How To Be Really Street Smart!

'How To Be Really Street Smart' book

The Bible is an example of a variety of literature, along with many character types. Within its pages are the stories of real people who lived across an enormous span of time. From the beginning of creation until the last days of the apostles. Their history lives on in the hearts and minds of believers everywhere.

My non-fiction book ‘How To Be Really Street Smart’ shares excerpts from the lives of Old and New Testament faith walkers of the past. Through the analogy of road signs youth are challenged to follow the example of these godly people.

Special scripture is highlighted, encouraging the reader to explore the Word of God for deeper understanding. Below is an excerpt from my book.

Road Signs-we see them every day. And if you’re driving down the street you better pay attention. Why? What’s so important about reading them? They’re not there by chance but for specific reasons. Some are to guide you, others are to prepare you and many are to warn you. If you’re going to be street smart you have to understand the signs and stay aware of what is happening in your environment or your neighborhood.

Let’s focus on one of those big red signs that read WRONG WAY when we’re about to go down the wrong road. Why shouldn’t we ignore that sign? Well, what could happen if we just went on past it as if it wasn’t there? We could crash into another car that may be traveling on that same road but from the opposite direction(the right direction for them but the wrong one for us).

So because we chose to ignore the WRONG WAY sign we have caused an accident, not only harming ourselves but also the person in the other car. Nobody can just get in a car and drive around everywhere making up their own rules. You see, those signs are there for a good purpose-to help you travel safely on the streets, roads, and highways that get you to the places you need or want to go.

Just imagine what would happen if those signs were taken down. It would become chaos within a short time. It pays to be “street smart” or in other words -to know the rules of the road and obey them. Now let me tell you about a man who thought he knew where he was going on the “road of life” but suddenly came upon a sign he couldn’t ignore. (Proverbs 14:12)

This man was a religious leader and believed he had been doing God’s work arresting
Christians and allowing them to be murdered. He had a zeal but he had
been deceived by Satan into thinking he was doing God’s will:
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of

the Lord, went unto the high priest,

2 and asked of him letters to the synagogues at Damascus, that if he found any

who were of this Way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them

bound unto Jerusalem.

3 And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly there shone round

about him a light from heaven.

4 And he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying unto him, “Saul, Saul, why

persecute thou Me?”

5 And he said, “Who art Thou, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom thou


And he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?”

Acts 9


From there Jesus tells him to go into the city and he will be told what to do. The

men with him were shocked because they saw a light and could hear a voice but

didn’t know what was being said. When Saul rose up from the ground he was

blind and the men had to lead him to Damascus.

Though Saul had become blind to the things of earth, the changed man now

heard the voice of the true and living God-Jesus Christ. Finally he realized he’d

been going the wrong way all the time. He received Jesus into his life and was no

longer spiritually blind. Shortly afterward he received his natural eyesight again.

From that time on he was called Paul and became the 13th apostle. Several books

of the New Testament were written by him.

FYI-During New Testament times there was a Jewish group of men called the

Sanhedrin. They were religious leaders that had authority similar to a supreme

court. The Sanhedrin had Jesus imprisoned for blasphemy (claiming to be the

Son of God). This same Jewish council, that gave Saul the authority to arrest

Christians, later plotted to have him murdered because he preached the gospel

of Jesus Christ. In recent times a new Sanhedrin has been formed in Israel.

Did you know? – Paul made many missionary trips during his lifetime. It is

believed he was imprisoned in Rome and then beheaded.

Word on the street-Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:10


Why did I write ‘How To Be Street Smart’? For the children of these modern days who have been force-fed lies and half-truths about the Holy Bible. The majority doubt or reject the absolute truth and relevancy of the only book God ever authored. I hope to inspire them to discover the beauty, power, and unity of its words. It’s not a fairy tale. Nor is it science-fiction or fantasy. However, the Bible is definitely the greatest love story ever written.

If you join TLB email list thru June, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a paperback copy of my book. Next time I plan on posting a Christian book review or two. Plus I’ll be sharing an update on my work in progress(WIP). It’s called ‘Alley Rose’. Thanks for coming by. Until then..

Character Flaws



Characters in a novel aren’t real but they need to portray real-life human experience. For this reason, the main characters must be ‘fleshed out’ to mirror or resemble persons with flaws, peculiarities, contradictions, motivations, and goals. The writer creates individual differences, conflicts, and traits for each character whether they be protagonist, antagonist, confidant, foil..etcetera. This helps the reader to understand and relate to their problems, resulting in feelings of compassion for these fictional people. What’s more,  as they continue reading they may discover a thing or two about themselves within the pages.

Now to my own progress with Alley Rose, the book I’m working on now. Let me clarify. I’m trying to write it -now and then, and here and there. Plenty of starts and stops along the way.  The characters are gradually developing into what I hope will be interesting, and right for the storyline. If not for the grace and mercy of God I couldn’t have gotten this far. You see, my memory seems erratic sometimes. Another issue is my focus. I am easily distracted and often wonder if I have a sensory processing disorder. It’s been like that for a long time. It’s nothing God can’t handle. He knows how to help me over the hurdles so I can stay the course.

We humans are challenged to jump over the hurdles or obstacles that get in the way of reaching our goals and dreams. From here we usually grow in some way and learn a great life lesson.  One of our big obstacles is character flaws. (No pun intended)  It’s inevitable that we all possess them.  Thankfully, we can overcome them by seeking the One who gives us victory over sin. The first step is admitting we have them. Regardless of what they may be. Dishonesty. Vanity. Cowardice. Insincerity. Self-pity. Vengefulness. The list seems endless. Yet it doesn’t matter which ones or how many we have. Jesus Christ is willing and able to set us free.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:57

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. I Corinthians 5:4

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Galatians 5:4

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:15, 16



If you’d like a chance to win a copy of my non-fiction book for middle school kids then join my email list and get a chance to win it. It’s called “How To Be Really Street Smart”.

Journey’s End?

In my prior post I promised to share information about my present project-a novel entitled Alley Rose. The title, as I recall, came to me before I wrote the first page. Odd because it was the opposite with my first novel- Keeper of the Stars. I didn’t decide on that title until the last page. (Unfortunately, after my book was published a well-known writer wrote a novel with the same title- and a subtitle.)

The setting of Alley Rose begins in a rural town in North Carolina in the late sixties. The main character is a young, red-headed girl named Savannah who feels misunderstood and disconnected from her parents.  She loves visiting with her Christian grandmother, who lives in another state, but a serious disagreement mars their close relationship.  As she and friends Ellie and Frankie journey through racial and societal prejudices in the tumultuous 70s, she searches for freedom to become who she was meant to be. If only she knew who that was.

My writing journey lately has been somewhat productive. There’s been obstacles here and there but progress has been made. Not the amount I’d like to see- but I’ve written a few more scenes, plotted a bit more, and fleshed out and defined a few characters better. Still, if I look up the road I see much more that needs to be done for me to reach  my destination and my expectations. Paths to be discovered. Rocks to be moved. Bridges to be constructed. And then crossed. Oh bother! I think Winnie the Pooh is whispering in my ear. Lol! Guess I need to talk to Christopher Robin so he can teach me to have courage and keep traveling on.

Yet,  once I look behind me and realize how far I’ve come, I am encouraged. Why? Because I’m not the same place I was last month,  last week, or yesterday.  I have traveled a few more miles on the journey and I like the progress I see. It inspires me to put one foot(or letter, or word, or sentence) in front of the other until I see the finish line(last chapter, final page). This makes me think of our pilgrim journey as followers of Jesus Christ. It also reminds me of the lines of a song-“sometimes I get a thrill when I look back down the hill and see just where the Lord has brought me from.”

And He has brought me a mighty long way. The obstacles have been continuous. The stumbling blocks have been both big and small. He’s held my hand often and carried me when I didn’t realize it. He made a covenant with me and He has faithfully kept it. I’ve failed Him yet He’s never failed me. If you know Jesus like I know Jesus then this is true for you also. And if you don’t know Him as your Savior, Father, and soon coming King then today is the day to change that. He is no respecter of persons. His suffering and sacrifice on the cross was as much for you as any other human soul.

Will you follow where he leads? Remember heaven is the destination. And no sin can enter in. This life is only for a little while. We’re just passing through. Get on the path of faith in Jesus Christ. Eternity awaits us all. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. What if tomorrow was your journey’s end?


How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; Hebrews 2:3


Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. I Peter 1:23-25













What’s a WIP?

I recently discovered what WIP stands for-at least in writing lingo. Did you guess it already? It’s a Work In Progress.  I suppose it could be called Writing In Process too.  Though it may seem easy from the outside looking in, writing a novel is a complex process for sure. Outlining and plotting can be a nightmare for many writers. Often we start out on the writing journey without the aid of a map. Maybe that’s because such writers don’t know where they’re going yet. Because their special story is character driven. Or it could be plot driven. But we need some type of blueprint don’t we?

In the writing community people who just sit down- pick up a pen and pad, or a laptop-and start weaving words into sentences and then finish with a story are called ‘pantsers’. I started out like that but it’s changed somewhat for me. I would be called a ‘plantser’ today. Because I do attempt some plotting and outlining in my writing process now.  Regardless of how we get there hopefully we’ll end up with something that entertains, informs, and communicates-especially faith in a living and holy God.

Jesus Christ-the first and greatest author of all-has many WIPs. Every one of his believers is a work in progress. Through His wisdom and longsuffering He is working to conform us to His divine image.  If we truly desire to be more like Jesus, then prayer, the Word, and worship cannot be neglected or ignored. They must be our priority. He’s the Potter and we’re the clay. He seeks to create something beautiful of our lives. We have to trust the process and yield to His will. After all He knows what He’s doing whether we do or not.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

My next post will be about my present writing project called ‘Alley Rose’. You’re invited to come by and find out more. Join my email list and receive notifications and a chance to win a copy of my non-fiction, paperback book for youth ‘How To Be Really Street Smart.’

Until then…