Five Out of Five Stars!

I just discovered this review of WisdomBuilt Biblical Principles of Marriage on Amazon.

divider-2461548 (2)

Based on sound biblical teaching, each turn of the page presents a new building block of understanding on which we can base a lifetime of marriage and companionship. Where was this book forty years ago? WisdomBuilt Biblical Principles of Marriage just became my default wedding gift for every couple about to join their lives together. I learned many lessons the hard way. I found myself nodding in agreement and stating “wish I’d known this back then… ” so many times while reading this book. Am married 21 years now, and found things I can apply to make our marriage even better.

Every marriage should start with this foundation.  Christian Author, J.D. Wininger

JD Wininger Photo Round

Struggle and Triumph

Rick Hendricks 1In plain, storytelling fashion, Paul provides a simple, but not simplistic, application of timeless Biblical principles to apply in your relationship. He shares his own experiences of struggle and triumph, letting you know none of this is easy, but it is accessible. Paul’s style is enjoyable, easy to read, and digest. I really appreciate his Discussion Starters at the end of each chapter to guide a couple’s deeper dive. As a Christian couple’s therapist, I highly recommend this to those who are contemplating marriage, are early in their marriage, or may be looking for ways to grow in their marriage.

Rick Hendricks, LMFC, Deputy District Director, North Atlantic District 1, Veterans Health Administration

Head of the House

Phone 2The phone rang on a Saturday afternoon.

“Hello,” I answered.

“Hello, I’d like to speak to the man of the house.”

“We don’t have one,” I stated matter-of-factly.

The caller didn’t know what to say, so after a few seconds, I hung up.

gender-1990154_1920Please understand. I am a man. The only man who lives in our house, by the way. Our three sons are grown and have homes of their own, so technically, I am “the” man of “the” house. But that’s not what the caller meant.

He wanted to talk to the person who had authority to make decisions, the person who didn’t have to check with someone else before spending a lot of money, the person who was in charge. And he assumed, as many do, that a woman can’t make decisions, can’t spend without permission, and can’t be in charge.

That’s what I objected to, and that is the kind of skewed gender-role relationship that we don’t have in our home. What a demeaning, unbiblical view of women and marriage!

dollar-660223_1920.pngI spoke with another caller, and what he was selling actually sounded like a good deal. But when he got to the point where he wanted to close the sale, I mentioned that I wasn’t going to make a decision on the spot, because I wanted to discuss it with my wife. I couldn’t believe his sarcastic response. “What’s the matter? Aren’t you the man of the house? Can’t you make a decision?”

I’m not sure what he thought when I said, “My wife and I respect each other enough to talk about major expenses, and we make shared decisions. So, go ahead and call someone else, someone who doesn’t understand how to build a good marriage, and try to bully him instead.”

The fact is, my wife and I both make decisions; we’re pretty good at it, too. We trust each other and support each other. We’re not perfect by any means, but our usual practice is to take time to talk together before making major decisions. It’s one of the ways we’ve been able to maintain unity. We value one another and what each other thinks and feels. It’s also a matter of courtesy. 

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, very few decisions have to be made today. Unity is more important than haste. In other words, a good decision at the expense of unity is a bad decision.

ID-100365439

Podcast: Florida Writers Association

FWA-logo-72ppi

This afternoon, I was interviewed in a podcast by Alison Nissen, president of the Florida Writers Association. She sent me a few questions in advance that she was thinking about asking, but ended up throwing a few curveballs, too. Questions I wasn’t expecting. It was a lot of fun. She’s a great interviewer. I don’t remember all of the questions, and I don’t have the podcast recording yet. But she said it would be on the FWA website soon. I’ll post it here when I get it. You can click on the FWA logo above and it’ll take you to the podcast page on their website.

1. What was the first piece you ever published?

In 1993 my wife and I spent three weeks in Budapest, Hungary. We had to take the subway a couple of times. When we got back to the States, I wrote a short article about the Budapest subway and sent it to a magazine, and they published it.

2. Who is your target audience?

Depends on what I’m writing. I freelance for a couple military magazines and several parenting magazines, plus a few religious publications. A common theme in all my nonfiction writing is personal relationships and how we treat people, whether in marriage, the family, a business, or the military. My first book came out in February of this year, and the target audience was married couples and those who help couples.

3. What advice would you give writers to help develop stronger characters?

Make them interesting. Make them strong and weak at the same time. Give them some positive traits, but one or two flaws. Make them complex, because nobody is all good, and nobody is all bad.

4. What’s on your refrigerator?

Magnets, Pictures, Things made by grandkids, Shakespeare quotes about love, Beagle, Route 66 stuff, Inspirational sayings & quotations, Prague, Plumber, dog kennel, A/C repairman, Pictures of family, car and motorcycle made of beads, Half-Marathon 13.1 magnet, the university where my wife works

5. What’s your favorite food?

Italian, definitely.

6. Tell me about your pet?

We have a Beagle named Sophie. Great dog. We’re not hunters, but she is! Lizards, frogs, rats, rabbits, squirrels, one armadillo, and scared away a coyote. She doesn’t understand turtles, though.

7. What genre do you like to read?

Mostly nonfiction: biographies, relationships, histories, business and leadership, religion, racism, and psychology. When I read fiction, it’s usually something that reads like true stories. I like John Grisham and Charles Dickens. Two of my favorite stories are Dumas’s the Count of Monte Cristo and Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.

8. How does this impact what you write?

I tend to write nonfiction about people’s lives and relationships, their pursuit of happiness and meaning, either through personal fulfillment in a relationship or their faith or their career.

9. You’ve dabbled in writing much of your life. What made you want to write full-time?

I’ve been a public speaker most of my adult life, which often included a lot of writing. I started writing freelance articles on the side, and experienced some success. So, when I was about to get out of the Army, I started thinking about writing full-time, but I didn’t want my nonfiction writing to be boring. I wanted it to be fresh; I wanted it to have some life. So, I started reading about the techniques fiction writers use to make their stuff grab the reader’s attention, and I thought, “Hey, I can use some of those same techniques when writing nonfiction.” So that’s what I’m doing, and I love it.

10. If you were to write fiction, what would it be about?

I’ve made up stories my whole life. My sister and I used to write plays when we were kids. When my sons were little, I would tell them stories. In fact, one son and I met last month, and we’re planning a series of novels for school-aged children based on some of the stories I told him when he was in the first grade. I also have four adult novels outlined. But I have to finish four or five nonfiction projects that are at the top of the list, and then I’ll focus on the fiction. I’m thinking of making every November my fiction-writing month, and the rest of the year my non-fiction. What do you think?

11. What about poetry?

I like poetry. I love rhyme and cadence and meaning. I’ve published one poem, and participated in several poetry reading events. I used to write poems for special occasions and family events. But being a consistently good poet is hard work. So, I tend to do it just for fun or special events, and occasionally something really good comes.

12. Ok . . . so what is your favorite movie?

Well the top three in order are, the 2002 Count of Monte Cristo, the musical Les Miserable, and Shawshank Redemption. And recently, I have to put the Greatest Showman on that list.

13. How has your writing changed over the past five or ten years?

My nonfiction writing used to be all information, but no style. It was artless. Good content, but the nonfiction wasn’t creative. So, I read 27 books on craft during the last five years I was in the Army. Then I decided to do the MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Tampa. After that, I joined two local writing groups, and started attending writing conferences. The result is that my writing is deeper. It has style and aesthetics that I simply didn’t know about before. And though I definitely have a lot of room for further improvement, the quality is more consistent now, whereas it used to be sometimes good, sometimes so-so, and sometimes pretty bad.

14. What are you working on right now?

In February I finished a book on marriage. Now I’m writing a book about my military experience in Iraq back in 2007, the people I interacted with, and some of the things we faced together. My plan is to have it completed by May 1.

15. How do you help others develop their writing?

This is an interesting development that I never expected when I started trying to improve my own writing. After completing the MFA at the University of Tampa, I was visiting my wife at Southeastern University, where she teaches, and her boss asked if I would help start a Creative Writing degree program at the university. So, I did, and it was a lot of fun. One of the projects we implemented was an annual writers conference, and people who attended started asking me to speak at their organizations, teaching on effective writing, either for business, or fiction, or whatever. Now, I have people asking for help with their writing on a personal basis. Right now, I’m editing and encouraging three or four authors with their projects, still speaking at writers conferences occasionally, and still doing the conference for the university.

FWA-logo-72ppi

Review by Author, Ken Murray

Ken Murray (2)Paul Linzey does a phenomenal job with “WisdomBuilt Biblical Principles of Marriage” by highlighting then discussing the most common and uncommon issues regarding marriage and relationships. I found myself thinking at times, “Hey, Paul is writing about ME!” I love his logic and reasoning he applies to marriage and relationship issues then applies Biblical passages, his wisdom gained over the years or a “been there done that” foundation to explain things. Paul takes the issues beyond just communication and throws you into real life situations and serves examples that you will undoubtedly feel you’re a part of in either your current relationship or recall those same situations from your previous failed relationships. I highly recommend you order your copy today. Open your eyes today, you cannot go wrong!

Foundation for Marriage

condo-2618421_1920In 2008, developers built some high-rise condos on the South Texas Coast. Ocean Tower was supposed to provide luxurious amenities and beautiful views, but it didn’t take long for the entire structure to begin to sink, and then tilt, with wide cracks in the concrete support system.

According to an old Turkish proverb, “A building without a foundation is soon demolished.” The foundation wasn’t prepared well enough, and the whole project had to be destroyed after more than seventy-five million dollars had been invested.

The famous, leaning bell tower in Pisa, Italy, on the other hand, stood straight for five years before the 14,500-ton structure began to sink. It managed to survive, but as we all know, there is a serious slant.

pisa-1247452_1920

In Matthew chapter seven, Jesus talks about the importance of a foundation for a home. But, just like in Proverbs 24:3-4, what he’s really talking about is people, and in this case, the need for an inner, spiritual foundation.

Couples who want their marriage to survive storms and shifting sands, need to make sure they have a foundation that will last a lifetime.

Several years ago, my wife and I did a short-term missions trip to Budapest, Hungary, teaching a three-week intensive class at the Hungarian Bible college, and preaching at churches in and around the city. Our hosts were a missionary family that allowed us to stay in an upstairs bedroom in their home.

Looking out a second-story window, we noticed the neighbors were building another home on their property, immediately behind the main house. The missionaries explained that it was customary for children to grow up and live on the same property as their parents. The new building was for their son, who was about to get married. The foundation was already in place, and every day, we came back to the house, looked out the window, and followed the progress. We watched the walls grow higher as new rows of bricks were added.

door-536461_1920

God’s plan for marriage is vastly different from the typical concept of marriage in the world today. Rather than a battle zone, marriage is designed to be peaceful. Rather than causing you pain, it can be a source of profound healing. Rather than a selfish coexistence, a good marriage is a loving couple coming together to help and encourage one another. Rather than a ball and chain, marriage liberates you to reach your goals and see your dreams come true. Rather than a hell, marriage can be a heaven on earth. And, rather than a temporary arrangement, marriage is best when it takes you through all phases of life . . . together.

For that to happen, however, the relationship has to be built on a solid foundation. It’s time to get started establishing a WisdomBuilt home that will last a lifetime.