Sonnets For My Savior 16

Sonnets For My Savior 16

Call Us

Call us first, LORD, to Your Holy Name,

for we are nothing if we are not Yours.

Work through us, LORD, to bring Your name more acclaim,

and let our hearts be vessels in which Your grace pours.

Call us, LORD, to be more like Your Son,

for our Salvation is demonstrated by the fruit we bear.

Let us be Your instruments, LORD, that your will be done,

and let Your will be our one and only care.

Call us, LORD, to toil and work for Your will,

for to please You brings our hearts great cheer.

Let us work, LORD, in service till

the day Your Son has at last returned here.

Call us, LORD, to serve You each and every day,

so that your glory might always be on display.


 

Change Our Hearts

Change Our Hearts, Lord, so we may be more like Him.

Let Your word be our sustenance.

Forgive us, Lord, for we turn away on a whim.

Call us back to You and close up the distance.

We call on You in need,

but, when sated, we fall away.

Instead let us think of You with every thought and deed.

Let us place You first in our hearts each and every day.

Let us feel convicted

when we strive for our own desires,

and then we feel conflicted

when a chance to praise You transpires.

Help us choose You, Lord, each and every time

and consider every moment with You sublime.


 

Immediately

Jesus called on Peter and Andrew,

At once, they left their nets and followed Him.

He called on James and John, too.

Again they left, and followed Him.

They did not balk or delay.

They answered as soon as they were told.

Immediately, they obeyed.

When we are called, will we be as bold?

What would you have Him wait for?

What would you ask Him to let you do?

With Him as master, do you need anything more?

Think instead of what you would give to be made new.

Do not delay when he calls on you.

Let Him be the greatest passion that you pursue.


 

Accepted

I’ve done nothing,

but Christ died for me.

Yet still I’m seeking

the approval of men in any degree.

Yet man did not die on the Cross.

Man did not give up his body.

So why is it I feel such loss,

when I think I’m rejected by anybody?

Foolishly, I try to earn,

what Christ has already given.

The very acceptance for which my heart burns,

was granted the moment he was risen.

Help me stop the works I do so that I receive;

rather bless my work because you’ve chosen me, and I believe.


 

To Glorify You

When I open my eyes,

I glorify you for sustaining me.

Even when pains or sufferings arise,

I glorify You, for you can set me free.

When I work with my hands,

I glorify You for using me to do Your bidding.

Indeed blessed is the man who understands,

That life for You is a life most rewarding.

When I lay down at night,

I glorify you for providing me rest.

To obey You is my heart’s delight,

and knowing you’ve chosen me makes me feel blessed.

Every moment is a chance to glorify You;

Every action, a potential payment of what you are due.


 

United

Jesus is not divided.

No one else was crucified for our sins.

So let His church be united.

For our Savior sacrificed, is where our wisdom ends and begins.

He died once for all,

and thus we are His.

He died, but He did not fall,

for He was risen, and He lives.

Let us serve Him as one.

Our church is His beloved bride.

By defeating death, our spirits He has won,

so we turn to him, and away from our own foolish pride.

Each of His servants should be the other’s brother,

so let us show our love by serving one another.


 

In All Circumstances

If I am brought low,

let me be content.

If I face blow after painful blow,

let me be content.

If I have abundance,

let me be content.

If my heart is filled with exuberance,

let me be content.

For You are God in the winter,

and You are God in the fall.

Yet You are always a faithful provider

to those who worship you, one and all.

So let me face plenty, hunger, abundance and need

because I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

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My Top 3 Reads of 2018

My Top 3 Reads of 2018

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to share my top three reads of 2018 with you all.  Goodreads says I’ve read 37 books in 2018. It wasn’t quite as much as last year, but it’s a solid amount, especially considering how much happened. This list was made without regard to publisher, format, or author.

How I did it:  I kept track of books I liked and mentally compared one to the other. Without further delay, here’s my list.
51C+CI-HrZL#3 Colony Lost by Chris Philbrook: You can find my review for that book here.  This book was my at one point my favorite that I read this year. It had a slow start, but man are those characters awesome, and I just love the action in the story. Of the three, I’d want this made into a movie most. I think this is the first in a series, and if it is, I’ll be picking up the other books once the series is over.

 

 

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So that’s my top three. What are yours? Why? Do you have a review you can link it to? I’d love to reblog it for you.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: Caught by MLS Weech

Steve was kind enough to read Caught, and I’m so happy he did. My review for his book is in the works! I can’t thank him enough for the support and friendship he’s offered me. Here’s his review!

Red String PaperCuts

I picked up Caught directly from MLS Weech at his book launch in Glen Burnie, MD. I think that was back in early 2017, so I’m sorry to say it took me a while to get to this one.

So, yeah, in case it’s not clear enough, here’s my disclosure: Weech is a friend. He’s also an imaginative and vivid writer. Spoiler-free review follows.

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Story Review: The Kra’daar by Chris Winder, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

Story Review: The Kra’daar by Chris Winder, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

510QAdWwRNLSpoiler Free Summary: The Kra’daar by Chris Winder s the 12th story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.  Nik’Thil is a Kra’daar who’s looking to determine the source of a series of fires that have started to haunt his home. Will he be able to learn what, or who, is causing them before on breaks out of control?

Character:  I recalled this story a bit more quickly than others. It’s not at the top of my list, but I remember liking the back and forth between Nik’Thil and the creature he’s chasing. This story had a nice sense of tension, and I think the character is the main reason why.

chris winder
Image taken from Mr. Winder’s Amazon page for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

Description: This holds true from my last review. Any time I don’t think back in frustration about how many buttons that guy wore or what color the chips in the paint were, I feel like I was happy with the description. This element was a bit stronger than previous stories. I say this because I immediately remembered the overall plot and the world building, which only sticks if a scene or two stick in a reader’s head.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Sonnets For My Savior 15

Sonnets For My Savior 15

He Is Both

He is faithful when His justice falls.

He is faithful when His grace abounds.

He is faithful to those who offer Him their call.

He is both justice and grace, and that truth astounds.

To us, His judgments are unsearchable;

His ways are inscrutable,

but through justice or grace, He is wonderful,

and His sovereignty is irrefutable.

We are all deserving of His wrath,

for us His grace is a gift.

Those who walk with Christ have found the right path,

for only He can, our burdens, lift.

For God provides justice and grace the same,

and He does so to glorify His own Holy Name.



 

Wisdom and Understanding

It was the command Joshua gave his people when they received their land.

Solomon left it as wisdom for his sons to follow.

Behold! The Lord’s wrath is something against no man can stand.

Better are those who stand in his light and wallow.

When one seeks wisdom,

there is one place to start.

Think what would please the ruler of the Heavenly kingdom,

what would one do if he would chase after God’s heart?

Moses said it was for our survival.

Those who do this receive great goodness.

Our sovereign God has no rival,

and those who see him correctly depart from foolishness.

Fear of the Lord is what wisdom is

For he who turns from evil, understanding is his.


 

Deliver Me Not Into Temptation

Save me, oh God and deliver me,

for my flesh is weak.

The standard Your Son sets is far from me,

and without Him all my hopes are bleak.

Temptation whispers in my ears.

I see them, though I gouge out my eyes.

Sin promises to remove my fears.

Evil promises to make me wise.

But I need fear nothing when You are with me.

Wisdom is simply a proper fear of You.

Be with me, God, and set me free.

Provide for me a way out, as Your word says You do.

Have mercy on Your creation,

Deliver me not into temptation.


 

Without Him

Without Him I would lay down, but never sleep.

Without Him fear ruled in my heart.

Behold the harvest I did reap

when my pride held You apart.

My enemies surrounded me;

each of them lived within my flesh.

My despair was as vast as the sea,

and I awoke every day with my suffering made fresh.

But my pain humbled me,

and I submitted to your Holy Will.

Now my heart is finally free,

for the giants in my heart, you did kill.

Now I sleep when I lie down and night,

and I wake up because of your sustaining light.


 

Trust In Your Grace

My spirit knows what it should do,

and it is willing.

Yet my flesh is weak, and I seek strength through You

to face the test that I am taking.

The memory of my former self calls

though that sinner was crucified with Your Son.

Let that that former me stay buried, oh Lord, lest temptation befall.

I take comfort, for Jesus faced sin and won.

I trust your grace is sufficient for my needs

and praise your Glorious faithfulness.

Though fleshly temptation still calls me to sinful deeds,

Your spirit calls me to righteousness.

My own evil desires seek to drag me away!
I seek the way out that I might stay faithful today.


 

How A Man Lives

Let us be filled by Your Spirit through Your scripture;

let this be our morning bread.

Your Word is our plentiful pasture;

your word is how we’re fed.

Our stomachs need protein and grain,

but our spirit’s need for You is greater still.

Those who seek to fill their flesh do so in vain,

but those who seek Your word shall always have their fill.

What good is it to sustain our flesh

if our spirits die of starvation?

Let the Word make our spirits fresh,

and help us grow in sanctification.

Since the time of the Exodus, it has been known

that man doesn’t live by bread alone.


 

Every Time

The people did what was evil in the Lord’s sight.

They forgot him and served others.

The Lord gave them to into brutal hands as was his right,

but then sent them a Judge from among their brothers.

The cycle repeated over and again,

Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, and more,

were sent as prophets, both women and men.

Serve the Lord, God, they did implore.

Each time peace returned for a while.

But then their hearts would return to wicked ways.

So God would place them in circumstances most vile,

and His people would beg for a return to better days.

True, God pushed his people for every crime,

but, after they repented and called on Him, he saved them every time.

A Pretty Successful Debut! Repressed Is Off To A Good Start!

A Pretty Successful Debut! Repressed Is Off To A Good Start!

Greetings all,

CoverLayoutIn my last post I mentioned a bit about how Repressed had a solid start.  So I thought I’d try to keep the momentum going while sharing some insight for those trying to get their journey as authors started.

Social media posts and word of mouth helped me get my third-most pre-sales ever. Before anyone start to think I’m quitting my day job, I had eight pre-sales.  The Power of Words had the most ever (17). Caught came in second (13).  This might seem terrible to some. It sure didn’t feel like much to me, but those numbers compare pretty favorable to a number of the authors I speak to on a regular basis. Some of them are stable, full-time authors.  It’s certainly not a ton compared to those best sellers, but at the level I’m currently climbing toward, it’s a good place. People, especially new authors, should focus on goals and those goals should be based on data and expectations established by people in a similar situation. If I compare myself to Brandon Sanderson, I’m going to cry and never write again. However, if I keep my eyes on people with a similar number of titles released, in a similar genre, and with a similar marketing budget, I notice that I’m doing well, and that’s my point here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 12.00.09 AM.pngThe other thing I’m happy to say is that Repressed’s ranking in it’s category,  Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Social & Family Issues > Bullying.  I don’t exactly remember how high Caught got, but Repressed was pretty great.  This title made it as high as #38 on the best-seller list and is still in the top 300.  I’m particularly happy that I stayed in the top 100 for its entire first week.

How’d I do it? Well, married life is still something I’m adjusting too. I only had time for social media efforts. I posted probably once every other day. I used hashtags to draw interest and little tag lines. I made sure the cover was everywhere too.

kaitlynFor my next title (Sojurn in Captivity is coming in April!), I expect to have my newsletter back up and running. I intend to run a FB cover reveal as well as a release party. I’ll run a few more newsletter campaigns, and we’ll see if I can’t set up a blog tour.  I’ll be interested to see how those things affect my next release, but I’m happy with what I think are great results when accounting for a minimal marketing campaign.

What I’m hoping for now is to start seeing reviews pop up. I’m honestly excited to see what readers thought of Kaitlyn’s story. If you were one of the people who picked it up, please consider a rating and review on Amazon and or Goodreads.  Even if you hated it, I truly want to know. Like with every project, I try to stretch and do something new. I hope you were as charmed as I was with Kaitlyn, but even if you weren’t the feedback will still be invaluable.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

Book Review: Night Stalker by R.L. Weeks

Book Review: Night Stalker by R.L. Weeks
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Cover of this book was taken from Amazon for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine. 

Spoiler Free Summary: Night Stalker by TR.L. Weeks was my 2017 September Book Cover of the Month. Casey is a young woman who’s husband died. She’s haunted by reoccurring nightmares in which a stranger inflicts great pain upon her. One day, she rediscovers that not only is the man of her nightmares real, but he’s working against her supernaturally resurrected dead husband, who now only seeks pleasure in the suffering of mortals.

Character:  Casey is actually pretty proactive, but that’s what bothers me. She’s too quick to swoon and too quick to accept things for my taste. She also seems incredibly naive, and while that would be okay if that was her character arch in which she grew more discerning, but that’s not the plot. Rather than let the conflict of her clashing worlds drive the story in interesting directions, the character is forced along, which makes her feel hard to believe.

rl weeks
Title image for R.L. Weeks taken from her Amazon Page for review puroposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

Description: This was well done. I got the imagery I needed without bogging the story down. It had a decent mix of detail and room for imagination.

I don’t typically give reviews like this. Most stories always have something that I can cling to and study. I don’t ever want to bash, and I hope I stopped before I got to “bashing status.”  This last section is simply me explaining that even this story deserves a chance if you’re in the writers’ audience. Please don’t let my own biases affect your willingness to give a story a try. No, I didn’t enjoy this story much, but yo might, and I’d like to hear why.

Thanks for reading,

Matt