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1. Heroes the Way They Should Be

denzel_thumb_large

You don’t find heroes standing for good because it’s the right thing to do…or at the very least, it’s difficult to find these kinds of fictional characters anymore.

In my upcoming Fall from Grace series, one of themes that flows throughout is the prospect of good old traditional heroes…the challenge is making these characters appealing to readers. In our society, it’s hard to believe that some people want to be and do good simply because no human being should have to suffer.

Recently re-watching the film The Equalizer (2014), then subsequently re-watching two more times because I enjoyed it greatly, I was inspired by the character Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) and his perception on injustice; this is what heroes should be.

denzel-washington-the-equalizer-reading

A retired special agent who has taken to humble living following the death of his wife, Robert comes upon ‘an escort’ who faces trouble with the Russian mob.

Making this plot concise, Robert’s ethics and decency compel him to use his unique skill set to shut down a sex-slave trafficking operation, and put his abilities to use for helping all those in need. It amplifies the idea that people should be operating out of generosity and helpfulness regardless of circumstances, though it makes this point with a little more power and action.

The character’s attempts to keep the peace are admirable as he tries to negotiate the girl’s freedom by paying for it. When the Russian mob laugh at his gesture to free the girl, Robert uses other means to resolve the scenario.

geralt-of-rivia

As another one of my favourite fictional heroes says: “If I’m to choose between one evil or another, I’d rather not choose at all.” – Geralt of Rivia, The Witcher (i.e. don’t make the choice between evils, rid the world of evil altogether!)

The post Heroes the Way They Should Be appeared first on Wanting Nothing.

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2. Honestly, how do you forgive someone when they’ve stabbed you in the heart?

forgive

Honestly, how do you forgive someone when they’ve stabbed you in the heart?

Forgiveness with sincerity is possibly one of the hardest actions to do in this world…

Here is the ninth blog I’ve written for my church’s website—Emmanuel Evangelical Church—in an ongoing series of articles detailing my journey in faith…


Perhaps the worst thing to happen to me in my life was to face the prospect of a criminal conviction and lengthy custodial sentence for a situation, that was vindicated by multiple witness testimonies.

To have my ‘character’ dragged through the mud and my freedom stolen for almost a year by court visits, presented physical, mental, and spiritual pain that saw me in Accident and Emergency with heart problems on top of a slew of vicious, nightly spiritual attacks, that destroyed all morality inside me.

Yet, the Lord calls us to forgive every single person because He forgave us (Matthew 6: 14 – 15).

Forgiveness is one of several behaviours that highlight the uniqueness of our faith. It is also one of the hardest choices/processes to actively live in this world.

We can immediately understand why forgiveness is seen as a ‘Godly’ action when we come to know Christ, simply by its difficulty. We wonder – how did Jesus forgive everyone in the midst of such anguish on the cross?

Two of my favourite lines in all the literature I’ve ever read are:

Luke (KJV) 23:34

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Acts (KJV) 7:60

And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

In these verses, we see Jesus the Son of God and Saint Stephen, respectively. They are able to forgive humanity during the height of physical adversity (Jesus is on the cross and Stephen is being stoned). We are called to strive toward their example.


WHY DO WE FORGIVE?

Reasons we Forgive are…

  • …because we have been forgiven by God (Ephesians 4:32).
  • …to be in obedience with God (Matthew 6:14-15; Romans 12:18).
  • …to allow God to free us from the chains of bitterness and resentment (Genesis 4:1-8) – when you refuse to forgive, the grudge eats you up, causing you to suffer far more than the person that hurt you (Matthew 6:9-13).
  • …so we won’t become bitter and defile those around us (Hebrews 12:14-15).

WHAT IS FORGIVENESS IN THIS WORLD?

Forgiveness is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as:

  • Stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake
  • No longer feel angry about or wish to punish (an offence, flaw, or mistake)
  • Cancel (a debt)

In the secular world, you may have heard the term, “I forgive but never forget.” I’ve often heard it said with a slight bit of pride in the tone. My favourite motivational speaker Les Brown says: “Forgiving is not forgetting. It is remembering without anger.”

The challenge I find with these secular definitions is that they make forgiveness seem like it’s possible without Jesus.

When you forgive, you’re wiping the slate clean. There is no recalling the past transgression or memory of it. So in forgiving, you are actively doing your part to confront the issue, heal the wound, and move on. But…how can you forgive if the memory is still there?

This is where Jesus comes into play.


HOW DO YOU FORGIVE SOMEONE?

I’m sure each of you has your own God-given strategy to forgive that involves prayer, profound connection with the Holy Spirit, and perhaps your own select piece of scripture that resonates with you.

I’ve personally found that sincerely comprehending two events in our history by faith and God’s grace, helps a great deal.

The first is the most catastrophic event of all time: THE FALL

With this event, I’ve taken responsibility of Adam and Eve’s misdeed. I’ve totally admitted to myself that I would’ve accepted the temptation and indulged in the fruit; that I would’ve wanted the knowledge to be like God himself, thereby rejecting God. Accepting this situation is humbling and allows me to comprehend the next event even more: THE RESURRECTION AND SALVATION OF ALL MANKIND.

Daily, I continue to grow in my understanding of Jesus’ walk to the cross; an innocent man brought to suffer a brutally painful death – crucifixion – for our salvation. He had to endure all the worst the world could throw at Him as a surrogate for us, allowing God the Father to forgive us of all our sins past, present, and future, vindicating us of THE FALL.

My understanding of God’s Grace is that I don’t deserve the good life I have: the accessibility to fast food restaurants, the ease of Amazon Online, the flexibility of working from home, being able to attend a private gym, having a roof over my head, and good food on the table. I don’t deserve anything of what is good, because I rejected my Father/ my creator through Adam and Eve.

Yet concluding, I owe Him everything because He has gracefully said, “the slate is wiped clean.” All He asks, is for me to forgive others like He did for me.

How could I ever refuse?

For a very clear understanding of this, the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, helps explain how we have treated God and how He will always respond to us.

PLEASE LEAVE QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS BELOW 

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3. [Podcast] Do you ever want to rewind the clock and try again?

transformation


Do you ever want to rewind the clock and try again?

Regret, anguish, sadness, and anger can’t turn back the clock…but seeking truth can.

Before I came to faith, I was on a one-man, self-righteous crusade for happiness through honest living, and good intentions. But I was compelled to acquaintance with despair and sadness, before I was rescued from the hypnotic whirlpool of prideful altruism.


Attempting to Transform the Mind Myself

I’ve been a thinker since I was a child. I also have a sharp memory for intricate detail.

Due to the analytical nature of my mind and a profound sadness from not accomplishing certain life goals, I’ve seen counsellors, therapists, hypnotherapists, psychologists, and life coaches from since I was 14 up to 30 years of age; I simply wanted peace and joy.

Among these professional sessions and the books I’ve read about ‘building a better you,’ ‘the law of attraction,’ and ‘bringing happiness into your life,’ nothing ever filled the void in my soul with sufficient truth.

All the answers these experts professed felt like a half measure – incomplete, and more a suppression of pain than actual healing of the wound.


Letting the Original Expert Do His Work

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

February 2015 at age 30, I came to read the Bible.

Since knowing God and His Word, there have been unusual, unexpected, and noticeable changes in my physical and mental expression – this isn’t about the list or quantity of changes here, but I wish to highlight examples of transformation that I’d thought impossible:

  • I possess gratitude and appreciation so deep that I look forward to even the simplest part of my day – going to the gym, editing articles for my occupation, reading, or eating a batch of large, red grapes!
  • Forgiving people – I don’t simply mean saying the words. I mean I’ve sincerely forgiven and further, wished goodness on many that have wronged me, proven in my reactions to them
  • I don’t frown as much – this was a big issue for me for two decades
  • I’m smiling more – usually, I could only smile when I’d had a few alcoholic beverages
  • Profanity has vanished from my vocabulary by no conscious effort on my part
  • I go out of my way to be around people – for the majority of my life, I’ve bordered on misanthropy

I can’t explain how this mental transformation is taking place other than my holding to God’s word and the divine life changing power of the Holy Spirit. There are questions of course:

Why is it that all the motivational books I read never felt like they offered complete answers?

Why is it that the professionals I went to see to help ‘fix me,’ didn’t succeed?

Why am I feeling real progress in my path to happiness with God, compared to physical and mental methods I tried on my own strength?

How can one very old book (the Bible) have such power to alter my brain mechanics, finally bringing me to true joy of life? How is this all possible?

I’m confident these questions will receive answers as I continue my journey; the significant revelation about all of this is that only God—the original architect—could have made these mental transformations possible.


Today

I feel like a child again.

Rewinding the clock isn’t quite accurate, but there has definitely been a reset. It’s disorientating as I now live for every single day, not worrying about the future at all. I know it’s progress toward becoming the best version of myself (Matthew 5: 33 – 34), because previously I’d built myself on pride. After humbling myself before God, I needed to be deconstructed and rebuilt again, which is what is happening.

It’s odd to be witness to God’s transformation of my mind when I can remember—vividly—that nothing else I tried before this worked; however, it is in rejecting my ego and letting the Holy Spirit do His work, that this development has been possible.

Luke 9:23: And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

The post [Podcast] Do you ever want to rewind the clock and try again? appeared first on Wanting Nothing.

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4. A ‘MUST-READ:’ The Wise Student and ‘All-Knowing’ Professor

A great debate

I don’t know who wrote the following extract on a renowned scientist, but it’s DEFINITELY worth reading for EVERYONE:


Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?

 

Student : Yes, sir.

 

Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?

 

Student : Absolutely, sir.

 

Professor : Is GOD good ?

 

Student : Sure.

 

Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?

 

Student : Yes.

 

Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?

 

(Student was silent.)

 

Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?

 

Student : Yes.

 

Professor: Is satan good ?

 

Student : No.

 

Professor: Where does satan come from ?

 

Student : From … GOD …

 

Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

 

Student : Yes.

 

Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?

 

Student : Yes.

 

Professor: So who created evil ?

 

(Student did not answer.)

 

Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

 

Student : Yes, sir.

 

Professor: So, who created them ?

 

(Student had no answer.)

 

Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?

 

Student : No, sir.

 

Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?

 

Student : No , sir.

 

Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?

 

Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

 

Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?

 

Student : Yes.

 

Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

 

Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.

 

Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.

 

Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

 

Professor: Yes.

 

Student : And is there such a thing as cold?

 

Professor: Yes.

 

Student : No, sir. There isn’t.

 

(The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)

 

Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.

 

(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)

 

Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

 

Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

 

Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

 

Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?

 

Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

 

Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?

 

Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.

 

Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

 

Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

 

Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

 

(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)

 

Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

 

(The class was in uproar.)

 

Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?

 

(The class broke out into laughter. )

 

Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

 

(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)

 

Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

 

Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

 

P.S.

 

I believe you have enjoyed the conversation. And if so, you’ll probably want your friends / colleagues to enjoy the same, won’t you?

 

Forward this to increase their knowledge … or FAITH.

 

By the way, that student was EINSTEIN.

 

The post A ‘MUST-READ:’ The Wise Student and ‘All-Knowing’ Professor appeared first on Wanting Nothing.

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5. Is it possible to make ‘good guys’ cool again?

Good guys

Is it even possible to make ‘good guys’ cool anymore?

From the moment they released the first image of the new Joker (Suicide Squad 2016) in 2015, many could predict the direction producers were headed.

With his innovative, physical appearance, they intended to make the Joker cool; someone to aspire to…and judging by the YouTube comments on various Suicide Squad videos, they succeeded.

Men say the Joker is the ultimate alpha male and want to be him.

Women now want to be with him.

I have already confessed that the Joker Harley ‘vat scene’ (which is actually a perverted form of romance) possessed a dark, magnetic allure to it. It was really well-written; the dialogue, choreography, and music brought appeal, pleasing contemporary audiences universally. And yes, I liked it very much as a long standing fan of Batman who had never seen this angle to the characters.

However, I also saw the incredible danger of the material and the fantasies it will create, which is a very warped version of what a romantic relationship should be; Joker proceeded to rescue Harley from captivity twice in the film, heightening the twisted love they share and making the Joker–a psychopathic, narcissistic, megalomaniac, serial killer–some form of hero.

It solidified the challenging ambitions that I have with my fiction characters Lord Sleth, Axel Brown, and Malaide Field of Fall from Grace – a goal to make ‘good guys’ look cool again.

Dead are the days when the hero was the hero simply because it’s ‘the right thing to do.’

Now, it has to be vengeance or some manner of darkness that makes the heroic character enigmatic and increasingly attractive to the audience.

One of my favourite quotes is from a fictional hero, who again has an incredibly dark past, but his motivation is on the right track:

“I want to help people, because they shouldn’t suffer as they do…” – Angel, TV series

So I wonder…is it possible for fiction heroes to be admired, respected, and appreciated for just being the ‘good guy,’ or must they be scarred?

I think as long as I avoid going over the top with the ‘goody goody’ angle like the video below where Batman orders an orange juice (Batman special), things will work out…

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6. The Night Tube – What Do You Think?

File photo dated 05/02/14 of the London underground sign against the night sky, as London Underground today launched an official map ahead of introducing its first all night Tube services in less than three monthsÕ time. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday June 22, 2015. The new map shows customers which Tube lines and stations will operate 24-hour services over weekends from September 12. See PA story INDUSTRY Tube. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Night Tube – What Do You Think?

Is it going to serve as a positive on London’s drinking culture or a negative?

I’m simply curious as I received an email from London Transport this morning broadcasting that Victoria and Central Lines are initiating their 24-hour Friday and Saturday night itineraries on Aug 19, 2016; since giving up the Friday night drinking lifestyle last year, I couldn’t help but think, “wow, this would’ve been useful back in the day.”

However, I also see potential danger in it for individuals, factoring in the hour at which people will be taking the tube and the booze that will be flowing in their veins, so I’m simply wondering what perceptions are out there about this.

I’m sure the cabs and Ubers aren’t too pleased…

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7. Transforming Two Psycho Killers into Characters You Like – Harley and Joker

Harley-and-Joker

It’s a stroke of genius when writers are able to manipulate an audience to sympathise and possibly even empathise with fictional characters known as murderous fiends.

Suicide Squad 2016 seems to have managed it with the romance between psychotic characters Joker and Harley Quinn.

In my humble opinion, I don’t relish morally depraved fictional characters revamped in a way that can send the wrong message to the audience, but to my guilty pleasure, I did enjoy the innovative adaptation of these renowned comic book agents of chaos, and commend any writer who can change one’s thought process on villains.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen that these powerful scripts and character portrayals can actually influence or—perhaps more accurately stated—act as a catalyst for insane activity. Think of mass murderer James Eagan Holmes who was convicted of 24 counts of murder and 140 counts of attempted murder for the 2012 Aurora, Colarado shooting at The Dark Knight cinema screening. Even though mental illness was more the cause, he was a fan of Batman and coloured his hair in an unforgettable tone representative of the Joker.

My reaction to Suicide Squad’s depiction of these fictional killers reminded me of my goal with my young adult fantasy novels.

Today’s writers commonly create anti-heroes and villains because society calls for identify with fallen, flawed characters. Vampires are especially compelling by contemporary standards, despite the fact that they’re killers; readers/ viewers lap up the vampire theme, forgetting the modus operandi of these creatures; they’re cannibals.

With my fantasy novels like the Fall from Grace series, I intend to resurrect popularity with ‘the good guy’ and actually show why the morally virtuous are more appealing than the villainous. This is not going to be an easy task in western society that now applauds what was once shameful and humiliating, and laughs at those with traditional values…nevertheless, my goal is to turn that perception back to its origins.

Read more about Fall from Grace HERE

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8. The Great Dictator 1940 Film – An Incredible Speech

Charlie Chaplin

When I saw the face, I wondered why this was numbered among the most inspirational speeches in several YouTube compilation videos. Then I listened…

I can only speculate, but I suppose this film was some sort of reverse parody / satire about Hitler. The speech is certainly worth sharing.

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9. Affairs, Cheating, and A Short Story Taking Longer than Expected!

Stephen L France - Affairs, Cheating, and A Short Story Taking Longer Than Expected!

I started writing How to Lose a Wife in 2 Days back in 2012 when I was a bartender at Myett’s Beach Bar in Cane Garden Bay, BVI.

I wrote it on observation of an ongoing practice that came as a shock to me when I learned about it – the conscious act of vacationers, coming to the Caribbean for a premeditated fling from their spouse.

This content is taking a lot longer to compose than I want it to and has matured from a short story to a novelette that I will be sending out to my Google Contacts list.

As I travel through memories of the British Virgin Islands 2009 – 2014 that inspire this story, I remember this embarrassing moment at Nanny Cay Beach Bar.

Drinking my usual Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila with two cubes of ice, I was talking to a woman about the whole monogamy situation or lack of it in the Caribbean.

She confidently replied that her husband was “one of the good ones” and that she was very lucky.

When her husband approached, my eyes widened and I took a deep sip of my drink.

She introduced him and he grinned.

‘Yeah, I know him,’ I said. ‘This is your husband? This is your husband?’

I don’t know if the shock in my voice or the repetition of the question revealed my horror–as I really wasn’t being subtle at all–but I quickly made an exit because the man she’d introduced was a guy who I KNEW was having multiple flings with vacationers any chance he got.

I recall two other conversations with women, educating me that their mothers had taught them that it’s okay for husbands to have affairs. The words were: “men are going to do it anyway but make sure they don’t come home smelling of another woman’s perfume or lipstick on the collar.”

I’m fully aware how naïve I sound when I declare my surprise to learn these things, but at that point, I really was shocked.

It was only a matter of time before I felt the sting of betrayal in this orgy of treacherous liaisons and relationships and further, felt my morality slowly dissolve under the pressure of a hedonistic society. But that’s going to be part of the story Taking off My Shoes

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10. Free Novelette – Sample – How to Lose a Wife in 2 Days

the beach

If you haven’t read this before, this is a sample of a short story–evolved into a novelette–that I will be sending to my email list for free when it’s completed. It’s taking a while for various reasons, mainly that I wish to make sure it maintains a balance between realism and comedy. I started writing it in 2012 when I was a bartender for Myett’s hotel and restaurant, Cane Garden Bay in the British Virgin Islands. It’s inspired by observations and surprise discoveries I made of a world so different to what I knew at the time.

Enjoy this sample if you haven’t read it already. Originally, the title was How to Lose a Wife in 7 Days, but I felt the protagonist Terry Logan was such an unpleasant character, that he could speed up that time frame, no trouble. The truth is, ‘seven days’ would’ve made this a full novel at the rate I’ve been writing.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ‘LIKE’ AND ‘COMMENT’ – IT ALL HELPS!


How to Lose a Wife in 2 Days

Part 1

“A holiday to Magaluf would’ve been so much better,” said Terry.

Shagaluf, the name that he and his mates knew it by, shot through his mind. It would’ve been such a laugh with the lads and those northern tarts from Tyne everyone out for a good shag.

“Well we’re here now, so let’s make the most of it,” said Doreen.

Terry’s body odour emerged around him as his prodding fingers released a squelching from the armpits of his England football shirt.

“Good afternoon,” said the female flight attendant.

“Alright,” said Terry with a leer. “Passport and the uh – the thingy, is it?”

“Yes, your boarding passes please.”

Terry handed over the documents.

“Thank you and enjoy your flight with British Airways,” she said.

“Cheers love,” said Terry. “Look out for our seats, alright? 36D and 36E!”

Seated passengers were persuaded to observe the commotion as Terry’s loud voice and bumbling stature—hand luggage bouncing around—bowled through the aisle. As Terry passed through, their heads recoiled.

Terry raised his hand to wipe sweat from his forehead, allowing his armpit to breathe in the faces of the seated travellers around him. He then stopped. “Look ‘ere. These are the seats, right babe?”

“Yeah, this is it,” said Doreen.

They were positioned in the centre row of the plane’s economy class, sandwiched by the two aisles. Terry threw his bag in one of the overhead holders and squeezed into the seats first.

Sat with a screen in front displaying health and safety procedures, Terry moulded his weight into the seat. Doreen joined him and dodged as Terry’s elbow swung in her direction.

“Watch it Terry,” she said.

“Alright, alright,” he replied. “Don’t get your knickers in a twist.”

Terry wriggled around, waiting for one last gratification. It was coming. The ultimate freedom. Yes. There it was. He let the wind breeze out from between his large bum cheeks, forcing the hot, hissing air into his trousers.

An old man in the seat across the aisle grabbed his throat as if he was choking. His mouth slowly fell open and his tongue snaked out. He let out a little whimper and his eyes began to water. The eyes of another man seated at the window, brightened up – his hand moved to cover his nose. A woman sat diagonally in front of Terry wretched before her lips arched down and a frown painted her face.

The heavy, humid, sulphuric scent that blanketed the entire section of the plane, compelled many to clutch the entire bottom of their face. Doreen showed no change in her expression. She was used to it.

One flight attendant gasped and almost slipped as she entered the gaseous arena. Like stumbling into a workman’s van, who’s made his vehicle his own farting litter box, the stink stood stiff.

Terry moistened his lips loudly, smiled, shuffled in his chair, and closed his eyes.

The vibration of his phone, shook him back to reality. He pulled out his shiny, silver titanium mobile.

“Talk to me,” he said.

“It’s me mate.”

“’ello Fred. ‘ow are we then?”

“I’m alright mate, just callin’ off my boy’s blower. Listen, I gotta make this quick, because I’m running a little late for work.”

“Oh yeah? Weekend shift is it?”

“Yeah mate, bloody tax man had ‘is hands in my pockets again, so I need a little extra. Anyway, Buzzock tells me your goin’ to the islands for your holiday.”

“Yeah. Not my idea. I was up for the caravan park in Dorset, but the wife wanted to try something new. It’s taking me for an arm and leg though mate. Flights alone were flippin’ daylight robbery.”

“Yeah? Well you remember how I went on holiday to those parts a year back? Let me give you a piece of advice. Stick to your better-half like a fly on shit.”

“’ey? What d’you mean?”

“What I’m sayin’ is, there are a lot of fellers out there, who try to get their end away with tourists and they don’t exactly care for the sanctity of marriage, if you catch my meaning.”

Terry laughed. “Fuckin’ no way. What you talkin’ about mate?”

Terry looked at Doreen and flipped his phone to the opposite ear. He turned away and whispered, “my Doreen would never do anything like that.”

Terry raised his eye brows at one of the flight attendants approaching.

“Look. Ter. I’m just telling you what’s what,” said Fred. “I didn’t tell anyone about this, but, Fiona, well…she only went and fucked one of those jungle bunnies when we were out there.”

“You fuckin’ what?”

“Yeah. I mean talk about choppin’ your fuckin’ bullocks off. It was the last night of the ‘oliday and I come back to the room off my fuckin’ trolley. I’d been smashin’ the granny out of a pair of Dominican brasses, then got high as a monkey up a palm tree with these local fellas.”

“Sounds like a crackin’ time.”

“Well, that’s where the buzz stops mate. I was lookin’ for a little quickie before the sandman said ‘ello.”

“Haha, you’re not wrong there mate.”

“Anyhow, I only go and stumble into the room and find her with one of the fuckin’ natives.”

“You what?”

“Yeah. Bent over like Mike’s secretary at the Christmas party. Wanker was shifty as a fuckin’ weasel. Don’t worry though. He got his.”

“Bloody ‘ell. I had no clue mate.”

The flight attendant was in front of Terry, signalling to him to switch his phone off.

“All right love, in a sec,” said Terry.

“What’s that mate?” said Fred.

“Gotta go mate – we’re taking off.”

“Alright Ter. Well like I said, be like fuckin’ Columbo out there. Oh and when Jamal offers you a smoke of the old bush, tell ‘im where to fuckin’ go. That’s how they got me. Wankers had me buzzing, then one of them snuck off and banged the missus like a salvation army drum. The crafty cunts. And make sure you watch her closely on the last night. Something about the last night of the holiday should have those islands tagged for how to lose a wife. They’ll do bloody anything.”

“All right mate. We’re only on this island for a couple of days, then we’re boating over to the next, but bloody nora. Cheers for telling me that.”

“Yeah, later on.”

Terry switched off his phone and nodded at the flight attendant.

“Thank you,” she mouthed.

Terry forced a smile and turned to Doreen. Doreen, who now had the plane headphones on, flashed a smile and returned to face the screen in front of her.

“Not a fuckin’ chance,” muttered Terry under his breath.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ‘LIKE’ AND ‘COMMENT’ – IT ALL HELPS!

Explore the site for my other upcoming books

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11. My Greatest Wound and Restoration

My greatest Wound

My greatest, most embarrassing, humiliating wound; my most potent weakness, is that I’ve never been able to call someone my girlfriend; my partner. I don’t blush, but I can feel my face heating up as I write this…

In the past, if someone desired to do me the most harm, this would be the optimum assault one could utilise. It’s something so normal, so simple in both the secular and Christian world and yet it’s an experience that’s completely escaped me – and it hurts…a great deal.

To be able to walk hand-in-hand down the road…to be able to go to the cinema…to take in a sunset or night sky with a partner…it’s ridiculous, I know, but these are simple activities I’ve never, ever, experienced.

I’m aware many people take having a partner for granted and fail to recognise how much their significant other contributes to their overall behaviour and confidence in life; similar to the lack of appreciation for being gifted with three meals-a-day or having a home. But there it is – my greatest wound – and my awareness that it will be appreciated as a true God-given miracle when I do meet the right person.

By my old perceptions, this was a rejection from the world and for over a decade, I felt it to be a rejection and betrayal from God the Father.

EEC Restoration Encounter Weekend

During the recent Emmanuel Evangelical Church Restoration Encounter Weekend (July 15 – 17, 2016), we were compelled to confront our most profound moments of hurt and seek healing through prayer and forgiveness of self, forgiveness of others, and in some cases, forgiveness of God. Transparency of our shames and guilt in a steadfast, honest manner was necessary to this psychological and spiritual process, freeing us from the internal strongholds that the world had inflicted to keep us prisoner of our own minds.

It was a true working of Ephesians 4:23 and Romans 12:2, tearing down the deceptions that were constructed in us from childhood, through to adolescence, right up to the present day.

It wasn’t a simple matter of putting the past behind us like so many new age philosophies instruct. We were guided to revisit and visualise those most painful issues where the lies were implanted and speak truth into them through the power of the Holy Spirit.

My deepest lies are: I will never be chosen. I will always be alone. And God doesn’t love me. My mission is to discover the truth about who I am through God and His Word.

There is no doubt that this was all part of the Lord’s perfect plan for me and I’m certain all attendees felt the same with the honest, humble, transparency in fellowship we experienced through God.

Men’s Purity Group

I’ve been laughed at. And I do mean really laughed at for what I’m about to say…but, it’s what I’m facing now and hiding away from it is just not the Godly way.

In my Feeding Faith blogs so far, I keep referring to March 26, EEC Easter Conference, because it was here when everything changed and I was placed into ‘the wilderness’ – the ‘trials ground’ of faith. It’s not easy and I’m currently at a stage where I have no idea where my life will lead tomorrow, but the good Word says when you put your life into God’s hands, this is how it’s supposed to be; living for every day as it comes: Matthew 6:34.

Since then, I’ve had to face off with the most challenging aspects of faith. I only know they’re the most difficult by talking to multiple ‘veteran’ Christians.

The first crucial area I had to deal with was ‘rejection’ in the aforementioned form. Rejection–as we know–is huge, and effective, efficient healing of the past is vital in order to move into a solid foundation with God for the future.

The second area that has emerged is the one that even as I write these words, I’m slightly afraid to say, because it’s shocking even in Christian circles.

When EEC Pastor Peter told me ‘no sex before marriage’ when I first joined the church in January 2015, my mind quietly laughed and said that’s madness. But by power of God, I have been celibate until present amid a horrible pulling sensation in my stomach that sometimes occurs telling me:

You’re missing out Stephen.

You could be enjoying yourself.

What the hell are you doing?

You’re going to regret this! 

You’re wasting your life!

But I know that voice.

It’s not my friend. It’s not my friend at all.

I’m also aware of the absolute truth: 2 Samuel 22:31. If I decide to go my own way—bars, pubs, clubs, I will end up hurting…a lot.

Keeping that all in mind, Matthew 5: 28 – 29 is the verse that poses the greatest challenge for single Christian men around the world. This line takes one’s Christian life to that point where I had to ask a blunt question. Will I follow God’s way or choose my own?

There is a great deal about sexual immorality in the Bible, but this is the focal verse that informs us that looking at certain pictures and videos is wrong. It took a year and two months of asking God about this, before I had that logic-defying answer from Him that put me on the path of spiritual purity, joining a men’s purity group through the Kingdom Conquer Series.

All I can say about this is there are countless distractions and I cannot deny my trepidation – it’s a movement that has now made me live every day as it comes and I’m honestly unable to see my future. I have finally let go of all control of my life. I would not be telling the truth if I didn’t confess my fear, and also the feeling like I’m a monk.

The fact is on December 22, 2014, I emerged out of a sex-rampant country where infidelity is rife.

To make such a transformation of mind is not easy, but only the Holy Spirit can get me through and I’m praying I meet that special woman soon, because it’s also drawn a complete blank as to who she will be, how I will meet her…how I will talk to her…everything.

Signs from God

Moving forward with God, I cannot rely solely on the Bible anymore. My connection with the Lord has to progress into a more personal and direct connection. For someone like myself who stands with a logical mind, this is very hard.

Signs from God are what people in the secular world will often term as ‘coincidence.’ As an individual who has difficulty hearing from God, He uses my attention to visual details to send His messages. For me, Restoration Weekend was part of God’s perfect way. Two days before, I’d bought a book—Switch on Your Brain—that had been recommended to me from a member of my purity group.  To then see that this was the sole book promoted at my Restoration conference, despite thousands of secondary Christian resources that could have been there, told me I’m on the right path.

If you are a new Christian or even if not, how has your journey been with the Lord to the present day?

Visit here for more Feeding Faith blogs – http://stephen-l-france.com/category/feeding-faith/

 

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12. Heaven to Hell in Seconds – Taking off My Shoes (Extract)

taking off my shoes

…it was moments like these that support why I stay here. This is it. It’s paradise. People dream of this.

I heard and saw my friends’ faces on the phone. I’m so lucky to be here.

Hand shielding my eyes, I stare at the incredible sunset from my beach lounger, the waves lapping against the white sand of the shore, my JD with two cubes of ice in hand – this is heaven.

Forget all the other things I experience. It’s all worth the sacrifice. That’s what other expats say.

Baptism by fire. School of hard knocks. University of life. If you don’t like it, leave.

It has been two years so far – I can do this.

‘Hey Chris!’ shouts one of the waitresses from the bar.

I turn to face her. ‘Hey June, how are you?’

‘Did you hear about Cynthia?’

‘Ur, no. What about Cynthia?’

Uh oh. This is it. I had thought the day could pass without a single bit of drama. No extreme incident. No madness that was so foreign to my way of life. But I can hear the tone of her voice. See her eyes squinting in that way, like she has something juicy to get off her chest. And it’s never nice or good when they have some gossip to tell me. Here it comes…

‘They found Cynthia’s body in St. Thomas.’

‘What?’

Now, I’m going to freeze it here. You see, on hearing Cynthia’s name, I was expecting something like a physical fight between Cynthia and her partner Murphy; they’d just had an unpleasant break up. I’d seen Cynthia a few weeks ago and she’d been downing vodka cranberries like a marathon runner drinking water after the big finish. She couldn’t compile coherent sentences and one day, she drove me to the beach explaining how much she couldn’t stand her racist family back in the States, and that her boyfriend was breaking up with her. She was a nice lady, but she was alone, and she was killing herself slowly.

‘How did she die?’ I ask as if this is another normal occurrence. In my mind, I’m shaking my head.

‘Liver failure. Really sad.’

She says the words, but I doubt she feels it. Then, she walks back into the restaurant. I’m starting to lose empathy myself. Become desensitised to the insanity I experience on a daily basis.

This isn’t paradise.

I continue drinking my JD. There’s enough for three gulps.

More information about this upcoming book here

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13. Sometimes, you just want to know ‘WHY?’

If you’re a thinker, sometimes, all you want to know is ‘WHY?’

It’s a question I’m often asking as I write Taking off My Shoes.

Why did it have to go down like that? Why did it have to be this way? Why those specific experiences? Just a rational explanation…you’re not asking to turn back time. Not asking to delete the memory. Just ‘WHY?’

I watched this scene a minute ago and it still tugs at the heart strings – I think you have to follow the LoSt plot to understand this character’s pain, but all the same, his agony is very present in this video.

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14. Your closest friend likes the same person you do! What do you do? (For guys and girls to answer)

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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15. Would you trade your morality for physical, material, and geographical perfection?

Would you trade your morality for physical and material perfection

Your soul or the paradise of good sun, beaches, turquoise sea waters, cocktails on tap, beauty all around…which would you choose?


Comment below


More HERE

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16. The Thrills of Bar-tending

Stephen L France

It feels like another world now…it really does.

As I continue to write Taking off My Shoes (More Info Here), I’m looking back at how I was bar-tending in the Caribbean in one of the most popular hotel/restaurants; it was an octagon shaped bar which would get so packed sometimes, you would truly feel the heat…and I’m not talking about the climate here.

When we’d have a special party, all eight sides of the bar would be crammed with people calling out for their drinks…and on occasion, some of these customers would be ruthless.

Fear, anxiety, and a lot of sweat could take you prisoner if not vigilant.

You had to maintain your calm composure, control your body temperature, be polite, smile as much as possible, and compartmentalise any of life’s challenges that you might be facing.

I kid you not, I would have dreams where I was surrounded by people shouting “Pina Colada! Red Stripe! Rum Punch! Cuba Libre! Cosmo! Virgin Strawberry Smoothie!” Incidentally, the latter beverage was the worst drink to make as on all counts it was a loss. It was cheap, could take a long time to blend as there’s no alcohol to dissolve the ice, and the customer ordering this drink was most likely not a tipper…

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17. Have You Ever Met An Evil Person? (Video)

Neegan - have you ever met an evil person

You never forget your first encounter with an evil person…

…and of course, you can only hope it’s your last.

Evil is defined as ‘profoundly immoral and wicked.’ I was thinking about this following viewing of the finale The Walking Dead Season Six; the dialogue from the arch-villain was bone-chilling as you knew it indicated ‘game over’ for the lead characters. It pulled my mind to the topic of evil people – is there such a thing?

It then reminded me of a moment I describe in Taking off My Shoes (MORE ABOUT TAKING OFF MY SHOES HERE) where protagonist Christopher Charles makes a harsh judgement about an individual based off his body language, mannerisms, and speech pattern. Christopher Charles’ exact thoughts are: I would never be friends with this man and I would never want to work for him. 

This man later becomes his employer and Christopher learns that his ‘judging a book by its cover’ was dead-on accurate as his employer turns out to be a spiteful man, who appears to enjoy power over his staff. Further, he laughs at situations where he’s deliberately cruel, prompting Christopher Charles to start describing the man as the first evil person he’s met in his life.

I think it’s extremely rare to find someone who is actually evil, but if I were to define it, I would say it’s someone who takes extreme pleasure from the suffering of others like this character does in the below video – they love the pain their inflicting past the line of any saving grace:

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

COMMENT BELOW!

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18. 3 Repulsive Rules of Dating and Marriage

3 repulsive rules

I always despised the secular world’s rules and lack of stability regarding dating – blunt, cold, truth – I hated them. They are organised so that anything goes and if you methodically, rationally, and logically follow what the world tells you, you’ll become a very ‘indifferent’ individual.

I was prompted to write this after watching a few ‘rom-coms’ on Amazon Prime where all the rules below were permitted- that is until the protagonist had some kind of revelation, that made them realise they could do better:

1) Treat them mean, keep them keen

My personal favourite…I hate this rule with passion. Why? Because it’s instructing me to not be myself. The part I despise the most? It actually works. I know this because I’ve seen other people—both male and female—do it with great success. Their partner always returns to their mentally abusive relationship, despite any advice they might receive professing they do the opposite.

2) Different area codes

You might see it joked about in fiction, but this is a true, real-life rule used by many – especially utilised during ‘stag-dos’ for those that are already married and sometimes for the groom to take advantage of ‘one last bit of freedom.’ I can only assume it occurs during Hen parties as well…

3) Free Pass

This one is so cold and sad…

I have never seen a man do this for a woman, but I know women do it for men. One free pass, if they go on holiday, or perhaps as an annual agreement on their marriage. One opportunity to have their fun and feel free again…

Insanity to me, but apparently quite normal now.


The fact is, all of the above are supposed to be representative of liberalism – that we’ve evolved so much into care-free, cool attitudes, that we no longer mind…

What do you think?

Comment below.

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19. Trusting Someone I’ve Never Seen…

stephen l france trusting

…and the Irony of Spiritual Warfare in Evangelism.

When I returned from the British Virgin Islands on December 22, 2014, little did I know that I would come to know God, because it certainly wasn’t in my plan…

Trusting someone I can’t see

In short, my decision—which didn’t feel like much of a choice at all—happened like this:

  • I was invited to dinner by my friend and her friends. I was subsequently asked if I would like to join them at Emmanuel Evangelical Church (EEC)
  • I visited EEC with the intention of a single day trip—a fun day out—in respect of my friend’s new faith. In my mind, I had no intention of returning to the church a second time
  • My friend then re-introduced the Bible to me with the proposal that it’s the best-seller of all time. She explained that it’s the original source for all new-age, motivational ideas. I was advised to read the New Testament to understand Christianity – I declined. I decided to read about God the Father in the Old Testament, the difficult part of the Bible where there are many actions that are considered dubious and quite horrific by a layman’s perception
  • Reaching halfway through the OT—and later completing a reading of the Bible—I knew that this content was the full truth about life. It was real and I’d been living a lie

Talking about my ‘invisible’ friend with non-believer friends

Over the last year and a half, I’ve been trying to reach a close friend of mine about Christianity, expecting him to react the way I did to the notion of faith.

I have explained many teachings within faith to him using rational breakdowns and logical deduction, unpacking the wisdom and practical applications of God’s ways.

Recently, he said something to me and I responded with an answer that not only unveils my trust in God, but also invokes a powerful silence in the secular world.

‘People who are of faith ‘need’ or ‘want’ it,’ he said. ‘It’s a choice and it’s their experience. Not my experience.’

‘So do you think I wanted this?’ I said.

‘No,’ he replied.

‘So do you think I needed this?’ I said.

‘Yes,’ he replied.

‘I never needed or wanted this,’ I said.

Now keep in mind, by ‘need’ he means it in the human choice-making way like needing a drink on a Friday night after a hard week at work, or needing to improve in one’s career to make more money; this is not the universal sense that we as Christians know – the fact that everyone in the world needs God. Effectively, he’s saying that I’m weak and need faith to keep me going in comparison to going on my own willpower (he’s actually right but I will explain that later).

I then said something to him regarding my trust in God, that created silence. Keep in mind, prior to faith, I spent five years living in a sex-rampant, holiday location:

‘Do you think I wanted or needed to be celibate for the past year and a half?’

Clarifying ‘NEED’

At the time of my choice to follow God, I was in no way weak-willed, impressionable, or vulnerable to any old promise of fulfilment that came my way. In fact, my mind was in a darker place at the beginning of 2015 than I think anyone would’ve noticed. There was nothing to justify turning to faith from what I’d seen in the previous five years while I was abroad.

In choosing God, I made an informed decision, knowing that it was going to cost me in surrendering pleasures that the world promotes as acceptable. I wasn’t actively looking for God or to give up hedonism; therefore, I find it more accurate to say that God was seeking me. At this point it became apparent to me that everyone in the world needs God, because if we don’t have him, we will chase temporary fixes in everything else for the rest of our days. This is best explained in 2 Corinthians 12:9 – 11 ESV

The great irony in all this

The Bible declares that people will not listen to or understand the nature of God no matter what words they hear or wonders they behold, because their minds and hearts need to be opened by the Spirit, exemplified in Luke 24:45 ESV and 1 Corinthians 2: 4 – 5 ESV.

This is the great irony.

Although the person I’m evangelising to does not believe in God, his rejection of Jesus displays the spiritual warfare we are so aware of – namely that there is a spiritual force blocking him from absorbing the Word. He hears my explanations and accepts them on a logical, mental level, like when I explain why it’s better to be a humble man than a prideful one, despite what the world feeds us about being proud, independent people; he even goes as far as to admit that there is a spiritual world; nevertheless, he still states he doesn’t ‘need’ God.

In the various social gatherings I’ve attended over the past year and a half, I’ve talked about God and sometimes received laughter or loss of respect. But the question is always this: do I trust God and speak for my ‘invisible’ father in Heaven, or appease my friends and acquaintances, remaining silent about my faith?

There is a verse from Paul in Romans which actually quells the idea of the invisibility of God:

‘For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.’ Romans 1:20

The same Godly Father who created the spiritual realm, formed the physical world and it’s the beauty of our world that shows God’s nature and characteristics. I recommend the following video for proof of this verse:

How have your evangelism experiences been with your friends and family?

 

 

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20. 1-Minute Video Journal – Have You Ever Thought of Relocating?

Changing country is a big move!

Have you ever thought of relocating? Why would you do it?

If you’ve relocated, what was your HONEST reason for doing so?

Please don’t be scared to comment below! But be humble and honest…

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21. I Could Never Wear Flip Flops

Stephen L France

Moving to the British Virgin Islands for five years was the most life-transforming period of my existence and writing a book–Taking off My Shoes–about that time is not proving easy at all.

I was compelled to write this novel because it’s a series of events that may assist in educating people about the ‘more challenging’ experiences of relocating.

Out of curiosity, here are a few questions for you relating to my first two months in the BVI from March – May 2010 – PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

In your first few weeks of employment, have you ever had an employer call you up at 1:00 in the morning on a Saturday night simply asking you: ‘where are you?’

Have you ever had ‘mature’ adults visit your place of work on a weekly basis with the sole mission of harassing you?

Have you ever worked a series of 16-hour days across two full time jobs for longer than two months with no vehicle in a place without a public transport system?

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22. Miracles are Real – This Date Will Forever Be Important – 21.3.2015

Miracles are Real – This Date Will Forever Be Important – 21.3.2015

When you’re suddenly healed, it is very hard to ignore the word ‘miracle.’

Back in March 2015, I approached two osteopaths with the thought process that they’ll relieve me of my pain in one go. The reason I did this was because I was trying to trigger the placebo power that we all possess – an ability that via sufficient ‘mental will,’ we can cure anything. In my particular case, the anguish was in the hinge joint of my left arm where I’d been suffering for six months.

Following my appointments, the pain persisted.

In the week of 16.3.2015, that Thursday I’d seen my Osteopath. He had declared that I shouldn’t use my arm again for three months in any form of activity involving weights. This was noise pollution to my ears—a real death sentence for my exercise routine—however, this was the diagnosis in order for my arm to heal and it had been the same conclusion with a previous osteopath.

On Saturday of the same week, I attended an event called Holy Spirit Day. My Osteopath also came along as we were both on the same Alpha Course together; a programme where you can ask any question you wish about the existence of God.

Long story short – I didn’t believe in the Holy Spirit and at the close of the day following scripture readings and worship, the pastor asked if anyone would like to be healed of any physical pains.

I stepped up, knowing this would never work; the complete opposite mind-set to when I visited the osteopaths.

The pastor touched my elbow and a part of my forearm and whispered a prayer to God about healing the tendons and muscle tissue in my arm. It lasted about one minute before the pastor opened his eyes and said, “do you feel anything?”

“No, I don’t,” I replied.

“Try moving your arm,” he said.

I did the hinge motion that would provoke the shooting pain; similar agony to banging your funny bone.

I did it again.

Then again.

I carried on doing the hinge movement as if lifting an invisible dumbbell.

I was in shock.

My mouth dropped open.

There was no pain at all.

I went over to my osteopath, exclaiming: “Look! Look at my arm!” as I continued to do the hinge motion. He stared right through me, not moving a muscle or saying a word.

The pastor went red, almost looking like he was about to cry, “saying praise God.”

I was overwhelmed with emotion and ducked out of the room, eager to tell my family what had happened, and not let anyone see me tear up either.

To this day, my left arm is my stronger arm, but what I will say about ‘healing’ in the words of one of my favourite characters; Matrix’s Morpheus – “I cannot tell you what [healing] is, you have to see it for yourself.”

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23. 3 Reasons to Read the Best Selling Book in the World

3 Reasons to Read the Best Selling Book in the World - Stephen L France

When I was first introduced to the best-selling the book in the world, the sole question I had was why I hadn’t read it yet.

The only reasons I could come up with were lack of time and laziness as it’s a large book.

When I say best-selling book, I am talking about that controversial, conversation starter or stopper; it’s the pink elephant in the room, that can have people laugh at you and lose respect for you instantly – the Bible.

I’m not going to go into what people have done with the book, the wars humanity has waged using it as their ‘noble’ cause, or any other atrocities that are purely man’s interpretation of its content…

Here are three solid reasons why the Bible is worth reading or listening to via audio on YouTube :

(1) Curiosity– to answer this simple question: With so many other books created before and after the Bible, why is this book still the No. 1 Best Selling Book in the world?

(2) Motivation– To read the ultimate, original ‘life-coaching’ guide where all new age philosophy finds its roots – where did the ‘Law of Attraction’ come from? Where did ‘positive thinking’ come from? Where did the idea that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to come from? It’s all in the Bible

(3) Satisfaction– to feed the ‘second stomach’ that every single human being has. We all have one; it’s often called ‘desire’ or ‘ambition’ and it’s forever hungry. Some choose to feed it with money, others power, some the pursuit of multiple partners, others through their career/occupation. In all the literature I’ve ever read, the Bible takes the lead as something that constantly keeps you fed – you read and re-read and always find something new that leads you to becoming a better version of yourself. The definition of ‘better version of yourself’ is relative to most, so to quell any debate over what this means, I’ll just say that you will develop.

Bonus Reason – If you leave the audio Bible playing before you go to bed, you receive a VERY good night’s sleep

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24. Why ‘Lose A Wife in 2 Days?’

Jost Van Dyke - Stephen L France - Lose a Wife


I wrote the story How to Lose a Wife in 2 Days, during and following my two-year stint—2010 – 2012—as a bartender in the Caribbean.

I learnt about ‘social practices’ of the world while bar-tending on the other side of the globe, that were completely new to me; things I’d heard about or seen in films, but never really digested, until I saw them happening live.

One of these elements, was the ongoing ritual of married women, who came to the Caribbean for a premeditated fling. I’m more than positive that men do this as well, and on rare occasions while working the bar, I would see a much older man with a very attractive, young Hispanic woman. Nevertheless, the married women were highlighted to me by both my female co-workers and the local men who boasted to me about the ‘food’ they were eating.

Yes, ‘food,’ they were eating; many island locals would advise me like a teacher telling a student – eat your food, wipe your mouth, and pass the food to the next man; all this in reference to women they were seeing. And yes, every person I’ve told this little titbit, has either laughed or turned away in disgust.

I admit—perhaps revealing my naivety—that I was surprised about this practice. The married women would fly in—mainly hailing from the States—once, twice, or three times a year, and see their Caribbean lover.

One particular conversation—which was more of a listening and patience exercise–stands out in my mind.

As I wiped the bar clean of sand and drink spillages, one of the local ‘land-sharks’—as a lot of British and American female expats would call them—came up to my bar. He was a regular patron of the establishment, deemed a ‘land-shark’ because he filled his days and nights, strolling up and down the beaches, hunting Caucasian female holiday-goers.

Stephen L france - beach bar - lose a wife

Ordering his Coors Light, he began telling me about a married couple he was chaperoning around the islands.

He relayed how the woman had revealed to him in the most blatant way—and I will leave this to your imagination—that she was looking for a ‘bit on the side.’

I nodded at his story, forced a tight-lipped smile, and continued organising the bar.

He carried on talking about the great season he’d experienced that year with many women, young and old. It must have been my silence that finally made him realise I wasn’t impressed, as he got up, and walked back to the beach.

In those two years, I’d be introduced to a brand new system of play, and it’s witnessing and living in the environment, that prompted me to write this short story.

I hope you enjoy it and that it doesn’t scare to many men out there…

SUBSCRIBE to make sure you receive this story in the e-newsletter I’m sending out in the next couple of weeks.

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25. You see a wallet full of fifties! What do you do?

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TO BE CONTINUED…

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