Tag Archives: fear

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.”

Christmas 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose to love, and Merry Christmas. -DA

On Fear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose to love. – DA

*****

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

 

Fear

Here, it is not yet a week since an addled young man shot up his former high school in Parkland, Florida. And people everywhere are afraid.

We have all felt fear, so there’s seldom a need to define dread. It’s burn graduates through degrees of apprehension to stark terror in every life, because we are fragile and fleeting creatures bounded in an uncertain existence by a beginning and an end, with our anticipated span between at best an assumption. Fear is natural once we witness hurt … or worse.

In our next release and Boone’s fifth novel, A Garden in Russia—currently editing—the wife of Russia’s FSB Director, my character Ana Lyubov, has this to say about the duty and responsibility for comporting oneself:

“Faith is given to overcome fear, girl, for those who live in righteousness. It is history’s lesson at every turn. This is our time to be strong … for your father’s sake.”

And again, to another:

“Let me tell you, Deborah Vosse … though my husband is in prison, and my daughter a captive, I feel no less the hand of God in these difficult days.”

And this from Boone:

“When fear keeps you from your promises, your duty, from accomplishing whatever it is you are tasked to do by your love for others … only then are you a coward.”

To fear is no dishonor. Fear can be motivating, as adrenaline is invigorating. What follows behind sometimes is problematic.

Fear exists as a tool for those whose main ambition is to direct the lives of others. Like  animal predators in nature rather than society, spiritually deficient personalities seek, sense, cultivate, and exploit it because they recognize the manipulative advantage of leveraging terror.

Terrorists use it as a means to an end. That the techniques of terror are more blatantly homicidal than a politician whose strategy is identical in its heartless essence marks only a matter of decrepit degree. The core value of both sociopathic subsets is dominance. In each case goal-oriented behavior exhibits to the exclusion of valued humanity.

In every case, fear depends on its acceptance in the targeted group embracing the emotion. Sometimes this occurs out of fatigue following relentless, propagandistic assault, but more often the cause is a perception of helplessness. Those manipulating the sensation of horror have some transition in mind, and often what presents as a solution is anything but.

Today the architects of fear are targeting the natural right of free people to possess the means of their defense. The framers of our Constitution recognized this before all but a few when delineating the rights its first ten amendments safeguard, because they were about setting down unchanging principles of governance unhindered by tyranny. In doing so, they were setting the boundaries of government free people would not need to fear.

Frank Herbert’s masterpiece Dune has his portrayed Bene Gesserit trainees recite their litany against fear as “the mind killer” and “the little death that brings total obliteration.” Herbert’s characters, so prepared, faced their emotion, let it go, and traced its path afterward to better understand themselves. So should we.

Fear stems from uncertainty, but certitude is a matter of education. It is infuriating that fear is being cultivated in our educational institutions these days. Its introduction is diminishing rather than edifying.

Malleability originates in a condition of essential incapability. Performance anxiety in vital aspects of life, such as assuring one’s personal safety, amplifies perceptions of dependency, whose end result is to make its subject weak rather then strong. Personal, emotional and physical strength should be the goal of worthwhile mentors. To do otherwise brings into question the motives and honor of those responsible for producing the next generation of citizens, and the ideological condition their curriculum is designed to produce.

I repeat: fear, in whatever condition one finds oneself, regardless needs to be embraced to have an influence. The strength to do otherwise is bestowed first in the spirit and then in the mind, where a decision to act must take place. This is why those whose sum displays in their ambition go to such lengths to assure its abundance in prospective subjects. Tyranny is never in the best interest of the oppressed, and tyrants know this better than anyone. It must be made to appear as the best choice, and to do so more noble aspects of the human experience must be put out of mind.

The fear of death, the scariest and most inevitable doorway we face in life, is the tool God’s enemy uses to turn us from His will. That the enemy and his plans are defeated already through the Resurrection of Christ is the treasure of faith and secret strength for those of us who believe, and freely available should it be sought. This realization is God’s goal, just as His enemy’s schemes intend to keep you from it.

So, here in the wake of another tragedy and in the midst of upset and proposed, agenda-based solutions on the political Left, I would encourage you. Find your faith and build your strength in the company of worthwhile teachers in whatever aspect of your personal development seems lacking. They are the ones whose goals are to make you strong, independent, reverent, and capable rather than a quailing thrall. They will teach you how to help yourself rather than carry or steer you into servitude. They will ask nothing but their due in exchange, if wishing anything at all but that you likewise pay forward the lessons accumulated from similarly happy, formative circumstances of their own in days gone by.

They are the ones you will remember on the day you’re able to say, “I’m not afraid, I am free.”

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, as mentioned, the fifth installment of Boone’s File is editing and anticipating a September release. As always, whether you have read in Jon’s Trilogy, or Sean’s File, or followed Boone’s progress, we depend on your recommendations and your reviews to get out the word.

“If you’ve read something, I hope you said something.” Your few words, describing to prospective readers how my novel made you feel, will never stop helping me … or go unappreciated here.