CrossReads Weekly Devotional: When My Heart Was Grieved 10/7/2019

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by Precarious Yates

21 When my heart was grieved

    and my spirit embittered,

22 I was senseless and ignorant;

    I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;

    you hold me by my right hand.

Psalm 73:21-23

A profound joy had been lit within me. Something I’d longed for and didn’t expect looked as if it was about to happen. A dream God had put on my heart looked like it was coming to fruition. So many signs accompanied. So many hopes would be fulfilled. It seemed like a shoe-in. I was trepidatious but excited. 

Then it became evident that this wasn’t going to happen. Not only was it not going to happen, it would never happen. All future possibilities were stripped away. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever known this level of disappointment. I hope you haven’t. It grieved my heart. Deeply. It embittered my spirit. As if forevermore the sun might rise but not for me. So complete was this blow that physical pain accompanied the disappointment.

Maybe I wasn’t supposed to get angry, but I did. I got angry like a brute beast. Like I was senseless and ignorant. In my wailing, I screamed and shook my fist. If it had just been a hope of my own, I could have dealt with that. If no signs accompanied, I could have dealt with it. If this wasn’t entwined with my hope in the Lord, and faith in His word, I could have dealt with it. But all of that. All of it. If this was a test, I was angry, because the test seemed so cruel. 

I couldn’t see. I couldn’t hold my head up. I was so angry at God. I said things that shook what remained of my faith to its foundations. 

How would He ever receive me back again?

I have a child who yells at me, calls me names, says hurtful things all the time, and has even asked me not to love her anymore. If I forgive her and welcome her back into fellowship, how much more will God?

Not only did He welcome me back, but He reminded me over and over how much He loves me, how much He loves my children, and how much He has in store for all of us when we reach eternity!

He’s not afraid of our emotions. He gently led me to a place where I allowed Him to have the pilot seat instead of my reactions. He reminded me of Mary of Bethany and how she expressed upset and received from Him understanding (John 11:32-33). He understands you and me too!

May His face shine upon you today and every day!

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

Links:

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 10/4/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

Remember your promise to me, your servant. It gives me hope.  – Psalm 119:49 ERV

Devotion

You received a word from the Lord, a divine communication from above. To be sure, you have the promises of God from the Bible, like every other Christian, but this was something different. This was personal. The Lord made a promise to you that applies to you and to you only. Maybe, it concerned the career path He wanted you to take. Maybe, it concerned the well-being of a family member. Or, maybe it concerned your financial status. Whatever it was, you took it to heart. You believed the Lord and expected Him to make good on His promise.

However, it’s been a while and you haven’t seen any movement yet on the fulfillment of the promise. You’ve been keeping an eye out for it, but nothing seems to be happening. That’s why Psalm 119:49, our verse for today, has become important to you. You repeat the words, “Remember your promise to me, your servant,” most every single day. The Lord, of course, hasn’t forgotten anything. Nevertheless, you ask. Didn’t Jesus Himself tell the “Parable of the Persistent Widow?” Didn’t Jesus say that we should always pray and never give up? (Luke 18:1)

So, you pray. You pray the words of our verse all the time. You do it not just because the Lord wants you to pray, but also because it helps you. It reminds you of the Lord’s promise and the promise does the same thing for you that the psalmist says it did for him. He says, “It gives me hope.” It gives you hope as well because the Lord can be trusted and relied upon for an answer. His promises are as good as gold.

You can’t get that kind of hope from any other source. You can try, but the alternatives leave a lot to be desired. Hope that is based on the Lord God trumps every other kind. After all, the Lord rules and reigns over all things. He’s in control of everything, no exceptions. Where could you go to find a hope that is better based than that? Where could you find a better guarantor of a promise than Him?

Indeed, when you stop to think about it, apart from the Lord God you really wouldn’t have any solid basis for hope at all.

Til the Whole World Know

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: Laws of Loyalty

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Laws of Loyalty

Only a Remnant

by Sharri Antrell

Laws of Loyalty

If you are faithful and devoted to someone or something you are loyal. True loyalty should come from the heart not a contract. There is a remnant that stands however the question is, are they standing in the right place? Abuse, manipulation and hate come into contact of those that are loyal to man. Sharri Antrell will help you understand and apply loyalty to where it matters most. A deeper look reveals that the Bible provides the framework for loyalty.

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CrossReads Short Takes: The Happy Parent & Life Changer

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CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

The Happy Parent

by Jacques Noisette

The Happy Parent

The life of a parent comes with its challenges. However, even in those tough times we can maintain a joyful and victorious perspective on parenting and create a sustainable happy home. In this book Jacques Noisette shares five faith-filled strategies that will help you on your parenting journey and take you from enduring your kids to enjoying them. God didn’t give us kids to add chaos to our lives He blesses us with children to add to our happiness.

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Life Changer

by Harry White

Life Changer

I work in the seen and the unseen. No question God has given me nuggets an I must pass them on. If you read this book, I pray it be a blessing to your life. That you would grow closer to God, practice His ways, receive His benefits with a boldness. Knowing you’re lacking nothing cause you walk in the Spirit.

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Gems From Pastor Jim 10/1/2019

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by Jim Hughes

crossIs. 65:17-19 “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth—so wonderful that no one will even think about the old ones anymore. Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation! And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness. Her people will be a source of joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and delight in my people. And the sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more.”

There are better days coming! The Lord has a plan for us that far surpasses anything we have ever known. He is creating a new heaven and a new earth. The process has already begun. When the time is right and the process is complete, it shall be put in place. This new heaven and earth will be so wonderful that every memory of this earth and life will be wiped from our memories.

In that day there will be so much joy that our praises will fill the new heaven and earth forever and ever. There will be nothing there that will ever make us sad or weary again. Happiness will be everywhere. Everyone there will be a delight to be around. Everyone will get along with everyone else. There will be no pecking order, no selfish ambitions, no self promotions, no using of anyone for personal gain.

In that day the Lord will take great delight in us. He will be able to walk freely amongst us because there will be no more sin in us. His presence will be seen and felt everywhere. There will be perpetual joy and happiness, no more weeping and crying will come from us. There will be nothing there that could ever cause us to be sorrowful or grievous of heart again.

What a wonderful place the Lord is preparing for us! He is working today to prepare us so we will be fit to dwell there. Don’t hinder the work of the Lord in you to change you and make you holy. He loves you so much and wants to make sure you don’t miss out on the place He is preparing for you. Let Him have his way with you.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

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This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Verse of the Day and Devotional 9/30/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. – Isaiah 32:17 ESV

Devotion

You don’t have to be perfect to participate in righteousness. The Apostle Paul says, “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” (Romans 4:5) And you don’t have to be perfect to reap the benefits of righteousness. Paul goes on to say, ‘”David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.'” (Romans 4:6-8)

There are other blessings given to the righteous. Indeed, there are many of them. Our verse for today, for example, lists three of them.

First, righteousness will bring peace. The peace in question is not the kind of peace that Jeremiah talks about: ‘”They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.”‘ (Jeremiah 6:14) The peace in question, in other words, will be actual peace. It will be peace at the personal level, including peace in marriage, family, friendship, on the job, etc. It will also be peace at the national level, including internal peace within a country and external peace with foreign powers and nations.

Second, righteousness will bring quietness. Instead of being surrounded with screaming and yelling, there will be silence and calm. Instead of agitation and turmoil, there will be a tranquility of mind and soul. The forces of hell that are always trying to stir things up will be held at bay. The machinations of the evil one and his henchmen will be frustrated.

Finally, righteousness will bring trust. This will not be the gratuitous and complacent trust of the unrighteous women Isaiah mentions earlier in the chapter. That kind of trust will be shaken to its foundations. Isaiah tells them to “Tremble you women who are at ease, shudder, you complacent ones; strip and make yourselves bare, and tie sackcloth around your waste.” (Isaiah 32:11)

Indeed, peace, quietness, and trust will not be sporadic or temporary blessings of the righteous. They will last forever. True, there will still be tests and trials, tribulations and persecutions, in the lives of the righteous. (Matthew 10:16-25). But, underlying it all, peace, quietness, and trust will be blessings that uphold them.

Til the Whole World Know

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Show and Tell 9/27/2019

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by Suzanne D. Williams

Don’t tell me the story. Show me the story.

Too often people read this rule and focus all their attention on how to break it. That’s like climbing backwards up a waterfall – entirely the wrong methodInstead, worry about when and how to break the rule when you understand how to use it first.

No one takes lessons on how to play a sport by entering the Olympics. The Olympics is where you end up when you understand the rules and know how to use them well. Similarly, no one is hired to paint a piece of fine artwork when they’ve never held a brush.

Along this line, I’ve seen true artists comment on how long it takes them to depict one scene, sometimes days, weeks, and months. They persist at it, honing their craft, and yes, some natural talent is involved, but a great many of them could show you where they started as compared to where they are today.

Writing isn’t any different. There are rules. Start by obeying the rules. Then as you become proficient in the skill, you will natural understand times when its necessary to break them. But DON’T USE BREAKING THEM AS AN EXCUSE FOR POOR WRITING.

Examples:  If your character has a certain personality trait, instead of saying, “He was angry,” SHOW it in his actions. He might clench his fist, frown, grunt, stomp his feet. His shoulders could stiffen. Write how he reacts in his actions.

Challenge yourself to describe what the character is DOING without SAYING the emotion itself.

Don’t state it outright: “Johnny hates squirrels.” Instead, SHOW what the character does when he sees one:

Johnny narrowed his eyes into slits, his lips pressing into a line. His breaths blowing, heated, he edged closer and closer to the tree. A furry tail waved in view, the creature giving a warning cluck. Lunging forward, Johnny scrambled for it, his fingertips scraping across the rough bark. Stupid animal, he grumbled.

Notice, how you get the same idea without TELLING me.

Warning:  Sometimes when I see an author use TELLING instead of SHOWING, the trait which is meant to belong to the character comes across as the author’s opinion instead. For instance, my character may hate squirrels, whereas I love them. I need to write it so that the reader understands this is Johnny’s opinion.

Common telling words: There is a list, believe it or not, and as I said, learn first to avoid them. Here are a few common ones:  Is, are, was, were, had, have, felt, heard, knew, seemed, thought, wondered, decided, appeared, mused

Wrong:  Johnny decided to catch that stupid squirrel. 

Wrong:  Johnny knew he could catch that stupid squirrel. 

Wrong:  Johnny felt such hatred for squirrels.

Give Johnny an action instead:  Johnny lassoed the squirrel with six foot of twine.

That’s infinitely better and also amusing.

Or stick it in dialogue 

Sometimes, if you absolutely cannot avoid a telling word, then have the character comment on it to a friend:

Johnny blew a breath, one hand on his hip. “I’m telling you, ever since I was five and a squirrel attacked me, I have hated the rat-like creatures. If I could lasso one, I’d teach it a lesson or two.”

“Relax man,” Chad replied. “He’s as scared of you as you are of him. Besides, me and squirrels are copacetic.”

Poor Johnny. I think you get my point, but to reiterate. Practice SHOWING the action. Johnny could: leap, fly, climb, trip, hurl, gasp, swear, or many other action verbs. It’s much better writing, and that’s what you want to become – a better writer.

*No squirrels were harmed in the writing of this article.

On PREORDER for release October 15th 

https://amzn.to/31a8IA6

Graverobber

He’d raised the dead, Lazarus-style.

Josiah Crews set aside his calling when his wife died. Consumed by grief, he buried his commitment to God and any thought of the lives he might save, determined to live a mundane existence. But when the death of a man in an alley brings the power of God onto the scene, a ripple of unusual events launches him back into service.

Veronica Murray moved to a tiny apartment in the city following a troubling divorce, but her teenage daughter’s behavior combined with their low income has made her life unhappy and stressful. When her neighbor reprimands her daughter, following a particularly bad outing, a friendship forms.

Except nothing is what it seems, not why people are dying, nor his reaction to it. Nor how it affects their possible future.

About The Author:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at @SDWAuthor

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: Christian Going Wild

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Christians Going Wild

Interrupted

by Dr. Shon Shree Lewis

Christians Going Wild

Have you been searching to understand why you were created and want to know your true
purpose in life? Have you ever wondered how good and evil came into existence in this world, and
how, since the beginning of the creation of humanity, sin—because of humanity’s struggle with
temptation and disobedience to God—caused the world to go wild to evil for a season before Jesus
Christ redeemed humanity back to God?

Do you also tend to struggle with the spiritual world versus the natural and need direction on
how to live free from evil to a life of joy and peace?

Good news! This powerful book will give you understanding into the history of God’s creation
for humanity and His perfect will for all people to live a successful and peaceful life with power to
conquer any temptation of sin, loneliness, or depression from the devil, the enemy of darkness
against mankind.

Rather, you will gain powerful revelation knowledge of God’s Word and plans for you to stop
drama, chaos, and your life from becoming destructive. This book will also be a life-changing
transformation that will help you recognize, use, and value the power of God working to bless and
prosper your life spiritually, mentally, physically—and your personal desires in life that are blessings
to help you enjoy your life in God as he continues to give you his best!

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CrossReads Short Takes: Hunting the Spirit of Fear & Matter of Life and Death

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CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

Hunting the Spirit of Fear

by Shawn Beaton

Hunting the Spirit of Fear

The spirit of fear wants to make you and others a prey, but God is turning the tables on this vile spirit. Jesus Christ is giving His Church boldness at this time and this book is part of this movement. There are some in Hollywood and the government that would like to call you “deplorable”, but God is giving you a voice to respond. This is not a time to be timid, but a time to speak up and rebuke evil. Jesus Christ is no longer allowing the powers that be to determine what is normal. His Church will speak and declare what is normal.

In this book you will learn how the spirit of fear affects individuals and nations. You will also learn about your role in making your community and nation safer. Wisdom is provided for these chaotic and fearful times. Things are not out of control, but in transition. You will learn how to face the future with boldness and understanding!

In addition, there is provided within this book prayers for binding the spirit of fear and for its removal.
I also provide a Biblical understanding on some fear based mental disorders.

Jesus Christ faced the spirit of fear and won. You will learn how to beat the spirit of fear like Jesus Christ by learning from His example provided in Scripture.

It is my hope that you put the bear or spirit of fear on the run and make him your prey!

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Matter Of Life And Death

by Brian Tate

Matter Of Life And Death

Officer Christina Rose reflects on her prior experiences in patrol, giving perspective to the matter of life and death she’s now presented with.

This captivating short story also cultivates discussion and debate on several hot topics. Use of deadly force, life and choice, legality and morality, sacrifice and safety, and consequences and destiny just to name a few. Perfect for debate teams; government, literature, and comp classes; book clubs; and criminal justice and police academy courses.
The story includes discussion topics and the details for the free quarterly essay contest.

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Ancient Sources 9/24/2019

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by Michael J. Findley
Cuneiform inscription found on the south side of the Van Castle hill, eastern Turkey. It’s several metres tall and wide, 25 centuries old and the message comes from the Persian king Xerxes. In Old Persian, Babylonian and Elamite Bjørn Christian Tørrissen – Own work by uploader, http://bjornfree.com/galleries.html Wikipedia
“Can you please reference some sources you used for your Hittite series?” Seems like a simple, innocuous question. However, the first series of books I wrote include What Is An Establishment of Religion?, What Is Secular Humanism?, and What Is Science? As SCOTUS Justice Scalia wrote “The United States Supreme Court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion.” Antonin Scalia, in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, U.S. Supreme Court, 1987 Modern authors are so indoctrinated in the Established Religion of Secular Humanism that using them as sources for ancient history are worse than useless. You will need to spend considerable time unlearning their indoctrination before you can begin learning actual history. So here a few essentials before recommending sources. 1) Archbishop Ussher’s dates are essentially correct. Sir Isaac Newton also wrote a history of the world based on the evidence in Scripture and came to similar conclusions, that the world was created approximately 4000 BC. Sir Isaac Newton admitted that his dates could be off by decades, which is reasonable. Both Ussher and Newton use the Hebrew OT Masoretic text. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, the LXX or Septuagint add names to the geneaological records, making the creation centuries older. The first tablet of the Sumerian king’s list is different from the rest of the tablets. The rest use a base 60 numbering system. However, if the first tablet uses a base 10 system, then the number of kings are the same number and lived for the same number of years as the geneaological records in Genesis 5 between Adam and Noah in the Hebrew Masoretic text. 2) There are many minor adjustments which been made recently. Ussher has the date of the Exodus 1491 BC. Theile The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings cross references Assyrian chronology and dates the Exodus 1446 BC. The Hebrew chronology during the time of Hezekiah is uncertain. Many dissertations have shifted the exact dates back towards Ussher’s 1491 BC, but not quite that far. https://answersingenesis.org/bible-history/evidentialism-the-bible-and-assyrian-chronology/ 3) Carbon 14 dating is based on a constant formation of 14C by cosmic ray bombardment of 14N high in earth’s upper atmosphere. However, a ratio of 14C:12C the nonradioactive stable isotope is necessary to arrive at a date. The established religion of Secular Humanism begins with the belief that 12C has been stable and constant for over 100,000 years. The worldwide catastrophic flood 1656 years after creation was caused by the single antediluvian continent breaking up. That volcanic activity resulted in a massive outpouring of 12C. According to Ussher the flood occurred approximately 2350 BC. The levels of environmental 12C did not fall to the levels we have measured for the past 2,000 years until about 600 BC. Items radiocarbon dated during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and his father Nabopolasser are in line with Ussher’s dates. The Minoan eruption of Thera is 14C dated between 1640-1540 BC. Making the reasonable assumption that the Thera eruption coincides with the Exodus, 14C dating is between 60-160 years older than actual dates at this time. Artifacts 14C dated 2300 years old and older have actual dates very soon after the flood. 4) Like the Assyrians and the Egyptians, the Hittites have an Old Kingdom, an intermediate period, and a New Kingdom. There are many works correlating the dates of the Egyptian and Hebrew chronologies. This one is usable. https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/unwrapping-pharaohs/ Comparing Egyptian and Hebrew chronologies, the Exodus ruined Egypt. That fits best with the end of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, which ended with the mysterious disappearance of the 13th dynasty. This begins the ruin of Egypt, the 2nd Intermediate Period. During this time Amalek ruled Egypt. Saul’s campaign to destroy Amalek brought about New Kingdoms of Egypt, the Assyrians, and the Hittites at the same time as the Israelite monarchy. The tel el Amarna letters, found in Egypt, written in Akkadian cuneiform, document diplomatic relationships during the New Kingdom. The letters between the Hittite Queen Puduhepa and Ramses the Great are especially enlightening. http://www.amarnaproject.com 5) The 8th century BC library of Ashurbanipal in Ninevah: https://www.academia.edu/2394909/The_British_Museums_Ashurbanipal_Library_Project The Ugarit texts: http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/ugarit.html The official chronicles of Babylon and Assyria: https://www.livius.org/sources/about/mesopotamian-chronicles/ The Babylonians reference the Hittites as the Hattie, with some spelling variations. 6) Many years of searching pyramid texts, funerary art, and obscure but interesting documents to learn how ordinary people lived in the 2nd millenium BC. The most massive and helpful collection along this line is Sacred Texts. https://www.sacred-texts.com The editor of the sacred-texts website died in 2012 and to the best of my knowledge the site is maintained, but not updated. 7) The most important source for Hittites, the library of their capital city Hattusa. https://eduscapes.com/history/beginnings/1400bce.htm https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/the-last-days-of-hattusa/ https://vici.org/vici/24102/ http://www.ancient-wisdom.com/turkeyhattusa.htm http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/1/777777190247/ I hope that this minor overview is just a start. These are “some sources.” I read several thousand cuneiform documents while writing these books. Translations, not the original Akkadian. That is not as difficult as it seems, since most cuneiform tablets are small and only a few sentences contain important information. One interesting fact I learned along the way is that over 2 million cuneiform tablets have never been translated. If anyone needs something to do…
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