The President Writes Back!

0821151936b-001This came from George H.W. Bush.

He and Barbara have done some things for the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation. Since the proceeds from Bizarre Bible Stories 2! go to the CCRF, I sent them a book.

But he wrote back, and that I think, is really cool.

I think I’d vote for him now!

Dan

AllBks

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My 3 Worst Reviews

T+L_hands_1Reviews either make you proud or paranoid. When the first Bizarre book was re-released in 2012, all the reviews started over. Three people seem a bit unhappy with their purchase.

  1. The book looked like a fun, light-hearted read: wrong. I admit I didn’t finish the book and probably won’t–which is unusual for me. It was creepy with undercurrents that had the potential to scare the crap out of a child. Old fairy tales were criticized for being too scary: this is “Hansel and Gretel” go to church?

That reviewer claimed to be a child. I’m not psychic, but they lied. What child complains about being scared in a book? I rather like that last line, it’s funny and Hansel and Gretel are classics for a reason, so I can handle it. But then this one came in. . .

  1. “Bizarre” Is Right. Disliked It. I was expecting something fun and educational for kids, but I saw a lot of undertones there. A lot of room for hatred and intolerance of other religions. I would not recommend this book at all. And to say that these things “really happened”?? Come on, we all know some bible stories are just to teach good lessons. I very much disliked this book.

And then the topper. . .

  1. The contents of this book are complete rubbish! None of these claims are supported by evidence. Why is it ok to produce something fantastical and promote it as fact. Bleh!

So I’m asking, would you be willing to review Bizarre Bible Stories and/or Bizarre Bible Stories 2? Even just one sentence is a HUGE help. Most of the reviews are positive, but when you write to children and present the Bible as true in everything that it teaches, you can get some nasty feedback from  those who disagree. And, the church-challenged world is where we really want the books to go. Bizarre one made it into Wall-mart for a time. I didn’t make any money from it, but that is exactly where we want it.

Below I posted the dedication, and a bit of the beginning and ending of Chapter One from Bizarre Bible Stories 2, in case you haven’t purchased it yet. I can’t publish too much, as the publisher now owns the rights to the book, and of course the formatting becomes possessed when I try to import it anyway.

Thanks for your help!

Dan

Dedication

To Kristina Rae Barrett

Christina (2)Thank you, Kristina, for writing the question for chapter one a few years ago. You wrote, “Dear God, Why did you give me cancer?”

Kristina, I’ve known your dad since he was in my youth group back in ’85. You inherited his spunk, love of life, and incomprehensibly deep faith. Actually, I think you passed us all up, telling your dad at one point, “If this is God’s plan for me, then I accept it.”

Hebrews 11-12 teaches us that those who have died in the faith go on cheering for us as we live out our lives of faith. If they can watch us, maybe God also lets them read what we write.

Kristina, I hope you enjoy Chapter 1.

Kristina Rae Barrett • May 30, 2002 – June 21, 2014 This book is dedicated to you.

STORY 1: The Left-Handed Assassin

The Question: Dear God, “Why did I get cancer?”

The Passage: Judges 3

Would you like to look different? Would you like to be smarter? If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Sometimes I wish God had made me different. It’s not that I look disgusting, I’ve seen worse. But, why didn’t He give me shoulders? My arms go down to my knees because they come out of my neck. Was that necessary? In Judges Chapter 3 we have a person who thought he was perfect, but wasn’t. And we have another person who probably wished God had made him differently. But God made him perfect for what God wanted him to do.

N O W L E T ’ S G E T S TA R T E D . . .

The time of the Judges was demanding. When we get to Judges Chapter 3, life in Israel was horrible. Moses had led the Hebrew people out of Egypt. Joshua had led them into the Promised Land. Life should have been good, but when Moses, Joshua, and the previous leaders died, the people did evil in the Lord’s sight.” [Judges 3:12 NLT] The people were poor, their army was weak, and they were little more than slaves to an evil jerk named Eglon, King of Moab.

Through war, Eglon had gained control of Israel. His life was great. He was king and his kingdom was growing. So was he. His name means “male calf,” which was fitting in that the Bible says he was both enormous and callous. His army came into Israel as far as Jericho, where he stopped and bartered a peace treaty to end the war. Israel became Moab’s territory. The Israelites were virtual slaves, giving King Eglon most of the money they made. In return, Eglon stopped the war. For 18 years, Israel belonged to Eglon.

Have you ever felt far from God and then gone to Him for help? What brought you back to God?

Eglon was a pain, and pain has a way of bringing us back to God. Here is what the Bible says happened next. . .

now to the end of the story

. . . Ehud had an unfair advantage. No security forces checked the left-handed man. Nor did they check his right side for a dagger. The king wasn’t afraid to be alone with him. Maybe God did something to eliminate Ehud’s sense of smell too — just to be nice.

A one-handed, left-handed, small, smell-deprived Ehud killed the powerful King of Moab. It’s as if God beat Eglon with one hand tied behind His back.

There is an old Haitian saying, “God’s pencil has no eraser.” God didn’t make a mistake when He made Ehud — or when Ehud lost his right arm. Because of a deformed, one-armed weak person following God, Moab was soon defeated and Israel had peace for 80 years. Not bad. Ehud may have wished God made him differently. God made him perfect. Now if I can just find a use for ape-arms.

So, What Should I Do?  ACCEPT WHO YOU ARE

God created you just right for accomplishing His will in your life. In fact, He created you with an unfair advantage. He created you for this time and this place. You could have been born during the time of Ehud. You weren’t. You could have grown up anywhere else. You didn’t. God could have created you super-model looking. I’m guessing He didn’t. He could have made it where you not only didn’t get cancer, but where you never even became sick. Instead, God made you just right for this time and this place to work out His will in your life.

Where else is this taught?

  • 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT) “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
  • Corinthians 1:26-28 (NLT) Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish (left-handed) in order to shame those who think they are wise (kings). And he chose things that are powerless (one-handed) to shame those who are powerful (king’s guards). God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all (Jewish nation), and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important (Moab). (Author’s notes)
  • Philippians 4:13 (NLT) I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
  • Corinthians 3:5 (NLT) It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our Our qualification comes from God.

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Bizarre Bible Stories 2! Now available in your local bookstore, Amazon, and I hope lots of other places.

Gene Getz Endorses Bizarre Bible Stories 2!

renewal-radio-260x195.jpgWhat a gracious guy! I had Gene for a class at Moody.  When a student wouldn’t stop calling him “Dr. Getz,” he stopped teaching the class and told us about his struggles in ministry, his insecurities and perceived failures – and how that led to his desire to just be called  “Gene.”

Other professors seem to ignore their students except to promote their own work. Gene didn’t ignore me when I got in touch with him to ask him to promote my work. Seventeen years after the class he remembered me, and wrote:

“Simply put, author Dan Cooley’s Bizarre Bible Stories and Bizarre Bible Stories 2! utilize a vernacular, contemporary writing style intended to reach an audience of children and youth with solid Christian doctrine and practical application. The discussion questions interspersed throughout the text are thoughtfully designed to promote interaction between parents and their children on numerous topics of interest. Cooley’s books reflect his passion for providing spiritual food to children in a manner they can easily digest. His attention to detail is evident from cover to cover.”

Dr. Gene A. Getz, President of the Center for Church Renewal, and author of over 60 books including The Measure of a Man.

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Bizarre Bible Stories 2! Now available in your local bookstore, Amazon, and Cottonwood Church on Sunday, and I hope lots of other places. Coming to CBD, amazon.ca, and the rest of the online community next week.