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Friday, January 20, 2017

For Yourself



My family got an abrupt wake up call over the Christmas Holidays.

My brother, Jim, just four years older than me, is an active guy. He owns an RV park and he and his son-in-law do most, if not all, of the work. In addition, Jim keeps track of his steps, averaging about 17,000 to 18,000 steps a day.

He and his wife were in San Diego with his family and he and Laurie, his wife, wanted to take his grand kids and their own kids to Disneyland. A family Christmas Holiday. He and Laurie’s gift.

Jim was taking a walk and he noticed that his back was hurting. Annoying to say the least, was that fact that as he walked, he noticed that his shoulders rose to an uncomfortable position. He would stop out of discomfort, not because he was out of breath. Because he was in so much pain, he decided that on the eve of his excursion to Disneyland, he asked Laurie to take him to the hospital so he could see what was wrong with his back and what was up with his shoulders.

Jim was admitted on the spot, much to his surprise and not understanding why for just a back ache. Long story short, Jim had at least one heart “episode” and was about to have another. The doctor told him that if he had gone to Disneyland with his family as he had planned and had not gone to the hospital, the chances were better than average that he would have suffered a massive heart attack and Jim wouldn’t be with us.

Sobering, and as I said, an abrupt wake up call.

He’s doing fine and to be honest, Jim is a fighter and if anything, resilient and persistent. So, a quadruple bypass later, he’s out of the hospital and doing well.

That’s the good news . . . for him, and for our family, especially his.

Why do I bring this up?

In my writing, I’ve always asked us to consider others. To be kind. To be compassionate. To be gentle. To care. To extend ourselves above and beyond ourselves. And I get enough feedback to hear and to witness you doing just that. I think caring for others helps not only the “other” but it helps us as well.

But I think we can . . . and should . . . do more . . . For Yourself. For You!

You see, if we don’t stop to do some good for us as individuals, I don’t think we can adequately do as much good for others. Yes, helping and doing good for others does help us, but I think we need to go beyond that.

So I ask you this day, what are you doing For Yourself? What is your passion? What is it that you desire the most and because of time, or effort, or whatever the excuse is at this moment, what are you putting off?
We need to take care of ourselves. We need to make sure we are in the best possible place to help and to care and to go above and beyond. We need to be kind to ourselves, too. As selfish as that sounds, we . . . you and I . . . need to do For Yourself, too. Not exclusively, but making sure you get what you deserve, too.

There is a lot to do out there.

Hike. Read. Write. Sing. Listen to music. Be in and with the moment when you are with your loved ones . . . or just by yourself.

Take care of and listen to your body. Be in tune with yourself, with nature, because I believe your “gut doesn’t lie.” It never does. A professor once told me to “Go with your gut! If you have a hunch, bet a bunch, because your gut doesn’t lie.” And neither does your heart. I do care about each of you, I really do. I want you to be around a long time. I mean that. So please do For Yourself. It will always help you to keep doing good for others. I promise. I have that hunch, and I’ve already bet a bunch. Something to think about . . .

For 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, Book One of the Lives Trilogy
“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, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy
“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, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy
“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, Prequel to the Lives Trilogy – only .99 cents on Amazon
“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, January 13, 2017

Two Roads



This past Christmas vacation we drove up to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin which is the largest city in the Door County peninsula. When I say “largest city” please know that it is still on the small side. We spent the day reacquainting ourselves there because we hadn’t been back since we left Wisconsin.

I was the principal at the high school. At that time, there were only 515 kids and I knew them all. I could even tell you a story about each kiddo. I knew their parents and they knew me. Hannah walked to the grade school one block away and Emily went to a day care just on the outskirts of town. Kim taught in Green Bay and I remember her remarking that she used the forty-five minute drive to and from to decompress and relax.

In Sturgeon Bay there are older homes, antique shops, a beautiful marina, and a draw bridge that joins both parts of the city. Cherry and apple orchards, strawberry farms. Peaceful and quaint. We had lived there for five years and we still have very fond memories. It was fun remembering this place and that place, things we used to do, see and visit. An enjoyable side trip and family time.

Traveling from the lower part of Wisconsin to Sturgeon Bay was always a pretty and peaceful car ride. We’d travel from Green Bay north along the bay on the left or Lake Michigan on the right . . . I still get the two mixed up and as I wrote this, I had to look at a map. (And I used to teach geography!)

The ride was pretty. Large leafy trees and open fields. There was this beautiful farm and house along the way. Painted white with red trim and the yard was kept neat and tidy. Quaint, like something from a painter’s hand.  I would look at it longingly, wanting to live there. Small, small little burgs along the way like Brussels and Forestville to the south and Valmy to the north. I mean, you’d blink and you’d be in and out before you’d know it.

The ride changed!

Instead of the lazy highway we used to drive, there is now a double highway that is somehow “faster” and “easier” on which to move north and south. I didn’t see my little farm and house. It was destroyed so the new road could be built. On this new road, we hardly saw the bay, since the road was made “straighter” and moved more to the center of the peninsula taking the drive away from the little burgs and villages.

Sadly, the ride changed.

The peaceful, pretty ride that we once knew changed. It was gone. It was removed because of convenience. Or perhaps because of inconvenience, I’m not sure.

I suppose the road made it easier for folks to travel to and from. I supposed the new road made it easier for folks to get away for the weekend. And, I suppose because of the new road, there are fewer accidents because the new road doesn’t wind as much and because the new road was widened.

But . . .

At what cost, this progress, if it can be called that?

Two roads to the same destination. One lazy and peaceful and somewhat meandering. One sleek and straight and fast.

Each of us have options in the roads we travel, don’t we? We can take one road slowly and peacefully or faster and perfunctory.

Like life. Or love. Or . . . most anything. We can take the time to enjoy it and savor it or we can push the pedal to the floor and race through it. Which would you rather do this day? 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              


If you like Thriller/Mystery fiction, check out what other readers have said about my novels.
Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy
“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, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy
“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, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy
“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, Prequel to the Lives Trilogy – only .99 cents on Amazon
“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, January 6, 2017

Titles



Each morning, I read a paragraph devotional to get my head right. The little book was my mom’s and my sister, Judy, gave it to me upon mom’s death. It’s not only a nice memory for me, but I find it useful in a peaceful way.

It begins with a Bible verse or scripture passage and then a very brief commentary on the verse or passage. It was written for those of us who are busy.

Recently, the scripture passage centered on “Who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15). The commentary centered on all the names the Bible gives Jesus: Light. Love. Lamb. God. Son of God. Prince of Peace. Son of Man. Many others.

But that got me thinking . . .

I have different Titles associated with who I am. Principal. Teacher. Father. Husband. Son. Brother. Dad. Writer. Friend.

And each Title or name is dependent upon how I am perceived and sometimes, how I perceive myself, as well as the context of who is dealing with me at the time.

Teachers and kids see me as the principal. My wife sees me as her husband and father to our children. My kids see me as dad or their father. My family sees me as their brother. Kim’s family sees me as brother-in-law or son-in-law. Although, way back when Kim and I got engaged and we called her parents to tell them the news, her mother’s first words were, “Oh my God, Kim!”

Hmmm . . .

Like me, I’m sure you have several Titles and several names. So my question to you today is what are your Titles? What are your names?

Which are you most proud of? Which are the ones you’d rather not have or be known by? I think each of us has some of those, too.

The good news is that it is never too late to change a Title and never too late to change a name. Just as each day begins anew, we can change. It might take time for others to see us as we would prefer to be seen. It might take time for others to recognize that change within us, but they will. And if they don’t, then I think it is their bad, their loss because like each of us, others can change, too. It’s just that some never do and others don’t want to. Their choice. Don’t let that by your choice. Please! 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                 


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