I've talked about divorce on this blog but, from the titles, I haven't centered a discussion about it. After last week's Sunday School lesson, I thought I'd share some thoughts on it.

Jesus told Peter that we should forgive our brothers 70 times 7 times if he causes offense and he comes asking forgiveness. But, God considers marriage a sanctified place. Remorse is totally different than repentance. Remorse is hollow. A good example is Judas who was filled with remorse of what he had done… but, no repentance.

If the husband (as in my case) is remorseful but calls it repentance and then a year later does the same thing with two whores... that is a covenant breaker. God gave permission for my divorce because of fornication on my husband part with no repentance and no change of heart even after 3 years of waiting for him to do so.

When Jesus talked about adultery and divorce in Matthew 5, He was clarifying divorce was for one thing only and that was infidelity, period. The Jews had devised all manner of divorcements from burning food to too much salt to dusty houses. Those were frivolous and Jesus clarified that fornication was the only reason for divorce contrary to what the going thing for divorcing was of the day or even as far back as Moses. In Moses' day, the Bill of Divorcement was a Certificate of Innocence which freed up the divorced person from any guilt and allowed them to remarry without the stigma of adultery. A guilty, dismissed spouse was not given a Certificate of Innocence and thereby had the stigma of adultery. Stoning was the penalty and the determination of guilt was through drinking some concoction in front of the Priests. If the woman survived the concoction without becoming sick or dying, she was innocent of infidelity. That practice had gone by the wayside during Jesus’ day. This could have been what Jesus had written in the sand when they brought the woman caught in adultery.

That's just speculation on my part, though.

Isaiah 50:1 God asks the question, 'Where is the scroll of your mother's divorce that I have put away?' There wasn't one because Israel was guilty of adultery. Then in Jeremiah we see the lists of things she was guilty of... there is no innocence on her part nor on the part of Judah.

The Bill of Divorcement was the decree of innocence of the "put away" wife. Joseph was going to quietly "put away" Mary because he knew he had never impregnated her, therefore she must be guilty of adultery. Quietly meant no bill of divorcement to be declared in the courts for he truly thought her guilty. Secretly putting her away, but she would still have the child which would declare her guilt... he could not give her a Certificate of innocence.

Then God stepped in by sending an angel to declare her innocence to her betrothed husband. Joseph immediately got up in the middle of the night and took her to wife as God commanded. The Declaration of Innocence was the release of obligation of legal matrimony. Jesus did not repeat the "write her a bill of divorcement" in Matthew 5:32.

If anyone kicks out or sets at liberty a wife without that Certificate of Innocence then that man causes her to commit adultery. There is no "if she marries again" clause in there. It is assumed that she will marry again. It is the guilty husband who causes the sin.

However, Jesus set everything back into place when He declared that divorce was only permitted in the case of fornication. When two people are Christian and they are married, divorce is not an option. Just as we are to forgive our sisters and brothers in Christ 70 times 7 times, we are to depend upon the LORD to work in the hearts of our Christians spouses, to draw them back into His will and His relationship. This requires much prayer and trust and leaning on God to work.

Divorce from unbelievers is different. Paul tells us not to seek divorce from our unbelieving spouses, but if they desire to split, we are not to fight it and we are not obligated under law (1 Cor 7:15) as Christian married couples are. How do we know if we are married to a believer or an unbeliever? By their fruit. That is the only way. I fear, though, some folks will get to Heaven smelling like smoke, for their fruit is sparse.

Forgiveness is commanded by Jesus. Wallowing in anger and resentment only builds a wall between us and God and serves no purpose for the object of our anger. God truly does protect His children and He really will take care of the chastisement. The key is allowing Him room to work in the heart of our spouse.

Try Dying

On a wet Tuesday morning in December, Ernesto Bonilla, twenty-eight, shot his twenty-three-year-old wife, Alejandra, in the backyard of their West 45th Street home in South Los Angeles. As Alejandra lay bleeding to death, Ernesto drove their Ford Explorer to the westbound Century Freeway connector where it crossed over the Harbor Freeway and pulled to a stop on the shoulder.

Bonilla stepped around the back of the SUV, ignoring the rain and the afternoon drivers on their way to LAX and the west side, placed the barrel of his .38 caliber pistol into his mouth, and fired.

His body fell over the shoulder and plunged one hundred feet, hitting the roof of a Toyota Camry heading northbound on the harbor Freeway. The impact crushed the roof of the Camry. The driver, Jacqueline Dwyer, twenty-seven, an elementary schoolteacher from Reseda, died at the scene.

But, what exactly does she die from? The impact... crushed roof... something else?
Oh what a tangled weave this enjoyable book is.

Ty Buchanan reminds me a little of sarcastic Micky Spillane and the snappy one-liners of Cary Grant in "His Girl Friday"... only this is a modern day mystery with cell phones and and a computer savvy nun. Oh, and Jacqueline was the fiancee of Ty, so he has a deep interest in finding out exactly what happened to Jacqueline.

Here is another good book that is slated Christian Fiction, but is not at all Christian Fiction. It flirts with it, but never gets serious. The protagonist realizes that his lovely wife to be was a Christian, and as the story unfolds, we see that she had some reservations about marrying someone who was not a Christian. That isn't discussed, though because it's all from the eyes of the protag. However, at the end of the book his rage magically turns into forgiveness with no explanation.

While it was enjoyable, and it is worth the money, it fell flat after this guy goes through hell on earth without ever finding what he was looking for. It had a great build up, but doesn't deliver a satisfactory explanation for the change of heart. Because of that, I can only give this book 2 stars.


Let me just get one thing clear, this book is not Christian Fiction, even thought the author is Christian and a man of God.

In this book, none of the characters lean on God or turn to Him, although God is referred to subtly and prayers are mentioned. In Christian Fiction, there is a relationship between a character and God, and that doesn't happen in this book. However, Bob shoves up the bar for any secular novel to an insurmountable height. I doubt the quality can be duplicated by any secular author.

This book is harrowing and illustrates how one man can completely destroy the lives and families of an entire town. This is a "Ride the Wild River" moved to the snow crusted mountains of Canada, with an ultimate high tech twist.

Robert Liparulo proves that a book can be exciting and a page turner without foul language or graphic sex. However, this book is filled with violence that shakes the soul. But, then video games are filled with violence, too.

You'll fall in love with a little nine year old boy named Dillion, and be completely awed by the wilderness survival skills of Hutch. You are in for the ride of your life at the psychotic whims of a sick-minded, power-crazy young man. This is a study in human character, both good and bad. The best thing about it is when you turn the last page, you're satisfied with a good read. Boys and girls, that is hard to find these days!

I give it 31/2 stars. It is well worth the money and is a keeper.

So, Bob, maybe in your next book you can put a little God-searching soul search in it?

I need more hours in the day

This is an apology to those who come to my blog for more than book reviews. I have been trying to organize the office and to get thousands of things straight. I've been coordinating an awards banquet and trying to get the things together for the Street Fair. It has been a truly hectic and crazy month!

Hopefully, things will slow down a bit so I can breathe after the awards banquet. Then we'll be skating into the Christmas season... Then the new year! Then spring will roll around and before you know it, it's summer again. The year is half over and I've hardly done a thing!


Surrender Bay

This is a wonderfully well-written love story that has shades of Christ-like love. It is a sweet page-turner.

Just one problem was the protag's whiny-ness coated with a bravado-type toughness. I can fully believe that a child who has that kind of childhood would have lots of issues as an adult, but a child with that kind of toughness would have a more healthy outlook, I think. On the other hand, who can say how a human mind develops?

Worth the money. I give it three stars.

FIRST for November... Hollywood Nobody

Let me just say that this book is suited for teens. It did not hold my attention for long because I loathe present tense writing in novels. But, I am a member of FIRST and I promised to promote... so here goes.

It is November 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:

and her book:

Hollywood Nobody

Th1nk Books (August 30, 2007)


Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books, including the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of Gold was her first novel for teens. Visit Lisa at http://www.hollywoodnobody.com/

These days, she's working on Quaker Summer, volunteering at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, raising children and trying to be supportive of a husband in seminary. (Trying . . . some days she's downright awful. It's a good thing he's such a fabulous cook!) She can tell you one thing, it's never dull around there.

Other Novels by Lisa:
Straight Up, , Club Sandwich, Songbird, Tiger Lillie, The Church Ladies, Women's Intuition: A Novel, Songbird, The Living End


Hollywood Nobody: April 1

Happy April Fool’s Day! What better day to start a blog about Hollywood than today?

Okay, I’ve been around film sets my whole life. Indie films, yeah, and that’s all I’m saying about it here for anonymity’s sake. But trust me, I’ve had my share of embarrassing moments. Like outgrowing Tom Cruise by the age of twelve — in more ways than one, with the way he’s gotten crazier than thong underwear and low-rise jeans. Thankfully that fashion disaster has run for cover.

Underwear showing? Not a good idea.

Fact: I don’t know of a single girl who doesn’t wish the show-itall boxer-shorts phenomenon would go away as well. Guys, we just don’t want to see your underwear. Truthfully, we believe that there is a direct correlation between how much underwear you show and how much you’ve got upstairs, if you know what I mean.

I’ve seen the stars at their best and at their worst. And believe me, the worst is really, really bad. Big clue: you’d look just as pretty as they do if you went to such lengths. As you might guess, some of them are really nice and some of them are total jerks, and there’s a lot of blah in-betweeners. Like real life, pretty much, only the extremes are more extreme sometimes. I mean honestly, how many people under twenty do you know who have had more than one plastic surgery?

So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little hard on these folks. But if it was all sunshine and cheerleading, I doubt you’d read this blog for long, right?

Today’s Rant: Straightening irons. We’ve had enough of them, Little Stars, okay? It was bad on Helen Hunt at the Oscars, worse on Demi, yet worse on Madonna, and it’s still ridiculous. Especially on those women who are trying to hold onto their youth like Gollum holds onto that ring. Ladies, there’s a reason for keeping your hair at or above your shoulders once you hit forty, and ever after. Think Annette Bening. Now she’s got it going on. And can’t you just see why Warren Beatty settled down for her? Love her! According to The Early Show this morning, curls are back, and Little Me ain’t going to tell why I’m so glad about that!

Today’s Kudo: Aretha Franklin. Big, bold, beautiful, and the best. Her image is her excellence. Man, that woman can sing! She has a prayer chain too. I’m not very religious myself, but you got to respect people who back up what they say they believe. Unless it’s male Scientologists and "silent birth." Yeah, right. Easy for them to say.

Today’s News: I saw a young actor last summer at a Shakespeare festival in New England. Seth Haas. Seth Hot is more like it. I heard a rumor he’s reading scripts for consideration. Yes, he’s that hot. Check him out here. Tell all your friends about him. And look here on Hollywood Nobody for the first, the hottest news on this hottie. Girls, he’s only nineteen! Fair game for at least a decade-and-a-half span of ages.

I don’t know about you, but following the antics of new teen rock star Violette Dillinger is something I’m looking forward to. Her first album, released to much hype, hit Billboard’s no. 12 spot its third week out. And don’t you love her hit single "Love Comes Knocking on My Door"? This is going to be fun. A new celeb. Uncharted territory. Will Violette, who seems grounded and talented, be like her predecessors and fall into the "great defiling show-business machine" only to be spit out as a half-naked bimbo? We’ll see, won’t we? Keep your fingers crossed that the real artist survives.

Today’s Quote: "Being thought of as ‘a beautiful woman’ has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble. Beauty is essentially meaningless." Halle Berry


Friday, April 2

I knew it was coming soon. We’d been camped out in the middle of a cornfield, mind you, for two weeks. That poke on my shoulder in the middle of the night means only one thing. Time to move on.

"What, Charley?"

"Let’s head ’em on out, Scotty. We’ve got to be at a shoot in North Carolina tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got food to prepare, so you have to drive."

"I’m still only fifteen."

"It’s okay. You’re a good driver, baby."

My mom, Charley Dawn, doesn’t understand that laws exist for a reason, say, keeping large vehicles out of the hands of children. But as a food stylist, she fakes things all the time.

Her boundaries are blurred. What can I say?

Charley looks like she succumbed to the peer pressure of plastic surgery, but she hasn’t. I know this because I’m with her almost all the time. I think it’s the bleached-blond fountain of long hair she’s worn ever since I can remember. Or maybe the hand-dyed sarongs and shirts from Africa, India, or Bangladesh add to the overall appearance of youth. I have no idea. But it really makes me mad when anybody mistakes us as sisters.

I mean, come on! She had me when she was forty!

My theory: a lot of people are running around with bad eyesight and just don’t know it.

I throw the covers to my left. If I sling them to my right, they’d land on the dinette in our "home," to use the term in a fashion less meaningful than a Hollywood "I do." I grew up in this old Travco RV I call the Y.

As in Y do I have to live in this mobile home?

Y do I have to have such an oddball food stylist for a mother?

Y must we travel all year long? Y will we never live anyplace long enough for me to go to the real Y and take aerobics, yoga, Pilates or — shoot — run around the track for a while, maybe swim laps in the pool?

And Y oh Y must Charley be a vegan?

More on that later.

And Y do I know more about Hollywood than I should, or even want to? Everybody’s an actor in Hollywood, and I mean that literally. Sometimes I wonder if any of them even know who they are deep down in that corner room nobody else is allowed into.

But I wonder the same thing about myself.

"You’re not asking me to drive while you’re in the kitchen trailer, are you, Charley?"

"No. I can cook in here. And it’s a pretty flat drive. I’ll be fine."

I’m not actually worried about her. I’m thinking about how many charges the cops can slap on me.

Driving without a license.

Driving without a seat belt on the passenger.

Speeding, because knowing Charley, we’re late already.

Driving without registration. Charley figured out years ago how to lift current stickers off of license plates. She loves "sticking it to the man." Or so she says.

I kid you not.

Oh, the travails of a teenager with an old hippie for a mother. Charley is oblivious as usual as I continue my recollection of past infractions thankfully undetected by the state troopers:

Driving while someone’s in the trailer. It’s a great trailer, don’t get me wrong, a mini industrial kitchen we rigged up a couple of years ago to make her job easier. Six-range burner, A/C, and an exhaust fan that sucks up more air than Joan Rivers schmoozing on the red carpet. But it’s illegal for her to go cooking while we’re in motion.

"All right. Can I at least get dressed?"

"Why? You’re always in your pj’s anyway."

"Great, Mom."

"It’s Charley, baby. You know how I feel about social hierarchy."

"But didn’t you just give me an order to drive without a license? What if I say no?"

She reaches into the kitchen cupboard without comment and tips down a bottle of cooking oil. Charley’s as tall as a twelve-year-old.

"I mean, let’s be real, Charley. You do, in the ultimate end of things, call the shots."

I reach back for my glasses on the small shelf I installed in the side of the loft. It holds whatever book I’m reading and my journal. I love my glasses, horn-rimmed "cat glasses" as Charley calls them. Vintage 1961. Makes me want to do the twist and wear penny loafers.

"Can I at least pull my hair back?"

She huffs. "Oh, all right, Scotty! Why do you have to be so difficult?"

Charley has no clue as to how difficult teenagers can actually be. Here I am, schooling myself on the road, no wild friends. No friends at all, actually, because I hate Internet friendships. I mean, how lame, right? No boyfriend, no drugs. No alcohol either, unless you count cold syrup, because the Y gets so cold during the winter and Charley’s a huge conservationist. (Big surprise there.) I should be thankful, though. At least she stopped wearing leather fringe a couple of years ago.

I slide down from the loft, gather my circus hair into a ponytail, and slip into the driver’s seat. Charley reupholstered it last year with rainbow fabric. I asked her where the unicorns were and she just rolled her eyes. "Okay, let’s go. How long is it going to take?"

"Oh." She looks down, picks up a red pepper and hides behind it.

I turn on her. "You didn’t Google Map it?"

"You’re the computer person, not me." She peers above the stem. "I’m sorry?" She shrugs. Man, I hate it when she’s so cute. "Really sorry?"

"Charley, we’re in Wilmore, Kentucky. As in Ken-Tuck-EEE . As in the middle of nowhere." I climb out of my seat. "What part of North Carolina are we going to? It’s a wide state."

"Toledo Island. Something like that. Near Ocracoke Island. Does that sound familiar?"

"The Outer Banks?"

"Are they in North Carolina?"

Are you kidding me?

"Let me log on. This is crazy, Charley. I don’t know why you do this to me all the time."

"Sorry." She says it so Valley Girl-like. I really thought I’d be above TME: Teenage Mom Embarrassment. But no. Now, most kids don’t have mothers who dress like Stevie Nicks and took a little too much LSD back in the DAY. It doesn’t take ESP to realize who the adult in this setup is. And she had me, PDQ, out of the bonds of holy matrimony I might add, when she was forty (yes, I already told you that, but it’s still just as true), and that’s
OLD to be caught in such an inconvenient situation, don’t you think? The woman had no excuse for such behavior, FYI.

My theory: Charley’s a widow and it’s too painful to talk about my father. I mean, it’s plausible, right?

The problem is, I can remember back to when I was at least four, and I definitely do not remember a man in the picture. Except for Jeremy. More on him later too.

I flip up my laptop. I have a great satellite Internet setup in the Y. I rigged it myself because I’m a lonely geek with nothing better to do with her time than figure out this kind of stuff. I type in the info and wait for the directions. Satellite is slower than DSL, but it’s better than nothing.

"Charley! It’s seventeen hours away!" I scan the list of twists and turns between here and there. "We have to take a ferry to Ocracoke, and then Toledo Island’s off of there."


"Groovy died with platform shoes and midis."

"Whatever, Scotty." Only she says it all sunny. She’s a morning person.

"That phrase should be dead."

Honestly, I’m not big on lingo. I’ve never been good at it, which is fine by me. Who am I going to impress with cool-speak anyway? Uma Thurman? Yeah, right. "Okay, let’s go."

"We can go as long as possible and break camp on the way, you know?" Charley.

I climb back into the rainbow chair, throw the Y into drive, pull the brake, and we’re moving on down the road.


Sample from Hollywood Nobody / ISBN: 1-60006-091-9
Copyright © 2006 NavPress Publishing. All rights reserved. To order copies of this resource, come back to www.navpress.com.