Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day and Christianity?

I was inspired by a message from my pastor yesterday, (Matt Chandler/The Village Church,, on how we (as Christians) should think about Memorial Day.

He shared his phone conversations with one of his brother ministers who this year took up a mission in The People’s Republic of China. When they speak on the phone they must be very careful what they say, for you never know who may be listening in that country, since being convicted of sharing the Gospel and/or proselytizing can easily land you in jail or worse. Because of this, they have developed a very simplistic code system, which allows them to speak about the Church and it’s success and/or failure without every really talking about it. Needless to say, it can result in humorous and even confusing messages, if both parties aren’t synched up on the code, (“We are running short of ‘user manuals’ at the office, can you ship us over another 500?”).

So what does this all have to do with Memorial Day? Simple! On this day every year, we should bow down in prayer before God and thank him for all the people who have sacrificed their blood that we may live in a country where speaking in code about our Lord is not necessary!

Living our entire lives under the protection of freedom of speech and religion, we tend to forget that such freedoms are not universal. We may look at being imprisoned or executed for speaking about Jesus and his gospel as historical and belonging to a bygone era, when in reality it still happens daily in many parts of our world! In my Eye Witness books, I write about and illustrate followers of Jesus being beaten, stoned and crucified, (see:, but 2000+ years later these same punishments occur regularly to Christians, (though the cross has been replaced with more modernized forms of torture and execution).

We may sometimes find we are not very enthusiastic about some of the things our current leadership is doing, but that does not mean that our philosophy or system is wrong… maybe just a bit askew sometimes. But our country is still the paragon of freedom that allows our church to flourish and we must always remember those who laid their lives down to make that a reality.

So May God bless those who had the courage to provide the freedoms under which we can freely worship on this Memorial Day 2007!

Robert Luedke

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Eye Witness: Acts of the Spirit, wins Nat'l Book Award

Got some stunning news today, that I wanted to share with all of your out there that have supported the Eye Witness series to date:

Press Release, 5/21/07....

It was announced on Friday May 18th, that Eye Witness: Acts of the Spirit, will be awarded the silver medal at this years IPPY Award presentation, for the category of dramatic graphic novel .

Acts of the Spirit, written and illustrated by Robert James Luedke, (see interview:, is the second book in the Eye Witness graphic novel trilogy. Eye Witness premiered with book one ( A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth), in August of 2004 and Robert is currently in production on the third and final book in the series, (Destiny Road), which will be released in late 2008.

"To have a Christian based graphic novel recognized in this fashion by the media is a wonderful blessing to this developing genre, " states Luedke. "The whole purpose of this series was to bring the story of the birth of the Christian faith to a new generation of readers who might not be interested in going to church or reading the Bible...but love a good action-thriller presented in the graphic novel format. Though winning awards is not what we set out to do...if doing so provides the books with more viability and can get them into the hands of more young people, then we're ecstatic about it!"

The IPPY Awards presentation, (sponsored by Independent Publisher Magazine/Jenkins Group), will be held in conjunction with this year's Book Expo American (BEA), at "Books Off-Broadway", on Friday June 1st, from 6-9pm at the Triumph Room of Provdidence. (for more information, visit:

The second Book of the Year Award which Acts of the Spirit is in the running for, sponsored by FOREWORD Magazine, will be announced at the BEA on Friday June 1st, from 2:30-4pm, at the "Live on Second Stage" event, on the main show floor, (for more information, see:
For more information about the Eye Witness series or to order, visit:

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Acts of the Spirit Nominated for Book of the Year

Independent Publisher magazine, has just announced, that the second book in the Eye Witness graphic novel series, Acts of the Spirit, has been named as one of the three finalists in the 11th annual Book of the Year Awards/dramatic graphic novel category.

Final results for the entire contest will be announced on May 18th, at this years Book Expo America (BEA) trade show in New York City. At that time, the gold, silver, and bronze medalists in each category will be named. Winners will be formally recognized at the 11th Annual IPPY Awards event on Friday, June 1st, at "Books Off-Broadway: a Celebration of Excellence in Independent Publishing” sponsored by Desktop Miracles, Color House Graphics, and Combined Book Exhibit

This is the second Book of the Year nomination for author/illustrator, Robert James Luedke’s, creative blending of a modern day action-thriller with a fully illustrated presentation of the earliest days of Christian history. The book has also been named a Book of the Year finalist by book trade magazine, FOREWARD…who will likewise be awarding their winners at this years BEA, (see:

For more information about the IPPY awards, visit:

Head Press Publishing