Total Pageviews

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Words and themes for Meditation

Arise O God Arise, O God, Let Your Enemies be scattered. Arise! For You are exalted, the King of all the earth; riding high upon the heavens. Your name shall be praised in the mighty gates of Zion; Your kingdom shall reign forever. Arise, O God, Let Your Enemies be scattered. For You are exalted, the King of all the earth; riding high upon the heavens. Your name shall be praised in the mighty gates of Zion; Your kingdom shall reign forever. Forever! Let God Arise Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered. Let God arise; let His enemies be scattered…away, far away. Let the righteous be glad, let them rejoice before God. Let the righteous be glad, let them exceedingly rejoice. Let God arise! I Was Made to Praise You I was made to praise. I was made to glorify Your name. In every circumstance to find a chance to thank You. I was made to love You, I was made to worship at Your feet; and to obey You, Lord. I was made for You. I will always praise You, I will always glorify Your name. In every circumstance, I’ll find a chance to thank You. I will always love You. I will always worship at Your feet. And I’ll obey You, Lord. I was made for You. I was made for You. I was made for You. He Is The Living God Hallelujah! Hallelujah! For the Lord God the Almighty reigns in majesty. He rules with wisdom, power and authority over all. He is the living God, enduring forever. And His kingdom will not be destroyed, and His dominion is forever and ever; doing signs and wonders in Heaven and earth. Let’s Glorify Jesus Let’s glorify Jesus, Let’s glorify Jesus, Let’s glorify Jesus, Let’s glorify Jesus. Let’s glorify the king. Now that we’re all together in one accord, our praises have invited the presence of the Lord. And He is here among us, longing for us to worship Him. So let us bow in honor and give our love to Him. Let’s glorify Jesus, Let’s glorify Jesus, Let’s glorify Jesus, Let’s glorify Jesus. Let’s glorify the king. Let’s glorify the king. Let’s glorify the king. Let’s glorify the king. The King Is On His Throne The King is on His throne, His victory complete. The enemy must flee at His name. The King is on His throne, there’s healing in His wings. He took the keys of death and forevermore shall reign. And we sing praises. We sing honor. We sing glory to the King. High And Lifted Up For You are high and lifted up, the glory of the nations. You are high and lifted up, the Lord of all the earth. You are high and lifted up. Creator, Redeemer, I give my life to worship You. There is no glory in my own wisdom. There is no power in my own strength. There is no might in my own riches, but I will boast in knowing You. I give my life to worship You. I give my life to worship You. I give my life to worship You. Behold The Lamb Behold the Lamb. Behold the Lamb. Behold the Lamb of God upon the throne. Cherubim and seraphim sing glory to the Lamb, bowing down to worship Him forevermore. High And Lifted Up For You are high and lifted up, the glory of the nations. You are high and lifted up, the Lord of all the earth. You are high and lifted up. Creator, Redeemer, I give my life to worship You.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Tale of Two Monuments

Here's a puzzling thought... a tale of two monuments. Both are in memory of young black men killed by law enforcement officers in the line of duty. Both have images of the dead captured in their caps and gowns, and both left grieving families behind. But this is where the comparison stops. See here the two monuments: Jimmie Lee Jackson killed by an Alabama State Trooper during the saga known as Bloody Sunday and the crossing of the Edmund Petus Bridge in my home town of Selma, Alabama. The second young man, Michael Brown, was killed by a Ferguson City Police Officer just this year. Both men died after being contacted by on-duty police officers. Both men died as a direct result of actions taken by the officer involved. But let's ask the question what were the actions of the young men that led to the actions that caused their deaths. Jimmy Lee was taking part in a lawful protest designed to gain the voting rights for him and other free Americans. Michael Brown had just committed a felony and was contacted as a result of his further disregard for the law. In both cases a struggled ensued and a death was the result. Now, before anyone gets upset and think that I am denying either of these two families the right to remember their loved ones in any fashion they see fit, I am not. That is not by desire nor is it my aim. What I am trying to do is save the lives of young people in the future. This country was founded on rebellion and rebellion is part of our national character. We rebelled against Mother England, and then later rebelled against ourselves. And to our shame we have developed a love relationship with the very spirit of rebellion and that sometimes without thinking about the cause or the why behind it. We have written books and made movies about Jessie James, a common thief and bank robber, and lifted him to the level of urban hero. We have built an entire subculture around the gangsters of the 20's and 30's and taken on their lore as a badge of honor. In all these things we never seem to stop and ask the question, "How many honest, good people died and have been hurt or their lives destroyed in order for Jessie James, Al Capone and those like them to build their legacy?" And this is my fear concerning Mr. Brown. Of all the many things he was, he was also a criminal and was killed as a result of actions he initiated. And I fear that there are other young men and women, perhaps like him, who are watching and will follow in his footsteps. Truth matters. Black Life Matters. White Life Matters. Brown Life Matters...and Cops Life Matters. Truth Matters. We have to get back to truth, if we do not; then our children and our children's children won't like the America that we have created for them. Just more of my ponderings.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Question of Truth

Truth. Ali’theia. Verdad. Chshmartit’un. Jinsil. Egiatasun. Truth. A rose by any other name, William Shakespeare once said, would smell as sweet. The question that seems to confront us today is, however, have we lost our taste for truth. At last count, there were over 40 police officers killed in the line of duty in 2015 already. Over forty who’ve, men died, putting their lives on the line to serve their chosen communities. Each of those lives lost left vacancies that will never be filled. Children who will never see their father’s again. Wives who will never have that last embrace, and mothers who will never again welcome home that favored son. This is not a cry that would say every cop is perfect, or that he never made a mistake…had a break in judgment; or even just plain messed up. What it is, is a reminder that there is One before whom every life matters. Every Black life. Every White Life. Every Brown Life. Every Native Life. Every life matters. This is my truth. Referring back to Shakespeare, he said, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” Just for a moment consider it to be true and ask yourself what part are you playing? Are you the protagonist that plots along narrative like Luke Skywalker bring peace and balance to an otherwise capsized universe. Or are you the antagonist, an Emperor imposing your will on all around, forcing them into your version of realty? Or perhaps you take comfort in just being a role player one of many hidden-faced storm troopers just carrying out orders never once stopping to ask the question, “What is truth?” As long as we the masses are willing simply to follow, then we will have the political leaders, the law enforcement, and the criminal element we deserve. Of course, the opposite holds true as well. And even at that, it is not enough to just get involved…to just do something. It is ultimately important that we do the right thing. While standing before Jesus, Pilate asked a question that Jesus never answered. He asked, what is truth? I often wondered what might have happened if Jesus had disclosed…I wonder what would happen in your life if He answered it for you.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Night Rome Burned

It never ceases to amaze me how we can so easily believe a lie. When Nero burned Rome, he blamed the Christians and because it suited the whim of the times and fitted within the mold of the power brokers, everyone just went along with it. Soon, from the ashes of the old rose a brand new Rome. A new city...shinny, bright, and sparkly, but one that flowed red with the blood of the victims fed to the lions in the world famous Roman Coliseum. Does the name Spartacus ring any bells? It was as a result of the oppression of a pleasure seeking and self satiated Rome that led to the famous slave rebellion. As I write this, the city of Baltimore is still under siege. Not from an invading army, but from fear, greed, ignorance, and hatred. Like Rome burning, the citizens are forced to stand by and watch as the actions of a select few tarnish and destroy their home. Some will say the riots are all due to the miss treatment and death of Mr. Freddy Gray, but I would submit that the riots are counter productive. The burning of Baltimore will ultimately prove as unfruitful as Nero's burning Rome. The collective communities of America must decide that a time for change has come. While overseas our brave young men and women are dying fighting the likes of Isis, we are being destroyed by an enemy from within. An enemy that looks and talk just like us...because it is us. By now many of us have seen the video of the angry mother corralling her son from amongst those intent on destroying their city. This mother did not by her actions condone what may have been the mistreatment of Mr. Gray, nor did she give her consent to the idea of business as usual. What she did was effectively step in as a parent and push her son toward true manhood. Ideas like "Responsibility before Rights"..."Family before the Individual"...and above all "God First"...these are the concepts that build a nation, a family, a man. Not by our fighting and tearing down the very towns we call home. But on the other hand, if we cannot correct the path we're on the outcome has already been painted in both history and fiction. Spartacus showed us in the past and books like the Hunger Games reiterate the present need of the human spirit to be both heard and recognized. I fear if we can't get this right then Rome won't be the last great nation to burn. Think about it.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Living or Existing...the Choice is Yours

All around today we seem to be bombarded with the thought or at least the concept of choice. But as I observe, most of us seem to be settling into a strange form of mere existence rather than making the higher choice of life. For all intents and purposes a rock exists, but who wants to be a rock? This is not a new thought, even as far back as the founding of the nation of Israel the Lord put the proposition before His people when He said to them, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:"(Deut.30:20). And who didn't have the famous quote of Joshua hanging framed somewhere in their house: "Choose you this day whom you will serve... ...but as for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord!" Ahhh, inspiring words. Words to live by. But today we have given up choice for a strange need to comply. We cover our true intentions by using words like tolerance, and free thinking; while what we really mean to say is 'if you say what I'm doing is okay then I'll say what you're doing is okay.' It is no longer good enough in society for a person to be "wrong", but now we have demanded that everyone else approves of the formerly wrong standard and call it good. I said in an earlier post, that we as black people in America seem to have given up the goal of God, Family, and Education for the new ideal of Me, Money, and Mine. And with this transition have given up on ourselves as a people and adopted...or rather have complied with a new norm that makes us not a people, but a fractured group. When I hear America song by Ray Charles and hear the words of self sacrifice and the idea of others being valued and thought of as worth living for, I am immediately taken to a place within myself that makes me want somehow and in someway simply make the whole of America just a little bit better. Think about it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Cry For Justice

By now we have all heard of if not seen the shooting of Walter Scott by North Charleston Police Officer Slager; and if there are three of us in the conversation, I'm sure there will be at least four opinions. This post is not however set to judge or try the actions by former Officer Slager, nor is it to determine whether Mr. Scott should or should not have run from the police. Rather,I'd like us to stop and ask the questions of right and wrong and the rule of law. As you know I'm not a huge fan in giving personal responsibility of one's self over to another, nor do I support the idea of a big brother in either Washington D.C. or the Middle East dictating how each person should think. But in order for us to have a civilized society and to live in a modicum of peace, we do all have to agree on at least the general idea of what right and wrong are. Regardless of your personal belief system, we must acknowledge the history of our nation and its foundation, though not perfect, served to raise our status to a world power in less than 200 years of existence. All around us we hear the cries for justice...Black Life Matters, Native Life Matters, and all the other groups like them. These voices can be heard and these needs can be met and supported if we would just hold true to the supreme law of the land: The US Constitution. Stop and hear in your mind the echo of these immortal words captured in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Think about it. This idea, this concept was enough to take the castoff souls from the people groups of the world and bring us together into the great nation we are today. In spite of the American Slave Trade, The French Indian (Native American) Wars, The Mexican/American War and a number of other wars and conflicts we have grown to become a great nation. No enemy has ever manage to take this great land from without, but like Rome and Greece before her we stand on the brink of being destroyed not from without, but from the gluttony of selfishness and spiritual blindness from within.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The New Black Voice

I don’t want to misrepresent myself in this, there has never been a time when a single voice has spoken for all black people. Whether we look back to the time of the Civil War and slavery, blacks have always found themselves on both sides of the argument.  Although they did not represent a large percentage of the Confederate force, about 3000 men, Blacks did indeed fight for the South.

As a fourth grade student one of my first heroes was the great reformer Fredrick Douglas who counseled with presidents and spoke on behalf of the Women's Suffrage movement and even he had his detractors.  Moving forward we had the opposing voices of Booker T. Washington and those of the Harlem Renaissance such as W.E.B. Du Bois  that complained that Washington's pace was too slow. But even in that, the voices in the wind were divided: The Nonviolent Cry of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. contrasted against the militant voice of Malcolm X. All that to be said, we have never had just one voice.

As a child during the height of the Black Power Movement, I remember sitting in a meeting where the  keynote speaker, Mayor Johnny Ford, spoke on the importance of education. His sentiment was captured in a quote burned into the mind of a 6 year-old boy, "You're walking around town with your fist in the air. You've got nothing in your hand, nothing in your head, and nothing in your pocket."  What a far cry from what we hear now, in that it is someone else's responsibility to fix and care for our communities.

So looking forward, I find myself wondering where the new Black Voice will arise. A voice calling for personal growth, true spiritual sensitivity, and an ownership of ourselves and our families. I've heard it said and I must say I agree, "The government has done to the black man what the slave master and plantation never could; we have given over control of ourselves and families to the unseen but omnipresent personality of "The Man."

Friday, April 3, 2015


Sometimes I feel like Joseph. What I mean is Joseph was a Hebrew bought and then sold into slavery in Egypt. A son of Israel, a servant of the one true God, now a slave in a country where the language and customs were different, the people despised (shepherding) the very identity by which his family is called; and above all, where the people served a whole plethora of gods and the headman, Pharaoh, thought himself to be a god.   

Perhaps I’ve overstated my situation too much, but I feel the comparison holds true on many levels. Let me try to explain. 

As a black man in America, born and raised in the South: Selma,Alabama, home of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Bloody Sunday, Klan marches, and the hub of the civil rights movement, my world was Black. By this, I mean my worldview was monoethnistic and I saw the world through a single cultural lens.  

Now as an adult, and here is where the comparison to Joseph comes in, I have lived exclusively within the cultural groupings of white America. This was not done by any particular or conscious choice on my part, but rather was due to a series of apparently unrelated and innocuous events.   

Like Joseph, I came of age in a foreign culture; also like Joseph, I took a wife from a people and an ethnic group not my own.  And like Joseph, my children are of mixed heritage. But most of all, like Joseph, my wife, children, and I are all servants of the one true God.

Nonetheless, for the southern raised black man this has offered me the opportunity to see the World, America, and myself from a whole new perspective.  So in light of all the news of what I call the New Black Voice, I thought I would add the echo of my own. For in many ways the rhetoric I hear coming from the black community is far different from the tones I heard as the backdrop of my world growing up. 

Over the next few postings, I would like to explore some of those thoughts with you and hear from you as well, as we discuss the topics and ideas of family, education, faith and religion; and of course, we will have to discuss politics. For within the black world, next to faith and family, politics reigns unchallenged. So strap in and settle down and let’s take this ride together and when we’re done, hopefully we’ll all be a little bit better understood by the other.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Release the KRACKEN!

This was a famous line from the movie Clash of the Titans, it was also the tag line from one of my reviewers. And yes, it does feel as if I've finally released the Kracken. I have been so busy getting KRACKEN released that it has been a long time since I've done a post. I thought as a way back, I would give you a quick view into KRACKEN, hope you enjoy it.


Late 24th Century Old Calendar, the year 135 in the New Reckoning.

The lighting technician looked up just as he slid the last panel shut, a smile brightening his already exuberant expression. “M-M-Mr. Stone—”
“I told you to call me—”
“I m-mean Mr. Mike. Excuse me, sir.” The man rose and dusted his hands on the pant leg of his trousers and grasped Mike Stone’s outstretched hand. “This is going to make you the most powerful man in The Company, sir.”
Mike smiled as he looked past the edge of the wall and took in the sight of over twenty-five thousand people who had gathered to hear his announcement and to witness his rise to power.
At the podium stood Ted Waters. Though several years Mike’s elder, he served as the junior partner to Mike Stone on the Gliese 581G project. He turned in a broad gesture; his hand extended toward the side of the stage where Mike stood just out of sight. “Ladies and gentlemen of the New Earth Order, join me in welcoming the man who has made this all possible. Who, by his single-minded drive, imagination, and sheer determination, has opened new regions of space for not only our exploration, but also our expansion and settlement. Help me in welcoming…Mike Stone.”
Outside the hall, a summer storm raged. Flashes of lightning illuminated the translucent ceiling, sending a strobing effect over the heads of the attendees. Arriving at the podium amidst applause, Mike raised both arms. He absorbed the praise, then pointed to the ceiling. “Now, we can’t let a little something like lightning dampen our celebration.” Smiling, he rubbed the side of his face with a knuckle while manipulating a series of small controls on the podium surface with his free hand and instantly the ceiling shimmered and became opaque.
The crowd erupted into greater applause. In the wings, Ted Waters watched and his face darkened. From above and behind Mike, a giant avatar, matching Mike’s every movement and expression, emanating from the ceiling, flickered and came to life.
The room faded to black and silence enveloped the hall. After a moment, the sound of Mike’s voice began to rise, echoing in the cavernous space, as if coming from a great distance. Overhead, the image of deep space and the planets of the galaxy zoomed into view. Following the commonly recognized spatial bodies, rose the image of a single planet, at least twice the size of Earth. The image continued forward until it filled the screen.
Mike stood with his feet spread shoulder width apart, and after first lowering his face, he thrust both arms above his head in triumph and roared.
The auditorium erupted into applause.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Mike announced, “I give you Yargon!” The view changed as it followed the camera down through the atmosphere; clouds appeared then sped by as the view crashed through a jungle canopy.
Spooked, a flock of giant birds with strange and colorful plumages, rose, screaming in protest. As the descent slowed, the view opened to kilometer after kilometer of verdant plains stretching out in every direction as gentle streams and wide mouthed rivers poured in from unseen sources.
On the stage, a light, as if from a star, bluish white in color, cascaded from the rafters, illuminating Mike where he stood. His charcoal colored suit and bone scarf reflected the light from his athletic frame. Applause and cheers filled the chamber. Mike relished the moment—his ascension to greatness.
Off stage, the technician smiled and turned to look back at Ted Waters. He froze. The look of cold hatred on Ted Waters’s face burned as if it were a living thing. Locking eyes, Waters did not speak but stared at the younger man. Then without uttering a single sound, he turned and walked away.

What you've just read is the prolog for KRACKEN and I'm hoping it whetted your appetite to investigate further.  If so you can get your copy at either or from the publisher's site. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

KRACKEN - Character Introduction: Mike Stone

It's January and Kracken has just cleared its final edit. To help introduce Kracken to the world, I started a series of character introductions a while back. The first post was of our protagonist, or the as we say in the common tongue - the star of the show,  Mike Stone.

Here's the scene I chose to give you a hint of the journey Mike takes in the story: ( I hope you enjoy it.)

Mike kissed her forehead. “I will be back.” As Mike crept closer to the sound of the falling whip, he suddenly began to understand what Rosemary knew—only too well.

A man’s voice, stilted with callous disregard, spoke over the sound of crying. “Four more of you worthless whelps are missing,” The angry voice continued, dripping with undisguised hatred. “I’m going to beat you one by one until either you tell me where the others are or until you’re all dead. Don't matter to me one way or the other.” The angry voice flicked his wrist and the whip jumped as if alive, snaking out and biting the exposed skin of a child’s thigh. Another lash answered by another cry.

You sorry excuse for—” The angry voice withdrew the whip, wet with blood, and began his forward motion. The whip froze mid-strike. “—what the…” He turned and looked into Mike’s burning gaze.

A shot fired.

Two more C-men, laughing while holding the teenage boy who was being beaten, looked up in sudden surprise, then bewilderment, and finally fear. Their gaze traveled to the hot anger in Mike’s face to their comrade lying dead at his feet; a fist sized hole still smoldering in his chest where the laser blast terminated his protest. 

This was posted on Face Book back in December, but not here so I thought to bring it back arround.

A scene from Kracken due for release Feb2015. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

KRACKEN - Character Introduction: Ted Waters

So now we come to the bad guy, the antagonist, Ted Waters himself. I mean what would our protagonist do if he didn't have a bad guy to slap him around and push him a little bit.

But before we get to that, how about an update. The last proof is almost done and then our editor will do her last sweep through the manuscript; finally the layout artist adds his magic touch. Poof! Pow! and we're done. Then the pre-readers will get the first shot at Kracken then its out to the public. I don't think I've ever been this excited for a book releases as I am for Kracken.

So  without delay, I introduce you to Ted Waters, CEO of The Company:

Excerpt from Kracken by Ray Ellis:

“Look at them,” a male voice said to her.
Ted Waters stood with his back to her, staring out the wall-sized window. The vista that was Millennium City, formally Uptown Manhattan, seemed to go on forever in every direction. Much of the Hudson River now channeled underground and what had been New Jersey was now encompassed within the new city. With over a hundred million people, Millennium was the largest city on Earth, rebuilt on the ruins of old New York just after the final skirmishes of the last world war over a hundred years prior. “We built this city brick by brick, layer by layer. Reconstructing it from the fragments left after the rebels and religious fanatics had finished killing each other. Feral dogs!”
Iona had heard the speech before—many times. She watched as Ted Waters stood motionless in the charcoal gray suit that was his staple, his hands clasped behind his back. She admired that he maintained his excellent physical condition, looking only a third of his sixty-plus years.
Waters continued talking, taking no notice of her. “They are small-minded individuals, fighting amongst themselves without the foresight to see beyond their own petty issues. They are animals, ignorant as children, threatening the very structure of civilization itself with their insignificant ideals.” He shifted his gaze, but still looked out of the window. “We saved them from themselves.”
Iona stood quietly, knowing better than to interrupt, knowing that Ted Waters would acknowledge her when he was ready.
“The Company brought an end to the chaos, and in its place inserted order. We have taken control, removing or reducing the variables of their meager existence giving them stability and peace.”
He turned to face Iona. He walked over and sat behind his oversized desk. “In the old world, more than a few generations back, my family were shepherds; did you know that, Ms. Bowers?”
Iona still said nothing; she was not expected to.
Waters continued, more talking at her than to her. “People are like sheep. They need a leader—a shepherd.” He spread his hands toward her. “I provide that service; I am the shepherd.
“I protect and care for the sheep, and in turn, the sheep produce a certain standard of living for the portion of society”—he smiled sardonically—“that provides that care. By this industry, the shepherds enjoy a certain standard of living. A perfect balance.” Waters finally looked directly into her eyes, “Ms. Bowers, that balance has been disturbed.”
The office felt dark. Even though the curtains stood opened, very little light seemed to filter into the room. A feeling of heaviness lingered in the office like the smell of a burnt meal after the ruined repast had been discarded. Smokey-bronze light fixtures built into dark leather wall coverings, set against a blood red carpet with over-sized elaborate furnishings reflected the man whose office it was. His throne-like desk sat in the center of the space, very large and made from rich, lunar marble, its subtle veins of dull color teasing the eye with suppressed hues. The large leather chair, with its polished brass spike mounted at the intersection of the shoulder blades, above the juncture of the intercostal nerves, stood in stark contrast to the dark leather wall coverings. 

Ah, now you have had a brief view of Ted Waters, I am looking forward to your getting to know him personally; or perhaps we shouldn't make it too close.  Smile