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Thursday, October 27, 2016

One Man Makes A Difference



It’s interesting how we know some celebrities by only their first or last name or even their initials. I mention any of the following first names or nicknames chances are you know who I’m talking about: LeBron; Magic; Madonna; Bruce; Donald; Hilary. If I mention these last names, I’m betting you will know who they are right off: Jobs; Jordan; Favre; Messi; Montana; Manning.

How does it happen that a person can be that well-known and famous that they are recognized by only a first or last name, or in some cases, a nickname?  

So . . . without using the Internet or Googling the answer, if I give you one man’s accomplishments, are you able to tell me who this is: 4 golden shoes and 3 golden soccer balls? Would it help if I tell you that he is generous, gives his time and his money freely to those who need help, especially to children?

Ronaldo Cristiano is a famous soccer player, and some consider him to be one of the two or three best in the world. He was born and raised on the Portuguese island Madeira. That little island was devastated by severe wildfires that had claimed the lives of 3 people, injured many, and destroyed many homes. Two days after the start of the wildfires, Ronaldo offered the island an undisclosed amount of financial aid to help people recover from this disaster. Pretty selfless, right?

Right after winning the UEFA Champions league with Real Madrid, Ronaldo received a bonus of €600.000. Ronaldo made it public that he donated this large bonus to a charity. Quite a chunk of money!

Cristiano grew up in one of the poorest areas of Funcha, which is the capital of Madeira. His father was a gardener and his mother a cook. He started playing soccer at the age of 9, and because his dad cleaned the locker rooms for a bit of extra money, his teammates made fun of him. Being made fun of didn’t deter Ronaldo’s love for the game.

By himself at age eleven, Cristiano moved to Portugal to join the SCP. When he was fourteen, his dad became an alcoholic and his brother struggled with addiction. His father died when Cristiano was just 20 and as a consequence, he refrains from drinking alcohol, and he now supports his brother.

Cristiano has helped many people, especially children. Ronaldo was asked to donate a shirt to raise funds for an operation for an eleven month old. But he did one better. He donated a shirt, but he also paid for the complete operation

In 2005, Cristiano visited a young Indonesian tsunami survivor. He raised funds and paid for the education of the young boy, Martunis. Now, eleven years later, Martunis was signed by Cristiano’s old soccer club, Sporting Lisbon.

Cristiano felt the need to help rebuild schools in Gaza and for that effort he donated one of his golden shoes for over 1.5 million euros.

There is one last piece of information I want you to know about. Cristiano doesn’t have a single tattoo, because he is a regular blood donor. Pretty remarkable that someone this famous takes the time to donate his own blood.

I’ve been around and enjoyed sports all my life. Some I enjoy more than others. I appreciate the hard work, the effort, the persistence it takes for an athlete to achieve at any level. Yet, in the athletic world of self-aggrandizement, self-promotion, the more-me-than-I attitudes, it is refreshing to find an athlete, a caring individual, like Ronaldo Cristiano. His stated and lived philosophy is similar to one that I’ve been preaching over and over in my writing: “I’m not going to change the world, you are not going to change the world, but we can help. We can all help.” Isn’t that the truth? And it is definitely something to think about . . .

For a short video clip of the Ronaldo Cristiano story, you can click

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:
Please feel free to connect with me at:

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Lewis.Author            


If you like Thriller/Mystery fiction, check out what other readers have said about my novels.
Stolen Lives
“Joseph Lewis has created a cast of characters that you grow to care about. Their story is filled with twists and turns that keep you reading. When the book ends you will be left anticipating the next one! This was a story I could not put down!”  “I am really glad I happened to see this Trilogy while looking through my Kindle unlimited series. Great strong characters, especially George and Brett. Looking forward to reading more from this author. Started Taking Lives and immediately turned the pages to get to Stolen Lives.”
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved. http://bit.ly/Stolen-Lives-JLewis    

Shattered Lives
“I couldn’t put it down, a really good book!” “Great book! I can't wait for next one!” “This book is excellent. The whole series is definitely worth your time.” “Expertly written. I ended up buying all the books in the series and am waiting eagerly for the final installment "Splintered Lives."
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.  http://bit.ly/Shattered-Lives-J-Lewis    

Splintered Lives
“Engaging characters you care about. A story that is fast-paced and holds your attention to the point you cannot put it down. Great finish to a great series.”
A 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t know it. Their family vacation turns into a trip to hell. Out gunned and outnumbered, can this boy protect his father and brothers? Without knowing who these men are? Or how many there are? Or when they might come for him? http://bit.ly/Splintered-Lives-J-Lewis

Taking Lives
“Great book by Joseph Lewis. Many twists and turns. Fasted paced.”  “Couldn’t put the book down.”  “Great story can't wait to read the next one!” “Great book! I really enjoyed it. Good author!” “Each character is developed thoroughly, igniting the reader's interest and stirring emotions. The frustration of the detective flows to the reader. The young boys are endearing.”
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out. http://bit.ly/Taking-Lives-JLewis

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Tale Of Two Men



Kim, the girls and I watch and enjoy football. Hannah is in a fantasy league and is doing pretty well. The four of us are pretty crazy when it comes to the Packers and Badgers.

Last week during the pregame show, there was a feature on Patrick Peterson, the cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals. He’s considered to be one of the premier players in the league. His father and Patrick were both interviewed for the piece, and for an observer of life, it was revealing.

The family didn’t have much money and were considered to be poor. Peterson played youth football and as a kid showed ability. Speed, size, skill- he had it. The real deal, as they say. Anyone watching him knew he was going to be good.

In high school as a freshman, he performed well on the field. He was noticed. Perhaps not an out and out star, but he was recognized as being very, very good. That was on the field. It was a different story in the classroom.

His father had a rule that Patrick had to have a 2.5 grade point average in order to play football. At the end of his freshman year, Patrick only had a 2.3. In his father’s eyes, it was not good enough, so he told Patrick that he couldn’t play football his sophomore year. Pretty harsh and I wonder how many parents out there might do or have done the same. Honestly, I wonder if I would have done the same.

But not only did his father take away football for the year, Patrick had to sit in the stands for every game and when asked, explain why he wasn’t on the field helping his team. Not sure which was tougher on Patrick- sitting out football, a game he loved and played well, or explaining to kids and parents why he wasn’t on the field in uniform. I don’t think it was too easy for his parents, either.

It ended well because his grades for his junior and senior year were above the 2.5 grade mark set by his parents.

But it didn’t end there . . .

He was invited to a combine, a showcase for football players in hopes of getting a college scholarship. His parents couldn’t afford the cost of the camp, so they had a decision to make. Patrick didn’t know, but his parents made the decision to send him to the camp and pay for it by having their electricity turned off for several weeks. That was the only way they could afford it.

The sacrifice parents make for their kids, right?

When Patrick found it, he made a promise to his parents that when he makes it- not if he makes it, but when he makes it- he would take care of his parents.

A father and a son. A Tale Of Two Men.

One sets the rules and sets the example, all done with love and with a higher purpose. The other, hopefully, follows the rules and follows the example, and has the respect and love for the other in doing so. A mutual love, a mutual respect, I think.

Relationships in a family can be strained. They can be uncomfortable. When you buy a refrigerator or lawn mower, you get an owner’s manual. Not so much when a baby is born. Many times, parents operate in the dark and hope for the best. We do the best we can. Most of the time, we rely on how we were raised, on what was said and done to us . . . for us. We do the best we can with the best of intentions. And hopefully, our kids recognize that. Maybe not right away, but at least in time. Makes me think of our own parents and how we view them today. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Reader:
Please feel free to connect with me at:

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Lewis.Author           


If you like Thriller/Mystery fiction, check out what other readers have said about my novels.
Stolen Lives
“Joseph Lewis has created a cast of characters that you grow to care about. Their story is filled with twists and turns that keep you reading. When the book ends you will be left anticipating the next one! This was a story I could not put down!”  “I am really glad I happened to see this Trilogy while looking through my Kindle unlimited series. Great strong characters, especially George and Brett. Looking forward to reading more from this author. Started Taking Lives and immediately turned the pages to get to Stolen lives.”
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved. http://bit.ly/Stolen-Lives-JLewis   

Shattered Lives
“I couldn’t put it down, a really good book!” “Great book! I can't wait for next one!” “This book is excellent. The whole series is definitely worth your time.” “Expertly written. I ended up buying all the books in the series and am waiting eagerly for the final installment "Splintered Lives."
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.  http://bit.ly/Shattered-Lives-J-Lewis   

Splintered Lives
“Engaging characters you care about. A story that is fast-paced and holds your attention to the point you cannot put it down. Great finish to a great series.”
A 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t know it. Their family vacation turns into a trip to hell. Out gunned and outnumbered, can this boy protect his father and brothers? Without knowing who these men are? Or how many there are? Or when they might come for him? http://bit.ly/Splintered-Lives-J-Lewis

Taking Lives
“Great book by Joseph Lewis. Many twists and turns. Fasted paced.”  “Couldn’t put the book down.”  “Great story can't wait to read the next one!” “Great book! I really enjoyed it. Good author!” “Each character is developed thoroughly, igniting the readers interest and stirring emotions. The frustration of the detective flows to the reader. The young boys are endearing.”
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out. http://bit.ly/Taking-Lives-JLewis

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Little Sunshine



These last two weeks have been hard. I think it has been difficult because of the types of stories we read in the newspaper or watch on the nightly news. I find it ever more difficult getting on Facebook lately without some ugly story, some unkind, insensitive and degrading words and actions. Finger pointing. Blaming. Deflection. All of it.

So . . .

I think we should end the week with some inspiration and perhaps, A Little Sunshine in the otherwise dark and gloomy times we’re in right now. We need that. All of us.

I can honestly say I work with some of the very best teachers and staff members on the planet. Teachers and staff members who continually give and give and give some more. If there’s a need, a cause or some sort of drive, each and every time you’ve stepped up and led the charge. Each time. And I’m so very proud to work amongst and alongside of you. I mean that sincerely.

I came across a story about Beth, an elementary teacher from Madison, Wisconsin who did something way, way beyond the call of duty. One of her children was in need of a kidney. The youngster was in pretty dire straits. I mean, it’s not like a kid needing a sandwich to eat or a pencil and paper to do homework. The child needed a kidney. And this teacher, God Bless Her! stepped up and donated one of hers.

I mean, wow! Seriously, who does that? A teacher did, that’s who. A teacher.

But it didn’t end there. Ellen DeGeneres invited this teacher and the little girl’s mother to her show. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers (yes, I know, caught, guilty- I’m a Packer fan since childhood) found out about it and wanted to do something special for Beth and her family. The short four minute video, truly worth watching can be found at: http://gnb.247sports.com/Bolt/WATCH-Aaron-Rodgers-surprises-kidney-donor-on-national-TV--48176695 Yes, it might bring a tear, but it’s worth it. Honest.

But another story caught my eye.

Yesterday, our District Superintendent, Dr. Bruce Benson, visited our school with the intention of co-teaching a lesson with Ms. Erin Dowd, one of our special education teachers. So he and the kids prepared for “Bagel Friday” a tradition of providing bagels for teachers and staff as a fund raiser for their class trip.

And it occurred to me that in all the years I’ve been around special needs kids, we’ve never had an incident where they’ve been made fun of, disrespected, or excluded. I can’t think of one case.

But, that is not the case everywhere.

James is a special needs student from Mankato, Minnesota who has been bullied. He didn’t have any friends. He didn’t like to go outside for recess and he hated going to the cafeteria to eat lunch. That has changed.

A group of fifth grade boys didn’t understand why James was being picked on. They decided to make a difference in James’ life. The story, a short three or four minute video can be found at  https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10210837020271046&id=1517590385  and it is worth watching.

So, why am I bringing these stories to you today? Because each of us, each day, needs to realize that all in all, we live in a pretty decent world with good and caring and loving people. Not all is bad out there, despite what you might see in the newspaper, on nightly news, or even on Facebook. There is a lot of good out there, everywhere.

For all of the ugly stories, unkind, insensitive and degrading words and actions; for all of the finger pointing, blaming, deflection that is taking place, there is and always will be A Little Sunshine out there. We just have to look for it. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:
Please feel free to connect with me at:

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Lewis.Author         

Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Lewis/e/B01FWB9AOI/             

If you like to read thriller/mystery, check out:
Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved. http://tinyurl.com/Stolen-Lives-J-Lewis            

Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them. http://tinyurl.com/Shattered-Lives-J-Lewis            

Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
The FBI knows a 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t. With no leads and with nothing to go on, the FBI gambles and sets up the boy and his family as bait in order to catch three dangerous and desperate men with absolutely nothing to lose.

The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out. http://tinyurl.com/Taking-Lives-J-Lewis