Abomination

I’m not a prophet. I only pay attention. Perhaps that is a gift of the Spirit in itself, a companion of wisdom being the ability to anticipate consequences that seems notably lacking in numbers approaching half of my country’s citizens.

I’m not a preacher either. I can go down the list of qualifications set down by Paul to Timothy and Titus and see a definite pattern of hit and miss there. I am what I’ve been since you’ve known me:  just a guy who writes novels. And perhaps in all the thinking that came before them and arrived during those long hours of wordcraft, I found a precept or two worthy of passing along.

And that’s why I see a load of trouble dead ahead. Dear God.

I chose political fiction as my medium because it leverages the passion needed to write well, and I like to think I’ve accomplished that much at least. Faith and politics are inseparable in American ideology. Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation ” was delineated as between church and the state; the faith itself, arising out of the Judeo-Christian experience, provided the very foundation of ideological Americanism and continues to sustain the efforts of truly free citizen souls everywhere.

Part of writing well is not using words lightly. That being said, what is about to take place on January 20, barring any cataclysmic reset of political convention, is an abomination.

When one reads Proverbs 11:1 “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight” (NKJV), one should intuit more is at stake in our transactions with each other than the integrity of weights and measures. It’s a warning against the temptation toward dishonest gain that God condemned through Moses: Thou Shalt Not Steal.

The preponderance of evidence, being the standard in civil suits as opposed to the higher standard of criminal cases, is that we are about to install a president who did not actually win the 2020 election. The list of convenient coincidences is too long for an honest intellect to accept:

  • Tens of thousands of Democrat ballots cast ignoring the downticket
  • The lack of Democrat gains in state houses and other local offices
  • Republican dominance in House races considered toss-ups
  • Fraudulent balloting in swing states exceeding the margin of victory
  • Visible and overwhelming support for the current president

This body of evidence consolidates into something more than speculation for a rational mind. Its implications are more than political; there is a deficit of essential character in souls who perpetrate such acts. They are transgressions God hates, and that sins so despicable as to be labeled abomination before the Lord should be ignored is a warning to those watching from a distance. The most dramatic lessons God presents benefit those out of the range of His consequential judgments.

Unanticipated consequences are the Achilles heel of faithless living generally, and never are they so clear as when the political left is empowered anywhere. It is tragic when it happens out of ignorance in the electorate. It is dangerous when such results from the level of fraud we witnessed in the 2020 national elections.

Before there was the present Constitution, Jefferson embraced in the Declaration of Independence the ideal of just powers, derived from the consent of the governed. After, the Founders shot at the British for years until the forebears of our present friends across the pond agreed to disagree, finally sailed east, and allowed a new nation to manage its own affairs.

History is cyclical, and we who study history are pretty much doomed to watch it repeat through the actions of those who do not, in the same manner that the faithful soul watches the less cognizant play in the street of faithless living. The righteously aggrieved make a formidable enemy when roused, and as the English poet John Dryden succinctly cautioned, one should “beware the fury of a patient man.”

Deplatforming and censorship won’t stop what will happen once the provocation of tyranny reaches critical mass. Communication via alternative media is already thriving, as is seen in the exponential growth of free speech havens such as Gab.com and the secure messaging app Signal. The unanticipated consequences of digital tyranny are costing former dominants Facebook and Twitter active accounts by the hundreds of thousands, and I am but one of those, as now reflected in the contact information on my Vae Obscurum About tab.

Consequences display varying levels of patience, but my guess is that resistance won’t take long to manifest. If I could teleport myself into the first presidential news conference of the incoming regime, my question would be, “Mister Biden, how does it feel being elevated to the presidency without having been elected?” The same question should be posed to every appointee in the upcoming follies. Shunning and shame are the traditional accompaniments to sin, and its lunch is certain to be served eventually. Faithful living knows this.

In America, governance is not exclusive to Washington. The several states have a great deal to say in what happens within their own borders, and the power of legislative nullification will predictably be in play during the approaching troubled times. Be the people, and encourage your legislators to keep the Republic, so the people themselves won’t need to again assert themselves as our Founders did.

Failing all, the final refuge for the faithful soul is the power of its sustaining belief under persecution. These are worldly concerns of an arena in which Jesus assured us we would have trouble. Immediately, though, He reminded us that He has already conquered that same world. There is a better one waiting, but past a time of trouble warned of long ago. It will be governed in righteousness by the promise of Emanuel, or God With Us.

The qualifications of a pastor I referenced at the onset of this post are immeasurably exceeded by our Craftsman, and mere shadows of the concern and divine love He holds for us. These fateful days on the horizon are presented to make us strong in carrying ourselves through them to better times. It will be so following the same vein of wisdom as inspired Robert Heinlein, when he advised that we not handicap our children by making their lives easy.

Being closer in my timeline to a personal clock that begins counting up instead of down, I can confirm this. It is better by far to be strong than comfortable.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress is at midpoint in the processes by which she vets a manuscript in content editing, next up being Sean Ritter’s return to Bosnia in Sister’s Shadow. Unfortunately, completion of Content Edit is not able to be projected due to the nature of the project. Following, we anticipate some 175 days of production editing, unless more time becomes available. As of now, it appears Sean’s next would appear in mid- to late summer, God willing.

Christmas 2020

Those who have remained there had a storm back home. I don’t know if you’ve ever endured a blizzard on the High Plains, but there nothing quite like it. As inhospitable environments go, it offers disorientation, wind-whipped crystals that sting one’s skin when they hit, howling wind, and temperatures that will kill you dead if you’re caught unprepared.

Blizzards are a very real thing. It’s better to stay somewhere safe, warm and sheltered with someone who loves you, if one is blessed. Blizzards bring their baby booms in late summer, and the resultant children will hear the story for the rest of their parents’ lives.

I just saw a Facebook meme: “On January 1st, hindsight really will be 2020.” My comment: “And good riddance.”

2020 was a storm. Not a sudden onslaught like the wall cloud that brings a South Dakota thunderstorm or the rolling waves of horizontal snow comprising its blizzards, nor the steady building rainfall that precedes the torrent of a hurricane. This year was a steady deluge of another sort of precipitate.

It didn’t start with a virus. It started somewhere deeper in the makeup of people than their physiology. It’s unique to us, as creatures formed in the image of a living God and fixed in the eye of His mind before we ever were.

Did you ever wonder why He bothers? Why this place, why people such as us? Why a world so intricately crafted life could hardly be sustained otherwise? Why do storms come?

In the beginning, God chose not to be alone. Better to commune, He must have decided, than to remain a singularity of consciousness. He conceived love, which necessitated an object and ideally evoked reciprocation. It couldn’t be innate, but needed to be a choice, as His was a choice. In that moment of pre-time, He became the Craftsman, and all which we know followed.

The Editress and I have been students of history since before we met, and that was a long enough time ago. The history she and I learned by and large isn’t taught these days but in home school, and for good reason: the primary lesson of history is a stark exposition of our innate human nature. While times change, people do not, and the cycles of human experience confirm the same store of wisdom even as history’s tides ripple against the vessel carrying us forward in the present day.

The lesson of history is that people generally do not learn from history, just as the lesson of Scripture is that we are inescapably bound to a sin nature in our physical form. These aren’t separate lessons. They are one and the same.

The opportunism that manifested in 2020 sprang into the open hearts of men in response to the whispering of God’s enemy, who loves nothing more than to convince his victims of their cleverness. One line of inspiration from a patron spirit (one who, by the way, out of hate wants every one of us dead) might inspire, for example, a strategy to concurrently evolve a potentially fatal malady and its vaccine as a means to pursue wealth.

Fearmongering, the polar opposite of faithful living enabled by the onset of a coronavirus, then merged with social engineering to provide a means of imposing their will for those with deep-seated control issues. Fear confers the short-term gratification of accumulated power comprising the opiate of tyrants, and the only fix for its junkie is furthering the compliance of subjects.

Deep-seated control issues virtually define the political Left. Vice of all sorts is literally the driving force of mentalities repulsed by responsible living in the Real World. No less governed by intractable natural laws in their rebellion, they are the idiot children of comfortable living, and the weak folk who produce bad times out of good years. And they had a president who rubbed their noses in their own ineffectiveness by outperforming them at every turn.

Something simply had to be done, no matter how irrational or immoral, and those stabilizing concepts hardly registered on souls so lost as to consider reality something to be engineered rather than accommodated. “Action Now! The ends will justify our means!”

That’s what gave us 2020. What a crap pile of a year. Way to go, kids.

Somewhat more than half us see what’s going on. Somewhat less than that realize the full extent of the present day, and those of us who know what’s coming next are an earthly population of precisely zero.

In all the camps contending for dominance, we break down into two essential categories. Some of us hang onto hope while others do not.

Hopelessness makes the political Left vulnerable to promises of secular salvation, of the freedom to indulge in base desires, and in the illusion of there being no accountability to the laws of Nature and the judgment of their Author. Natural law decrees unguarded vulnerability will often not end well.

Hope didn’t happen by accident. The Craftsman, present throughout the whole of His creation and unbounded by the line of time, knows our nature far better than we can perceive ourselves in this life. His love in creating those who could choose to love Him in return necessitated accommodation in the relationship, to balance the sum of who He is and what we are.

This eternal God from the beginning knew forgiveness would be part of what He was doing, were it to happen at all. Love made that choice, and in that aspect of Divine nature is all the hope we need to navigate the present day.

God is good, all the time. It pleases Him to inspire our hope, to buttress it with courage, and to witness works of faithfulness that defy the whispers of the enemy, and then his voice, and even his raging bellow. Faith will be here after the storm is past, just as the Craftsman—the same yesterday, today and tomorrow forever—has ever been and ever shall be.

The hope available to you was brought about by the choice of a simple, wonderful girl long ago, who said in faith “Let it be done to me according to Thy will.” Jesus appeared, and His witnesses carried the Good News into the world. He knew we needed something to hang onto when the storms would come. So stay inside, dear child of God, and warm yourself here.

Choose to love, and Merry Christmas. -DA

Tough Going / 24HTM

Writing’s not the difficult thing. Deciding what and how to write is the hard part.

Since November, we’ve been watching a tortuous process play out in my nation’s politics. Despite evident, rampant and blatant election fraud, the process is grinding on. It’s worse than tiresome, it’s tiresome by design, and that is why you haven’t seen a Vae Obscurum post in a while.

Engagement is a necessary duty of free people. Our Constitution was designed for a cognizant and engaged citizenry, by folk intensely interested in ideals that motivated them to produce our founding documents. The same valid faith that birthed this nation and defined and enumerated our rights as God-given is the reason His enemies hate us so much.

The political Left in this country and across the world, motivated as they are by the voice of a patron spirit who wants them dead, are now nothing more than golems driven by forces other than reason. There are no checks and balances in such mentalities, and this has been proven in some of the darkest chapters of human history.

Faith says such mindless and shocking third-world-style election fraud won’t withstand the scrutiny of free people. Despite what trials wait directly ahead of America, I cannot believe otherwise than that the last best hope of humankind will prevail again, as it has against equal challenges in the past.

One thing, at least, is certain. Those of us who survive will find out.

*****

Still, there’s news. In a matter of only thirty-eight months since inception [laugh track] and nine months after releasing Boone’s latest, Ghosts of the Republic, we’ve produced Daniel Sean Ritter’s fifth title. Twenty-Four Hours to Midnight is now available where your e-books come alive, and his Big List of Links will be found at the bottom of this post. Despite everything, 2020 is officially a Two Novel Year.

24HTM’s 2003 chapters fill the gap in Ritter’s chronology between gaining General Peter McAllen’s patronage in The Yemeni Package (set in 1999) and my first novel, The Anvil of the Craftsman, which takes place in 2006. A dual-timeline structure also links his present day with his previous appearances in Boone’s File novels. The man is in fact the only character to appear in every title to date, and for good reason.

Here’s the blurb:

“Today is built on the past. Eight hundred enemy face him. A thousand civilians shelter behind him. The conflict was personal then, and nothing has changed.

Daniel Sean Ritter, operating in an environment where neither InterLynk nor an uncommitted United States government can help, seeks to safeguard his wife’s Iraqi family during an ISIS advance. There, he learns the enemy campaign is led by One Who Got Away during his Iraq War.

Haunted by memories of rare setbacks a decade ago but unwilling to again disengage from an unresolved contest, Ritter takes up arms with his stepson Gabir. With a handful of isolated local militia, a single honorable course of action remains: to do what they can, where they are, with what they have.”

It’s ironic and unplanned that 24HTM is set in this very time of year. If Die Hard is a Christmas movie (and it is), then this will be my Christmas novel. Celebrate with giving I say, and while you’re at it, feel free to grab a copy for yourself.

Sean’s File No.5, Twenty-Four Hours to Midnight, is available now though the following retailers:

KindlePaperbackAppleNookKoboScribd

Merry Christmas. Stay in the fight. Choose to love. -DA

Imminence

To be faithful is to know God is out there somewhere, connect to Him, and live accordingly. To be a Christian is to know He’s right here, with us as He promised, unto the end of the age.

Jesus promised this to the men who followed Him at the end of his earthly ministry. He was lifted up, as we’re told by the Apostles who witnessed His ascension. Afterwards, those same men in defiance of human nature relentlessly pursued martyrdom, and they did so for another three decades without denying what they had seen even.

Doing would have saved their own lives, but not their souls. How could they deny Him when their Master was there in the intangible but undeniable person of the Spirit, granting them the courage to do His will? Testimony in the face of death waters the seedbed of His church with blood just as His did. How can we do less if called?

Their ministry also proceeded from the assumption He would return within their lifetimes. From its first days the body of the church encouraged one another: “Jesus is coming soon!” Were they wrong?

Two thousand years later, skeptics point to the same facts as disproving the Gospel, being apparently more comfortable in the world view that a personal God and Creator is a myth. Some of those previous were unexpectedly convincedthrough their researchof an actuality attested by a long inter-relational history with His people and even more by the testimony of many witnesses. An overwhelming conviction arrives with the realization that yes, God is here. We see Him as facets of a jewel in the Father and the Son and the Spirit, though whom Christ works in the world today, tending His field of souls and servants.

But still, we have the promise in Acts 1:11:

“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Soon, they thought. Were they wrong?

I was introduced to Rapture theory by the writings of Pastor Hal Lindsey in 1983. His convincing end-times scenarioaugmented by studies in Hebrew and Greek undertaken so as to access Scripture in its original languagescenters on passages in Daniel, the Gospels, and the Revelation of John. They expound on the hints Paul left us in his letters to the Church in Thessaly and Corinth: a shared secret that we shall not all sleep, but some of us who are alive and remain will be caught up by our Master to serve Him from then on.

The Editress and I were also edified by the ministry of the late Zola Levitt. His insights on the Jewish cultural context of Bible imagery, particularly how the ministry of Christ fulfilled in turn the festivals of Judaism, have been invaluable. Rosh Hashanah is next, by the way, falling this year on September 19. Seven years later, according to Rapture theory, there will be Yom Kippur, when we at last will call Him Emmanuel, God with us.

Rabbi Levitt died waiting for the return of Jesus. Did he wait in vain?

I’ve been waiting since I came to believe. In all that time, I’ve never seen anything in society or history in these nearly forty years to make me think the enabling scenarios in the world at large are anything but progressing toward the fulfillment of our great hope: of being the generation to see the return of Christ.

I believe Jesus is coming soon. Will I be wrong if He waits another day or another century for more souls to come along on that sudden flight to His presence? If the era of the church far outlasts my span of years in this world?

There are entire websites devoted to the premise that we are living the last days of the end of the Age of the Church. It’s an age that concludes with its Bridegroom claiming His bride: the Ecclesia, or those whom the Spirit has called out of the world into the ultimate clarity. Knowing Christ eventually awaits every soul in a universal journey bound toward grace or judgment. The sign of the times, as the artist Prince sang, mess with your mind.

I’ll share a secret, as Paul did: Christ is coming soon, regardless of how the rest of this present age goes.

My aunt, my mother’s sister, died in the house my father built, where I grew from a child to a young man. She and my mother, who appeared out of the Great Depression, lived an era where death at home was perhaps more common than it is today. My aunt was not a woman without faults. None of us are, but faith overcame hers by the end, when she had no reason to lie:

“Jesus is here,” she said.

“What does He look like?” Mother, her only company at the moment, wanted to know.

“Oh, you should know better than to ask.”

He returned, you see, within her lifetime, as He has for many others before and since. Just for her, and just for them. If they had expected Him soon, they were not wrong, and the brevity of this whisper of linear time that comprises our earthly life becomes more apparent with every passing year.

My last column touched on fear, and how refusal to embrace our essential mortality makes the enemy’s victims vulnerable to unwise action and needless angst as they desperately hold onto the only plane of existence known, in terror of life ends with a finality of blackness. So a faithful existence focuses on imminence in sure knowledge that it does not … once we are graced to believe.

“Oh, life goes by so fast,” Mom said toward the end. She wasn’t wrong. I look forward to seeing her again. Death for the Christian holds the same joy that most of us feel in returning home, only at the last it is to a New House, and one where our clock is counting up rather than down. It will be soon, relatively speaking, if you and I live to be one hundred. Jesus will be back just for you, I pray.

Choose to love. -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress is approaching the halfway point in production editing our next release and Ritter’s experience at war in two subsequent decades, Twenty-Four Hours to Midnight. God willing, as with everything, it will be soon … if He tarries. Look upward, you folk of Galilee. It’s September, after all.

On Fear

Six feet and wear a mask. No justice, no peace! Burn it down! Submit, infidel, or face the swords of Islam. You’re going to die.

I know a thing or two about fear. One doesn’t live a life such as mine without encountering it, and when you rise up in an environment full of bad information about yourself, others, and life generally, the missteps to which you’re subjected will produce any number of suboptimal conditions. Yes, at times you’ll be confused, and sometimes even afraid.

It should help to remember that all emotion—every bit of each—is there to take us farther down the road we travel in this life. An essential article of faith declares us to be works in progress and not fleeting evolutionary accidents. Therefore, it’s a predictable strategy of the enemy seeking to convince us the state of actuality is otherwise.

Every emotional predator is his ally in this. Most of those twisted souls cannot even perceive much less acknowledge their place in the natural (or unnatural) order. Being used as tools, their malevolent patron spirit is content in allowing them to maintain a self-satisfied and egocentric condition while its vessel may endure. Such souls pay no heed to their allotted span, taking existence at face value and travelling unconvinced of any spiritual realm waiting ahead of the terminus in our line of time. The fears they wield in life are ledger entries in an account coming due, and the resultant clarity will not be kind to them.

Fear, along with every emotion, also exists partially for the sake of learning its controls. Each of the feelings we harbor has its benefit and danger, and allowing their progression from impulse to excess is a common and unfortunate aspect of human nature. In that one afterwards draws farther from our Creator’s intent, we can see sin germinates there. We, as faithful souls, are tasked with engaging in continual victories over temptation, and as we’re explicitly instructed to do otherwise, therefore fear itself becomes sin. It follows as no wonder, then, that our enemies and God’s make every attempt to use it against us.

I write political fiction, which aside from the obvious interplay of good and bad actors in office speaks also of broader considerations than the advancement of a given plot. My genre concerns itself with the things it has to say, and there examines all aspects of human interaction. Those episodes are steered by the inclinations of each character, in turn motivated by perspective. The archetypes comprising imaginary people embody the virtues and vices, just as are personalities encountered in what passes for the real world these days. Writing fiction as I do is art imitating life, and done well enough one’s work passes the point where its influence sometimes expands to reverse the dynamic.

Beware of politics—or any influence, really—leveraging the classical vices rather than virtue. Vice is drawn out of the toolbox of the enemy, whose rebellion and lust for mayhem eclipse any rational consideration. Wholesome influences, be they loving parents, mindful educators, inspired pastors, or faithful, ideologically American leaders seek to enhance the general condition of humanity rather than exploit their influence over others for personal gain. If hyperbolic stumps of misguided ambition can advantage themselves by making you afraid, rest in every assurance they will do so, and with a following agenda in mind certain to advance their interests ahead of their constituents or the public trust.

Every step of our journey, light or slogging, is a choice between faithfulness and faithlessness, taken in hope or depression. We are surrounded on every side with a wealth of testimony written in natural law as to what works and what kills. There is no benefit in fear that wisdom does not better provide.

One of the great testaments to this could have been lost to history, but for providence. In World War Two, His Majesty’s ship and a lion of the British navy, the Hood, set itself to confront the terror of the seas flying the flag of Nazi Germany, namely the battleship Bismarck. With no small task before them, the chaplain of the ship gathered the crew onto its great deck to ask them their essential questions:

God the Father with you, what do you fear?”
We fear nothing!” came the answer from the crew.
God the Son with you, what do you fear?” was asked.
Again, “We fear nothing!”
And lastly, “God in His Spirit being with you, what do you fear?”
We fear nothing!

The battle following is recorded in history, along with most of the acts of that  despicable Reich. Exchanging naval fire, the mighty Hood took an explosive shell from one of the main guns mounted by Bismarck. Received into its powder magazine, the great battleship was killed with nearly every member of the crew who had gathered on deck to renew their commitment to duty so little time before. One, at least, was carried to the surface in a bubble from a suddenly rupturing boiler, and so survived to pass along the lesson you’ve now heard.

They died, yes. But they did not fear, and in that a greater victory than the crew of the Hood might have won at sea was the result.

Spiritual and moral strength was more common a lifetime ago. In too many segments of today’s society, fear has replaced faith, and those in its grip trust in others who proclaim their best interests to address the objects of those fears. It’s unfortunate that often the terror is of contrived circumstances engineered to steer an agenda designed to produce benefits to a few out of the misery of many more.

Be suspicious of those advocating fear and promising to do well by you in exchange for what they ask you to give up in return. You are served by cultivating strength, not weakness. You support yourself in an upright condition by leaning on virtue, not bowing under the weight of vice. You are illuminated by faith, not lost in the darkness of a wandering soul. Remember that one journeys only with a destination in mind, and it cannot be otherwise. You yourself are at the end of that road, and it’s there your Creator will tell you the story of your life in unfolding every mystery. You’re my reader. With every prayer I wish you well along the way, and toward that good end, I’m not afraid to do what I can.

Choose to love. – DA

*****

In production news, the Editress has reached the 30% mark in production editing for my intertwined tales of Ritter at war in subsequent decades. Twenty-Four Hours to Midnight will, God willing, bring Sean, Farrah, Gabir and other characters you’ll remember back for another round. This time, as the tag line promises, it will be for family.

 

Three Simple Things: Leading During Chaos

What could you accomplish if you killed your excuses?

Recently, I was given a chance to preview the newly released Three Simple Things: Leading During Chaos by retired Navy special operator Thom Shea. His previous title, Unbreakable: A Navy SEAL’s Way of Life, has also been reviewed here. This time, Shea relates his experiences in transitioning from the world of warfare to that of business, while applying the same methodology he used to thrive in some of the most chaotic environments imaginable.

I’ve known the Sheas for some time: always willing to share their experiences for the greater good, involved, connected, razor sharp, and demonstrating impressive effectiveness in whatever arena they care to engage. They are the sort of people whose focus and intensity assures their voices are naturally attended.

Thom Shea came up through the ranks of Naval Special Warfare to emerge as a sniper. He is one of the breed of warriors whose weaponized math demands a methodical approach and awareness of the many factors allowing them to deliver precise fire at amazing distances. Luck is not a factor. Those shots are accomplished through skills assembled, filtered and applied in an environment where only results carry the day.

It’s the same approach Shea used to formulate his understanding of the factors affecting human performance. And it can have an equal impact, albeit in a positive fashion rather than being a whisper from afar that tells an enemy his war is over.

My studies in psychology called the goal self-actualization, and volumes were written by luminaries such as Goldstein, Rogers, and Maslow, whose works defined the concept. Shea, though, hardly interested in theory, has laid out a formula he uses to radically alter performance, by breaking down its components to essentials, and then demanding that  his clients actively pursue the goals they describe at the beginning of his consultancy rather than merely absorb his concepts.

Three Simple Things—acts simple, but not easy—are what he uses in each of what he calls the five pyramids of human performance: spiritual, interpersonal, intellectual, financial, and physical. A thorough discussion of each replete with examples of their identification, refinement, and application follow. Though the term self-actualization does not appear in his titles, Shea has mastered the doing of what others have only theorized, and that makes his title eminently worthwhile for anyone interested in the realms of self improvement the man addresses.

Thom writes in the straightforward style of a senior NCO, and judging from the stories of client success he relates, apparently provides consultation in the same manner as well. From the twenty-one days it takes to teach clients to honor their word, to mastering their fear, through to the ability to keep on the move for twenty-four hours straight, the methodology he’s developed works when used as designed. Not all of his clients got there on the first try. In reading the book, you’ll understand why, and undoubtedly see something in yourself that could benefit from the principles he relates. Three Simple Things: Leading During Chaos is made available for e-reading and in hard copy through major retailers by Clovercroft Publishing. I hope you’ll check it out.

Choose to Love, -DA

*****

In production news here, the Editress has completed content review and transitioned into production editing for the fifth title in Sean’s File, Twenty-Four Hours to Midnight. The bridging, dual-timeline tale of Ritter at war in two subsequent decades shall, God willing, appear later this year.

Learning to Cat

In February, I wrote here about the loss of our dear family member Gato: about how he was a cautious animal whose whole story we did not know, who became a successful kitty with a home and a family who loved him, and thus did as well as a cat may.

All the love we poured into our relationship with himand before him, T.R. and his brother Gordonis an emotion whose existence demands outlet. As my character Jon Anthony said, we have love, hate, and indifference to choose. Only love’s work is life.

So it was inevitable that when the Editress, seeing signs of lonely nervousness in our remaining furbuddy Leo, we would adopt again. Through a worthwhile agency and no-kill shelter nearby, we asked for one of the cats who needed someone most. And we met Freddy.

He had been found downtown, begging for food, and sat unclaimed in the city shelter until his stay there was up. He then transferred to another place where he would be given more time.

He spent fifteen months there, shut in a small room with one other companion, as noisy families tromped through looking for someone to adopt. He huddled. He hid. He was grasped in ways he didn’t like to be transported and put on display for adoption, and doubtless hated every bit of it because he was terrified. Freddy wasn’t good at selling himself to prospective families, and when we saw what had happened to him it broke our hearts.

I managed to sit with him while the Editress looked over some other candidates. Freddy’s nose buried itself in the crook of my arm to make the overwhelming world go away. I heard and felt him purr for the first time under the strokes of a loving hand.

That was Leap Day. This is springtime. It’s said transition to normalcy in an adopted pet will take place in stages: three days, three weeks, three months. We’re not there yet. Freddy loves Leo, but remains terrified of being seized by humans, because his memories there are bad. He’s missing out on laps and cuddles and kisses, and we’re trying to teach him. We’ll keep trying.

He’s missing out because he doesn’t understand how to cat here. Fear is dominating his perspective, and it’s frustrating to those who love him. Love keeps trying. Like water, it seeps into every opening it can find, driven by its patron spirit. Hate employs harsher methods of implanting itself, for that patron is impatient to advance works of death, and trips over itself in its lust for destruction. Sometimes, it backs off to let the dry rot of indifference work from within instead, but in the long game, the effect of either strategy is the same.

Hate tries to hide. Not like Freddy did out of fear, but with the same strategy any predator employs: to overcome with a minimum of effort once opportunity manifests. It hurts the vulnerable and oppresses the hopeless until, it schemes, God’s work of life will be crushed to dust under the weight of engineered temporal adversity.

To the enemy’s misfortune, we are surrounded by the testimony of Creation as to the work of its Craftsman, and His light is everywhere, cutting through the darkness cast by His adversary; they contest for souls through the messaging of two patron spirits. One tells us, “Stop trying to understand. This was meaningless at the start.” The less brash offers, “Your perspective is not yet broad enough to discern My purpose.”

The latter’s seed of hope can find good ground through a crack in concrete, root, grow and spread its prison into space for a life. So it goes in a work driven by love, and love keeps trying while the hate fueling works of death consumes it bearer, sputters, and dies. It’s as true in microcosm as it has been in history, and shall be through the millennium to come.

The Editress is slowly working her way with Freddy, grasping and partially lifting him during the time he consents to be petted, soothing his fears, accustoming him to closer human contact and preparing him for wonderful things just ahead. She is patient that way. Her work is also life, as I’ve seen for the best part of forty years to my benefit and that of everyone she touches.

We are learning to cat, and learning to human. We are being educated to accommodate The Way Things Are and how to hear advice whispered by the voice of the Spirit. We are learning ourselves and delving deeper into the sufficiency of Christ. Because love elsewhere didn’t stop trying, we now understand more than we did, and give God the glory.

Choose to love. -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress is finishing preparatory reading prior to this month’s launch of her editing cycle for Sean Ritter’s next release, Twenty-Four Hours to Midnight. Please check the tabs above for more information on existing titles, works in progress, and the timelines that will help you decide how you wish to read Jon, Sean, and Boone.

Easter 2020 – Lockdown Fail

It is Easter, and in a lockdown fail of cosmic proportions, Jesus is Risen. Perhaps no one in the catalog has better enunciated why this matters than Pastor Lin Shun Lun in Boone’s second novel, The Bonus Pool. Here, with extraneous content redacted to keep the novel new for those who’ve not yet read the thing, is his speech:

Madame, I thank you for the very kind introduction. I gladly accept your kind award of this great honor, although I do so on behalf of the many who labor as I do, with only the comfort of recognition unapparent in the present realm.

“We are creatures who live, you see,” he continued, “guided by perceptions. Those, in turn, are influenced by our personal perspective.”

He paused in looking out over the audience. “The perspective of a Chinese, you see, is by necessity of one surrounded by many. The long history of the peoples and cultures of my land has brought forth many philosophies from this point of view. The philosophies of men, we know, in order to find true validity must fit within the framework of the Almighty.

“Long ago, the tradition relays, a master approached the boundaries of his land mounted upon a beast of burden, seeking only solitude for his final days and weary in his heart of the ways of men. A guard there, sensing his passing greatness, entreated him to set down in a few written words a treasure for future generations.”

Lin smiled. “A work of eighty-one brief chapters, by the man who we know as Lao Tse, became the iconic Tao Te Ching. At its core, the work is a simple observation of the essence of nature, which, over the course of a long lifetime, had become apparent to one of the most observant of minds. As a result, it is one of the three preeminent philosophies in my native land to this day, two and one-half millennia later.

“You might wonder why a Christian, such as I, would emphasize what some would consider a secular philosophy.” Lin paused as if to consider the question himself. “The reason is the long success of the Church in China in relating to the reverence of balance and harmony Lao instilled in those who appreciate truth.

“Truth, you see—the collection of conventions we utilize to formulate our perspective—is determined through observation, and in turn is tempered and moderated by a wisdom telling us Truths are best understood from premise to extension, or put more simply, ascending from the foundational to the elaborate.

“Master Lao, as appropriate, began at the beginning. He wrote of the greatest truth, and the foundation of all things, whom he decreed unknowable and simply called the Tao, or ‘the Way.’ His, I assert, was a pre-revelation vision of the Divine, in the manner leading the Psalmist to observe ‘the heavens declare the Glory of God.’ As with any foundation, it is a solid base on which to build, as we in China have begun.

“Truth resides in the balance and harmony of observed realities, and the traditions of my culture have long held to those unfailing inter-relational standards. Actualities must meet examination, and coexist with the remainder of what we hold, if our philosophy is to stand.”

Lin’s hands left the podium so only his feet supported his weight. “To stand is to rest one’s center within means of support. It is the possession of balance, and we find such through harmony with our environment.”

Returning his hands to the lectern, he maintained a comfortable stance at center stage. “It is so with the successful negotiation of the human condition. To encounter success, just as Lao knew, and just as the simplest of people in China know to this day, we need foundational clarity. One needs, I assert, valid perspective. And this, we have determined, lies in understanding the tripartite nature of Creation.”

Lin’s hands made the shape of a circle then remained at the periphery. “We live in the bounds of our material existence, yet we sense, as Lao did, something more. Those, as so many things do upon reflection, often divide themselves into threes: Father, Son, and Spirit … beginning, middle and ending … Heaven, Earth and Man.”

His hands grasped the podium once more, and the man leaned forward slightly, seemingly alight from his speaking. “You have seen the circles within circles attempting to portray the everlasting balanced relationship of the yin and the yang. The icon represents also the primal journey, from darkness to the Light, again in three parts—the Light, the Dark, and the Whole. We know through the long experience of its endurance the ancient philosophy stands. As we occupy the very middle of our own three realms—Heaven, Earth, and Man between—it is, therefore, our vital challenge to find the balance point of existence.”

Illustrating his point, Lin touched his abdomen. “The center of our body is easily located. How so do we perceive the center of our spiritual existence? Where is the middle component of the tripartite? One may find it, as we in China have had great success in proclaiming, in the person of Christ Jesus. He embodied on Earth the very essence of Heaven and of Man, bringing all three into inseparable balance in his sacrifice on the Cross.”

Lin paused, smiling again. “There we see the balance point of Creation, still today as it was always, even in the time of Lao and prior. This vital component, should it be found lacking, leaves us without balance, and in danger of a fall, as with any body or soul outside the bounds of its support. In all of our journeys, from birth through life to death, we will find there is no substitute for the lack of balance. Not in any pleasure of the world, nor in our strivings, nor in our most violent contentions or in any imagined state of self-determination,” Lin concluded.

“Only through accepting this vital balance point in the existence of mankind can any entity—man, woman, family, government or league of nations—exist in harmony with that which is, and truly discover what it is to be human.”

Lin raised his hands in acceptance of the undeniable. “It has been engineered into the Great Construct, you see, from the beginning. We travel from the Darkness toward the Light, regardless of any other intent. We, who adhere to the natural flow in this, meet less resistance, encounter less misery, and carry less weight than we would otherwise. It is for the sake of the human condition we endeavor to convince others.

“What greater privilege exists, than to speak to our fellow man of that which is? What else would we do with our time, now after we have seen the Truth?” Lin smiled and bowed his head to the audience. “Thank you for this evening, and for this honor, and this opportunity. May the Light ahead and the Darkness behind show you the true nature of our journey together, as one world, under the hand of one God. In His name we pray.”

Have a blessed Easter. Choose to love. – DA

*****

In production news, the Single Candle Press Editress is reading through my remaining three titles of the catalog preparatory to beginning Content Edit for Title14/Sean5 Twenty-Four Hours to Midnight. Ritter’s face-off with ISIS will appear, God willing, later this year.

GOTR Big List of Links

Boone6/Novel12 is in full release! As promised, below are the places online where you can find Boone and Ritter’s latest adventure. Just like always, links to my catalog on major retail venues locate on the sidebar to the right.

Kindle (and trade paperback) – AppleNookKoboScribd

Thanks for reading, and Choose to Love. -DA

Ghosts of the Republic

What if both sides stopped caring about rules?

I wrote the initial draft of Novel12/Boone6 Ghosts of the Republic five years ago. This was during the end of the Obama administration, when a biased media was putting forth every effort in convincing the country that Hillary Clinton would be our next president.

Things change, don’t they? The ever-comforting fact is that more important things stay just as they are. Human nature is one of them, and that’s how my novels, addressing essential and universal questions as they do, seem to stay relevant over a wonderfully lengthy period of time.

Here we are at the end of another February. We first saw Boone on Leap Day, in what was set as 2012. She was in Terry Bradley’s office, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). She was dressed to the nines, catty, and drinking on duty. Despite everything in her poor first impressions, there was an underlying element of unlimited potential. Over the course of her character arc, she more than any other figure has fulfilled my catalogue.

In a sense, all my novels to date comprise parts of Sean’s File. He is in his backstory, throughout Jon’s Trilogy, and appears in every episode of Boone’s File as well. The man, in fact, appears in every novel I’ve written save one. Boone will return for her backstory retrospective, God willing, in my final release perhaps next year. Two titles in Sean’s File are queued for production before we get there.

For now, Ghosts of the Republic closes a number of character arcs for antagonists and protagonists admirable and despicable as their life choices warrant. I won’t expound on the mission of the novel here — better you discover that for yourself — more than I have in the afterword. Suffice it to say the title explores relevant themes in a way that makes me glad I could publish the thing before real life paralleled the story line.

Here’s the blurb:

“Homicides of prominent figures spike inside the Beltway, and D.C. is on edge.

Presented with an ultimatum from the Director of National Intelligence to find their killers or shoulder the blame, Peter McAllen’s people devote themselves to a singularly vital mission. Interested parties range from Congressional inquisitors to agents of a spiteful liberal news media determined to ferret out InterLynk’s every past move and present ally. None of them are helping.

Boone, Daniel Sean Ritter, and their allies navigate an alarming scenario. If prime movers are using threats to political stability in the world’s last superpower to institute a constitutional crisis, who can they trust?

Approx. 85,000 words / 325 pp print length”

GOTR is going live everywhere as I write this. I will post its Big List of Links once they are available.

Thank you. Choose to love. -DA