Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Coming to a Low Country Bookstore near you!

Western Oklahoma author and retired Marine Tom Spence, will be selling and signing his books at McIntosh Book Shoppe on Friday, 8 July 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The store is located at 917 Bay Street in Beaufort, South Carolina 29902.

His newest release is Acceptance of Authority.

Tom will have a variety of books published by Tate Publishing.  Two of the most hard-hitting books, especially for those in western Oklahoma, are Throw Away Kids and PoMo Poverty.  In these companion selections, Tom goes beyond identifying society’s problems; he brings us to solutions that don’t wait on the government to fix or ignore the problems.

Tom is an ordained minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the pastor of the congregation in Burns Flat, Oklahoma. 

As a pastor, he returned last summer from his second trip to Africa to train pastors and church leaders in Kenya and Uganda.  He has served as moderator of the Red River Presbytery but perhaps is best known as the guy who gives out wristbands that read:  GOD LOVES YOU – LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer that served in all four Marine Divisions, including a tour training reservists.  He has served in Iraq and Kuwait, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, aboard Marine bases on the east and west coasts of the United States, and has a substantial amount of service afloat.  His final tour was as a program manager in charge of maintenance and modifications of Marine Corps ground training systems and simulators around the globe.

Tom served as both student and instructor at the Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia—the Crossroads of the Corps, and proudly boasts that he successfully avoided a tour in the Pentagon for his entire career.  Tom wrote two books specifically about the Marine Corps.  The first was a first person collection of observations and anecdotes titled Sea Stories.  The other was Christianity for Marines.

Tom will also have with him, two unique books with fast moving dialogue where two men—The Conversation—and two women—Going Up—drop their defense mechanisms and actually talk about important things.

Please join Tom on Friday 8 July 2016, buy a few books, and enjoy this Bay Street establishment.

Check out this review  and interview conducted by Serious Reading for Tom’s novel set against an end times background—Even the Elect.

Book Signing by Tom Spence
McIntosh Book Shoppe
917 Bay Street
Beaufort, South Carolina 29902
8 July 2016

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Try a sample from Sea Stories.

Try a sample from Sea Stories.


For the first two months of my United Nations tour in Iraq and Kuwait, I was a patrol base commander in the Central Sector.  Each patrol base was usually staffed with 8 to 10 officer observers.  Everyone was on their own for the morning and noon meals, but we all rotated the cooking duties for the evening meal.  

Chicken, fish, rice, potatoes, and healthy doses of curry generally found their way into this international food festival.  My contributions were tacos,  camp fire stew--a recipe that I had acquired from my sister--and of course, a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving.  Not every entrĂ©e was to every officer's taste, but we all did our best to sample the dining fare that was presented.   I held my own in this subsistence quest until one evening in November.
On this particular evening, the officer from Ghana said that he was making a special dish from home as one of his countrymen was staying overnight at our patrol base.  He also cautioned me that it might not be to an American's taste.  I had heard that line a few times over the past few weeks, and it usually just translated into this has a lot of curry in it.  I  liked curry, and the more the better.  So I approached that evening without the slightest apprehension. 

Why should I have been concerned?  In the Basic School, I used to eat worms, grasshoppers, and other assorted insects just to annoy the officers with aviation guarantees.  Besides, they were good enough for John the Baptist, and those skinny green grasshoppers are pretty tasty anyway.  I didn't even get suspicious when the French and Russian officers came to see me after leaving the kitchen and asked me if they could conduct an extra evening patrol.  I agreed and they said they would eat before they left.
All of this considered, I almost gagged when I walked into the trailer where we ate our evening meals.  I sat down at the table and was presented with a bowl of what appeared to be, and was later confirmed as peanut butter soup.  The smell of boiling peanut butter supplanted all of the breathable air.  The soup did have more substance than just peanut butter and as I moved my spoon through the bowl, something floated to the top.  It was a fish head, and I must have been mistaken for the guest of honor, because I had more than one in my bowl. 

I think there may have been other parts of the fish in my bowl, but the heads had my full attention.  They just kept bobbing to the top of the bowl.  Having boldly accepted the offer of this officer's home cooking, it would have been in bad taste for me to leave abruptly.  My dilemma was whether to consume the meal quickly and excuse myself or eat it very slowly and hope some of it would evaporate.  Neither appeared to be a viable solution.
It was at this point that I wondered if the fish heads were really just garnish, perhaps the equivalent of Parsley in Ghana.  My independent query was dismissed as wishful thinking with a crunching sound as two of the other officers began chomping on the heads in their bowls.  A few minutes later, the Ghanaian officer noticed that I was not eating my heads and he graciously offered to eat them with the rest of his bowl of soup.  I quickly spooned them into his bowl, making sure that much of the soup went with them.  

I completed as much of my bowl of soup as I could, thanked the cook, and politely excused myself.  I did not appear to offend anyone as nobody else even looked up from the melee of head chomping and soup slurping going on.  I'm sure that my international host for that evening had gone to some trouble to make this special meal and would have not wanted to know that within a few minutes I had deposited my share along the perimeter fence of the compound.  
The good thing about being a man is that you never feel obligated to ask for the recipe. 

Try another sample from The Best of Out of the Box

Want to try another sample from The Best of Out of the Box?  Here you go.

Out of the Box 78

Online All the Time

Follow these clues to people, names, and businesses of our digital world. Log on and have some fun. The answers are certified to be virus free.


Fishing, basketball, or cargo still life: Netscape

Now let those network protocols in your creativity center help you solve the rest of these.
Grass cutter's casual report of completed work for multiple yards:

Invoice entrances:
Postal service between D and F:
Casting and retrieving:
Ship's official record atop something:
Transfer a language unit:
Future location of arachnid dwelling:
Second vowel's harbor:
Partitioned building space for informal conversation:
Merchandise deficient in hardness:

Don't give up too soon, but when you are ready, follow this link to the answers.

Try a sample brain teaser from The Best of Out of the Box

Do you link brain teasers--you know, stretching the boundaries of your thinking?  Then The Best of Out of the Box may be for you.  Here is a sample.

Only the Beginning

Try these alphanumeric brain teasers. They range from movies to television programs to daily knowledge. You will even have to look in the box for one answer. Some will be very easy, but don't rush to look at the answers for the others. They will come to you at the strangest times. Enjoy this first of several exercises.

Here's a sample:

10 A in the B of R
And here's the answer: 10 Amendments in the Bill of Rights

Now try these prepared in similar genre:

2 M for SS
2 RD in a YW
12 AM
52 W in a Y
300 P in a PG
366 D in a LY
2 DD in DJ
4 S in a Y
2 S of R in a B of KRB

Don't give up too quickly. Give your mind some acceptance time and some of these answers will arrive unannounced. When you just have to know, follow this link to the answers.

Want more? Try The Best of Out of the Box.

Need more about this book?  Here is hook that I provide on the website.

The Best of Out of the Box

Authored by Tom SpenceOut of the Box is a collection of exercises often called brainteasers, mind benders, or sometimes just puzzles. Clues are provided but you will have to break away from your traditional thinking to answer many of the more difficult teasers. Topics range from music to politics, sports to entertainment, general knowledge to things only a road warrior, historian, or football buff would know. Many of these brainteasers are alphanumeric, while others are more phonetic, and still others are visual. I first published these online beginning in 2000 and have consolidated the best in this single edition.

These are fun to work alone or in groups. When solving these by yourself, I recommend that you take only a single exercise and work it until complete. Make a copy of it and carry it with you for a day. Many of the answers will come to your right away and some that you didn't get immediately will come to you at the strangest times. Your mind will surprise you as it deduces answers hours after you have put the book aside.

I have used these most frequently in groups. They are great icebreakers, warm-up exercises, and transitions to new topics. When using these with groups, I recommend two or three minutes for individual effort, followed by five or six minutes of collective effort. This combination usually produces better results and energizes the group for your presentation or discussion. 

Encourage your groups to work these aloud. You will be surprised at how the words of one member will trigger thoughts in another. Dive headfirst into these teasers and let your mind surprise you.

Each Out of the Box exercise is provided on a single page with the answers on the back. While some exercises target specific eras, most include a mix of old and new and are fun for groups of diverse ages and tastes. While these materials are copyrighted, the book owner may reproduce each of the 100 brainteasers for any group in which he or she is present. Use these for training, social gatherings, family reunions, or for a long road trip or plane ride. Most of all, enjoy them!

Watch the trailer for PoMo Poverty

Buy the book...

Friday, June 3, 2016

Trailer for Even the Elect

Follow this link to watch the trailer for Even the Elect.

Did you ever think about the urgency with which first century Christians proclaimed the Gospel? It was as if they had very little time to complete this crucial work before Christ's return. Many eschatologists believe that the end times will see a world leader rise out of what was once the Roman Empire, destroy the temple in Jerusalem, and pursue the Jews into the desert. Did you know all this was accomplished in first century?

Buy the book...

Trailer for Forced Confessions

Follow this link to watch the trailer for Forced Confessions.

Trailer for Throw Away Kids

Trailer for Throw Away Kids.

 Follow this link to watch the trailer for Throw Away Kids.