Coincidence or God?

Last week, as I do several times during the week, I left the office to get in a mid-afternoon workout at a local gym. I keep regular routines, with little variance. Some may think that could be boring, but it is what works for me. For example, my sleeping hours generally are 9:00 PM – 4:30 AM, and anything outside of that can make me irritable – the further from the norm, the crankier I get.

But little things I often do differently. On this trip, I had the sudden urge to call my wife. While I will often call her during the day, I never call her with driving to the gym, usually because I’m still processing work-related items while trying to get myself in the mode for the day’s programming from my coach. I hit the call button on the steering wheel.

“Hello?” I could tell from background traffic she wasn’t in the office. Plus, she sounded preoccupied. Maybe she had a late lunch that I forgot about?

“Hey, just calling to say hi.”

A pause, and then what no husband wants to hear.

“I need help!” She was starting to cry.

Everything stopped in that moment. Thoughts of work and programming exited my brain. “What happened?”

“I’m sick. I’m on the side of the road.”

“Where are you?” A gas station provided the easiest path to turn around.

“I just left work. I can’t drive home!”

As men do in these situations, I shifted into problem-solving mode. “Can you drive back to work?”

“I think so.”

“Okay, do that, that’s the safest thing to do. I’ll be there soon.”

I didn’t really know that, but my brain was scrambled and there was nothing I could do to help until I got to her office. At the very least, whatever her condition, she’d be around people who could help her if needed before I arrived (I was about 20 minutes away).

Funny that when you’re in a rush it often seems you end up behind every slow vehicle and hit every red light. But once I hit the interstate I flew. I may or may not have exceeded a couple traffic laws, and perhaps a law of physics.

When I arrived she was still in her vehicle in the parking lot, violently vomiting. A coworker was with her until I arrived. She couldn’t speak initially, but he told me she had said it came on suddenly. The early conclusion – food poisoning.

I took her into her office and stayed with her as her body continued to purge whatever had triggered the sickness. We hoped that eventually she would be able to drive, but after two hours she decided to go home with me, and we planned to pick up her car the next morning, if she was able.

As food poisoning cases usually go, she eventually stopped vomiting and was able to sleep. While weak the next day, she otherwise had recovered for the most part.

But none of that is the story I wanted to share, only necessary context information.

As I said before, I never call her on the way to the gym, but I had a sudden, strong urge to reach out to her. We realized that at the exact same moment she was calling out to God for help.

Coincidence? Or did God tap me on the shoulder and prompt me to call her, so I could help her, in response to her prayer?

I know what I believe.


Second Chance Publishing Launches

Second Chance Publishing Logo 2I’m excited to announce the official (meaning paperwork accepted) launch of my second business, Second Chance Publishing, or SCP. SCP is the imprint I created in 2013 for my self-publishing writing hobby. As I’ve grown in talent and seriousness towards writing, I realized it made sense to treat this endeavor as a business. My two-year experience with vCISO Services, LLC taught me much that I am now applying to SCP. While the primary function is as before, an imprint for my self-published works, I am considering branching out to help other aspiring indie authors. I have learned so much about everything that it takes to produce a novel, and realize I have only scratched the surface, but I have much to share. I’m not sure where God is leading me with this, only that, when called, the best response is to say yes.

My latest work, Childhood, is a prequel to my work in progress (or WIP as we refer to such in author-land), Fatherhood. Fatherhood (anticipated publication late 2020), a novel about abortion from the father’s point of view, is not an easy novel to write. In some ways, to me, it makes the process of creating Leaving Darkness (a novel about escaping depression) look like a walk in the park (yes, a cliche, but I’m writing a post, not a novel, so I deem cliches okay here). Childhood, a novelette about 10,000 words in length that introduces the main characters in Fatherhood, is in the late production stages (line edit, cover finalizing). I see it as my most mature work to date.

The business website is (if you’re reading the blog, you’re already here). I published the first video on the YouTube channel today – a radio interview from the spring of 2019 so it’s really only audio with a picture – at I will add more videos, just as I’ve enjoyed doing for vCISO Services, as time permits and inspiration hits.

Life is about living – that’s the beginning. It’s also about being proper stewards of the gifts given to us (Matthew 25:14–30). Drawing from a recent sermon, when my time under the sun is done, I hope to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And that’s really the reason (beyond that I enjoy it) why I am pursuing this writing journey. I would be honored and humbled if you’d follow my progress – social media links below. I’d also appreciate prayers for guidance on where I need to take this. Thank you!

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Writing to Serve

IMG_7540I took this selfie before rehearsal for the second of five Easter services at my church. This is my fourth year singing in the church choir. We are a worship choir, not a performance one, meaning we focus on our church’s goal to help people become more fully devoted followers of Jesus of Nazareth.

That’s not to say, though, that we don’t strive for excellence – we do. Several weeks of rehearsals one night a week together and listening to MP3s and studying our written parts during lunch, in the evenings, or whenever we can find time is necessary to create the worship atmosphere we strive for. Every church is different, I know. Then there are the pre-service rehearsals, a full set before the first (Friday) and second (Saturday), then a warm up Sunday. This picture is as we’re getting set to begin the Saturday full set run through.

Christian fiction writing is similar in the desire for both service and excellence. For me, my writing mission mirrors the church mission, to help people become more fully devoted followers of Jesus. Of course I also strive for excellence. When we, a group of 80 or so mostly (or solely) amateurs in the choir sing together, we sound professional because we want that excellence, not for ourselves but for those in the seats.

I want my writing to launch to that same level of excellence for the same reason, to benefit the readers. It’s a long, arduous process to conceptualize, write, and market a book. I admit I’m not the best at the latter but am learning. I have to, because I genuinely believe my story can help others, but only if I can get it in the right readers’ hands. To that end, I continue to strive for excellence, not for me, but for them, and Him.

Leaving Darkness, about leaving depression through faith, is available at major online retailers.

Photo by Greg Schaffer


Christian Bible = Fiction?

Today I received a response to a tweet, a snippet of a review of my Christian novel Leaving Darkness – “This is a very nice book of Christian fiction.” The response: “Christian Bible = fiction.” aaron-burden-113284-unsplash

My first reaction was “is that really necessary” but then I realized the opportunity to discuss something I’ve been wanting to address for some time.

I have found that many non-believers require evidence of the truth of the Bible first if they will accept it as God’s word. I get that. I’m a science nerd, grew up big on astronomy, and hold a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in Information Systems Project Management. Postulate theory, then prove said theory to establish fact – the scientific method.

Some may argue that the Bible has passed analysis in many disciplines. A few examples off the top of my head include the discovery of archaeological finds in the Middle East, the Shroud of Turin, the Crown of Thorns (recently in the news because of the Notre Dame fire).  Others may argue the opposite – the archaeological findings only show that historically there may have been a man named Jesus of Nazareth, the Shroud of Turin has been carbon-dated to the middle ages, the Crown of Thorns came out of nowhere hundreds of years after the Crucifixion – valid, well-thought out arguments to disprove the Bible.

Here’s the issue as I see it though – you cannot, and will never find conclusive proof if you begin on the foundation of “prove it to me.” From John 20:29: “29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Yes, John goes on to note that Jesus performed many other miracles as “proof”: “30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” However, that returns to the circular argument that if you do not believe the Bible is truth, then you won’t believe what John wrote about those signs Jesus performed as proof.

The bottom line as I see it: you first need faith, then you shall find proof, not the other way around. If you begin to read the Bible to find proof first, you won’t. But if you approach the Bible with an open mind and heart that the truth may lay within, you will. For me, as I’ve grown in faith, I see tangible proof of the truth of the Bible daily.

Now, I’m not going to profess I understand all of the Bible – I don’t. Jonah in the belly of the whale? Hard to swallow (pun intended). Talking donkey? Pretty difficult to accept based on scientific knowledge alone. That’s where faith helps to augment – not replace – lack of understanding. An interesting observation though is the stronger my faith becomes, the more I see the proof that skeptics seek but cannot see.

I respect and understand the view of the responder to my tweet and appreciate the opportunity to expand on my faith. I also welcome respectful responses to this post. What do you think? Does beginning with a walk of faith and an open heart lead to conviction of biblical truths, or does the The Christian Bible = fiction?

NIV Bible quotes from

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash