Tonight on the Write Stuff — Bound by Seduction, Redeemed by Grace with Stacey Louiso

seductionWhat does it mean to be redeemed by grace? In her own words, Stacey Louiso tells her story of her remarkable journey:

Shame. Unbeknownst to me, shame played a huge part in my life. I carried it, internally, from childhood into adulthood. Accompanying shame were some dirty secrets that wreaked havoc on my life, leading me down many wrong paths, until one day I found myself fully broken. Some might perceive this as a bad thing-being broken-however, what transpired in the aftermath sent me down the right path… THE path to: Understanding, deep wisdom and most importantly, breaking free of the harlot spirit that controlled the very fiber of my being since birth. Jesus found me in troubled waters and forgave my transgressions. He healed my soul while breathing new life into this woman-once bound by seduction, now redeemed by Grace!

Join me for this transformative episode as I talk with author Stacey Louiso on her journey from bondage to freedom. You can call in at 646-668-8485, press 1 to be live on air. Or, download Stitcher on your mobile device. Follow us on iTunes. Click on the link here: http://tobtr.com/s/11185843.


staceyStacey Louiso is a Christian author of non-fiction books, short stories and poetry. She blogs at writingdownlife.com

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GUEST STORY SHARE — Bridger: A Dystopian Serial — Episode 5

Bridger is a dystopian serial story about Charlane, a disgraced career soldier leading a security team at a remote research facility. When Char encounters a humanoid creature who claims to come from another world, she sees a chance to save her career—and the dying earth.

Char, a strong, career-driven woman, is fighting to overcome crippling self-doubt after she lost everything in a military scandal. She’d given so much to that career, including her marriage. Now she is starting over. Char doesn’t know that her value as a person doesn’t change based on what she accomplishes. Can she accept the unconditional love of those who care for her?

Our social media and celebrity culture has placed enormous value on beauty, fitness, and lifestyle. Our work culture pressures women to continually rise up the ranks and press for better jobs. All of these are worthwhile things, but they are not markers of personal value. A person is valuable because of who they are, not what they produce.

Rated PG-13 for language


Episode 5: The Ring Planet

episode5Greta Erwell broke her long stride just long enough to run her hands over her chin-length grey hair and straighten her jacket before she burst into the infirmary.

You know, I had hoped to have an hour to drink a cup of coffee and just… put my feet up.

Her meeting with the higher ups had not gone anywhere near well. She could still feel the sting of getting ripped a new one after she’d told them that the last round of fission experiments had failed.

Smile at me, Doctor, and everything will be fine.

Erwell pushed open the door.

Seth and the security woman stood facing each other, both with arms crossed. They looked up. The doctor’s handsome face was tight.

“Ah, Char. You’re here too,” Erwell said. “What have we got?”

Seth took a step over and slid open the curtain around one of the beds.

Erwell leaned in over the bed. The man was at least six and a half feet tall, flagpole-thin. His skin was so pale that she could see bluish veins beneath the surface, like grass in muddy water. The only colour on him was short, silky black hair.

“Okay,” she said.

“So,” Char began, glancing at the doctor. “This fellow told Seth quite the story.”

“Oh?” Seth, was it? She’d worked with him for a year now and he was still Dr. Thompson.

Seth cleared his throat. “He claims to have come from another world through what he calls a ‘bridge.’” He made air quotes.

Erwell raised both eyebrows. “Do go on. What else did he say?”

Seth smiled wryly. “His name is Venn. He is a Na’odani from the ring-world of Nao, and apparently these bridges form where the multiple universes touch.” He took a deep breath. “With the aid of some kind of metal or stone thingy, they’re able to pass through the bridges into other worlds.”

“All right,” Erwell drawled. “And he came here why?”

“He was fleeing these creatures called… Kaa.”

“Kaa.” Erwell nodded slowly. “Hmm.”

“In his defense—“ Char reached over and picked up something from the counter “—we did pull this out of his leg.” She held up an eight-inch, knitting-needle-like object.

“Oh, shit.” Erwell reached for it. Char handed it over and Erwell held it close to her face. It was perfectly smooth and tapered to a sharp point. “It’s like a giant mosquito proboscis.”

The doctor nodded. “Apparently they suck out your insides.”

Erwell screwed up her face. “All right, the proboscis is a problem. Otherwise I’d say he’d French-fried his head on drugs. I do hear drugs are quite the problem in the communities around here.”

“That’s true,” the doctor said dryly, “but he’s definitely not Tlingit.”

Erwell felt a faint burn in her cheeks. “Right. But did you check if he has drugs in his system?”

Seth nodded. “He’s clean.”

She sighed, folded her arms and said to Char, “you didn’t call this in to Juneau?”

“No, uh, I could though,” Char said.

“Don’t,” Erwell said. “I’ll figure this out. I wish you’d called me sooner, though. I should have heard about it as soon as he was spotted.”

“Yeah,” Char mumbled. “I was preoccupied with saving him.”

“If he was Russo-Chinese, saving him wouldn’t matter.”

“Yeah,” Char said again.

What she would have done if she’d been told sooner, Erwell could only imagine. She’d just left a marathon meeting session in Juneau. The fact that she had almost no results whatsoever after two years of energy experiments hadn’t sat well with the board. Telling them they had a security breach of some kind would send them off the charts.

“There is, uh, actually something that came to mind.” Seth began to pull the drapes back around the bed where the stranger lay. “The part about the ring world.” He turned. “I’m trying to recall this legend I heard from an elder once. Something about a man from a world shaped like a hoop. I can’t recall the details.”

They moved over into the waiting area of the infirmary. Erwell hunched over and furrowed her brow. She didn’t want to admit it to the doctor, but something about this was striking a chord with her.

“Well, can you look into that?” Erwell added belatedly. “The legend.”

The doctor nodded.

“Char, maybe cuff this guy to the bed,” Erwell added. “If he’s crazy, we don’t want him taking off. If he is Russo-Chinese, we definitely don’t want him to bolt.”

Char nodded. “I’ll have Linc bring you some, Seth.”

Erwell turned to go. “Char, will you walk with me?”

When the infirmary door had shut behind them, Erwell turned to Char. For a second she just looked her over.

Char was wearing the same utilitarian, multi-pocketed black pants and figure-obscuring layers that the whole security team wore. The other two women on her team had long hair that they wore up at all times. Char had a short, mannish cut that made her small chin and high cheekbones stand out in sharp angles. At least her face looked like a woman’s face.

“Do you know Doctor Thompson?” Erwell asked, finally.

Char half-smiled. “He’s my ex-husband.”

“Oh!” Erwell laughed in genuine shock. “Did you know he was here?”

Char shook her head. “I hadn’t seen him for five years.”

“Your divorce must have been even worse than mine.” Erwell started walking down the curving hall. “Should I be concerned that this will affect your job?”

“No,” Char said. “We’re professionals, and already have agreed to be cordial.”

Click here for the rest of the episode

Relational Reset — The Parker J Cole Show

relationalAre your relationships all that you want them to be?

Do rough patches ever catch you by surprise, causing you to think Why is it so hard right now? Why is there tension? Was it something I did?Despite our best intentions, we all have blind spots—bad relational habits that are keeping us from enjoying our relationships fully. And since relationships stand at the center of all we do, if we can learn to do relationships even fractionally better, every aspect of our lives improves. Whether you struggle to overcome past wounds, insecurity, blame, or envy, it’s time to reflect on your relational habits and reset.

An experienced counselor, Dr. Laurel Shaler is passionate about helping women thrive in all of their relationships. Relational Reset will reveal unhealthy patterns that may be holding you back, give you practical steps for improving your relationships, and help you find your ultimate security and identity in Jesus Christ. When you reset your relationships, you honor God, yourself, and the ones you love.

What are you waiting for? Join in the conversation with Dr. Shaler and I at 929-477-1965 and press 1 to be live on air. Or, click on the link here: http://tobtr.com/s/11181155.


Laurel_Shaler_proAs a counselor, professor, social worker, speaker, and writer, Dr. Laurel Shaler’s goal is to live out the words of Isaiah 61:1-3…To proclaim good news to the poor, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, to release prisoners from darkness, to comfort all who mourn, and to bestow joy! Why? Because at the age of 18, Laurel experienced a life changing event when it was discovered that she had a 14 pound ovarian cyst that needed to be removed before it ruptured and killed her. Realizing that we must anchor all our emotions to God, her desire is to help others work through their own challenging experiences and grow in all areas of their lives, including faith.

In order to help others in this way, Laurel earned her Masters in Social Work from Florida State University (and is a Licensed Social Worker) and earned her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University (and is a National Certified Counselor). She also holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Liberty University. Laurel has provided psychotherapy services to hundreds in need, many of whom were veterans of the United States Armed Forces. She is now an Associate Professor and Program Director at Liberty University. She is a member of numerous counseling and social work organizations, and actively presents and publishes.

In addition to other professional interests, Laurel speaks and writes on the intersection of faith, culture, and emotional well-being. 

Laurel has been published professionally and in the well-known Extraordinary Women, P31 Woman, and Lifeway’s Journey Magazines. In addition to maintaining her own blog, she writes for Patheos, and has written for the American Association of Christian Counselors and “Coffee Break” (out of Thomas Road Baptist Church). She has also been a contributor for Believe.comthe Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist ConventionTo Save a LifeBound4Life, and For Every Mom.

Tonight on the Write Stuff — The Pinkerton Matchmaker Series with Christine Sterling

Pairing prospective lady Pinkerton detectives with rough and ready agents? What could possibly go wrong?

Head of the Denver Pinkerton office, Archie Gordon, has been tasked with hiring female agents.

The problem? They need to be trained by existing agents while solving cases. Alone and unchaperoned. In 1871.

The solution? Have each pair marry temporarily, for the duration of the case. If Archie can convince his reluctant agents and the even more reluctant women to agree, that is.
One thing is certain, it won’t be dull. And the couples might even find love on the road to adventure. If they don’t kill each other first.

The Pinkerton Matchmaker – Christine Sterling & Marianne Spitzer
An Agent for Lucy – Amelia Adams
An Agent for Regina – Marianne Spitzer
An Agent for Wilhelmina – Sophie Dawson
An Agent for Claudette – Christine Sterling
An Agent for Audrey – Laura Beers
An Agent for Victoria – Kate Marie Clark
An Agent for Elizabeth – Julia Ridgmont
An Agent for Cecily – Marie Higgins
An Agent for Charity – Patricia PACJAC Carroll
An Agent for Diana – Rebecca Connelly
An Agent for Belle – Nerys Leigh
An Agent for Arielle – Parker J. Cole

Join in the conversation with Christine Sterling and I at 646-668-8485 and press 1 to be live on air. Or, download Stitcher on your mobile device. Follow us on iTunes. Or, click on the link here: http://tobtr.com/s/11176463.

GUEST STORY SHARE — Bridger: A Dystopian Serial — Episode 4

Bridger is a dystopian serial story about Charlane, a disgraced career soldier leading a security team at a remote research facility. When Char encounters a humanoid creature who claims to come from another world, she sees a chance to save her career—and the dying earth.

Char, a strong, career-driven woman, is fighting to overcome crippling self-doubt after she lost everything in a military scandal. She’d given so much to that career, including her marriage. Now she is starting over. Char doesn’t know that her value as a person doesn’t change based on what she accomplishes. Can she accept the unconditional love of those who care for her?

Our social media and celebrity culture has placed enormous value on beauty, fitness, and lifestyle. Our work culture pressures women to continually rise up the ranks and press for better jobs. All of these are worthwhile things, but they are not markers of personal value. A person is valuable because of who they are, not what they produce.



Episode 4: Survive Long Enough

episode4A choking scream echoed through the cavern. Venn jerked at the viscous webbing with all his strength.

It had released—just a little it had released. Venn strained with all his might. The web began to stretch. His arm extended further and further from his body.

“I’m coming,” he grunted.

A long way off, his fellow explorer cried out again.

Venn’s face contorted with effort. The membranous binding stretched thin. Soon it would break.

His arm reached its full length. The thread was only a hair now. Ven jerked his hand down. Suddenly the webbing snapped back, and his own hand slapped him in the face. He tasted blood.

The scream rattled him, thinner, weaker. Suddenly it cut off.

Venn lay pinned beneath the web, willing the man to scream again. A minute passed in silence.

“No!” Venn cried. “No!”

“Hey. Hey!”

Something touched his arm.

Venn’s eyes snapped open.

The healer creature stood over him, gazing down with pity.

Venn suppressed a scream of rage. Here he was in this unknown place, safe indefinitely and completely alone in that safety.

By Eskalon, he’d rather be dead, but he was not dead and therefore he had no choice but to go on and take this creature’s pity.

“I’m sorry,” Venn said. “It was a dream.”

“I guessed as much. I could give you something to help you sleep.” The healer gazed down with eyes as dark as Kemzog stones. For a moment, Venn was distracted by the shiny, black tail attached the back of the creature’s head. It was hair, wasn’t it?

“But on second thought, there’s no guarantee it works with your body chemistry,” the healer continued.

“You are likely to be right,” Venn said. “Thank you.”

Venn rolled carefully onto his side and pulled the spare pillow toward him, wrapping his arms around it. His eyes shut and he willed himself to filter out every ambient sound—a gusty roar of some sort of ventilation system, every swish of clothing from the healer, every breath, voices far away, the gusting wind outside. Gradually all of them fell away and he heard it: the three melodic tones of the portal. It wasn’t that hard to home in on them. He’d lain in the Kaa lair listening to them for three nights.

Once his leg was healed, perhaps he could get free of the healer and whoever else was in this building. He could leap through the portal, and maybe without the others he had a chance to make it back to base.

He’d face his leader, but he would also have the chance to make his peace with Jezeen.

Gradually all of them fell away and he heard it: the three melodic tones of the portal.

Jezeen! Venn’s throat thickened as he remembered their last night together, back to back instead of in each other’s arms. How unfortunate that he was right—Leader Ryn should not have sent him into uncharted territory with such inexperienced bridgers. Jezeen would regret her words to him now, but he was certain he regretted his just as much.

Venn stuffed his face into the odd-smelling pillow and tried to imagine it smelled like her. When that failed he just tried to remember what she smelled like—her sweat, and the flower oil she dabbed behind her ears. He shut his eyes and imagined his arms were around her long, muscular body.

He had begun to worry she was tired of him. She was the natural explorer, a strong woman who’d actually wanted to be a bridger. He was forced into the position by his father, and while he was known for his skill in locating portals and in translating indigenous speech, he was also known for his incredible caution. She was known for her courage and instinct.

We just have to finish this mission. Don’t be a coward, she’d said. Just do as Leader Ryn says.

Finally, she spoke her true mind, Venn had accused her.

In hindsight, he knew differently. Leader Ryn was wearing her down. He was a harsh taskmaster and their lack of progress with the Kaa was only causing him to push harder. Jezeen just wanted it to be over.

After all, it was their seventh and final bridge. When this mission was complete, they were supposed to return to their homeworld of Nao and retire. They’d lain together at night dreaming about it for the last two missions.

Emotion burned in the back of Venn’s throat. He had to survive long enough to get back to the portal.

Make Biblically Sound Earth Stewardship a Priority — The Parker J Cole Show

Radical environmentalism, at its heart, is false religion.

Biblical care for Creation sees God, people, and nature in proper relationship. By contrast, the core of secular environmentalism mirrors Romans 1:25, which says people “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature, rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” It results in worship of a false god.

Even if it’s clothed in “Christian vocabulary,” this unbiblical worldview can lead to:

  • Degrading Man—seeing people primarily as polluters and consumers, using up Earth’s resources and poisoning the planet in the process, rather than as producers and stewards, made in the image of God.
  • Deifying Nature—portraying nature, in its untouched state, as the ideal. Therefore, it rejects the notion of human improvement and stewardship of nature.
  • Disregarding the Poor—No matter how well-intentioned they may be, environmental policies that are not based on sound theology, science, and economics will have their most devastating impact on the people who can afford it the least—the poor, in America and around the world.

Join me as I chat with returning guest host Dr. Cal Beisner as we discuss why biblical stewardship of creation should be a priority for believers in 2019. Call in at 929-477-1965 and press 1 to be live on air. Or, click on the link here: http://tobtr.com/s/11166757.

Tonight on the Write Stuff — Keys to the Captive Heart with Tim Hurst

keys

With the Empire of Chol bent on their destruction, the Etom of Endego and their newfound allies brace for the enemy’s assault. Against an army of such colossal foes, how might the tiny creatures possibly stand a chance?

Meanwhile, events set in motion during Company Jasper’s daring escape from Sakkan lead Nat and his friends on a search for one the Eben’kayah thought lost long ago. Along their journey will they discover the Keys to the Captive Heart?

Join me as I chat with my returning guest host and contributor Timothy Hurst and his newest release! You can call in at 646-668-8485, and press 1 to be live on air. Or, download Stitcher on your mobile device. Follow us on iTunes. Or, click on the link here: http://tobtr.com/s/11165663.