Edward Hancock II
The Imperfect Blog
The PERFECT Blog for the IMperfect person
|Posted by EHancock2 on April 19, 2015 at 10:50 AM||comments ()|
Can life get too routine? That question depends on who you ask. If you ask the average housewife and mother of a two year old, she would likely reply, "routine? What's that!?" If you ask a firefighter, chances are they wish the routine would change and today would be a day nothing burned. If you asked a teacher, you'd get as many different replies as teachers you asked. If you ask a pilot, Marine or astronaut, they are likely to tell you routine is dangerous. Routine becomes mundane. Routine becomes robotic. Routine becomes thoughtless action completed in a state of mind that doesn't learn from the task or appreciate what's actually being done. An astronaut losing focus in space is dangerous. Routine can get you killed.
So, too, is it highly dangerous for a Christian to lose focus in their spiritual life. You get up every morning at five. You pray a simple, "thank you, Lord, for another day." Then you're off to work. You work, come home, eat dinner. I wonder do you pray over that McDonald's burger you picked up on the way home.
You settle in to watch some baseball or something. Maybe read. Then it's off to bed to do it all over again tomorrow. Where was God in all that?
"I prayed didn't I?"
Yes, you mouthed the words. But did you stop long enough to FEEL them? Did you really dial in to God? See, I enjoy conversations with my cousin, Angie. We've grown up more like siblings than cousins. She makes me laugh. But, if I'm in my house talking to Angie, how is she supposed to hear me if I don't dial her number? How am I supposed to hear her?
Friend, God hears your every thought. But do we hear Him? Are we appreciating those little phone calls known as prayers? Are we stopping long enough to read a Heavenly Text message found in a chain of events that prevents us from being in that intersection when the big rig comes barreling through after losing its brakes??
Are we reading God's emails for our lives? The ones that tell us "yes, you hurt today. But tomorrow will be better"? "I got this. I got you."
We are plugged in to our TV, laptop and cell phone, but are we plugged in to God?? Or are we so lost in our comfortable spiritual routine that we don't even realize we have totally dropped signal but God is still up in heaven asking, "can you hear Me now?"
Friends, God is calling. This week, break the monotony. This week, step out if the routine. This week, dig deeper. And rediscover your Father who is in Heaven.
Meanwhile, have a great SONday.
|Posted by EHancock2 on March 22, 2015 at 8:50 PM||comments ()|
At 41 years old, I'm still learning to put my full trust in God. I'm still learning God has a bigger plan. I'm still learning to trust in that "But God..." that keeps cropping up in my life. You'd think I'd have learned by now, huh? Well, it's like I keep saying, "God, I realize this is a test but You need to remember I'm just a C Student."
This weekend, I think God was really trying to raise my average. Sadly, it didn't really work out that way.
It started on Friday. I hadn't been feeling well with my back. But it had come and gone so I figured I'd be well enough to go to my book signing in Hemphill. Friday, I woke up hurting. As the day wore on, my knees swole, my hips began to pulse with pain and my back muscles stiffened and knotted up like I can't even describe. Needless to say, I was forced to cancel my Hemphill appearance the next day. Saturday, I spent much of the day kicking myself. As the day wore on, my pain subsided and I began to feel almost human again. So, having been a prisoner to my own body all day, I decided to trek to Longview to stretch my legs so to speak.
On the way home, it happened. My headlights began to dim. Windshield wipers began to slow their pace. The dash illumination started to dim, though more and more warning lights popped on, making me worry I wouldn't get to a safe spot. Thankfully, I did manage to pull into an Exxon station on the route home. Turning the key off, my first thought was to call for help. Being nearly 10 at night, I didn't want to try my stepdad, as I figured he'd be asleep. So I tried several friends first. Nobody answered. So, reluctantly, I called my stepdad, who got out at 10:00 at night without any thought of himself. Alone, in the dark, I again called several friends, mostly just seeking to ease my nerves, being stuck alone on a dark road, during a dark, rainy night in a very dark world where people are kidnapped and killed at random. Thankfully, my cousin, Bekah answered the phone. Normally, I have a rule about calling before 9 in the morning or after 9 at night. If i call outside of those times, either I didn't look at the clock, the clock was set wrong or I'm having a crisis. Last night, I was having a crisis. My cousin was there for me during my trepidation.
Once my stepdad arrived, I hopped in his car and he took me home. On the way, I began to remember I had been scheduled to be in Hemphill that day. The pain in my hip was gone now. The knees had shrunk and loosened up. The back pain was there, but it was down to something manageable. And there I sat, safe, in my stepdad's vehicle. Bekah had stayed on the phone with me 25 minutes, while I waited for him to arrive. I have little doubt she'd have stayed with me the whole 2 hours if Cooper had been forced to drive to Hemphill to get me. But he wasn't forced to do that. Because God found a way. God kept me home. Now there will be those who will say "God didn't cause you pain. That's cruel!" But think about it. Is it really cruel? I deal with pain daily. God didn't CAUSE my pain. But what the devil means for my destruction, God uses for His Glory. So, yes, folks. GOD used my pain as a means to an end. GOD saw my car failing. God saw my drive to Hemphill and knew I wouldn't make it home. Maybe God saw my death on the side if a hemphill highway and said no. Whether God directly increased my pain or just took His hand off for a moment so that Satan could cause it to increase, I don't know or care. That point is irrelevant. My car broke down in familiar territory. My cousin was my physical guardian. My stepdad was my rescuer. Jesus is my savior. And God is my King.
I'm not alive to write this because of chance. I'm alive because God protected me, got me to somewhere safe. And sent the right people at the right time to help me. I'm alive because the devil had a plan...
Love to you all. Have a great SONday.
|Posted by EHancock2 on March 17, 2015 at 6:25 PM||comments ()|
So, it's been a few days since my last blog. Long story. Probably better if I don't go into it right now. Let's just say I have not been feeling well, physically anyway.
That being said, there is some really cool news here at the Fortress of Solitude, which is what I call my humble abode. Just this week, my first book, Mourning Reign, received its 50th review on Amazon.com! Now that might not seem like much. Fifty reviews pales in comparison to the 3,000 an author like Dean Koontz might get for one of his books. But, and this is the reality for most of us, I am not Dean Koontz. The simple fact is most books by lesser-known authors seldom reach the milestone of 50 book reviews. That magical mark where Amazon's much talked about algorithm kicks in and starts causing your book to be seen with increasing frequency. I'm not noticing a huge boom in sales since the magic number of 50 has been reached, but I am seeing more requests for interviews and getting more attention to blog posts and mentions by other people on their blogs. Now, if I could just find the magic bullet that would propel me to bigger and better things. But, someday.... someday.
This year, I hope to publish 2 new books in the Mendez Series. One might have to wait until early 2016, but yanno, you just never can tell. I am excited to see these books coming together. I trust my fans will truly be pleased with the next couple of books.
Last, I am sure many of you have seen the "Sunday Sermon" Posts I've been doing here. It's a lot of fun, honestly. It's more than just this spiritual experience. It's not about religion. It's a deep connection to God that I truly can say is fun for me. I have honestly been praying about posting more of these types of things, both on facebook and here. It's all going to be in God's hands, just as it has been from the start. But I've had several people request that they be posted more frequently, so I've begun to pray for God's will in the situation. Maybe it will stay once per week. Perhaps that is what God wants it to be. I don't know. From the very beginning, I have said this thing is His to do with as he pleases. So, y'all be praying with me about it too okay?
Take care folks! I'll catch you on the flip side!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on March 8, 2015 at 7:50 PM||comments ()|
When I started posting the "Sunday Sermon" things on Facebook, I never dreamed it would be so well-received by so many. I never dreamed they'd be picked up by FNTX Radio. I never planned on them being anything other than how I saw them... as ways to look at the areas in my life where I need help. Areas I need to work on, that maybe others might need some help with as well. I never dreamed that...
And that's where I pause for a moment. Notice what I was saying there? I never dreamed... I never thought... I never planned....
Here's where we say those two words again: BUT GOD!
God wanted to see if I'd be obedient. God wanted to know would I take these words He is giving me and keep them His. Or would I try to make this mine. Did the glory belong to Eddie or God?
This question was tested this week in a very real way. You see, when I started doing these things, there was no planning. No preparation. No thought at all went into it. I woke up, I prayed, I asked God, what do you want to say to me today? And I shared that Word.
Earlier this week, I consciously began to think about tge Sunday Sermon. Here we were on like Thursday and I was asking for God's word already. I asked and asked but God was silent. Finally, after I just couldn't stop myself, God gave me a powerful word..."Be still."
Wait, what? That's it, God? Be still? That's your word to the people?
Again, I heard it, as clear as I'd heard the DJ coming through the radio speakers. A voice from deep inside me saying, "Be still..."
Be still, I repeated. Well, okay. I was confused. I'm supposed to tell you be still?
Then I heard it...
Be still, for I Am God.
Now the Bible says "be still and KNOW that I am God."
This was different. This wasn't just God saying "put your trust in Me." This was God saying, "that thing is Mine. Those messages are Me. You are the vessel. I Am the Water that brings life. Be silent. Be still. Be my vessel. Don't worry. Don't fret. Don't get ahead of me. In My time, I will pour Me out of you."
I got silent. I got still. But I also got my message for the week. It was oddly confirmed last night when i was talking on the phone to a friend. We were discussing ministries and how they can be focused on God. Or all about "me...i...myself" Ministries that stay focused on the Water will never be thirsty. But, as I learned this past Thursday, ministries that focus on the vessel will die of a thirst that cannot be quenched through the means of Man.
God may stop this some day. I personally believe these messages have both a reason and a season. But, again, that's an "I". These messages belong to God. And as long as He needs to pour out Living Water, I'm content to be that vessel.
No more planning. No more thinking about it. No fretting. God's got this. And, friends, God's got you too. Are you willing?
Till next time, have a great SONday.
|Posted by EHancock2 on March 1, 2015 at 9:40 PM||comments ()|
This morning's message is different, I think, than others before. Today, I'm just going to share a Psalm I felt really powerfully last night. I hadn't been reading. I was actually laying in bed, trying to sleep. I kept hearing "Psalm 96" in my head. It took several times, and several failed attempts at distraction for me to realize God might just be trying to tell us all something here. So, without any real comment from me, I give you a word from God.
Psalm 96...in its entirety.
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
3 Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.
4 For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.
6 Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
7 Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
Give to the Lord glory and strength.
8 Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
9 Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns;
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved;
He shall judge the peoples righteously.”
11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
13 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth
Until next time, have a great SONday....and God bless!
|Posted by EHancock2 on February 22, 2015 at 9:20 PM||comments ()|
Well, I wound up having a computer crash a couple weeks ago, which kept me from being able to post a new Sunday Sermon for a while. But here it is. I'm back with a new one!
Take care peeps! Love ya! -- E
So, last night, I got myself involved in a discussion on the Facebook page, Explore God. The page posed the question (I'm paraphrasing) why do we use the word Lucky instead of words like blessed...
The following was my reply: " See, here's the way I see it. I'm a writer. Words mean something to me. To me, the Christian who writes, "Luck" is another way of saying "God's favor" or "Blessed." Like, when I say "I'm a lucky guy," It can be iterated that I mean blessed and living a life of God's Favor..... I'm not afraid of words like a lot of Christians seem to be. I also use the word Karma, which is the same thing as saying "what goes around comes around" or (the biblical) "You reap what you sow." In my personal opinion, people need to quit trying to be spiritual. Give up the need/desire to speak "Christian-ese".... just speak.... and let God know what's in your heart."
I didn't intend to create controversy, but controversy and Ed go together like peanut butter and Jelly. So there it was. One person was like "why can't you just say blessed? Why do you have to say lucky?" Uh, because I don't need to sound all sanctimonious and self righteous and show off how fluent I am in Christian-ese?
Look, let me break it down. My Christian faith is not about impressing you. If it was, I wouldn't be pleasing God, would I? (See Galatians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 2:4, Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:3, James 1:27, James 2:5 and James 4:4. )
God doesn't care if you like me. God doesn't really care if I like you. (He wants us to hate no one but that's a completely different discussion for another time.) God wants us to love Him. "Thou shalt have no other God before Me".God doesn't want showy people being all spiritual. A simple "I love you, Lord" spoken from a sincere heart is far more effective than an hour of shabba dabba do shoulda boughta honda stuff people call speaking in tongues. (Let me direct you to Luke 18:9-14, the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector if you doubt me.)
See, God doesn't care what words you utter. God speaks English, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Russian and even that awesome clicking language I've thought of studying. Klingon is essentially a made up language, but you could talk to God in Klingon and he'd hear you, so long as the words are spoken from a pure, honest AND HUMBLE heart.
Folks, the core of any message I will ever post is this: Get your heart right. Remember the Word says from out of the mouth the heart speaks. If your heart is humble, your words will be. If your heart is prideful, judgmental and legalistic, your words will be too.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
So? How's your heart this morning? Is it legalized and prideful? Or is it humble and filled with joy, peace, love and grace?
I'll leave you to that. Have a blessed day, my friends.
Till next time, God Bless!
As always, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on January 18, 2015 at 8:55 PM||comments ()|
(Some months ago, I started these posts on Facebook called "Sunday Sermons". While this post is not the FIRST one I ever posted on Facebook, I decided it would be a good idea to begin posting them here every Sunday. I feel like my reading audience has gotten cheated, owing to my reluctance, refusal or just flat inability to post blogs regularly here at my own website. I don't want my readers to feel cheated. So, while you can check them out at Facebook.com and fntxradio.com, you can also view them here. May they be a blessing to you, as they have blessed others thus far!)
I didn't grow up in a churchy family. That may surprise folks that have followed my Sunday Sermon since its inception, but it's true. Oh, we generally went on Mother's Day and Easter. Christmas of course. I'm sure ny parents would have taken me to the Halloween carnival, though I have no memory of them doing thus. We might have even gone if they'd had a July 4th cookout. My mother loves to cook. But it's not like we were there every single time the door was open. In fact, we weren't there enough for me. Thus, I began to ask (to be read "beg") to stay with my granny each weekend. I knew she'd read to me from her bible. I knew she'd take me to church. Granny's house was my childhood equivalent of the Vatican. She ruled, with Grandpa, as a sort of "Co-Pope" of Ore City, Texas.
But it's important to drive home the point that I chose God. I heard his voice. I listened. Oh, I quit listening for a time. I did my own thing for a couple years. Not without reason of course. I mean curse that evil god for not giving me a girlfriend in my 20s, right? LOL (Yeah that was pretty much the reason for my self-imposed exile from Christianity. Oh i tried to justify it with "better" reasons, but that's all it was. I had chosen God in my childhood. And I chose to walk away in my 20s, only to return a short time later.
But here's the thing. GOD ALLOWED ME to choose. Good, bad or indifferent, God had given me free will and set me about using it.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is older, he shall not stray."
This wasn't always true for me. I was trained up as a child. I still strayed in my 20s. But, as I've found out in my 40s, older doesn't always mean more mature. The verse really should read "...when he's more mature he will not stray." I don't wanna blaspheme by editing God, but that is my experience.
" I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORDyour God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him"
Deuteronomy 30: 19-20
See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of theLORD your God, which I command you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.
God allows us to make mistakes. God's word says to everything there is a season. I'd venture to guess to everything there's also a reason. But, as Bill Murray once quipped, "...sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions."
To everything there is a season. A time to wait on God, a time to talk to God, a time to listen to God. And, yes, a time to act. Don't make my mistakes. Don't be foolish in your dealings with God. But, if you are, know that it's not too late. If you're breathing, it's not too late for you. God is waiting. God is watching. And God is wanting you to return to Him.
You can do that today. I'll even pray with you by email if you want. Just leave a comment or shoot me out a Facebook mail.
God allows for mistakes. Admit you made them. Admit you are sorry for your sins. Acknowledge God as Lord of your life. Ask God to come into your heart to guide, lead and direct you.
It really is that simple. If you say it and you mean it, believe it. And you are saved.
God bless you all and have a very wonderful SONday.
(Eddietor's Note: These posts originally appear on my Facebook page, where I invited readers to email me if they wanted somebody to pray for or pray with them. I invite readers here at FNTX and my blog at EdwardHancockII.com to do the same. You may find my facebook page and contact me at Facebook.com/edwardhancockii.)
|Posted by EHancock2 on July 12, 2014 at 5:35 PM||comments ()|
Just a short blog today. I have to say I am sorry for not blogging sooner. I have been very busy trying to finalize the edits and proof Target: Mendez. Recently, I got everything off to the editor, so now it's a waiting game. I took a moment to breathe, had a couple of book signings and NOW I finally have time for a bit of a life update. First, I am happy to announce that the TARGET DATE for TARGET: MENDEZ is August 1st. There's a slight chance it could be available sooner, but that's the date I'm shooting for. I have it on good faith from my editors that that is entirely workable around their schedule. So, those of you who gobbled up Connection Terminated WON'T have long to wait for the next Mendez tale. That being said, it may be a bit before I get the next one out. I have several stories that are vying for my attention right now and I am having trouble organizing my thoughts. I may write a Mendez novel next or I may release a non-Mendez story that's been dogging me for about a year now. I haven't decided yet. I'll keep you updated. I do intend on working with a Mendez PREQUEL to Mourning Reign, that will likely be released either December of this year or sometime early 2015. I want to have it out in 2014, but that's looking less and less likely. We will see.
Aside from writing my books, I've had a truly Godly blessing fall into my lap a couple months ago. Through a series of random events, I was invited to be an editor and blogger for a new internet radio website. You can find it (and me) at FNTXRADIO.COM. Just click on "From the Eddietor's Desk" and that'll get you to my blog. Right now, I put up blogs three times a week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do a Texas based blog. A person, place or battle. On Sunday, I post what I refer to as my "Sunday Sermon". So, you'll definitely want to check those out!
In the meantime, look for Target: Mendez to hit Amazon.com reallllllllllllly soon!
Til next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2
|Posted by EHancock2 on June 1, 2014 at 7:55 PM||comments ()|
Well, it's that time again! With the approaching release of the next Mendez tale, I decided it would be a good time to sit down with my favorite Mendez couple.
I want to thank you both for being here. I know that you're both busy, between family and career and what not.
ALEX: Our pleasure.
LISA: *Kisses my cheek* We should do this more often. It's been far too long.
EDWARD: Indeed it has, Love. Now, I guess the best way to begin is to just jump right in. This is a different tale than anything we've told before. Usually, we see you working in tandem quite a lot but, Lisa, you're largely absent. What was it like to, for lack of a better term, find out about these events after the fact?
LISA: Honestly? I'm still trying to digest all of it. It's a lot to take in. I'm sure you understand.
EDWARD: I certainly do. I know it's been hard on both of you. Alex, you seem distracted. Are you okay?
ALEX: Not really. *Looks down at his hands, twirls his wedding ring.*
LISA: *Squeezes his hand* I love you.
ALEX: *Smiles* I'll be okay.
EDWARD: Alex, since you are so central to the story, what can you tell us about the events of "Target: Mendez"?
ALEX: Well, like the name suggests, I become a target for a... well, a very disturbed individual.
EDWARD: And, as I understand it, the past kind of comes back to haunt you in a way?
ALEX: *Flashes angry* Do we really have to do this?
EDWARD: Sorry, Alex. Let's move on.
ALEX: No, I'm sorry. Yes, see, twelve years before the story opens, I put away a man who killed a family while driving drunk. He...well, he gets out and... Well the rest is history.
EDWARD: And that's not all that happens, is it? Honestly, I don't know how you did it. It can't be easy to forgive something like....well, I know I'd be upset if--
ALEX: Yes, I'm still upset. *looks away and chuckles softly* Forgiveness? I'm still working on that one.
EDWARD: It's especially hard for men like you and me, I think. I don't know what I'd do in your place, but I have faced betrayal and I know it's not easy.
ALEX: No, it's not.
EDWARD: Lisa, I need to switch gears for a minute. How are the children adjusting? I mean, well, someone they love dearly is not in their lives anymore. Has it been difficult for them?
LISA: We've all had some big adjustments to make. There's a part of all our hearts that aches, but I believe children are quite resiliant overall. Christina plays a lot. Joey is too little to really understand what's going on. I think he probably senses something, but I don't think he really gets it.
EDWARD: Alex, back to you if you're okay?
ALEX: Shoot. *forces his best smile*
EDWARD: What's next for you?
ALEX: From here, I guess I just make the necessary adjustments and figure out where I fit in all this mess.
LISA: *hugs him tight* You fit right here, Mr. Mendez.
ALEX: *Smiles* Okay, well, that's one problem solved. I guess next I just do what I do. I be there for my family. My Mendez family and for my boys and girls in blue. I guess many of them are looking to me right now.
EDWARD: You always seem confused by that. Everyone on the force looks to you. In the past, many of your superiors seem to trust you enough to follow you. Yet you don't feel comfortable with that. Seems like it confuses you or bothers you. Am I right?
ALEX: It's the weirdest feeling in the world, if you want the truth. I don't even feel cut out to lead my family. I have never understood why anyone on the force would follow me. I told a friend once that I didn't make Lieutenant out of skill. I fully believe I made it because of tenure and need at the time. I'm not the best cop on the force by a long shot.
EDWARD: I think many of your brothers and sisters would disagree, but I digress. So, if we can move on, Alex, I think many of our readers would like to know one thing. With everything that's gone on, do you think you'll be staying with the force or what? It just seemed, near the end, like you....I dunno. Something seemed off.
ALEX: It was...well, is. Honestly, I don't know where my head or my heart is right now. I don't know what my future holds and that's the best answer I can give. It's all in God's hands right now.
EDWARD: That's actually a good lead-in to my next question. How are you doing, spiritually? I know you've really been struggling to "do right" or "get right" as you put it. I know how important this has been to you. If you had to discribe your faith right now, in a single word, how would you describe it?
ALEX: In a word? Shaken.
EDWARD: That is sad to hear, but I understand... sort of. Well, I hear Joey crying, so I guess we better wrap this up.
LISA: *excuses herself to tend to Joey*
ALEX: I appreciate it.
EDWARD: It's always a pleasure, Alex. And I'm sure I speak for all your readers when I say we will have you and yours in our prayers.
ALEX: *extends hand...we shake* Take care.
EDWARD: Likewise, my friend!
I want to thank Lisa and Alex for inviting me into their home for a short Q&A. And I know my readers are just as excited as I am to read the forthcoming Mendez tale!
Keep checking back for details as the release date becomes official!
In the meantime, be sure to catch up on the Mendez story by checking out MOURNING REIGN! After that, you can check out Heart Beatings, provided you have a Kindle (Still working on getting my publisher to release it in paperback!) And finally, get caught up by reading CONNECTION TERMINATED!
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2
|Posted by EHancock2 on April 30, 2014 at 12:25 AM||comments ()|
Today, we've got my good friend, Anne Belle with us. Anne is sharing a very personal interview with a character from her forthcoming book, "The Fallen."
ANNE: Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to meet today Eddie. I know that Gwen is eager to talk to your audience. Gwen, thanks forcoming. I know you’re super busy right now.
GWEN: I am very happy to be here.
ANNE: The Fallen is coming out next month, Gwen. So, I don’t want to give too much away to our reading friends but, you go through some huge changes. How are you coping these days?
GWEN: I keep myself occupied. There is so much to prepare for still. People that need to be reached, provisions made, and then there is monitoring everything going on. Who knows when everything will finally hit a point where I have to do what’s needed. So, I don’t think too much about it. I just go on with the tasks that have to be done.
ANNE: I guess you’d have to. The news agencies are falling down on the job. We’ve talked about that before. How are you getting your information these days?
GWEN: Aside from the all-knowing source, you mean? [She gives me a raised eyebrow and knowing smirk as she asks this.] Ultimately there is a network of people who have accepted a role much like Casey has. We have people all over the globe who are sending in reports of what they are seeing that isn’t making the headlines.
ANNE: How are things with Lou? Any luck getting him to reconsider?
GWEN: [Her eyes cloud over a bit. It is easy to see I’ve touched on a sore spot.] I wish that I could say that he is seeing reason. But, unlike myself, I think his mind was made up long ago. I’ve been told that I should give up on him. But, I don’t think it’s possible for me to do that. Not until it is all over and there really is no hope at all.
ANNE: I’m curious as to whether Michael’s prediction ever came true. Have you finally reached a point where you just know?
GWEN: In some ways yes, I have. I’ve stopped questioning so much. Everything is still changing though. I learn more about myself and about him as I go but, there are many things that are intuitive.
ANNE: Are you finding that you and Michael have gotten your relationship back on track since you’ve learned the truth?
GWEN: I think that we’ll eventually get there but, not just yet. There are too many things that are hanging in the balance and we both need to focus on the tasks before us. That’s not to say that we feel differently now than we did then. I just know that I can’t be a distraction for him any more than he would want to be a distraction for me.
ANNE: Your whole life got turned on end. Are you still writing for the occult community?
GWEN: I am but, I don’t think they’ll like the message that I am presenting now. It definitely isn’t something that my readers will expect from me.
ANNE: But so much has changed for you. Surely, they have to expect that your outlook would change.
GWEN: You and I know how much has changed but, my readers don’t. This is all going to be quite a shock to them.
ANNE: Unlike when you were writing for that audience before, now you have a clear message. You’ve told me before. But before we go, I’d like to give you a chance to put that message out there for my readers as well.
GWEN: The message is simple. It is time to seek a relationship with your maker. No one knows how long we have and, as contradictory as it sounds, life goes so much further than death. I should know. However you see God, start that conversation and find out where your spirit leads. I promise you that it will be worth it. The effort will pay off in a big way sooner than anyone thinks.
ANNE: I know that after telling your story my life has changed.
GWEN: I am so glad that it was you putting that on the page and not me. But, I hope that putting it out there will help to reach more than just my audience.
ANNE: Eddie will, I’m sure, be happy to spread that message with a little addition of his own. I wish we had more time to talk about your journey Gwen but, you’ll be relieved to know that The Fallen is coming out in just a few weeks.
GWEN: I’m very happy to hear that. We’ll sit down again soon. We did talk about a series when we started this process. I’m eager to let you in on more of the behind-the-scenes secrets.
As Gwen leaves, I am reminded of how different she truly is. She’s been among us for so long that it is hard to recognize her for what sheis capable of. A mostly quiet soul, she wasn’t easy to get to open up at first. Once she did, there was a wealth of history, emotion, and spiritual knowledgeto learn from her.
The first book in the series Armageddon Rising will be available May 20th, 2014. I will be at Books & Coffee in Longview, TX on May 23rd from1:00 to 4:00 PM with limited copies on hand. So, you can pick it up and get to reading without having to wait. It will also be available for Kindle.
Eddie, thanks so much for letting us drop in. I hope that maybe I can talk Gwen into doing it again sometime, if you’re up for it.
I am CERTAIN I speak for my readers when I say we would love to have you and Gwen back in the future. I, for one, look forward to reading this story when it comes out May 20, 2014! Thanks so much, Anne and Gwen!
Anne Belle is the author of two novels. Her debut release,The Secret of the Storm is currently available on Amazon and Kindle. Armageddon Rising Book One: The Fallen is coming out May 20th with the second book in the series already in production.
Anne lives in East Texas with her dog Pippin. When she isn’t writing, or otherwise working, she enjoys crafting, cooking, and trying to get healthy through more active pastimes. She loves to travel and meet her readers.
More information about her books and herself can be found onher website www.annebelleauthor.com. There you’ll also find links to her author page on Facebook and various other ways to connect with her.
|Posted by EHancock2 on March 31, 2014 at 4:55 PM||comments ()|
I'm back again with another guest blog. This time, from Patty Wiseman, author of the Velvet Shoe collection. I've known Patty for several years now and have had the pleasure of watching the relationship between author and character flourish into something akin to magical.
Without further delay, take it away, Patty!
Patty Wiseman: (whispers to the camera) Thanks, Eddie! I think you'll enjoy what we have in store for you today. What a relief to see Ruth Squire and Sarah O’Brien walk through the door. I couldn’t be sure if these two head strong ladies would actually show up.
Patty Wiseman: (standing with out-stretched hand) “Welcome Ruth, it’s so good of you to come, (turns to Sarah) and thank you Sarah for accepting my invitation. Please, let’s get comfortable. I won’t keep you too long.
(All three ladies sit down near the sunny window of Patty’s parlor. Ruth picks up a china tea cup and takes a sip.)
Ruth Squire: “Thank you for asking us, Patty. It’s good to see you again.”
Sarah O’Brien: (declines the tea with a wave of her hand) “Oh, and I might be needin’ something a bit stronger for this interview. Do ya have more tricks up your sleeve today?”
Patty: (laughs at the little Irish maid’s joke) “You are never at a loss for words are you, Sarah? It’s been a while since we talked intimately. I believe it was August of 2013 when we published the 3rd saga of the Unlikely Series, An Unlikely Conclusion. You are a married woman now, Ruth. How is married life?”
Ruth:(her eyes light up at the mention of his name) “Peter is a wonderful husband. It was a long journey, but we are very happy. It’s not how I envisioned things would turn out, however.”
Patty: “Yes, it was quite a ride to get to this point wasn’t it? Did the secrets and lies have an effect on you? You were very young when exposed to murder first hand. Have you learned to cope with the fear?”
Ruth: “As you well know, Sarah was my rock of support. I could never have gotten through all the craziness if not for her. She is still the one I lean on the most. Peter understands that, but of course, more and more I run to his strong arms when I feel threatened. Trust doesn’t come easy for me, but I’m learning.”
Patty: “Which brings me to you, Sarah. You held so many secrets for so long. How difficult was it to live in the midst of so many lies?”
Sarah:(thrusts chin out and narrows eyes) “Are you sayin’ you wouldn’t do the same for the ones you love? I did what I had to do—and I’d do it again. It’s all we have in this life. Love. Ruthie was the most important thing to me. Even over my own romantic needs. She comes first and always will.”
Patty :No one can dispute your loyalty, Sarah, but it must have been hard to send the man you love away for the sake of a child.
Sarah “I think you could see the magnitude of my love for Ruthie in An Unlikely Arrangement. The mob was out to kill her and her mother. Why, they would have killed the whole lot of us. It was a terrible time.”
Patty: “Indeed! You were very brave and selfless in that 1st book. Even I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. (turns to Ruth) Ruth, you mentioned you didn’t know your life would turn out this way. Didn’t you want to be an actress?”
Ruth: "Well, yes. At seventeen, I thought that would be the ultimate freedom from my parents. To live the exciting life on the stage. Other women were doing it, and I wanted excitement. Well, I got it all right.”
Patty: “And probably more than you bargained for. In the 2nd book, An Unlikely Beginning, you actually took the stage in a wharf front dive to save Peter. Did that fulfill your need for the stage?”
Ruth: “I was scared to death the whole time, but there was something in the back of mind that found it all so exciting. I guess that sounds silly now. Peter could have been killed. I had to focus on that.”
Patty: “I’ve kept you both long enough, today. It’s been so good to visit with you. I miss you both so much. I hope you will give my regards to Peter. I’m sorry he couldn’t be with us today. He has a big business to concentrate on now. He’s a busy man.”
Ruth: (flashes a quick smile) “Thanks for not giving away our secret, Patty. I like to tell everyone in person. It makes it that much more special.”
Patty: “I absolutely agree. (looks at Sarah with a mischievous smile) And you Miss O’Brien. It looks as though things have come full circle for you. How is Daire Connelly?”
Sarah: (flushes red) “Och and it’s not your business, now is it? You’ll find out in the new series I’ll be bettin’. That’s why I find it disturbin’ to talk to you, Patty. You’re much too nosy. (stands and turns to Ruth) Come Ruthie, it’s time we be goin’before she gives away too much.”
Ruth: (stands and settles the tea cup back on the table) “I agree, she has a way of getting all our secrets out of us. It was very nice seeing you again, Patty. I’m sure we will be meeting again.”
Patty: “I wish we had more time. I have more questions for you both, but thanks for your time today. Tell Peter I’d like to talk to him next. Maybe he and Daire would like to come together. Won’t you tell me how Cal and Hattie are doing? I haven’t asked nearly enough questions. Please don’t rush off.”
(Ruth and Sarah hurry toward the door waving, both shouting their goodbyes) “Goodbye, Patty. Thanks for having us. We’ll see you again soon. Let us know when you name the new series!”
(Patty retreats to her chair) “What a joy to see them both. I’ve missed them so much, but I won’t be sad for long. Now where did I leave my laptop?”
Well, Patty, I think I saw your pup running off with it, but I can't be sure. (laughs)
Thank you, Patty, for sharing your time with us. And to Ruth and Sarah for their willingness to sit for a chat. What a delight it was for me as well. And I do agree, We should get Peter and Daire in here real soon!
Until next time, I hope my readers have enjoyed this journey into the series of books that see a young Ruth Squire grow into the shoes of a woman named Ruth Kirby.
Be sure and check them out online!
Available on Amazon.com or wherever books are sold online!
About the Author:
Patty Wiseman lives and writes in Marshall, Texas. She is an award-winning author, member of the Texas Associaton of Authors, Northeast Texas Writers Organization, East Texas Christian Writers and other groups. When not writing, she is an avid bowler, devoted wife, mother and grandmother.
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on March 3, 2014 at 7:00 AM||comments ()|
For this blog, I decided to start something new. In my life, I am blessed to call a number of very talented authors "friend." In an effort to share their talents with the world, I have decided to let a few of them take the reins here at Edward Central and introduce you to not only to themself but to their characters and stories as well.
First up, C.L. Parks. She recently sat down with her characters, Jason Longknife and Teena Massey, to discuss her new release, "She Who Hunts", which hits the market TODAY!
It's not every day that authors are willing to give us this very special look into their stories, but there's no one better suited to interview the players of a grand tale than the author. So, without further ado, take it away, Ms. Parks!
CLP -- Thanks, Eddie! Today we have Tenna Massey and Jason Longknife from She WhoHunts joining us. Thank you both for taking time out of your day to talk with us.
Jason – You’re welcome.
Tenna – We only have a few minutes.
CLP -- I’m sorry, I understand. I guess nowadays your job must keep you pretty crazy.
Tenna -- *snorts* Yeah, you can say that.
CLP -- I’ve heard that you two can usually identify who is possessed rather than who is just evil on their own. I’ve watched the news a lot and I can’t tell the difference. How do you know when someone has been possessed?
Tenna – You mean other than the fact that they're slaughtering and eating humans?
CLP -- Uh, yeah. I guess other than that.
Jason – I can smell them, she can feel them.
CLP -- Jason, you don’t say much, do you?
Jason – No.
Tenna – He gets by on his good looks.
CLP -- I can see that. Is that what made you fall for him, Tenna?
Tenna – Do we really need to get into our relationship right now?
CLP -- Did I hit a sore spot?
Jason – We’d just rather people not know about us. Makes us too vulnerable.
CLP -- Oh, sorry. Okay, we’ll go back to possessions then. You said once the only way to get rid of a demon is by killing the human it lives in.Why couldn’t you just call a priest or exorcist?
Tenna – Because we don’t live in a movie. Look, the only way to—
Jason – Tenna.
Tenna – They’re going to read about it anyway, so relax. The only way to kill a demon and release the human soul is by pushing a sword blessed by the Church through the human host’s heart. Yeah, the human dies, but it’s no longer suffering at the hands of the demon.
CLP -- What about your husband, Paul?
Jason – She’ll do what she has to do.
CLP -- Tenna, you look like I made you mad.
Tenna – How would you feel if I asked you if you were going to kill someone you loved or let them burn in Hell? Not a fun question, is it? I’ll do what I have to do when the time comes.
Jason – And if she falters I’ll be right there with her to finish the job.
CLP -- So you are going to kill Paul.
Tenna – I got to go. Interview’s over. Thanks for having us here.
CLP -- I’m sorry I angered you both, but thank you so much for answering our questions. Tenna and Jason’s story, She Who Hunts, is out today, March 3, 2014. Check it out to see whether Tenna is able to follow through, and whether or not they’re able to stop him in time.
About the Author
C.L. Parks has had a passion for writing since reading Charlotte’s Web in kindergarten. After rewriting the ending to gift Charlotte with immortal life she became obsessed. After reading Stephen King in fifth grade, her tastes quickly moved from sweet and innocent to the supernatural. Since the moment she picked up Pet Semetary she devoured every supernatural and preternatural book she could get her hands on by authors ranging from Anne Rice to Stephanie Rowe.
When not fully engulfed in her newest novel you can find her corralling her chickens, playing with her dogs, spoiling her large lizard or sewing a new vintage inspired dress. Her dream is to travel the country in an RV with her husband while writing more books…after the kids have gone on to college, of course.
And, I want to say one last THANK YOU to C.L. Parks as well as Teena and Jason. It's always rough to sit down and be open about your struggles, but I think it's safe to say we will all look forward to reading this new release!
Until NEXT TIME, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2, in partnership with the letters C, L and P.
|Posted by EHancock2 on January 10, 2014 at 5:45 PM||comments ()|
Here's a special preview of my latest book, Connection Terminated.
Tuesday, October 11
The hum of the engine excited her.One of the rare perks of an otherwise thankless occupation. She hadn’t been on the streets long, but even she knew that being picked up in a Jaguar was a rare treat. The car smelled new. And not that fake “new car” scent you get at carwashes. No, this car smelled as if it were just off the showroom floor. Looked it too. Freshly waxed and polished. Not a speck of dust anywhere, so it would seem.
“You hear about that gal that got killed the other night?” she asked, doing her best to make small talk. “Yeah, Iknew her. Sweet girl, Josey. Fine woman. Didn’t deserve this life. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. Some people just ain’t right for it. She was too good. God made her for better things.”
She chuckled to herself as she considered the irony of what she’d just said. Her career choice hadn’t been a childhood dream fulfilled. More, it had been an escape from the most horrific, not to mention Godless, man she’d ever known. No little girl ever grows up thinking about being a prostitute while Daddy bounces her happily on his knee. But, she sighed to herself, not every little girl was blessed with a great daddy.
When she’d left Houston, she swore she’d make a better life for herself than a stripper. Now, a year later, she’d gone from “Looky, no touchy” to “Have it your way.” She wasn’t all that excited about feeling like a happy meal for a bunch of perverted boys in grown bodies, but bills had to be paid.
It’s not that she didn’t believe in God. She’d just never been the patient type, so trusting in the time frame of some Being to which she’d never felt a sincere bond seemed foolish to her. Still, she’d always left herself open, should the Big Man Upstairs start to feel chatty. Like her current client, the Big Man Upstairs did not appear the chatty type.
“Not much for talkin’, are ya, Babe?” she asked, trying to get her head in the right mood.
When he didn’t reply, she reached over and touched the hand resting in his lap.
“That’s okay, you don’t have to do much talkin’. It’s your dime, Babe. We can do whatever you want. What are we going to do?”
There seemed to be the slightest of growls in the sigh he released.
“I don’t usually meet guys over theinternet,” she said, feigning a coy demeanor. “But I have a feeling it’ll beworth it just this once.”
Her red dress had been specifically designed for the game of seduction. Seduction was, after all, her job. Unlike most nights, this seduction was different. She wasn’t much on meeting clients online, but this one had been the charmer. Not overly chatty, he’d won her more by presentation than anything. By what he said he was, more than what he said. Let alone how he said it. His voice was almost squeaky. But in possession of a slight gurgle. Not the stuff of dreams, to be sure.
He’d told her that he was thirty-five and athletic. Though he’d been able to color his receding hairline,he’d not been able to mask the thin build. Perhaps, she thought, he was a marathon runner.
When he’d first picked her up, he’d been very subtle when asking how much. Unlike his current demeanor, he’d started off more like the man with whom she’d chatted online. Surprisingly, he hadn’t so much as flinched when she’d announced a rate that was triple what she’d mentioned in IM’s. That alone excused any misinformation on his part. It might have also explained the sudden silence.
Occasionally, clients took her to dinner first. Those with money, who wanted the illusion of having a life outside of their ivory tower office buildings. Most wanted to head straight for a motel and get right to it. For all his mystery, this one definitely seemed different. She wasn’t sure where they were headed, but there weren’t any motels nearby and the closest restaurant had closed an hour ago.
He’d gone to a part of town she didn’t know very well. There were dark and windy roads – mostly oil-topped –that twisted, turned and intersected seemingly at random. Of course, there wasn’t much to see at the high rate of speed they traveled. Thirty-five or not, he knew how to handle a vehicle, she thought to herself.
“Baby,” she said, “I—I think I’m the one in for the treat.” She laughed and, despite the thick blackness that hung over the night, she cast the most hungered look she could in his direction. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she caught the slightest hint of a grin creeping across his stubbled face.
She let her mind wander to a time not so long ago. A time before she’d entered her current occupation. A time when the teenage version of her former self had been allowed to believe the one and only man she’d ever known (in that most biblical sense) had convinced her he loved her. Perhaps he had. Either way he was the first and, up to that point, only man who’d spent any time on anything resembling romance. As she imagined being taken out to an open field, filled with blooming flowers, strategically-positioned next to a babbling brook, she let herself believe that, maybe this one would be different. Maybe once she’d find something she could hold on to. Maybe, she thought to herself, God was answering her nightly requests to be loved completely and unconditionally.
Aside from the stray cat, which she’d named Romeo, the feeling of unconditional love seemed, for her at least, to be a pipe dream. She’d allowed Romeo to adopt her, mostly because he was the only man that ever snuggled with her and didn’t want something in return.Unless you count the occasional belly rub, which she was more than obliged to offer.
Caressing his hand, she felt a palpable change in blood pressure of the man she knew only by his online moniker. His palms warmed at her touch, but didn’t perspire. His long fingers seemed far too calloused for the white-collar riches he’d represented. Even without squeezing her hand in his, Sunshine knew the man in the driver’s sea twas – would be – deceptively powerful. Rhett Butler kind of powerful. And she, the willing Scarlet O’Hara.
She let go an involuntary squeal, causing him to divert his attention momentarily from the road ahead.
“Sugar, you gonna tell me your name at least?” she screamed. “How much farther we got to go?”
As if answering her, he slowed the Jaguar. Making sure there was no one around, he pulled the car over to the side of the road. Her eyes brightened. It was dark. She couldn’t see much, but she noticed a clearing in the woods nearby. Maybe, she thought, just maybe, she’d get to play the part of Scarlet O’Hara after all.
Involuntary as it was, she let her mind wander to images of a moonlit picnic. One that would ultimately mark thebeginning of a new life and, more importantly, an end to the old one.
Killing the car, he took the keys from the ignition and exited, without so much as a word. Sunshine surveyed the surroundings. It couldn’t be any more out of the way. Suddenly, her excitement turned to trepidation. She looked around, felt the car shimmy – as much from asudden wind gust as from the fact he’d bumped it – and caught sight of him just as he rounded the back of the car. Stopping only momentarily to open the trunk, he soon appeared at the passenger door.
As he opened her door, Sunshine looked into the eyes of a man much different than the one she’d met. Something transformed.Darkness can often play tricks on the human mind. But, she knew all too well,darkness can also bring out the devil that lay dormant in some people during the daylight hours.
Something in his eyes. Something of a twinkle that was anything but merry. Something she couldn’t put her finger on.
“Oh quit being a baby,” she whispered to herself, exiting the car.
Without saying a word, he motioned toward the small hiking path. His gesture was almost chivalrous. Again, the Rhett Butler image took over, setting her at ease. As she walked ahead, he placed a gentlearm on her shoulder. Instinctively, she took hold of his hand, welcoming the warmth of his touch.
“So, what do I call you?”
Still smiling, the image of Rhett Butler followed her into the darkness, along with the bitter smell of whatever was on the rag he placed over her face.
You can pick up your copy of Connection Terminated on Amazon.com, BN.com or anywhere books are sold online!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2
|Posted by EHancock2 on December 20, 2013 at 8:10 PM||comments ()|
Has it really been since JUNE since I last blogged? Wow! What in the world is wrong with me?
Well, I have to say this one's going to be a relatively short one, but it's Christmas time and I wanted to be sure to wish everyone a VERY Merry Christmas. It's been a very weird year for me. The publisher with whom I contracted Heart Beatings still has not released the book for publication. Not really sure of the details behind that. But it's rather sad because it is, no doubt, a great book and one I was looking forward to sharing with my readers. I still hold out hope that the matter can be resolved, but we'll have to see what 2014 brings.
In the meantime, I AM proud to announce that I decided not to wait on the publisher to release Heart Beatings. Rather than put my entire writing career on the shelf, killing God's plan for my life, I decided to push forward. Two years is long enough to wait for Heart Beatings.
While you will miss what is, in my opinion, a great story in its own right, you won't miss many things chronologically-speaking. In Heart Beatings, I introduced readers to Josh Sutton, the nephew of Alex's friend, Moe Sutton. Josh is a relative rookie FBI agent and, as we open Connection Terminated, has struck up a relationship of sorts with Lisa's cousin Alyson Warner. I look forward to exploring that relationship in future books.
Also in Connection Terminated, we find an injured Danny Peterson sitting at home, angrily trying to adjust to the possibility his days as a police officer are over. In the hopes of avoiding too much confusion, Danny was seriously injured during Heart Beatings. I dare say this is not the last we'll hear of Alex's best police buddy, but you'll have to read Connection Terminated to find out what happens.
I had finished Connection Terminated in October and was on the verge of releasing it. However, the presence of a group of childish stalkers/Eddie-impersonators compelled me to push back the release a few days. I am HAPPY to say that the roll out has been met with great success. I am proud of the results I am getting and I look forward to seeing this story take wing. One good thing that came out of being stalked is that I'm researching how to launch and run a non-profit that would exist to aid adults (disabled and elderly in particular) in dealing with online bullies. Facebook didn't want to to jack squat about the idea until I cancelled my account citing the fact I didn't feel comfortable being online anymore. Thank GOODNESS for the federal authorities that were willing to take me serious. Thanks to them, I didn't have to put Connection Terminated on the shelf with the missing story, Heart Beatings.
It wasn't an easy decision going out on my own with Connection Terminated. I had 3 publishers in a bidding war over the thing. Ultimately it came down to the vision I am trying to follow. It was a tremendous ego boost to be in such high demand, but I felt like I had something to prove. It's nice to see that feeling come to fruition.
I honestly don't know what 2014 will hold as far as my books go. I PLAN on publishing at least 2 books if possible, maybe more. We will just have to see how it goes. I've all but committed to the idea of doing it myself. In fact, I'm really in the process of researching all the ins and outs of having my own publishing company/imprint. I think that would be great, personally, and I have a friend that just might be interested in joining me in that venture. We'll see though. No promises yet!
It's always fun meeting my readers face to face, so rest assured I will have a number of personal appearances in 2014 as well. Among them, I'll very likely be at Funky Finds in Dallas, November 2014. (I may go to the Spring Fling in March. I haven't decided.) My first signing will LIKELY be at the Gilmer Library. I haven't put anything in stone, but I plan on it after we get Christmas behind us.
There are a few other events I enjoyed this year and will likely return to in 2014, but if I tried to name them all, I'd likely forget something. And, truth be told, I am going to have to wait and see what gets scheduled.
I've said this before, but I will say it one more time. I will TRY to blog more frequently in 2014. Between touring, writing and trying to maintain a household all by my single, disabled dude self, well, there's not a lot of time for much else.
Thank you to everyone who has made my 2013 so awesome. I appreciate those who've stood by me through the hard times and been there to celebrate my good times.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, E-listers!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on June 26, 2013 at 2:15 PM||comments ()|
My future wife-
It feels weird to be writing a letter to a woman that, as of today, exists only in my hopes and dreams. Alas, here I sit. I can't explain it. I just know I've had this "need" in my heart for several days. A need to write to you and say that, while I'm not ready yet, I'm working on me. I'm preparing myself for you.
You wouldn't believe the hell I've been through. I'll tell you all about it when we meet. No sense in trying to lay it all out here. Besides, I'm certain you'll have tons to tell me yourself.
I have to tell you something. I don't know you yet. I can not see your face. I can't feel your skin. I can't hear your voice. I cannot smell your perfume. Yet, somehow I already love you.
No, don't panic. What I mean, I think, is that I'm already in love with the idea of you. It's funny, really. In my last blog, I questioned whether or not I would ever love again. Maybe I still won't. Maybe this very letter I am writing is a complete waste. As with so many things in life, it's a matter of faith. I haven't seen you, but something in me is convinced you're out there. I don't know you, but something tells me we've already met. At some undetermined point in our futures, our paths will cross. You may even hate me when we first meet. That would give us something to laugh about later, wouldn't it?
Even as I type that, I can't help but flip the coin. HAVE we already met? Did our moment pass us by? Were you the busy waitress who wanted to talk to me, but had six other tables under your charge? Were you the lady in the fruit and vegetable section of Walmart who watched from a distance as I flirted with the employee there? Were you someone who walked up to my table at a book signing and were too shy to say anything to the "famous" author? (Yeah, I nearly choke even typing that last one! LOL)
The possibilites are endless, no matter the case. Perhaps you'll be at my table at a future signing. Perhaps you'll see me writing on my laptop in McAlister's Deli one day and find yourself too curious to control yourself. Maybe you'll be the person to sell me my next car. Who knows?
What I do know is what I've already said. I absolutely adore the idea of you. Will I be disappointed if I reach my last day and you haven't arrived? Well, maybe a little. But, I promise you this. If I leave this world without having found you, I will find you in Heaven. So, you better behave. If you don't wind up there, I'm going to be very mad at you.
Don't worry. You'll find that cute one day. Because I won't be able to stay mad at you for long. You'll know the magic word. You'll know the right button to push. I won't ever tell you. Somehow, you'll just know. You will know when to hug me and when to just leave me alone for a little while. You'll know. I don't know how you'll know, but you'll know. You won't always know what I'm thinking. You're not a mindreader and I'll never ask you to be. But, somehow, you'll always know the right thing to do or say.
I'll go ahead and warn you now, I'm not afraid to cry. I'm not a blubbering mess that cries at stop signs, but I have emotions and I use them.
What's your favorite color? This will be among the first questions I ask you. I don't know why I ask this. But I always do. I hope it's not green, but don't worry if it is. It's not a deal breaker.
Yeah, you can roll your eyes at my silliness. Just don't do it too often. I'm silly a whole lot. Roll your eyes too often and they'll stick that way. That's what my mom says anyway.
Oh yeah. That reminds me. I have a close relationship with my mother. I am not obsessed with my mother and she doesn't interfere in my life in an unwanted way. Neither does she involve herself in my relationship choices unless asked. Even then, she seems to tread carefully. If my past relationships are any indication, you'd be wise to make a friend of her. She'll help you see through the walls I put up and the things I try to hide, even from some of my nearest and dearest. She'll be able to give you insight few people can.
I want to go to church with you. I want to pray with you. I want to walk in God with you. If you have children, they and God should be above me most of the time. I understand we all can have our needy moments. But priorities are what they are. Yours should put God and any children above me.
In my past relationship, I raised a son that was not mine. He was four when we got together. Just as I'm writing this on faith, I faithfully pray and believe he will someday come back into my life. He is not my blood. But he is, and will always be, my son. Should he come back in my life, please love him as your own. I have no doubt he'll need it.
I'll probably write more later. I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you that I am looking forward to meeting you one day. I already smile at memories we have yet to make. That probably qualifies me as silly. But, just you wait. One day, you'll be smiling too.
I won't make you any false promises. We'll argue. We'll debate. We'll disagree. But, I won't let go if you won't. That much, I offer you.
So, I'll see ya around, one of these days. In the meantime, I've got to get back to working on me. Gotta make sure I'm worthy of you!
Have a great day,
|Posted by EHancock2 on June 20, 2013 at 9:45 PM||comments ()|
For weeks (months, maybe), I've been threatening to delete my account on the dating site PlentyofFish.com. For weeks, I've been bored by it. For weeks, I've failed to see any real future for myself and a romantic relationship.
As my writing career becomes more and more real, I am increasingly busy, between turning Mourning Reign into a screenplay, doing book signings, writing other books and trying desperately to get my publisher to release Heart Beatings.
A few months ago, I began to see that I don't really have room in my life for romance. By that, I mean starting a romance. Too, I have to be honest. I don't really have the money to court a woman. I don't have it in the budget to buy flowers, go on dates and shower her with "little gifts" that tell her how much I care. I don't have the money to take her on vacations to locations near and far. Reality is what it is and that is reality for me right now.
And so, a week or so ago, I took down my account on POF. I have to admit that I'd kept it for silly reasons. At first, I kept it because I'd made a couple of friends there that didn't have a facebook account. Eventually, they left POF. Don't know if they found someone or just gave up, but their disappearance meant one less reason to keep the account open.
After that, I "justified" keeping it open as a way of keeping one door open, in case God wanted to send somebody to me. Then I started looking at my life. In previous posts, I've discussed my romantic past. Did I really want to repeat the pattern of falling for a woman that didn't love me? No. So, why keep it open?
So then, I looked at how women had come into my life in the past. I met one on POF. I met 2 or 3 via AOL. Met another couple via Myspace or facebook. Met another in Walmart. Another in the Mall. And on and on. In short, God has allowed me to encounter people in many place, both online and offline. If God REALLY wants to bring a woman into my life, I told myself, He didn't need facebook, AOL, or POF to accomplish this goal.
And so, for three days straight, I logged into POF....
For three days straight, I couldn't do it....
On the third day, somethign weird happened. I recieved what was my first email from someone in months.
As I read the woman's letter, I felt like she seemed to be nice. Her profile gave the impression of a very together woman.
And so I answered her...
I told her, in a nutshell, that I was planning on deleting my account because I just didn't have time for a relationship right now.
She wrote me back, essentialy wishing me well, and went on her merry way.
Later that afternoon, I deleted my account. A couple days went by and I realized something.
I felt like I had given up. Like I had given up on women. Like I'd given up on God. Like I'd given up on life. Too, I came to realize I suffered from a slight loneliness. How stupid was that? I had already came to realize that I didn't have time to devote to a woman. It wouldn't be FAIR to start a relationship right now. And yet, yes, Loneliness had crept in...after cancelling my POF account.
Prior to that, I wasn't lonely. It's true. Something about having it open made me feel less "alone" in the world. I equate it to being in a living room. Your significant other is in the bedroom. When the door is closed, you can't see them. You start to wonder what they're doing. Eventually, you get up and go see what they're doing. If, however, the door i open, you don't have to check. You can look right into the room. You can wave, smile. They'll wave back. Maybe even blow you a kiss.
I don't know if that makes sense, but that's the best analogy I can make.
Fact is, though, it's not time. It's not time for me to have a relationship. It's not time. Not because I say so. Because God says so. I truly believe that. I don't believe God is saying "No" to a relationship. I TRULY believe he's saying "not yet."
I'm still battling feelings of loneliness, if I'm being honest. I'm trying to trust in God's timing, but it's hard. I can't lie. The right thing, its' been said, isn't often the easy thing. And this isn't easy. I've wanted to be a part of a successful (happy) relationship since as long as I can remember. Even while my one career goal has been to be a writer since I was 9 or 10 years old, I was about that age when I decided I wanted to be married and have a successful, happy, awesome relationship with a strong, Godly woman.
Can I have them both? I've already said I believe God is simply saying, "Not yet." But, I'd be silly not to acknowledge the fact that I could be wrong about that. Maybe the "Not yet" idea is just a pipe dream. Maybe I've had my shot and it's over now. Maybe I'm NOT meant to have a strong, loving, Godly woman by my side. Maybe, in this dark, evil-filled world, such a woman doesn't REALLY exist. If she does, maybe she's already got a man.
I want to believe in "Not yet." But, at the same time, I'm trying to accept the fact, God just might be saying "No."
Ah well. Why would I want a woman I couldn't support right now anyway, right?
Until next time, this WRITER's blog is brought to you by the confused letters W, E and H and by the hopeful number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on May 31, 2013 at 2:10 PM||comments ()|
A coulpe years ago, when the Harry Potter books were all the rage, a website cropped up whereby Potter fans could "pretend" they were enrolled in Hogwarts. They could interact with fellow Potter fans from all around the world, post on message boards, "visit" various Potter spots and advance through the years, from first through seventh years. (This was before Ms. Rowling commissioned the creating of the Pottermore website.)
I'm going to be honest and say I don't remember the name of the site, but yes I was a member for a while. As a writer, I believe in communicating with my fans, hearing their thoughts and ideas, even if I have my OWN ideas on how the Mendez series should go. It was rumored that J.K. Rowling actually checked this website periodically, even posting under an unknown screen name. (I never knowingly encountered her, but that would have been neat.)
One of the drawbacks to this website is that there was no separation between children and adults. During my time on the site (and one of the reasons I eventually left), I encountered children as young as 8 posting without any acknowledged parental control. Too, I saw adults attack these children for daring to use their imagination and predicting various plots of books that were, at the time, not written yet. (I started around the time book three was released, I think.)
When book five was written, it was leaked that a major character had died during the story. Anyone and everyone was guessed. And each name guessed came with its own justification, be it logical or illogical.
One of the arguments against certain names still wakes me up in the middle of the night, cold sweat pouring from my brow. I'm referring, of course, to Internet shouts of "It's not canon!"
Writers, though often readers themself, are very different from readers who do not write. Readers, even those of fiction, seem to take everything literally. They expect certain things from writers and, all too often, put us in a box from which we can not escape. If, somehow, we do manage to escape this invisible mental prison, it is often to the great disappointment of the fan who holds our feet to the fire, based on their own personal prejudice and preconceived notions about what was meant by a certain passage and by what was, or is being done.
Now, of course, I don't mean to insult MY fans and readers. Let it be known I love and appreciate each and every one of you. That said, I want good readers. I want independent thinkers. More than that, I want people who are smart enough, and generous enough, to respect the different interpretations of others.
To be blunt, I do not want any of my readers to ever tell another Mendez fan, "It's not Canon!"
As the author, I am saying this to each of you because I know the plans I have for the series. NOTHING (and I mean NOTHING) about the Mendez series is Canonical unless I specifically say, within the context of the book itself, "This is Canon, fans. Learn it. Live it. Love it!" As that would be akin to breaking the fourth wall (something which I would do, but try desperately NOT to do), let's rest reasonably assured it will not happen.
I don't want my fans arguing, period. What is true today will change tomorrow. What is false today will become true in books yet unwritten. I'm not saying that to create any contrived sense of suspense. Merely to encourage my readers to join me in the express main purpose for these books, which is to tell the story of a moral man who is profoundly flawed, in desperate need of God, but on a seemingly winding road toward what is a straight "A to B" journey for many. Alex will get lost on the road. He will face the devil more times than not. He will confront the forces of Hell around each and every corner. He will dive, head first, into the muck of society and come out (We hope) spotless and cleansed by the love, mercy and grace of the Heavenly Father.
And that, dear readers, is the ONLY Canon on which we ALL can agree.
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2
|Posted by EHancock2 on February 28, 2013 at 9:50 PM||comments ()|
It's been a while since I last blogged. Been pretty busy with a book tour, holidays and writing the next Mendez tale.
I've also had a lot of thinking to do in the last several months. Not writing-related thinking. Straight up, personal thinking... specifically, my love life.
Some time back in January, an ex girlfriend of mine wrote me. Long story short, after two years, she had decided she wanted to be friends. Now, I have to say this about the woman that wrote me. I loved her. I loved her from the moment I saw her. And I loved her more than I've loved anyone in all my loving years. I mean it very much when I say that I truly thought this woman was "the one." She wasn't, and that is something I've had to learn to accept. In the end, she did not feel the same for me. I don't want to villify her when I say this, but the honest truth is that she was not over her ex-husband when we got together.
My pastor is very fond of saying "Hurting people hurt people." He's right. She was hurting when we met. And she accidently hurt me amid all her pain. I don't fault her. And, truth be told, I don't want anyone else faulting her either. Truth be told, our interaction ACTUALLY led me to do a lot of soul searching and, to be perfectly honest, I am grateful to this woman for leading me to that course of action. Had she not asked to be friends, I would not have taken the emotional journey I took, but it wound up being perhaps the most important journey I would ever take inside myself.
You see, as I pondered whether or not I could be friends with this person, a person for whom I had strong feelings right from the start, I began to review our relationship. I looked back at how things went and why they went the way they did. As I've already said, it boiled down to I loved her, she did not love me. But my journey didn't stop there. As I reached the realization that this woman had never loved me, I started looking back at every relationship I'd had in my life. Ever "romantic" relationship that is.
What I found is that all of my relationships had one single thing in common. In all of them, not once was I ever loved.
Do you know what a revelation like that does to a man? Well, it darn near killed me, and I mean that quite literally. As I thought about all of the women I've loved in my life, I went woman by woman...and not ONE of them ever returned my feelings.... EVER.
To say that I died a little inside is an understatement. I had to really do a lot of soul searching in order to pick myself up off the floor. Why has no one ever loved me? What about me is so unloveable? These are the questions I pondered.
I won't bore you with my process. In the end, I realized the problem wasn't me. It was, but it wasn't. The problem was that I picked women that needed fixing. Whether it was needing out of a bad home, needing an emotional issue fixed or just needing to stop being lonely, I picked "fixer uppers", much the same as if I was working for a home.
Why did I do this? Well, I did this because there wasn't any guess work, or so I thought. They were emotionally needy, so they were quick to say that they loved me or to be appreciative of my works. Of course, SOME of them became increasingly greedy of both my time and my "service" and would become angered, even withhold affection if I did not "service" them. So, basically, my woman picker was off. I picked the ones that were starved for affection. Even the girlfriend I mentioned at the first of this blog, she was totally love starved. But, in her case at least, she was starved for the love of a particular man and she was laboring to put an Eddie-shaped peg into an "ex-husband"-shaped hole. In the end, that would not work.
In the end, I decided to say no to a friendship with the person. Though she said she had changed, moved on past her ex and just wanted friendship with me, nothing more, I decided I just couldn't. It felt weak of me, honestly. To say no to a woman for whom I STILL carry such a brightly-burning torch. For all I know, she's reading this now and wondering what to do. I don't have any advice for her, honestly. Should she write me again and try one more time for a friendship? Or should she leave me alone and just let me live my life, dealing with feelings that will likely stay with me until my death?
In the movie, Titanic, Old Rose made the statement that "A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets..." For some of us at least, the same could be applied to a man's heart as well. I'm not sure if I'll ever love again. More, I'm not sure if anyone will ever truly love ME. I think, more than anything, that's the goal now. To find someone with whom I SHARE a deep, abiding affection. Until that moment, I am left dealing with this the way that I have for years. As with many writers in my situation, I am forced to live vicariously through my happily married characters...For now, I guess that'll do.
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on October 16, 2012 at 2:35 PM||comments ()|
We've all heard it. That harpy-like cry of the pseudo-Christian who has managed to learn a few bulleted bible verses while strategically avoiding any real connection to the ACTUAL church of God.
"The Bible says not to judge me!"
Actually, no. The bible says by which judgement you apply to others, YOU will also be judged. Therefore, if I "judge" somebody as evil for having a difficult time with Road Rage, God will judge me for the difficulty I, myself, possess. If I judge somebody as being a disgusting person because they view or have viewed pornography, I will be judged by the fact I have had an issue with it myself in the past. The Bible is clear that not only are we ALLOWED to Judge, we are ACTUALLY encouraged to do so. However, no one can argue against the final judgement resting, in fact, with The Father in Heaven, through our Mediator, which is Christ.
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1-4
“Son of man, will you judge her? Will you judge this city of bloodshed? Then confront her with all her detestable practices3and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O city that brings on herself doom by shedding blood in her midst and defiles herself by making idols,4you have become guilty because of the blood you have shed and have become defiled by the idols you have made. You have brought your days to a close, and the end of your years has come. Therefore I will make you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughingstock to all the countries.5Those who are near and those who are far away will mock you, O infamous city, full of turmoil.
“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. 47“If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48“He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. 49“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. 50“I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”
Now, let me stop right there. In Jesus' own words, he says he did not come to Judge, right? So how, then, can I write a blog on the premise that Jesus is our Judge? Quite simple, really. We established in the previous blogs that Jesus and God are one and the same. God did not SEND Jesus into the world to Judge it, but to SAVE It. He sent Jesus to FREE people FROM the Final Judgement that awaits us all. That is his big PURPOSE. But, this blog is not talking about purpose, but about His Power and Authority. Is there anyone that has greater power than The Father? No. And from whom did Jesus receive power? The Father. And He was, by his own admission, an ambassador of Heaven and of the Leader, Ruler and Master thereof.
In the previous blog, we saw that Jesus had authority over demonic spirits. He judged them as unclean and commanded them out! Too, he had authority over blindness, deafness, mute speech and lame legs. Ultimately, Jesus was shown to have complete and total authority over the bonds of death itself. Not only did He RAISE LAZARUS from the dead, but Jesus Himself ROSE from the dead. Jesus' authority was well-established, so the statement Jesus was making can best be summed up as saying He didn't come to Judge, but the wicked world put Him in that position of judging and so he did. He judged them as sick and evil. And died for them, so as to cleanse sin from Among them.
So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.” 14Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15“You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. 16“But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me. 17“Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. 18“I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” 19So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”
Then He said again to them, “I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” 22So the Jews were saying, “Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.”
John 8:21-24; 26
“Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.”
Truly, the entire 8th chapter of John speaks to Jesus as the Judge of the world. Chapter 9 reinforces it by going into his healing nature.
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.
1 Corinthians 5:11-13
In this, we 1) debunk the idea that we have no authority to judge our fellow brethren in Christ. 2) Determine that God himself judges those outside the church. If they claim to belong to the church, God (through the authority willed to us by Jesus before His death) has given us permission and authority to rebuke a brother/sister in Christ for falling away from The proper way of Life. However, it should not be assumed we have ultimate authority. Only God Himself can judge those who will not accept Him. And they have the opportunity to accept Jesus or not, Jesus' life judges their flesh. God's authority will judge them in the next life...or will He?
"For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."
John 5: 20-30
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:10
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world.
"For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done."
"Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God."
1 Corinthians 4:5
So, should we be afraid of Jesus' Judgment? I suppose that's debateable. However, I would leave you with these thoughts:
"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first… And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.’"
Revelation 2:18-19, 23
"‘Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done… He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen."
Revelation 22:12, 20-21
Christ doesn’t say that the people are to honor him in the same way they wouldhonor a prophet, messenger, rabbi, parents etc. Rather, Jesus emphatically states thateveryone must give him the same honor that they give to God! Jesus is basically demandingto be worshiped as God since this is the kind of honor that the Father receives. Anyonewho fails to worship Christ will be judged and condemned by him.
The New Testament authors do something which would be quite shocking to their fellow Jews. Insteadof referring to the judgment day as the Day of Yahweh the inspired authors of the New Testament actually call it the Day of the Lord Jesus or the Day of Christ!
"just as you did partially acknowledge us, that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you."
2 Corinthians 1:14
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ… so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,"
Philippians 1:6, 10
"holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain."
The only way for monotheistic Jews (as the New Testament writers were, with the exception of Luke who was a Gentile) could ever think of identifying the judgment day as the Day of the Lord Jesus is if they had been convinced that Jesus is Yahweh God. Otherwise, they would beguilty of assigning to a creature the very Day which the Old Testament says belongs to Yahweh God Almighty.
So, if Jesus is God Almighty and the Day of Judgment is the Day of Christ, (and it IS) what, then, can we say about Jesus? We can say, unequivically, that Jesus is Judge over all. Appointed by God, The Father, to sit in the Judgment Seat.
When I was growing up, this kind of teaching was commonplace in the church. In fact, I dare say I soft-stepped many of the issues some preachers of that time would have beat into those of us occupying the pews of my childhood.
The church has, in my opinion, gotten very soft on the idea of God/Jesus as a Judge. I don't understand this, honestly. As parents, we judge our children every day. Any parent worth his salt will tell you we judge our children a hundred times a day on average. We judge them as worthy of praise and, when needed, punishment. God is our Father. Why would his flesh and blood embodiment on earth NOT be able to act in good faith and correct the children of Heaven's Master?
Grace is awesome, and I am more grateful for the existence of it than I can express. But, honestly, there is more to God than that and we need to get back to teaching the fullness of God. We need to teach the entire nature of our Lord, not just the watered down, wonderful Santa-esque jolly grandpa type waiting with a hug and a quarter for his favorite grandbaby.
God is, first and foremost, a parent. Your parent and mine. So, when we sin, we invite the inevitable spanking, just as the Jews did some 2,000 years ago when God tore the veil as he ran to the Son whose suffering he was forced to watch in order that we might be spared the punishment which we are each due.
Everybody behave. Daddy's watching!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2
|Posted by EHancock2 on October 1, 2012 at 10:10 AM||comments ()|
Undoubtedly, this is my favorite part of this series I am writing. Jesus as Healer.
Thirty-Eight years ago, in St. Joseph's Hospital of Joliet, IL, a little boy was born with Spina Bifida. Medical science was confused. There was little they could do, they told the new mother. She needed to prepare herself to bury her newborn son. It would happen, they said, before his 2nd birthday.
The little boy was me. The mother, my own. But what the doctors didn't know is that we had an ace up our sleeves. While my mother rested from given birth to a disabled child born butt first, folded up like a taco shell. (And by born, I mean by natural child birth. There was no option for a C-Section by the time they learned I was turned wrong.)
My dad was charged with calling the relatives. He called Mom's parents first. They were not home. So he called everyone else, letting them know the bittersweet news that, yes, he had his son. But his son did not have long to live. When Dad had called everyone, he called Granny and Grandpa back. Granny answered. I think they'd been at the rent house in Longview. I can't remember.
Anyway, my dad was already beat down. This 6'5, 300+ lb man had shared the news so many times, he'd been reduced to a shell of his former self. But, somehow, he mustered the strength to tell it one more time.
"We have a son, Mama." (He always referred to his in-laws as "Mama" and "Daddy")
"What's wrong, Son?" Granny asked. I'm sure she could hear it in his voice.
"He's sick, Mama." Dad told her. (His voice cracked several times, Granny would later tell me.) "The doctors, they don't expect him to live very long."
Undaunted, Granny reached across the miles and carried my giant of a father on her Godly shoulders. From her little country home, on the little country road in the little country town of Ore City, Texas, my grandmother reached across country with her faith and lifted my dad up.
"Now you listen here, son." she told him, her voice resolute. "You go right back in there and you tell those doctors GOD has plans for that boy! You hear me?"
He heard, loud and clear. Rumor has it, that he took Granny literally and gave them Granny's message verbatim. I have to admit, I was a little busy in the nursery trying to look cool to all the other newborns. Hard to do with a bunch of tubes and wires sticking out of you, but I bet I managed pretty well.
So, the doctors did what they could. They performed several surgeries on me. But most still held that I would not live past my second birthday.
Meanwhile, back in that little country home in Ore City, Granny got on the phone to a couple at her church. Their last name was Smith. Brother and Sister Smith is how I knew them. I am sad to admit, I never learned their real names.
When they got to Granny and Papa's house, they all joined in prayer, asking God to heal my body. Begging God with all they had to let me defy the death sentence imposed upon me by finite human minds.
The Bible calls Him "Jehovah Rapha". The Lord Our Healer.
Jehovah Rapha can be found in the Bible, however it cannot be found in any modern translation (i.e. NIV, ESV) because of the translation method. The word Jehovah Rapha does appear in the Masoretic Text, which is the Old Testament manuscripts which have been maintained by the Levite priests since the original manuscript was written.
Isaiah 53:4-5 is a good place to start:
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Did you see that? We are HEALED because of His Wounds! Of course, most of you are probably sitting there thinking, "Yes, I knew that already." I'm sure you have heard that one, even if you've never cracked open the Bible, right? But can you really say you've APPRECIATED it? Let's just stop and think about this for a moment. Because of his having been beaten within an inch of his human life, God in human form (Jesus) has declared every sickness HEALED! Think of this like a scale. On the one side, is every sniffle, every scraped knee, every battle with cancer or tumors, every issue of blood or circulation. Every aneurysm. Every toothache is there too. Every broken arm or broken nose. Every bruise or cut that's ever taken too long to heal. It's all there.
Let's consider Exodus 15:26 as well: “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”
It's good to pause for a moment to address an issue many people have. To fully address the matter would take a series of blogs itself. But, as it is not my purpose for THIS series, let me just ask a question then labor to answer it in brief.
Q: The above verses are talking about God, not Jesus Christ, right? So why does this make JESUS our Healer? Doesn't it make GOD our Healer?
A: Yes. And Jesus is God's only begotten Son, having been born of a virgin, who was impregnated by the spirit of GOD Himself, therefore, (to quote Jesus) "Whoever has seen the Son has seen The Father." Put another way, My father and I are two different people. My Human Father is not me. Nor I him. But a part of him indwells within me through science and genetics. When we are talking about God, we must understand God's ways are far higher than our ways. We can not relegate it to mere genetics and science. It was not God's heavenly sperm cell that impregnated Mary. It was His presence. His BEING that did it. His Spirit. His Essence. His WILL. He took part of himself, joined with Mary's pure humanness and created Jesus Christ. A flesh and blood embodiment of Living Light. In summary. Jesus Is God is Jesus. The nature of One EQUALS the nature of the Other, no matter which way you go.
Moving along, let us look at more proof of Jesus as Healer.
in John 4:43-54, we see Jesus healing a Roman Official's son in Galilee. I find this one especially miraculous for one reason in particular. Jesus never journied there! He never set foot in the Official's house! He merely told him "Go home. Your son has been healed." He no more than finished saying this than a servant came running up to tell the official of the miraculous healing! Jesus knew He would meet this official, long before the official did. He knew the official's child would be sick probably years before it happened. And He had healed the boy before the father had even asked! If not, how else could the servant have so quickly ran up to him to tell him the good news? Jesus was omnipresent.
In Mark 1:21-28 and Luke 4:31-37, Jesus brings John, James, Peter and Andrew with him to Capernaum. There, he heals a possessed man. I like this story too, as Jesus shows his omnipotent power to silence demons when he forbids them to talk or tell anyone who He really is. When Jesus said "shut up!" you Shut Up! No matter who you are!
Three of the Four Gospels (All but John) tell of Jesus healing Peter's Mother-in-Law. Luke tells it well.
When Jesus got up and left the synagogue (after healing the madman) he went into Simon (Peter)'s house. Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus about her. He stood over her as she lay in bed, brought the fever under control and it left her. At once she got up and began to see to their needs. Then, as the sun was setting, all those who had friends suffering from every kind of disease brought them to Jesus and he laid his hands on each one of them separately and healed them. Evil spirits came out of many of these people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!"
But he spoke sharply to them and would not allow them to say any more, for they knew perfectly well that he was Christ.
Throughout the Gospels, we see time and again where Jesus heals. He gives sight to the blind, he allows speech where none had been before. Lame legs were given strength to walk, run and dance.
What pains me is that not everyone was truly appreciative of the gifts Jesus possessed. Of the abilities he readily put on display. Of the miracles attesting to his divinity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the story of the 10 Lepers.
Luke tells of the account in Luke 17:11-19. In brief, Jesus heals ten men of leprocy. Later, one comes back to thank Him and worship. Jesus asks, "Were not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?" Of course, He knew where they were. His question, you might say, was rhetorical.
Of course, we can speak all day long of how he healed them from leprocy, from clubbed feet, blindness, etc. What about Lazarus? Let's face it, it's hard to beat being "Healed" from DEATH Itself!
Can you do it? I sure can't! No matter what your thoughts on Jesus, the man raised another from the dead! (You can read the full account in John 11).
Of course, I've had many discussions with atheists and agnostics about Jesus' Healing powers. I've cited all of these miracles and more. Most argue that it's just a first century press machine going full steam with Jesus Propaganda. Hey, if they want to believe that, fine. Who am I to argue?
Oh yeah, I'm the little boy born 38 years ago (39 in March) who was given less than 2 years to live. A boy whose praying granny boldly prophecied "God has plans for that boy!" If anyone knows anything about Jesus' Healing power, I have no problem at all saying that I am that person.
In part three of the series, I am going to explore the side of Jesus nobody seems to want to discuss anymore. At least not in any rational, realistic frame. I'll speak about Jesus as Judge. And we're going to attempt to dispell this ignorant notion that we, Christian brethren, are never to judge one another.
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2