ADDoration Ministries
Friday, December 15, 2017
God is SO GOOD; although I have ADD.

Mark Twain

MARK TWAIN (1835-1910)

Mark Twain certainly was highly creative, especially when he wrote such renown books as, TheAdventures of Tom SawyerAdventures of Huckleberry FinnLife on the MississippiThe Guilded AgeThe Prince and the PauperA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and The Mysterious Stranger.

His pen name of "Mark Twain" was indicative of that he lived life on the edge. His real name was Samuel Clemens. "Mark twain" is a riverboat term meaning two fathoms (about 12 feet) deep. At two fathoms deep, the boat is on the verge of running aground. For two years, he was a licensed Mississippi riverboat pilot.

Mark Twain had moods and a volatile temper. His liquor consumption was questionable. He once attempted suicide -- put a revolver to his head but didn't pull the trigger. From 1861 to 1870, his frequent relocations were evidence of impulsiveness, having worked at various print shops or newspapers in St. Louis; New York City; Philadelphia; Cincinnati; Carson City, Nevada; San Francisco; and Buffalo, New York. After marriage, he remained put in a mansion in Hartford, Connecticut.

He habitually was financially living on the edge. While in Nevada, he dabbled with gold and silver prospecting unsuccessfully. Royalties from his writings, plus lecturing, brought him bountiful wealth; however his Hartford mansion was an extravagance. He was a poor business man and lost money from various investments. He had his own publishing company, but Ulysses Grant's memoirs was the company's only success among what he didn't write. He invented a new typesetting machine that was revolutionary and efficient. While he continued to pour much money into the typesetting machine, other astute business men discerned that the machine would never succeed, because of marketing realities. And astute engineers discerned that the machine was prone to break down. When his publishing company went bankrupt, he called upon a Standard Oil executive named Henry Rogers to untangle his finances. At ago 60, he went on a worldwide lecture tour, to raise money to successfully pay off his debts, and he continued to write.

Mark Twain benefited much from the positive characteristics of ADD. He was very observant of people, during his boyhood in Hannibal, Missouri, and during his Mississippi riverboat years -- and this was a resource for his writings later in life. ADD persons "tell it as it is." Mark Twain certainly "told it as it is" in Huckleberry Finn, which was about two fictional runaways, a black slave named Jim and a white boy named Huckleberry Finn in Hannibal. The book Huckleberry Finn used the coarse language that was typical of those people, and that caused the book to be banned from the Concord, Mass, library (the town of Ralph Waldo Emerson). But of greater significance is that Huckleberry Finn was point blank about the evils of slavery and racial prejudice. He contributed to that cause long before Martin Luther King Jr. He had deep compassion for persons whose skin was a different color. Other times he "told it as it is" were various political diatribes. The Guilded Age was about the mammonistic society that was typical in the decades after The Civil War. Later he wrote the book that used King Arthur's round table to ridicule society in those years. His writings certainly were evidence that he saw things from a unique viewpoint. And his humor brought him funny man status. His lecturing also benefitted from these positives.

Mark Twain once said this, "The telephone is a time-saving, profanity-breeding, useful invention." This was an example of his humor. Mark Twain was a contemporary of telephone inventor, Alexander Graham Bell.

Like many ADD persons today, Mark Twain had doubts about mainline Christianity; although he had some religous background (the reason I founded ADDoration Ministries). With Mark Twain's brand of humor, he once said something like "Man was created in God's image, but nobody would mistake me to be The Lord" (perhaps not exact wording). His mother was a devout Presbyterian. During his adult years, he generally questioned whether there is a God. I am not sure whether the word "agnostic" fits. There were a number of tragedies in his life, that caused him to doubt God's existence. During his riverboat years, his brother was killed in a riverboat boiler explosion near Memphis. His son died in infancy. But he especially became somber after his oldest daughter, Suzy, died of meningitis at age 24. After Suzy's death, he sold his Hartford home, because it reminded him too much of her. Then six years later, his wife died of heart disease, hence more of the same. He wrote The Mysterious Stranger after his wife passed on, and this book was more negative than previous writings. Perhaps he never heard the Lord say to him that he is loved; although there are tragedies. That Jesus is love was not the main focus of Mark Twain's creativity.

Mark Twain is renown, because he benefitted from the positives of ADD.

<*(((>< your ADD brother in the Risen Christ,
Lester Hemphill
Founder of ADDoration Ministries