Two Worlds Blog

Excerpts from the books, thoughts on indie publishing and the art of words.

Who was that Stranger in the Garden of Eden?

Garden of Eden

In the third chapter of Genesis another character shows up in the Garden of Eden. He is called “serpent” and the Bible says he is one crafty customer.

Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the Lord God had made. “Really?” he asked the woman. “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat it,” the woman told him. “It’s only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die.”

“You won’t die!” the serpent hissed. “God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.”

There are some questions that need answering. Who is this serpent? What did he look like? How did he get into the garden?  And finally, what’s he up to?

A Liar in the Garden of Eden

Until now, in the time/space dimension (the Garden of Eden), there are only two intelligent creatures that are capable of having a reasoned conversation, Adam and Eve. Yet, here is this being called “the serpent” hanging out in the garden, in the midst of it, actually. The New Living Translation embellishes the dialogue with some snaky qualities, he “hisses.” But hold on a minute. This isn’t your garden-variety snake. I’ve never known a snake to say anything intelligent or even act as though it was interested in conversation. This one is different. Indeed, there is a positive identification of this being in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. In Revelation 12:9 the serpent is identified as Satan, the Devil.

And who, or more appropriately, what might he be? Here’s what the scholars think: he is one of those eternal ones. He is one of the “hosts” mentioned in Genesis 2, a being created for the eternal dimension. Powerful and, Genesis says, more subtle and shrewd, than any other creature—certainly than any of the animals—in time or eternity. He was outright sneaky and a bald-faced liar. Notice how deftly he steered the conversation toward the one thing in all the Garden of Eden that the Creator had forbidden people to eat, and then how he accuses God of having hidden motives because of it.  Clearly, the serpent is not on God’s side.

Not only that, the Bible holds evidence that the eternal ones were already in the heavenly places before the time of the Garden of Eden. Let’s briefly visit the book of Job in the Bible. We’ll be revisiting this interesting book later, but for now, let’s look at Job 38, verses four through seven. Here God is talking to Job, who as you may recall, was a good man that had come upon what appeared to be some incredibly bad luck: financial setbacks, multiple deaths in the family, and health totally gone to pot. To make matters worse, he had some friends who came over to visit him

Garden of Eden

Nemo / Pixabay

in his misfortune who were a real pain. Eventually, Job just loses it and starts to complain about God, the universe and his circumstances in general. That’s when God loses patience and has a few things of his own to say to Job. As he does, we learn something about the order of the universe. Listen:

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.  Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying?  What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

Did you catch that? Who was there singing and shouting? Eternal beings. Morning stars (that’s a Bible code phrase for eternal beings) and angels—already there before the Creator was finished creating!

~~~~~

Intrigued? Read more in Sword of Submission – Reclaiming the Power of Being Human

TWM is Growing!

GrowingAs the world of independent publishing expands, so has Two Worlds Media. Within the last few months we’ve added two new authors and, presently, we have three books in production. It appears we are on a growth curve.

At the start, the goal of TWM was to make a place for the work that Jody and I were doing. Having a “web presence” is just part of the game of indie publishing. What we didn’t anticipate was there were folks among our friends and acquaintances that had something to say and didn’t really know how to get it said. When they found out that we had taken the leap into self-publishing, they thought out loud how they might do something similar. I found myself saying something like, “I can help you with that!”

Suddenly, I was a publisher…well, not exactly. I became a coach and servant as I walked these aspiring authors through the process of setting up their own publishing effort. I formatted their manuscript into book form; helped them design a cover; prepared their work to be converted into an eBook and opened up their publishing accounts for them. Finally, I got their work on Amazon, and other distributions points including Two Worlds Media. Most writers find all that overwhelming, and I suppose it is. It was for me at first. But, having done if a few times, I could help them get past that obstacle. So, it is my privilege to help authors get their thoughts out where their audience can benefit from them.

“How much do you charge?” they asked. I told them I didn’t. They said, “Well, I want to give you something,” My answer has become well rehearsed: “Nothing is expected. Anything is appreciated.” Not much of a business model, is it? Particularly when I find certain “vanity presses” out there that will “help” writers by charging $500 with packages up into the thousands.

You’ll notice that even though titles at Two Worlds Media have a cover price, more than a few are available to those with financial limitations for a donation or even for the cost of shipping, That is to freely make available what God has given us instead of doing “business as usual.” Of course, there are books on the site that have a set cover price, too. It’s up to our authors.

Two Worlds Media has become a marketplace for Independent “word-carvers.” Think of it as a consignment shop for local artists. When you buy a book or audio download, your money or donation usually goes directly to the writer. That’s why we don’t have a “cart” for your purchases. We want any funds that come for a particular title to go to the writer and not pass through a “middle man.” Two Worlds Media doesn’t “take a percentage.” Does that mean that what I do is free? Sometimes. It depends on the ability and inclination of the artist. Most times, though, authors try to express their appreciation for what I’ve done in one way or another. As we say around here, “Nothing is expected. Anything is appreciated.”

I wonder what the Father has in store for the coming year? Stay tuned! Should be exciting!

We’ve Added Bio Pages

book-treeBrowsing the dim back corner
Of a musty antique shop
Opened an old book of poetry
Angels flew out from the pages
I caught the whiff of a soul
The ink seemed fresh as today
Was that voices whispering?
The tree of the paper still grows.
 ~Terri Guillemets.

Two Worlds Media is constantly adding new authors to our little band of independents! In order to introduce you to them, we’ve added some pages with photos and a little background about each. Our goal here at 2WM is to help you discover those hidden gems that you won’t find anywhere else. What we’ve learned since we started the site is that it is not the title; maybe not even the subject matter, that attracts your attention, but the writer. Do you want to get to know more about a person you know or may have heard of? Has their journey piqued your interest or reminded you of your own pilgrimage? Our authors have left you a road into their heart. They invite you to share what they have learned. Point at the “Meet Our Authors” tab above.

Marriage RX Video Summary

Marriage RX: Prescription for a Radical Marriage (a Two Worlds Publication) has been out for sometime. It is drawn from a seminar of the same name and is available in print, digital, and soon, audio formats. Recently, the authors completed a video summary of the book for those who  are curious about this valuable resource. Here is the clip, produced and narrated by co-author, Calvin Tadema.

New Home for Max Features

Max Logo-Featured ImageIf you spend time browsing the links here at Two Worlds Media, you’ll notice that our humor titles have moved to their own site. We decided that the portion of the site dealing with matters relevant to followers of Jesus should be separate from the “just for fun” writing of Max Features. So, now you can visit “Max” at his new home. Click on over to www.max.twoworldsmedia.com.

Release & Dedication

We want to invite you to a dedication ceremony for Marriage Rx – Prescription for a radical marriage.  The Tademas and the Mayhews have collaborated on the project, but as the book is released we don’t want to use the world’s methods in the partnership. So, rather than draw up contracts and such, we want to gather the church (several congregations) to witness our arrangements with the understanding that we are answerable to the church regarding our conduct toward the work and toward one another. We would be honored if you would help us in that.

Please join us:

Monday, February 4, 2013
6 PM to 8 PM
Montavilla Baptist Church
9204 SE Hawthorne
Portland, OR 97216

New! Two Worlds Media

Welcome to the new online home of my books and other stuff! Until recently, all books from Two Worlds Press and Max Features (my “just for fun” imprint) were featured at the Stone Butterfly site (www.stonebutterfly.net). Now, I’ve moved the webstore to a location with a name that better describes what we do here: make our books, and other resources, available to readers. Meanwhile, Stone Butterfly has been reserved for my book, The Butterfly and the Stone, and the new “Butterfly Blog,” which is devoted to the prodigal journey, that is, the challenge of loving prodigals. It is a place of sharing, hope and healing for journey.

Feel free to browse. I will be adding new editions, new books and essays and links to resources that I’ve found helpful. In the future, www.danmayhew.net will be the place where I’ll be creative and thoughtful. Here, though, is the storefront. Visit often! The door is always open and the light is on.