Fearless ( Pondering & #NPM )

I thought a lot about yesterday’s post; about the disciples and about believing and courage. And I remembered a poem written decades ago.

I do not claim to be bold and my beliefs have (more than once) been shaken.

I am not holy, hell I am not even considered a good Christian by many standards. I do not attend “church” nor belong to any denomination. I try to do as I should but y’all I sin every day. Every day! But don’t worry, me and The Lord have a relationship. We’re good. 👌🏼

I think I have always aspired to be a soldier, a Christian soldier and the poem written decades ago made me remember that.

Remember April is National Poetry Month.

Poem from Getting me Back (The Voices Within)

I Believe in Miracles

I suppose there’s no better time to spread the “good” news than on Easter. For many Christians, Easter is the biggest holiday of them all and for good reason. It is celebrated as the day Jesus rose from the dead.

I know that I have some readers that don’t believe in Jesus, or God for that matter. I, personally, don’t understand how. I could see their doubting the Jesus story. They weren’t there to witness the miracles, the healings, and ultimately the rising from the dead so they call it mythology.

We witness God’s miracles every single day. From the perfect rising of the sun each morning to the trees that produce our oxygen, to the perfect temperatures that humans need to survive. I can’t wrap my arms around the idea that this planet, and all the symbiotic relationships upon and around it, wasn’t through intelligent design.

I tried to deny it was the work of a higher power; a supreme power; an omnipotent. For years I tried to force the square science ideology into the circle of life but it didn’t work.

I’m a simple person. I believe in God. I believe He sent his son to teach people how they should act.; how they should live and love. I believe the “elites” of the day [their version of the deep state swamp] killed him. He was getting a lot of attention, and a lot of people believed in him, so he became a threat to their power and they killed him.
But I also believe he rose from the dead.
I don’t believe that “just because the bible told me so.” Nope. I believe that because of the actions of the disciples and the history of Joseph of Arimathea, among other things. But let’s look at the disciples.
If you remember, when the elites were arresting Jesus, and building their death cross, the disciples tucked and ran. Even ole Peter after he came on so strong and mighty. They denied even knowing Jesus. They were scared to death that the Romans would kill them too just for being followers.
 To them it might have looked like their Jesus turned out to be just another in a long line of so called “Messiah’s”; that maybe He wasn’t their true savior. After all He didn’t eject evil from the world. He didn’t take over Israel and “right all the wrongs.” He didn’t overthrow the Romans and bring peace to the world. Nope, in their eyes maybe he was just another guy, arrested by the Romans, and killed. Whatever their reasons, they were scared.
But then something miraculous happened. Those same Disciples that denied to the authorities that they even knew the guy, went on to preach around the world, even in the face of death. Do you know how they died? (And probably where their newfound courage came from.)
How they died:
 Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, since he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
Andrew went to the “land of the man-eaters,” in what is now the Soviet Union. Christians there claim him as the first to bring the gospel to their land. He also preached in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, and in Greece, where he is said to have been crucified.
 Thomas was probably most active in the area east of Syria. Tradition has him preaching as far east as India, where the ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder. They claim that he died there when pierced through with the spears of four soldiers.
Philip possibly had a powerful ministry in Carthage in North Africa and then in Asia Minor, where he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In retaliation the proconsul had Philip arrested and cruelly put to death.
 Matthew, the tax collector and writer of a Gospel ministered in Persia and Ethiopia. Some of the oldest reports say he was not martyred, while others say he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.
 Bartholomew had widespread missionary travels attributed to him by tradition: to India with Thomas, back to Armenia, and also to Ethiopia and Southern Arabia. There are various accounts of how he met his death as a martyr for the gospel, but most center on him being whipped and ultimately crucified.
 James ministered in Syria. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that he was stoned and then clubbed to death.
 Simon the Zealot, so the story goes, ministered in Persia and was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.
 Matthais, the apostle chosen to replace Judas. Tradition sends him to Syria with Andrew and to death by burning.
 John, the only one of the apostles generally thought to have died a natural death from old age. He was the leader of the church in the Ephesus area and is said to have taken care of Mary the mother of Jesus in his home. During Domitian’s persecution in the middle ’90s, he was exiled to the island of Patmos. There he is credited with writing the last book of the New Testament–the Revelation. An early Latin tradition has him escaping unhurt after being cast into boiling oil at Rome.
 So, what happened to change these common men from being afraid to tell the authorities that they even knew who Jesus was, to being bold enough to be stoned, crucified, beheaded, boiled in oil, speared and for preaching his message??? What happened?
 Well, they saw him rise from the dead. On the day Christ was killed they probably figured they’d been hoodwinked. Maybe they thought Surely if this guy was some son of God, God wouldn’t have allowed him to be nailed to a cross and stabbed in the side. They were surely saddened; maybe they felt swindled and confused?
It could be that despite seeing so many miracles during their time with him, they just couldn’t accept the idea that if he was God’s son, that he could be hung on a cross, humiliated, spit on, stabbed and ultimately killed like some common thief. 
But when they saw Him AFTER he was dead, they became a new person. They didn’t fear the punishment; the stoning’s, or even crucifixion. I believe the only reason for such a remarkable turn around is that they saw him get killed, and then return from the dead.
 That is among the many reasons I believe the resurrection story.
Can you imagine going willingly to your own crucifixion still preaching Jesus, if all you had to do to escape that was deny him. No, I believe they saw something so profound, so life changing that it didn’t matter what happened, they knew where they were going when they died.
Yes, I believe. But I can only hope and pray for that kind of courage for we never know I true convictions and fortitude until we are tried.
*My personal theory is that the crucifixion occurred 14 days after the Spring equinox, on the true Passover making Jesus Christ our sacrificial lamb. And that Easter was adopted (and profaned) from the pagan festivals of Ishtar. Nonetheless I hope hearts are pure when Christians celebrate.
**The research and many words in this post is attributed to Bob Rinear’s efforts.

Where Do Stories Come From (Friday’s free for All)

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HaPpY Friday Y’all. 🍻

The History of Read an Ebook Week (Tuesday’s Tell All)

Did you know it was a woman named Rita Toews who started the Read an Ebook Week? Yep.

Read an Ebook Week brings together ebook retailers, publishers, authors, device-makers and untold thousands of readers who join in this international literary event.

For one week only, publishers and authors offer thousands of original ebooks for free and at deep discounts to encourage book lovers around the globe to give ebooks a try.

Smashwords participates in the event every year.

Admittedly I have not given Smashwords the proper time and care I should have – because to tell the truth they were a great help to me years ago when I went independent.

I hope to remedy my negligence now by actively participating in Read an Ebook Week.

For this week (March 07-13) the price of my titles at Smashwords have been deeply discounted with a price range of $1.99 to $0.00.

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HaPpY reading Y’all.

IWD (Inter-national)

Happy Monday world!

Today is International Women’s Day.


So here’s to women all over the world, cheers 🥂.

Sadly, a lot of women don’t have the luxury of “celebrating” #IWD2021; many do not have the privilege of internet access to participate much less promote.

Let us remember those women. 🙏🏼

I visited the IWD website and copied the below questions/challenges.

“How will you help forge a gender equal world?
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.

So, what will I do for #IWD2021?

Personally, I am just going to keep chasing my dreams, standing up for what I believe and being me.

That in itself is a challenge… and an achievement.

And, I will share this poem which was inspired by a matriarch I once had the pleasure of knowing.

Women’s Liberation 

We did not burn our bras but wore them proudly
Holding–supporting–glorifying the mammary glands that would feed the next generation
For the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
We did not give animated voices to our vaginas for the world to hear
but let them speak in secret whispers that moved mountains.
We did not make a spectacle in the streets to prove our equality
For we knew in our hearts [already] that we were superior.

Page 235 from Getting Me Back

Life & Death (Tuesday’s Tell All)

The gruesome photograph that inspired the title [and the book cover] for Once Upon a Dead Gull.  That was roughly eight years ago and [amazingly] this cover hasn’t changed much.

A peculiar short story anthology, I admit, but it was written for the horror genre.
Even more peculiar is that none of these stories are about a dead gull.
The poor seagull’s parting gift to mankind…  to me, was simply to give life to a book title and cover I had been struggling with.

Fast forward eight [very short] years and one [bitter] historical freeze and…

No, I don’t have a new book release to announce but I do have a dead bird.

I couldn’t save the beautiful little bird but I did (in a poetic way) paint him back to life.

My skill level does not do him justice.

Real Life Inspires (Friday’s free for All)

Q: Is any of your fiction true? Do you write about real life?

A: Well yes and no. For example a visit to Rockford Illinois for my granddaughter’s graduation inspired the following scene which takes place somewhere in the historical Lake-Peterson House.

Our dog Leia was the inspiration for the physical description of Gus and that is her on the cover.

Chapter Twenty Five

Mary paced the empty hallway on the third floor of the ancient house. She counted fifteen steps from one lamp to the next and wondered if the people below could hear her. The dark corridor seemed to grow shorter with each lap along with her patience. She considered unlocking her mind so she could tap into the thoughts of those around her but intuition advised against it. Occasionally she paused to listen at the door; each time she found the words indecipherable and returned to pacing until a gentle creak caused her to stop.

“You may go in now.” A flat voice announced as the heavy door gave way. Sunbeams flooded the hallway and Mary squinted at the figure in front of her; at the starched white cap and unwieldy dress which were as outdated as the house.

Continue reading original post.