chad carroway

reading. thinking. writing.

By Chad Carroway

The shadow of a solitary moth performs a lonely minuet against the backdrop of a shoplight hanging from the hood of Krazinsky’s 50’ Mercury Monterey. It’s after 3am once again. The smell of Wild Turkey is running to a close second against the mineral spirits that cleaned the wrenches after a recent overhaul.

“She’s not around to gripe anymore”

…he slurs looking at a Calico crouched on a shop stool…

”So…what if I drink the entire bottle tonight, who would notice other than you?”


(suddenly his pathetic speech to the feline is interrupted with the jingling of the shop-door lock…)

Krazinsky, unplugs the light, grabs his wrench and crouches behind his car next to the entrance of the shop. Within seconds, the door is opened and a tall figure enters. After about ten seconds, the burglar is on his face and zip-tied to the shop bench.

“You chose me to rob, a retired cop, big mistake thug!”

After taking a deep breath, the perpetrator answered… “I figured that you’d be laid out by now old man.”

“Laid out…?” Krazinsky huffed.

“Come on Mr. K, you knock out a bottle a night…I walk the trash alley, I am not stupid ya know!”

Krazinsky laughed as he crouched down…

“Not stupid…ahh…you’re the one tied to a shop bench at 3am…what’s your name by way? Oh yeah…Billy, I know you. So, Billy, what did you plan on stealing?

“My ticket out of this dump!” Tears began to well up in Billy’s eyes. “The 50 Merc, what do you think!”

Krazinsky’s anger increased, the vein in his neck began to bubble. He rose to his feet and stomped towards house to make a call to the 911. Standing bolt upright and gripping the shop door, he felt pain shooting through his left forearm clear to his shoulder — he was paralyzed. Within seconds he realized that he had not taken his meds for the past couple of days, his BP was high. His head was hot, pounding — like a fever. Of course he was no stranger to this scenario, except this was worse than any other before. Everything faded to black all at once.

Within seconds, though it seemed, Krazinsky could hear Billy screaming…

”Mr. K! Mr. K!”

He couldn’t move anything other than his head. Billy appeared genuinely concerned and before either could speak, a bright light beamed underneath the shop door from the outside. It was still dark outside and the door opened... a man entered.

“Well…look at the two of you…”

The man sat on a stool as he spoke those few words and smiled. It was a familiar looking face to both Billy and Krazinsky. He wore hemp sandals, a flowing white shirt, denim jeans and he had long braided hair in a pony tail.

Billy was the first to begin the nervous conversation…

“Hey…are you uhh…?”

Krazinsky completed the question…

“Willie Nelson…?”

The man answered with a chuckle and put there minds to ease.

“You know, I get that a lot. Actually no, but I have met him before. My name is Agello. Look guys, I will be quick and to the point. I have just a few questions…”

As Agello smiled, looking directly at Billy “Why is leaving this town so important…?”

Billy explained that his dad abandoned him and his mother six years prior. Everything about the town reminded him about his dad leaving. He could not think of the good times anymore, only the darkness. Stealing the 50’Merc and getting away for good was his way of leaving it all behind.

Agello then looked to Mr. K with the same smile and gentle voice. He asked him to explain his lonely shop, drinking so abusively, avoiding the love of his church, friends and those who miss him in the community? Kranzinsky began to describe the sadness he felt about his wife’s death. With tears, he poured out how cancer took her away from him so many years ago. The 50’Merc was what reminded him of her most. The drive-in dates, their magical honeymoon, vacations and so many other precious moments.

Agello then told them about two people who once no longer had much time on earth. They both knew they had to leave loved ones behind — a moment of decision was near. From some visiting locals the two were offered the message of eternal life. These two requested that the message reach their loved ones who they were leaving behind. Agello informed Mr. K and Billy that the two of them were the recipients of that wish. The message that he was sent to share with them in that shop. He shared the Gospel of Christ. This was at the request of Billy’s father and Krazinsky’s wife as they were offered the same message at their bedside in a cancer center in the last hours of their earthly life.

Agello explained that Billy’s father didn’t abandon his family. He left at the discovery of his diagnosis, taking his tremendous battle of cancer with him. He didn’t want his family to endure the burden. Mrs. Kranzinsky didn’t wish for her husband to bear the burden of eternal loneliness and separation from Christ — on either side of heaven. Both understood that the joy of knowing Christ will fill all of their needs now and then.

Billy and Mr. K both received and believed in the Gospel, accepting Christ as their Savior. As the sun rose that morning, two neighbors were retrieving the morning paper at the end of their drives and spotted Billy driving the 50’ Merc with Mr. K riding shotgun. They waved in amazement. One was astounded that Krazinsky would allow anyone to drive his prized classic and the other neighbor was certain that he spotted Willie Nelson riding in the backseat.

Hebrews 13:2 (ESV) 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

By Chad Carroway

Back in the late 70's...on a normal day after school, just before dinner, the sky was overcast and cold. For some reason, the image remains in my memory thirty-five years later. I was wearing a favorite Cardigan sweater, Navy blue with a pair of white rings around the Left arm. The tops of the Ranch-Style homes were visible from my viewpoint — bike tires, sneakers, frisbees...if it existed, we had it on our roofs. On this particular afternoon, all of the kids on the block were standing around by the culvert. That is everyone but me. Yep, I was at the top, ten-to-twelve feet higher than the peasants of my former world — king for day. I had climbed to top of the scrawny tree in the Presnell's yard, the dare — accepted and conquered!

That royal stint...short-lived.


Darkness slowly allowed light to creep in and I needed something...air! My next breath!

The top of the tree (the section exclusively in my grasp) completely separated from the main section of the weak tree and I had plummeted to the ground, I landed flat on my back. So, there I was...rolling around in my neighbor's front yard, all of my friends were watching helplessly (I am sure some snickered) while I fought for air...any air!

While in agony, the scrawny tree...leaned limp over me. It was maimed and split at the top after giving way to my fall. We were both such a pitiful sight, yet I was completely the one to blame. Slowly, allowing more oxygen to my lungs, the tears gushed. I made my pathetic walk home (back to peasanthood), with snot, dirt, and other unknown particles caked upon my face and body. Our house was a couple hundred yards away — I believe my sister translated for me as the details were relayed my mother. In no way was I able to communicate after that fall.

After recovering, in retrospect, I remember standing below the tree, looking up and wondering why I even accepted the dare in the first place. Later on in life, however, that day provided a teachable moment.

When climbing a tree — just like taking steps in life — I learned to be careful about stepping further than my footing can provide support. When a tree outgrows its roots there will be trouble. Since that day I have made mistakes and more will be made. In regret, one of the toughest lessons in my life has been, avoiding wise counsel. Particularly, the exact same advice that I had given to another in the past. This is known as Hypocrisy — guilty as charged! Not doing in my own life what I would want for my own children and loved ones.

My wife and I are still in the process of raising our three boys...we have been for nearly 20 years. The lesson that I learned on that overcast day has been employed (whether they realized it or not) to caution them on more than on occasion, I have noticed one or all of them scaling a flimsy “Japanese Dogwood' or inching too far away from the warm and fuzzy safety of an Oak's massive trunk. It is at that moment, it seems that the physical breath vacated from my lungs in the late 70's quickly inflates my parental intuition to warn them in the present.

That simple moment was such a huge lesson to benefit my sons and hopefully generations-to-come. So be encouraged to grow from your mistakes and please know this...there will be more disappointments! But stay rooted, grounded in what is absolute and good. Yet, when (not if) you make mistakes, be sure to learn from them. Stay within the strength the tree and your established, strong roots.

Collossians 2:7-8 ”...rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8)See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

By Chad Carroway

“I assumed it was going to be a quiet holiday on the beach...?”

Scanning the scene…a strangled victim; male-mid-30’s, discovered on the shore of Alhoma, a small island of the Stockholm Archipelagos. No definitive clues, just a faded photo in his trousers. Inspector Ebba Persson shares the picture of a newborn with staff at a nearby hospital concerning the blanket swaddling the child. The red rose embroidered on the corner of the blanket stirs memories…pink...donated by a local church during the winter of 2013. Noting the date stamp on the photo, Persson requests a list of all babies born around the date. Specifically the female children wrapped in those particular blankets.

The DNA confirms the deceased to be 34-year old Alex Nilsson – apparently strangled -time of death approximately 1230hrs local time. According to the lab, lung tissue revealed all salt water absorbed post-mortem. Note: Deceased was reported missing from Alhoma Island on December 3, 2013, but never found.

Immediately Nilsson’s file is pulled, startling to say the least. Alexander Nilsson: Missing December 3, 2013, mother died mysteriously in 2015, COD: “Accidental fall” due to faulty porch rail at family home. In 2017, father was fatally injured on job site in Uppsala.

Only one official witness account concerning the night of Alex’s disappearance. A man Lars — a vagrant, no known address — the case notes reads as follows: ——— 12/03/13 — Alexander Nilsson was standing aside a skiff with a duffle, wearing a longshoreman, arguing nervously with Lennart Gustaffson. Once Nilsson boarded the skiff and left the harbor, Gustaffson walked to a vehicle waiting for him accompanied by another man in the back. The vehicle left the area. ——— Lennart Gustaffson, now 34 years old — one of the youngest CEO's in Swedish history. Widower to the late Ann-Christin Hellstrom-Gustaffson; father to Lilly Gustaffson (age 17). His wife perished due to brake failure (automobile accident) midsummer 2014. He later assumed control of Hellstrom Holdings in 2019. Hellstrom Holdings is a global company, founded by Henning Hellstrom, father of the late Karl Hellstrom. Karl drowned while swimming the bay of Alhoma. Though odd, a daily regimen of exercise for the eccentric Swedish tycoon. The autopsy reports revealed cardiac arrest contributed to the drowning. Inspector Persson takes the ferry to the mainland, driving to the headquarters of Hellstrom’s in Stockholm. She is intercepted by private security and encouraged to make an appointment in advance. While trying to reach Gustafsson’s office by phone, she reviews case files, facts, jotting down a timeline...




“The blanket…wait…the babies!”

Inspector Persson consults her list — baby number three...

*Lilly Hellstrom DOB 12/03/2013

*A. N. Disappeared 12/03/2013

*A. N. departs on skiff 12/03/2013

*Lennart Gustaffson departs in car after arguing with A.N.

*2nd person in car?

*Mrs. Nilsson dead (2013)

*Ann-Christin dead (2014)

*Mr. Nilsson dead (2015) Nilsson family is exterminated!

*Karl Hellstrom dead (2019)

*Lennart Gustaffson >>> becomes the sitting CEO (2019)

Inspector Persson makes the connection. She approaches the local judge and acquires all of the necessary search warrants. The teams are put in place, an army of Swedish law enforcement storms to the headquarters of Hellstrom's Corporation, without an appointment! The CEO is apprehended without incident and the needed evidence is gathered. Once the team finishes the investigation, all findings are passed along to the litigators.

The case against Lennart Gustaffson was laid before the court, the evidence was overwhelming.

DNA quickly confirmed that Alexander was Lilly’s biological father, daughter of Ann-Christin Hellstrom. This confirmed the original motive. Karl Hellstrom despised Alex, called him “Island trash” and forbade his daughter to see him. When it was discovered that Alex was the father of Hellstrom’s grandchild, the powerful tyrant went mad. The late Karl Hellstrom conspiring with Lennart Gustaffson, forced Alexander Nilsson to leave Alhoma. Alex was concerned that his entire family would face certain prolonged turmoil if he stayed. Being a young, vulnerable and loving soul, he allowed the compassion he possessed for his family, his sweetheart and newborn daughter to tear him away. Accepting an unjust ultimatum, Alex assume a low-ranking job on Hellstrom’s Foreign Shipping Lines.

After Alex was reported missing and never returned, Lennart Gustuffson swooped in and made his move on Ann-Christin with some coaxing by her father. Lilly Hellstrom became the legal child of Gustaffson, making him the de-facto heir to assume the role of CEO when Karl Hellstrom’s time was up.

Throughout the years, Alex attempted to reach his daughter and Ann-Christin. As the attempts increased, so did the deaths and cover-ups. Mrs. Nilsson received word about Lilly shortly after Alex’s disappearance and began asking questions around Hellstrom’s office. Likewise, Mr. Nilsson, Alex’s father approached Lennart Gustaffson in 2017. This threatened Gustaffson's future, being his General Forman at the time, Lennart was able to rig a crane accident, ultimately ending Mr. Nilsson’s life. Gustaffson was promoted to Corporate staff weeks later.

Just before the death of her grandfather, Lilly Hellstrom began to ask questions about Alex Nilsson. She never would say exactly why, only that her mother would talk about him from time-to-time. Mr. Hellstrom noted this fact in his journal, which he kept in his study. Gustaffson was aware of the journal. He would secretly read it as a way to “keep up with Dad”. Shortly after this discovery, Karl Hellstrom mysteriously faced his demise like the others in Gustafsson’s path.

Under oath and prior to his sentencing, Gustaffson testified that Alexander Nilsson returned to Alhoma seeking only his daughter — this enraged Gustaffson. With much hubris, he admitted murdering Nilsson because couldn’t lose Hellstrom Holdings, HIS empire was too important. Ultimately, five deaths occurred…four of them abscent of malice.

As fate would have it, the founder, Henning Hellstrom, made a special stipulation in his last will and testament which was revealed in the raid of “Gustaffson's Empire”, that prepared his company for situations such as this. Several weeks ago, back in Uppsala, Inspector Persson reached her desk after a long day in the field. She noticed an envelope addressed to “Ebba”. A business card was all that it was sleek and simple.

——————————————————- Lilly Nilsson – CEO Nilsson Corp. Corporate Headquarters — Stockholm, Sweden ——————————————————— (On the reverse side, handwritten)

Thanks Ebba, please return to Alhoma! ———————————————————

By Chad Carroway To the house by the brook he ran, from battles and wars of the past, it was a place of solace and security, under the tall pointy roof — even if only temporary.

As far back as memory could take him, it filled his pre-teen mind with confusing images of darkness and light. There he saw baseball games and endured memories of police cars in a driveway. He remembered times playing football with pals in the front yard. Likewise, he could not shake loose the shreeking threats and screams as they barreled down the hallway in the middle of the night. Wondering if they were demons howling past his doorway looking souls to overpower.

While standing by the water of the stream, he thought of family life underneath the tall pointy roof. In this home, the days began early for him, with a light tap on the door accompanied by the sound of a delicate voice to greet the new day. No alarm clock or clanging bell. He would roll out from underneath soft covers into a well-earned stretch found only after sound sleep. It was amazing how well one could sleep with the absence of noise, quarrels, late-night phone calls for rescue. After showering, there was breakfast, always something warm to eat and in great supply. The smell of coffee rose to the second floor, never would he dare drink any, but the parents sure did! You could say living under the large pointy roof was wonderful.

That was the first time in his life that he did not witness family life as a spectator. Now the view wasn't from the other side of the velvet longer was it like walking through a museum peering through glass, unable to touch.

Before too long, news of another war had reached the house with the tall pointy roof. His deployment soon dispatched him. While always frightful of each skirmish, overall there was no fear of taking on the enemy. It was war after all, he thought to himself, just like John Rambo. Life was ugly, nasty...but standing up to evil was his job. Sometimes he wondered why a kid his age should have to deal with such matters, but he did what he had to do.

The years seem to pass quickly after being deployed, the fighting grew strong, except this time the little boy was accelerating into a man. Along with physical strength and abilities, skills and wit about the enemy sharpened. It seemed that since the times of solace spent at the house by the brook, while living under the large pointy roof, things were different. A pair of adult feet were firmly planted where a little boy once stood, these feet no ran from war.

Time has passed and that man completed his service. He and his own family live under their collective roof. It is a home with a fireplace, full of family dinners, moments or laughter, tears and so many more things that he yearned for as he fought in the trenches as a young boy.

Moments do come however, when he has to deal with wars-past, often reminding him of the enemies he once battled. The wars surface in his dreams and thoughts and he struggles...yet perseveres. The key is finding solutions to deal with these demons in a better way. He accomplishes this as he seeks the help of friends and family…some days are better than others.

Thankfully, most of his wartime enemies, have been outlived and they have been laid to rest—along with his forgiveness—they have been put asunder. Much damage has been inflicted...scars remain even though the wounds have healed.

It has been said that from negative examples sometimes come positive lessons and hopefully healthy outcomes. Even though the horrible images and sounds still linger, running through the mind of the little boy inside, it is the man who is now father and husband and he carries on. The images are replaced by the warm times shared under the large pointy roof.

Instead of the demons screeching and howling past his doorway looking for a home to haunt, they are washed away by the trickling brook of solace. It is that memory that brings him the needed peace during these important times in his troubled life.

It is through these people and places of refuge that God gives us hope and possibility for a new day.

Note to Reader: #Bullying can affect some indirectly (families) just as much as it can one-to-one. The main character in this story was affected by men were abusing who were abusing his mother. The war (he envisioned) was to protect her and his sibling, which in itself, is a hellish war of its own kind.

This can have a cyclical effect into multiple generations — the child often adapting behaviors. This is not a professional opinion, just a personal statement about the effects of an unhealthily environment. Both of these, with which I have personally had to grapple.

As a child and/or a parent it is absolutely important to avoid repeating it. If you need help (child or adult) reach out for your own sake, your loved ones and generations to come.

See links below for help:

Domestic Abuse Link Bullying Link

A Dichotomy of Lonesomeness

Dr. Bruce Banner. Do you remember this guy? If you happened to be around my age and watched television on CBS between 1977 to 1982, then you may just be famiIiar with him.

This past week I was inspired to launch a FB page that serves as an outlet for Reading Thinking and Writing (RTW). Not too much creativity was invested into the naming of the page I must say. it carries the name Reading Thinking Writing... simple enough wouldn't you agree? I encourage you to visit Link and join the RTW Reading Prompt Group Link to get involved in this month's topic.

I decided to utilize FB as a free and familiar conduit to launch some sort of writing collaboration. Hopefully, one such as this RTW platform will do just. So, anyway...the writing prompt: #Bullying is a focus on the lives of our children today in America. Not to say that is only a cancer of the Western culture, certainly not the case. This is not intended to be just a focus on the life of the prey, but also one of the predator. There is a valid argument that carries weight for a greater over-arching discussion. These are children, highly impressionable, especially from birth to age eight.

Back to Dr. I was thinking about my childhood this morning, at times when I was afraid, it was then that I recall hiding behind a large chair in the den of my family home. This was especially so on Friday evenings around 8:30 if memory serves me correctly. This was during the years when the TV Series The Incredible Hulk Link aired. I was a four-year old timid young boy when the show began it's first pilot. Surely, I was familiar with the comics of Batman and Clark Kent, they were all heroes—trusted and reliable. The Incredible Hulk however, I was not quite sure about him, he was going to kept at “chair's-length” for starters.

My retreat to the backside of the green monster (the chair was the same color as the was the 70's after all) was only for a few seconds during the Gamma Ray (???) process. The scary part was when Dr. Banner would be triggered into a rage and transform into the Hulk. I remember not enjoying the bright green eyes and bulging veins of Lou Ferrigno as he ripped through the clothes of the evaporating Banner. Once the change was complete, it was cool, I would return to my usual spot, about 2-3 inches from the screen! After that all was well. But there was a specific reason why all was ok in the world. Once the metamorphosis had occurred and the Hulk had finished his rampage, my emotions quickly returned to ground zero.

By the time I had reached six or seven years of age, I caught on to something about this big green bundle of muscle, veins and gamma rays. At the culmination of each episode, those same green eyes that once sent me scurrying for the nearest place of refuge, had me glued me to the screen. The toughest part of every thirty-minute adventure on Friday eve was watching the battered, bleeding hulk in tattered rags while he lay in a dark alley melting back into the anonymous Dr. Bruce Banner.

I so often had to act like I was asleep in front of the TV or hide my face in a pillow or blanket to keep my tears a secret. These poor guys. That was my thought for both Banner and the Hulk, how sad.

Dr. Banner had to live as a hermit, a loner, keeping everyone at arms length for fear he may be triggered. Why? This was no fault of his own, it was a lab accident gone wrong. The authorities pursued him constantly, like a dark cloud chasing and taunting him. It was as if he was prey seeking refuge until backed into a corner, provoked until becoming predator was the only option in some wicked combination that resulted in explosive rage. This only soon reverted to an exhaustive meltdown returning yet another vicious cycle. I remember thinking, these guys have no friends and everyone needs a friend. Hulk's only ally and Banner's only sure friend was one in the same...lonesomeness.

As I begin writing on the prompt of #Bullying, I think of the predator and the prey as a dynamic inside each of us as humans. Is it simply that one is nurtured or harnessed, one given more attention than the other at those more crucial points in life?

Could that be why I am more assertive and my wife so much more of a timid soul?

This is not a prompt about psychology by any means. I am just sharing my thoughts, thats what writing is all about — READ.THINK.WRITE!

BTW: please check thislink and listen this piece call “The Lonely Man” that was the tune that played to the TV Series on CBS in the 70's

#Bullying No matter how hard I try, even as an eight-year old, I can never seem to hold it until I get home from school. And of course, there would be an apple-juice box in my lunch sack today...jeez! That stuff seems to run right through me, its worse than OJ. Thanks for the packing job mom!

Why do I say things like that? It’s not her fault that her son is a “Nancy” (that’s what my dad calls my older brothers when they can't handle a little “rough and tumble” around the wood shed on the farm). I bet they would be tough enough to brave the bathroom at school. Heck, even Mom could handle the “Brute”, if she were here that is.

Mom, what do I do? I have gotta go bad, but I was already warned at recess that the beatdown was coming today! Besides, I already know what dad would say. “ better hit him first and right between the eyes and bust em' good, ya hear!” No doubt old Oliver Rane would just stomp right onto those tiles in that old smelly restroom and pop the Brute really good. I wish I was more like him, like my my brothers, like any one but me. Why is that Billy the Brute chose me, why is that my head has to be plunged into that smelly pee in the toilet? Lucky me!

Twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five...ahh forget it! I'm tired of counting the locker doors as I slowly step to my death, feeling like that fella in the movie my dad watches all the time... Dead Man Walking. I would rather go home with hair smelling like urine than walk by Jennifer and Brianna to the bus after I have wet pants. A kid my age is guaranteed a beating for sure if that happens, I'll take the toilet and a skinned backside for twenty Alex! Thank you!

So, there above me is the dreaded sign C-Hall Boys Rest Room

I might as well enter the lavatory of death...ooh...I can smell my future SIGNATURE scent...D-Day “toilet” is a horrible stench. With God’s Grace, I can reach the first urinal, do my business and flee, maybe I can sneak to the right and hang the corner.

Ahh...! Hey!! It’s almost as if a dark, cold, grim reaper is near, like a presence behind me, hopefully it is just this drafty old school building and my paranoia. While it is great to be rid of this immense pressure bottled up from 6am this morning, I’ve gotta get moving. Man! What’s that smell? It wreaks of Slim-Jims and stale peanut butter!

“Jacob Rane...It's time to pay up buttercup!”

_Oh's the Brute!

(to be continued...)

What would my life be like? Diammetrically opposite of the one that I live now?

Tonight as I sat listening to the quiet forest behind my property, secure and safe, I wondered about so many things—important matters. As the news has been reported across the screens of my devices and television screens, I have seen familiar words such as “rockets” and “regimes”. Countries are pitted against one another with rhetoric and nuclear arsenals, flexing respective military might. Nations in the Middle East are unstable, they have been for decades, as long as I have been able to remember.

When I was a young lad in the mid 80's, I remember the Reagan years. NASA was booming and the Space Shuttle program was full speed ahead. We had great progress to report and the Iran-Contra scandal was right there a part of the discussion. America's President, my personal hero (then and still) was dedicated to peace through strength and he held close to that ideology, eventually tearing down the walls of communism — literally!

I thought about this past week, the unrest in Iran and Iraq while considering my childhood. I recall so many blessings that I have been provided as an American — my inalienable rights by virtue of the U.S. Consitution, as an American citizen. Merely by being born in this nation, so many rights, so much security, such freedom and liberty is granted to me as a citizen in this country. When I stop long enough to truly embrace the magnitude of the many blessings it is tremendous. Think of the providence by way of the drafting, ratification and especially the sacrifices of so many men and women who have fought, sacrificed and died to preserve these treasured blessings.

There is a yet another thought to ponder...what about those who are born under a jihadist regime? A communist flag? Let's say the North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-Un?

Many may say that these nations are full of mad, bloodthirsty monsters, ready to kill Americans. That is not entirely true my friend. For every militant, communist, jihadist and evil-minded butcher representing these axis-power countries, there are thousands of peace-seeking, humble humans desiring a normal, common life. So many testimonies from Christian missionaries exist concerning those who risk their lives for the freedom to worship, work, live and love in a democratic society.

What would it be like to live under the control of a regime? That was my thought this evening, as it has been over many years prior. When tense times like these arise, I suppose they just seem to creep into my comfortable American life with bit more importance. It seems pathetic on my behalf that it has to take such dramatic matters and situations to occur in order for me to truly put myself aside and really put others first. I guess when I live on the other side of the world it is easy to just avoid it and move on with my cushy life in the West...ridiculous, guilty as charged.

Fortunately, I have the luxury to just turn off the devices or lay the newspaper aside and ignore the matters of the Middle East or Asia. Sadly, for those in Iran, the Persian Gulf, Africa and Asia, it's not so easy. So tonight, I will at least peg these keys on my MacBook and consider how fortunate that I am for the warm blanket of freedom with which my family and my fellow citizens rest under, along with yours truly. I will pray for the armed forces as they go and serve this country and follow the direction of our POTUS.

May God protect the troops as He guides them. I pray always for Israel as Christ reaches gathers His church. I pray also that those under torturous regimes globally, yearning to flee, that they be granted a safe pathway to the freedom they seek so they may know Christ, Liberty and fulfill the purpose for which God created and called and them.


My New Project

I will begin writing a new short story tomorrow. The characters are fictional as is the story of course, based on a select few by design. So often, especially in the past days I found them surrounding every aspect of my life. As soon as I am tempted react with aggravations about space, noise or any idiosyncrasies that may contribute to blinding me from me from reality, the clarity is stark. Every issue, good or bad, no matter whether I react or respond (there is a difference) is continuing to provide so much help through self-animation.

When I stop to think about the inspiration, as it literally spills out each day, sometimes directly onto the floor as milk drippings and orange peels...I am am amazed.

The characters in my book are mostly four-legged and some feathered, with one that many claim resembles his dad, he is an animal however, even if even if does stand upright—at least most of the time.

He will be joined his cohort, a rambunctious rascal that usually can be be tracked to the end of trail. Not stirring up wild game or at chase of dangerous predators. No, this would be a path comprised of scattered, cotton cadavers. There will horrid images of busted seams exposing stuffing and half-hearted plastic “squeakers” nearly able to signal a sound. These poor defenseless subjects can be found like shrapnel hanging among the toys, Slim-Jim wrapped and Dorito Bags or inside the half-constructed (or demolished) forts from the YouTube or MineCraft binging sessions of hours-old.

Yes as an aspiring author, such as myself I have plenty to consider for scenery, setting and certainly a casting pool from which to reel as I “set the hook”.

Will it be the first, second, or third act that may carry me into the great frontiers beyond the back patio...? Well, that remains to be seen.

Truly, if this manuscript portrays a grand adventure, let us just suppose that my future anxious readers are carried much further into some mighty quest, that would be marvelous. Then this simple experience of attempting this project should be a ride worth taking.

Considering the past eight years of observing the lead character of my story and his clever protege’ who is a quick learner in his own regard. It should be fairly interesting to see just who gleans the most...myself included.


Enter your email to subscribe to updates.