Posted in My Journey

A Gentle Spirit

Be kind to one another. Love each other as Jesus loved you, insomuch that He shed his blood for us while we were yet sinners. Give and never fear of going without. God will always provide. He is the one who created everything. Is it so difficult for Him to supply the needs for his children?

Above all else, remember to have a soft and gentle heart to those who wrong you. They are lost, and they do not know what they do when they are harming you. The apostle Peter says it this way:

“For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.” (1 Peter 2:19)

Be merciful to your persecutors. For as it says in Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

A gentle spirit is humble. A gentle spirit is pure. It does not desire vengeance, nor does it desire evil for evil. It returns love for hate. It shows understanding when there is a lack of wisdom. And it promotes comfort for those times when others feel insecure.

Never be afraid to show the world what Jesus looks like living inside you.

Posted in My Journey

What Is Love?

Love does not hate; it does not boast, nor does it seek revenge. Love cares for another more than oneself; it is not proud, arrogant or unmerciful. Love leads, conquers prejudice, and gives even when in need. Love is not afraid and will always be kind.

It would be easy to quote the apostle Paul’s inspired words about love from 1 Corinthians 13, but one of the greatest thoughts about love comes from Jesus himself, when he said:

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Jesus demonstrated that very love when he died on the cross for us in order to pay for the penalty of our sins. And although the night before his death Jesus fervently prayed to God regarding this great responsibility placed on his shoulders, he still accepted it because it was God’s will. No other act in human history depicts just how much God loves us than for him to have given his son Jesus as a sacrifice to redeem us from death.

What is love? It is to look upon Christ’s sacrifice and to conclude how selfless an act it truly was for him to give his last breath for us sinners. It is to become like Jesus and to sacrifice ourselves for others as a means to allow Christ to live in us, not only in word but also in deed. We Christians owe our lives to God, and what better way to show our love for him than to give as he gave so that we can experience the fullness of his love living in us. No greater love is it than to sacrifice one’s life for friends.

As we move into the new year, let us resolve to let our light shine so that others may see our good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven.

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Maleficent

Once upon a time, there was darkness throughout the land. The light did not comprehend it nor did it exist in the midst thereof. For within that darkness lived bitterness and anger, which swallowed goodness, and brought with it fear to those who desired peace. Out of true love’s kiss came the darkness.

Angelina Jolie is Maleficent
Angelina Jolie is Maleficent

As part of this month’s tribute to women who rock Horror, included in today’s Women Who Wow Wednesday is Angelina Jolie’s timeless Maleficent.

*** May contain spoilers. Skip to the last paragraph for the summary. ***

True love’s kiss can usher a new dawn or can destroy a land.

Protector of the Moors is Maleficent, one of the greatest fairies ever to live. She swoops and soars across her domain, giving aid to those in need during a time when the light ruled the Moors.

When she was a girl, she meets Stefan, a young farm boy who wanders on the Moors to steal treasure. An embarrassing confession later, Stefan and Maleficent grow in friendship. After a time, Stefan once again steals something belonging to Maleficent, but it happens with true love’s kiss.

As the years pass and as Stefan draws closer to greed, lust and envy, Maleficent protects the land from evil invaders who want to pillage it. She confronts the human king who wants the Moors all to himself, banishes him and hails victorious over the evil tyrant. However, it does not discourage the wicked king from enacting an edict to charge any member of his court to bring back Maleficent to the castle—dead. In exchange they will receive the kingdom as a reward.

Stefan appears again to Maleficent. All the years of loneliness that had passed between them seems as yesterday to the couple, as they share a tender moment. Once Maleficent rises from a deep sleep, Stefan is gone, as are her wings. Stefan becomes king.

Maleficent's Angelina Jolie
Maleficent’s Angelina Jolie

In the wake of her loss, Maleficent falls into darkness. Her power increases, and the seed of resentment captures her heart, left empty by the betrayal of her only love, Stefan. All the fairies bow to their new queen.

Then, King Stefan has a daughter. Maleficent, being cordial, invites herself to the christening where she bestows a gift to the princess—a curse. The little girl would grow to be sixteen at which time she will prick her finger on a spindle and fall into a deep, deep sleep, forever to remain but for true love’s kiss.

Without a doubt, Angelina Jolie is Maleficent. Beyond the incredible effects that renders her the awesome power she possesses, her subtle pose, smile and glint in her eyes conveys more than volumes of exposition. And in some respects, it makes us believe the darkness is good.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

What did you think of Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of Maleficent?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Hard Being a Zombie

It must be difficult to live life as a zombie. To have no hope. No dreams. To pretend of being of value to others only to suck all the good from them until there’s nothing left. It must be tough to have a false sense of purpose, treating humans as nothing more than a piece of meat.

Lost and abandoned
Lost and abandoned

Maybe you shouldn’t read this Monday Mayhem post. If you’re a zombie, I don’t know if you’d understand.

How can zombies live with themselves? Their moral compass is broken. They have no ability to see what they’re doing is wrong. Their loyalty lies in one thing—to fulfill their selfish inner craving they have festering in their putrid shell. What do they see when they look at themselves in the mirror? Do they see good? Do they see the pain they cause themselves and to others?

Zombies have their horde with which they commune. They’re all the same, though. Following the pack. Not thinking for themselves. Much of their undead life consists of roaming about seeking of whom they may devour. Sure, they have their dormant phases where they appear as if they’ve gotten better, hanging with their brothers and sisters in a quiet state of depression. But that doesn’t mean they’re harmless. Once they catch sight of another victim, nothing prevents them from kicking into full chase mode.

At least zombies have something to which humans can aspire. If anyone dares attack them, they don’t run. They don’t hide. They simply show their rotting teeth and hit their future kill at a time when it’s at its most vulnerable.

Unlike other carnivores, zombies will keep pursuing their quarry even after sustaining an injury. The undead may have lost an arm, a leg, the front part of their face, but they’ll do everything in their power to exhaust their victim until the victim can run no more.

When the evil predators finally catch their prey? They consume them while they’re still alive.

Then there’s the little matter of the zombie bite. All the undead has to do is snap and wait until the virus takes effect. If they can’t kill their target, they’ll do one better—make the target into one of them. What better way to guarantee the zombie culture will not die? The perfect plan.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather remain human than become a maggot infested drain on civilization bent on destroying the good in people. Sounds to me like a lot of work to keep tabs on victims in order to ensure they’ll one day either become food for the miserable lot or part of the problem.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

Is there such a thing as a good zombie?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie

How horrifying would it be if your brother became your worst nightmare? You’d fall asleep with images of his biting face in front of your eyes, his lifeless stare giving you chills, and his painful gurgles echoing in your ears. Yet, you know you did everything you could to save him from his empty life of despair. How would you rest knowing he’d be out there taking the lives of others in the same way he had tried to take yours?

Zombie
Zombie

It’s not every day your brother becomes a zombie. Maybe today is one of those good Monday Mayhem mornings where everything goes right in spite of knowing that whatever you did to help your brother, you couldn’t have stopped what would have happened anyway.

After all, your brother was there for you through some of the happiest times in your life. He was there those summer nights spent chatting on the porch about everything from the cost of gas to how beautiful the rain is when it trickles down a windowpane. He was there when you celebrated one of the most memorable birthdays and he gave you that baseball cap—that same baseball cap you no long possess because it reminds you too much of how it used to be and what you had lost.

And who can forget that fateful day at the game when he told you about wanting to marry his girlfriend of three years making you feel privileged, since he also asked you to become his best man.

But you noticed the changes before he even knew what was happening. The disease began drawing his life away months before his happiness disappeared. It started in the heart and grew slowly over the course of time. You couldn’t put your finger on it. He was different. His eyes began to grow icy, his skin limpid and pasty. His hair had lost its shine. Whatever it was he suffered, he didn’t look good. Most of all, his personality had changed.

What once was a strong, healthy, outgoing man became a shell of a human. Empty. Without form and void.

That’s when you noticed the snapping. You heard of this occurring to others, but you wouldn’t have believed it occurring to your own brother. Never. How could it? You’ve been through so much together. There’s no way he’d turn on you. What about the times you were there for each other? What about those moments of brilliance you thought he could repel anything, should an external force wreak havoc on his brain?

When the snapping took over it was too late. Just like the others you saw turn on their loved ones, your brother did so as well. You tried to save him. You tried to get him help. You tried to show him through example that what he was becoming was something unrecognizable. Something that if not fixed, would destroy his life forever.

Every so often, he’d snap his jowls. You didn’t know what it meant. Yet it came about because his life was deteriorating before your eyes and the disease that once took hold of his heart slowly seeped into the rest of his body making his skin cold to the touch and his soul filled with unbridled rage. All he wanted was to hurt you. All you wanted was for things to go back to a time when joy coursed through his veins.

The disease had no mercy on your brother’s soul. It ravaged it, sucking all the goodness and replacing it with a bitter spirit that shook the ground where he walked and numbed his bones.

You couldn’t bare watching anymore. One day you drove him away and released him in the wilderness. You said sorry for anything you may have ever done to have caused him pain, and left him lost to his own hate—dead.

But you hold on to hope that one day he will find his way through the wild and come home to you cured of his malady. You hold on to that very little chance his mind hadn’t completely turned to stone. And you hold on to the hope his heart sparks with life again to restore who he once was.

Not what he is now—zombie.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

What would you do if one of your friends turned into a zombie? Would you try to save or kill them?