Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Note to Teachers...

Public teachers are paid by the 'public'. It is our taxes that pay them....we...the public. Now, these taxes come from a broad spectrum of people. White people, black people, latino people, asian people...they all pay taxes. We come from different backgrounds, have different beliefs, different cultural habits, different political stances, etc. We are Christian, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Muslim, atheist, agnostic et al. We are straight and gay. We are married or single. Many of us have children, and some don't. We are blue collar, white collar and then there are those who just suck off the system. Nevertheless, the point I'm making is that you can't cookie-cut and say this is what the American taxpayer looks like, acts like, and believes like. The varieties of taxpayers that are out there are limitless.

So, for some odd, inexplainable reason...there are teachers out there who feel like it is their duty to bring their own personal political, religious and cultural views into the classroom to exploit their position and power over students to indoctrinate them to their views. Or, they intentionally warp the syllabus to meet their own agenda and stop becoming a teacher; transforming themselves into some kind of saviour of truth. These are teachers we don't need as a society. They should be shown the door. Permanently.

The Florida Atlantic University instructor who asked students to step on the word “Jesus” has been placed on administrative leave on the same day that the high school teacher in South Carolina who stomped on an American flag in front of his students way back in December finally resigned. Why is that? Because these two conveniently forgot about all the differences that exist within the taxpayer base that pays their salary. As a lot of teachers these days, they mounted their white horses of 'I'm Better Than You' and 'I Know More Than You' and charged where even angels may fear to tread.

There are many taxpayers out there who are Christian. They don't pay for their children to be told they have to stomp on the name of their deity. They pay for their children to be educated apart from that teacher's slanted view on things religious. There are many taxpayers out there who are patriotic and who love this country and everything it stands for...right or wrong. They pay for their children to be educated apart from that teacher's slanted view on things national.

I can't help but chuckle to myself when I read about 'educators' going off on some kind of anti-Christian or anti-Jesus rant like this person at FAU. They aren't so tough. If they were, then at times they might demand their students write the name of Muhammed on a piece of paper and stomp on that. How do you think that would go over? No, I don't think matter how insane...would want nearly a billion muslims reading the latest fatwa about it being their duty to kill you the first chance they got. My advice to this 'teacher' at FAU is next time tell your students to write the name of every prophet, every god and every religion on a piece of paper and stomp on THAT. If you're going to insult somebody...go all the way, you gutless worm.

My message to teachers would be this. Teach your reading, writing and arithmetic. In civics, teach how our government is run. In history, don't re-write it to your personal pleasure....just teach it. But, leave your personal, liberal, god-hatin', religious hatin', country hatin', capitalist hatin' crap at the house. We, the taxpayer, don't want you teaching your values (or lack thereof) to our children. That's a parent's job. And if you don't think the parents are doing a good job? Keep quiet about it in the classroom...because that's not any of your business.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Milestone

The Keeper's Dare just passed 1,000 in sales. Don't start lining me up for the mansion in Palm Springs just yet, though. A good number have been Kindle sales, where I'm selling the electronic version for just .99 cents. Of that, I think I get .74. won't be quitting my day job.

I was hoping that this book would peak the interest of the readers and have them check out my other books. The Last Medal and The Grove of Akkadia aren't doing well at all. I've been told The Last Medal is my best work. The Grove of Akkadia has a unique and surprise ending. It has a lot of action and suspense in it, but for some reason it has only been purchased once. The book that has taken on some steam is the horror novel, Evil Most Holy. I've sold several copies of that one in the UK and a few here. Just sold one today. I'm surprised it has shown the legs it has so far.

I haven't uploaded my science fiction book, The Hodmandod Syndrome, but it is available in my private collection with a 'print on demand' company. As are all the others. If anyone wants a paperback of any of these just let me know on or on my Facebook page, The Book Dungeon. My FB friends can contact me on my personal FB page.

The murder mystery has almost died. I'm 2/3 of the way through and can't figure out where to go from there. I've been at an impasse for weeks now. I have several suspects with good reason and motive to murder the victim, but I can't decide on who I want to have actually done it. I know. Maybe I should have figured that out before starting the book.

The screenplay for The Keeper's Dare is being edited at this writing. A person who has connections in the film industry is 'cleaning' it up for presentation to a couple of producers. I should be receiving the final cut next week for my review. After I give the nod, we'll send it off and hope we hit all the numbers...with the powerball.

My western, Hell's Gunman, is still set for release in July. An editor and cover artist will be contacting me sometime in April to work on getting the story presentable to the public and coming up with a RAD cover design. I'm very excited about it and can't wait for July to get here.

Going back to The Keeper's's had eight reviews on Amazon and all of them are great. I only know half of them, so the other reviews are completely unbiased. Still, I know that if the others had not liked the book, they would have said so. This is the book that I am most proud of. It took me over three decades to get all the information I needed to put this story together. I have an aunt that swears up and down that I got it far as who the shooter was. But, I beg to disagree. And that's the beauty of writing about real life. Perspective is everything and when someone has a different perspective it initiates conversation and that conversation turns to the book itself and, voila! Your work is being discussed and more interest in it is being raised.

Wow. 1,000. I'm humbled. Can't you tell?

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Few Things That Make Me Happy

Most people equate happiness with joy. I hate to tell them that they are two completely different things. Happiness is finite and sometimes short lived. Joy is something that remains within you, even during your darkest hours. I've been through enough 'dark' hours to know what I'm talking about. For those of us who are Christian, joy is compounded through Christ. But, I want to talk about being happy. Happy comes and happy goes.  Happy has many levels. You can be mildly happy or ecstatically happy, or even somewhere in between. It would be too tedious for me to categorize the things that make me happy, so we'll just stick with that. So, here it is.....

1.   Writing - I am happy when creating a story or a poem. Each is liquid in direction and as the author you can take it wherever you wish. The imagination is a wonderful gift to have, especially when one explores the wonder of it by putting it into words.

2.   Chess - My dad taught me how to play when I was five. It was one of the few things he would sit still long enough for. He wasn't a 'studied' player, only knowing how the pieces moved. At the age of fourteen I started to buy books written by the masters. I learned what the openings were for the beginning of the game and what countermoves to make against them. The ability of the pieces working together to form a well staged attack on  your opponent were myriad. Violent thrusts could be made with forks, pins, skewers and double checks. Soon, I was a member of the United States Chess Federation and remained one for twelve years. I played in several tournaments. My international rating was just below that of being classified as a Candidate Master. Uh...I was pretty good.

3.   Picking - I love to pick on people. Some of my victims take it in stride, others strike back, some don't know how to take it, or I'm ignored. I hate to be ignored. I pounce on the slightest of reasons...or none at all. One of my favorite past times at work is to randomly stop at the door of someone's office (never anybody I have to answer to) and ask, "What are you doing?".  95% of the time they will start running off this list of projects they have going and what meetings they are going to or just got back from. When they're about a sentence or two into the dissertation, I walk off and leave them talking. Sometimes it takes three attacks before they start telling me to get out.

4.   Visiting my mother-in-law and my brother - Other than wife and daughter, these two are the only relatives I have left that possess the mileage, the knowledge and the experience I have where we can truly relate. I could not have express ordered a better mother-in-law, and I was given a big brother I could count on. Even if the visit is only two or three hours, I always feel happy during those times.

5.   Visiting with friends - It is said that if you can claim one, true friend in your lifespan, then you have been a success.  I wonder. True friends? Finding the one is like looking for a needle in a stack of needles. If you are truly a friend to someone, that means you have accepted them not only into your life, but into your heart. Often times my heart has been broken by those who I considered a friend. As of now, outside the family...I think I have two people in my life that would drop everything, in a moment's notice, and come to help me bury a body if called upon. Even if hundreds of miles away, they would not only come, but they would bring the shovels. I believe that. I don't know it for sure, but I believe it.  I hope I never have to find out. However, I enjoy their company and it makes me happy when we meet for dinner and bar-b-que at our homes and watch the football game. It makes for good times.

6.   Sex - Do I really have to go into it?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Things I've Found Out About Myself

During the course of my life I've found out a few things about me that had always been conjecture or hypothesis on how I would react in certain situations or how my life would turn out. Since some things haven't happened to us, we wonder sometimes what we would do if they did occur. Here's a few things I've discovered, after the fact.

1.   I will pull the trigger. Back in 1993, two burglars attempted a break-in of my home one morning. I suppose they had seen my wife and younger daughter leave and took it upon themselves to come in and grab the stuff I had worked all my life collecting. My oldest daughter was in the home with me. Being in a wheelchair (paralyzed from spina bifida), I couldn't scoop her up and run. Their were two decisions. One, leave my daughter and run next door to call the police. Two, stand and fight. The first choice was never considered. I have always been proud of that. Retrieving my little Charter Arms .38 Special snub nosed pistol, I positioned myself near the door...that was splintering, by the way...and cocked the hammer. Without going into too much detail, there was an altercation...I fired once...and the two bad guys crapped their pants and ran away. Later, my oldest daughter told her mother the bad guys came, but daddy chased them away. One of my proudest moments.

2.   I won't abandon my family. When my daughter was born with spina bifida in 1982, it was one of the most stressful times for us. Medical bills were reaching outside the solar system, we were both devastated emotionally, and things spiralled out of control. I remember every morning, while driving to work, thinking about not going to the office. Instead of making that right turn off the highway, like I did every morning, I thought about going straight and never looking back. However, it was just a thought. I always took that right turn. If I were ever going to continue to call myself a 'man', I had to. It's what we do.

3.   I'm not afraid to die.  In October, 2010, I went in for a procedure to put a stent in one of my arteries. When they woke me up, I was informed that it was a miracle I had not already had a massive heart attack. My arteries were 85 to 99 % blocked and they were unable to complete the angioplasty. The heart surgeon wanted to take me in right away for a quadruple bypass. I informed him that wasn't going to happen, that I needed to get my head around what I had just been told. He advised if I didn't go in right away, the next available opportunity was in four days. I told him that would give me enough time to make arrangements (should the worst happen) and mentally prepare myself for the coming recovery (if the best should happen). That's when the doctor said, "Mr. Coward, you may not live four more days." To which I replied, "Well, if I don't, then I won't be your frikkin' problem anymore, now will I?" I was only afraid of the question of if I would still be able to take care of my family afterwards. The thought of dying wasn't a concern. Weird.

4.   I can live with the hard choices. I won't go into detail, but I came to a crossroads that I wouldn't wish upon anyone. It was a real life and death decision. If I were to choose to take the life of one (legally, by the way), it would save two. If I chose not to take that life, then three would most likely die. Stipulations were placed on me regarding the first choice that were hard to fathom. It was made clear to me the decision would be mine and mine alone, and that I would be the sole responsible party. I chose to take that life for the sake of the two. If I had it to do all over again, I would do nothing different. I have learned to live with the pain and inner angst; moving along with my life.

5.   It's been an exciting adventure. I began to travel in 1981. My first port-of-call was Rotterdam, Holland. Since then, I have lived in London and Johor Bahru, Malaysia. I have been to Singapore, Tokyo, South Korea, Norway, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Nigeria, Mexico, Trinidad, Venezuela and the Bahamas. While living in London I travelled all over Great Britain and saw Stonehenge, Dover Castle and the White Cliffs, Canterbury Cathedral, The Tower of London, Windsor Castle, the Roman Baths, Hadrian's Wall, Loch Ness, Penzance, York Minster Cathedral and many other castles and landscapes. I have sailed the North Sea, the Mediterranean, the Caribean, the South China Sea, the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. I have been at the top of the Eiffel Tower and in the seige tunnels of Gibraltar. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to travel to so many places and see so many things and have it all paid for by the companies I worked for. I look back and think about how fleeting it all was, and it makes me glad I didn't take the time for granted. I treasured it and took with me the things that were best about it all. I have lived, and not everyone can say that.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ban-itis....A Disease Coming To Us All

The new NFL rule is that once a running back is three yards from the line of scrimmage, he can't use the crown of his helmet to ward off potential tacklers. New brain science now suggests that we need to ban boxing, hockey and soccer. Boxing due to the many blows to the head; Hockey due to the many fights with blows to the head and 'checks' to the head; and Soccer due to the use of the head to propel the ball. Yes, let's ban them all. Ban, ban, ban, ban, banbanbanbanbanban.
Let's ban everything. I propose we ban talking wives. It's been proven over the centuries their incessant nagging is the reason husbands usually die FIRST! We need to ban everything that has the slightest potential at harming even one human being. Ladders? Out. Bathtubs? Out. Wall sockets? Out. Rope? Out. Tools of any kind? Out. Computers and the internet? Out. Television? Out. Why? Because the other day a three year old girl pulled one over on herself and died. Bicycles and tricycles and motorcycles? OUT!!!!!
Then, of course, you have the usual dangerous suspects that must be banned immediately. Cars, guns, bows and arrows, crossbows and bolts, knives, swords, alcohol, tobacco, big gulps, baby formula, airplanes, boats, and hot air balloons. Sugar, butter, bacon, steak, mutton, fish, salt, eggs, cheese, and coffee all have to go. The National Organization of Women claim that even consensual sex is a form of violence against women, so out it goes. No more sex, except for male homosexuals. The love of money is the root of all evil. OUT IT GOES.
All medication must be banned. Why? Have you not heard the potential side effects of these things? Depression, watery eyes, runny nose, anxiety, heart attack, kidney failure, liver implosion, pancreas coming out your navel, anal leakage, bladder rupture, ear drum explosions and erections lasting more than four hours. Who wants THAT?
Stairs must be banned. Dogs, horses, cows, sheep, pigs, cats, snakes, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs and turtles can no longer be kept as pets because each one comes with its own kind of danger. NO more fishing!!!! Hooks in your finger and fins puncturing your hand mean germs can enter your bloodstream and suck the life right out of you. NO more hunting!!! Deer may antler you to death or you might fall out of your blind or shoot yourself in the foot or get shot by someone who 'thought' you were a deer.
Walking has to be banned. We must crawl everywhere we go. Why? Because falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death. If we crawl everywhere, we can't fall. Work must be banned. This is my favorite. Work related accidents are off the charts. If we don't work, we can't have work related accidents and we can all be safe. We'll starve...but we'll be safe. We won't get hurt. Nobody should ever ever ever never get hurt. Ever. Ever. Ever.
Ban friends, family, acquaintances, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and wives. How many people get hurt in relationships? How many kill themselves or their significant other over relationships gone bad? Ban all human interaction to keep this type of harm from happening. Ban speaking to one another. Words HURT!!!!
Ban education and fire all the teachers. One school won't have an Honors Night for over achieving students because 'it would be devastating to the other students'. Hell yeah. Ban honoring those who work hard, study hard and do all the right things to further their lives. Screw 'em. We can't have anybody hurt, even those who don't study, don't work hard, don't care, and want to coast through life. It's all about being equal and not getting hurt in any way, shape or form. I'm all for it.
Ban asteroids from hitting earth. Ban global warming. Ban space junk. Ban comets. Ban swimming in salt water because of sharks and fresh water swimming because of drownings. Ban peanut butter because of allergies. Ban pollen. Ban lightning. Ban hurricanes, tornadoes and any wind over ten miles an hour.
The government should make a four x four foot box that is germ free and impervious to a direct hit by a nuclear weapon...uh...BAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS!!!! These boxes should be in sufficient quantity for every American, living or dead. Then, we all get in our boxes and shut ourselves in so we can be safe. Somehow, nutritious and safe food and water will have to be delivered to us, and our waste will somehow need to be removed safely and processed to keep the environment safe. But, if we are all in our own little, impervious box, then nothing bad can ever happen to us. Wouldn't that be great?
I tell you...I would never have believed this world could get this messed up in such a short amount of time as the few years I've been alive. I have truly passed from the sublime into the ridiculous. The inmates are indeed running the asylum. God help us all.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ted Cruz: A Breath of Fresh Air

Newly elected U.S. Senator, Ted Cruz, is making waves in Washington, D.C. Today, he and Diane 'My Face is an Assault Weapon' Feinstein duked it out over her egregious and unconstitutional weapons bill. He was calm and respectful in his question and, as liberals always do when confronted with their idiocy, Feinstein goes off on how she's been on that committee for 20 years and was a mayor for nine years and has studied the Constitution and has seen people shot and yadda yadda yadda. After she got through, Cruz advised her that she had still not answered his question (which is a favorite and oft used tactic of liberals to NEVER answer a question directly).

In the last couple of months, old Republican 'mossbacks' have come out publicly to softly denounce Senator Cruz's actions, trying to remind him that he is a junior senator and that there are protocols to follow when you're new on The Hill. John McCain is another, like Feinstein, who has been there too long and needs to be put out to pasture. Same goes for Lindsay Graham and anybody else who tries to silence Cruz or Rand or Rubio et al.

Let me tell you why these wannabe King Pins and Queen Bees, who have been in D.C. since dinosaurs roamed, want him and those like him to shut up. It's because they won't play with the ball like the rest of their ilk. These guys have jumped into their sand box and are pushing them out of their comfort zone. Unlike the rest of them who are all in bed together to rule us, these men have gone to D.C. to represent those who sent them there. Ted Cruz was elected over David Dewhurst because he ISN'T a political insider good ole boy. Ted Cruz was elected by people who want to see someone go in there and shake up the system and be their voice instead of a lackey to the power elite that thinks they deserve to be in their lofty position.

That's the problem with D.C. Feinstein talked about her 20 years as if she has done anything worthwhile for this country. We don't need people in office who have BEEN in office since Moses doing the same old crap they've always done and expecting all the newcomers to bow and scrape and fall in line. What they have BEEN doing ain't working and that's why Ted Cruz is sitting there. He was sent to help end the status quo, the good ole boy network, the wannabe rulers, the elite mindset and the constant chipping away of our rights and liberties.

I like to hear the 20 and 30 year office holders up there squawking about these newcomers. It means they're feeling uncomfortable and they're being called out for what and who they really are. If Cruz wasn't putting grit in their oatmeal, they wouldn't be screaming.

What outrageousness. What arrogance. What impudence. I salute them. I salute Ted Cruz and Paul Rand and Marco Rubio and the others who have gone up to that ivory tower of mental sickness and called them all out for what they are....inmates running the asylum. Rand was criticized over his filibuster. GOOD. Cruz is vilified for speaking out. GOOD. Rubio is maligned for taking a drink of water. Really? GOOD. That means they can't find anything else to torment him over.

We finally have precious few men and women in Washington who, hopefully, won't fall into the silliness that pervades the halls of our capitol. Would to God we had more. Because people like Ted Cruz are a breath of fresh air to us little people. They are saying what we wish we could say in their place. They are actually keeping their campaign promises. Isn't that novel?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Working Subsea

Right now I'm contracted to one of the major oil producers in the world. My main responsibility is to assist in pushing the manufacture of the hardware for a Workover/Completion Riser System. The 'kit', as we call it, is what they use to set the X-mas tree on top of the wellhead, secure it in place, and get it ready to be hooked up to the manifold. All of this happens at several thousand feet under the water.

This particular system is designed to operate at a maximum depth of 6000 feet. It consists of individual assemblies that are called the Surface Flow Tree (SFT), the Emergency Disconnect Package (EDP), and the Lower Riser Package (LRP). In addition to these three vital assemblies, there is a long string of riser pipe, designed to maintain the load and be the conduit for hydraulic and electro-hydraulic communication with all three.

The Surface Flow Tree remains on the drilling rig to act as a last ditch blow-out preventer should the Lower Riser Package fail in its duties. The EDP is a highly technological safety feature and lies at the top of the 'stack'. Should the drilling rig lose its dynamic positioning system, or if the seas become so volatile the ship begins to drift from the forces of wave and wind, the EDP can disconnect from the tree up to 10 degrees, effectively separating the ship from the well and avoiding an environmental catastrophe. The LRP is the subsea blow-out preventer. Should something go wrong with the well, the LRP has the ability to cut the tubing in two and to close around it.

A X-mas tree is the valve and control assembly that masters the well on which it sits. A pipe design with a connector on each end is called a 'jumper'. One connector is fastened to the X-mas tree, and the opposite connector fastens to the manifold. The manifold is fed by many wells where the product is routed to its export pipeline(s). These lines take the product to shore, a platform and then to shore, or to a Floating Production Storage Offloading facility, or an FPSO. This is a floating vessel that separates the oil from water, or liquifies natural gas for offloading. The pipelines run to just underneath the FPSO and product then flows upward in what we call production risers. Tankers can then sail out to the FPSO's location and load oil from a buoy.

It is a privilege to work around this technology and with the people who help to make it happen. I found a heartfelt love for the ocean while working in this industry. I see firsthand the tremendous lengths oil companies go to regarding safety, superior technology and manufacturing strictures in order to keep its personnel safe and the environment clean. I'm fully aware it's more to keep from paying out lawsuits and fines than anything else. However, the expense is there...the effort is there...and I help to build the best so we don't get hurt and nothing gets harmed.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 6, 1836

This is the day the Alamo fell, 177 years ago. Numbers differ, but approximately 190 men gave their lives so that Texas could be free from tyranny. They were caucasian, Mexican, Scot, English and came from all over the world and from almost every State in the Union. They could have left under a white flag of surrender, but they chose to stay. Bonham returned to the Alamo three times to tell Travis reinforcements would not be coming...and chose to stay. Juan Seguin almost got into a fight with Sam Houston because Houston would not let him join those at the Alamo.

These were men. Men of renown who have gone down in history with the bravest of men. They took up arms against a dictatorial tyrant and shed their blood in defiance so their families and those who came after them could be free. It was men like them that helped make Texas the greatest place to live on earth.

I almost weep when I look around and see what is becoming of the people in this country. The government wants to disarm us. A Florida lawmaker says that people who buy ammo need anger management. Holder says it is Obama who determines which people are entitled to the 2nd amendment. The church is a white sepulchre full of dead men's bones and hell is taking over.

I'm glad I was born in Texas. I fear there is no other State where true liberty is born and bred into its citizens. We have a blood of fire running through us. It's a blood that won't surrender to the ideological weaklings that surround our borders and beyond. It's a blood that shouts freedom for all and sneers at any who would hold us in disdain. It's a blood present day tyrants fear and fear they should. There are pantywaists in every town and city, but they are too few in number here to make a difference.

I am proud of the Alamo and what it stands for. I am proud of the men who believed with all their heart that there are worse things than dying. I am proud to be a Texan. And if you ask me where I'm from, I won't say America or the United States. I'll jut out my chin and say, "I'm from Texas." Davy Crockett said it best when he mounted his horse to leave Tennessee.  He said, "You all may go to hell, but I'm going to Texas." Damned right.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Shana Schutte EXPOSED

One of my FB friends is what I would like to call 'Too Heavenly Conscious to be Any Earthly Good'. It's blah blah blah about all the cushy gushy sloppy Agape love of God. In other words, it's 'milk' and no 'meat'. It's how baby Christians talk, which means this person has never really grown past the diaper stage in their Christianity. For some reason, the Bible isn't enough for this person. Their own personal relationship with God isn't enough. Inspiration MUST be drawn from the likes of Charles Stanley and his ilk. I couldn't help but read the small article posted on this person's FB site that was written by one Shana Schutte. She is the same type of person. It's like the Book of James isn't even in these people's Bibles. The hard words have been taken out and aren't given a second's thought. AND, if you don't agree with them, you are classified as a FOOL, the dust is shaken off their righteous feet, and you are shunned. The below is from the article by Miss Schutte Yer Mouth. Which I wish she would. My comments are in bold print.
A few years ago I started a new ministry feeling like Superwoman. My organizational model was thoroughly developed; I had a solid team behind me, and the vision God had placed on my heart was moving toward total fruition.  On top of the it all figured out...and instead of feeling like a servant of God with humility to back it up, she admits to feeling like Superwoman. Great.

But then some unforeseen circumstances caused the bottom to fall out of my dreams. Poor baby.

Everything I had worked so hard for died—and with it, so did my expectations. I stopped believing God had good things stored up for me to accomplish. I stopped expecting yes. Wait a minute. Your new ministry didn't pan out and your spoiled little self began to pout? You stopped expecting God to be everything YOU wanted???? What a tragedy. What a catastrophe. How in the world did she live through this painful and excruciating ordeal?
Maybe you can relate., I can't. What you just described was so high school it made me want to hurl. Maybe you have had some dreams of your own die. You wanted a family; it didn’t happen. You wanted to go to college; you weren’t able. You wanted to be healed from a disease; it hasn’t come about. I don't know where you come from, doll...but if you read a little history and look around, you might notice that life is tough. Oh, and even the Bible says so. You might try reading it sometime.

And like me, your expectations died with your dreams. No, they didn't. I come from a real world with real problems with real heartaches, sacrifices and losses. Obviously, you don't.

One day, as I shared my heart with God, (Why did you do that? He knows your heart. The very hairs of your head are numbered. Your very groanings are interpreted. God doesn't want your words or your platitudes. He wants your love and he wants you to walk by faith.) the following thoughts flooded my spirit and quietly filled me with the hope to continue to expect, to believe that He has good stored up for me, and that just because He has said no once doesn’t mean He will always deny me. Yeah, that's the same thing that Ezekiel said while he was a slave in Babylon. That's what John said while he found himself exiled on an island with a bunch of cutthroats. You see, it ain't about you, darlin'. It's about Him. It's not what YOU want...and it never will be. That's why He's the creator and you're the creature. He's not some cosmic bell boy waiting for you to pull his chain. If you think God's answer can never be NO all the time, then you don't know spit. Try reading the Book of Jonah and get back to me. Idiot.

The numerous times when things haven’t worked out the way you planned has led you to believe that I am opposing you. Your winter came and you believed it would always stay. This is not true. I am for you. If I am for you, who can be against you? The times when your plans have failed, the times when you have experienced road blocks has not meant that I have been against you. Those times have been my times of redirection. I have given you everything you need to succeed. The last sentence here is the kicker. Succeed how? Succeed in the world? Succeed in finances? Succeed by YOUR definition of success? I agree that God is not against his children. But I disagree in the assessment that he's always directing you for your success. He may be directing you for his success in you, but you didn't say that...did you?

I have called you to do great things for me, to bear fruit that will last. I am not opposing you. I am upholding you. I am directing you. Your failures have caused you to stop asking of me. Your disappointment has made you resign yourself to defeat. You have thought, Why ask? I never get what I desire. That's right. You never get what YOU desire unless it glorifies him. If that is a statement you don't agree with, then show me your theology to support your side, and I'll show you the real theology to debunk it. I think it was James that said you don't get answered prayers because you ask amiss. Asking amiss is asking for what YOU want and not what God wants through you.

You may not always get what you want, but you will always receive good. That’s who I am. Even out of life’s difficulties, expect yes. You will ALWAYS receive good???? What planet have you been living on? Haven't read Job either. Sheesh. Expect 'yes'? You and Joel Osteen would get along great. Here's what we should expect from God. His strength during time of trial. His love during times of loneliness. His grace in the valley death. His power when we are powerless. And what does he expect from us? Obedience. Period. If your little ministry went into the was because you weren't being obedient to HIS plan, but to your own. Plain and simple.

Dear One, surrender to what I want. I have given you everything you need to succeed in me. There we go with the word 'succeed' again. Quantify what you mean, dipstick.

It’s time for you to stop looking backward at what hasn’t worked, what has failed and what you didn’t get. It’s time for you to look ahead at what I am doing. Don’t you see that I am at work even now? No, it's like the preacher's call. I got to go, that's all. God never gives us a neon billboard in the sky detailing all his plans. He's God. He doesn't have to and he never does. If he did, we wouldn't have to live by faith, would we? God told Abraham to leave his home and go. He didn't tell him what direction, how far, where water and food was or if there would be any enemies to try and take his life. He just told him to go. And, it was counted to him as faith when he did just that. If you, Ms. Shutte-dumb, claim to be able to see what God is doing and that you can give others insight to his inner workings and plans, then you are a charlatan.

You feel like there are weights tied around your ankles. That you want to run but you can’t. These hindrances are perceived. In me, there are not hindrances. Throw off the idea that I am opposing you. Seek me. Seek my will. Ask for my intervention, my power, ask for my help to accomplish what I have called you to. In me, the answer is always yes. Strike the last sentence and you have the only paragraph that is scriptural in its context. Everything before this paragraph and what was in the last sentence was crap.

When you feel like you don’t have my favor, remember that these are just your feelings. You always have my favor. My plans are to prosper (in what way? Monetarily? Health? If that's what you mean, then it's a lie) you and not to harm you all the days of your life. Expect yes. (Expect to be told no and yes. Expect to be obedient and faithful. The rest will fall into place. 

By Shana Schutte
MARCH 5, 2013