Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thoughts on Hebrews Study Questions from 8/13

HEBREWS STUDY QUESTIONS

My Sunday School Life Group is studying Hebrews. Every Monday, I post questions that were discussed the day before in Sunday School. I invite you to ponder/think about them and jot down your thoughts.

On Wednesdays, I post some of the ideas that came up in the Life Group's discussion for you to consider and compare with your thoughts.  

Make yourself comfortable, this is most likely going to be a year-long experience.

These questions were discussed in my Life Group yesterday. Take time to reflect on them. I'll post thoughts from the class discussion on We


Chapter 5
Vv 1-10

V3. Oops! What do we find out about human High Priests in this verse?

  • They are sinners, too. 
  • They have no choice but to offer sacrifices for themselves and the people. 
  • They are subject to weakness.

Not really in verse 3, but . . . Human High Priests were called by God. Human High Priests were descendants of Aaron.

How did Christ become “High Priest?”

He was appointed by God. He was God's Son. 

What does the quote of Psalms 2:7 mean?

Oddly, all I have written is "quote all of Psalm 2:7." Here it is
 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (KJV) because of what follows. I know we said something, but I can't find it so, here's John Wesley's commentary on this verse:
[7] I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
The decree — The will and appointment of God concerning this.
My sin — Which tho' it may in some sort be said to, or of David, yet much more properly belongs to Christ, who is commonly known by this title both in the Old and New Testament, and to whom this title is expressly appropriated by the holy ghost, who is the best interpreter of his own words, Acts 13:33Hebrews 1:5.
This day — This may be understood either, 1. Of his eternal generation. This day, from all eternity, which is well described by this day, because in eternity there is no succession, no [yesterday,] no [tomorrow,] but it is all as one continued day or moment without change or flux; or, 2. Of the manifestation of Christ's eternal son-ship in time; which was done both in his birth and life, when his being the son of God was demonstrated by the testimony of the angel, Luke 1:32, and of God the Father, Matthew 3:1717:5, and by his own words and works; and in his resurrection, which seems to be here mainly intended, of which day this very place is expounded, Acts 13:33. When Christ was in a most solemn manner declared to be the son of God with power, Romans 1:4.

Genesis 14:11-20 provides some of Melchizedek’s background. Just who was he? How is that relevant? 
More on Mel in Ch 7.
We'll explore Mel much deeper in Ch 7. Here's a photo of the main thoughts for this week. I was tough on them and made them stick to just this chapter's reference.

He met Abraham as King of Salem (Jerusalem in Christ's time) and Priest of "God Most High."
He was the first High Priest.
The bread and wine he offers Abraham is a preview of communion.
While some claim that Melchizedek is Jesus before His incarnation, that's not supported by the text. (https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/356-was-melchizedek-the-preincarnate-christ)
As a "type of Christ" (see early discussions in Hebrews for what "type" means),  Melchizedek represented God/The Messiah.

Why did Jesus have to pray? 

  • Because God was the only one that could save Him from the cross. 
  • Communication with the Father as the Son--that's us, too! 
  • He wanted to pray. Psalm 22:1-3 (My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
  • He needed to know that God heard Him.


If He didn’t have to pray, why did He?

  • He prayed in Gethsemane because, as a Jew, He didn't want to die a Gentile's death--on a cross. 
  • Jesus' human side wanted to converse with God. 
  • To give credit to the Father. 


We stopped here this week.

If you'd like a PDF of the pages of questions in table form with room for you to write answers, email me at 

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor
My website is: www.crdowning.com

I'd appreciate your feedback as a comment on Blogger!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Authors, et. al. Why nominate my book for publication through kindlescout?

Current iteration of the "full cover" for when the book becomes "Patterns on Pages."

Nearly two years ago, I learned about the kindlescout program. It was just what I was looking for.

If you don’t know about this Amazon program, this is from https://kindlescout.amazon.com/agreement. The highlights are mine.

You give:
·  An opportunity to consider your book for publication during a 45-day exclusivity period, starting as soon as you submit to Kindle Scout. You also give us the right to display an excerpt of your manuscript, your name and photo, and other materials you submit to us on the Kindle Scout site and distribute your work in order to solicit feedback.
·  If your book is selected for publication by Kindle Press, we'll have the exclusive worldwide right to publish it in eBook and audio formats, in all languages, for a term beginning on the selection date and auto-renewing every five years. If you do not earn at least $25,000 during any 5-year term, you'll have six months after the end of that 5-year period in which you can choose to stop publishing with us and request your rights back.
You get:
·  An opportunity to get paid for your writing. We're looking for never-before-published books of about 50,000 words or more. If we select your book for publication, you will be entitled to a $1,500 advance and royalties on net revenues at a rate of 50% for eBooks, 25% for audio editions and 20% for translations.
·  If your book is selected for publication by Kindle Press and you later want to stop publishing with us, you'll be able to get your rights back in a variety of circumstances.

Unfortunately, I did not have a book ready for publication at that time.

Today, I have a book ready for publication. It's not just "another" book.

Patterns on Pages – Secrets of the Sequenced Symbols – Traveler’s HOT L – Volume 4 is a story about disaster, aliens, curious young people, great teachers, more aliens, and books. BTW, Thomas Jefferson makes a cameo appearance.

  • The book is well-written. Solid plot, novel approach, edited appropriately, and proofed by many eyes. 
  • The story is compelling. Disaster strikes Earth. Humanity teeters on extinction. Aliens recruit two illiterates from the far future and two teachers from the present day. Together, future humans, teachers, and aliens . . .  You really didn't think I was going to give away the ending, did you? 
  • The characters are relatable and consistent
  • Readers from middle schoolers to seniors in life will enjoy it. If it was a movie, it would be "Rated G." Well, by the time Hollywood finished, it would probably be PG-13 for the way they'd computer enhance the disaster scenes.
  • It's a quality story that doesn't include profanity, suggestive dialog or situations, or inappropriate gratuitous violence.
  • It's a book worthy of publication. 


Until September 10, 2017, Patterns on Pages is in the 45-day exclusive period mentioned above. That time period ends on September 9th.

Part of the selection process is garnering “nominations” of your book. No one but the author (and Amazon) knows how many page views a book gets. Even the author doesn't know the actual number of nominations.

I’d hoped for 50-100 nominations per day. For days 1-3, Patterns garnered a total of 127 page views.

Below expectations.

If you were a student or colleague of mine—and possibly if we’ve been friends for any length of time--you know I like controlled situations. I’m not a control freak. Some of you are rolling your eyes at that sentence, but it’s true. I like to be in control, but I can survive—for awhile—in situations that afford me less than my optimum control level.

If you were a student of mine, you remember times when what I said, or what we did seemed unrelated to any science at all. That may have seemed out of control.

It wasn’t.

When I first started teaching, there were many half-hour long TV shows. After the opening credits, there was a commercial break, 12-14 minutes of the show, a commercial break, 12-14 minutes of the show, and closing credits.

It was soon clear that the attention spans of my students were 12-14 minutes long. I might be able to push to twenty minutes on occasion, but students performed better when breaks more closely aligned with TV schedules.

I might tell a story or joke. I might do some “voice” to emphasize a point. There were other tricks, but those were my top two. After the “commercial,” “the show” resumed. Just like on TV.

I know for a fact that I had students who paid attention to the science I taught because they didn’t want to miss a witticism. They learned science while waiting for stories and jokes. 

Oh, yeah, and I got to do what I love in a way that helped students learn and enjoy every year.

What’s that got to do with kindlescout?

I’m glad you asked.

I have no control over whether this book is chosen by Amazon.
I had all the control over the book: Title. Cover. Manuscript.
Once I submitted the book, control passed to Amazon . . .

AND YOU!

Ultimately, you—the reader/nominator—have at least as much control as the author in this process.

My book hasn’t got a prayer of earning one of Amazon’s publication slots unless people nominate it.
Bottom line:
I need your help.

Writing that sentence was one of the most difficult writing I've ever done. 

I haven't given control away often.
I give control to you.

I’ve authored or co-authored 11 published books. I’ve invested thousands of dollars in those books. My royalties are not thousands of dollars. This is an opportunity to balance the ledger. 

More importantly, it's an opportunity for you to have a say in the kind of books that are published.

Since Patterns is Volume 4 in the Traveler’s HOT L series, there is potential for readers to read the predecessors to see what they missed. Since the original Traveler’s HOT L was
I’m hoping they do check out my other books.

If you’ve already nominated Patterns, bless you. If you’re going to nominate Pattens, bless you. If you haven’t decided, please nominate Patterns.

It’s easy to nominate. 
You must have an Amazon account to nominate.

Follow the steps below after logging in at https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3QPD53W23JLRT
TO GET YOUR NOMINATION TO SHOW UP IN #4 ABOVE
Click the turquoise  box!
 THANK YOU! 

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor
My website is: www.crdowning.com

I'd appreciate your feedback!

Email me at: crd.author@gmail.com

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hebrews Study Questions 8/13

HEBREWS STUDY QUESTIONS

My Sunday School Life Group is studying Hebrews. Every Monday, I post questions that were discussed the day before in Sunday School. I invite you to ponder/think about them and jot down your thoughts.

On Wednesdays, I post some of the ideas that came up in the Life Group's discussion for you to consider and compare with your thoughts.  

Make yourself comfortable, this is most likely going to be a year-long experience.

These questions were discussed in my Life Group yesterday. Take time to reflect on them. I'll post thoughts from the class discussion on We


Chapter 5
Vv 1-10


V3. Oops! What do we find out about human High Priests in this verse?

How did Christ become “High Priest?”

What does the quote of Psalms 2:7 mean?

Genesis 14:11-20 provides some of Melchizedek’s background. Just who was he? How is that relevant? More on Mel in Ch 7.

Why did Jesus have to pray? If He didn’t have to pray, why did He?

We stopped here this week.

If you'd like a PDF of the pages of questions in table form with room for you to write answers, email me at 

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor
My website is: www.crdowning.com

I'd appreciate your feedback as a comment on Blogger!

Almanac. Thoughts on my 46th Wedding Anniversary - Conclusion

August 7, 1971

I possess a gateway to a unique technology. Known as the 
Latent Energy Accessible Neural Network Experience, 
it is guaranteed to correct any real of perceived error in my memory of a plethora of life events. I am indebted to Gene and Emily Stagner, the co-developers of this technological wonder. This blog series was scanned by L.E.A.N.N.E. Additions, corrections, and deletions—which, of course, you’ll never know about—are included in the same font as this disclaimer.

From last week
On Saturday, August 7, 1971, Leanne Marie Stagner, from Anaheim, California married Charles Robert Downing, from Spring Valley, California.
The ceremony was held at 2:00 p.m. at the Anaheim First Church of the Nazarene. A cake, nuts, and candy reception followed in the Fellowship Hall.
Clockwise from Top. Bridesmaids. Leanne and I. Groomsmen. Leanne's Engagement Photo. Bride and Groom with Gene and Emily.

Chapel at Camp Cedar Crest. Viewing site of "Old Yeller."
As cabins filed into the chapel for the movie, Rev. Goble called Leanne and me aside.
“I don’t really need you two in here tonight,” he said. “Why don’t you spend some time together?”
“Okay,” I said.
I don’t remember if Leanne said anything.
For however long Old Yeller is, I did most of the talking. Between stories of my assorted injuries, I did give her my letterman’s jacket to wear in the nighttime chill.


New Stuff Starts Here

The next morning, the Anaheim Nazarene Church bus pulled into the camp. Leanne and I were talking while we helped our kids get their suitcases and sleeping bags to the right vehicle. At some point, Leanne informed me that her father was driving the Anaheim bus.
The first time I met Gene Stagner, he was stuffing luggage under bus seats. I think we shook hands, but we did not chat. Gene was not a chatter… ever.
Leanne and I exchanged addresses. I sent her a lot of letters during the 18-months we dated while she still lived in Anaheim.

I took her out on our first date later that month.
For our second, we watched the Angels play in The Big A. My most vivid memory is the stentorian voice of a guy behind us.
“Way to go, Jim,” boomed past us often as Jim Fregosi did something mediocre or poorly. Jim had a bad night. Not me. Leanne was sitting next to me.

The first time I held her hand was clambering down the rock to the beach in Doheny. I have this vivid memory of how our fingers intertwined. I was certain it was kismet. After all, how many hands fit perfectly into another person’s hands?
Turns out that it’s pretty much everyone.

I called Leanne Princess after Deja Thoris, the strikingly beautiful Martian princess in Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter of Mars novels. Those are still some of my favorite sci-fi novels.

If we were lucky, Leanne and I got to go on a date every other Saturday. I would drive to Anaheim—106 miles. I wrote her a poem about that. I can't find it. Neither can she.

Regardless of when the date started, Leanne had to be home by 11:00. Occasionally, we spent some time in the parking lot of the city park close to her house before I walked her to her door. On one of those evenings, there was a rapping on my window. Startled, I rolled the window down and found myself staring up a one of Anaheim’s finest.
“Hmmm. I know you’re old enough,” he said to me. “But, you’d better take her home now.”
I did.


Oh, we did get to stay up together once—Leanne’s Grad Night at Disneyland.
Grad Night for Anaheim High Class of 1970
Once you go to D'Land dressed like this, when you go and see people in shorts in the summer, you look around and wonder how anyone could dress like that.
I don't remember when our first kiss was, but I suspect it was standing on her front porch with the porch light on waiting for my watch to show 11:00 p.m.

Boy’s Life, the Boy Scout magazine, was a staple of my reading while in Junior High. William Boyd played Hopalong Cassidy on TV. He also wrote a column for the magazine. I cut one of those out and kept it for years.
The subject of the column was dating. The key point I gleaned was “Never say ‘I love you,’ to a girl until you’re ready to marry her.”
I did that.  I suspect that it was very close to the night I asked her to marry me before I said, “I love you” to her.

I could write a lifetime of memories here. Well, at least 48 years worth. I won’t. I’ll close with this.


I was fortunate to meet a young lady who was willing to put up with all my “Chuck”-ness. More than that, she was willing to commit to that for our lifetimes. You are free to disagree, but I’m sure that I am the luckiest man on earth because Leanne Marie is my wife and the mother of my children.

At my sister's wedding in 1976.
Leanne helped make her dress, my shirt, and my matching tie!

Rockin' the Fedoras from the Padres at Petco Park.

If you did disagree about the luckiest man part, you’re wrong.

Happy Anniversary, Leanne.

I love you.

Next Almanac:  Almanac. Musings on One-Lane, Two-Way Tapers

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor

My website is: www.crdowning.com

Comments welcome!

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