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Friday, February 24, 2017

Law And Love



I watched a movie last weekend, Gone Baby Gone, and it had an interesting premise with a nice twist at the end. I can’t write this post without revealing either, so you might want to skip a paragraph or two.

A young girl is taken in the dead of night. Whereabouts unknown. No real leads. The girl's aunt begs a private detective to take the case because he has connections to criminal Boston that the police do not. As the story unfolds, it turns out that the girl’s uncle gave the little girl to a police officer to take care of because the girl’s mother was a crackhead and a dealer. He wanted the little girl to have a future and felt this was the only way she would. He acted out of Love and didn’t follow the Law.

The private detective has a decision to make.

The Law stated that the girl needed to be taken from the policeman and his wife and given back to the girl’s mother. The uncle would be arrested for complicity and the policeman and his wife arrested for kidnapping. This decision, potentially, would cost the little girl a bright and promising future.

Love might be to let the little girl live with the policeman and his wife. Of course, the private detective would have to shut his eyes and live with the fact that the little girl isn’t where she should be, but this decision, potentially, gave a better future to the little girl.

Hmmm . . . Law vs Love.

Tough decision sometimes. Of course, it could and probably should be argued that the most loving thing is to get the little girl back to her mother where “she belongs.” I get that.

As a counselor and now as an administrator, I deal in the world of gray. Nothing is really ever black or white. We do have the Law but sometimes there are circumstances and situations that cause me to think of a better way, another alternative. I’m always reminded by others that “I’m opening up a can of worms” and that “I’m not being consistent” and that “there’s past precedence to consider.” I get that.

But kids are kids and people are people and sometimes . . . most of the time . . . this isn’t a cookie cutter world. Sometimes acting as the “judge” I have to act in the best interest of the child. It isn’t easy and there are times, I admit, that I set myself up as seemingly “unfair” because I’m not treating two similar cases the same way. I get that.

Sometimes it’s just easier to enforce the Law. It’s black and white and there isn’t any gray and I can rest assured that following it, I am being consistent and the Law or code or whatever will be on my side. Not necessarily the most Loving thing to do, but it is following the Law.

Let’s look at another example, a trickier one.

A while back, a couple went to a bakery and ordered a wedding cake. The bakery refused to make one for them because the couple was gay citing their religion as an excuse.

Not knowing exactly what religion we’re talking about, I suppose one can site biblical references and passages that might convince us that the folks who own the bakery are in the right. I guess that’s possible.

But then, we’d have to look at all the biblical references and perhaps enforce the punishment for breaking various Laws that call for plucking eyes out, cutting off hands, flogging and stoning as consequences. Perhaps while we’re at it, if we’re against abortion, we should be against the death penalty, don’t you think? I mean, one life equals one life. The Bible can be confusing that way. In one part, the Old Testament, it calls for “an eye for an eye” whereas in the New Testament, it calls for “turning the other cheek.”

Hmmm . . . Can be confusing, right? Not so black and white, is it?

So, if we’re kicking folks out of our country or if we prevent folks from coming to our country who are fleeing war and death and trying to live in peace and safety, what happens to the biblical references to “Honor thy neighbor as thy brother?”  Or the lesson of the beatitudes (New Testament) dealing with feeding and clothing the poor, and “whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do unto me.” If we enforce one set of rules and one interpretation using biblical reference, then perhaps we need to site them all and use that code and Law to follow. I mean, if we want to be black and white, right?

Or perhaps, we can let Love be the guide.

It’s not ever easy, is it? And, it is something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

For 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 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, February 17, 2017

Truth



Probably stepping into politics so if you don’t want to read any further, don’t. Up to you, but here I go . . .

When I was growing up, there were absolutes in our family. Probably yours, too.

If we were told to do something . . . make a bed, do the dishes, dust, vacuum, mow the yard, rake leaves, we did it. We might procrastinate but innately, we knew the length of time we could drag our feet before we got into hot water. And, we learned that quickly and at a rather young age.

Stealing, no way, never! Disrespect, forget it. Church on Sundays, nine-fifteen mass and we sat towards the front on the left- all of us. Grace before meals, and you had better not eat a bite before it was done. You had also better mind your manners with the appropriate “please” and “thank you” added in.

Truth!

If we did something wrong at school, my parents knew about before we ever got home. There were times I believed they knew about it even before it ever happened. That parent-nun-priest network thingy ran better than Ma Bell or NASA. There was no opportunity to “fabricate a story” because they knew! Don’t waste your breath. They ask, you told them and faced whatever consequences were provided.

Funny thing back then.

There was no point in blaming anyone. The fault, as we learned and understood it, was our own. Our choice manufactured the appropriate consequence. Simple as that.

Interesting how things changed.

In today’s world, kids do something wrong, “It’s his fault!” A fist finds a nose and bloodies it, “I was just defending myself!” A parent is notified of an untoward event and declares, “Not my daughter!” despite evidence on camera.

And lately, our highest office and those around that office use the term, “Alternate facts!”

Excuse my language, but what the hell?

Facts are facts. Truth is Truth. And lies are lies, no matter how you color them or how you restate them. The absence of Truth is a Lie. Plain and simple.

At what point will we get back to Truth? At what point will we take ownership and responsibility for our own actions and our own words? At what point will we call it like it is- a lie?

Folks, I don’t care who is doing the telling. It doesn’t matter to me if you hold a title or don’t. It doesn’t matter if you have tons of money or are dirt poor. It doesn’t matter if you hold an office or work in a field. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional athlete or can’t walk through a doorway without running into the wall first.

Truth is the Truth. A lie is a lie. There are no “alternate facts!” If it isn’t the Truth, it’s a lie. Simple as that.

Quit blaming everyone else for your screw up! You make the mistake, fess up to it. You make the mess, clean it up. Hold yourself accountable first and foremost and then and only then . . . perhaps . . . worry about someone else. Something to think about . . . and please do!

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

For 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 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, February 10, 2017

For Another



Coach Morales is the head coach for the Coronado (Texas) High School boys’ basketball team. Mitchell is the team manager. Mitchell loves basketball and according to his mom, had a basketball in his hand ever since he was little. And, he is Coach Morales’ favorite on the team.

Fast forward to the final game.

Mitchell is told by Coach Morales to suit up because he’s going to play. With about a minute and a half left in the game and with Coronado leading by ten points, Mitchell goes in and the crowd goes crazy, chanting, “Mitchell! Mitchell! Mitchell!”

Coach Morales was asked by the reporter if he was prepared to lose in order for Mitchell to play. Without hesitation, Morales said, “Yes. For his moment, yes.” Regardless of what the score was, and regardless of whether or not Coronado was winning or losing, in Morales’ mind, Mitchell was going to play.

Morales didn’t expect Mitchell to score. He hoped they didn’t lose, but in order for Mitchell to play, he, and his team, were willing to risk losing. His teammates did everything they could to help Mitchell score a basket, but shot after shot was missed.

No fairy tale ending this time. No winning basket made by Mitchell.

But . . .

With seconds left to the final buzzer, the ball intended to Mitchell is fumbled out of bounds once again. Mitchell is standing near his own basket and near where the ball is being inbounded by the opposing team.

Magic happens . . .

A senior on the opposing team, Jonathan, yells out Mitchell’s name. Mitchell turns around and Jonathan passes him the ball. And yes, just before the buzzer sounds, Mitchell makes a basket. His first basket. His only basket.

The crowd, who had been chanting, “Mitchell! Mitchell! Mitchell!” almost from the time he had entered the game, poured onto the court. They lift the young man up and carry him off like a hero.

The reporter asked Jonathan why he did that, why he passed the ball to the opposing player, Mitchell. Humbly, Jonathan smiled shyly and said, “I was raised to treat others how you want to be treated. I just thought Mitchell deserved his chance. He deserved his opportunity.”

It wasn’t the winning shot. Coronado won by fifteen or so. It was one shot in a whole bunch that was attempted and made.

Meaningless?

I think not.

Not for Coach Morales who wanted to give a moment to Mitchell. Not for Mitchell’s parents who sat in the stands and probably couldn’t believe their eyes. Not for Mitchell’s teammates who tried to get him to score. Not for Jonathan who was raised to treat others as you would want to be treated, and who felt Mitchell deserved his opportunity. And certainly not for Mitchell who had his moment, who had his name called out by the announcer and chanted by the fans and who was carried off the court on their shoulders.

Magic happens if we allow it to happen. Fairy tales can happen if we believe we can make a positive difference in the lives of others. Coach Morales and Jonathan made magic happen. Mitchell found himself in a fairy tale.

It was Jonathan’s moment. It was Coronado High School’s moment. It was Coach Morales’ moment. And, it was Mitchell’s moment.

Can we create a moment . . . some magic . . . a fairy tale for others? I bet we can . . . if we want to. Something to think about . . .

A Note: the clip is only 2:38 long, but it is worth it and can be found at:

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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