Tag Archives: faith

Worth It

Third quarter 2022 arrived, and as increasingly happens in life, did so before we knew it. While the Editress and I are not old—not yet—certainly more years are behind us than in front of us, and time together now seems ever more precious.

This year is a decade past events marking major milestones in my life. January 30, 0001 hours: the first cat to choose me, our dear G. Gordon Kitty, departed from our arms to join his brother TR at the New House. May 18: The Year in the Chair dedicated to a lifelong ambition to write fiction began. July 4: Mother, like Gordon, finished her race, ascending to life in Christ and to find my father after ten more years of missing him than they’d had together in this world.

The Editress, of course, was not always so designated. She had a distinguished thirty-year career designing, supporting and maintaining venues for the edification of the public through the appreciation of history, while mine has been largely spent in public service trying to keep the world running to the best effect at any given time.

Somehow we’ve traveled from being those kids who met very nearly forty years ago to an inseparable couple beginning to think about retirement planning, and we did so in what seems the space of a heartbeat, a yawn, and a blink. Now, on this plane of existence at least, there are more years to remember than to anticipate, and, as they are designed to do, the markers we pass increasingly motivate assessment.

Motivation and assessment are the engine and fuel of accomplishment; they feed each other in a process of living deliberately. An effortless life is stagnant, lacking one of the pillars of happiness. Those were defined elsewhere as something to do, something to love, and something for which to hope, and the premise has stuck with me. Standing back, doers may assess the worthiness of their own efforts, and observers may decide for themselves. “Worth It” is always a judgment call.

I’ve been accused of being intense by people who know me well enough for their opinions to register. The mile markers of my journey were made stark by losing Dad when I was ten, and the lesson that time seems to teach best—its being in limited allocation—settled in immediately. Goals, like assessments, arrive out of perspective. Both are defining and testify to who we are, for good or ill.

If one dares to so broadly characterize humanity, it seems there are two major divisions proceeding down the same road in entirely different fashions. One camp looks, decides, and proceeds, while the other observes, references, and considers before moving forward. In my observation at least, these respectively correlate with those who fail and those who succeed. Only the latter group is leveraging the benefits of a wider perspective by taking into account the experiences of others. They are the thinkers, the contemplative souls who consider first and act last and best. They are the readers, set separate and apart from those who are missing an essential advantage in connecting to the abyssal depths of the human experience. They are the scholars of natural law and the suitors of wisdom.

To say we presently are a polarized society is understatement, as it’s difficult to imagine the catalysts of conflict withstanding much more agitation before an unfortunate reaction occurs. Those playing with the chemistry set of social engineering would be well advised to set aside their dependence on shared delusion in favor of better attention to The Way Things Are … but then again history is offering something on the order of ten millennia of action and consequence they’ve been content to ignore for this long.

June—thankfully again past—in particular now offers an annual lesson on character and vapidity arising from choices proceeding from perspective, as if the news fails to delivers enough each day throughout the year. The month once known for the launch of natural marriage is now a showcase of reprobative thinking of unlimited diversity … largely because there have never been limits on the number of ways to do anything incorrectly. The consequences of perverse sexual hobbies arrive without calling ahead, and once they hit one wonders if the victims of poor decision-making then think their hijinks were worth it.

If I have a defining motivation throughout my catalog, it is in attempting to portray the essential differentiation continuing to shape the world around us. June put us past fifty-five thousand extant copies “in the wild,” which by any standard makes the effort that went into them “Worth It.” The current contest is between conservatism and radicalized self absorption, and while the immediate outcome is always uncertain, over the long term history favors those who take its lessons into account. Premise by premise, we remain in the fight, and every time a novel sells our prayers for the reader go with it.

I’m no prophet; I only pay attention. Prophecy is the gift of the Spirit. Wisdom is bestowed on those who live well enough to appreciate the edification of concepts such as faith, humility, service, and the benefits of loving connection to elements of the human experience that will survive us, and the soon-to-arrive Fourth is a time to remember all the history of people who felt just such dedication.

Their part is over, and ours continues. We arrive, proceed and depart. The world goes on in a different state than we experienced, but operating on the same set of fixed actualities and governed by the same laws of cause and effect that bounded the generations who produced us.

We’re seated at a table of bounty, able to reach back via our minds to the labors that spread the setting before us. Whether we appreciate those long years bringing the present from there to here defines us as cognizant or ignorant, alert or asleep, living or existing, spiritually alive or feeling our way through darkness complaining all the while.

Living, faith says, is worth enduring what happens along the way. There is no other way to develop character—nobility in the face of adversity, strength to endure, empathy for those that suffer, courage—than through undergoing difficulty. There is no mechanism for compassion to exist without the reality of suffering. Whether we find worth in the fleeting flourish and folly of living—in doing, loving, and hoping while gaining appreciation of strengths made perfect in weakness—has its dependencies. So much hinges on the seeds of character finding good ground in us and taking root rather than being crowded out by wind-sown seed giving rise to an invasive overgrowth of vice.

In short: find the peace of your soul in Christ, dear child of God, and then mind your mission. It’s my hope you then find life was worth it.

Have a safe and joyous Independence Day. Choose to love. -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.

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

*****

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

*****

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!

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.