It’s My Wedding Anniversary! 1 Year and Counting!

It’s My Wedding Anniversary! 1 Year and Counting!

WeddingAs I type this (Nov. 15), it’s my anniversary. A year ago today I married a woman who makes me so happy.

She’s given me three sons. We’ve begun building a home together.

This year has easily been the best of my life. That’s not to say there weren’t sad times or frustrating times. That’s not to say there weren’t trials. However, through every trial, I had her to support me and talk to me. I had her to hold me and laugh with me. This is the wonder of marriage.

Please allow me this time to thank God for this wonderful wife he has given me. She is kind. She is loving. She is patient. She is beautiful. She is wonderful. So, I’m off to spend a weekend with her.

Thanks for reading,


Finding the Time: If You Want To Be A Writer, Write

Finding the Time: If You Want To Be A Writer, Write

Greetings all,

I kissed the bride.

I’m not sure what post it was in, but a few posts ago I mentioned my wonderful life and how that life has altered my schedule. I had been and remain adamant that anything in life deserves a level of commitment. That level of commitment should reflect the importance you give it in your life. I’d advise anyone to take a serious look at the things they say they want to do in their lives and evaluate how much effort they make to do those things.

It’s a good way to put things in perspective too. If you keep investing your time in other things, maybe those things are actually more important to you. This isn’t a judgment. It’s your life, and you’re free to spend it doing whatever you want. If you look at that life and realize you spend a lot of time doing X, then you can either realize that X really is more important or change your habits.

Being married has been a huge adjustment. I’m about 10 months into my marriage, and we’re still figuring things out. It’s not just me. My kids’ lives are very different than they were before I showed up, and they’re even more different after I became their father. My wife’s life is different. We’ve talked several times (Julie and I) about what we want to find time to do and how we can pull it off.

So I offer this bit of rambling to you who say you want to write but can’t “find the time.”

First question: Do you really want to write? Really? Do you want it more than sleep? Do you want it more than football? Do you want it more than video games? Do you want it more than time with your wife? I’m not saying you have to sacrifice everything. However, there are only so many hours in a day, week, or month. You can’t give time to something unless that time comes from somewhere. If the things you’re already doing are more important than your desire to write, it’s no shame on you. I think you should simply think about other ways to find time. Maybe take a vacation day here or there. Maybe do some sort of writing retreat. Maybe look at the situation and say to yourself that you’re happy with your life the way it is. If you can’t let writing go, then don’t. But that means working to find that time. Before moving on to any step be aware that finding time means investing time. If there’s nothing in your life you’re willing to do less of, then writing isn’t that important to you, and that’s OK. But if you do this seriously, and you’re heart is set on writing, then you’ll find the thing you’re currently spending time on that isn’t that important.

Me and JulieThings more important to me than writing: God. My family. Being a good employee. Those are areas of my life that I won’t give up to find time writing. I love writing. It’s been part of my life forever, but I won’t take time from those things to find more time to write.

Things I really, really like: Football and video games. Those are things that I’ve found can compete. However, when I realize I’ve spent more hours playing video games than I have writing, it’s usually a convicting moment for me. Football is a fairly seasonal thing, and commercials are awesome! They let me do social media things or work on a cover. I wouldn’t necessarily tell people to write during commercials. I think that divides too much of your attention, but there are somethings you can do that will let your dedicated writing time be all about writing. If I’m up against deadline, video games are usually the first to go, and I can reduce my football. I love my 49ers most, so I tend to want to watch that game, but the rest of the games are things I can set aside if I need more dedicated writing.

Easier said than done: So above, I mentioned my family. That’s a lot of time. Homework time. Dinner time. Family time together. Bible time (at least in my house). Laundry. Cleaning up. Bed time (at least in my house). This takes up the better part of most evenings and every other Saturday. So time at my house is such a premium.

I don’t get a ton of writing done at home these days. I usually get a bit on Saturdays. Most of my writing time is done during my authorized lunch time. Rather than what I used to do (enjoy a mindless hour on Youtube), I use that time to write.  After we get the kids to bed (my wife an I alternate bedtime), I might have to not play video games so I can get more writing done.

The boys
The boys.

My point is, the time is there. When I feel myself getting frustrated at the amount of time I have to write, the first thing to do is make sure I’m not wasting time I could be writing. However, I’m not a crazy person. Those video games are usually how I calm my self down (animated though I may be during the games) before going to bed. Who doesn’t need relaxation now and then. Writing is actually pretty relaxing on one end, but it activates my mind. When I used to try to go to bed right after writing, I found I couldn’t shut off my brain. I still have my normal goal of 1,000 words (of something) a day. That might be editing like I’m doing now with Betrayed. It might be outlining, like I will be doing with Discovered. I love drafting most.  Tuesdays and Fridays are set aside for blogging right here. No, I don’t have nearly as much time to “write” as I used to, but I still managed to find the time I’ve always believed I “need.”

Other places I find time: My wife drives. First, she likes it, and I hate it. So while she’s driving, I can get social media done or even some drafting or editing if the trip is long enough.

Stay up a “bit” later. Honestly, I’m 40 now. Man my body needs way more rest than I’m used to. I used to be able to be pretty much good to go off maybe  three hours of sleep. Not any more. I need five. Five is probably pushing it, but I have to get five hours of sleep to have a hope on Earth of waking up on time for work or church. On an occasional time or two (or Saturdays if I’m being honest), I pull of four hours of sleep, but I usually hate myself. However, I can probably find an hour when I need to after everyone else has gone to bed.

Wake up a “bit” earlier. If I’m being honest, this would probably be the more feasible option if I needed it. I’ve found that no one in the house likes going to sleep alone, but no one in the house gives two toots who wakes up first. My bias is I hate waking up regardless of the hour. If I could sleep for a whole day, I would. However, it’s an available option to me.

I wanted to share this to help anyone out there struggling. If one were to ask me, “Do you feel like you get enough time?” I’d probably say, “Not as much as I want, but at least what I need.” Still, before I was married, I wrote a bunch and had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted. It wasn’t fun. It’s way more fun having three wonderful sons. It’s way more fun having a wife. So I take the lunch hour I used to waste on videos and get the 1,000 mandatory amount, and then I carve out other blocks if I feel I need to.

It’s really just about taking a good, hard look at your schedule and making a decision about what you’re willing to give up, which is why that first question is the most important.

So, busy authors who are more successful than I am, what do you do to find time? What ideas have you had that I haven’t mentioned above?

Thanks for reading,


Sonnets for My Savior 41

Sonnets for My Savior 41

Why We Were Made

He made our mouthes so we could praise Him.
He made our hands so we could work for Him.
He made our bodies to be a temple for Him.
He made our hearts to be filled by Him.

He did not make us for our own sake, but for His.
He did not make us to please us, but to please Him.
He did not make for our glory, but for His.
He did not make us to serve us, but so we would serve Him.

This does not take away His love for us.
This does not reduce His desire to care for us.
It does not change the wonderful things He will give to us.
It only establishes His relationship with us.

There is no real mystery as to what our purpose is.
The LORD God made us; therefore, we are His.



Before Him

Before Him, we were lost.
Before Him, we were enemies.
Jesus Christ accepted the cost.
Jesus Christ washed away our iniquities.

Before Him, we were hostile.
Before Him, we committed evil deeds.
Jesus Christ stood our trial.
Jesus Christ intercedes.

Through Him, we are reconciled.
Through Him, we are made holy.
Each person who accepts him has become God’s child.
We are saved through Christ and Christ only.

The only reason we are cleansed of sin
Is the loving, willing sacrifice of Him.



The Next

If I should live a life full of happiness,
rich in wealth, joy, and love,
I will stand in wonder at the greatness
that awaits in the world above.

If I should live a life full of agony,
wrought with pain and famine.
I will work to remember the glory,
which waiting for me in Heaven.

The things of this world are fleeting,
The grace of God is forever.
The redeemed on this Earth are waiting
For the kingdom of our Savior.

There is nothing, good or bad, this world can offer
that compares to eternal life with the Father.



You or Him

Why do you struggle to change?
Shouldn’t you be loved for who you are?
Those who seek to obey seem strange.
Why continue to run when the finish line is so far?

Shouldn’t you want happiness?
If God loved you, he’d allow it.
Those who say such things bear false witness.
They speak about the temptation of the world and all that comes with it.

They want you to be like them, when Christ is whom we should be like.
They speak with the world’s wisdom, when we should be fools for the sake of our Savior.
They speak about what feels good rather than what is right.
They seek to bring you to their level rather than the LORD’s favor.

Those who act like men only become men and suffer man’s fate.
Those who act like Him, will be more like Him and receive his grace.



What We Want and What We Deserve

Let go of your anger and pride.
Let go of your desire for vengeance.
What happened to the mercy for which you cried?
Wouldn’t you want forgiveness if you offered repentance?

Why do we want justice from others,
but we want patience for ourselves?
Why do we celebrate the punishment of others
only to lament what consequences fall on ourselves?

We are all guilty.
All of us deserve God’s punishment.
Compared to God, we’re all filthy.
If mercy is what we seek, why do we hold onto resentment?

Forgive as you are forgiven.
Give the mercy you were given.



The Helper He Blessed Me With

I was alone.
There was no one to share my pain with.
Whenever I came home,
there was no one to share my joy with. 

I prayed in submission,
finally placing Him in charge of my life.
Then he granted my petition,
and he gave me such a wonderful wife.

She is my helper.
She aides me in sickness and in health.
Her presence has made my life better.
In terms of love and joy, I have so much wealth.

None of this came by any power of my own.
This only happened after I submitted and knelt before his throne.




He came from the Father above.
Born to a virgin in a body of flesh.
He came to show the Father’s love.
He gave us life through his death.

He lived a perfect life, guilty of no wrongdoing.
He trained the 12, who would preach his gospel when he left.
The wisdom of the Father was in every word he was speaking,
And to this day all who hear and believe are blessed.

On the cross, He was raised.
Unbroken and unblemished he died.
When he rose again, the path was paved
for all who couldn’t be forgiven by anything they’d try.

Now stands the commandment of our salvation:
Believe in Him who died for our forgiveness and rose for our justification.

Book Review: Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs

Book Review: Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
The cover for this book was taken from its Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs was a book my command chaplain gave me when I first sought marital counseling before Julie and I were married (which should give you an indication on how long ago I read this).


The book is based on Ephesians 5:22-33: “22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a]28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

Eggerichs bases his book on the foundational premise that love is the critical need most wives have, and respect is the most critical need most husbands have. I personally agree with this general term. Yes, some husbands crave love more than respect, and some wives crave respect more than love.

However, in my own experience, I get the most frustrated with Julie when I feel disrespected.  This happens when I feel undercut (something I tell my boys is subverted by something she said), or when I feel contradicted. I’ve never for one second felt unloved.

I also know Julie is most frustrated with me when I’m unloving toward her, which is usually right after I feel disrespected.  I can also be inattentive. I’m a task orientated person, and I don’t consider, “Give Julie some snuggle time,” a task. This isn’t because I don’t love her. It’s because I don’t think of it as work, so I don’t mentally put it on my to-do list.

Image of the Eggerichs couple came from the Love and Respect website for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

This book gave Julie and I a base to start from. We typically have conversations that cover how I felt disrespected or she felt unloved (or how she realizes she behaved disrespectfully, or I realize I was unloving).


The knock I have on this book is something I feel important to discuss. It’s my belief that Eggerichs spent a great deal of time emphasizing the wife’s need to respect the husband. If I gave this book to my sister, she’d call Eggerichs a sexist pig. If I didn’t have the context I have (both through Bible study and conversations with my command chaplain) I’d probably agree with her.

I think the reason for this emphasis was something he mentioned briefly: Most husbands already know they need to be more loving. Most people readily discuss that as an area of improvement for men. However, Eggerichs’s claim is that it’s counter-intuitive for a wife to realize that she doesn’t need to love her husband more, but instead needs to look for ways to demonstrate respect.

But that statement already has a sort of negative connotation, so Eggerichs continued to try and explain the reasoning, which only (in my opinion) made the hole he’d dug himself deeper.

So, I’ll try to clarify a few things. First, a husband should always be loving. This is a command from God regardless of whether or not he feels (or even is) respected.  A wife should always respect her husband.  This is a command from God regardless of whether or not she feels (or even is) loved.

A husband does not have the authority to brow-beat (in any manner) a wife into submission any more than a wife has the authority to emotionally manipulate a husband into some showy demonstration of affection.

The most valuable part of the book in my opinion lies in the ways to show love and the ways to show respect. Another very close (if not equally important) part of this book was the way to address conflict. When Julie and I are at our best, we usually realize in the moment how we acted. There are several times when I’ve told Julie, “I’m sorry, Babe. That was unloving, and I don’t ever want you to feel unloved.” This is when I already realize I’d done something insensitive. The next best is when Julie mentions something bothered her. There are times when Julie immediately realizes she’d done something that made me feel disrespected.

To be honest, even that realization of how she made me feel is just so amazing to me. We’re not perfect. We probably get on one another’s nerves about once a day. Those don’t devolve into arguments. Having this basis, which helps me understand where about 90 percent of my frustration comes from, helps with our discussions.

From there, we talk. She’s probably not as big a fan of the conversations as I am. This is because she absolutely sees conflict or correction as negative. A lot of that comes from her previous marriage. But I work on staying positive and as loving as I can be. We’re at our worst when we’re venting our emotions rather than trying to understand or communicate.

Julie and MeThe funny thing is, our biggest frustrations usually happen when we try to do something for one another at the same time, and those efforts done in love are in direct opposition to the other’s efforts. One time, I was just trying to come home and get something done. Anything! I’d had a day at work where I felt everything was futile.  Julie in the meantime was trying to help set some stuff up to sell so we could attack our debt. So when I went in there to start chucking trash, she stopped me. I was trying to give her, her garage back, and she was trying to support our goal of being debt free. Those two actions were born of love, but happened to be in direct opposition.

We needed a bit of time to think as individuals, but then we came together to talk it through and try and see what was going on. Still, I’d say situations like that are the most common source of conflict. Imagine how great that is! Our biggest current issue is that sometimes the efforts we make to support each other conflict with other efforts we make to support each other.

I’d recommend this book to any married couple, but I’d make sure I stress that part about how often Eggerichs goes on about the wives needing to “understand.” I probably wouldn’t recommend this to any of my non-believing friends. Without strong Biblical context, I’m afraid wives will just feel like a man is trying to use God to bend them into submission.

For the record, all Christians should be submissive. Submissive to God. Submissive to authority. Submissive to law. This is not a gender exclusive issue.

Thanks for reading,








Sonnets For My Savior 19

Sonnets For My Savior 19


They took the ark and thought themselves mighty,

but even their own god fell on its face before it.

They were stricken hard by the hand of the Almighty,

indeed the people of every city they sent the ark grew sick.

They knew the source of their pain,

and returned it to the people of Israel.

But their hardened hearts remained the same,

And when they thought to test God again, the fell.

Their god and three cities suffered at the God’s hands,

so they must have seen His power.

Yet they still thought to invade Israel’s lands,

rather than repent in that same hour.

They never once thought to look at the cause of their fault.

Instead they kept attacking God’s people, and they kept getting the same result.



I seek you, Lord, that I might rest.

This world offers me tribulation.

Yet You have overcome, so we are blessed.

For your work, we offer our dedication.

Let us not grow weary,

so we might reap if we don’t quit.

Even when our eyes grow bleary,

We can carry on if you permit.

We who wait for You may have our strength renewed.

We shall walk and not faint.

So we offer Him our gratitude,

and do his work with joy and not complaint.

We lay our burdens on You,

so that You might use us to accomplish all You want to do.


He Prepares Us

Joseph was sold,

and his master put him in charge of the household.

The master put him in prison because of what he was told,

and the keeper put him in charge of all the prisoners, young and old.

The Lord was with him,

and whatever Joseph did, the Lord made it succeed.

But these trials weren’t on a whim,

they were preparation for a future deed.

For he was called to manage Egypt’s food

when the land was in need.

So all the suffering that had ensued,

prepared Joseph for that time indeed.

Though men treated him with what evil they could,

God never failed to use it for His good.


How I See the One He Gave Me

Behold, you are beautiful, my love.

Behold, you are beautiful.

God has blessed me form above,

With a wife who’s loving and wonderful.

She has captivated my heart

with one glance of her eyes.

I knew she was for me from the start,

and, together, we would spend the rest of our lives.

Her love is a well,

from which I drink deeply.

Fear of lonely nights, she did quell,

and I rejoice for her greatly.

How precious is the gift You gave.

May we love one another until we sleep in our grave.


He Is Lord

Praise him who is Lord of the Sabbath.

Praise him who was chosen to rule over everything.

The day will come when he returns in wrath,

and all knees will bow before the King.

He and the Father are one,

and he gives eternal life.

He was crucified for what we have done,

but he was risen, so we can be free of strife.

For we are one under him.

His obedience covered our iniquity.

Without his life, our world is dim.

Without his grace, we have no certainty.

Peace and Grace to those who follow the Lord.

For those who do so will surely receive their reward.


Why We Can Be Well

We were redeemed with precious blood.

We are dead to sin and alive in righteousness.

Though we face trials of fire or flood.

We rejoice, for our endurance is proof of our faithfulness.

God gives us peace like a river.

This assurance surpasses all comprehension.

Even undeserving, we were cleansed by our redeemer.

Though blameless, he died without hesitation.

We take comfort that we shall always be with Him.

We give thanks to His name.

We anticipate fully knowing, though our current vision is dim,

for our debt was taken by Him who is without blame.

This is why it is well.

This is why it is well.

Fools For Him


We are fools for Him

We let go the need to seem wise in a man’s eyes.

A man’s opinion might change on a whim,

but we look to God, who is wise beyond wise.

We don’t demand signs,

but they are there if one just tries to see.

For any who seek will surely find.

But those who refuse to look will never be free.

We don’t debate wisdom.

Because God’s foolishness is still greater.

For God’s rule is above the highest earthly kingdom,

and he has no need for any debater.

So we let go and focus on His grace.

We rely on Him and keep our faith.

I’m Married!

I’m Married!

VowsGreetings all,

Here’s a quick post to share in our joy! Just a few days ago (actually less than 48 hours), Julie and I were united in marriage!

We’re overjoyed, and spending time together. We just wanted to share a few of the photos from the ceremony.

We did a smaller ceremony now so that we could start our lives together legally and in a holy way.   We’re going to do a much larger celebration in the summer!

I want to offer  a special thank you to Maddelin Hamm, who took these photos. I’ve known her for more than a decade, and she’s an amazing influence in my life. So was so happy to capture the images, and just look at how wonderful these photos are!

Since I was 8, I’ve wanted a few things (I’m a very determined dude). I wanted to tell stories (which would evolve quickly into my desire to be a writer), and I wanted to be a husband and a father.

TheKissJulie is simply an answer to a prayer I’ve prayed for thirty years. She’s not just a woman I’ve asked for. She’s more than I deserve. She’s the one. I knew the night I met her (one of my sisters has the text to prove it). We’ve had a great journey thus far, and we’re excited to start our journey in our life together.

I can’t thank God enough. There aren’t words. My joy is boundless.

With that said, we’re going to get back to this life. We just wanted to share this with all of you.



Thanks for reading,