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Sixteen

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I remember turning sixteen back in the early 1980s. 
Sixteen. Wow. That was probably bigger than twenty-one or even thirty.  Sixteen was, for us at the time the age of Independence.  It was the age when we could start working, and start driving.  Back then there were no "conditional" licenses or permits.  On your sixteenth birthday you could go to DMV, take the test and walk out with your full license.  I already had a car waiting for me - a 1974 Ford Pinto. It was so long ago the CT plates were still all numbers, no letters. My first plate was 686-696. 

Yes, it was a Pinto, and it was ten years old when I got it but it was the first slice of real freedom I had.  We lived far from town in a place where there was no public transportation.  Once I got my license, on my birthday, I was off and running.  I got my first job immediately.  
I will never understand this thing where kids are turning eighteen and twenty years old and don't have a license and don't care about driv…

Justice, Mercy and Everything In Between

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I spend a lot of time in the courthouses of Gaston and Cleveland Counties (NC) lately.  Working for a property management company is never easy but the year 2020 has presented a lot of unique problems for people like us. Yep, there is this thing called Covid which has effected pretty much everyone - even people who haven't so much as sneezed since early spring. For some it's brought tragedy and to others it's just an enormous inconvenience. For still others it's an excuse. We manage almost 400 homes so we've got a pretty good mix of all the above as tenants. 
We have tenants who have had Covid (yes, and recovered). We've had tenants who have lost their jobs because "non essential" businesses closed down. We've also had tenants whose income has been completely unaffected and haven't missed a beat. Unfortunately we also have tenants who have not only not lost any income but have profited from the situation (hello, Stimulus?) and have made the dec…

Cast Down; Remnants

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The following is an excerpt from one of the new Cast Down series novels I'm working on. This one is called "Remnants".  It's a companion novel to "A New England Haunting" and can be read independently of the first book, though it will make a little more sense if read as part of the series. Old friends from Ridgefield may recognize the location I've chosen and put a spin on for this book. I'm using the first concept for the cover art here, but there is a piece of original artwork being created for the amazing cover that will go on the book once it's finished!
Revelation 12:7-9Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.The old mansion tha…

Cast Down Series; Preview

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The following is a brief excerpt from Cast Down. The series of three books (one available now, two coming soon) are companion novels that will not need to be read in any particular order to be enjoyed, although they are related with several characters making "crossover" appearances in each.
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Branches scratched lightly at the window of the little girl’s bedroom as she chattered happily at the invisible friend in the rocking chair. “An’ then next year, I’m gonna go to school the whole day,” she announced happily. She paused and listened intently for a few moments, cocking her head and paying close attention. “You want another towel? Okay, Melissa, I’ll go ask Mrs. Henderson for one,” she agreed as she jumped to her feet and ran out of the room.
Maureen Henderson dried off the last dinner plate and put it back into the cabinet. She folded the dishtowel adorned with brightly colored roosters and hung it back in its place. With her own children long grown and her grandc…

Gifts of the Spirit

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1st Corinthians 12: 4-11"There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people.The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each per…

RIP, Thomas!

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RIP, old friend. My husband and I work for a property management company. We manage almost 400 mobile homes in 16 communities in 2 counties. The owner of the company likes to employ folks who live in his homes because they have a vested interest in the communities and it's a great way to get his monthly rent on time! We sometimes refer to the employment situation as "The Island of the Misfit Toys". Thomas was one such Misfit Toy. Thomas did odd jobs for us, wherever an extra pair of hands was needed. His very favorite thing to do was play "Repo Man", which consisted of cleaning all the belongings left behind when every anyone moved out of one of the units. It didn't matter how nasty the job was, he was happy to go. Thomas didn't have an overabundance of education but that man KNEW stuff. He'd walked a rough mile or two in his life, for sure.
In the picture below, he and our office manager (who gets her hands dirty on a regular basis) were just about …

The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend

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Divide and Conquer! How long has this tactic been employed? Since Satan divided man from God in the Garden? Everywhere I look now it's what I see, over and over. Black versus White, Gay versus Straight, Christian versus Muslim, everyone versus the Police and craziest yet; Christian versus Christian. There have always been conflicts between groups but the rate of escalation in just the last few months alone has been startling.In some parts of the country the Covid "shelter in place" practices have been much more intense than they have been for us down here in a fairly rural area of NC. We've been able to come and go pretty freely, and masks are not as much of a thing here as they are elsewhere. I can't even really blame the isolation for what I'm seeing just in our neighborhood alone. The hostility of neighbor for neighbor is something we didn't really have before this year. Attitudes are changing. People don't seem to have even common courtesy towards…