God’s Sovereignty

Proverbs 21

I recently read Proverbs 21. Proverbs 21 verse 1 immediately caught my attention. I meditated and reflected on the implications of Proverbs 21:1.  I read the verse in several different translations. Doing this helps me secure the meaning of the verse.

Attributes of God’s Sovereignty

Proverbs 21:1 deals directly with the attributes of God’s sovereignty.

Proverbs 21:1 (King James Version) – The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Proverbs 21:1 (English Standard Version) – The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.

Proverbs 21:1 (New American Standard Bible) – The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Proverbs 21:1 (New International Version) – The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

Proverbs 21:1 (New Living Translation) – The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.

God Is In Charge

The verse is a reminder, no, a wake-up call that God is in charge. He is in control. I recalled a couple of Bible verses that point this out, God being in control. Romans 8:28 is the first verse that came to mind.

Romans 8:28 (King James Version) says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Next Ephesians 1:11 was remembered.

Ephesians 1:11 (King James Version) says, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”

The phrase “all things” means everything.  It tells us that God is over everything. So, if we go to the Bible and look for specific examples of the “all things” that God is sovereign over we can find a never-ending list.

Ten Examples of God’s Sovereignty

Here are ten examples of God’s Sovereignty found in the Bible (italics mine):

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE DECISIONS OF KINGS

Proverbs 21:1 – “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” — That was the verse I read this morning.

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE LOSS OF OR THE GAINING OF WEALTH

Deuteronomy 8:18 – “But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you the power to make wealth…”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE LOSS OF FAMILY, WEALTH, AND HEALTH

Job 1:21- “He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.'”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL DECISIONS

Proverbs 16:33 – “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE BIRDS

Matthew 10:29 – “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them(the sparrows or birds) will fall to the ground apart from your Father.”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL KINGS AND NATIONS

Daniel 4:35- “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?'”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER TRAVEL PLANS

James 4:13-15 – “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’; yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER SUFFERING IN THE LIVES OF CHRISTIANS

1 Peter 4:19 – “Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right,”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE REPENTANCE OF A PERSON

2 Timothy 2:25 – “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE SPIRITUAL MATURITY OF THE BELIEVER

Hebrews 6:1-3 – “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits.”

God Is Sovereign

God is sovereign. He is in control. His plans ultimately are accomplished.

I write nonfiction and science fiction with faith. I write about God’s Sovereignty in my science fiction with faith.


Image by Monfocus from Pixabay with modifications by the author.

A Logic Named Joe

A Logic Named Joe

I love reading and writing short stories. A few years ago I came up with the idea of writing a nonfiction article on the five most influential pre-1950 computers in science fiction. In researching that list of potential computers, I read a number of books and short stories.

E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” topped off the list. It left me speechless and amazed. I wrote a review of that story. You can find it HERE. A second short story on the list was Misfit by Robert A. Heinlein. You can find my review of it HERE. The third computer I found was “The Engine.” The Engine is a fictional device described in Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift in 1726. You can find it HERE. The fourth is The World of Null-A, sometimes written The World of Ā, is a 1948 science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt.  You can find it HERE.

“A Logic Named Joe” is a science fiction short story by Murray Leinster that was first published in the March 1946 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. The story actually appeared under Leinster’s real name, Will F. Jenkins, since that issue of Astounding also included a story under the Leinster pseudonym called “Adapter”.

The story is particularly noteworthy as a prediction of massively networked personal computers and their drawbacks, written at a time when computing was in its infancy.

The story’s narrator is a “logic” (much like a computer) repairman nicknamed Ducky. In the story, a logic that he names Joe develops some degree of sapience and ambition. Joe proceeds to switch around a few relays in “the tank” (one of a distributed set of central information repositories), and cross-correlate all information ever assembled – yielding highly unexpected results. It then proceeds to freely give all of those results to everyone on demand (and simultaneously disabling all the content-filtering protocols). Logics begin offering up unexpected help to everyone that includes designing custom chemicals that reduce inebriation, giving sex advice to small children, and plotting the perfect murder. Eventually Ducky “saves the civilization” by locating and turning off the only logic capable of doing this.

“A Logic Named Joe” has appeared in the collections Sidewise in Time (Shasta, 1950), The Best of Murray Leinster (Del Rey, 1978), First Contacts (NESFA, 1998), and A Logic Named Joe (Baen, 2005), and was also included in the Machines That Think compilation, with notes by Isaac Asimov, published 1984 Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

A Logic Named Joe was also published in The Great Science Fiction Stories, Volume 8, 1946 Edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenburg, DAW Books, November 1982 ISBN 0-87997-780-9.

Characters in Fiction Writing (An Outline)

Background

  1. A character is the representation of a person. My guess is you knew that.
  2. The reader should be able to identify with and care about the characters in the sense  that  the characters seem real to the reader.
  3. The characters must do something, and what they do must seem reasonable for them to have done it.

 

Introduction of Characters

  1. Characters should be introduced early in the story.
  2. The more often a character is mentioned or appears, the more significance the reader will attach to the character.
  3. The main character should be introduced before setting so that the setting can be introduced from the point of view of the character.

 

Nature of Characters

  1. The nature of characters can be brought out through minimal description and the actions, thoughts, and dialogue of the characters.
  2. The writer should allow the reader to make judgments about the characters; the writer should avoid making the judgments for the reader.
  3. The feelings of the character should be demonstrated rather than told by the narrator.

 

Closing thoughts and Rules

  1. The nature of characters can be brought out through minimal description and the actions, thoughts, and dialogue of the characters
  2. The one rule about writing is that there are no rules. If it works, it works.

 


Sidebar – Cardboard characters: What they are and how to avoid them.

  • Cardboard characters.
    • A cardboard character is one who’s a stereotype.
    • They are a character whose every action or reaction is exactly what the reader would have guessed for the situation.
  • How to Avoid Cardboard Characters
    • Avoid them by inventing lives, backgrounds, attitudes, quirks, moods, etc. for all characters.
    • The bigger the character is, the more depth he or she gets.
    • Even the barista whose only scene is taking other characters’ order and bringing the coffee has a unique personality which needs to come out, however briefly.

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Characters in Fiction Writing by Jimmie A. Kepler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Rebuilder

RebuilderA power resurrected after a 200 years absence. A man called to save humankind on Mars.

Earth’s moon. A staff colonel receives a diplomatic pouch. Its message demands he come to Mars. He is the last hope to save human colonization on the red planet.

Eradication of religion occurred in the twenty-second century. Now in the twenty-fourth century, Christianity has been miraculously reborn. All are not pleased with its revival. The opponents begin a crusade to destroy religion. The attacks occur where the rebirth started, The Rain Dome on Mars. These enemies threaten humankind’s colonization and presence on Mars.

Dr. Elizabeth Ashworth believes God will use her former husband, Colonel Harry Ashworth, to save the red planet’s colonization and The Rain Dome. Harry must face his most visceral fears: public speaking, commanding troops, and his ex-wife.

Can Harry overcome his self-doubt and constant quarreling with his ex-wife to rebuilt The Rain Dome? Can Christian worship be reestablished or will religion finally be wiped out? Will he be the Rebuilder?

Inspired by the Holy Bible’s book of Nehemiah, “Rebuilder” is book one of the space opera “Liberator Series” by Jimmie Aaron Kepler. It is a science fiction adventure where belief in God collides with those determined to wipe out all religious systems.

Rebuilder: Book 1 Liberator Series (Book 1 in the LIBERATOR space opera series) by Jimmie Aaron Kepler is available on Amazon. Order or Preview REBUILDER.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in over twenty venues, including Bewildering Stories and Beyond Imagination. When not writing each morning at his favorite coffeehouse, he supports his writing, reading, and book reviewing habit working as an IT application support analyst. He is a former Captain in the US Army. His blog Kepler’s Book Reviews was named a 100 best blogs for history buffs. You can visit him at http://www.jimmiekepler.com.

Fahrenheit 451

The genesis of Fahrenheit 451 is in Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles where he has the story of book burning. Written in 1950 this book is as relevant today as it was when it first went into print.

The book is about political correctness and burning those books that make certain groups feel bad about themselves. The fireman in Bradbury’s book don’t put out fires; they start fires. They search out and burn books. It is a crime, in this society, to own or read books. I would not want to live in this society.

Knowledge is evil. People receive all of their cultures through television walls built into their houses.

Guy Montag is a fireman who loves his work. He likes nothing better than to spray kerosene on a pile of books and watch the pages curl and turn into flakes of black ash that flutter through the air. Until the day, he meets Clarisse, a young girl who knows about a world of literature, thoughts, and ideas. Their conversations precipitate a crisis of faith in Guy, and he begins to steal books and hide them in his home.

His wife discovers what he is doing. She becomes terrified. She turns him in. He is forced to burn his beloved collection. Guy flees to avoid being arrested. He joins an outlaw band of scholars who are trying to keep the contents of important books in their heads.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.

Martian Mondays: The Martian Chronicles – Chapter Twelve: The Fire Balloons

Chapter Twelve – The Fire Balloons – This story first appeared as “…In This Sign” in Imagination, April 1951.

A missionary expedition of Episcopal priests from the United States anticipates sins unknown to them on Mars. Instead, they meet ethereal creatures glowing with blue flames in crystal spheres, who have left the material world, and thus have escaped sin.

This story appeared in six editions of The Martian Chronicles. It was in The Silver Locusts, the British edition of The Martian Chronicles. The 1974 edition from The Heritage Press has it. The September 1979 illustrated trade edition from Bantam Books, the “40th Anniversary Edition” from Doubleday Dell Publishing Group and in the 2001 Book-of-the-Month Club edition has it. It otherwise appeared in The Illustrated Man.

A 1997 edition of the book advances all the dates by 31 years. This story advances from November 2002 to 2033.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a writer of speculative fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and reviews books. He’s written for Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine, Thinking About Suicide.com, Author Culture, FrontRowLit.com, The Baseball History Podcast, Writing After Fifty, Sunday School Leadership, Church Leadership, Motivators For Sunday School Workers, The Deacon, Preschool Leadership, Sunday School Leader, and The Baptist Program. For sixteen years, he wrote a weekly newspaper column. He has written five fiction and poetry books. All are available on Amazon.com. His blog “Kepler’s Military History Book Reviews” was named a 100 Best Blogs for History Buffs and has had over 750,000 visitors.

Martian Mondays: The Martian Chronicles – Chapter Eleven: Night Meeting

This story first appeared in The Martian Chronicles. This story begins with a conversation between an old man and a young traveler, Tomás Gomez. The older man explains that he came to Mars because he appreciates the new and novel. Even everyday things have become amazing to him once again. He has returned full circle to his childhood. Later, Tomás encounters a Martian named Muhe Ca. Each can see the Mars he is accustomed to, in his own time frame, but the other person is transparent to him and has the appearance of a phantom. The young man sees ruins where the Martian sees a thriving city while the Martian sees an ocean where Tomás sees the new Earth settlement. Neither knows if he precedes the other in time, but Bradbury makes the point that anyone civilization is ultimately fleeting. “Night Meeting” is the only full-length story in The Martian Chronicles which had not previously appeared in another publication.

A 1997 edition of the book advances all the dates by 31 years. This story advances from 2002 to 2033.

Martian Mondays: The Martian Chronicles – Chapter Ten: The Locusts

Chapter Ten – “The Locusts” – This story first appeared in The Martian Chronicles. This vignette concerns the swift colonization of Mars. The title refers to the rockets and settlers that quickly spread across all of Mars.

A 1997 edition of the book advances all the dates by 31 years. This story is advanced from February 2002 to 2033.

Martian Mondays: The Martian Chronicles – Chapter Nine: The Green Morning

“The Green Morning” first appeared in The Martian Chronicles.

The next several chapters describe the transformation of Mars into another Earth. Small towns similar to those on Earth begin to grow.

In “The Green Morning”, one man, Benjamin Driscoll, makes it his mission to plant thousands of trees on the red plains so oxygen levels will increase. Due to some property of the Martian soil, the trees he plants grow into a mighty forest in a single night.

A 1997 edition of the book advances all the dates by 31 years. This story advances from 2001 to 2032.

Martian Mondays: The Martian Chronicles – Chapter Eight: The Settlers

In chapter eight, “The Settlers”, Spender returns to the rest of the expedition. He carries a gun and shoots six of his crew-mates, saying he is the last Martian. Captain Wilder approaches under a white flag and has a short discussion with Spender during which the archaeologist explains that if he manages to kill off the expedition it may delay human colonization of the planet for a few more years, possibly long enough that the expected nuclear war on Earth will protect Mars from human colonization completely.

Although he opposes Spender’s methods, Captain Wilder somewhat agrees with his attitude towards colonization and wishes for him a humane death. He returns to the others and joins them as they pursue Spender, and Wilder shoots Spender in the chest during the fight before he can be killed by anyone else. The captain later knocks out the teeth of Parkhill, another expedition member, when he disrespectfully damages some Martian glass structures while “target practicing.”

Many of the characters of the Fourth Expedition — Parkhill, Captain Wilder, and Hathaway — re-appear in later stories.

“The Settlers” is the first story that displays a central theme of The Martian Chronicles. It acts as a commentary on the Western frontier of the United States and its colonization, using the colonization of Mars as the analogy.

Like Spender, Bradbury’s message is that some types of colonization are right, and others are wrong. Trying to recreate Earth is viewed as wrong, but an approach that respects the fallen civilization that is being replaced is right.

In the before mentioned version, this short story describes the first settlers coming to Mars, the Lonely Ones, the ones that came to start over on the planet. It first appeared in The Martian Chronicles.

A 1997 edition of the book advances all the dates by 31 years. “The Settlers” date advances from 2001 to 2032.