Sister’s Shadow is Live!

With the Big Three (Kindle, Apple, and Nook) having gotten their retail pages going, we have arrived at effective Full Release for my latest effort. The final novel in Daniel Sean Ritter’s series takes him back to Bosnia, in search of closure for painful memories arising out of his time in that horrid civil war. There, a surreptitious checkup on his last living link to a lost love draws him into the web of Bosnia once more in a tale that, according to his first readers, is knocking it out of the park.

Here’s the blurb:

“Sabrina Crnjak, forever scarred by childhood tragedies arising out of the Bosnian Civil War, now uses her pain as motivation in bringing the instigators of atrocities to justice. When a former Serb defense minister is granted a shocking acquittal in the Hague, the unacceptable outcome provokes her in-depth investigation.

Soon Brina finds herself the target of forces wishing to make both Goran Kos and his pursuer simply disappear. After a lone protector appears, the conflict intensifies as evidence, secreted away years prior, threatens to reveal war criminals who would benefit from present-day inclusion in a continental economy.

With the archive vital to the survival of both sides, a deadly contest ensues. Overwhelming manpower and seemingly inexhaustible resources threaten to crush both Brina and a man whose depth of connection to her life she can only suspect … Daniel Sean Ritter.”

Ten years after he first appeared, this is his latest, possibly his best … and his last. Don’t miss it.

Amazon for the Kindle and trade paperback.
Apple for iOS devices.
Barnes and Noble for the Nook.
And Kobo for everyone else!

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress has begun Content Edit on the seventh title and series wrap of Boone’s File, a retrospective taking us back to her years in Vietnam. Specifically, Two Years with Master Quan. It will be a treat for those who’ve wondered about how she began the life we watched her lead, as told to a little girl who asked. Look for Boone to return next year!

September 11, 2011—Remember Always

Revisiting this post, which originally appeared here ten years ago. Nothing at all, unfortunately, needs updating:

I remember on hearing of the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center’s North Tower that it reminded me of another aircraft incident, the 1945 impact of a B-25 bomber into the Empire State Building one foggy morning. We all thought the first onslaught in the morning of September 11, 2001, a horrid accident. We kept that thought until the second impact a little more than fifteen minutes later, when it was obvious that we were under attack.

Business stopped. We crowded around a small TV in the office, watching the video of the impact on the South Tower and the horrible events afterward. People speculated about the responsible organization. Those of us who followed current events knew that it was Al Qaeda under Bin Laden’s direction, knowing what we did of the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The only comment that I remember making, standing there with my tie loosened, was “You mother[censored]. You want a Holy War, that’s what you’re gonna get.”

This was not exactly an appropriate comment for someone in a government leadership position. No one ever said a thing about it, except one of the younger employees that I supervised, whose response was to look at me and say, “Dude.”

A lot has happened in the last ten years. The Peace Dividend that we had looked forward to with the end of the Cold War evaporated instantly, and the War on Terror began. The world has taken on a far different form than we expected at the beginning of the third quarter of 2001. Faith wavered, and our national will was turned by the incessantly whining voices of the Left, until they gained power. The next four years was spent by a liberal political majority gorging at the trough of the American economy. A binge of insatiable government spending wilting the economy, the crushing economic consequences of the collapse of the Left’s interference in mortgage lending, and a nation weary of the costs of war all helped in the election of the current President. Some of the most pathetic years in the history of the office have followed.

Much like the human disaster of September 11th, the economic and cultural disaster of the current administration will leave rubble in its wake. It will have other aftereffects as well. More people than ever are politically active, and the most of the energy is from the conservative, hyper-competent elements of society. Constitutional government and free-market capitalism is in resurgence, now that the antithesis has been proven by its results so unworkable. People have clear comparisons to draw and harsh lessons to remember in which political and economic philosophies produce progress and folly. The lesson is of generational scope, and soon the landscape of American politics will change, just as the world scene has changed after 9/11.

In each case enemies of freedom came at us to make us weaker and made us stronger instead. Adversity does that. It is the seedbed of character. Without circumstances to overcome, we would be complacent. Without embracing the victims of disaster, we could not experience empathy. Nobility and courage would have no opportunity to prove their worth. These are all part of the eternity of answers that are available whenever the question “How can a loving God let this happen?” is asked.

We remember, and we have tried to learn from that day. God works yet in history to bring about His own ends, and faith brings strength, while hate, faithlessness, delusion and feckless self-interest hasten our demise. We continue to hope, as generations of the faithful have throughout history. We pray that somehow— this time— the lessons will be remembered.

Choose to Love, -DA

WTC_Memorial

*****

With all respect to the day, there is production news, as the Editress has finished her efforts on Daniel Sean Ritter’s concluding novel, his return to Bosnia in Sister’s Shadow. File formatting and final quality checks are ahead before a publication date will be announced, but I anticipate a release this month, God willing. Updates here ASAP.

You’re Going To Die

Being mortal, vulnerable and tentative taken as a whole consolidates into an unavoidable conclusion: you’re going to die. How does that make you feel? Feelings come first as they did in childhood, hopefully moderated in due time by adult intellect. Unfortunately, this ideal process seems to be less evident every day, as it’s sadly obvious many in this comfortable society have never reached rational maturity.

Fear. I’ve really no use for it. It could be that I had too much of it as a young man, or that with age fear loses its grip on so much of what it found to hold onto in youth. In any event, today is a time when fear is rampant: being instilled, leveraged, and exploited, and as a consequence spreading like a virus.

Souls susceptible to fear-mongering strategies have failed to embrace their essential mortality. Rather than our being made so for the sake of despair and terror, life’s beauty of fleeting fragility is a construct meant to draw us closer to our Creator, and begin to thread the bond of the personal relationship and resulting redemption that draws us home once His work in us is finished.

Fear is detrimental to the sort of adult reasoning that resolves a suboptimal situation. Panic, conversely, only prolongs the sort of wretched downslope we’re being forced to observed in the current news cycle. Having worked in government, I ‘ve at times had opportunities to observe what I once termed as Hands Above the Head Running About Behavior in people who really should have known better. People who feel a need to Do Something act because they perceive doing so is expected, and they embrace hurried decisions without taking time to consider a rational course of action. Lao Tzu wrote eighty-one chapters about such decisions, one precept in which is the wisdom, “If nothing is done, then all will be well.”

That, by the way, is how nature affords protection from a virus by using our immune systems rather than unnatural forced mass immunizations. Your opinion might vary, but as I see things, doing nothing beats the hell out of killing thousands of people and injuring many tens of thousands more with a vaccine no one ever needed, like the jab that was approved rubber stamped by the FDA this week. Good going, group think.

Certain emotions are incompatible with fear. Anger is one. The transition from fear to anger may be abrupt to the point of conferring a tactical advantage or managing a reversal, which is one great reason to avoid becoming addicted to inflicting terror on one’s designated victim group. This advice applies whether or not you brainstormed a sustainable sixty-billion-dollar pharmacological initiative because you became bored with counting the money you already had.

As a character of mine once observed, cowards can become ass-kickers if you enrage enough of them at the same time. (Feel-good bonus points to be awarded in the comments if you can name that novel). The time might be closer than any of us think.

Such consequences instruct. They teach the observant where life may be found, and warn observers from a distance. The hard lesson is that when a dearth of wisdom causes things to go south, sometimes not everyone walks away. Lost souls are the waste products of Creation in a universe where things can get real without warning. Depending on strategies of fear to keep your marks susceptible to manipulation is a plan without an exit strategy, because once you lose the power conferred by your victims’ fear, your scheme has run its course. The spirit of fear you leveraged in wickedness will turn on you then, revealing itself in the realization of the consequences you’ve brought down on yourself.

Love doesn’t engender fear. It nurtures the courage to do what one should in the face of trepidation. Courage is a learned response, one we have the duty to pass onto others once we grasp its nature and application. We are, in a sense, tomes in God’s lending library. Our Author and Finisher intends us to go forward with those who experience us from then on, whether it’s through a chance encounter, being a friend, parenting, producing a novel, or leading a country.

If you seek the deepest wisdom, fear only the judgment of a righteous God: an inevitability that no one can withstand without the spirit of Christ as an advocate. The provision He made can transform fear into joy and open the curtain between His realm and ours to the bright sunshine of unimaginable love waiting on the other side.

Time and again, one sees the admonition in Scripture: “Do not be afraid.” It’s a recognition of the spiritually myopic realm in which we are being raised up, and a recognition of the frailty of the creatures meant to one day become His eternal servants. Fear is indeed real and unavoidable here in our plane, and its antidote and antithesis is faith.

To pass out of this life into the presence of Christ is our great hope and continual motivation to keep going in a world of character-building challenges. Had He not appeared, hope would be more difficult to maintain, and today the dividing line between the faithful and unbelievers has never been more stark.

That being said, we are as I write this we are also fast approaching Rosh Hashanah, the appointed time in Judaism which Messianic scholars view in the timeline leading to His Millennial Kingdom as next up for fulfillment by Christ. Should He call His church out of the world as Paul hinted, this will be my last entry in Vae Obscurum. Ironic that I should write on the dangers of fearing death when some of us will, as Paul promised Thessalonica, “not all sleep.”

So, having said all that, what we’ve been told already by Jesus I’ll repeat: don’t be afraid. You might forget to live in the meantime.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress is approaching ninety percent completion in Ritter’s concluding novel and Sean’s File Book Six, Sister’s Shadow. The title might or might not precede the arrival of fall, God willing that it is published at all. Should Jesus tarry in this Rapture Season, not willing any should be lost, Daniel Sean Ritter’s return to Bosnia will be worth the wait, just as it is worth the work. Both, after all, are what the faithful do, “That Others May Live.”

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