Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Book Release: Scorpion

An ancient story found in Aesop’s Fables:

A scorpion and a frog met on the bank of a stream. The scorpion asked the frog to carry him across the stream on its back.

“How do I know you won’t sting me?” asked the wary frog. The scorpion replied, “Because if I do, we will both drown.”

This seemed reasonable to the frog, and they set out together. But midstream, the scorpion stung the frog. The frog began to sink as paralysis set in, but with his last breath he gasped, “Why? Now we will both die!”
The scorpion replied, “It’s my nature; I can’t help it. I am a scorpion.”

The final book in the Tracker Trilogy is now available!
The Runners are preparing for a last-ditch, all-or-nothing assault on the stronghold of their deadliest enemies: the Givers. In order to gain entrance into the heavily-fortified Enclave, they are forced to rely on their new-found Hoarder ‘allies’, who harbour a hidden agenda of their own.
The true allegiance of the cryptic Mateo is impossible to prove, yet Runners and Hoarders alike have no choice but to risk trusting him.
Even as the Runners prepare to infiltrate the Enclave for the inevitable confrontation with the Givers, they must battle their own demons of anger, prejudice, and the thirst for revenge. The “Judas Card” – betrayal – has already been dealt, but which one them is holding it?
A cunning trap has been laid to ensnare them, and the Runners must learn what it means to “dance with the scorpion”, if they are to have any hope of surviving.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Evangelicals, Repent

If it hasn't been obvious before, it's obvious now -- as in: 'how could you possibly miss it?' -- that evangelicals need to do some serious soul-searching, humble themselves, and REPENT.

And no, actually, this isn't just a cheap shot at the president-elect of the country south of Canada. If anything, their POTUS-to-be is a warning, or maybe a symptom, of a problem that goes back for years. In some ways, 'Bigley Orangelid' is the inevitable present outcome of sinful decisions made in the past.

And while it's fairly easy to see the detrimental effects in the most recent American election, evangelicals in general have oft-times been guilty of the same blind capitulation to error.

In just under two months, a man who has been variously called bully, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, vulgar, crass, manipulative and immoral (plus a few additional epithets that you wouldn't say even to a cockroach), will be known by a new nick-name: "Mr. President".
And white evangelical Christians voted in massive numbers for him, and in all likelihood, were the deciding factor in the election.
But even if "Crooked Hillary" had won instead, evangelicals would still need to repent. And no, not because of Clinton's position on the abortion issue.
Evangelicals need to repent for something far more insidious.
In more countries than just America, evangelicals have long been guilty of pursuing political power in the name of advancing the Kingdom of God. From somewhere came the idea that worldly power is necessary, or at least an advantage, for accomplishing God's purposes.

In contrast, Jesus told the political powers of His day: "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).

Much has been made about the long-reaching negative consequences that befell the Church when Emperor Constantine proclaimed Christianity the official religion as he sought to consolidate his Roman Empire.

Many have also noted, throughout church history, the detrimental long-term effects that resulted when the church was controlled by the State.

Conversely, what many Christians seem to be pursuing in recent years is a State controlled by the Church. This isn't surprising, if one has embraced a "Kingdom Now" (Latter Rain) paradigm, where believers think they will usher in the Kingdom and then turn it over to Jesus later. But it's not just charismatic extremists who need to repent.

The root goes much further back. Remember the "Moral Majority" movement of the early 1980s? When Fundamentalists decided to use political power to force Christianity -- or at least Judeo-Christian morality -- on the masses? And then evangelicals jumped on the Moral Majority bandwagon as well, just in case it might work?
(Ironic parenthetical question: Why is it so horrifying to think that Sharia Law might be imposed on the populace, but it's perfectly acceptable for fundamentalist Christians to do exactly the same thing? Just wondering.)
No, if there's anything evangelicals around the world need to repent of, it's for embracing the seductive and idolatrous lie that the Kingdom of God will be advanced through political power. The pursuit of worldly power has resulted in evangelicals supporting worldly politicians, and becoming worldly themselves in the process. As evangelicals, if the shoe fits, it's time to repent.

All evangelicals, not just white males in America.

"My Kingdom is not of this world," said Jesus, the One we claim to be following, who calls us to be "in the world, but not of the world" (John 17:14-19).

The first disciples had the same problem; we're still learning the same lessons they had to learn:
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (political power for their people)

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…” (spiritual power for the advancing of a different Kingdom) (Acts 1:6-8)
Yes, it's time for evangelical Christians to repent. We serve a different King, and we are called to partner with Him to advance a very different Kingdom.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Foreshadow: Scorpion (Tracker Book 3)

The release of Scorpion, the final installment in the Tracker Trilogy, is imminent.

nemesis; [nem-uh-sis]
  1. A long-standing rival; an archenemy
  2. An opponent that is very difficult to defeat
Time is running out: 

A mysterious antagonist is operating behind the scenes, manipulating both Runners and Hoarders alike, accelerating them towards a fiery confrontation with their ultimate and deadly nemesis: the Givers.

- from the inside cover -
A battery-powered torch snapped on, its warm glow illuminating the confined area. The air was heavy with the reek of many years’ worth of sea-borne flotsam. The howl of the wind was muted, and even the pounding surf seemed lessened. Don’t kid yourself, Aubs, the tide is already coming in. The ocean is not your friend.
Mateo stood with his back to them, facing a barnacle-encrusted wall. In the shadows beyond him, Aubrey could make out the oblong shape of a doorway. A circular handle, with four spokes, was located in the center of the hatch. The torch cast the portal into sharp relief as Amos directed his light at it.
The outside rim of the door was discolored, blackened, as if it had been burned in a fire. The metal was puckered in places, the bubbles of molten metal now hardened into one solid mass.
“It’s been welded shut,” Mateo informed them bleakly, retreating to his instructor’s voice. Aubrey felt her throat constrict as she stared at him. I’ve never seen that look on his face before.
“We’ve been cut off,” said Amos, staring at the fused portal in disbelief.
“They knew we were coming.”

- Scorpion (Tracker Book 3): coming November 2016 -

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Teaser: Scorpion (Tracker Book 3)

Almost exactly one year after the release of Tracker: Book One, the final novel in the Tracker Trilogy, Scorpion, is almost ready for publication!

The stakes keep getting higher for the small band of Runners, and only the direst of circumstances could persuade them to join forces with their most despised enemies, the duplicitous Hoarders. Win or lose, they are out of options.

- from the back cover -
The troubled alliance between the Runners and a small cadre of renegade Hoarders teeters on a razor’s edge. Years of suspicion and prejudice – on both sides – wars against their need to present a united front against a common enemy.
Neither side trusts the evasive Mateo, yet both are reluctantly dependent on him.
The situation inside the Enclave continues to deteriorate, manipulated by unscrupulous forces behind the scenes. The Judas Card – betrayal – has already been dealt. But which one of them is holding it?
A trap laid by unseen hands is about to close, leaving the Runners with one last, desperate chance to complete their mission.
They have no choice but to learn what it means to ‘dance with the scorpion’.

- Scorpion (Tracker Book 3): coming November 2016 -