Monday, June 30, 2008

Two Featured Books and Contest Theme Announcement

Many of the books featured this coming month on Pix-N-Pens are represented by fellow writer, friend, and publicist Don Otis.

Don is president of Veritas Communications, Inc., a marketing communications and consulting firm specializing in author and corporate publicity. Don has over 20-years experience managing successful marketing communications, author and corporate publicity campaigns.

Otis is also the author of numerous magazine articles, and five books with Fleming Revell, Chosen Books, Shaw/WaterBrook and AMG Publishers. Don and his wife, Jill, live in CaƱon City, Colorado.

Otis’s credits also include:

Co-founder of the Voice of Hope Radio Network and Middle East Television
Associate producer for over 200 television programs
Radio talk show host at KVOH, Los Angeles, CA

Now to the books!

With Independence Day approaching, I chose two patriotic books to feature this week.

I realized when I read this first book that I would have to confess a passion when I shared it with you. I wasn't big on American history when I was going through high school. My teachers tried to interest me, but the boring facts and figures never captured my interest. It was only after I became a parent, and started homeschooling that I discovered how interested I was in the human interest stories of our past. American history began to come alive for me as I delved into the childhoods or marriages of our Presidents, or into the travel modes of the various decades.

So one of our featured books this week THRILLED me.

The Faith of America's Presidents by Daniel J. Mount explores the beliefs and religious practices of our Commanders in Chief, from George Washington to George W. Bush.

I found this book intriguing for several reasons, besides its subject matter. The author was a homeschooled student himself, and researched this book while he was homeschooling and then while he was earning his bachelor's degree in American History and Political Science. His age while completing this book was impressive.

Secondly, each President receives a chapter devoted to their lives. Mount narrates a summary of their service, adds historical controversies faced by each one, and then draws an overall conclusion of their faith, based not only on their statements, but also on their actions throughout their lives.

Mount also includes two appendices: one entitled Character, and the other "Our Presidents Who Were Masons."

The opening paragraphs in "Character" state the author's guidelines for the entire book, and I'd like to share them with you:

"Why would an appendix such as this be included in a book on the presidents' religious beliefs? I include it for two reasons:

First, I cannot in good conscience paint a president as a holy, righteous man when the facts suggest otherwise. I have no desire to deliberately misrepresent a president's character.

Second, we know a tree by its fruits. One measure of how deeply a president held his religious convictions is whether his actions line up with his words."

Overall - this book is FASCINATING and would make a tremendous addition to any library.

Our second book being featured this week is The Pledge: One Nation Under God written by William J. Murray.

I haven't yet had time to read this book, but I'm impatient to do so. I've prayed for William J. Murray for MANY years, and have followed his career with interest, and a bit of pride. I thank God for this man's life, for his dedication to the Lord, and for his courage with which he has lived his life. Mr. Murray is the son of the notorious atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair - the woman who fought so hard, and so successfully, to remove prayer from public schools. Her son is now chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, and works non-stop for the rights of Christians in America and around the world.

Now the Pledge of Allegiance is under attack and William J. Murray has written The Pledge: One Nation Under God to show how you can fight back. From the back cover:

America was founded on Christian principles, and our system of government is based upon the belief that we are a nation "under God." Our rights come from God, not from government.

Learn what the Founding Fathers believed about God and government - and why the idea of "separation of church and state" is nothing more than a myth created by one Supreme Court decision in 1947. Yet, that one decision has resulted in dozens of ill-informed rulings that have undermined religious freedom and exalted secularism as the state-protected religion in America.

The attack on the Pledge is simply one part of this ongoing war against religious freedom in America - a war waged by [atheist Michael] Newdow, the ACLU, and others.

We must take back our nation from the secularists who seek to deny religious liberty.

I cannot wait to read this book. I'll come back here and leave another comment when I finish.

Feel free to leave comments about either of these books any time this week.

Now, FINALLY, for the contest. I hope you weren't holding your breath as I rambled on. I am a passionate American - what else can I say.

The contest theme this week - PATRIOTISM. And since the 4th is on Friday, I'll take entries until noon, Saturday, so you can get in your 4th firework photos, or photos of small town America during parades.

Remember - every entry gains you an entry into the drawing at the end of the month. I explained what we're doing in another post so check here for all the details.

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