Posted in My Journey

Transformation

Seven weeks have passed since I last wrote. Right now, I am not quite sure how I can express my gratitude to all of you who have sent me the kind words you did. Believe me when I say that your words have lifted my spirit and allowed me the ability to keep moving forward.

As many of you know, I have taken a much-needed rest from blogging. It is not a decision I made without consulting my family and friends. Quite honestly, I have missed the daily grind of producing three posts a week while also maintaining a rigorous writing schedule for my future books. However, the time away has given me the opportunity to reevaluate my life from a spiritual perspective.

Before I continue, let me just say that I am fine. I had a scare in early January when a problem in my neck had resurfaced, and as time went on it had steadily gotten worse. I had something similar happen to me four years ago when my left arm went numb due nerve problems stemming from my neck. So imagine how I felt when the same thing was happening to me all over again. I could easily have pricked my left index finger and not feel a thing.

I am still not ready to come back in full force, but when I do, nothing will stop me from completing my life mission. You have my word on that.

So why am I here, then?

I have had something happen to me. For those of you who believe in a higher power, this is one of those stories. I will understand if you feel uncomfortable for what I am about to tell you. If you want to leave, I will understand. A few months ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of a miracle as well. But miracles do happen, and it happened to me.

This is the part where you can keep reading or stop, because this is the part where I bring God into the picture.

For several years I have done nothing more than write about zombies and about the horror genre. I have written about other things, too, but most of my writing, especially my books, focused on the zombie apocalypse. Now you might wonder what could have possibly happened to me that would have caused me to rethink my creative direction. After all, the zombie genre is hot. What writer would not want to be a part of it?

To give you a bit more context, during my time away I was also going through a transformation of sorts where I felt a calling to do more with my life. The more I resisted, the more it became evident to me that there was more happening than what I would have wanted to admit. That resistance came from a root of bitterness that had sprung from deep within my soul. I had no idea it was there. It had been there for years, and it took me by surprise when I eventually began dealing with it this weekend.

And when I say dealing with it, I mean going militant in order to flush it out of my life. This entailed a lot of bible study, a lot of prayer, and going back to church. That last part is the kicker. I have not been back to church in two decades. I have attended annual Easter and Christmas services in the past, but only because I had to, not because I wanted to. When I went back to church yesterday, I went back because I wanted to.

And that is when the miracle took place. The root of bitterness left me, and I could feel God’s spirit flow through me, filling every part of my being. I had someone pray over me, releasing me from the burden of sin. I could hear God’s voice telling me that salvation is now mine. Some may laugh, but it did happen, and I will forever lay testimony to his glory for him taking me by the hand so as he may lead me to still waters.

There is more.

In all this, something else happened. I think I now know what I need to do. All the writing I have done, every single post I have written, every book that I have published has been nothing more than training for the real writing.

After praying about it and talking it over with my family, I think what God wants me to do is write about everyday people and about how God touches their lives. The real superheroes are those folks who go to work every day and are examples for everyone else to follow while God works through them to perform great miracles. I believe that. I believe it so much that I confess I have written a superhero book called Resilience, but I will set it aside as a means to glorify God by presenting him my industry instead. More than anything, I would like him to work through me so that I can give honor and glory to him. It might sound crazy, I know, especially after everything that I have written about in the past.

But let me ask you this—are not the craziest ideas the ones that change the world?

So in the next little while, as I try to figure this whole thing out, you may see more of me, writing about things I may have not written about in the past. And I might create things I did not know I could create. Because, really, what I want to do above all else, is glorify God with the works of my hands.

It may seem like a crazy idea, but the craziest ideas are the ones that change the world.

Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

What I’ve Learned

I typically don’t write about God. I try to keep my topics light and free from controversy. I’ll write about other things instead, like morals, the law and what is right. But about the G-word, I’m never quite sure if I’ll say too little or if I’ll say too much. And I find it risky because I don’t want to alienate readers who read my blog for entertainment purposes only.

However, there has been a development in my life. Last year this time, I had promised myself that I would read the Holy Bible from cover to cover. To keep me on track, I went ahead and entered a chronological reading plan into my phone that would remind me daily of my goal. I say chronological because there are various reading plans out there that allow a person to start reading the word in various ways. I chose chronological because I’ve always wanted to gain a historical perspective to the writings than simply reading it for literature.

With that in mind, I’m happy to say that as of December 31, last year, I completed my goal of reading the Holy Bible from cover to cover.

What can I say about the whole thing? I can only describe it as an experience.

I learned there is a God.
I learned God would not give me a test he doesn’t think I can handle.
I learned that no matter how many times I sin, God would forgive me.

I learned about faith.
I learned about hope.
I learned about love.

I learned that I mean something to God and he will do anything to save me from the penalty of my sins.
I learned that as smart as I think I am, God is smarter.

I learned to be patient.
I learned to be kind.
I learned to love.

I learned what real peace is all about.
I learned to sleep better at night.

I learned a lot more, but those are the big ones. Apart from the experience of historical reading, I gained a huge understanding regarding human nature. For instance, I found a whole book called Proverbs chalk full of golden nuggets of wisdom dedicated to dealing with human nature. One of my favorite sayings I picked up from the book is “Go to the ant, you sluggard.” It means those who are lazy should have a look at what the ant does. The ant harvests in the fall to live through the winter. It also means, like an ant, I should always stay busy. Hard to get into trouble when I’m busy.

Yet, of all the things I’ve learned, I think loving God and loving others is the most important. I don’t want to sound preachy, but to me it made enough an impact to promote a change in how I act—a change noticeable in my writings and to others.

At least, I hope it’s noticeable.

Get the Ranger Martin trilogy now!

Have you ever wanted to read something cover to cover but never had the opportunity to do so? If so, what?

Posted in Freedom Friday

The Fidget

The other day I took a train ride into the city. I was on my way to a meeting when our train met with a half-hour delay. I was fine, continuing to read on my tablet, but I noticed the other passengers were not. They began to fidget. Yes, fidget. If you had to wait for anything for a long period, you’d know what I mean.

Waiting
Waiting

As strange a topic as this is, I want to talk about the all-important fidget. I do it, and I’m sure you do it, too. What would Freedom Friday be like if I didn’t write about off-the-wall issues that affects everyone?

Back to my train story. We were already traveling for an hour when the announcement came that we needed to divert from our track in order to avoid a derailment that had taken place in the early morning hours.

That’s when the first wave began.

Not necessarily in this order, but it started with one of the passengers sitting and looking out the window of our coach, drumming his fingers on his leg. He was not listening to music. Within minutes, I peered over my reader and saw another passenger checking the time on her device. It continued. Another was tapping his feet while another kept squirming in her seat.

Between watching others yawn, scratch, and stretch, I was getting a kick from noting how quickly people get restless when their patience leaves them.

Here’s the dictionary definition of a fidget according to Google:

Verb: make small movements, especially of the hands and feet, through nervousness or impatience

“The audience had begun to fidget on their chairs”

Noun: a quick, small movement, typically a repeated one, caused by nervousness or impatience

“He disturbed other people with convulsive fidgets.”

Keep calm
Keep calm

I fidget. I do. When I’m waiting in line and the person in front of me has completed their business but instead of leaving stays and exchanges pleasantries—you best be sure I’m fidgeting. I suppose I do it because if I have errands to finish I don’t want to wait in line listening to folks chat about their new color nail polish. That happened. I also don’t want to hear about the sad state of traffic while driving to the store. I know it was bad. Had it been light, I wouldn’t have had to wait behind a long line at checkout. That happened, too.

This is random—I wonder what constitutes a fidget. I mean, is it the nervous facial tick one expresses when someone is driving them crazy? Is it the shaking of the leg under the table when a guy sees a pretty girl who he wants to ask out? Is it the wringing of the hands from a girl ready to punch a guy for making a pass at her?

Not all fidgets are bad. Nope. For instance, did you know therapists train ADHD patients coping skills that involve fidgeting? You heard me right. As a means to remain focused, ADHD patients take to tapping, chewing gum and even listening to music. Their concentration increases and they overcome the need to keep moving. How great is that?

Well, I’m not a psychologist, by any means. Perhaps fidgeting is the body’s way of coping in tight situations. Or maybe it’s just a way for us to serve each other a quick ticket to the insane asylum. Whatever it is, I find it fascinating to watch the effects of the almighty fidget when a person’s expectations implode after a minor delay.

I’m going to go stand in line now. I may find something else as mundane as a fidget to write about.

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

Have you noticed what prompts your fidgets?