Saturday, June 16, 2018

First release from Dragon Breath Press--not my own.

A really good book. Only $4.99 for Kindle. Paperback will be up and available soon for $14.99

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

In honor of today being the 13th

In honor of today being the 13th, I thought I'd share some of my writing.
The Truth about Thirteen

Everyone has heard how unlucky the number thirteen is. And, God forbid, should it coincide with a Friday. There scores of movies telling what an awful day that is. But why does thirteen have such a bad reputation?
First, Christians associate thirteen with the number present at the Last Supper. Tradition holds that Judas Iscariot was the last to sit at the table, and he is the pinnacle of evil as the man who betrayed Christ.
In Norse mythology, Odin invited eleven of his friends to a party, which was crashed by Loki, the god of evil and turmoil and mischief. That party probably got lively. Scandinavians believe the number thirteen unlucky due to the twelve mythological demigods being joined by a thirteenth evil one.
Thirteen can never be divided equally to form groups. It’s a prime number. There will always be one unlucky person left over, unloved and unwanted.
Another possibility for poor thirteen’s bad name could be that there are thirteen full moons in a year. A woman typically has thirteen periods in a year, and in the past a woman who menstruated during a full moon was considered a witch. However, a woman living in a natural society tends to have her cycle correspond to moon cycles. Nonetheless, witches’ covens are associated with having the perfect number of members, thirteen.
In a Tarot deck, the number thirteen is reversed and can be interpreted to portend death. Thirteen reversed is thirty-one.
Let's see…The U. S. space flight, Apollo 13 did not exactly have a smooth trip. As a matter of fact, the date that the oxygen tank exploded was April 13. Stanger still, Apollo 13 was launched at 1:13 Central Standard Time. If that is written in military time, it is 13:13. Those facts are a bit creepy. Thank goodness that April 13, 1970, was on a Monday, or it could have added to the Friday the 13th lore.
As said before, thirteen plus Friday spell disaster. But why? Well, during the Middle Ages, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrests of Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, supposed guardians of the Holy Grail and other religious artifacts, and sixty of his senior knights on Friday, October 13, 1307. Most of them were tortured and executed, causing their sympathizers to condemn the date as evil. In the eighteenth century, the ship, the HMS Friday, was launched on Friday the thirteenth and never seen again.
Christians and Europeans tend to view thirteen as unlucky, but that is not true for all civilizations. Some cultures revere the number. Even Christians once saw thirteen in a positive light as it was thought the Magi visited Jesus on the thirteenth day of His life, giving rise to the twelve days of Christmas. The Catholic Church still celebrates Epiphany twelve days after Christmas.
Egyptians are to be thanked for developing the first superstition about thirteen, but for them, it was lucky. They believed there were twelve steps on the ladder to eternal life and knowledge. The thirteenth step meant immortality, going through death to eternal life.
Sikhs believe that the Guru Navek De Ji gave out food for free. When he got to the thirteenth person, he stopped. The Hindi word for thirteen is Terah, which means yours. The Guru Navek kept saying, “Yours, yours,” remembering God. And although he had been giving food away, when the money stores were checked, there was more money than before. Also, the Ik Onkar looks like thirteen and means one God. It is the symbol for the unity of God and a central tenet of Sikh religious philosophy.
In Judaism, thirteen is the age at which a boy matures and celebrates his Bar Mitzvah. Most people can’t wait to become a teenager—thirteen. According to the Torah, the sacred writing of Judaism, God has thirteen attributes of mercy.
In China, the number thirteen is considered lucky. The number one, when placed in the tens place, sounds like shi and means definite in Mandarin. The number three sounds like living or life or birth. Hence, the number thirteen, which is pronounced shisan in Mandarin, means assured growth or definitely vibrant.
Many famous sports figures have pushed their luck and worn number thirteen. In baseball Ozzie Guillen and, though too well thought of right now, Alex Rodriguez have worn it. An NBA great who wore thirteen was Wilt Chamberlain. The International Basketball Federation, better known as FIBA, requires a player to wear thirteen. Some well-known basketball players who have worn thirteen in international competition, such as the Olympics, are Tim Duncan, Chris Mullen, and Shaquille O’Neal. In the NHL, Mats Sundin has tempted fate and worn number thirteen. In the world of soccer, Kristine Lilly and Michael Ballack have been number thirteen. NFL wide receiver for the New York Jets, Don Maynard, wore number thirteen; NFL quarterback, Kurt Warner donned the number thirteen for both the Rams and the Cardinals, and even got a Super Bowl victory with the Rams as number thirteen; but probably the most well-known sports number thirteen was NFL Hall of Famer, quarterback, Dan Marino for the Miami Dolphins. Well, maybe if he had worn twelve, he would have won that Super Bowl ring rather than breaking almost every record there ever was at the time.
Italians consider thirteen lucky, and old-school tattoo cultures regard it as lucky.
Colgate University epitomizes thirteen’s good fortune. The college was founded in 1819—too bad it wasn’t 1813—by thirteen men with thirteen dollars, thirteen prayers, and thirteen articles. As a matter of fact, the campus address is 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, New York.
In addition, the number thirteen must have had the utmost importance to the founding fathers of the United States. There were thirteen original colonies, and there are still thirteen stripes on the flag. The Great Seal of the United States is covered with the number thirteen. Some people say that is because so many of the founding fathers were Free Masons, and there are thirteen levels of Free Masonry. Very few achieve the thirteenth level of Grand Master, so that part could be true. They might have considered thirteen to be achieving the superlative.
Let’s look at the Great Seal to see how important thirteen is to it. Get out an American dollar (if you have one) and let’s look at the Great Seal on the back.
Let’s first examine the right side with the eagle on it. Let’s work from top to bottom. Count the stars above the eagle’s head. There are thirteen. Next, count the letters in E Pluribus Unum. Again, there are thirteen. Examine the shield. If can see well enough to count the horizontal stripes, there are thirteen. There are definitely thirteen vertical stripes. Now, count the leaves on the olive branch and the arrows in each talon. There are thirteen leaves and thirteen arrows.
Now, let’s look at the other side. Annuit Coeptus contains thirteen letters. Last, there are thirteen levels of the pyramid, the thirteenth being the top or the eye. This leads back to the Free Masons as the pyramid and the eye as the superlative being their symbols and the laying of the foundation of the United States. This also takes us back to the Egyptians and the first superstition about thirteen with the highest level being immortality. Where are the Great Pyramids found? Egypt.
I guess everyone has to draw his or her own conclusions about thirteen. There are too many conflicting opinions, but, hey, what cop do you know that would turn down a baker’s dozen, thirteen, of doughnuts and what baker wouldn’t like a baker’s dozen eggs, of course for the price of a regular dozen?
So, is thirteen lucky or unlucky? What is the truth about thirteen and luck?
The truth is: Thirteen is a number. It comes between twelve and fourteen. Your luck is what you make it. Your life is what you make it. So, go out and make it count.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Teacher wins donation

I attended the Tools for Life conference these last two days. Many Jackson Public Schools use Tools for Life as a teaching tool to help students develop coping strategies and good decisions making skills. They have door prizes at the conference. I donated a set of The Raiford Chronicles. Here I am with the lucky winner

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Happy birthday to me! April 14
A book signing with Lottie Boggan.
The Bookshelf
637 Hwy. 51
Ridgeland, MS 39157

12 noon-3 p.m.
April 14, 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Amazing Love

Amazing love. How can it be that Thou wouldest die for me?

Isaiah 53 
1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 22
1Now the feast
of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.
And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.
Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.
And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.
And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.
And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.
Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.
And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.
And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?
10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.
11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.
13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer:
16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:
18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
21 But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.
22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!
23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.
24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?
50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?
53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.
55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.
57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.
58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.
59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.
60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.
64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?
65 And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.
66 And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying,
67 Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:
68 And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.
69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.
70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.
71 And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.

Passover was a time to remember oppression and the salvation of the blood of the sacrificial lamb. On this Palm Sunday we celebrated communion and the sacraments took on a deep meaning—the Bread of Life, His blood that covers all our iniquity. I offer the following prayer for my family, remember Jesus's sacrifice.

The Bread—His body
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

His brokenness heals us. Lord, heal my broken family. Heal their bodies of ALL addiction, their minds of all doubt, their spirits of all pain, their souls of all unbelief. Bring them to You. Set the captive free.

The wine—His blood
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

He poured out his life so that my/your life can be full. Lord, fill me with Your Spirit to overflowing. Pour Yourself upon my family. Fill them with YOU.

This Passion Week remember the Sacrifice of Love, and kind that the world had never known.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Lord, I confess my failure to stand strong for You, and I ask that You send You strength and power and angels to guide me. Make me a shining example of Your love.

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all…