It’s Personal

Don’t take it personal,” Jermaine Jackson.

Due to the subject matter, I recommend that parents read the book first and make themselves available for any comments or questions that could be forthcoming. It is well worth the conversation.” Amazon reviewer, Pale Rider.

One thing I struggled with early during my Christian journey had to do with accepting Jesus’ sacrifice for me. For God so loved the world and all that. Yes, the entire world and all of humankind. He loved us enough to wrap himself in flesh so that he could be like us, live like us, die like us but with a great difference. His death wasn’t just a cause for mourning. It was a cause for celebration. Jesus’ triumph over the grave meant freedom for all. One day, we who believe would rise again and be clothed in our glorified body, too. It’s the foundation of our faith. And I thought I believed in his love for me.

But then I faced a personal crisis so deep that it left me mute. Sure, I was still walking around and interacting with others but inside I was numb. Like an apparition I ghosted through my home, going through the daily motions. The pain was so agonizing I felt like I couldn’t breathe at times. I shut down and couldn’t, wouldn’t even talk to Him. My situation was unbearable. How could He let THIS horrible thing happen to me?

“I love you.”

His voice came to me. I brushed it aside, not wanting to hear such empty declarations. You don’t love me, I would’ve said, had I been talking to Him. If He had, this never could have happened. The days went by and I’m sure I ate and drank and did all the normal things. But that time was a void. An unfillable chasm. A deep maw of pain so great, it would surely swallow me, and I would be no more. It would destroy me, I was convinced, and I would fall into the abyss of nothingness. I welcomed the inevitable end.

“I love you.”

This time, I answered, though still dismissively. Yes, I did. Me. I blew Him off. The God of the universe. I don’t say this with pride. I was in so much pain that I wasn’t trying to hear anything He said. But He persisted.

“I love you.”

“Yeah. I know. You love EVERYBODY,” I emphasized that last word, heavy with sarcasm. “For God so loved the world, blah, blah, blah.” My inner voice sounded like I felt – flat and devoid of emotion. But then He responded with something that leaked through my pain and gave me pause.

“I love YOU. I died for you.” It didn’t surprise me that I was holding a conversation with the Lord, himself (though part of me suspected I was talking to myself, hence my easy dismissal). But I was a little perturbed at his emphasis on the last word. Me. He died for me, personally? I quickly brushed aside the thought and went back to my painful ruminations. I felt like I would die. I think I wanted to. But the conversation lingered in the back of my mind and interjected a question: How could such a big God love little, insignificant me?

I had a car accident soon after that – like a week later, as I recall. As I looked at the smoldering wreckage and then to the precious cargo I held in my arms, His words came back to me. I heard them clearly over the sounds of a multitude of cars whizzing by as kind strangers stopped to help me and my children on the expressway.

I love you. I died for you.

I never forgot that lesson, that experience. His love for us is wide and encompassing but also deeply personal. And so that is one of the lessons I share in this latest work, Pale Rider, as Ari learns about His personal love. A love so great and vast that it can embrace all of creation yet still care about you and me individually. For God, it is personal.

Be blessed,


P.S. Pale Rider will be available on Kindle June 30th and it’s FREE with Kindle Unlimited! You can preorder here! Also, check out my latest movie-style trailer. It’s EPIC!

Looking for more good reads? I’ve partnered with authors for Story Origin’s Discover them here!

And check out a short film by my buddy Aretha Tatum, Seasoned! It’s never too late to follow your dream!




Fix, manage, control. One of my good buddies introduced me to this phrase and I’ve never forgotten. It’s what we do, especially when we feel that our world, our way of doing things, or our people are slipping away from us. We endeavor to not have anything in our life alter, to hold on to the way things are just a little while longer even if they no longer serve us. We panic at the thought of change. Whew. There it is. The BIG one. The most ominous word ever. Change is perilous. It’s scary. We don’t want to upset our apple cart even if that change means moving towards something greater. To paraphrase a song from my youth, I don’t wanna be a (control) freak, but I can’t help myself!

When Abraham left his hometown we might’ve imagined him marching forward on God’s command immediately, fearlessly. But I’m pretty sure that’s not how it happened! How can I be so certain? Because Abraham was only human, a mere mortal just like us. We cannot expect that he was, himself, anything other than a regular man. He had fears and reservations just as any person would have at the thought of such a move. I once took a class where they identified the most stressful events in a person’s life. Moving was right up there with death and marriage. It can be most terrifying, even if you’re moving into your dream house. Many of my generation danced and celebrated the emancipation of a young Janet Jackson as she sang about her efforts to wrest “Control” of her life away from her domineering father. We identified with her because we “wanna be the one in control!” Nobody likes change, initially. It throws our world off, leaving us to madly wrestle it back under our control. It’s where we’re most comfortable.

So, when God said to Abraham, “Go!” can we suppose that he just up and went? Not likely. Like most of us, he probably carefully planned his going down to the most minute detail. When my children were small, I couldn’t leave the house without their diaper bag which contained all my essentials for childcare. When I go on vacation, I make lists and take inventory of everything I will need while I am gone. Careful planning goes into even temporary moves. But Abraham wasn’t ever coming back. He needed to take, well, everything. If he were anything like us, he took as much as he could to guarantee his outcome and his comfort. To further hedge his bets, he took his nephew, Lot. Think about it! What would you take on such a journey?

At some point, though, he must’ve stopped delaying and procrastinating. When he could put it off no longer, he went as God commanded. How many of us would cease our efforts to control the outcome and simply obey? We would want to know exactly where we are going and how we’re going to get there. Details. But eventually we’ll need to do what Abraham did. Believe God. Step out on faith and just go. As we realize no further details are forthcoming, we can surrender to one of two options. Get it together and go OR give up the notion altogether because we’re afraid to step into the unknown. Again, an all too human reaction.

But if we want to experience the sublime, the divine, we’ll have to go as Abraham did, with no guarantees. With only our obedience to a God we cannot see. With our faith in Him and in our assignment and calling. I saw a post on social media recently that said: Sometimes you don’t need a plan. You just need to let go and trust! I felt that. It spoke to me as I delayed the publishing of my recent novel. I had questions with no immediate answers. I wanted to plan, to guarantee my outcome. But I finally realized that the kind of success I want is out of my hands. So, I placed it in His. And I’m finding that He’s revealing the answers to me, unfurling them along the way, as I obey. I hope you are encouraged to do the same. Just go. Do it.

Be blessed.


Pale Rider is live on Amazon! Click here to learn more, read the synopsis and preview, see the trailer! Or go to Amazon to order!

Also, Pale Rider is featured among other clean fiction that you can trust your family to read and enjoy! Check out Christian Fantasy and Fiction Summer Reads on Story Origin!


Can you believe it? It’s finally here! Pale Rider will go live on Tuesday, June 15th! It’s been a tedious road to get here but I’ll spare you the details. The point is, we’ve arrived! Now that we’re here (and my heart has stopped thumping over achieving my goal) God has put on my heart to talk about outcomes. You know, the end result.

Of course, I know the end I want to achieve – fantabulous success (and yes, I do know that’s not a word, but my writing program didn’t correct it so I’m going with it!) – but how do I get there? I’m a member of some amazing writing groups that aim to facilitate that and they all seem helpful but it’s overwhelming to be inundated with so much information. And they can’t all be right, right? Do this, do that, but never do this! Argh! (Yes, that is my pirate voice!) So, what do I do when I don’t know what to do? When confusion paralyzes me, I become terrified that there is no right action to take and fear I will doom myself because I “chose poorly.” Who can I go to for help sorting through the miasma of “helpful” information?

I go to the one who knows the outcome, has already provided for the outcome, and engineers outcomes against impossible odds. Believe it or not, the Bible exists to provide the testimonies of people who’ve overcome, not only to poke at us poor humans and say, “You’re wrong!” It’s so we could know there is a way out and that we have a Father who has provided for us and wants to come to our rescue. Even when we are wrong, we can go to him for help. (True story! You should try it, er, try Him!) I trust God because he knows my ending, declared it before my beginning (Isaiah 46:10), and promised it would be a good one (Jeremiah 29:11). I know two things for certain: He loves me, and He is pro-Loria.

So, I move forward as though fearless, while filled with trepidation. To do so is the ultimate act of faith because faith is action. It’s what we do that shows what we genuinely believe. Years ago, when I began this journey, I believed that the premise for my series was inspired by God and downloaded directly from heaven. Acting on that impulse, I began to write almost immediately and didn’t let up for years. Then life happened and my efforts were derailed. After a series of blows I began to falter and wondered if I’d gotten it right. I know how Joseph must have felt in that pit (or when he was thrown into jail), despairing of the bright promise his future once held. Oh! I do know.

But then things began to get better, minutely, then by great leaps. My life has not been completely restored but it’s getting there. I grew much in the interim and learned that He will catch me if I fall. And when the circumstances of my life no longer weighed so heavily upon me, I began to write again. I always come back to it. It called to me, telling me the story was not complete, nor was my life. I still had work to do. By faith, I brushed aside my misgivings and looked to God. It’s not given to me to worry about how it will all work out or if this will yield the career of my dreams. It’s my job to put my head down, go to work, then let it go and trust. I can’t hold on to it any more than I could my children after they became adults. By faith I released them, trusting God to keep them and make them successful. And so it is now as we count down to June 15th. I don’t know what the future holds, but He does. He is the author and finisher (Hebrews 12:2). I trust Him to engineer my outcome.

Be blessed,


Are you excited about Pale Rider? I know I am SO READY to debut my latest book for my fans. I’m in love with the characters and I know you will be, too. Look for announcements on June 15th with the link to order your paperback copy on Amazon. You can preorder your Kindle version (available June 30th) here! Meanwhile, click here to view the trailer and read an excerpt. Enjoy!

P.S. It’s been my supreme pleasure to partner with fellow authors on Story Origin: This week, I’m participating in Magic, Mayhem, and Adventures! It looks to be a wonderful collection of all the things I love about fiction. YAY! Follow the link to check out their offerings!

Strength of Adversity

Sometimes I feel like I’m repeating myself. The same lessons continue to pound into me until I get it. This morning I thought of Joseph (of the Technicolor Dreamcoat fame) – AGAIN – and got a little more meat off that bone. It’s grilling season, y’all. Eating your ribs, steak, or chicken down to the bone is an indication of two things: how hungry you were, and how good or tender the meat is! So, I return to the scene of many a good Bible story often, because that’s where the best lessons can be found. It’s a perennial best seller for a reason.

Today I was ruminating on what I intend or hope to accomplish with my success. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about that on a scope beyond what I would do for my own family. But it occurred to me today that everything I learn about this business of writing, I can – and should – pass on to others. It’s not meant only for me to crack the code, but to leave the door open for others to build a successful career through writing, too.

Call centers have been my bread and butter (and the bane of my existence) my whole life. While I appreciate all that this field has done for me, at the same time I abhor the dark side which usually emerges in the form of a dogmatic manager bent on proving themselves at my expense. I get that it’s because I’m an anomaly. They single me out because I’m different. I’m obviously not supposed to be there. We who are dreamers, creators, and writers are often found in call centers because we tend to be great communicators. It’s a natural thing for us, I think. But at the same time, it can be extremely repressive to those of our ilk. Our wings are clipped by being in such a restrictive environment.

Hence, the story of Joseph. He was a good child, gifted, and a prince among his brothers for which he was hated. Joseph was different right from the beginning. He didn’t belong. They handed him into slavery because his father loved him most and because he was a dreamer. God had given him a vision of a brighter future. Rather than grasp that future for themselves, his brothers sought to end it altogether because Joseph appeared to come out on top of them, his elder brethren.

But even as a slave, Joseph continued to shine. So much that he came to the attention of his boss’ wife. She wanted Joseph’s light but in a carnal way. Her attention was not a compliment but a threat to his entire way of life. A life he had carved from ashes. Joseph rejected her but his boss threw him in jail anyway. And he had to start all over.

In jail he was commended as a good prisoner and the jailer trusted him implicitly. He rose again (‘cause cream always does) to a position of influence and his fellow prisoners began to come to him with their dreams. The chain of events that followed may seem implausible and miraculous. But they can and do still happen; we’ve witnessed them in our lifetime. Stories of rags to riches abound throughout Hollywood, as well as the tech and the business worlds. But what appealed to me most this morning was Joseph’s actions after he rose to power and his dream came true.

As his brother’s kneeled before him he repaid them, only a little, for their actions and played a few mind games. But in the end, he brought them to be with him, to experience plenty during famine, and took care of them and their families. It was more than they deserved. But Joseph had always been different. He thought on another level, saw things on a spiritual plane. The very talent they’d despised him for became the saving grace for the entire family. They meant to do him evil, but God turned it for good.

Folks will despise you because you’re different. They will make your life harder because they can. But adversity strengthens. You may lose a job or people. It’s all part of the process. These events propel you to become the person you’re meant to be, to get to the place where you belong. God will use your struggle as a tale of overcoming. And like Joseph, you can reach back for your brothers and sisters who need to get where you are.

Be blessed,


I’ve got goodies for you! Two exciting things have happened and I wanted to share them with you. The trailer for the Pale Rider is here! The Kindle version will be released June 30th – preorder your copy NOW!

P.S. In my continuing efforts to expand readership for this blog and the Touched series, I’ve partnered with Story Origin. This week clean, YA series starters, are FREE! Click here for more info and ENJOY!