HOMESCHOOLING AND THE MILITARY June 13, 2007Posted by harmon in Articles.
Some of you may already know about the situation with me and the Navy. Okay, if you haven’t heard, I recently attempted to join the U.S. Navy. I passed the ASVAB, I passed the physical, and I was minutes from being sworn in when they turned me down because I was homeschooled. My heart shattered–it has always been my dream to be a journalist in the Navy, and now they are telling me I can’t join! My mother contacted Home School Legal Defense and established useful contacts–including the Pentagon. They told her that a law had been passed the first of June (three days before I went to Montgomery to be sworn in!) stating that homeschoolers have just as many rights as public schooled children, and that, by law, they are required to be treated as equals. However, when I went to Montgomery, the new law hadn’t been “officially” established yet. All they could tell me was that I could not continue with the process at that time. Now, this has been over a week ago, and I still haven’t heard anything from the Navy. They told me that for me to join shouldn’t be a problem because, after all, they HAD passed that law. But I have been patiently waiting to hear a response.
There are two parties fighting against each other: One is FOR homeschoolers, one is AGAINST homeschoolers. As Christian homeschoolers, we know the power of unity and faith. If, somehow, the law is changed, we need to unite and go against all laws opposing the freedom of homeschoolers. Please pray about this situation–not only for me, but for the thousands of other young men and women who have been turned down from the military because they were homeschooled. If, indeed, the new law stating that homeschoolers MUST be treated with as much respect as public schooled children has been put into motion, let us praise God for this! But if they continue to turn down homeschoolers, there is obviously something wrong with the way they are running things and WE NEED TO STAND FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE IN AND STOP AT NOTHING UNTIL WE HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE! I encourage you to pass the word about this and get as many people praying as possible. If you wish to share any advice or to simply comment, feel free to e-mail me @ firstname.lastname@example.org .
Voices, Voices, Voices… December 28, 2006Posted by harmon in Writer's aid.
Possessing numerous voices is okay
“Alas, now I must admit! It was I who stole the volume, bound and cased, from yonder sanctuary!”
For the most part, this little excerpt out of my imagination sounds all right. If you could see the whole picture, the European setting, you would agree that it fits in with the style at hand.
Then what is wrong? Nothing. It just isn’t my usual voice, that’s all.
Imagine sitting down with a book written by Shakespeare. You know his style. You have heard his voice a million times in plays like Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. Yet the words used in this book sounds more like Dan Brown than William Shakespeare. The sudden alteration bewilders you!
In all possibility, there could only be two explanations: You only thought Shakespeare wrote it, but it was really Dan Brown. Or: Shakespeare was experimenting with a new writing style.
Most people would choose the first explanation as the answer. The renowned W.S. could only sound one way, they would think. Mr. Dan Brown mysteriously wrote it under the pen name Shakespeare.
But for those who chose the latter explanation, you were probably right. After all, is it a crime to experiment with other voices besides your own?
Experimenting, any scientist will tell you, is key to revelation. You may claim yourself as a “deep-toned-serious-poetic” sort of fellow, but if you don’t venture into the “humorous-laid-back-romantic-adventurer” setting, how will you know your talents?
Many people have a fear that if they “venture”, they will forget their own voice and start writing like someone else. They convince themselves that writing should be limited to only one style per person. And if ever, in their writing, they inadvertently sound like someone else, they condemn themselves for not knowing who they are.
The fact is, you should never condemn yourself for expressing many voices. A lot of writers wish that they could write in a colorful variety, and you should consider yourself gifted to be able to express more than one voice. Even if that voice sounds nothing like you.
Consider Benjamin Franklin. As a kid he began writing for a newspaper, portraying the voice of an elderly lady.
Now, Ben certainly wasn’t anticipating that posing as an elderly woman would win his recognition as the master of ideas. But he did know that it was the only way for his works to get published, so he did it. And without forgetting who he truly was.
And consider Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick. He spent his entire life searching for the perfect writing voice, only to find that variety was his writing voice. He is now know for his assortment of character.
You need to know where you stand
While bearing many voices is stupendous, there is one thing you need to keep in mind: Know where you stand. You don’t want to be writing a serious article using one voice and all of a sudden start using another. That will make you sound wishy-washy, which isn’t what any good writer wants. You have to hone your talents and assort them appropriately according to the subject matter of what you are writing.
Notice how I present in these first-person descriptions the same point in three different voices:
* Th’ blasted sun is a-shinin’ in my eye and I wanna’ knock it out o’ the sky, it makes me so furious!
* I say, the sun is intensely bright and bothersome today!
* I am mad because the sun is in my eyes.
The first voice allows you to picture a feisty person raised in, perhaps, a back-country community.
The second voice describes a well-educated person of maybe a British or English ancestry.
The third, a common method, used by perhaps a child or a straight-foreword adult.
I would only use these voices in the places where they are at home. An ill-tempered country man would not do to tell about a new perfume coming out mid-summer. On the other hand, he would sound right in a biography or certain novels.
Having many voices besides your own is a good thing. But you must use them in the places where they are needed.
Copyright 2006 by C.S. Harmon. All Rights Reserved.
About POD December 14, 2006Posted by harmon in About POD.
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Writers are always asking me: What do you think about Print On Demand? You know what I tell them?
“On what?” they usually ask.
I am speaking on experience. I, myself, am a POD author. And it has worked for me. However I know people who say that POD is a waste of time and money. And it is, for them.
You have to look at it like this: Publishing your own book is like starting your own business. There is absolutely no difference. You can’t tell me that people don’t start their own businesses everyday. And how do they do it? They tell people about it. They advertise by hanging posters and priting business cards: simple, but it’s a start.
Your book is your product. Now go out and sale it!
It’s true: if you aren’t willing to work hard to get your name out there, you aren’t going to succees. It’s that way in any business.
“But what about traditional publishers?”
What about them? You have to work hard to promote your book with a traditional publisher, too. The difference—and it’s a big difference—is that traditional publishing houses usually pay you money up-front for your manuscript. And if you go with one of the bigger houses, you never have to worry about trying to sale your book to book stores—your company handles that. If it’s quick money—and maybe even quick fame—you’re after, you want to stick with the jiants. But good luck. It is very rare for a beginning author to sale to a traditional publisher, but it has happened.
For many writers, Print On Demand is the answer. Yet you have to be careful; there are a lot of bad oppinions about POD. For one thing almost anybody can do it. Of course, this opens doors for trash to come in. People think they can pay $800.00 to have their unedited books published and it do good. Yeah, you’ll probably sale a few copies to friends and family, but that’s it. You can’t build a career if you don’t have a firm foundation.
Another thing is that people, so often, aren’t willing to work to make their books successful. So they automatically blame the printer.
“POD doesn’t work.” they say. “It’s a waste of time and money.”
Okay, then all those months you spent hunched over your keyboard was a waste of time. Go ahead and throw your imagination, your passion, out the door.
If you truly love what you do, you’ll be willing to work hard to make it work.
POD does work, if the author works.
Seek and Ye Shall Find December 7, 2006Posted by harmon in Articles.
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Let me begin this Article with a brief excerpt from a book I am currently compiling. The book is an effort to share with the world some things that my home ministry (Family Outreach Ministries) has learned about the mysteries of the bible. We at FOM believe that God shares with his people certain revelations when the time is right. Therefore we put a strong emphasis on the fact that people should not base their entire existence around a man-made doctrine. A mind that limits the possibilities of life is unable to receive revelation. Instead we encourage that people keep an open mind—not a gullible mind, but a mind willing to except what God places on your heart.
This is not an attempt to promote any one church, or any one religion. As believers in Christ, we are all equal; no man is above the other. The purpose of this book is not to condemn. It will no doubt stir controversy. New discoveries usually do, and it isn’t until after the “newness” wears off that it finally begins to make its place in society. Yes—controversy is expected, for the purpose of this book is to motivate you to think.The act of “thinking” is a curious issue. People think all the time, and all the time strange ideas pop into our heads. If they are too strange to be accepted, we simply excuse them. Sometimes, though, a strange idea will make its way beyond the brain and to the body’s outlets. Here it will be released unto the world through either words or actions.Where do these thoughts come from? No doubt some of them come from God. It is only human to suppose that a percent of the thoughts from God never make it beyond our outlets.
One must wonder what those thoughts would have produced had they made it further than consideration. Yes, we thought them strange at the time they flashed across our minds, but could that be because we were not used to such ideas? To an alien, perhaps, the thoughts would have made perfect sense. Are we not, by our sins, alien to God?
I believe that thought is the key to redemption. If we do not consider the improbable how on earth are we supposed to expand our knowledge, to grow and to learn new things? It is a fact that people have sin in their lives. Are we to honestly say that we know all there is to know, regardless of this burden we bear? God knows all; he created all. We know very little because we bind ourselves to the ways of sin.
If you are to embark on this journey with us—this journey into the mysteries of the bible—you must first open your mind to the possibility that you—your church, your religion, everything you was brought up on—may not know everything that God would have you know. An open mind receives revelation. Whereas a closed mind receives only what it wants to receive. Note: an open mind will often find it hard to “want” to receive a revelation. It will often buckle and clash before it finally decides to accept.
What I am trying to say is, if this is the end days like a lot of people think, then the time for disclosure is at hand. Revelations in the bible talks about how Christians will fight the final war, using their faiths. Satan and his demons will attack with weapons such as hate, lust, and confusion. He will use physical weapons; anything that will hurt Christians and drive them to follow him. But Christians will fight with their faith in God. The bible says that a hedge of protection will surround God’s people and nothing the devil can do will penetrate this hedge. In the end, God will have won the war, and Satan will be thrown down the bottomless pit.
My new novel To the Ends of the Earth talks about this scenario. And the thing that stuck out to me while I was writing the book is that people need to start learning how to control faith in a physical form. I believe that soon God’s people will know how to move objects with their mind, how to survive even the deadliest situations, how to fly, how to breath underwater, how to communicate one-to-one with God without sinful interference. Indeed we people were put down here on earth to be the masters of earth; why should we be limited by the laws of physics?
The law of physics is a curious idea to consider. According to evolution scientists the universe could not have “just been created”. It happened when chemicals in space (it never occurred to them to consider: now where did these chemicals come from?) accumulated, causing a big bang that swirled round itself and formed all of life as we know it. Dear friend, according to physics, God does not even exist, so who says “physics” can not be broken? (Think: did Jesus not walk on water? Did he not heal the blind, make the deaf to hear, the mute to speak? Could he not raise the dead?)
The first step to receiving revelation, as I have said, is to have an open mind. We can not expect to learn the things that God would have us know (things that will be learned before the last battle, mind you) if we are not willing to accept that we do not know everything. It is utterly impossible.
So I encourage you to consider where you stand with God. Are you limiting his capabilities? Do you truly believe that your doctrine includes everything God would have you know?
I’m not saying that Doctrine is a bad thing. I’m stating that placing one’s hopes, desires, and beliefs on an idea that opposes God’s own commandments and ways is dangerous. Search for clues in the bible that identify God’s true ways. It is simple: if your religion does not correspond with the true ways of God, then there is obviously something wrong. Just by you looking, you are opening a door for acceptance. With time and a little more effort, revelations will start coming to you. Who knows: you may be the first one to discover how to control faith in the physical world!
Seek and ye shall find. Limit and the world will be limited unto you.
The Misuse of the American Constitution December 6, 2006Posted by harmon in Articles.
The British Parliament was anything but content over the signing of the American Constitution in 1787. It made official, among many things, the independent right for America to stand on its own as a free nation—under God. No longer would there be taxation without representation. No longer would the American people have to suffer under unjustified rule from the old world. The signing of the Constitution set apart America from any other nation in existence, establishing her as a just and goodly realm that would not be wavered by enemy force, and that would stand firm under the eternal leadership of God the father.
Indeed when the Constitutional Convention gathered in Philadelphia on that summers day to construct a new, moral way of life, an empire built under God was the primary initiative. They understood the significance in the faith of Christianity, as every man there either believed in and worshiped, or respected those who believed in and worshiped, the supreme creator and father of all living. George Washington, signer of the Constitution and one of the greatest, most respected presidents in the history of the United States, noted in his Fairwell Address that, quote: “Morality is a necessary spring of popular government. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” “…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” The whole reason why America was founded in the first place was because a handful of English misfits wanted a nation where they could worship God as they pleased without satanic interference. From the very beginning America was meant to be a kingdom for God and his followers.
But the fathers of the Constitution knew that there would be a time in the future when certain adjustments would have to be made, so they designed the Constitution to be flexible. Even Hamilton pointed out, upon argument over a national bank being accepted in America, that all the powers of the national government could not be set down in explicit words, for, quote: “that would mean intolerable detail.” However arguing over a national bank is one thing, but arguing over abortion, same-sex marriage, letting a Vampire be governor of Minnesota…. These are dissimilar affairs entirely. The forefathers never dreamed that their Constitution would ever be the object of such controversy.
There is a segment in the Constitution, called the Bill of Rights, that allows Americans the freedom of speech. This section ensures the flexibility of the Constitution, and was written in light of granting Americans the legitimate power to stand up against opposing crowds, and to have the right to participate in religion. The freedom of speech is in many respects a good thing; it separates America from the common dictatorship. But when representatives rise up in force, wishing to misuse or disuse the powers granted us a free nation under father God, suddenly Hamilton’s statement becomes dire.
Open up a family-friendly magazine and find repetitive segments of profanity. Turn on the Television and prepare to gaze upon some man’s or woman’s naked body. Sit back long enough and you’ll witness the destruction of biblical monuments, such as the ten commandments, the one set of laws that every nation should follow.
Some representatives say that as time advances and changes, the Constitution should advance and change. They claim that Congress of the late eighteenth century could not look into the future and foresee what changes and difficulties lay ahead, so their judgment in many areas was clouded.
It is true that time does advance, and congress could not look into the future. But has it never occurred to these representatives that, because congress of the time did not foresee the American future as a future of greed, abuse, lust, the Constitution therefore holds no outright amendments binding such? Never in their wildest dreams could they imagine future American citizens, who shall forever build their stronghold upon God, fighting to discontinue the worship of God! Indeed that thought alone should awaken sleepy politics of the nation, and bring to life a controversy of its own.
And what do we as true American citizens do to legally fill in the gaps intentionally (for sake of flexibility) scattered throughout the Constitution? How do we know when the freedom of speech is taken too far, when the concerns of American citizens, according to the one God upon which this nation was founded, become concerns of greed, lust, abuse?
In the past century mankind has speculated seriously over the equation of right and wrong. One party may find favor in a rainy day, the other in a sunny, bright day. Over here we have the democratic group, over there the republican. How do we know who is the true god, my god or your god? Is it wrong to consider the universe infinite?
The fact is that we men, born into our sins, naturally face these decisions. And if we men were to decide right now to form another nation, with our own regulations and rights, how might we word our own Constitution?
Reading a book, you see not only the word use, but the author his self. You realize that he is just another human being, bearing the human language. And if he messes up on a word or phrase, you the reader obliges to overlook, knowing what he really meant because you are familiar with his spirit.
Picture the fathers of the Constitution as the authors of a very important, very precise book called the Bill of Rights. They sat down to present what was on their hearts, in the most natural way they knew how.
Indeed, if you and a group of people sat to make your own Constitution today, how would you word what is on your heart? And what would you do if, over two centuries later, representatives gathered in dispute over your words, saying that because you left a space here, or used the word “flexible”, they can squeeze in and tear apart any form of morality you had established, “filling in the spaces” with anything they please to better suit their greedy desires?
America was founded with a heart. All true Christians, true leaders in the Lord, bear this heart. And it is with this heart that appropriate decisions are made.
I’m sure, if you are a true American, you care about the well being of this country, and pray that it lasts. Indeed what separates America from any other nation on earth? Religion. Christian religion, that is. Most of us are born into some sort of Christian environment. It is bred into our blood. We grow up, knowing of morality, knowing what is right and wrong. We are a different people, sitting apart from any other class of people on earth. And it’s all because of our beliefs. We can not allow false idols and false religion to become a standing part of our country. It will change our perspectives of morality, and it will change who we are. Like I said in the article, America was founded with a heart. The heart of America is who America is. What America is! To change any aspect of our own morality is to alter the foundations upon which this nation dwells. American citizens need to rise up against the plague that is creeping into our good nation. Stop defiling our constitution!