Monday, July 9, 2018

Near Rape?

I had heard this story as often as the usual anecdotes that started with “did I ever tell you about the time...” My mom didn’t have to retell this one over and over in order for me to be able to recall, with vivid clarity, every detail. At the time of her ordeal I would have been too young to understand even if I had been awake, and not in my crib.

“Debbie has heard this before,” she began, pausing and giving me a glance that seemed to warn that maybe, this time, I was going to hear something different. She went on “But she won’t mind hearing it again.”

We were sitting at a small round table with two of her lady friends from church. It struck me as strange that here were two women she had known for twenty-five or thirty years and she had not told them her famous “near rape” story.

Or maybe she had and now, with their support, she could tell me the frightful truth.

“My husband was gone to a reserve meeting and I was home alone with the girls. I had just put Debbie to bed – the crib was still in our room – and I decided to put Diane in our bed so I could scrub the floor in her room. Well, I got distracted and found myself reading and before I knew it, it was too late to scrub the floor.”

My mom always laughed at this point and she did today, but the story was slightly off. Why wasn’t she telling what it was that distracted her? I remember it was a magazine article, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, and it was so interesting that she couldn’t put it down.

I glanced at the ladies, one had been my Sunday School teacher many years before, and they both had that questioning look that made it seem like they were ignorant of what was coming next in the story. My hearing felt sharper.

“So I went in our bedroom and reached down to pick up Diane and take her back to her own bed . . . and the bedroom door closed behind me and some man’s voice said ‘Don’t move, I’ve got a knife.’ And I squeezed Diane tightly . . . and she woke up and said ‘Oh, mommy, it’s just Daddy.’”

Mom quoted the exchange as if by rote, her eyes focused elsewhere, her hands clasping her purse.

“And I said with a sigh ‘Oh, honey, no it isn’t.’ I said ‘What do you want? You want money?’ And he said no. He wanted something else. So I just started talking.”

This is where always before she would tell how she had read an article by Dr. Crane advising women to keep a man talking so he couldn’t “get his motor running” as she put it. That had always seemed rehearsed to me. She left it out this time.

“So I kept him talking and he was trying to fondle me and kept backing me up. He got me as far as I could go, against the crib, so I said ‘Okay, I’ll give you what you want but you have to give me that knife.’ He said okay . . . and I told Diane to leave the room.”

Mom sighed again and her eyes refocused on her friends.

I knew what she would say next. She would say that she had no intention of giving him what he wanted. She would say that Diane wouldn’t leave the room and had started crying. The man would get flustered then and ask for money and my mom would tell him it was in the kitchen. He would follow her out there, she would dig in her purse and thrust all she had into his hand and as soon as he went out the door she would start screaming. That’s what she would say. But she didn’t.

“Oh, dear, that must have been horrible,” one of her church friends said, the one that had been my Sunday School teacher. Maybe she had heard the story before after all. She leaned over and patted my mother’s hand and said, “Did I ever tell you about the time that George was gone to Cleveland and I was alone for two weeks?”

Friday, June 29, 2018

Who's Your Soul Mate?

According to the internet the chances of meeting your “soul-mate” are one in ten million. And if you do . . . he/she is probably already married. (Reminds me of the song lyrics “sad to belong to someone else when the right one comes along”.) Of course this statistic reveals that you may have as many as 600 perfect matches out there since there are 6 billion people on the planet.

Doesn’t everybody think they’re marrying their soul-mate? How did the researchers determine soul-mate status? I’d love to see their questionnaire. I can’t possibly imagine how they could verify soul-mate-ness when the people involved don’t really know. Because, after all, Suzy thought Bob was her one-and-only until it ended in divorce and Jim was shocked when his supposed soul-mate left him for someone else.

Here’s what I THINK the “experts” might ask in a soul-mate questionnaire:
1. Does he/she laugh at all your jokes?
2. Does he/she have the same religious beliefs?
3. Does he/she have the same political beliefs?
4. Does he/she have the same child-rearing strategies?
5. Does he/she have the same taste in movies/books/music?
6. Does he/she have the same interests?
7. Does he/she know what you want without asking?
8. Does he/she understand you?
9. Does he/she keep your secrets faithfully?
10. Do you feel the need to be with him/her above all other needs?
11. Do you have far more similarities than differences in your life experiences?
12. Are your goals, values and priorities the same?
13. Is there a 6th sense of perception between you?
14. Do you rarely disagree? (Arguing may even become a “laughing matter” because of its infrequency.)
15. Do you appreciate each other exactly as you are without desiring or expecting change?

Answer yes to all the questions and you have found your soul-mate . . . maybe. What other questions would you put on the list?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

FREE this weekend, THE TIME BENDER

Free June 23 & 24, 2018
on AMAZON 
Tell your friends.

Friday, June 15, 2018

What's Your View of Heaven?


Some people believe that heaven will be a fantasy of happiness, pleasure and complete contentment with no more tears or pain. And no work. All your friends and loved ones will surround you. Imagine the joyful reunions you’ll have! Imagine the fun things you’ll do: fly like an angel, ski down mountains fearlessly, visit other galaxies and more.

You know what’s wrong with that picture? It’s all about YOU.

This is what I think will happen when I get to heaven (and I’m sure I’m getting in because I’ve put my trust and belief in Jesus Christ, the one and only way into the Kingdom):

I will be overjoyed to have a new imperishable body and I will praise God.

I’ll be in God’s presence and I’ll praise His Holy Name and thank Him with more words of praise.

I will bow at the throne and thank Him that my loved ones are there too. I will praise Jesus for His saving grace.

I will see the angels around Him who are praising Him ceaselessly. I will join their songs of praise. (No, I will not become an angel. I’ll still be me.)

I’ll notice who isn’t there: those people who didn’t accept the gift of salvation, who denied God’s existence or trusted some other path as if Buddhism or Islam or just being a Good Person were enough. I’ll have an awful moment of sadness as I realize they will burn forever in the lake of fire, but then I’ll have an awe filled moment when Jesus wipes away my tears and comforts me in an eternal embrace. I will praise Him again.

You see, it’s not about ME in heaven. It’s about GOD! And frankly, here on Earth, it’s about Him, too, though we forget that most days, even the Sabbath.

I don’t expect to fly to other galaxies, but I might. I don’t expect to ski down mountains, but I might. I don’t know what wonderful things God has in store for me, but I’m certain they’ll be wonderful even if I can’t imagine them now. I’m also certain that we will praise God for all of eternity. How can we not?

Friday, June 8, 2018

Recommended Reading: The Hunt for Komodo Cracker

THE HUNT FOR KOMODO CRACKERThe Hunt for Komodo Cracker: A Novel by [Cloutier, Michel]


Komodo hacks into a Montreal pharmaceutical company. He steals nothing, and causes no damage. Instead, he plants encrypted files for the company's network security professional, Thomas Faraday.

Halfway around the world, somewhere in the Zagros Mountains, a secret religious league with time travel technology excavates an ancient Persian gravestone containing a coded message. When the league recruits Faraday for a mission to the mighty Persian Empire of 473 BC, he discovers the league is hiding a sinister plot.

Now trapped in an ancient nation at war and with time running out, Thomas must decipher both the Komodo files and the Persian gravestone if he and his fellow time travelers ever hope to return to the twenty-first century.

But someone does not want Thomas Faraday to succeed.


THE HUNT FOR KOMODO CRACKER by Michel Cloutier is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.

Friday, June 1, 2018

James, part 3, Taming the Tongue

Photo by James Barker on Unsplash



Chapter 3 is all about taming the tongue. Read verses 9 and 10:
 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
Really meditate on this. In fact, read the whole chapter in your own Bible and underline the parts that apply to you. If you have trouble with your speech, that is, bad words flow readily out of your mouth, you can at least take comfort in the fact that “no man can tame the tongue,” so you’re not alone. However, the tongue is “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” and you would be wise to ask the Lord for help.
Now read chapter 4: 1 – 10:
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
   “God opposes the proud
   but shows favor to the humble.”
 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
 That last phrase “he will lift you up” is a match for our Hebrew letter samech which means support.
Have you heard people say I’ll do this or that “Lord willing?” See chapter 4 verse 15 and you’ll see why Christians say this.
Chapter 5 gives a strong warning to the rich oppressors then goes on to encourage us to be patient until the Lord’s coming.  We also learn in verse 12 not to swear by heaven or earth or anything. Finally, James ends his letter with encouragement to us to pray for one another and to confess our sins to one another. Isn’t that interesting? It doesn’t say confess to a priest.

Friday, May 25, 2018

James, part 2, Linking to a Hebrew letter

Image result for hebrew letter samech
Samech

As discussed before the book of James links up with the Hebrew letter “samech.” Since samech means support we will be able to find some connection to this word in the book of James.
Look at verses 26 – 27:
 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

We will get a closer look at reining in the tongue in chapter 3, but examine the last part of the above quotation and see if you agree with me that support, our samech letter’s meaning, is evident here. I interpret looking after orphans and widows as supporting them. Likewise, keeping yourself from being polluted by the world would require you to support all of the Lord’s teachings.
Are there other links to our Hebrew letter samech which means support?  Well, in James 2: 14 – 17 there is a clear implied command to support our Christian brothers:
 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
These verses also show that faith needs the support of works in order to be vital.

Friday, May 18, 2018

James, part 1, Faith, Obedience and Righteousness

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It is generally believed that the New Testament book of James was written by James, the half-brother of Jesus. He wrote to the twelve tribes which were scattered so it is assumed that he was writing to Christian Jews who had dispersed after the persecution. James’ theme is that religious service is the expression and proof of faith, that is, faith produces works. Faith is shown by the outward acts of obedience and righteousness.
Let’s start with chapter 1: 1 – 8:
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hebrews, part 4, Faith, Marriage, and Bible Codes

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Read Hebrews 11:1 for a definition of faith:

1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

A word about marriage in Hebrews 13: 4:

4Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

All the sexually immoral! “Whoremongers” is the word used in the King James Version.

One last favorite verse, 13:8:

8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Praise the Lord!

Lastly, a word about how the 66 books in the Bible link up to one another.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Hebrews, part 3, Reincarnation? Not a Chance!

Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash


More about Jesus’ priesthood is revealed in Hebrews 7: 1-4:

1This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace." 3Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.
 4Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!Look at how Melchizedik was a type of Christ figure: king of righteousness, king of peace, no earthly parents, no beginning of days or end of life, a priest forever.

I have put in bold print below some things you can ponder from Hebrews 7:11-22:

Friday, April 27, 2018

Hebrews, part 2, Jesus, the Ultimate High Priest

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Look at Hebrews 3:1-6:

1Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house. 3Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

 I put “house” in bold because it’s important that we remember that we are His house.
Now look at Hebrews 4:14-16:

14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jesus is the great high priest. I think this links back to 2nd Chronicles in an interesting way. Remember that in Chronicles the kingdom was divided into the northern region of Israel (10 tribes) and the southern kingdom of Judah (2 tribes). The priests and Levites left the northern region because of the idolatry. Where there were parallel accounts in Chronicles to historical events recorded in Kings, Chronicles always had many more references to the priests and Levites. Here, in Hebrews, we have the ultimate priest. Read Hebrews 5:1-10:

1Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.
 4No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. 5So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
   "You are my Son;
      today I have become your Father." 6And he says in another place,
   "You are a priest forever,
      in the order of Melchizedek."
 7During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

An important part to clarify is in verse 9. The translation here says “once made perfect,” which sounds like He wasn’t always perfect. The original Greek meaning, however, is “having been made perfect,” implying that Jesus was made perfect originally. Jesus was sinless and perfect.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Hebrews, part 1, Stay Strong in the Faith that Jesus is God

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Hebrews was written by . . . well, we don’t know, though some believe that Paul is the author. Martin Luther thought it was Apollos, Tertulian thought it was Barnabas, others thought it might have been Priscilla or Philip.

There seems to be a double intent in this book: first to confirm Jewish Christians by showing that the Jewish age had ended by the fulfillment of the Law through Christ and, second, that there is an urgency to be strong in the faith and not lapse back into Judaism or fall short in faith in Jesus.

First let’s read Hebrews 1: 1-5:

 1In the past God spoke

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Last Book in THE TIME BENDER series Released Today


FINALLY COMPLETE

THE TIME ENDER


THE TIME ENDER is the exciting and unexpected conclusion to The Time Bender series.

Selina Langston is confused about recurring feelings for the wrong guy/alien. She’s pretty sure Alex is her soulmate and Coreg should not be trusted at all. But Marcum … well, when he returns to Klaqin and rescues her she begins to see him in a different light.

Since her secret power can pull her and everyone around her into a slow measured existence, she has plenty of time to figure it all out. But she’s not the only one with special powers. Plus there’s a galactic war going on … treachery and treaties … killing and carnage … battles and betrothals. Specifically her betrothal. Marcum has been through an incredible transformation since arriving on Gleezhe, but is he destined to be her betrothed?

And there’s someone … or something … that can stop time in a way that could mean the end of everything.