not in America, there is no longer such a place.

And that is a national tragedy.

Great civilizations do not collapse because of armies and destructive weapons. They collapse from within.

Just like ours. Are Golden Anniversaries a vanishing species today?

Eric Knight’s “Lassie Come Home”

BLOG #45, SERIES 4
WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE
DR. JOE’S BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB #24
ERIC KNIGHT’S LASSIE COME HOME
November 6, 2013

After the two-month marathon September Book of the Month, Victor Hugo’s monumental Les Miserables, I decided I ought to throw in a real change of pace.  As I searched for a book generations of young people (as well as adults of all ages) have loved, I chanced to look at the most beloved shelf of books in my entire library: the books I cherished most during my growing-up years.  Front and center was Lassie Come Home.  Memories flooded in on me as I retrieved it, looked at my teen-age writing inside the cover, and remembered the impact of that first reading.  My missionary parents [in Latin America] had given me a great gift: the gift of living with my maternal grandparents, Herbert and Josephine Leininger in their large rambling home in then almost perpetually foggy Arcata in California’s redwood country.  I got to live there for my entire eighth-grade year.

Given that I was named after their only son (of seven children), who drowned in a swimming accident when he was only ten, they – especially Grandpa, who declared, when the body of his only son was brought into their house, “The light of my life has gone out!” – I was given a double dose of grandparenting love that year.  And almost every week, I’d be taken to a local book store with enough money to buy another book just for me.  One of those books was Eric Knight’s timeless dog classic.  I could not put it down, reading on to its conclusion sometime in the middle of the night.

But now, I wondered, after over half a century, would the book still have the same power it did back then?  Not to worry: it was near midnight before I reached that last page.

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THE BOOK, THE MOVIES, THE SEVERAL TV SERIES

I would guess that even though millions have read the book, many times that number will have seen the Lassie movies and been addicted to one of the longest-running series in television history.

First of all, the author was himself a larger-than-life-figure: Eric Oswald Mowbray Knight (1897 – 1943) was born in Menston in Yorkshire [James Herriot country], England.  His parents were both Quakers.  His father, a rich diamond merchant was killed in the South African Boer War when Eric was only two.  His mother then moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, to work as a governess of the Russian imperial family.  She later settled in America.

Knight had a varied career, including service in the Canadian Army during World War I, and along the way studied art, became a newspaper writer, and later on, a Hollywood screenwriter.  His first novel, Song on Your Bugles (1936) depicted the working class of Northern England.  His This Above All is considered to be one of the most significant novels of World War II.

But it was his 1940 novel, Lassie Come Home, that catapulted him into worldwide iconic fame.  Knight and his second wife, Jere, raised collies on their farm in Pleasant Valley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, from 1939 to 1943.  Though Knight then lived in America, the setting for the novel was back in the Yorkshire of his childhood, hence the Yorkshire dialect in the book.  Knight met an untimely death in a plane crash in Dutch Guiana (Suriname) in 1943 –he was only 46.

The MGM movie, Lassie Come Home (1943), was directed by Fred M. Wilcox and produced by Samuel Marx.  It had a powerful cast: Roddy McDowell, Elizabeth Taylor, Donald Crisp, Elsa Lancaster, May Whitty, and Edmund Gwenn.  Pal starred as Lassie.

Half a century later, in 1994, Daniel Petrie and Lorne Michaels directed and produced Broadway Paramount’s Lassie.  Unlike the earlier film, this one is set in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in a modern setting.  Actors included Thomas Guiry, Helen Slater, Jon Tenney, Brittany Boyd, Frederic Forrest, and Richard Farnsworth.

In television, CBS’s Lassie ran an astounding 21 years; the main series from 1954 to 1974.  During those years, its stars included Tommy Rettig, Jan Clayton, George Cleveland, Donald Keeler, Paul Maxey, Jon Provost, Arthur Space, Cloris Leachman, Jon Shepodd, George Chandler, June Lockhart, Hugh Reilly, Todd Ferrell, Andy Clyde, Robert Bray, Jed Allen, Jack De Mave, Ron Hayes, Skip Burton, Joshua Albee, Larry Wilcox, Larry Pennel, Pamelyn Ferdin, and Sherry Blucher.  The real heroes, of course, were the collies that starred as Lassie.  By the time the series reached its final conclusion, the dog had edged out almost all humans.  The setting was in America rather than England, and the immortalized epic thousand-mile journey of Lassie in the book, Lassie Come Home, was not depicted at all.Scan_Pic0061Scan_Pic0062

There was a later TV series, The New Lassie (1989 – 1991) that was memorable though low budget, starring Will Nipper, Christopher Stone, Dee Wallace Stone, Wendy Cox, and Jon Provost.

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Though the book has appeared in a number of editions, it was originally published by the John C. Winston Company.  Grosset and Dunlap thereafter took it into the mass market.  Whatever you do, make sure the book you purchase is unabridged.  The original runs 248 pages.  The Grosset & Dunlap runs 186 pages, with smaller print.  Avoid at all costs the many popular abridged versions.

Will be most interested in your reactions.