If I will come to Jesus my actual life will be brought into accordance with my REAL desires; -#oswaldchambers #jesus #jesuschrist #jesuscalling #lifequotes
28 years ago I was SAVED and am still being SAVED today.
The word SAVED, as in the Christian sense, has been derided, mocked, and even seen as something negative though it is used in the Bible to denote the idea of soul salvation or rescue.
Even I have tempered the word for fear of how it would be received.
Yet, I have been SAVED from a life of drug and alcohol addiction, a future in prison, and/or a premature death. Scores of people around me have been SAVED from the negative and violent interactions of an emotionally abusive man. My grown children were able to become stable professionals and homeowners despite the dysfunction I inflicted on them in their early years.
And, yes, my soul has been saved from eternal separation from God and that is better than a good thing.
The odds are not in our favor, but I believe we can still beat them.
Never let bad odds ruin your hour, day, week, year, or your lifetime. Despite truly terrible odds, you can reject their tyranny.
In gambling, the odds are always tilted in favor of the house.
Synonyms: the likelihood is, the probability is, chances are, there’s a good chance
Beating the odds is the message of my next book. Taking Jericho breaks the mold of supernatural fiction and crime stories that I had cast for myself. Jericho is not fiction, yet supernatural events and crime play a colossal part in the story. As a writer more comfortable within fiction and addicted to words, I succumbed to temptation and embellished a little here and there.
Taking Jericho is about overcoming the incredibly poor odds wagered against our lives in an unseen cosmic duel. We war daily against unseen forces on a spiritual battlefront present mostly in the field of our minds and hearts and crossing over with awful regularity into the real world.
Accosted by these overwhelming odds for failure, our desires and dreams seem to stand slim chance of success. Many cower and cringe rather than risk losing. The hope of sheer survival and the desire to make a difference, a dent or even a small scratch in this cold, sometimes cruel and always amazing world melt away in the face of daunting probabilities.
Like the gladiators of old we are slaves to this wager, we have no real choice, fight and possibly win or refuse and die a miserable death. To simply survive the bout is a losing bet, only the victors come out on top. Survivors lose fighters win.
Note: the purpose of Taking Jericho is not to make you, or I, feel better about ourselves. Nor, will it give us permission and the justification we need to sit around and bemoan our sad fate while doing nothing.
Wal-Mart and your local Christian paraphernalia store stock hundreds of books that will tell you how great you are, which is true. But odds (there’s that word again – the fortieth time) are, that reading those books will only succeed in scratching your tummy while you roll over, kick your leg at the sky and do nothing.
Humans are built for the struggle; we were created for the fight; it is part of what makes us into who God had in mind when he created us. Perhaps, that is why we find life so difficult.
Can you picture the Master of the Universe reflecting on how much he adores you and me as we stare unblinkingly at the endless proliferation of television shows about how terrible life is?
I didn’t think so.
Taking Jericho is a story of God. God’s story in me, once the worst neighbor on anybody’s block, a one-time atheist motorcycle outlaw, and the little inner-city church my wife and I founded in the city of Sacramento.
If the G-O-D word just made you spit your coffee, chamomile tea, or beer onto your Nook or Kindle, STOP take a breath and give it a chance. The story—not the spill. I promise not to work overtime trying to convince you of God’s existence and benevolent character, only He can do that. If you don’t care two wits about the God stuff, you still might find something worth your time.
At the very least, I know you will enjoy the story.
If I had not lived it, I would hardly believe it was true.
The odds I mentioned a dozen times so far, remember those? Well, they get torpedoed and blown to bits in this story. I said all that to say. It can happen for you. God has a plan and He’s sticking to it.
God knows the numbers before he throws the dice. (That’s a metaphor, don’t get mad).
There is a method to God’s madness, and I do believe he is mad (crazy) for trusting us with as much as he does.
Now if you’re still with me the only other things that might dissuade you could be the words LITTLE and INNER-CITY. Most people, especially in North America, want as little to do with LITTLE as they do with the INNER-CITY.
In the area around the church I founded, lots of yellow police tape gets unwound; within two blocks there have been numerous daylight killings and shootouts.
People of North America are not interested in things small.
They want their meals super-sized and their entertainment HUGE.
Sacramento, my city, despite all its history in the building of the United States and its place on the world stage as the capital of California and being a key player on the world scene, remains a cow-town in most people’s eyes.
If you’ve made it this far, I thank you.
The story of Taking Jericho goes from my daring leap from the insanity of a maniacal and dysfunctional life to the craziness of pastoring an inner-city church. The tales of people and how we met them, at the same intersection God happened to be driving through at the time, are endless and often hysterical; sadly and more often there are the tragedies and failures of life without which nothing rings true.
That mountain of bad odds, bad blood, and bad luck that we slog our way through daily is the same mountain we climb to the win we so desperately crave.
If you are waiting for your life to turn problem free, you are on the wrong planet, reading the wrong book and desperately need to wake up from your dream.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you remember to buy Taking Jericho when it comes out hopefully by the end of the year. Subscribe to updates and you’ll be informed just as soon as it does.
If you are reading this, you already know it’s true. M. Matheson has gone from the land of UNDEAD Blogger page (no offense, it served me mediocre-like for years). Thank you, Google, but WordPress is better. I feel like a real… something. Let me pause to celebrate.
While you are here, pour a beverage of your choice, download a free story, read my last post, and Preorder Flatline. If you like anything you see send me a note. If something bugs you and sticks in your craw, do likewise.
WordPress made this chore a snap, my hat (if I wore one) is off in solemn salute.
Thank you, to all my loyal readers and fans. May your life be filled with peace and good things.
Can a book like that have a message to edify one’s soul?
Asked how she picked them, she responded, “Oh, it just looked like something you would like.”
“For one, Christianity is portrayed in a positive light throughout Dracula. The protagonists pray, quote Scripture, seek God’s guidance, and ultimately prevail. If Count Dracula is meant to symbolize the devil, then it is clearly Stoker’s intent to show that the evil one is resisted through the power of God. And unlike much contemporary vampire fiction, Christianity is not minimized or mocked. Rather, our heroes display an unabashed reliance upon the God of Scripture and His Son, Jesus Christ.”
“If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” (Matthew 10:39 NLT)
My next novel, (which I initially expected to publish in 2015) started as a speculative fiction piece intended to be a short story. But, the characters and events got loose, and I was never able to corral them into the seven or ten thousand words I originally intended. They wanted a crime novel, and I became their galley slave.
Despite its cry for guns, guts, blood and violence, it is a clean and fairly flinch-free read. Flinching as you duck the bullets and brains.
The protagonist, Troy Bittles, is a retired enforcer for an infamous worldwide motorcycle club (gang). In retirement, he has turned his former exploits into fodder for a semi-successful writing career. He lives alone with an aging English Bulldog, Sam.
Life seems good, but the monotony is not all he thought it would be. Stacked against his former action-filled life, as an enforcer amongst outlaws, his current life is a definite flatline. For a while, he finds peace with the life he yearned for, yet one haunting deed he never can shake, the accidental murder of a child, continues to haunt his mind and heart. The hit was never supposed to go down that way. The boy was not expected to be in the house. On law enforcement logs, the child is still listed as missing, likely kidnapped.
While out for a routine walk with his dog, Troy is rat-packed by a group of street thugs. Initially, it seems unplanned although provoked by Troy. A much older outlaw shows up to help. Silas Parker, who in the spectrum of organized gangs, is the polar opposite of Troy’s world. The only thing the two have in common is violence and murder.
Silas’ help comes with a bite, though, as both men are propelled headlong into a series of calamitous events filled with hitmen, murder, drug cartels and runs from the police. Within these developments, Troy sees a dim chance at redemption for the one deed he felt had doomed him to a life of torment.
The story winds its way through California, Arizona, Mexico, Central America, and Brazil. In Recife, Brazil they are killing killers, the death squads preying on children whose only real crime is poverty. The story took a turn I could never have imagined, and redemption for the protagonists remains in sight but just out of reach.
The ending flabbergasted me and made me flinch.
Flatline is a crime novel. A wanton wild tale with a cast of strong, colorful characters that ride with impunity through violent circumstances mostly of their making.
The heroes in this novel are not the good guys.
Look for Flatline’s release by mid-2016.