Sometimes, the things we go through or the mistakes we make can be used to help other people who are going through the same problems or struggles. So, today, I’m going to get a little personal about something I recently did and something I went through.

I disobeyed God.

It’s a terrible fact in life, that we all sin. Sometimes, sin is accidental or beyond our control and other times, we willingly give into it because we want our sin more than we want God. The other day I found this book called The Jackal by JR Ward and if you don’t know her, she’s a good author and super famous, but her books are paranormal, erotic, romance. I read a lot of the books in her Black Dagger Brotherhood Series when I was in high school but then God convicted me of reading something like that with sex in it, so I stopped and haven’t read it since. She came out with a new book called The Jackal and I started it without even thinking it. Now, I’ve always skipped reading the sex scenes. It’s easier than movies because with movies, you still have to fast-forward, but a book, you can just… skip the pages and not read them. But this one had so much cussing; it threw out f-bomb after f-bomb and even used God’s name in vain multiple times. So, I felt convicted about reading it, but I wanted to know what happened in the story. I don’t want other people to make the same mistake I did, so I’m not going to talk about what the book was; but there were several mysteries revolving the main guy’s past and whether the main girl would succeed in her goal or not. I felt like I needed to know what happened.

So, yesterday morning before my Bible study I prayed to God about it. I said, “Father God, if you don’t want me reading this book, please convict me of it so hard that I can’t read it—that I literally won’t be able to read it.” I wanted a confirmation from Him because I was confused and unsure what to do.

Then, I opened my Bible. I’ve been reading through the gospel of Matthew one chapter at a time, so I read Matthew chapter 18.

When I got down to verse eight, I was dumbfounded.

“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.”

Needless to say, that was as direct as direct could get. It felt like God was hitting me over the head with a frying pan and yet, it was still gentle. I felt His love and gentle correction as I read it and I was thankful and grateful that not only did He take the time to speak to me directly, using His Word, but to correct and gently discipline me and to guide me on what I should do next.

Cast the book away. Stop reading it.

It was right there in writing; what God was asking of me.

This is when the conflict started. Every part of me wanted to continue reading it. I felt I needed to know what happened to the characters. I justified myself by saying, “I don’t like the cussing and I don’t like the sex. I’m not reading it for that. I’m skipping the sex scenes. I’m reading it for the good plotline.” Or, I tried to come up with ideas, like, “I’ll take a sharpie and mark through all the cuss words.” I was so upset, because on the one hand, I had a book with a really intense, suspenseful plotline and I wanted to know what happened next, but on the other, God had told me directly what He wanted me to do and I didn’t want to disobey or just ignore Him.

The heart is willing but the flesh is weak. So very weak, in my case.

Then, I thought of a bright idea. I figured, I could just look up a detailed spoiler review or a detailed summary of the story, so I could read what happened and find out what I wanted to know without reading the book or the bad stuff in it. So, I googled off and on all day yesterday and couldn’t find one. Apparently, the book was too new. I thought for sure, God would provide one so that I didn’t have to read the book. But sometimes, God allows us to go through temptation because if He just took it away all the time, we would never grow. Sometimes, we have to just grow up and make the choice to do the right thing.

That isn’t what I did.

I even messaged my sister in law whom I knew liked the series—the one who started me at it when I was in high school—to see if she had read it and if she could tell me about it, but she hadn’t read it yet. So, I was back to square one.

Fast-forward to last night and I didn’t even try to resist. I got giddy and excited and said, I’m just gonna read it quickly, get through it, and never do this again.

So, I read the book and finished it in a few hours.

The answers I wanted were there—a big twist I saw coming, with another smaller twist at the end I didn’t see. I found out about the main guy’s backstory and why he was there and the idea was a bit repetitive and not as creative as I hoped. I guess, in my head, I wanted this big, epic creative idea that I could just fall in love with and use in my own stories but in a more creative and clean way, tweak it with other ideas and boom, have a new epic story but that isn’t what happened.

I read the book, enjoyed it while I read it, skipped the bad scenes, and now its over. Literally, I started re-reading one of my own books right after I finished and I got more enjoyment from it. My mood changed and shifts, a new book comes and it’s over. It was temporarily pleasure—choosing what I wanted over what God wanted and what did it get me? What did I gain?

It caused me to read bad words, to mentally take God’s name in vain as I read over the lines where the characters blasphemed God. It caused me to want to go back and read that series and catch up on what I missed.

But now, I have another decision to make. Myself and my fleshly desires or God. The last time I chose myself, it wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it was going to be and the pleasure didn’t last.

I disobeyed my Father in heaven and disappointed Him and myself.

Now, I’ve made a decision to stay away from JR Ward and her books, as well as any other paranormal erotic romance novels. I won’t even read the book blurbs/synopsis because if I do that, if the book sounds good, I’m going to want to read it. If I start reading it, I won’t stop. So, I have to cut off the perverbial hand and cast it away from me. Better to be maimed and go without paranormal erotic romance than to have that sin in my life.

Now, it isn’t easy. I’m not just gonna sit here and tell you guys that I’m such a fantastic person because I’m doing the right thing, so yay me. Nope. It isn’t easy at all. My desire is to read the series, to know about the characters, to take the plotlines and weave them into my own stories in a clean way, but I can’t. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But by reading that, when I know God told me directly not to, I am going against the One who gave me life—both on earth, and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Do I really want to dishonor everything Jesus went through for me, for a few hours of happiness that ended as soon as I read the last page?

No.

It isn’t worth it.

I hope that the mistake I made can help some of you struggling with the same issue or even the same generic problem. Maybe it isn’t erotic romance novels. Maybe your sin is something else. Maybe you hate your sin and you want it gone, but there’s a part of you that can’t stop or doesn’t want to stop. Maybe you justify it and don’t even see it as wrong. Maybe you don’t want to face it. Because facing it means that you have to deal with it and get rid of it, or be against God and you don’t want to put yourself in that position. No matter where you’re at in life and what you’re struggling with, take it from someone who knows from experience, whatever is tempting you will not give you as much pleasure as you’re thinking. Even if it does and it feels wonderful and you have fun while you’re doing it… it will not last. In a few hours, or days, or maybe even weeks or months, it will be over and you’ll forget all about it and move on to something else.

If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it away from you. Whatever causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it away. Get rid of it before it consumes you. Don’t be a slave to sin, to your own earthly, fleshly desires like I have been before. Be a servant to a holy God who loves you so much that He died so that you could be saved and set free from those very sins.

Black Lives Matter isn’t just an organization with its own personal goals. It’s a slogan taken up by a lot of Americans today and if you say, “Well, All Lives Matter” then you’re considered either ignorant, or an idiot, or both.

Even modern-day Christians agree. They say not to use the Bible to say that Jesus loves all people because we all know that He does, but they say you can’t use a theological fact to deal with a social issue in America.

Here is what one article had to say:

“When the Las Vegas shooting happened, people changed their profile, ‘Stand with Vegas.’ Nobody said, ‘Well what about the people that got shot in my city!’

Have you ever seen someone counter a ‘breast cancer’ post with ‘what about colon cancer?’

But for some reason, if someone says ‘Black lives matter’ it turns into all-inclusive ‘all lives matter.’

The difference with Black Lives Matter is that it forces some to admit an uncomfortable truth. While all lives should matter, black lives have been disregarded time and time again.”

Black people were slaves in America. That’s a horrible fact of history and it’s deeply sad. Guess what? So were Native Americans and we even stole their land. They were here first.

Want to know something else? Every single country in the world has had slavery at one point in history or another. It’s sad, terrible, and we all know it’s wrong. And it’s terrible that black lives are “disregarded.”

But there are plenty more people and groups that are being disregarded. One of these groups has over 200,000 more lives at threat when compared to black people whose lives are under threat by police shootings.

So, let’s look at the real numbers, then.

4,136 Christians are killed for their faith.

2,625 Christians are detained without trial.

1,266 churches are attacked.

There were 242 white people shot by police in 2020.

There were 123 total reported black people shot by police in 2020.

There were 80 Hispanics shot by police in 2020.

Now, out of these, 2.8 times more black people died from their gunshot wounds versus the white people who survived.

So far, in 2020, 28,915,338 babies have been aborted and this number goes up by 1 every single second.

According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.

Just to put this in perspective a little bit…

Everyone knows the Holocaust is one of the worst nightmares in history. Over six million Jews and 5 million people from of races were murdered between 1933 and 1945.

So, if you compare Jewish victims which was one of the most horrifying events ever to happen in history—at 6 million of them dying…

With the fact that over 28 million babies have been aborted IN THIS YEAR ALONE…

That is absolutely horrifying.

But then, add in that over 4,000 Christians are killed for their faith every year. So, 242 white people shot by police seems a bit small, doesn’t it? What about the 123 black people shot by police?

Tell me… how many people killed does it take to start a movement? How many people killed does it take to justify destroying monuments, robbing stores, violently protesting, and committing more crimes?

123?

How about 28 MILLION?

So, you see… Whenever someone says Black Lives Matter, I don’t say “All Lives Matter” because I’m a jerk, or an ignorant idiot, like the memes say.

I say it because all lives do matter, but the Black Lives Matter movement claim they’re focusing on black lives because they’re the ones being targeted. They’re the ones struggling right now. They’re the ones needing help.

I’m not denying that they do.

But who needs help more, statistically?

123 people?

242?

4,000?

Or 28 million?

At least black lives have a voice. They have adults, men, women, old, young… PEOPLE that are old enough to speak for themselves, to shout out and say something, to try to get the world to wake up—even if they do it with the wrong tactics.

Yet, these 28 million babies being aborted?

They’re in the womb. They’re growing. Maturing. At 3 weeks, they have heartbeats. They can’t speak yet. They have no voice. No one to speak for them, to defend them. To cry out for justice for them.

Black lives matter.

All lives matter.

Babies and infants matter.

When you start defining people by a slogan, or using one to try to claim who needs help more, all you’re really doing is focusing on who you want to help while somewhere out in the world, you’re ignoring a group of people who needs your help. Whether it’s persecuted Christians still dying for their faith, white people getting shot by police that you never hear about, or 28 million babies being torn apart in their mothers’ wombs.

Somewhere, someone out there needs help. It isn’t always about black people. It isn’t always about white people. It isn’t always about one race over another. It’s about the people who are in danger, the ones under threat. Yes, black people are shot by police and killed more often than other races and that’s horrible.

But what horrifies me more is that 28 million infants are murdered every day and no one bats an eye. In fact, most people are okay with it. “They’re not babies yet” or “it’s the mother’s choice.”

No, it isn’t. That’s a life inside you. A person. It’s a real, live breathing human being with a heartbeat at three weeks old. THREE WEEKS. That’s before most women even find out they’re pregnant.

How many of you know some of the main reasons why God allowed Israel to wipe out the evil nations that came before them? It was because they sacrificed children to their gods, like Baal and Dagon. How many babies do you think they sacrificed to their idols?

But we don’t really need to know that, do we?

Because we know how many babies our culture sacrifices to the idols of selfishness, greed, personal happiness, and comfort.

28 million.

Babies matter.

And they’re the real ones in danger right now.

As Christians, God calls us to share the gospel with the world. These days, it’s easy to get caught up in our own lives: our jobs, our families, our friends, our goals, and the things we want to do. We often get intimidated by other people or afraid to share our faith with others, for fear of rejection, or being made fun of. We keep silent, so that we can fit in. But that isn’t what God asks of us.

Imagine that you had a best friend and this person had done so much for you. They had been there through all the most difficult parts of your life. You may even be thinking of someone right now. But, when you went out with friends or family, you would never talk about them. In fact, you would be afraid to mention this best friend.

That isn’t a very loving thing to do, is it?

I’ve dealt with this problem so much. Why is it that I love God and yet, I am absolutely terrified to bring Him up in conversation? Why can I gush about Star Wars or the latest movie that just came out, with a total stranger at a checkout, but can’t gush about the Bible or what God just taught me?

It’s time we stop letting fear rule us. It’s time we stop trying to fit in with the world. Because guess what? If we keep trying to fit in with the world, eventually, we will conform to this world. The Bible says we are supposed to be in the world but not of the world.

I have prayed to God to help me be bolder, to speak out.

You may be thinking, “Hey, wait, I’m not a missionary or an evangelist! That’s someone else’s job, right?” God calls us all in areas of our lives where He has given us abilities to serve. Your purpose in life is:

  1. To worship and serve God
  2. To serve God’s church – the Body of Christ
  3. To spread the Gospel

God has given you the passions, gifts, talents, and even experience needed to complete the tasks He wants you to do while you’re here on earth. Spread the gospel where God has you.

An example is for me. I realized, I’m at home a lot and don’t have the chance to talk to a lot of people face-to-face. But I am online a lot and as an author, I have been working to build my social media. Not only do I try to share as much about God on my social media platforms, but now, I’ve been trying to chat and message people more often about God and spread the Gospel to whomever I can.

Pray to God to help you be bold about your faith. Don’t keep the gift of salvation to yourself. Doing that is the same as if we have the cure to cancer, but don’t tell anyone who is sick what the cure is and how to get it. That’s insane and selfish!

Salvation through Jesus Christ is the cure to sin. Share it with everyone because one day, you and the person you could have talked to will be dead. What if they end up in Hell because you were too afraid to speak out?

Most people don’t know that worshipping God isn’t just about music. In fact, we are supposed to worship God with our lives—our very existence. But, how can you do that without music or a song of some type?

There’s nothing wrong with worshipping God in music. Sometimes the words or lyrics help us to feel God’s presence and let his Holy Spirit move in us and in our church. But anything that you do can be an act of worship to God and it should be.

How does this work, you may ask?

Well, by doing whatever it is you’re doing for God. Not for yourself.

See, the thing is with worship is that so often we try to make it about ourselves. We sing praises to God, lift our hands, sing, and get into the music, so the music can move us. So that the Holy Spirit can fill us, so we can have a personal experience with God. That’s fine, but that’s also worshipping for the wrong reasons.

What is worship, then?

Real worship is about doing it for God. It’s about praising and loving him, and showing him how much we love him. Whatever you do to worship needs to be for God and not for yourself.

Literally, anything that you do—except for sin—can be for God. You can wash the dishes for God’s glory or help your parents for God. You can spend time with friends for God, or write for God’s glory or browse Pinterest for God’s glory. As long as you’re doing whatever it is to please God, to make him happy, then it’s an act of worship.

But, hold on… why would God be happy with me, washing the dishes or browsing Pinterest?

Because God actually enjoys watching us live our lives. Think about it for a moment. He created you to be you. Not to be something inauthentic, not to let him in your church life, and then go home and do chores and get on Pinterest and leave him out of it. If you love writing or reading or getting on Pinterest or a million other things, those are your hobbies because God created you to have those hobbies. What makes you happy—as long as it isn’t sin—makes God happy. He created you and wants to see you being you. That honors him, in a way, because you’re honoring who He created you to be. Especially if you do His purpose for your life, whatever that may be.

So, include God in all that you do. Do it for God’s glory and spend some time with Him. Today, I challenge you to try worshiping God without music today.

Worshipping God is about more than singing and being in church. Yes, you can and should worship God when you’re saying, raising your hands, praying, reading your Bible, going to church, speaking with and being with other Believers, but we all should worship God with our lives. Everything that you do in life can be an act of worship to God.

You can:

Wash the dishes

Do laundry

Read a book

Spend time with family

Take photos

Paint a picture

Play a game

Play with your pets

Play board games with your family

Visit with other people

Hang out with friends

Write

Anything that you do in life can be an act of worship to God. As long as it isn’t sin and if you’re doing it for God’s glory. So many of us—most of us, actually—do things for ourselves and our own personal enjoyment. When we sing, we do it for ourselves or social media. When we play games, it’s so that we can have fun. When we hang out with people, it’s for our own enjoyment. Sometimes, when we go to church, it’s to socialize with people or because of tradition. When we do chores, it’s because we have to. When we work, it’s for money. Everything we do in life is for our own enjoyment.

But let me tell you a profound truth in life, one that’s hard for a lot of people to have to face: enjoying life is POINTLESS without God.

Think about it.

Without God, we’re all going to live and die one day. One day, we will no longer exist. So, everything that you enjoy now, is temporary. Eventually, that game will bore you. You’ll finish the book and get over the excitement of it. You’ll stop hanging out with your friends and go home. Eventually, everything in life comes to an end and there is no permanent happiness outside of God.

But doing things for God to enjoy—that will never end.

You may be confused or asking, “What do you mean, doing things God will enjoy?”

No, you don’t have to only go to church, or only read your Bible, or only pray for God to enjoy it. Yes, those things are important—the most important things you can do in life to mature yourself, grow as a Believer, and have a close relationship with God.

But folks, God made you. He designed you exactly as he wants you to be. He knew your strengths, your weaknesses, and carefully picked out each and every one of your flaws with meticulous and deep thought. He enjoys watching us play and dance and read and laugh. He invented all of those things!

Nothing on earth was created without God. Even things made by human hands, if you think about it. Without God’s inspiration given to them, they never would have made or built it on their own. You have the things in your life that you have because of God, whether they’re the physical objects, your family and friends, or your personality traits and hobbies.

Read a book so that God can enjoy watching you.

Play with your family and friends so God can laugh with you.

Dance so that God can smile while he watches you.

Do chores to bring God glory.

Everything that you do in life, do it for God. Not yourself.

Today is the day America celebrates when it won its freedom and independence. Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays—other than Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Halloween. Back in the 1770s, the early colonists fought for their freedom. They rose in bravery and courage against tyranny, and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be America as we know it today. Everyone in the United States knows the history extensively. Today, when we watch and/or fire off fireworks, BBQ, spend time with friends and family to celebrate, for us, it’s about having a good time. Few people probably think about the freedom that they’re truly blessed with. A lot of us take our freedoms for granted and how truly blessed we are as a country. But think about how drastically important freedom and equality is in America today. Everyone wants to be equal. Over the years, countless men and women have fought so that we could be free and we should and do our best to honor and celebrate them.

But what about celebrating the Savior who gave us true freedom?

Most people refuse to even acknowledge Jesus Christ as God, or even admit His existence, but we have been given the true gift of freedom from, by, and through Him.

True freedom always comes with a price—sacrifices have always been a part of gaining and keeping it.

Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a perfect, sinless life. He gave His life and made the ultimate sacrifice for our ultimate freedom. Then, He died and rose again and now, if we put our trust in Him, believe in Him and what He’s done for us, and repent of our sins, we can be free from sin and free from the chains of death and have true liberty with Him through the salvation He gives us.

This Independence Day, remember not only your freedom as an American, but the freedom and eternal life given to you through Jesus Christ.

Once, the rainbow was a symbol of God’s promise to mankind. A promise that, despite how wicked we became, He would never again flood the earth as He did in Noah’s time. It was a promise of the things to come—of Jesus Christ that He sent years later to save us from our sins. A promise of eternal life with Him.

These days, the rainbow is a flag for LGBTQ pride. To them, it’s a symbol of equality for all people, a reminder to be confident in who they are, as they are. No matter the gender they feel they are, no matter the person—man or woman—that they’re in love with.

The rainbow has been taken from a symbol of God’s promises and hope, and turned into a symbol that says “be prideful of your sins.”

Who are we, really? We are each human beings, with many different personalities and traits. At our core, though, most people would assume they’re a good person. This, in reality, couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, we have all lied. Many of us have stolen something, even small and insignificant. We have looked at someone with lust, which the Bible says is committing adultery in our hearts. And we have likely used God’s name as a cuss word at some point. And that’s just four out of the Ten Commandments that we’ve broken. Four of God’s laws that we’ve failed to keep.

At our core, we are all sinners, all unworthy of a perfect, righteous, and holy Creator like God. Who we are is sinful, selfish, and flawed. So you see, don’t be prideful in confident in who you are. Because at your core, you are just like the rest of us; flawed and sinful. Imperfect and unworthy of God and undeserving of His love. None of us deserve eternal life with Him. In fact, because of our sin, we deserve Hell. We deserve the death sentence.

But God loves us so much, He sent Jesus to save us. So that all our lies, everything we’ve stolen, every time we have lusted, and used God’s name as a cuss word, yes, we built up God’s wrath by doing all of those sinful, evil things, but because of Jesus Christ, because of God’s great love for us, we can be forgiven. All we have to do is seek Jesus, ask Him for forgiveness, and turn from our sin.

Without God, we are nothing; just flawed beings that can never and will never be perfect.

But in and through Christ, we are all beautiful and whole and precious. You are complete and loved unconditionally. You were formed in your mother’s womb with the upmost tenderness and care. You are loved and worthy of God’s love. In and through Christ, you can do all things.

So, don’t be prideful in yourself. Be confident in who you are in Christ, because of Christ, with Christ, and through Christ.

He is the one who makes everything and everyone worthwhile.  

Today, let’s take back the real and true meaning of the rainbow. The next time you see all the beautiful colors together, think instead of God’s promise to take care of you, of His wonderful mercy, great love, and His gift of salvation through Christ. Let the rainbow mean something different to you—not pride and confidence in a flawed being, but hope in the perfect, sinless God who created and saved you from your sins.

These are dark times for the world and lately, I’ve been posting a lot about not being afraid, because God is in control, but there is something else that I hope everyone can remember.

When darkness passes, then comes the morning.

God uses the bad things in our life for good. At the time, we may not see or understand it. This can lead to a lot of confusion, pain, hurt, and questions. But that’s the beauty of having a relationship with God. Talk to him about all your questions and pain, all of your confusion and doubt. When it’s right for you to hear from Him, He will respond to you.

Sometimes, you have to tear a building down to rebuild it better. Renovation is the cornerstone of progress. Sometimes, an artist or a writer can paint or write something that’s messy, ugly, or terrible, but from that, what happens when they have a drive to improve? They can take that mess and make something beautiful of it.

When darkness fills a room, so deep and dark you can’t see your hand right in front of your face… What happens when you light a candle?

The darkness goes away.

Darkness cannot exist where there is light.

So, my brothers and sisters in Christ, in this time of fear and darkness, instead of giving into that same worry and fear—whether it’s over the coronavirus, or our financial troubles, or even the social isolation—we need to be the light in the world and let Jesus shine His light through us.

Send a word of encouragement to those around you, especially on social media. These days, everyone is online. Comfort someone else, give them some reassurance and a Word from God today.

Be the candle, the light switch. When you let Jesus’ light shine through you, the darkness will go away.

Think of how much light a single light bulb shines? Enough to banish the darkness from half, if not all of a room.

Now, imagine what would happen if there were a hundred light bulbs. A hundred.

A thousand.

Friends, today, you and I can be the light that shines in the dark times the world is in.

Allen Steadham is a Christian author and good friend of mine. His books, Mindfire, Jordan’s World, and Jordan’s Arrow have all been published by Ambassador International, the same publisher who published Hunter and Shifter, books one and two of my Valiant Series. His work is inspiring and I love finding good fantasy books to read that are also clean and filled with the Christian faith. Allen’s books are a great example of this.

Where did the idea for Jordan’s Arrow and this series come from?

I wanted to explore a new Christian fiction genre. Initially, I thought I would write a fantasy trilogy. But considering most of it was taking place on an alien world with alien humanoids and animals, I realized it was actually science fantasy that I was writing.

I started with the simple idea that the young woman main character, Jordan Lewis, was abducted at the age of seventeen and taken to another world. Then I included her mother, so at least she had some connection to Earth and her family.

Next, I brainstormed with my wife and spent a lot of time praying about how to make the central theme of the book (and series) a Christian one, something I could expand on through the series. The theme turned into a simple but powerful one: God reigns over the entire universe and there’s no place He can’t reach you. That covered the first book, Jordan’s World.

Jordan’s Arrow takes place six years after the first book. Jordan has established her roles in her tribe. She’s a wife and a young mother, with a five-year-old son and a newborn daughter. She is also the new Chieftess over the Mountain Mokta tribe.

But war has come to Algoran from a tribe known as the Gulstaa, old enemies of the Mokta. Jordan finds herself a key player in a world war, which is terrifying for her. She’s inexperienced and unfamiliar with this new foe. But she has a unique perspective and some special abilities no one else has, the result of a blood transfusion from a legendary Mokta figure. She also is determined to protect her family, her tribe and restore peace to Algoran…if she can.

Wow! That definitely sounds exciting. It’s amazing how stories end up after praying and brainstorming. The titles are really creative – Jordan’s World and Jordan’s Arrow. What meaning does the title Jordan’s Arrow (as well as the others) have with the story?

To give the full meaning would give critical spoilers. However, I can say that the “arrow” is symbolic. It is far more devastating than any physical weapon.

Jordan’s World was about Jordan deciding which world was her home, Algoran or Earth.

Ah, I understand. That makes perfect sense. Everything seems to have meaning in this story, even the title. So, what was your process when building this world and the people in it?

Since Jordan took a journey across Algoran (in Jordan’s World) to find the aliens who took her and her mother and marooned them here, it gave a chance to show the physical environment and a number of different animals and peoples. Each race and tribe had their own culture, many had their own languages. It was fascinating.

I was able to go further in Jordan’s Arrow, showing how those different peoples during wartime. Alliances were tested to the extreme. Enemies became new allies, when faced with destruction by a mutual foe.

I love coming up with new races and creatures in the fantasy genre. But how do you balance out the inclusion of God and faith with the plotline in the story?

I balance it by including God and faith from the beginning, entwining elements of both into the foundation elements. Jordan may have been taken by aliens to another world, but God allowed it (in this story) for a reason. And once on Algoran, God has a plan to use Jordan for His purposes. She has free will and is faced with a choice in Jordan’s World. After she makes that decision, the entire course of her life changes. She doesn’t become a Christian yet, but she knows God is real and working in her life.

She sounds like a strong and well-developed character. Out of all of them, who are your favorite characters and why?

I love the main cast: Jordan, Bopol (her mate/husband), Zoska (Jordan’s best friend) and Reiban (Zoska’s mate/husband).

Jordan is pure-hearted and determined. She makes mistakes but tries to learn from them. Bopol is strong and courageous, super-protective of Jordan, his close friends, and his tribe. Zoska is the snarky rebel character. She’s hilarious but also very practical and downright dangerous when provoked. Reiban is a natural leader and a great storyteller. He has a lovable cluelessness at times but is very brave.

Aww. They sound like such loveable characters. For now, though, let’s talk about you a bit. What books do you have planned after this series is done?

I’m working on a Christian Steampunk trilogy. It’s set on an alternate Earth in the present day.

Oooh that sounds cool! Did you intend for this series to be more than one book or did it start off as a stand lone at first?

I always intended the Jordan of Algoran series to be a trilogy. I imagined it that way from the beginning.

You’re earlier book, Mindfire, was a Christian superhero, so Jordan’s World and Jordan’s Arrow are two completely different books. What made you jump from a Christian superhero novel to a Christian fantasy-sci-fi?

I wanted to make a fresh start. Mindfire (my superhero debut novel) was familiar territory for me. I’d written superhero comics for most of thirty years, mostly around the same characters. I knew their histories and storylines. It was wonderful that the Lord let me craft them into a modern Christian novel, but now I wanted to do something completely new.

The idea of jumping into a new genre was exciting. As I mentioned before, I thought it would be fantasy at first. But I’m a sci-fi geek, specifically a Star Trek geek. I suppose it was inevitable some of the sci-fi would leak into whatever fantasy story I’d come up with.

Combining the two genres must have been exciting for you! If Jordan’s Arrow was a movie or TV show, what actors would play the main characters?

That’s a really tough question, even though I think the Jordan series would make fantastic movies!

Here’s my thoughts at a quick glance:
Jordan Lewis/Jordan SnowFire: Lindsay Morgan (Raven from The 100)
Bopol: Greg Finley (Drake on Star-Crossed, Tony Woodward/Girder on The Flash)
Zoska: Tati Gabrielle (Gaia, Indra’s daughter, on The 100)
Reiban: Hartley Sawyer (Ralph Dibney from The Flash)
Chieftess Kitranor: Morena Baccarin (Inara on Firely/Serenity, Vanessa in Deadpool)
SnowFire: Gina Torres (Zoë from Firefly/Serenity, Jessica Pearson on Pearson)
Ilsketh, leader of the Gulstaa: Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia from The 100)

It’s hard to think of but also exciting too! Last but not least… Where do you see yourself and your books in the next ten years?

Lord willing, I’ll still be writing novels. It’s hard to say where the books and I will be. That depends on God and His Will for my life. Wherever it is, I’ll be satisfied.

God’s will is always what’s best for us and our lives! Thank you so much for coming here to be interviewed!

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Jordan’s Arrow will be released on February 7th! 

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die . . . A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

War has come to Algoran. The Gulstaa nation is determined to expand their territory with merciless resolve. Their end goal is revenge for a past defeat-they want to conquer the Mountain Mokta and anyone else in their way.

Jordan SnowFire is now the Mokta Chieftess. She has the daunting task of stopping a conflict she never asked for. Will she seek the wisdom of God or the wisdom of her tribe? What impact will the blood of SnowFire flowing through her veins have on the way she conducts this war? How far will she go to protect her family and the Mokta people?

Meanwhile, Erica Melendez finds herself trapped in the middle of the hostilities. Tragedy forces her away from the Ullvarr village and into circumstances she never imagined when she came to this world. Can she survive long enough to be reunited with Jordan?

Loyalties are tested. Decisions are made. And Algoran will never be the same after Jordan’s Arrow finds its target.

Pre-Order Jordan’s Arrow on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

This week is Christmas and I couldn’t be more excited. I hope all of you are having exciting holidays! Christmas is my favorite holiday and winter is my favorite season. There’s so much to enjoy—the lights, decorations, buying and giving presents, the songs, the holiday spirit, but through all of this holiday spirit, there is one thing we need to remember:

The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This is a time of remembrance, when we think back to the time when he was born in a little manger. Most of you already have read or will read articles online or sermons at church about Jesus’ birth, but I wanted to look at it in a different aspect.

If you’re like me, sometimes you have a dream or maybe there’s a calling on your life and it feels too big. In my case, it’s my dream to become a published author with a series of books that’s super popular. I don’t know why it’s my dream, but it is. And sometimes, it feels too big and I feel too small.

Jesus was born in a stable.

That’s about as low as you can get. I was at least born in a hospital and I’m certain most of you were too. Yet, He was God’s only son, chosen to save us all from our sin. God had a calling on His life and when it was time, God brought Him forth and Jesus did many miracles and fulfilled God’s will. In time, God will bring you out and help you down the path He has chosen for you—in His timing.

I have a bad tendency to get really impatient. I want everything right now but God knows everything, including the future. So, He knows when it’s the right time to bring His plan for our lives into fruition.

This Christmas year, as you listen, read, or reflect upon Jesus’ birth, use it as a reminder that Jesus had very humble beginnings. No matter who or where you are, God’s calling for your life and His plan for you isn’t too big. Your dreams aren’t too big and you aren’t too small—you’re exactly the way God intended for you to be and He will use you for His purposes, which are always good and perfect, even if we don’t see it at the time.

Merry Christmas, everyone!