From Abduction to Action

Maewyn was abducted

from his family home at the age of 16. He was trapped in the world of human trafficking in a third world country for the next 6 years.

He was bought by a war lord who put him to forced labor.

He had no rights.

He had no respect.

He had no love.

He looked for escape at every opportunity.

As he labored, he turned to faith in God for comfort.

There were no other believers in that area but he remembered enough of his family’s faith to get him started.

When the opportunity to escape finally came, he jumped at it. The attempt nearly killed him.

When he finally made it home, he studied more about Christ, eventually becoming a minister.

Then came the call on his life.

He had a vision in which he received a note from the people of the land of his captivity. It begged him to return.

I don’t know about you, but I would be very hesitant to return to where life was horrible. Nobody wants to revisit bad memories, much less, live among them.

The closer Maewyn got to God, the more he understood God’s compassion and the need the people of that land to get to know God.

Maewyn obeyed the call.

By now he had taken a new name to reflect his changed life.

He returned to that violent land, Ireland, under his new name, Patrick.

He brought the Gospel to a land that desperately needed it and brought about the most drastic revival Northern Europe had ever seen.

Maewyn was just a normal upper middle class teenager in his day. He suffered some extreme trauma that turned his life upside down. No one would have blamed him if he had just found a quiet place to hide the rest of his life.

But he didn’t.

Instead of letting the trauma rule him, he channeled it into compassion and action.

I know that PTSD, social anxiety, and many other conditions are real. I don’t mean to belittle them.

But what would happen if we submitted our fears and trauma to God and let him heal and use them to bring healing to others? I know it’s not easy or simple but Patrick and many others have shown it is possible and the fruits of their actions show it is worth it.

This Friday, as you enjoy your corned beef and cabbage or shamrock shake (or green beer), remember the life of that guy who brought Christ to Ireland and ask yourself if there’s anything you can learn from him. It might just bring you to a life of healing and action.

Exciting Writing in the Nifty Fifties

All too soon, I’ll be entering my last year as a fifty something.

I can hear you –

Wow – you’re old!

Of course, I claim to be 29 with 30 year’s experience.

I must confess – I sometimes feel like I’m in my 50’s.

I just did an all-nighter with our youth group. I had no problem staying awake despite the hours of laser tag, go-cart racing, ga-ga ball and 9-square. But now, a day and a half later, I’m still sore.

Regardless of the aches and waning stamina, this has been the best decade of my life.

So far.

Each decade of my life has had it’s pains and joys, failures and triumphs.

This decade started with marriage.  I got to see three of my kids become adults. I began teaching a group of boys whom I will lead at church through their graduation in 2028.

All that is good, but one of the most exciting parts of my fifties is the fact that I started learning how to write at a higher level.

It’s an ongoing process and I admit I am breaking the rules with this rambling blog. Still, it’s been an incredible journey.

I have loved seeing these crazy ideas swimming around my head taking shape on paper.

I do have one regret.

Had I known what joy writing would bring me, I would have started when I was younger. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve enjoyed my career in technology. It’s just that I now realize what a joy that writing is.

If you are young and have been bitten by the writing bug – pursue it!

If, like me, you’re not so young anymore and have experienced that blazing urge to write – pursue it!

Some of you may have the luxury of pursuing writing in college. That’s awesome.

Most of us will never make a full-time income from writing. For us, there are still many ways to pursue our writing.

I have compiled a short list of resources for the Christian writer which I will upload to the resources page on my website (as soon as I create it).

These are just a few of the resources available to writers to learn and grow and connect to other writers, agents, and publishers.

I created this list for a Christian writers small group that I lead every other Monday evening. Anyone in the Denver area is welcome to join us. We meet every other Monday (including this Monday, Feb. 27, 2023) at 6:30pm at the Café at Barnes and Noble at 120th and Washington in Thornton, CO.

There are similar groups that meet all over the country.  They are a great place to start exploring the options available to the new writer.

Make this next decade the best in your life and if the bug has bitten you, make writing part of it!

Not all who wander…

I started to write a blog on travel,

but it wasn’t going anywhere.

I told my daughter that this morning without even thinking about the double meaning.

Sometimes the dad jokes come naturally.

Regardless of that, I now sit at a small desk in an AirBNB in Franklin, TN.

The trip here kept me from finishing this blog on Sunday. The concert we attended at the Bridgestone Arena that night didn’t help either.

Now it’s Tuesday afternoon and I’m finally sitting down to some serious writing time.

Why not Monday?

I love exploring and seeing new things. Between dropping my daughter off where she needed to be and picking her up, we went to Nashville and spent some quality time at the Lane Motor Museum.

I’ve always liked to explore.

Even driving to drop off and pick up my daughter, I have a hard time not looking at all the sights on the way. 

I see historic sights and imagine the stories that took place there.

I see natural wonders and imagine the reactions of the first people to see them.

I see grand houses and wonder about the lives of the people who have occupied them.

You could say my wandering tendencies are as much a product of my overactive imagination as my writing.

Maybe a new story will crop up in Franklin.

For now, I am heading back to the inside of a mountain in Arizona in my mind to try to make some much needed progress on Reymons. The characters there are evolving and starting to get to know one another.

I really want to be a significant way through the first part of that story by the time I go to the Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference at the end of May. This trip is the perfect opportunity to get some momentum going.

Or maybe I need to check out downtown Franklin…

Love is…


Love is patient…

I think of the man walking slowly through the grocery store with his elderly mother helping her get all the things she needs.


Love is kind…

I think of the woman who, when she saw a child fall off his bike, immediately stopped to help the crying child get to his mother and first-aid.


It does not envy…

I witnessed writers congratulating and hugging their fellow writers as they won awards for which they had competed.


It does not boast…

There was that true sportsman who, upon winning the championship simply smiled and pointed to heaven, acknowledging where the talent and drive originated.


It is not proud…

The former head of a denomination confessed a slight wrong to his successor and asked forgiveness in a spirit of complete openness, even allowing the story to be told in public.


It does not dishonor others…

There was the girl who stood by her friend being accused by their peers.


It is not self-seeking…

I’ve seen many parents work multiple jobs so that their children can have food and clothing.


It is not easily angered…

I’ve seen police officers, being berated and belittled by an aggressor, calmly question and calm the suspect.


It keeps no record of wrongs…

I think of the couple that got back together after his infidelity, when they worked through their problems in counseling.


Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth…

There was the couple who confronted the killer of their son, holding him responsible for his actions while forgiving him and bringing him the truth of the Gospel.


It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

There was that couple who came alongside me in my trials, living the example of faithful marriage for many years.


1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV


There are so many examples of the love chapter being lived out in our lives. I have witnessed either first or second hand all the above examples. I strive to live out these verses myself.


Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all were to be living examples of this chapter everyday?


Let it start with me and you!

Southern Magic

Summertime view over Spring Valley Virginia

It would start with a cool breeze.

Okay, not exactly cool but less blazing.

Dark clouds would roll in over the hills.

I would take my place on the porch swing.


Thunderstorms in Spring Valley, Virginia were a sight to see. I didn’t want to miss a strike.

Our front porch, near the top of a hill, gave a commanding view.

I could see each strike in our little valley.

It fascinated me.

I’d see a flash and count until the thunder clap.

15 seconds, it was 3 miles out.

5 seconds, it was a mile out.

The rain was most intense when the lightning got closer.

The wind got gusty.

When the porch started getting soaked, I knew it was time to run inside and close windows.


One particularly gusty storm has ingrained itself into my brain.

I closed the windows and looked out through a front window over the porch.

The rain was torrential so there wasn’t much to see.

Just the frequent flashes and rapidly shrinking delay ‘til the thunder.

I stood next to a lamp that was turned on against the gloom of the dark clouds.


There was no delay.

The lamp flashed brightly and went dark.


Mere seconds later, lightning struck again.

I was still looking at the lamp. It lit up a bright blue for a second. Then it was dark.


The storm moved on and I reset the breaker and replaced that light bulb.

Nothing else was damaged since I had unplugged the TV and stereo (no other electronics back then in the dark ages).

The afternoon turned to a pleasant cool evening.

It was humid but not hot anymore.

The countryside had that

magical southern post-storm aroma.


I am tempted to draw a life lesson for you from that storm.

Instead, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Or you can just bask in that post-storm fragrance of damp grass, cracked oak and apple leaves, and soaked porch wood and watch the fireflies come out.


Those of you in the South know what I’m talking about.

If you’ve never experienced it, you need to take a summertime trip to somewhere in the rural south.

Then you’ll know what I mean by magical.

Hope in Paradise

Diamond head looked down upon this 12-year-old swimmer.

Not Waikiki. Best Hawaii beach photo I had was from Velzyland Beach on the North Shore of Oahu

Okay, to call me a swimmer is pushing it. I could swim but I was not match for the waves. Still, I was enjoying the clear water and warm breezes of Waikiki as I bobbed in the waves.

There were many people in the water, but I was off by myself. The other kids on our trip were more hyper than I. I was enjoying a calm moment by myself.


The calm was shattered by an elderly man and his young granddaughter.

He was fighting to keep them afloat in the riptide.

I moved toward them but quickly found myself at the edge of a trench dug by that same riptide that threatened them.

I knew my limits.

If I took one more step, there would be three needing rescue.

I reached toward the man. He reached toward me. We came within a foot of touching.

I stretched on my tiptoes and closed the gap to inches. But there was still a gap.

It was heart wrenching to see them struggle.

I didn’t have to watch for long.

The lifeguard swam past me as easily as walking. He had the pair to shore in no time.

I bobbed there feeling useless.

It occurs to me now, 47 years later, that I wasn’t completely useless.

I provided hope.

The man had someone to reach for, even if that someone fell short of being able to complete a rescue.

How often do you feel inadequate to help someone in their time of need?

You know your limitations and you know that they need more than you can provide.

They may need more that you can offer but that doesn’t mean that you can’t help. You can provide hope and direction to lead someone in need to someone who can meet their need.

If you see a need that you can provide, step up and provide it.

I you see a need that you cannot provide, step up and do what you can to get that person the help they need!

It’s good to know your limitations.

It’s better to do what you can right up to the edge of those limits.

Just don’t step into the rip tide when you can’t swim well.

Route 655

The back window of my 1968 Plymouth Satellite Station Wagon bore testimony to the many times I drove that dirt road as a teenager on the edge of manhood. The view through that dust covered pane may have been obscured but it made my path ahead clearer.

How does a city boy from the San Francisco Peninsula learn from a dirt road?

When I was 16, my parents moved us from Belmont, California to Spring Valley, Virginia. We actually lived on Route 604, another dirt road, but Route 655 was a much longer dirt road that had a deeper role in my coming of age.

The first time I drove down 655, I pulled to the edge to let another car pass.

I misjudged the edge.

My big old wagon with the black California plates was quickly stuck.

I walked to the nearest dwelling with lights on. A small shack of a house that looked like it was held up as much by prayer as by wood offered my only hope.

I stepped onto the porch in my flip-flips, shorts, tank-top, and coat. I was on my way to a Halloween party dressed as a beach bum. I’m not kidding. I really was.

An older man answered the door. He and his twenty something son looked like true hillbillies. They smiled when I explained my costume.

They helped me out of the ditch in no time and refused my offer of payment.

They were some of the nicest people I had met in my young life.

I learned not to judge people by their looks or situation.

I got a job at a farm on that road.

In fact, it was at the farm with the Halloween party – for the people whose car caused me to slide into the ditch. I never told them.

They were business owners from North Carolina who spent a lot of their time away from home. They needed someone to drive their kids and help take care of the farm.

That’s how, one day, I found myself on foot going down the middle of Route 655.

The neighbor’s bull had broken through the fence and I had to prod it back to the neighbor’s farm.

I was scared out of my wits, but I did it.

The bull was more than 10 times my size but it went where I directed and was soon back in the neighbor’s barn.

I learned a little country confidence.

My Plymouth had a similar dashboard to a popular TV car – the General Lee.

The Dukes of Hazzard always drove like their tails were on fire and no one complained but the inept and corrupt police in the show.

I somehow thought that’s how one could drive on dirt roads.

That was dumb.

One day a neighbor flagged me down and tore into me about going too fast. I was caught off guard. I knew I drove fast but had no idea that it upset people.

Yes I was clueless.

I apologized profusely and asked how fast I should take that road (there were no speed limit signs). I think they expected arrogance from me and were taken aback by my attitude.

I learned to try to see things from other’s perspectives.

My old wagon was in bad need of a tune-up the day I crawled it up a hill.

The top of the hill was blind.

The big Plymouth took up two-thirds of the one lane road.

The Ford pickup flying over the top of the hill took up two-thirds.

That math don’t add up!

I was stopped within a second of the sight.

The truck couldn’t stop.

My wide eyes saw the truck veer to my left.

A thick tree stopped it cold right next to me. It leaned steeply over the embankment.

The driver, a young man I vaguely knew, stumbled out and collapsed in pain on the road.

The sight of his passengers shocked me. It was two of the kids from the farm where I worked. The 10-year-old boy had a bloody face. The 13-year-old girl was screaming and holding her wrist.

There were flames under the hood!

They got out with a little help from me.

Thankfully, the flames died out.

I ran to their farm just up the road. As I called the rescue squad, their 16-year-old sister and her boyfriend rushed to the scene.

By the time I got back to the hill, the young couple was about to take the kids to the hospital. They refused to take the driver, a friend of the boyfriend. They were beyond angry.

The driver tried to blame me for the accident. No one but a couple of his friends believed him. I don’t think they believed him long.

I learned the results of unsafe driving.

I could go on about the lessons from that road.

  • Don’t listen to peer pressure egging you to go faster.
  • Make sure you have the right size chains before driving backroads in the snow.
  • Always make sure your spare tire is good.
  • Don’t fear the dark that far out in the country.
  • Ditches hide under leaves in the Fall.
  • Station wagons aren’t made for off-reading!

That last one wasn’t really on Route 655, but you get the point. These were just a few stories that happened on Route 655.

I dare say the two years of country life taught me more about living than the previous 16 in the suburbs!

The next time you’re tempted to complain about a route that takes you over a dirt road, slow down and listen. The road might just teach you something.

Close Encounter of the High Voltage Kind

Southwest Virginia in the early ‘80s


It was just beginning to sprinkle as we started up the trail. Thinking the rain would cool off our hike on that hot August day, we happily hiked on,

blissfully ignorant

of what lay ahead.

I was one of thirty some 17-year-olds spending a week at Lynchburg College competing for scholarships. After a busy day of classes, this hike at Sharp Top on the Blue Ridge Parkway was just the diversion we needed.

Our steep mile and a half hike did indeed cool off. The sprinkles turned to rain.

We quickened our pace when we heard distant lightning. Someone said something about a cabin at the top.

The true downpour started as we approached the cabin. We all crammed into the small stone building. No one was brave or foolish enough to go out to the overlook just beyond the cabin.

We were young. We didn’t worry.

Besides, we knew there was a shuttle that would take us back down the mountain. We’d hike the quarter mile to the shuttle stop as soon as the lightning let up.

It didn’t let up.

If anything, it increased.

And the last shuttle of the day would be there soon.

Half of the people in the cabin decided they would stay put where it was safe.

I was not one of those people.

A dozen or so of us rushed out through the deluge.

I couldn’t see a thing. I just followed the person ahead of me. Lightning crashed every couple of seconds all around. I got soaked to the bone.

After a couple of minutes that seemed like a couple of hours, we made it to the bus shelter. I plopped my waterlogged self down on the bench on the far side of the shelter, glad to be safe.

Then it hit me.

Technically, it hit the shelter and the electricity ran through those of us on that far side of the bus shelter.

It was lightning.

Oh, and deafening thunder.

It was literally a pain in the rear. Very painful, in fact.

When it happened, a girl seated on the other side started screaming hysterically. Once she calmed, she explained that she saw us all light up and thought we would die.

The only casualty that I know of was my digital watch, which started flying forward in time. We were sore and soaked and had a new respect for thunderstorms.

As for those stayed in the cabin, the college had to send out another bus. They didn’t return until later in the evening.

Whether we played it safe or braved the storm, we each came home with quite the story to tell.

This story has found it’s way into many children’s and youth lessons. It even into Wil Clarey, The Impossible Summer (as told to Wil by his grandpa). My lessons and my books tend to be filled with stories like these. They tend to grab attention and illustrate a number of points.

Do you have stories?

Let ‘em out!

Write them and share them. If possible, teach with them.

Don’t let them fade in your memory.

Oh yeah, and don’t go outside in thunderstorms!

Happy New Year!

It’s true. I haven’t written much here.

But I’ve been writing!

Here’s a little of what’s been happening –

As you saw in the last post, I completed a Christmas Story! There’s a link to it on the last post here and on my home page.

Second, about six hours ago, I completed the content edit of Wil Clarey: School of Hard Knocks! That is cause for celebration! I am considering posting an excerpt from that.

I’ll be moving on to Reymons next. I’ve been developing some interesting ideas for that so I can hardly wait to get them into words!

Finally, I have launched a new website to go along with a Facebook Group. That is the Walk in the Light Bible Study.

If you are interested in learning more about the Bible in a non-judgmental discussion forum, this may be the place for you. We’ll be reading the entire Bible in two years, highlighting and discussing verses as we go. You can find it at or search facebook for Walk in the Light Bible Study in Facebook Groups.

Don’t worry, I’m also working on

a new blog series

that should be fun and interesting.

Stay tuned!

The Shortcomings of Short Stories


I had a blast writing my latest Christmas story, The Star of Mystery.

But it was frustrating too!

I introduced several new characters without enough words to develop them. It was also the first time most people will read a compete story about Wil Clarey.

Let’s be honest,

5-6 thousand words is not enough to do justice to the subject of autism and still tell the story. You’ll just have to read the Wil Clarey series when it gets published.

On the positive side, I was able to write a complete story and edit it (with the help of a couple of beta readers) in the space of just three weeks. It was fast and furious fun!

The purpose of my Christmas short stories is not just to share the stories but to expand my platform.

To be frank, in order to get the Wil Clarey books published, I need a larger number of followers. I say this to encourage you to follow my Facebook and Instagram pages as well as this blog.

Feel free to share the link to my stories with anyone you think might be interested.

Keep an eye on this page as I will attempt to resume my weekly blogs now that my short story writing push is over.

In case you’re interested in my longer stories, here’s the latest.

  • Wil Clarey – The impossible Summer is complete and ready for professional editors.
  • Wil Clarey – School of Hard Knocks is 80% through content edit.
  • Wil Clarey – The Mystery at the Mill is complete in rough draft form.
  • Reymons – I will restart the rewrite in a couple of weeks when I am done with the School of Hard Knocks edit. Much of the middle of the book series was written when I realized that I needed to do a lot more background and character development. My current plan to make it a three book arc. Book one will be background and development to the lead characters up to the escape from Reymons (a massive city under what is now Humphrey’s Peak in Arizona). Book two will cover the adventure of our lead characters traveling to a haven at the coast through many surprise interactions with above ground cultures. Book three will be the return to and rescue of Reymons.

If my writing piques your interest, contact me to be a beta reader.

Until then, enjoy the short stories and blogs.