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CONFESSIONS OF A HAPPY CHRISTIAN By Zig Ziglar Bantam Books, 1982 $2.75 MY LIFE WITHOUT GOD By William J. Murray Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982 By Patrick Bishop Houston Happiness . . . is the sublime and refined Point of Felicity, called, the Possession of being well deceived; the Serene Peaceful State of being a Fool among Knaves. Jonathan Swift R. ZIG ZIGLAR is not, if one can judge from Confessions of a Happy Christian, a man to whom the neurotic ramblings of an obviously unhappy Christian like Swift would give pause. Mr. Ziglar prefers not to “confess to the negativisms of life” because to do so only gives Satan the chance to find chinks in a Christian’s armor. Besides, he’s too busy spreading the good news with which the .Bible is stocked to waste time with pseudoChristians like Swift who insist on helping Satan in his evil work. What is this good news that one will find throughout the Bible? Why, it’s the comforting fact that God wants real Christians \(those who “know Jesus” by Ziglar says in one of the more thoughtprovoking passages of his book: “I personally believe that it’s Satan who sold the bill of goods that Christians should have long faces and short pocketbooks.” Mr. Ziglar, you may not be surprised to learn, has neither, as befits “America’s Superstar Salesman” and president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation of Dalas, Texas. It is from this corporation that one can obtain not only information concerning Patrick Bishop edits Criminal Law Monthly. Zig Ziglar’s cassette recordings, Zig Ziglar’s four-day Richer Life seminars, and Zig Ziglar’s “I Can” course for high schools and colleges, but also a nifty 14-carat gold-plated fish-shaped pin designed by Mr. Ziglar himself. Still, there are times when even the enthusiastic reader of Mr. Ziglar’s inspirational words yearns for some introspection on Mr. Ziglar’s part, if only to allow him to understand his occasional failure to lead a non-Christian to Jesus. Mr. Ziglar is puzzled, for instance, by his lack of success with an airline stewardess whom he shares a long airplane ride. They exchange pleasantries and begin to chat. Suddenly she lets fly an unexpected string of obscene words. “I knew I could not let it go unchallenged,” he says. “I waited for the appropriate moment and asked God to lead the conversation so I could be an effective witness to the girl.” God is not one to leave.a Christian in the lurch: The woman casually admits that she is a football fan who has just won a bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers. God implants an idea into Mr. Ziglar’s mind. Suppose, Mr. Ziglar asks the stewardess, that Terry Bradshaw were to announce in pre-season that he was going to throw 6,000 consecutive passes and complete them all. She would be skeptical, right? But then suppose that during the season he threw 3,109 consecutive completions. Would she then bet that he’d complete his next pass? “I would bet everything I had he would complete the next one,” she responds, not knowing of the clever trap God has laid for her. Mr. Ziglar lays his hand on his Bible, looks at the stewardess, and says, “You’re looking at a book of prophecy in which God prophesied over six thousand future events. Over three thousand of them have already taken place without error, complete in every detail. . . . Are you prepared to bet your eternal soul that after more than three thousand completions, the Lord is going to drop the ball?” Despite the inexorable logic of Mr. Ziglar’s argument, the stewardess’ answer would appear to have been “Yes,” for, as Mr. Ziglar is driven to admit, “much to my dismay, the girl did which was fairly stamped to their easels and notebooks was “Don’t discuss your program with the press.” The feds had drawn a lot of negative attention for running supposed “country club” prisons. They were fearful of the litany I’ve heard so often, “Why should my tax dollars pay for you to give instruction to convicts when I can’t afford the same instruction for my kids?” My answer because it pays for itself in safer . prisons and inmates who, when released, are more likely to get along Pop’s Proverb the morning is moist but not wet enough for flatweeding so we pull carrots in a field gone to seed i pull those gnarled monstrosities musing about myself and all the guys i’ve known here since reform school now gray bent wrinkled but carrying on still ever doing our little numbers because something inside us lay in the field too long and grew somehow twisted a young drive-up saunters up mutters ‘what it is pop?’ i scrap a glob of moist red clay from an obscene carrot squeeze it through my fingers and say distinctly son it ain’t shit i watch his eyes and see he doesn’t realize he’s just received all my wisdom and all the philosophy he’ll likely ever need as he boogies on down the row toss an ugly carrot in the crate reach for another and hum beneath my breath the old blues .song that says it’s a doggone lowdown dirty shame Lonnie Griggs with free worlders since they are less institutionalized than they would have been. I can’t cite reduced recidivist rates, though I feel certain that in this era of necessary statistical verification for what used to pass as common sense, such figures exist. But I can relate an anecdote about the Sunday Recluse Club discovered in Abramowitz’s book. “When Bill Porter read A Christmas Chaparral Gift to the oddest literary society ever assembled in America, Billy Raidler remarked, ‘Damn you, Porter, I never did it in my life before; by God, I didn’t know what a tear looked like.’ ” Getting Rich for Jesus, Looking Out for Mom 20 MARCH 25, 1983