On this day in 1969 the newspaper headlines spoke about a massive infantry invasion near Saigon in North Vietnam. 47 enemy combatants were killed with no American casualties. On the same day, the newspaper reported that in the days before Senator Ted Kennedy was pulled from his submerged car and Mary Jo Kopechne, age 29 drowned at Chappaquiddick Island while she was a passenger in a car being driven by the senator. The scandal would haunt him for the rest of his life.
In Bienville Parish, the school board signed off on a desegregation plan for integrating black and white schools. Along the Red River, Shreveport’s famous “shantytown” of homeless and indigent occupants was demolished. In other news, plans to implement an anti ballistic missile treaty with the Soviet Union were stalled in the midst of the height of the cold war. The world was awash with war and possible nuclear annihilation and political scandal and the churning war against the “establishment” by the hew “hippie, free love” movement. America was in turmoil! Soon, oil prices would escalate thanks to the newly formed OPEC and the economy would tank in the aftermath. One of the casualties would be the Apollo space program.
But on this day, America had landed a man on the moon. America had succeeded in putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade. We made it by 5 1/2 months!
I was 14 years old and managed to keep my eyes open long enough to watch Neil Armstrong step off the Lunar Excursion Module onto the surface of the moon at around 2 A.M central time. The dark, shadowy image on my television was difficult to discern, but the enormity of that moment was not. I have shared before how my father and I shared a love for the space program. And, the prospect of one day going into space and walking on the moon was always my greatest dream. But here, in a moment of incredible historical significance, all of the bad news of the world around me was vanquished by the deep appreciation of our combined, unified accomplishment as Americans. For a brief moment, millions of Americans put aside their differences and rejoiced in man’s ability to reach out for the unknown.Read the rest of this entry
Okay, I’m guilty of neglect.
I was working on my Author’s Page on Amazon this morning because of some confusion from people trying to order “The Homecoming Tree”. It seems there are entities out there who purchase the book and then sell it second hand and for some reason, when you search for the book, THEIR listing comes above my own!
Anyway, while reviewing my settings I stumbled across the REVIEW page that lists all of the reviews for all of my books. Honestly, I have such a poor self image from my childhood, I have avoided reading the Reviews. I was afraid of what they might say.
But, let me put this as kindly and as humbly as possible, THANK YOU for all of the reviews, both positive and negative. I was truly humbled that anyone would choose to read something that poured out my imagination onto the written page. THANK YOU all!
You can check out the reviews at this link.
I am currently working on two books. First, I hope to finish “The 8th Demon: A Wicked Numinosity” by the fall. Second, I am putting together the first book in my science fiction trilogy, “The Node of God” and hope to have it available by the end of the year.
Also, Mark Sutton and I are working on a book about the lies of culture. And, I am outlining the sequel to “The Homecoming Tree” — “The Homecoming Prayer”.
If you are interested in our depression book, go to this link.
I followed the trail of blood from our library across our living room floor. Drops of it had congealed on the carpet in our bedroom leading like bread crumbs to the bathroom. My wife, Sherry, was hunched over her bathroom sink running cold water over her hand. She had cut herself. Again.
Let me pause here and assure you that this was not a deliberate act. Sherry likes sharp scissors. Very sharp. She sharpens them regularly. Why does she like sharp scissors? The better to cut her blankets with. A few years ago, Sherry learned how to make blankets from simple material. Not the intricate quilting most people know about. These blankets were made from two pieces of material with ties around the edge. What made these blankets different from any other involved the process of constructing the blanket. Each tie around the edge is made while saying a prayer for the person for whom the blanket is given.
In time, our library, once the province of my books, was transformed into Sherry’s blanket production center. Over the past few years she has produced dozens and dozens of intricately designed, colorful blankets. Each blanket has a singular colored back piece and a very colorful front piece. And the designs on the front she has chosen to match the intended person’s personality.
When she found there were lots of scrap pieces left over, she developed a way to make smaller blankets as baby burp pads or tiny blankets of dolls. Nothing was wasted.
But, the heart of her endeavors are the prayers and the Bible verses. Sherry developed a laminated card containing the favorite prayers of those who knew the person for whom the blanket was intended. Sherry would ask various friends and relatives for their favorite Bible verses and then place them on a large laminated card attached to the blanket. You see, the blanket was more than just a piece of material. It was a creative act of worship, prayer, Bible reading, and very intentional in every part of its creation.
Today, I am sitting on the balcony of our condominium on the beach at Perdido Key, Florida. Sherry and I are talking about the Bible verses we have just read in our morning Bible readings. What you must understand is how creative is our daughter, Casey. She draws. She paints. She creates constantly. It is her way of working through her epilepsy and its emotional toll on her life.Read the rest of this entry
I am afraid.
I’m not, pardon the pun, afraid to admit it.
There is a lot of hatred out there.
News. Internet. Blogs. Facebook. Instagram.
A lot of hate and anger.
Most of that hate and anger is directed at Christians. We are the new pariah; the new villain. Christianity is intolerant, hateful, judgmental, phobic. Think of a vile adjective and it has been hurled at Christians.
What is our response? Hunker down. Bunker down. Retreat into our communities of like minded people.
Take a look at one of those inwardly focused communities. There was a class of very religious men. Devout. Faithful to the rules. Pure and clean and undefiled. These men had very little love, mercy, or compassion. In their eyes, if you were suffering it was a punishment. Maybe you were at fault. Maybe your parents. Someone, somewhere was to blame for your misery.
This class of religious leaders were feared by the people over which they presided. They called anyone who deviated from their teachings as hypocrites. When they saw someone suffering, they passed on by. After all, the sufferer deserve what they got!
Into this morass of religious perversion a lone man appeared. He taught something very radical.Read the rest of this entry
I tied the last knot on my piece of leather string and handed it to my friend sitting next to me. Nicky Nix, one of my best friends and my brother in Christ tied the string around my left ankle. I turned to my right and tied a similar string around the ankle of another of my deacon friends. We were to wear the strings around our ankles for several weeks as we prepared for the production of “The Deacon Led Living Last Supper”.
That was many years ago and I marveled at the deacons who had never been on stage in their life showing a reluctant willingness to portray one of the disciples seated at the table with Jesus on the night of His last feast with them. For weeks we practiced together, we prayed together and we drew closer and closer as a deacon body until the night of our performance.
Our educational minister and associate pastor at the time was Bruce Edwards. Bruce had brought the script to me and asked me to update the language for a more modern audience. The original script was written, I believe, in 1953. The script Bruce handed me didn’t even have the author’s name on it. I took a stab at the script bearing in mind which deacon would be playing which disciple. This meant that some of the monologues would have to be significantly shortened!Read the rest of this entry
There is a beast that lives deep inside of me. Beast is quiet most of the time. Beast is insidious and knows how to creep, cat like from the depths of my mind to the surface of today’s reality. I have locked him away so many times and thrown away the key. And yet, no matter how secure his cage, he always manages to escape. But not with a bang or a growl but with a quiet cat’s paw, sinister silence.
Right now, the Beast is on the prowl. I feel him flexing his claws and I feel his hot breath on the nape of my neck. He is hungry. He is ravished. He wants to devour my mind and soul and to end me.Read the rest of this entry
I know some people like to post every event in their lives on Facebook. I’m a little more private. But, it has been ages since I posted on my webpage and I’d like to give everyone an update.
First, I had surgery in December in Dallas and I was expecting to bounce back in a couple of weeks. Nope! Not happening! It took be a good six weeks to feel normal again.
In the meantime, I am working on updating my other websites for “Hope Again” and “The Jonathan Steel Chronicles”. Also, I am working on a new website for “The Homecoming Tree”.
Mark Sutton and I are working on a new book idea. I was supposed to travel to Florida to spend three days with him but we had a family medical emergency.
Many of you know, if you have read my posts, that our daughter, Casey has epilepsy and today is her 32nd birthday. Last Wednesday, she fell and sustained a basilar skull fracture. No brain damage, thank God. She spent until Friday afternoon in ICU at Willis Knighton Pierremont and is at home doing well. We cancelled our trips and Sherry and I are keeping a close eye on her as she recovers. Thanks to everyone who showed up at the hospital to cheer Casey up and thanks for the many, many prayers for her recovery.
This coming Sunday, March 24th, I have been asked by my good friend Raymond Wilkerson to preach at the church he pastors, Open Road Fellowship Church in Haughton, Louisiana. I will be sharing the same message I presented at Brookwood Baptist Church in November entitled “The 5 Minute Atheist”. You can find out more about the church at this link,h
I’ve been getting quite a few emails about securing permanent copies of my books. Just so you know, you can do two things. You can find copies of most of my books on Amazon at my author page at this link.
Or you can go to steelchronicles.com and order copies from me directly.
Thanks for supporting my books and I look forward to putting out “The 8th Demon: A Wicked Numinosity” later this year.
I want to thank everyone for the thoughts and prayers the last two weeks. Those of you who knew of my surgery, I thank you. On December 4th, I had a simple prostatectomy in Dallas. The surgery went well and there is, at this time, no evidence of cancer. The surgery was for symptom relief only. But, it has placed me on my back for the last two weeks.
Just a reminder I have two new books released that would make excellent Christmas gifts: The 9th Demon: Time of the Cross and The Homecoming Tree. Check them out on Amazon.
Here’s hoping you have a wonderful and meaningful, peace filled Christmas and New Years. I plan on taking it as easy as possible.
Well, I just found out if you search for my new book, “The Homecoming Tree” on Amazon, it takes you to a link in the U.K. selling for much more than the cost and taking two weeks to ship!
Use this link and choose the Amazon version for $19.99.
Seems like a scam of some kind to me! I don’t know how to fix it. If any of you deal with Amazon and know how I can make the main link the default, let me know.
Also, It’s not too late to register for the “Hope Again: Conquering Depression Seminar” this weekend at this link.