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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kracken is coming! Kracken is coming!

When I stopped long enough to realize that we were, finally into the last month of 2014 I just had to say, "Wow!"   

So much has happened since last year this time. I have a new job assignment, my college age daughter has moved home from New York, my oldest son has moved to New York and my youngest son has started a new path in life. On top of all that, my wife and I celebrated another year of marriage, yep-yep, 31 years together. 

And there have been losses. There have been friends and family that have moved on from this life into the next. The comfortable part comes in knowing that we will see them again.

And yes, finally, Kracken is online and being readied for release. 

The proof copies are ordered and the screeners are set. Next comes the pre-readers. Yes, yes, and praise God! 

 If you want to stay in the loop check out my Kracken Page.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What Are You Doing...

Just the other day I found myself asking the question, "What am I doing?"

No, not what am I doing per say on a given task, or even what I was doing at the moment of my musing, but rather what am I doing with my life? Have you ever been there? 

Now I have reached the point in life where I can look back and see a significant patch of the road I've crossed. Some of it smooth and well paved; while other bits were torn and pockmarked, and still other patches were bare dirt and grass...all together undeveloped.

So as all good travelers do, I stopped and reconnoitered. Looking to the stars, I considered personalities like Abraham, Moses, and David. Looking deeper still, I sat and talked with the likes of the Apostles Peter and Paul. And in so doing, I discovered my road, the road we call life, was not so different from the roads they walked during their earthly sojourn.

From Abraham I found out that the road is sometimes much longer than I had planned when I set out. And from Moses I discovered that sometimes the very people you stop to help can be the heaviest part of the burden. Then David told me to be careful when I think I have arrived at a point of safety because there is always a temptation waiting on the next balcony over.

Had I completed my journey at that point my plate would have been full. But at this particular rest stop, these fellow travelers insisted on sharing their collective knowledge. So, Peter told me about his walking on the water and sinking. Then he winked at me and said, "Yeah, I sunk, but when Jesus grabbed my hand I turned and walked back to the boat; stepping on the very thing that had overwhelmed me earlier." And in the way that only a fisherman could, he poked my ribs and said, "...stay salty and keep on walking."

Finally, I turned to Paul. I have to admit I was feeling a little intimidated; after all this guy had written most of the New Testament. He must have sensed my dis-ease because he laughed and wrapped an arm around my shoulders and told me that he had been the chief of sinners, but that God had saved him not because he had earned it nor because he had some great ability to believe. He said the Father chose him simply because God could use his life, his list of failures to show how great the Father's love was for a lost and dying world.

Feeling much better, I closed my map, running my hand over the smooth familiar leather and sighed. How good it was to have a sure light for my path and a steady lamp to light my way. It was at this point that I got back on the road and continued my journey. Who knows, perhaps at the next rest stop someone may look to me as one of those stars along the way.  ....just something to ponder.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Musings

This is not the usual post, but I felt it would be a blessing to someone if I shared. Just some thoughts from my morning devotion. 
                                 My Musings
Rom. 8: 32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

While in my morning musings I consider the passage of scripture above and began to wonder at the depth of its richness. To truly understand the depth of the love with which God has loved us; in that HE gave Christ, whom He loves supremely, that we might have opened to us the great way of salvation; and that it should be given to us that all other things have been made available to us as well.

In this same vein, consider these words from George McDonald, “Man finds it hard to get what he wants because he does not want what is best. God finds it hard to give because he would give the best, and man will not take it. What Jesus did was what the Father is always doing. The suffering he endured was that of the Father from the foundation of the world, reaching its climax in the person of His son.”

But for my thoughts, let me consider mainly, the words which state, “Man finds it hard to get what he wants because he does not want what is best. God finds it hard to give because he would give the best, and man will not take it.”

As I considered my own state of being I could see this parallel so clearly: it is the human condition. Take for instance the question of health and fitness.  I take note of my own condition and I see, that my cholesterol is high, my weight is up and my cardio vascular health is waning. Yet even while I take pain medication for aches in my head, shoulder and back, I have consumed a high fat, high carb meal, and have set sedentary for most of the day.

Even as I lament my declining health, I have not only done nothing to alleviate the problem, but have instead actively added to it.  I see this not as special, but normal, regular, almost expected in the course and culture in which I live.  While in my deepest of hearts I truly long to be lean healthy and strong, but in the weakness of my flesh I do nothing more than wish. I do not plan. I do not act. I do not change.

The same is true of my spiritual walk. In my heart of hearts I truly want to walk in the fullness of light and life as provided by God’s grace. And even as I pray and ask God to change me, to make me over in the image and likeness of His son, Jesus, I find that I do nothing to make those changes mine: to realize them in my life.

Like with my physical fitness, I make excuse after excuse for my not making the necessary changes to see my goal realized, I also do not the needed things to see my spiritual man come alive in life and power.

In this I am reminded of what the Apostle Paul said in Rom. 8:32: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” If God has given me Jesus and with HIM everything else needful of my walk in grace, then the problem, the hindrance must be in me.  Not just in that I am weak in the flesh and deluded by sin, but rather that I have purposefully chosen – just as surely as I have chosen to not do anything about my physical state of being – to do nothing about my spiritual state of being, and in doing so have chosen to not truly believe God; to not take Him at His word.

In this is the truth as written by George McDonald realized in me, “Man(Ray) finds it hard to get what he wants because he does not want what is best. God finds it hard to give because he would give the best, and man(Ray) will not take it.”

So now I have declared my musing and see them all the clearer for having written them down. However the question remains, not that I have understood them, not even in my knowing them to be true, but rather am I willing to first believe God at His word, and secondly then to do what I know to be right. In essence do I want what is best?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

With Sunrise Comes the Dawning...

One of the most amazing things about tomorrow is the idea of hope. Tomorrow things might change.

This past weekend I got a wonderful chance to look into a great tomorrow, not only for myself but for two fellow authors as well: Kay Painter, the author of From and Sorrow to Service, and Isaiah Silkwood, the author Of Pirates and Werewolves. Together we experienced the pleasure of the Saturday Market, hosted by the city of Ontario, OR. The weather was warm and the day as bright as the smiles of the remarkable people we met.

Yes, we all sold books, all had new connections and  networks generated, but above all this we had the opportunity to meet with many of God's children; to pray and fellowship with them.

This brings me back to the question of tomorrow. Coming out of the Saturday Market, I was able to complete my edits on Kracken and am nearing the finish line. I can see ahead of me the end of one journey and the beginning of a brand new adventure: my tomorrow. Thanks to all of you who have traveled with me and for those who will be joining at the next stop. In the words of the conductor, "All Aboard, next stop Kracken!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back in the Game

Back in the game. Well I'm back from vacation, well sort of - my official last day is tomorrow-  and ready to get back to work. I took to the road and spent some refreshing time on the coast with my wife and family. Awesome!

Well enough of that. I am very excited to report that the reviews from the pre-read sampling of Kracken have been fantastic. Don't worry, for those of you who showed interest in being a part of the pre-release pre-read that is still to come.  This small sampling group is a step prior in the process as we get Kracken ready for release. I will be contacting you soon for your email addresses where you would like the pre-read manuscript sent. I am so excited.

But in the meantime allow me to direct your attention to a fantastic new author, Isaiah Silkwood. Silkwood has recently released his first novel, Of Pirates and Werewolves, and has hit it out of the park. (Look at me using baseball metaphors.) Of Pirates and Werewolves is a fanciful romp with pirates, cannibals, cyclopes and a cantankerous parrot. You'll love it!  Think Pirates of the Caribbean with a twist of Percy Jackson thrown in the mix.

Well if I'm really gong to get Kracken out on time, I'd better get back to work. See ya soon.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Urban Fiction Unleashed: How time flies when you're not writing...

Urban Fiction Unleashed: How time flies when you're not writing...: It’s so funny that so much time has passed. I never would have believed that publishing books for others would simply absorb all my time t...

How time flies when you're not writing...

It’s so funny that so much time has passed. I never would have believed that publishing books for others would simply absorb all my time that had been set aside for writing. Who knew?

Oh well, be that as it may, I cannot say that I'm sorry: Frustrated yes, but sorry never. Since I last release a title of my own - or made an entry here on my blog - my company, NCC Publishing, has launched the career of three new authors and currently have three more titles in the workings. Praise God for His favor.

Now to the matter of my own writings, I have informed my partners that I would be taking the summer off from the publishing side of the business so that I could actually finish a manuscript with my own name on it.  For those of you who have been waiting on Kracken, it really is almost done. I'm cleaning up the proofs and waiting on the final cover work. Yeah!

And yes, I have started the new Nate Richards book. It is under the working title of Shades of, huh? This is a continuing storyline in the life of Nate and his friends with some new villains and a couple of old ones thrown in just to make it interesting. So, keep me in your prayers that I will have a productive summer with many hours spent right here, sitting in front of my computer.