Category Archives: Uncategorized

Remember Them

It was a hollow voice. Such a cold voice I barely heard carried across the veil between us. Even in faintness, it arrived as the crisp sound water makes in the stream of a cave.

“You stand at the foot of my grave,” it whispered, “but I cannot determine what I see. I have played my part and can ask this same of you, in whose charge now the country I served falls: Do you dwell on your duties as I attended mine?

“Do you elevate men and women who deserve to command my loyalty? Is this America where I rest, made yet today from many into one, or has it fallen to division and wretched selfishness? Do you build on the sacrifice I have sown into this hallowed ground?”

Then came another, as if from even greater distance: “Are you instead content to only lap up the gravy of liberty? That, you know, is your freedom mixed with the blood of heroes!”

The first returned, now more solemn: “My part is done and yours remains. I know the price of what I bought. Generation by generation here in this silent earth they came as I have now. Row on row, in death as we stood in life: together.”

“We are watching,” more and more of the voices agreed. They all murmured their accordance: “We are watching. We are watching.”

*****

May it be for you a peaceful Memorial Day Weekend and an observant Monday.

Choose to love, -DA

Two Years With Master Quan

Did you have it planned this way all along?” The Editress asked when she finished her work on Boone 7, Novel 15, Two Years With Master Quan.

Planned? I plot, yes. I think about the lives of my characters, where they came from, where they are and where they’ll go. I think about how they get there and why. Then I write novels for readers who like to think as well.

Boone’s first and last adventure takes place before all her others, as an origin story that explored the questions to which I needed the answers. We met her at her worst, and say goodbye to her here on the threshold of the life she envisioned, pursued, and afterward endured.

Along the way, I learned to love her just a little more, and by its end pitied her as youthful enthusiasm sets her on a path to what Jon Anthony’s ancient Arab poet declared to be The Anvil of the Craftsman. It’s already been called her best yet. See what you think, and then let me know. Today it is in effective full release.

Here’s the blurb:

“It is 2004. After earning a PhD in Physiology, academic prodigy Rebecca Boone Hildebrandt, drawn to Vietnam by her lust for adventure, nears completion of another two-year course of study. Here, her instructor is a master of martial arts and former wartime-era associate of her father.

After drug traffickers expanding their operations force a confrontation with the righteous old man, operatives of the West draw him into another covert war. Thrust from a study of martial arts into their most serious application, Boone joins a face-off against a hardened criminal organization backed by local communist beneficiaries.

In their frustration, an opposition seeking to prevail proves desperate enough to kidnap an honored patriarch of his village. Boone, one French DGSE asset, and an agent of the American CIA stand as the last hope for his release from the center of a trap set just for them.”

KindleAppleNookKobopaperback

Choose to love always. -DA

The Unserious

Christians and conservatives are often accused of wanting to tell others how to live. Most often, those accusations come from demographic sectors where the least idea of how to go about doing just that is rarely in evidence.

Living proceeds from being alive in the first place, and as such, thwarting the process occupies much of the mind of the enemy to whom the work of Life is antithetical to his established goals. Dysfunction in living is delight to the spirit of anti-life. It’s at once a sick passion, an indulgence, and exemplifies in cosmic scale the short-term gratification abounding in lifestyles dedicated to diversity in the various deadly sins.

A truly vital perspective necessitates embracing the concepts of a personal God and a personal enemy, something else the dark patron spirit of the lost obscures whenever possible. Right and wrong are inseparable in clarity from the duality of life and anti-life, just as are love and hate.

Attempts can and have been made to separate morality and valid faith, of course. Doing so, however, requires a perspective convoluted enough to ignore historical realities preserved in the context and accounts of Scripture. Unfortunately, the ignorance of history is also as much a factor in the malevolent strategies now so prominent in current events as it is for the purveyors of spiritual death.

Much of human historydriven by human naturerevolves around conflict. History is a synthesis arising from the dynamic between the ambition of tyrants and its antithesis, that being the will of free folk to oppose subjugation. It’s no surprise, then, that tyrants husband the ignorant, encourage the dependent delusions of their enablers, and enfeeble intellect wherever possible. One cannot repeat history against the self-sufficient, grounded, and aware.

That’s why I left Facebook, and so should you. But again, I digress.

The political Left, absolutely the camp of anti-life on this plane, encourages thinking otherwise wherever possible. Lefties live in a house of cards built on the sand of shared delusion, which is why opposing voices there are ruthlessly silenced by any means necessary. Deconstructing a premise is more work than leftists care to undertake, and in the case of a valid premise is impossible in an arena of ideas where the ground is level.

The combined weight of woke opinions, irrational expressions of adopted identity, acculturated inherited grievance based on covetous envy, and unnatural sexual indulgence affect the actual state of being not at all, of course. The state of actuality, referenced here often as natural law, is as unaffected by consensus as it is unyielding in pronouncing its judgments of prospering initiative and collapsing folly. Natural laws incorporate their own enforcement mechanism manifesting in life or death.

So it might be that the whispering voices promoting wisdom, rather than wanting to tell us how to live, are actually interested in steering us to where life may be found. Those “stray thoughts” and “moments of clarity” are the subtly beneficial influences worth attending and the main benefit of embracing and incorporating personal faith.

Life is a serious subject, reflecting directly the Will of the Living God. Unserious people are its understandably poor students. Once one comprehends the distinction, it cannot be unseen.

Tyranny is a serious problem, enabled by unserious people. The aforementioned unserious, having been groomed to their purpose, have since been elevated to strategic positions in leadership roles well beyond their native capacity in order to promote predictable dysfunction. It’s no accident that the long supply lines of a successful economy are being broken down, that a universal and digital means of exchange is an increasing subject of discussion, and that fiat currency is being inflated past the bounds of responsible policy.

When people who have no idea how the world actually works are put in charge, it occasionally catches fire and partially burns down. Such is to the delight of both the dark patron spirit of the lost and his enthralled arsonists.

Serious problems are being fomented so that the unserious, being unable to govern to good effect in prosperous times, will absolutely clamor for effective leadership once we encounter systemic collapse. In the eyes of secular government, the more power consolidates, the more satisfying the temporary satiation of its addicts. None of this will be a surprise to those who’ve absorbed the warnings in the Revelation of John.

Does that statement tick a checkbox in your mind? Some, excessively grounded in the apparent, consider an eschatological perspective to be irrational and cultlike. Granted, until its fulfillment prophesy is a premise of theory, and like many premises vulnerable to unfounded extensions due to its sometimes intentional vagueness and often subtle context. There’s no shortage of folk, particularly on the Internet, seemingly willing to dig themselves a rabbit hole and then jump clear down to the bottom of the thing.

It could be a complete coincidence, I suppose, that after nearly four decades jointly spent in paying attention to both scholars of approaching end times and current events, I’ve not seen society do anything but march toward the days in John’s vision. Did human nature progressing to universal governance and coinciding with enabling advances in technology seem that predictable in the first century A.D.? Faith whispers otherwise.

Biblical foresight isn’t the purported secret knowledge claimed by the occult and those addicted to conspiracy theory. Judging by the fruits of life and death found in each, which we’ve already established as the universal standard of good and evil, it’s more apparent prophesy exists as a gift of wisdom and foreknowledge to those who in faith will look and listen.

Angels whisper their advice, and if you’ve heard them, you understand. If there’s a lesson I can relate after having been the conduit for fifteen novels, Ritter’s short story, and enough content here to fill another book, it’s this: dedicate yourself, and the Spirit flows. My advice is to be part of that work of life afterward, wherever it is you find it. It’s serious business, after all.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress has completed her work on Boone’s seventh title, Two Years With Master Quan, and the novel is now undergoing external proofreading. April, God willing, will see the completion of my catalogue, growing as shall all things green and good, with Boone’s origin story as prompted by a little girl who asked. News, as always, will be heard here first.

More Than Being Here

You’ve heard it more than once: “We’re all Americans.” The phrase is a standardized rhetorical tool, and it’s used often by those attempting to foist another questionable narrative on bystanders surrounding the arena of ideas. Premises dubious and solid comprise political discourse in this county. Mere embrace of this particular canard is prima facie evidence of civic illiteracy at best in the current environment, where granting such benefit of doubt is often tantamount to willing denial.

No, we’re not all Americans. Not even close.

America is an ideal, a construct of interrelated ideas. America formed in the minds of men and women at a time where the capacity for deliberate thought was the valued measure of intellect, and whose survival of rational criticism led to its adoption and proliferation out of a sense of morality, and destiny, and shared benefit.

America, as an ideal, stands as a bright shining inspiration and aspiration set as a goal pursued by those who understand it. As such, this apex philosophy of human governance—proliferated through its ideology—rests in the premise that just powers derive from the consent of the governed. It was a radical concept at the end of the age of the supposedly divine right of kingship, and it endures here in opposition to the tide of globalized homogenization those who presume to be a ruling class envision for the future.

America was founded by folk who understood the concept of a ruling class not only reflects base instincts of humanity’s sin nature, but denies the actual divine bestowment of human rights they attempted to delineate in our founding documents. Thought, remember, was a valued process at the time, refined and arrived at through an established regimen of construction and examination.

And when the founders were finished, they went to war against those who thought otherwise. That, too, reflects a state of affairs, again due to the aberrations of will manifesting in human nature, which will never be otherwise. It’s our Constitution. Come and take it, mother lovers.

No, we’re not all Americans. We’re all citizens, a status conferred at birth (to those whose parents are not under the authority of a foreign government, but that’s another discussion). As such, we as a body of citizenry are Americans, or victims of the divisive politics of envy and identity, and/or globalized socialists, communists, reprobates, and/or outright traitors. As in the LGBTQ∞ lexicon, the listing will never be complete, because there are innumerable ways to do anything incorrectly.

“Do you think we don’t love our country?” I was, once, posed that question by a state district court judge whose politics reflected her ignorance, not treason. She herself declared wards of the state children loved by their parents, who were endangered by their continued custody. Likewise, applied ideological Americanism is going to disenfranchise those whose ambition far outstrips their common sense, capacity for servant leadership, or patriotism.

Accountability is the prime mover of representative democracy, which is why the current administration is struggling after the short-term gains reaped from an obviously and undeniably fraudulent and stolen 2020 election. The Democratic Party is a potentially terminal illness putrefying the body of American governance, and their excision is their nation’s route toward healing. They did it to themselves and will do more and worse.

Here, and in the truck-choked arteries of Canada, and in the streets of European capitals filled with citizens who have had enough presumption from the self-appointed “ruling class,” political ideologies embracing liberty under the consent of the governed are undergoing resurgence. The maintenance of freedom, as our founders intended, is the realm of an engaged and involved citizenry. Tyrants thrive under the delusion that the people will do as they’re told, when the natural state is quite the reverse.

The principle has been stated here before: the extension and institutionalization of a false premise eventually leads to systemic collapse. It will be so for the Democratic Party, their doddering, unnaturally elevated and demented figurehead Joe Biden, for Big Pharma’s COVID narrative, and for the intransigent moral weakness of Justin Trudeau.

There is an ordained order of loyalties to The God Who Is, and to one’s nation, descending through the institution of natural marriage and resultant family and community. All follow the delineated virtues whose embrace forms a stable foundation for the life to follow. The benefits of faith, fealty and dedication to that beyond our immediate self result and manifest in strength emanating from the inside out and produce a personal effect an order of magnitude beyond self interest.

The effect is that of a fulfilled soul. That store of wealth is eternal: the compounded interest of investment of talents Jesus declared essential.

We, invested with free will as well, embrace or reject each virtue and vice in the matrix of character and are measured as loving or evil, intelligent or limited, cognizant or ignorant, servant or enemy. The results will be evident in our personal lives, our communities, and our countries. Faith says we shall, at the end of our days, be called to account for how we have lived.

We, here in the States at least, are for or against the tenets of ideological Americanism, and being so is the measure of whether or not we deserve to claim the title of American. The unifying inclusiveness of the ideology crosses national boundaries and may bear other titles. But as the current surge in populism reflects, those who presume to lead in disregard of the consent of the governed have sufficiently cautionary examples in history to conclude that the age of tyrants is over, and that freedom, like water, may crash as well as flow.

There is, as Paul implied, above a certain level no male or female, no one enslaved or free, none Jew or Greek. We in our ideal state are souls cognizant of the rights granted to us at our Creation, for a purpose designated therein and under a duty to edify and elevate one another toward a common noble destiny. As ever, we have love, hate and indifference beckoning along the way … and it never was any more complicated than that, really.

Choose to love. -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress is approximately three-quarters along in her processes of editing the seventh title of Boone’s File, Two Years With Master Quan. Boone’s first adventure and final novel appears to remain on track for a second-quarter publication date and before predictable summer doldrums descend on the industry. More updates as we  may!

Dr. King’s Dream in 2022

I arrived in Chicago via train on April 4, 1968, as a preschool child traveling with his family to visit an aunt who was recovering from surgery. I have only fleeting memories of that trip: the sounds of the tracks and diesel smell of the engine, and the odd configuration of the onboard restroom toilet. I don’t remember the anxious rush of relatives who met us at the train station wanting to get us away from the downtown area.

That was the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. My cognizant life has been lived in the man’s legacy.

Mid-1950s Southern Democrats, ninety years after losing the Civil War, continued to cling to acculturated race-based tiers of society. As society progressed and those outmoded ways of thinking encountered the same sort of ideological headwinds which ended slavery in the previous century, it fell to Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks to spark the formative challenge of Alabama’s racial segregation. The result was the Civil Rights movement lasting another decade, in which Americans of African descent demanded equal footing in their nation and in which Martin Luther King, Jr. rose to the prominence that eventually cost him his life.

Shortly afterward, it was the same Democratic Party—who lost ownership of their slaves a hundred years prior, and who vehemently opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act—formulating a controlling strategy only slightly less abhorrent than presuming to categorize another human being as property. Blacks, unable to be kept in place through intimidation, were now introduced to the more subtle bondage of family-destroying dependence on social welfare programs. Black Americans, having only just overcome the shackles of segregation, became Black Democrats and began voting for their political masters in rates invading the ninetieth percentile.

The battle for equal footing in the pursuit of excellence and of the American visionand Dr. King’s dream of defining quality of character—has been replaced on the political Left by the pursuit of lame advantage. It happened first through empowerment conferred by the aforementioned engineered monolithic voting bloc. Via leveraging divisive politics of racial identity and evolving into the ongoing woke culture, the Democratic Party descended into our modern day’s last harbor of the slave-owning mentality in a nation they innately despise. Steering the vulnerable into the morass of a cultivated victim mentality has been the Democrats’ primary strategy since, comprising a continuous tug on loose strings in the fabric of American society.

To abandon economic morality and seek gains outside the rewards of excellence requires confiscating the fruits of the more capable. Doing so by wile rather than force requires such to be handed over rather than taken. Acquiescing to such assumption also had to be engineered, and so we arrived at the second great strategy of the political Left: the assignment of unwarranted guilt, again on the basis of race. Nothing more is required to acquire the label of racism than refusing to accept the undeserved accusation, and deconstructing the underlying premise as indefensible only causes one’s accusers to increase their volume.

No one living today’s American society has ever experienced institutional slavery here. Outside of the scourge of communism and the doctrinal servitude continuing to be practiced in Islam, the incongruity of slavery was reconciled with my nation’s founding principles within a lifetime of their establishment and with the greatest cost of life in our military history. Dr. King’s dream embraced nothing of inherited grievance. To do so is bondage imposed by the same spirit of envy driving the increasingly sputtering engine of the political Left.

The pursuit of lame advantage might indeed result in advantage. The lameness, however, will be more consistently enduring.

Dr. King’s dream that his children would be assessed by the content of their character was an ideologically American dream. It’s one currently making inroads in the fracturing Democrat voting blocs who, being as capable of intellectual influence as any other demographic, continue in increasing numbers to realize the intentional limitations of the victim mentality. There is an essential humanitarian disconnect in those who profess concern with their supporters’ state while actually pursuing a lame advantage of their own: in valuing sustained political empowerment well in excess of any benefit conferred to their enabling constituents.

There is no racial component to ideological Americanism. Rally under the red, white, and blue banner of my tribe. Stand for the Anthem and you’re in. Appreciate what history is available to teach us all how to comport ourselves going forward. We may do so edified by the experiences of our forebears and by the rational criticism of premises that drove their striving in days gone by, whether we view them in the present day as points of light or shadow.

This fragile American experiment is an anomaly in humanity’s long history of governmental tyranny. The dark spirit of despair holds slaves of its own, chained by the deception that little else matters beyond our selfish concerns, that justice is synonymous with confiscation, and that the whispered choice between love, hate and indifference matters less than the braying voice of covetousness driving its victims to take what they’re told they have inherited the right to snatch away.

Be the people, and Martin Luther King, Jr. will be proud.

Choose to love – DA

*****

In production news, the Editress is now working in the second half of the seventh and concluding novel of Boone’s File, Two Years with Master Quan. God willing, the title will appear in the second quarter of this year. While we wait for Boone’s origin story, as told to a little girl who asked, pick up her first novel, Absinthe and Chocolate, as a free download or priced inexpensively as allowed wherever your eBooks come alive.

Resolve

As I write this, we are not even a week into what is considered inside the Perimeter to be the cruelest month. Dear kitteh TR, often the first one up to the top as a kitten, ascended to the New House on New Year’s Day in 2009, and his brother Gordon on January 30 three years later. Today, January 6, is Gato’s Day, when we miss and remember a good cat—strong, brave, and levelheaded—on the second anniversary of losing our beloved orange stepchild.

That’s the way of things when committing to love someone not likely to outlive you. It takes an essential sort of courage to do so regardless, and dealings with what comes next comprise life lessons purposely bestowed as subjects of contemplation. We would not have them any other way, which is good, considering they will never be any other way.

This year, January 6 is also the anniversary of losing something, if only temporarily, that was supposed to far outlast us: namely the bestowment of just powers, derived from the consent of the governed, via the treasured institution of free and fair elections. Worse, we didn’t lose this through any progression of natural process. It was taken from us quite unnaturally by traitors and criminals who think they know better how things should be than did America’s Founders.

Over the course of the past year it’s become painfully obvious the current administration and legislative branches are populated on the political Left by individuals elevated through obvious and undeniable interstate fraud. That none of those usurpers have been shot or hanged to date speaks well of the level of civility remaining on the right side of the bell-shaped curve of distribution defining the spectrum of American politics.

Today, hand-wringing commentators more devoted to narrative than integrity will decry the protest at the Capitol of January 6, 2021 as testimony otherwise. Those who have examined the footage and evidence know the unfortunate events of that day were planned and orchestrated by instigators for the exact effect achieved: a coup unopposed by the only strategy which would have prevented the embarrassing debacle of the Biden administration.

Despite conducting the national election in ways that were unconstitutional and illegal at the federal and state levels, corrupt state executives and legislatures allowed their respective electors to present the bounty of Democrat fraud to the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, then presiding over the Senate. His inadequacy was the last ditch that could have decided the election in the House of Representatives, where a preponderance of Republican-majority state delegations reside. For reasons that are equally incomprehensible as his decision to forgo courage, he has since been allowed to appear in public wearing trousers rather than the Swamp Skirt (Pence-ill skirt?) he earned one year ago today.

Mike Pence thinks he’s going to be the Republican candidate for President one day. The Hindenburg was once considered the future of air travel, as well.

Anyway….

The Democrats’ political machine, simply dying to rule, is also killing to rule. Besides Ashli Babbitt, who was shot to death without reasonable justification by Capitol Police officer Lester Holt, Rosanne Boyland died after being beaten during a brutal assault on protesters in a tunnel on the lower west side of the Capitol building. Since those losses, patriots who vented their outrage at a stolen election have been hunted with facial recognition and cell phone network identifiers, interrogated, imprisoned without trial, and harassed by federal authorities, while entrapping instigators such as Ray Epps walk free.

I ditched Facebook before the current regime took power in Washington, recognizing the site would only become target designators in a brave new world dominated for a time by the unelected and unaccountable power-mad in D.C. Prior, I was acquainted with the head of the South Carolina Tea Party, Pressley Stutts, who was invited onto the Capitol steps by its police officers, and whose selfies posted there earned him harassment by the TSA (“We know where you were on January 6th”) that he feared would last a lifetime.

COVID treatment protocols killed Pressley when he was hospitalized with the virus later that same year, but that is another story.

We have endured the Biden administration for twelve months now. A showcase of exemplary inadequacy, as a result of their wrongheaded policies the country’s economy has suffered, sixty percent of respondents now see Joe Biden as a weak president, and nearly every appearance by the man generates more speculation on what his neurological future holds. Spoiler: it holds as little promise as do those determined to ignore The Way Things Are.

Attempting to wish away consequence is a dead-end road traveled by childish minds and the distinguishing characteristic of the political Left. The delusion promising that sin brings profit is eventually set right for liars, thieves, plagiarists, and the perverse and corrupt. Joe Biden is demonstrably all of those things. His son Hunter is further testament to the deficient character of the man who produced him, and his historical legacy will only be that of a doddering figurehead elevated via fraud by a controlling cabal of opportunists, traitors, reprobates, and idiots. Their temporary advantage can and should have only one result:  the desiccated political viability of the Democratic Party smoldering in the ruins of the midterm elections of 2022 and the presidential contest conducted under reforms to be put in place between now and 2024.

Today’s Democratic Party is living in a Matrix-like construct engineered entirely by their own aversion to wisdom. And as in the most recent installment of that cinematic franchise, they are also dedicated to the deliberate dismantling of what came before.

No person of normal sensibilities embraces their own destruction. Doing so has been an indicator of mental illness since our species has been sufficiently self-aware to detect those thus afflicted. Degrading the moral and ideological fabric of one’s society roots in self-hatred spawned by the dark patron spirit currently dominating Hollywood. In the same venomous vein driven by colluding inner voices, producers, directors, and politicos seem determined to tear down the institutions that edified and inspired their adherents in favor of agendas that cannot stand against rational criticism.

I have a degree in psychology, and none of the theories I studied for years explains such a state of dedicated and demented human evil as this: their patron spirit wants them (and us) dead.

Individuals locating on the left half of the bell-shaped curve have a common pathology. As the political Left sees government as the summit of authority promising the license to impose their will, the immoral Left (seldom apolitical) holds the apex of the human experience to be indulgence in abyssal depths of depravity without criticism or apparent consequence. Both are manifestations of captivity in the deadly sin of lust.

Politicians currently exploiting the engineered optics of January 6, 2021 have been frustrated in their agenda of overreach over the past year. They rushed into their wish list of tyranny, forgetting that governance in the United States is bounded by Constitutional limits. Those powers not specifically granted belong instead to the States, per the Tenth Amendment’s stipulation.

In the case of the immoral Left, The Way Things Are stymie every plan to escape consequence, consigning transgressors to the judgment of natural law. In both cases indefensible actions, once institutionalized, will inevitably result in systemic collapse rather than being accepted as “the new normal.”

And it doesn’t matter whether that system is the Democratic Party, fiscal irresponsibility, or the terminus of the gastrointestinal tract. Matters there don’t end well when pursued past their limits.

Government manifesting servant leadership rather than oppression roots in the self-governance of a responsible electorate elevating like minds to the righteous authority free and fair elections allow. Since the current cabal found themselves empowered by other means, it was to be expected that the following months would see things go from bad to worse. Natural law is by design a teacher whose harsh lessons impart to those at a distance lasting comprehension of why certain behaviors should be avoided.

It’s the time of year to set goals and pursue aspirations, as we look forward while holding close the lessons of the past. The challenges ahead of we patriots and folk of valid faith require more than resolutions, though. They require resolve to embrace strength rather than weakness. Being strong, we can legitimately demand and cultivate strength in others. Holding ourselves accountable, we can apply the same standards of accountability elsewhere. Believing, we are empowered to propagate awareness of the state of actuality lending an appreciation for the levels and planes of governance beyond the apparent. Having grasped eternal constructs in The Way Things Are, we may proceed to meet the challenges of a new year without fear of tomorrow.

We are meant to live as free folk, not livestock, and in courage, not trepidation. Those who think otherwise might need to be convinced in 2022, but it has never been and never will be otherwise.

Choose to love, -DA

****

In production news, the Editress is midway through Boone’s seventh and concluding title, Two Years with Master Quan. Current progress is hinting at a late spring/early summer release, God willing. Boone, Thibaut, Quan and others you’ve not yet met will be worth the wait, I promise.

Christmas Is

Christmas is fast approaching as I write this. The thirty-fifth deployment of the Perimeter’s little tree is complete, and it again stands guard over both artfully and man-wrapped gifts. Its accompanying stuffed Christmas Moose and Penguin are intermittently on station when not being abducted and abused by Kitteh Leo, who is also responsible for one of the Editress’s ceramic ornaments not being quite what it was last year.

Music by Elvis, Mannheim Steamroller and others pervades the ambiance. Die Hard has been viewed already, featuring the annual Dropping of the Hans and remembrance of those lost in 1988 at the Nakatomi Tower. The Season is here.

There are many answers one might garner when asking others what Christmas is. Some will be hostile and defensive, projecting a spittled tirade shot through with the false premises guiding those who revile this time of year. As with every good thing, there are those who just don’t understand.

It’s a federal holiday, a long weekend, and a time for family. It’s the medieval institutionalization of the pagan observance of the Winter Solstice rebranded in a new paradigm by the early Church as Christianity gained dominance via western civilization’s governing hierarchy. Yes, Christmas is all those things. But it’s more.

Christmas is rooted in the historical appearance of the Christ Child. The birth of Jesus is celebrated at the end of December out of tradition, though Scripture hints of His arriving during the Feast of Tabernacles occurring in the fall instead. History is what it is, and all of its distracting errata cannot overshadow the fact that He arrived, just as it cannot hide the truth that He Was, and Is, and Is To Come. Without Jesus, it and we are emptied of what matters most.

That foundational premise comprises a hard stop for unbelieving souls: the Holiday Season crowd, happy to partake in days off and satisfied to celebrate materialism, themselves, or whatever else in the human experience they feel should occupy our attention instead. The Christmas Spirit is a Christian Spirit, being an outgrowth of the essential orientation of faith, as are many other attributes of life being lived as it should. We proceed, faith says, in a binary system of ones and zeroes, with every aspect of our existence being within or in opposition to the Will of God.

My writing started with my character Jon Anthony, in whose theology he espoused a “reduction to essence” which, as such luminaries as Lao Tzu and Winnie the Pooh agreed, begins at the beginning. Our essential orientation defines us, being a set of unavoidable and existential questions we answer in our actions if not contemplation. In those, we have two patron spirits vying for our affiliation; their hallmarks are vitality or decay, nurture or predation, connection or isolation, love and hate, and many other opposites. Every choice made is dominated by a spirit of light or darkness, with valid faith being the determinate factor of each turn toward fulfillment or folly. It’s not much of a mystery which patron benefits us most: it’s the one Who wishes us at each juncture to live rather than die.

History is a resource presenting us the opportunity to grow via the life lessons of others rather than relying on our own limited experience, and as such attending or ignoring the opportunity is another of the binary choices we all must make. And the history of the Christian experience, an appearance which was delayed into historical times, is one on which we can rely.

We can reference, through Roman historians long passed into eternity, confirmation of the Census of Quinirius in the years of Augustus that prompted the travel of Joseph’s new family to Bethlehem. Likewise, the later ministry of the Christ Child grown into manhood would be documented by Josephus in his tome The Jewish Wars. Christmas Is because Jesus Is, and we who have looked into the subject have rational assurance of all these events rather than needing to take any of them on blind faith, as the faithless accuse. But to see these things one must look, while the distraction from that search is the goal of every effort of the enemy. Every experience derives from the victory of one or another of the two competing spirits who vie for us all; spiritually, politically, and personally.

Observance is telling once one understands. The Spirit bestows the gift of what the Greeks called Diakrisis, the discernment of spirits. It can be a burden to see people from the inside out. There you’ll find inflamed, self-inflicted wounds, the fever of guilt, and addiction to premises that poison the mind before they infect the soul. But the joy of recognizing love’s driving force is there to discover as well, and the hope of healing one to the other is what keeps our walk of faith vital and relevant.

To live as we’re meant, we need to understand all we can, and there’s no better time of year to begin. Christmas presents, you see, cannot compete with Christmas Presence. Understood in its fullness, the season never has to end. There is strength there to be had through simple recognition of The Way Things Are, blinding as its initial insight might be.

Your inner eye will adjust. Trust me … and then trust Him with everything.

Merry Christmas. Choose to love. -DA

*****

In production news, the Editress is somewhere in the vicinity of forty percent through production editing of Boone’s concluding novel, Two Years with Master Quan. Our favorite redhead’s first and last adventure, set during her postdoctoral studies in Vietnam and featuring Thibaut, Quan, and others, will appear next year as God is willing. If you’ve not yet been, her previous six novels are a trip worth the time.

Season of Gratitude

As I write this, we are enjoying Thanksgiving. Its historical context remains as a remembrance of salvation through altruism, and its enduring value, even with reduced emphasis of its history, is as a reminder that we are the recipients of blessings. As moral and faithful people, we should by implication dedicate ourselves to an “attitude of gratitude.” To institutionalize gratefulness, as the holiday achieved, only strengthens us individually and societally.

Life is not all blessings, of course. This experience we pass through on the road to eternity is at once a trial and training. On the way, it presents challenges building us in the same way we exercise our bodies with weights. The weights are a constant. But they seem lighter as we grow stronger, and then we lift more as God is willing.

One of my weights this year is the passing of a dear friend, one made in the course of online interaction and who I never managed to meet in person over a span of more than twenty years. I first knew Robyn under her AOL screen name of “Woblynyetski,” and eventually she became simply “Wobs.” She had the distinction of being a survivor of breast cancer that whole time, facing her continually ongoing treatments with optimism and dignity and without a shred of self-pity or despair. As such, she remains one of the brightest souls I’ve met on my own road.

Facebook eventually replaced AOL, of course, and until my exit from that intrusive, overbearing, repulsive, ideologically reprobative platform last year, it allowed us to keep in touch. Afterward, we occasionally corresponded in email … until one day my last send went unanswered.

I found her obituary via an online search and knew her fight to the finish with cancer was over. The disease never did win, for she took every one of those little bastard cells with her and accounted for millions more in previous battles.

I wish I could say with assurance she traveled on under the grace of Christ. Wobs, you see, advocated and promoted Scientology. As I know from the account of an acquainted author friend, whose mother herself was another author of prominence, L. Ron Hubbard expressed an aim to organize his own religion as a means of accumulating wealth. I have no reason to doubt her mother’s account, as the man was, at the time, their family friend and frequent visitor, and the organization he later spawned continues to reap a certain financial levy on those whom it attracts.

Robyn knew of Jesus. I never heard her discount the testimony of the New Testament or show any hostility toward Christianity. Rather, I had the distinct impression that she made available, aside from any motive of its founder, the supposedly scientific methods of self-improvement Scientology advocates, I’m convinced, out of her sincere motivation to benefit others.

Robyn was one of most cheerful and loving friends I’ve known, and it’s easy to draw distinctions between her and those who give me far less hope. One cannot avoid them if interested in what Thomas Jefferson so aptly phased, “the Course of human events.”

Truly evil people make the news almost daily. They hoard billions, they rise to the highest levels of government, they pursue fame until they’re known in every corner of the world, discount God’s work of life, and they debase themselves in what the physical plane can offer until they are exhausted. And when their expended souls stand to be judged, and there is no voice to rise in their defense, they will be utterly without hope. What futility. What terror. What tragic myopia. Hateful, hard-eyed, avaricious bundled tares who could not be dissuaded from betting everything they had on the wager that there is no God to judge them will only wait for their inevitable verdict.

Scientology makes just this bet. Did Robyn? I wish I had asked. My intuition says she did not, extrapolating from the influences evident on her soul. The name of Jesus did not repel her. I saw life in her eyes in every selfie, and I witnessed love in her every action. Her patron spirit was bright rather than coiled in darkness, and it’s knowing her that gives me hope that her soul found its advocacy in Christ as she rose to her assessment of the investiture of caring with which she had been bestowed.

I myself cannot diminish the evident love in the sacrifice of Jesus and reduce it to an excluding point of doctrinal legalism. I reject the notion that salvation is the result of something we do, and rather embrace Paul’s assertion that it is the result of grace through faith not of ourselves.

I sense God’s work succeeding where He wills, and through many divergent avenues. For it to be otherwise would represent Him as less able in what He does than I’m prepared to accept. Suffice to say I have found my essential premises surviving shrill voices accusing me of ecumenism or heresy, as they’ve done for a decade after The Anvil of the Craftsman first appeared.

Jesus touches whatever soul He will, which afterward can never be the same. He is a facet of what we see in the combined workings of the Trinity to bring about His own ends.

Absent His patron spirit, life is lived otherwise than what I observed in Robyn. The lost are predated along their way by the distractions of the enemy, and too many of them are fixated on living well rather than as they should. What should have been an orientation toward gratitude has been replaced by the spiritual poison of deadly, sinful pride.

Pride is not necessarily a bad thing when justified by worthwhile accomplishment. The feeling encourages us to work harder and achieve more, and as such is edifying. Sinful pride arises from rewarded avarice and the gratified lust for influence the dark patron spirit of the lost is happy to indulge. Evil dulls the sense within us that there is something beyond ourselves worthy of our worship and allegiance, and so cuts us off from an essential life lesson we need to grasp in order to come through it truly alive.

Seeing none of that over a long association with Robyn is what gives me hope. Our entire time I made no secret of my own faith, so she was witness to a quarter-century of discussions in the various arenas of ideology that we shared. Robyn found her way along through grasping what she could, and I must hope she’s safe now … where light and life and joy abound, and where those who choose to love at their core are preserved by what Jesus did, being a blessing as his announcing angels declared: “to all the people.”

My last correspondence with her, now some six months past, contained a single concerning note, that Robyn had subjected herself to COVID vaccination. I have no idea what the effect was on her immune system, but there is plenty of evidence of the mRNA infusion being detrimental., as the sudden appearance of cancers afterward in others warn. I truly hope she did not, as so many others have, suffer from the advice of people she assumed in confidence to have her best interests in mind. That my precious friend would have perished from trust would be a travesty.

There are many aspects of life of which I wish I could be sure, and yearn to have more fully appreciated my many blessings … but to have known Robyn as my friend was surely one of them, and I am thankful that I knew her.

In the end, we have the voice of the Spirit to guide and inspire us, people to cross our path, and things to do as we’re led. Of what I’m certain includes the convictions that we need to love, we need to trust, and we need to believe it all means something. Most of all we need to be grateful, because gratitude is a key that unlocks a future warm and bright instead of unimaginably horrid. One fate or the other never ends, as Jesus was here to assure us.

I wish you a deeply meaningful Thanksgiving and a joyous follow-though to Christmas!

Choose to love. -DA

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In production news, the Editress is currently working at 19% Production Edit on Boone’s first and last adventure, Two Years with Master Quan, as told (in part, anyway) to a little girl who asked. Look for the seventh novel of Boone’s File next year!

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

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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, 2021—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

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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.