Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Progress in Luther's Sermons - And African Mission News

Janie Sullivan now has Volume V, the last of the Gospel sermons, and is getting it ready for Amazon print books and Kindle e-books.

Virginia Roberts has already prepared edits for Volume VI, so I am getting that done during Christmas lay-offs. As I told the English class, "They call it vacation, but there is no pay, so I call it being laid off." I enjoy the break, once grading is done.

In fact, Virginia has already started Volume VII edits. The last three volumes are the Epistle sermons - and they soar too.

God willing, we can be done with the set and the Gems volume in early 2018, far ahead of my best expectations - thanks to the help of so many. Norma Boeckler has the art ready before the editing is done. How so? She looked up a complete set of sermons in PDF, so she can figure out the layout of each one.

 The total cost for all of the above - including shipping to the missionary - is $90.
We already have the $100 for the mailbox to Africa.

Africa News
As I wrote before, there is a great need for Luther books in the African seminaries.

We already received a donation for the shipping cost of the first books - $100 for a mailbox, 20 pounds. By chance we have free shipping via the missionary's daughter.

So I have ordered a new set of books sent so those books can go to a second seminary fairly soon. The shipping is already paid for, thanks to that previous gift.

If you want to give toward the African seminary book fund, make out the check to Bethany Lutheran Church, 1104 Letha Drive, Springdale, 72762. We have an IRS tax number as a church and are incorporated, thanks to attorney Glen Kotten.

Some people use PayPal, so I transfer stipulated gifts to the church fund. PayPal allows a memo on funds sent, so that is an easy way to route the gift. Dr. Lito Cruz had us get that started, and it is handy for a lot of uses, such as paying for the mailbox, which is sent from St. Louis.

One reader is sending six copies of each Luther volume as Christmas gifts. My thinking goes like this - the readers are the best distributors, since the big money church publishers boycott me. The important part is getting people to read Luther again, so giving Luther books is one way to do that, and the cost is very low.

In the near future, the Gems from Luther's Sermons, in full color, will be available as a great introduction to the best of Luther.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Lutheran Books for African Missions

 Graphic by Norma A. Boeckler
This is her author's page on Amazon.
We have known a Missouri Synod missionary for 25 years. He worked in Africa and has gone back there, but has health problems now. We have often talked about using Lutheran books.

I keep books in the our fleet of cars (a 1994 Lincoln Town Car and a 2002 Voyager). When the opportunity arises, I give them to interested people. Our biggest day included giving 10 books away at the doctor's office - Creation Gardening. I mentioned to our friend how inexpensive Luther's Sermons are, so we discussed the need for Luther's books in African seminaries.

One copy of every book title (black and white, some are color only) costs $90 at the author's price. We can ship that collection of books to Africa for $95 in a flat rate box. Note that glitches in publication caused some titles to be listed as incomplete or not available. So far, Luther's Sermons are available volumes 1-4.

Compare this to the current price of a textbook in college -
English Grammar - $160 for one book.
Mathematics - $200 for one book.

Gregory L. Jackson Author's Page

Money donated for this will go into a designated account for Bethany Lutheran Church. Thanks to our attorney, Glen Kotten, we have incorporated with a new IRS tax number.

We are starting slowly to see how this works. I am giving permission to the world missions to translate the books without any fees or permissions. The whole plan has consisted in getting Luther's Biblical doctrine recognized and taught again. The synods are not up to the task.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Progress Report - The Sermons of Martin Luther

 Norma A. Boeckler designed the cover
and illustrations for Volume IV.  She had an author's
day at the Midland Dow Library in Michigan.
Her latest book is Those Days on the Farm.

Norma A. Boeckler's extensive list of books and illustrated books is listed here by Amazon.

Progress, The Sermons of Luther -
Volume IV is being prepared for Amazon print and Kindle e-book publication by Janie Sullivan.

Volume V is edited for typos and being finished for Janie Sullivan and for artwork by Norma A. Boeckler.

Volume VI is being read for typos, glitches, and other barriers to good reading.

The last two sermon volumes and The Gems of Luther's Sermons will be finished very early in 2018.

Future Plans
God willing, as always, publishing plans include the two Catechisms and Galatians.

New titles being planned include -

  1. An Ichabod Lutheran Dictionary
  2. The Gospel of John - A Brief Commentary, and 
  3. Calvinism Ruined the Protestant Church.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Giving Away Books and Roses

Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant is apparently
the only book of its kind,
comparing three major confessions of faith.

I drove to headquarters to have a meeting with the supervisor of the area I teach - very basic English. I brought along - for show and tell - one volume of The Sermons of Martin Luther. This very kind lady is Roman Catholic, which set off a discussion about Luther versus the Church of Rome. However, the discussion changed when I mentioned how I wrote Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant - primarily so married couples who were Catholic/Lutheran would understand each other's background.

Once again, I repeated my observation that I did not know what priests and pastors were saying to accomplish this, but - "Catholics cannot wait to marry Lutherans and vice versa." She laughed and said, "Like my uncle."

Then she said, "That book. That is the book I want." So I am sending two copies. Maybe three. Books last and they get shared, too.

That is how all my publishing efforts work. I give away books and everything else written, by blogging and Ustreaming. When people want a quantity of books, I sell them at the author's cost. My supervisor could not believe a huge book like The Sermons of Martin Luther could be printed for such a low cost. Yes, publishers think they are minting money, which is why they want new hymnals all the time.

 Veterans Honor is the perfect red rose -
if only the stems were stronger.

Free Roses
Everyone is delighted with roses. I have taken bunches various places, only to see the staff divide them up and take individual ones for their own desks. That prompted two doctors to talk about God's Creation. As one said to me, "And I mean six-day Creation, too." I said, "But of course. Creation by the Word of God. John 1:3." He went to seminary, so he knew what I was saying.

My class last night requested a bunch for the fragrance of the petals. One is planning roses for her engagement and marriage, and she was saving dried petals for the lingering perfume. I began growing roses at the time growers were being challenged to focus more on fragrance. Now there are few with little or no fragrance, many with enough to fill the room.

One student wanted to pay me for roses, and I said "No, I give them away, no matter how many." That works out well. Nothing else promotes a feeling of well being so efficaciously and quickly. One of the four Esses brought over two of my vases. "Mom finally took out the last rose." Our grizzled veteran takes roses to his mother's grave, so he often gets them as well. When he calls my yard a jungle, I ask him how many roses he has.

 Easy Does It turns into various orange colors,
more productive than any other rose I have grown.

Roses start conversations in the neighborhood. Every single person is astonished that roses thrive without toxic chemicals. "I just follow the principles of Creation."

Rose season for 2018 has just begun. I will finish installing the collars around them for winter protection. I am already pacing off positions for the most productive new roses. My list includes -

  • Easy Does It
  • Mr. Lincoln
  • A strong, white rose - one that is good in a vase.

 The white John Paul II is photogenic
and looks great initially when cut,
but does not last in the vase.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Progress Report - The Sermons of Martin Luther

 Gregory L. Jackson books on Amazon.

Volume III is virtually complete.

I began working on Volume IV today and did 100 pages - with excellent help from our volunteer editors.

Volume V will complete the Gospel series, with three more on the Epistles.

The final volume, which I expect to be slimmer and smaller in size, with a full color interior, will be the Gems from Luther's Sermons. We are accumulating them to use as a sampler, to kelm a term from WELS, easily passed along and shared with others.

Norma A. Boeckler books on Amazon.
 When you click on this link and review a book,
another cherub earns his wings.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Sermons of Martin Luther, Volume II, Published

The full color edition of The Sermons of Martin Luther, Volume II, is now published.

The Kindle e-book version of The Sermons of Martin Luther, Volume II,  is also available, and naturally, it is full color too.

The no-excuses edition of Luther's Sermons, Volume II, black and white interior, is also in print now.

The author's price is much less than the retail, especially in the full-color version. I used the retail links because clicking on them will increase visibility on the Internet. Everyone has a book about Luther this year, but clearly, few are reading his sermons. The professors are the worst in this category.

Posting a review will greatly increase the results of Google searches. Some are doing posting their reviews.

So will clicking on my Amazon Author's Page.

I will sending out copies of Volume II now. I was waiting for the black and white one to finish - another glitch - but settled. When all the print titles are done, the full color versions will be named

  • The Sermons of Martin Luther on Amazon.

and the black and white student economy editions will be named

  • Luther's Sermons on Amazon.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Norma Boeckler's New Book - Those Days on the Farm

Those Days on the Farm

Those Days on the Farm - Norma A. Boeckler - Print Version

Those Days on the Farm - Norma A. Boeckler - Kindle e-Book

 Norma A. Boeckler is our artist-in-residence
at Bethany Lutheran Church.

This is her art website.

A number of people have asked me, "How do you know Norma Boeckler?" That happened again in Perryville, Missouri, when the LCMS pastor asked that question. She is a member of our congregation and lives in Midland, Michigan, where we also lived for six years. However, we did not know her at that time.

Various events among Lutherans led a number of us to form an independent Lutheran congregation. Norma is not only our member, but also our artist-in-residence, designing the covers and interiors of our books, providing an endless number of Scripture illustrations for those books, the classes I teach, and her Facebook audience.

My wife Christina thought I was a city guy until I suddenly identified the inner farmer in me, during our years in Midland, 1982-1987, devoured the organic gardening books at Grace Dow Library, and began writing about the subject.

 This is Norma Boeckler's garden in Midland, Michigan.
Her Amazon page is here.

Books about growing up on a farm fascinate me, and they should interest everyone, because America was once mostly rural. I encouraged Norma to carry out her intention to write this - and soon it was done.

Those Days on the Farm is a portrait of family farming. I considered a stay at the farm of my Uncle Howard Noel and Aunt Grace quite a treat when I was growing up. The memories - and farm equipment - in this book are familiar to me and stir up  many happy memories.

Another treat in this book is not only the past but the present of the farm. Norma's sister took over the farm and transformed it in various ways, so the past has merged into the present.

The first story tells how Norma did not like milking, so her sister got to do that work. Norma stayed in to do the kitchen work, so one day her sister Marian kept ordering pancake after pancake, to get even. They still laugh about that episode.

Some memories are not pleasant. The barn burned down and Norma watched the tragedy unfold from a block away, while she was at school. A greater sadness is the loss of her mother when Norma was only one year old. From that loss came a lot of time spent drawing and the unfolding of many different creative talents.

Norma's father worked at Dow Chemical, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, and the family farm at the same time. Many with small farms did the same, keeping a non-farm job to produce cash year-around. That meant everyone had work to do, but the children growing up this way learned many skills, developed a can-do attitude, and still had time to play in idyllic surroundings.

The loss of practical knowledge about God's Creation is obvious everywhere. I bought two Salvia plants for for their appeal to bees. There were on clearance at Walmart because the poor things were almost dead. I told the cashier, "I will revive them in rainwater." Cashier, "Rainwater, as in water than fell as rain? How do you do that?" I told her, "Buckets catch the rain from the roof and I use that to revive plants and strengthen special plants." Cashier - "How does that work?" I explained, "The rain contains natural fertilizer and no bleach." She said, "Bleach?" I went on to say, "Yes, they use chlorine gas to purify tap water, but rain water is free of that and works better. Tap water is OK, but rain is the best." Cashier - "And you think that will work?"

One Midland farmer told me, "I pity the children who never grew up on a farm. There are countless lessons no one could ever teach them in school."

That is why Norma Boeckler is an artist of God's Creation. She grew up surrounded by the beauty and realities of the farm, and that became the foundation for all her work.

One of my jobs on the farm was watching the cows graze in a field without a fence several days a week. As a budding artist, I saw many interesting wild flowers and trees in the field that I could spend time drawing. Putting my imagination to work, I created pictures, using old pieces of slab wood left behind from the old saw mill. They worked perfectly as a drawing board. And I used old rotted stump pieces that had turned to chalk for drawing.

Boeckler, Norma. Those Days on the Farm (p. 3). Kindle Edition.

Most people will smile warmly as they read this book. Most of us drawing some kind of retirement had far more experience outdoors than the kids today. One neighbor shook her head in wonder at me when I walked our dog Sassy on a cold, snowing, icy day. Living in Arkansas means hiding inside until the snow melts.

Children stay indoors when it is too cold and also when it is too hot. I know the weather is perfect when children are playing outdoors. But that obscures the changes caused by the weather and lessons learned from the definite signs and warnings of Creation.

Explanations - Like the Separator

The separator machine, was a needed item on the farm that I learned how to use. It had a large metal bowl and two separate spouts, the milk would be poured into the separator bowl, and the handle had to be turned for a long time, until finally, the cream would separate from the milk and come out its spout into a cream can and the skim milk came out the other spout into another can. They call that centrifugal force.

Boeckler, Norma. Those Days on the Farm (p. 4). Kindle Edition.

I remember Aunt Grace showing me the separator on their farm. She was amused that I thought she was giving me cream on my cereal. That was whole milk! My mother loved whipped cream but she thought skim milk was better for us children. Aunt Grace learned how much I loved cream, so I  had cream on my cereal every day after that. Grace was correctly named, because she smiled all the time, patient and understanding with her city-slicker visitor.

Norma has combines her memories of the separator with its origin and the general work involving the dairy cattle. They even had a butter churn to turn the cream into butter. Photographs make the book even more interesting.

The Farm Continues
One of the best parts of the book is the continuing story of that farm, since Norma's older sister Marian bought the farm and worked it with her husband until he passed away. Now the farm itself is rented out and the new home is remodeled for current needs. The original farmhouse burned down from an electrical problem.

Valuable History
This personal history will always be valuable to Midland historians and Norma's extended family. Most of us do not have that much information about where our parents worked and grew up.

Norma's early adult life is also interesting. She met Walter Boeckler, a scientist at Dow Chemical. Together they built the home she lives in now. Walter and Norma supported Lutheran congregations in the area and generously helped the start of independent congregations.

Norma has been invaluable with all of my Amazon books, and she has a list of her own here.

Those Days on the Farm will make a wonderful gift for family and friends at Christmas. Anyone who enjoys farm nostalgia will appreciate the memories and feel the paradoxical joy and sadness of reliving those days.