Juneteenth

Yesterday, I watched the cogs of politics turn in a completely predictable fashion. Being a government worker in a capacity that’s none of your business, I was able to call the near future blow by blow. From the time I heard of Democrats pushing a new federal holiday through the legislative process to its inevitable result, I knew a day off for Juneteenth, filtering down through state and local governments in the course of a half afternoon, was on the way.

Disturbed by the number of Americans of African descent embracing ideological Americanism and rallying to the Trump presidency, the Democratic Party reverted to a pandering strategy having served them well for more than half a century. Then, they converted possession of a significant electoral demographic from Dr. King’s dream to the welfare state envisioned by Lyndon Johnson. A national holiday now commemorates what many celebrated already: the last vestige of Southern slavery ended by Federal troops in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1866.

It’s appropriate, even overdue, to have a Federal holiday celebrate the Republicans whose long efforts ended slavery. The Civil War was one of the most costly in our nation’s history, but being grounded in the present day and rejecting the notion of inherited grievance, the only reparations descendants of nineteenth-century veterans of that conflict demand is respect for the unifying principles and patriotism driving their forebears to the righteous fight.

Not that the slave-owning mindset ever truly disappeared; the primary lesson of history is that, while times may change, human nature does not, and so the compulsion to direct the lives of others survives in its most hideous forms. Slavery still exists in Islam, communism, and the cultivated dependence and intolerance of ideological diversity defining today’s Democratic Party. Please pardon any redundancy in those last examples.

Leave it to today’s Democratic Party to establish a national holiday that manages to divide the American people on racial grounds. Power is found in advancing the narrative of liberating the oppressed. It’s the height of irony that the posers responsible for pushing through another day off harbor in their intent every antithesis of freedom for those they seek to manage rather than serve.

Today’s Democratic Party, being exclusively concerned with accumulated power, operates outside the bounds of conscience, morality, or any other vestige of character reflected in the founding principles that gave birth to America. Yes, slavery was an institution at the time, and that Constitutional incongruity resolved within a lifetime to its righteous end with the issuance and enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation.

What happened next is historically incontrovertible. The Democratic Party fought against losing their power over the lives of black Americans for the next century, until the Great Society replaced urban family structure with checks mailed out by the government in proportion to a woman’s ability breed the voters of tomorrow. Young black men, reduced to sires of happenstance, now endeavor to kill each other at alarming rates. The hooded Klan of a century ago would have approved.

In March of this year, in an exchange with a colleague during a proceeding in the House, United States Representative Jerry Nadler let slip what should be evident to any interested observer: “God’s will is of no concern to this Congress.” Representing only his self interest, neither is anyone’s but Nadler’s own and those wielding the power of controlling alphas in his party structure.

Living without presumed accountability is part and parcel of their bubble … the deficient perspective the political Left has constructed in its collective mindset. Freedom, to those afflicted by self focus, beckons as the ability to fulfill desires without consequence on a path whose correction is more severe the longer it delays. Life teaches hard lessons so we (or distant observers) learn, remember, and carry on with increased chances for survival. Consequences of natural law, though, seem like oppression to the self absorbed. Bitterness results. Bitterness is an acid that corrodes from the inside out, and so a cycle of degradation is perpetuated that only valid faith can end.

Take faithful considerations—to your God, your county, your loved ones, your neighbors—out of consideration and the result is slavery, not freedom.

Today’s Democratic Party acts as Satan’s ministry in consistently seeking to co-opt any edifying aspect of government. Society is polarized now between chasing life and death, those orientations being the ones and zeroes in the engineering math of their Creator. The world has made offers of various material and fleshly sorts in exchange for Democrat souls, and in the denial of their essential existence they’ve bought into the deception of the enemy.

Stacey Abrams is even writing mommy porn now. Try wiping that image from your mind when you’re an author of substantive works.

Anyway …

The lessons of history, as I said previously, are there for the taking to harvest and nourish ideological wellness, and it’s no surprise when today’s corrupted and partisan public education system discounts them at every opportunity.

Respect for The Way Things Are includes the embrace of valid faith, the love of others to which we are encouraged, the admonition against enabling destructive behavior, and incorporating the sure hope that has endured through the Age of the Church. It is not for nothing that Christ revealed Himself to us in an era where Roman historians could document His actuality.

The fictional ages of Tolkien’s Middle Earth began and ended with momentous events resulting in a new referential paradigm. So it will be with our own.

In Christ, God chose to demonstrate His love prior to the coming days when He will again assert His authority. In this time of waiting before the whole world is judged, we pass to righteous judgment one at a time whether we are mindful of such inevitability or not.

Cast your wishes, set your goals, work to your best ability, and then live in the world as it is. To do otherwise is to fall prey to the nets of those who put their best interest above your own. Being deceived to eternal consequences for the rebellious amusement of God’s enemy is the most degrading and tragic servitude of all. You have His promise that your days are not for nothing.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress is somewhat more than one-third through her various processes in Ritter’s final novel, featuring his return to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sister’s Shadow. We continue to expect his sixth title and conclusion of Sean’s File to appear at the end of summer. As always, you’re sure to hear about it first right here.

In the meantime, we’re in the midst of the annual Summer Doldrums, so far as book sales go. There are three free titles linked in various outlets on the sidebar. You might even want to continue the story with paid titles that follow.

First Made Proud

It’s a sad fact that the realm of politics is as close to religion as the godless can manage. It never really occurred to me to write any other sort of novel, as the genre of political fiction afforded plenty of opportunity to best say what compelled close to a million-and-a-half words. The essential themes therein are what have allowed my storytelling to remain relevant to the point that, ten years on, my first novel remains visible in the stack of its genre on the free side of major venues where e-books come alive.

Pride. Wisdom. Courage. Cowardice. Love. Hate. Indifference. Fiction is effective only when it is relevant to the real world. One could not be transported otherwise, and immersion is the kick that keeps a reader coming back for more.

The first one’s free, kid. Actually the first three. But I digress.

Effective novels compel continued attention, and those stories arise from conflict. There is a cosmic struggle in human nature between basic morality, the edified character that values humility over pride, and empathy above predation. The base elements of deficient humanity are largely characterized by a sense of entitlement to impose one’s will. Pride may target individuals, hierarchies, paradigms, and the tenets of natural law itself.

Pride stops only when stopped, whether by intervening strength of character or the inevitable consequences defining The Way Things Are, as current events often show.

And current events are a show, all right. One featuring copious amounts of often airborne dung. The collision of thesis and antithesis produce the synthesis of a good historical lesson or a satisfying novel’s payout as does the chemistry producing gunpowder from blending less volatile materials. That said, more than once I have looked at headlines rising out of current events and thought, “The Editress would make me tone this story line down for the sake of plausibility.”

Pride is an epidemic in today’s society, and doesn’t give two morning grunts about wisdom, much less about faith. Pride drowns out the lessons of past lives in a cacophony of self-congratulatory accolades, and where wisdom watches and listens carefully, hubris wishes to speak instead. It’s driven by the need to be heard and obeyed, a weakness manifesting in insatiable control issues. Pride can find its own god in the nearest mirror. People stricken with pride, as invariably are my antagonists, cause most of the problems in the world.

The prideful couldn’t conjure faith if they tried. It is a worse situation than ignorance. They have been abandoned to themselves, and the faith not of ourselves preserving us is denied them. They been left to their own minds, and may God some day have mercy on their souls as He has on ours.

Where we have faith, hope, and love, they have baiting, dross, and hubris. They troll while we attempt to edify. We build, and they burn. We are mindful of eternity, and they struggle on against deception screaming that the physical plane and our present lives are all that is.

We’ve been told otherwise, and so have they. By the grace of God we listened, and that makes all the difference in eternity.

The current political climate is one giving the political Left all the rope it need to hang itself, and that scaffold is rising like an ideological Tower of Babel. More of their own number than ever are walking away, and the defections will render unsustainable any moral authority by which they hope to operate. The non-Western world, China, Russia, Persia, and Islam, have long political memories, unlike the West and the U.S. in particular. They are watching, with an interest that should make your blood run cold, as our political extremists debase themselves drunk with perceived power. Their buzz is actually death throes from the political establishment.

“You’re wrong. They’re stronger than ever.” I was told that in an online forum by a hopeless contrarian who couldn’t force himself to absorb the points I’m trying to bring across now.

Hopelessness is another lie of the enemy. You know who was strong in 1939? Hitler. Six years later, his thousand-year Reich has been flattened by the Hammer of God for daring to strike the Almighty’s chosen people.

Pride did that. Pride will wreak similar havoc on overreach and arrogance wherever it overtakes the assumptive and unmindful. These ash layers of history don’t striate themselves, and today Adolf Hitler’s remains nourish the base soil of some parking lot in Berlin.

Overreach is repulsive, because no one likes a loser. And the more extreme one’s folly, the greater number will see what’s coming prior to the victim of his own self-wrought circumstances.

The appreciation of freedom, as a result, is breaking out like a virus. Winter gives way to spring as a chill waiting to abate. The sun is on its way.

I try to not make these columns a sermon, but without testimony the soul of a believer is barren. Without something to say, fiction is flat and uninteresting as distilled water. Without a spiritual journey, a character in fiction or real life is less embraceable than otherwise would be.

Life gives one the choice between hope and fear, and the delivery from fear is the reason Christ appeared in our own historical epoch to be documented by the very ones to whom he was delivered to be crucified in our place. Hope in any circumstance arises just as He did if we remember this.

A century ago, people my age had been born during the Civil War, and had lived the time of westward expansion that followed to the first Great War prideful, as opposed to rational, nationalism wrought. They were, as we are now, strung between two times, trying to piece together the mysteries of how men and nations ought to order the world.

Pride and faith were in conflict then as well. Some would listen and others race ahead in blind ambition. These things have all happened before.

The basis of character is the realization that Emmanuel—God With Us—is an ongoing commitment on His part. We are not alone in this unless we close that door ourselves. The great unseen host of witnesses on our every side are whispering their advice as loudly as allowed while He tarries, not willing that any of us should be lost.

Be one of those who ‘ll absorb the lessons to be had in the last chapter. You’ll find, as often happened to me, that in fact the story doesn’t end there at all.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress continues progress, now one-eighth through her final editing in Ritter’s sixth and concluding novel, and one marking his return to present-day Bosnia in ‘Sister’s Shadow.’ Look for it at the end of summer, should God be willing for us to see a fifteenth title through.

Talent on Loan from God

It was August in 1989. The Editress and I were driving to Kansas so she could begin graduate school, she in a little Dodge Omni America and I in a 12-foot U-Haul rental that contained our household. She called back to me on the Radio Shack walkie talkies we bought for the occasion and said, “There’s a guy on the radio who thinks like we do!”

We were near Kansas City, and within range of one of the first radio stations to carry Rush Limbaugh’s foray into broadcast excellence. We were so blessed for the next third of a century to benefit from what William F. Buckley called his “preternatural fluency.”

Rush validated what we knew in our hearts to be true: that ideological Americanism was indeed the apex theory of governance; that what we felt during the Reagan Years had indeed been its best expression in leadership; that the orders of loyalty to which we dedicated our daysGod, Country, and Familydemonstrated not only solid and sustainable philosophy but a faith essential to making the best of this brief span we call a life.

Rush, like John Wayne who was fated to pass on during the malaise of the Carter years, was denied the strength to see these present days through to a resurgence of the American Spirit. Nevertheless, we who remain to carry on know it will be so. When we get there, his words will continue to be a source of strength and inspiration that sees his kind through adversity to better times.

Today also brought the news, albeit a day late, of the passing of Carman Licciardello, whose ministry of Christian music inspired us through many of those same days. ‘Carman,’ as he was simply known at work, brought a charismatic flair and dynamic energy to the spreading of the Word in video works we will now have to revisit, knowing his anthology is complete.

Two more servants gaze at the stars in tonight’s sky in the company of One who knows all their names. Well done, Rush and Carman. Talent, so much talent indeed on loan from God, stands redeemed.

Choose to love, -DA

The Impeachment of Sin

I grew up in another time. We were disciplined, subject to expectations, and led the day in school with the Pledge of Allegiance. We were not cowards, and common wisdom was more evident then. Faith prevailed, and we were blessed. The days were therefore as they should be, but we missed the blessing of that, not imagining it could be any other way. It doesn’t take much intellectual spark these days to see the state of affairs has taken a turn for the worse.

I write this shortly after President Trump has been acquitted in a second show trial inflicted on the country by the political Left. As with every egregious transgression, it was revealing, defining, and an object lesson for those of us determined to go forward in the business of a faithful soul. We are the ones who pay attention to such things and add derived conclusions to our store of wisdom.

For a newly freed believer, once the Spirit pulls back the hood the world has weaved, one sees how the embrace of sin has an aura to it. Wretchedness is evident in the eyes, words … and deeds most of all. That is how faithful people know something terribly wrong has happened to our country.

Guilt settles on sinners. It manifests in regret for those who feel the burn of their conscience, but settles deeper in those for whom grace has never been sought. There, it sinks deep into the soul to become an ever-growing lesion warping what once should have been an continual, lifelong edification of the Spirit. The weight of it repels wholesome thought and twists perspective to steer the lost soul into just the course its patron spirit of death longs to accomplish: company in perdition, for hate’s sake.

Hate burns an exhaustible supply of fuel. It consumes its bearer on the inside first and then, when the outer shell of the soul is perforated, its spark spreads to whatever else is fated to combust. Those flame-weakened souls are now in charge, having sunk to new lows in the pursuit of power on a scale not seen previously. It was a coordinated effort across the country as gleefully documented by Time magazine and, the Spirit says, directed from a lower plane as well. God’s soft and still voice is not the only one active in the world, to the misfortune of the vulnerable who attend the brashness of His enemy.

The American ideal was formulated by our Founders for a committed citizenry of active, involved, cognizant and faithful folk. Our freedoms were recognized as bestowed by our Creator, not granted via consensus in a manner that could be revoked at the whims of those in power for the moment.

For the next two years, the American obligation to We the People will be diminished. In the reprobate minds of trash herders and opportunists, contentment is found in empowering themselves through the continuous spiritual erosion and resultant dependency of their voting base. The consolidation of power through manipulating the tabulation of votes allowed by the resultant lack of scrutiny has been leveraged to ensure this; there is no guiding principle on the political Left except to win, and no fix to soothe their addiction to control other than accumulating ever more of it.

The spirit of the enemy is moving in America, inspiring the treason of election fraud and shoring up the walls behind which installed figureheads will shelter for a time. Those walls stand around the Capitol now, a barrier built out of the fear of consequences of governing against the will of the people and as a testimony to their intent to do just that.

Guilt does such things. The state of possession in which a reprobate mind dwells feeds on hubris as compensation, seeking to convince its victim soul that all is well, when every indicator and fruit of wrongheaded action screams otherwise. Sin, even when institutionalized, remains as wretched in convention as it was in aberration, with the same inevitably encountered consequences as set by natural law in The Way Things Are.

We will watch an inevitable dynamic play out again as indefensible premises are extended into folly unable to bear the load of the world of actualities. Systemic collapse is coming, on a scale more unfortunate than would have been if fortitude had prevailed anywhere in the chain that foisted this national disaster on us. From the local governments who allowed inflated vote counts to stand, to the state houses certifying what the overwhelming preponderance of evidence indicated was fraud, to the courts who refused to hear the appeals of those who stood against the lie that was the election of November 2020, we were betrayed.

The weight of that cumulative transgression in pressing down now on the governance of this nation. It has evolved from hidden guilt to the empowerment of evil evident now in every branch of national government. The Deep State goes deeper than even its core denizens know, for this is no longer a political battle only. This is the revelation of evil arising as prophesied.

People are afraid, and understandably so; I have painted a bleak picture of the present day just now. This is the world in which Jesus warned us we would have trouble, and it is fulfilling its part in His plan. And this is His plan, one set in place before the empowerment of the enemy to corrupt the thinking of his victims, one set in Divine motion above and in advance of any desperation of hate His opposition will ever muster.

Godour Creator, Author and Finisher, the great I Am, Yahweh, the Craftsmanset in time and outside Himself this great work of life to flourish and refine his servants. Its temporal limitation confines His enemies, and defines each and every soul through the actions that will eventually divide them to His right and left hands in final judgement.

This work of His was conceived in love to seek and winnow out those who would love Him in return and so dwell with Him forever, as He at the beginning did not wish to be alone. It is for the sake of those who will that He endures those who will not.

There will be no excuses at the end. They have the same Word we were given, but have not listened. Some will eventually, when the weight of their transgressions and the atrocities of their camp break through the thickest plaque of delusion and guilt to convict them of the sin that imprisoned them. Others will not, and are destined to be bundled and burned with the other tares of the field. It has never been and cannot be any other way.

Outside the corrupted Beltway of the District of Columbia there are states, and those composed of local governments ever less removed from the people they serve. There, the illusion that citizens exist to be directed rather than obeyed is more difficult to sustain; you were meant to be effective there as a citizen: communicating with your representatives the values of faith and ideological Americanism. Clearly state that there will be consequences to disregarding or defying our founding principles just as in every breach of natural law.

There are levels of government to hold to account, just as there are corresponding strata of faithfulness to fulfill in living as we should. In our communities and state governments reside the strength that can right the ship of national policy. You are far from alone in your outrage, and in seeking others of your same sort you will find this a another battle that can be won, once those who think otherwise are thoroughly convinced.

So get to it, America. This is only the beginning of what we will show them.

Choose to Love. -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress continues winter’s work on timeline and fact checking in the downhill portion of Content Edit for the final novel of Sean’s File, featuring his return to Bosnia in ‘Sister’s Shadow.’ Once this is complete, progress in production editing is more predictable, allowing a projected publication date currently anticipated for late summer 2021. Like always, I will keep you informed here, as it is readers who best rock my world.

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.