"In The Shadows of Bliss" – a new entry in the Christian fiction market – begins in the land of Bliss, a heavenly construct where souls grow to fruition. They stay there until being born brings them to earth, where the "foibles and twists of life challenge us to fight human temptation and earn our rightful return to a state of Bliss."
First-time author Alisa Lynn tells the story of Wesley, a pure soul soon to embark on a surprising journey of discovery and adventure. Her intro tour kicks off in Memphis with advance public readings arranged by custom publishing imprint marketer Heritage Publishing, a Nashville-based firm.
LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE: Dear Lucy: The title of your column is "Living the Life You Love." Well, I'm not exactly loving my life right now. I feel like I am struggling every day just to go to a job I don't like, working with people I don't like, doing work I don't like. I have been searching for a new job for months with no success. I want to just go home and get on welfare or something!
CHICAGO – The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan typically speaks to standing room only crowds in large arenas and auditoriums, with his words beamed across the globe via Internet webcast.
Although he had just finished speaking several times in Detroit, he found time to deliver a message May 19 at the small, humble, yet spirited More Like Christ Christian Fellowship Church led by former R&B recording artist the Rev. Mitty Collier.
Rev. Collier introduced the Minister by describing how she was impacted by the documentary of his life she viewed during the May 11 screening at Mosque Maryam. She advised them to get to know people for themselves, instead of relying on what others say about a person.
Dear Lucy: I went to an event recently and ran into a person who used to work with me. She has now become an executive in a company in a great city; she showed me pictures of her new home, cars and was just bubbling with excitement about her success. She wasn't bragging, she was sharing because I was her mentor in the past. She talked about her next goal of finding a husband and starting a family. I was correctly cordial and conversational with her, but on my way home I realized that I was downright jealous of her success compared to mine. I have a job that I actually enjoy but something about her story just made me feel so bad. I am so sick over how I really feel about this. I don't want to feel like this.
– Jealous One
Dear Jealous One: Lighten up on yourself. You are just suffering from "comparison fever." It makes you all hot, sweaty, nervous, sometimes angry, sad, defeated and pitiful and emotionally distraught. I guess that's why Paul admonished us to be careful "not to compare ourselves among ourselves!"
Washington – More than three in four of Americans say religion is losing its influence in the United States, according to a new survey, the highest such percentage in more than 40 years. A nearly identical percentage says that trend bodes ill for the country.
"It may be happening, but Americans don't like it," Frank Newport, Gallup's editor in chief, said of religion's waning influence. "It is clear that a lot of Americans don't think this is a good state of affairs."
According to the Gallup survey released Wednesday, 77 percent of Americans say religion is losing its influence. Since 1957, when the question was first asked, Americans' perception of religion's power has never been lower.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment has settled a lawsuit filed in 2005 by attorney James J. Walker of Walker and Associates, an Atlanta-based law firm that represents gospel artists. After almost a decade of litigation, the settlement is a major win in the battle for the rights of urban artists, the attorney said.
Walker said the settlement was concluded in early May, the day before the trial was supposed to start. He said the case has been "life-changing," with feedback from all over the world in the David v. Goliath scenario – a billion-dollar company against a small, black-owned firm.
"We felt strongly all along that this was a case we had to fight in order to protect artists and their right to choose effective legal representation and other forms of representation, including the best manager, attorney, publicist, accountant in protecting themselves as artists," said company spokesman Kenny Walker.
Dear Lucy: I feel as if my life is one of constant conflict. I must be a magnet for drama. I run into it at work, at home, at the beauty shop, on the road and with my family. There must be something that I am doing wrong! Please help. Just give me some practical ways to stop the drama! – Drama Queen by Default
Dear Queen: This message is for Kings too! Notice that I just called you a Queen. I didn't say what kind and I didn't limit you. So, Step 1: Be a Queen. Remember that you are the one who gets to define the kind of Queen you are. You can be the Queen of mean, failure, ugly, sad or any other negative adjective you choose.