Help support my dream

Ever since high school, my passion has been writing. I started with poetry and song lyrics. I then discovered that I loved writing fiction. Now I blog on a consistent basis and publish short novellas on Amazon. I work full time as an Account Management Specialist with a kidney dialysis company. It’s sometimes very hard to find the time to write.

My main passion is to write blog posts and stories that point people to Christ. If you’ve followed my blog for any period of time, you know how much I love people. I believe we are on this planet to love. It’s the reason we’re alive. I am able to do that through my writing.

To write full time has long been a dream of mine. You could help make that dream a reality. By supporting me on a monthly basis, you will be reaching out to millions of people across the globe. The Great Commission says for us to go into all the world. Since I can’t physically accomplish that right now, my writing is the tool I use to reach the lost.

There are so many people who just need hope. The Bible says we have Christ in us, the hope of glory. Let’s share that hope with the entire planet.

I want to continue publishing novellas on Amazon. I want to continue blogging meaningful articles and post that encourage people to pursue Jesus with every fiber of their being. You can help me do that.

I write about faith, fiction, the lost, parenting, and other topics that I care deeply about. I write honestly and give examples from my own life and experiences.

Here is where you come in. Visit my page on Patreon by clicking HERE

I want to thank anyone in advance who decides to pledge an amount per month. It would mean more than you will ever know. Rest assured, all pledges will go directly toward supporting my writing career. God bless.

The frailty of life

Last Monday, I was informed that one of our co-workers passed during the night. He had been fighting pneumonia and other medical issues. He was in ICU, and the doctors decided to put him on a ventilator to regulate his breathing. His heart just couldn’t take it and finally gave out.

Rick was an amazing individual. One of his biggest victories was overcoming cancer. He was always positive. Always had a smile on his face. Always encouraging. He was willing to go the extra mile for anyone. He loved his family more than anything. He was always talking about his precious granddaughter. He would email us pictures and brag about how cute she was.

When something like this happens, we always say we will never take anything for granted ever again, but then we do. Life is too short to complain about politics, religion, or how loud your neighbors are. When someone close passes away, we are once again reunited with the frailty of life. Our existence. We are nothing more than a vapor that is here today and gone tomorrow.

Let’s walk in love towards everyone and make a difference in our sphere of influence.

Rick was a great guy and will be dearly missed. I wrote this in his memory.

Always Remember
For Rick Cook

You knew the world needed
Laughter in the hardest storms
You sent the perfect angel
With hugs that were always warm

A smile that lit the darkest night
A gentle presence when the road was hard
Willing to lend a helping hand
Always eager to do his part

He overcame so much down here
Hardened strength through all the pain
Nothing could keep him from rising up
He was a glorious rainbow after each and every rain

He loved his family most of all
They were the stars that shined so bright
He talked about them every day
They were the reason for his joy in life

So many people travel through our lives
Some, we just can’t forget
They live with burning passion
They give it all, leaving no room for regret

Some are with us forever
And others just for a little while
He faced life with constant cheer
Nothing could ever take away his smile

There will always be moments in our life
That are darkened by the pain of loss
We all have different roads to lead
Often times there’s a bridge to cross

He will be missed, but he will always live on
Now he’s resting in the arms above
God, keep him safe, and let him know
We will always remember his love

How to know if your church is successful

I remember my first experience at a megachurch.

It was a Saturday night, and we arrived about thirty minutes before the service was scheduled to start. We waited patiently in line with hundreds of other people. Signs covered the walls, each with the title of a previous series. The familiar aroma of freshly brewed coffee hung in the air. Security guards stood by each entrance. Staff members, most barely out of their teens, walked around in skinny jeans and over-sized caps.

Our feet throbbed from the bass thundering inside the sanctuary. It was as if we were waiting in line for a concert. I wondered if it was the same feeling cattle experience when being herded into a fenced enclosure. I believed I even vocalized some mooing sounds while we waited. All in good humor, of course.

Christians are so talented at saying “The church is people, not the building”, yet we continue building bigger and better ones. I’m not anti-church. See my article from last week, Why you shouldn’t go to church.

Jesus wasn’t hip, trendy, fashionable, or good looking. Isaiah 53:2 says:

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

Yet, as the corporate body of Christ, we feel the need to be all of those things in order to reach people. We have catchy sermon titles named after popular culture. We play secular music before each sermon. We have trendy coffee shops in the lobby.

I’m not saying those things are wrong. I’m saying, let’s not sell out cheap when the Gospel is the most amazing thing ever. Jesus didn’t need any gimmicks to reach people. He loved them.

Society has several factors that determine how successful a church is.

Numbers in attendance. How much money is given to outreach. How big the worship team is. How many locations or campuses. How many books the pastor has published. The list can go on and on.

I’m here to tell you there is a different way to gauge how truly successful your church is. And it’s a very simple concept.

Strip away the smoke machines, the latest technology, the coffee shops, the trendy accessories and clothing, the dazzling websites showing how much money and time you spend in the community, the luxury cars, the fancy houses, the huge buildings, and the CD’s on iTunes.

Strip everything away until there is nothing left but Jesus.

Are you still happy with church?

Everything I mentioned in the previous paragraph will one day burn. None of it has any lasting value in the overall big picture.

If we need to do all of those things in order to get people through the doors, maybe we need to step back and look at what motivates us. Maybe, just maybe, we are spending too much time inside the building playing church and not enough time outside actually being the church. 

We say Jesus is all we need, but we don’t live that way. To what lengths are we willing to go in order to ultimately die to our self?

Go to church. Invite people to church. Pray that lives are changed. Preach the Gospel.

If everything around us is gone tomorrow, yet we are completely satisfied with Jesus alone, then we have a successful church.

Do we truly want it all?

I don’t want to admit this, but I will. I’m all about being open and transparent with my readers. You aren’t going to Google me and find a skeleton party in my closet. I want to be honest with you.

I love Golden Corral.

There. I said it out loud. Whew. That wasn’t nearly as difficult as I imagined inside my head. I’m a sucker for an all you can eat buffet. GC, Chinese, pizza, etc.

I love the variety that a buffet offers. It’s usually impossible, but I try to get a little taste of everything. In the past, I would polish off four plates and not think anything of it. These days, however, I stop myself at two. I’m in my forties now. I can’t eat like I used to. Don’t you just (insert verb of your choosing here) people who can eat all day long, and not gain an ounce? Tape worm or metabolism? I don’t know.

When it comes to the Gospel, Jesus makes it crystal clear what’s available to us as believers.

The Gospel isn’t a buffet where we pick and choose what we want, and discard the rest. 

Why would we not want it all? Christianity is divided into so many different denominations, doctrines, and beliefs, that’s it’s impossible to keep up with them all. Most times, each church or ministry has one main focus. They operate in one small portion of the Gospel.

Some are driven to help the poor.

Some focus on discipleship.

Some on healing.

Some have deliverance ministries.

Some completely ignore the gifts of the Spirit.

Some preach the Bible, but stay away from Holy Spirit.

Some chase after signs and wonders.

If those of us, who call ourselves Christians, can’t even agree with each other, why would a non-believer want anything to do with what we say we have?

In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus says this:

And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

And in John 14:12-13, He says:

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

What did Jesus do while on the Earth?

Healed the sick. Made the lame walk. Cast out demons. Raised the dead.

I don’t know what He means by “greater things”, but I want in.

There’s a catch, though. I know why everyone is not on board with all of these things.

Too often, we base faith on our experiences and not on the words from Scripture that were penned in red. 

We might pray for someone to be healed, and they aren’t. We say healing isn’t for today.

We beg, plead, and lay hands on a still child, but they don’t come back to life. We say raising the dead is absurd.

We command evil spirits to leave someone, but nothing happens. We say casting out demons doesn’t work.

We quote Biblical promises, post them on our Facebook and Twitter all day long, and believe they are true, but yet we don’t truly believe the very words that Jesus spoke.

It doesn’t matter what we have or haven’t seen. None of that changes the truth of God’s Word.

Faith isn’t receiving news that a loved one has cancer, freaking out in fear, and then begging God to do something. Faith is knowing that even when someone we love is stricken with a horrible disease, the Gospel doesn’t change. It’s knowing that only good things come from above. It’s knowing that the enemy is here to kill, steal, and destroy.

And it’s believing that we have the power inside of us that raised our Savior from the darkened tomb.

Let’s seek first righteousness and His Kingdom. Let’s walk in faith. Let’s do it all together

My work

On July 10th 2012, I decided to start publishing books on the Amazon Kindle store. It’s nice to get some royalty payments (and trust me, they are few and far between), but I have never been into writing for the money. Don’t get me wrong, if I could actually make a living by writing and selling books, that would be awesome. However, if I never sold another copy, that wouldn’t stop me from doing what I love. Since July of 2012, I have published 4 novella length books on Amazon. Just wanted to list them here with short descriptions, so you can see them all in one place. They are all priced $.99 for Kindle.


Click to purchase
Click to purchase

I Was There is my favorite. It’s a collection of ten Bible stories written from a first person perspective. These stories get you inside the hearts and minds of the most well known characters in Scripture. I’m actually working on a second collection, and hope to have it available on Amazon in the next couple of months. This is available in Kindle format as well as paperback.

“For some, the Bible can be an intimidating book to dig into. Its pages reveal a history of days past, with practical application for the here and now. Every word inspired by God Himself, penned by the hands of mere mortals. It contains stories, not of super-human people with amazing powers or special abilities that no one can possibly measure up too, but of real people. Just like us. Human beings who were lost and without hope until a Savior was sent to shed His blood on a tree.”


Click to purchase
Click to purchase

The Stranger is probably my second favorite. This actually started as a serial story on my blog. I would publish one chapter per week. I never finished it, and then decided to just make it a novella and list it on Amazon. It’s a suspense/thriller, but as with all my writing, it’s clean.

“Something horrible happened eight years ago in the small coastal town of Seal Bay. Six high school girls were killed and dumped into the bay by a man named Lance Puckett. It was a crime which ripped apart a community and left emotional scars that time would never heal. A calm morning in Seal Bay is shattered by the appearance of a stranger who bears a striking resemblance to Lance. Has he come back to dig up memories from the past, or could this man be a drifter, just passing through? This suspenseful thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat with a twist that will leave you breathless. Who is The Stranger?”


Click to purchase
Click to purchase

Other Side of Night is a young adult novella I wrote for a newspaper in TN. They run a serial story during the summer months, and they published one chapter per week. This story also ran in the West Australian newspaper and was used as curriculum in some writing classes. This was the first novella I published on the Kindle store.

“When Luke Farmer and his two best friends find a cell phone in the park, they are thrust into a world of adventure and mystery. With his newly rescued Golden Retriever, Boone, Luke is determined to figure out what is so important on the phone and why someone will do anything to get it back. Other Side of Night is a heart-pounding story of three friends forced to rise above their fear and face unknown adversaries in order to discover the truth.”


Click to purchase
Click to purchase

Unknown was meant to be a three novella series, but I haven’t finished the second one yet. To be honest, I don’t know if I will continue this or not. I believe the story has amazing potential, but I may have rushed this first one somewhat. I know it’s probably not a good thing to judge my own work publicly, but this is my least favorite of all the stories I’ve written. Look, I’m all about being honest. I don’t think it’s a complete waste of your money at only $.99, but it’s just not as good as the other ones.

“Without a past, how can we possibly have a future? Darkness. The black, shapeless void that refuses the presence of light. The kind of darkness where only the dead dare to explore, and the living fear to gaze upon. With no memory of my past, I wake up inside a pizzeria with nothing but a wadded up piece of paper in my pocket. I will have to rely heavily on my instincts in order to survive. I have no idea who I am. I don’t know who to trust. Faded images briefly flash through my mind, but they make no sense. Are they memories from a past I have somehow forgotten? Are they clues to my identity? Only time will tell.”


There you have it. My published work. If you have already read some of these, please consider leaving a review on Amazon. Those are always greatly appreciated.

I want to thank my incredibly gifted Mom, Betty Jo, for the always amazing artwork for my novellas. Check out her blog HERE


Waiting for Daddy

The post today goes along the lines of the one I published yesterday. I’ve always had such respect for our military and those serving in law enforcement. I’ve never served in either, but my Dad did. Maybe that’s why I have such deepened sense of honor and gratitude.

I can’t imagine being a child and having a parent taken away in the line of duty. While thinking of that, I wrote Waiting for Daddy.


Waiting for Daddy

(Copyright 2014 Chris Martin)


Such tiny little hands, tiny little fingers

The softness of a newborn’s touch

Rosy cheeks, fresh scent that lingers

Two people who love her so much


He slips off into the night with a goodbye kiss

In the silence, Mom and child sit alone

She whispers a prayer, wrapped tightly in a wish

They’re already waiting for Daddy to come home


It’s her first day of school, ribbon tied in her hair

White dress and cute matching shoes

Swing sets and fun, without a worry or care

She plays as if there’s nothing to lose


Mom picks her up, a smile on her face

Her little girl already looks so grown

They sit at the table, there’s just one empty place

They’re waiting for Daddy to come home


Graduation day, it’s so hard to believe

The years have gone by way too fast

Although her future shines bright, it will be hard to leave

She clings to memories that will always last


She looks at the crowd, there’s one face missing

Her mother sits in the aisle all alone

So many stars, on which she’s been wishing

She’s still waiting for Daddy to come home


A badge and a belt, a picture with the edges well worn

All that’s left of the man she never knew

He answered the call, and on the night she was born

Lost his life while wearing the uniform of blue


Tears stream down her face as the people stand

Her mother stares at the woman all grown

They walk down the aisle, she gave herself to another man

She’s no longer waiting for Daddy to come home

The true heroes

I’ve been watching the TV show, Cops, quite a bit lately. Spike TV has been running marathons on Fridays and Saturdays. I’ve watched the show in the past, but with a much different attitude than what I have now.

I used to take joy in watching people get thrown to the ground, shot with a Taser, and eventually handcuffed. I would shake my head in disbelief as people constructed lies to try and cover their criminal activity. I would call them stupid and deserving when they resisted arrest, and were forced to their knees by officers with guns drawn.

I watch the show now with a deep sadness in my heart. Policemen encounter people during their worst moments. Some in desperation. Some in the throes of addiction. Most all of them with little or no hope. I watched one the other night where a guy wouldn’t put his weapon down, because he wanted the officers to kill him. I believe they call that suicide by cop. Once they had him in custody, he said there was no reason to live anymore.

That one literally brought tears to my eyes.

There is another world that most of us never see. A world where desperate people are fighting to remain alive. A world where men and women go to work with the possibility that they might never make it home to their families. A world where any one decision can be life or death.

The heroes in this world aren’t athletes or actors. They might be the ones making the big money, but catching a ball or being chased by monsters on a green screen can’t possibly compare to those who selflessly serve the public.

I’m a sports fan. I enjoy watching football and basketball, but it angers me to see millionaires act like big babies on the field when there are officers in the streets being murdered. Or when sons and daughters come back from war in a casket instead of standing on their own two feet. It really puts it all in perspective.

Cops don’t get paid enough. Teachers don’t get paid enough. Military men and women don’t get paid enough. We freak out if we have the opportunity to see a celebrity walking down the street, but when was the last time we thanked a solider or police officer for putting their lives on the line every day?

The amazing thing is that most of them do their jobs without even expecting a simple thank you.

I’m smart enough to realize there are two sides to every story. There are some bad cops out there. I’m sure there are also people in the military with some not so heroic intentions. That doesn’t mean they are all bad.

I don’t know how my salary compares to policemen or military personnel, but I hope and pray they make more than I do.

When you lie down to sleep tonight, say a prayer for the police officer patrolling the dark streets in order to protect the innocent.

Remember the men and women, thousands of miles away, who only wish for the chance to hold their babies for Christmas.

Let’s remember who the true heroes are.

Stop trying so hard

There are so many things we strive for in this life. Happiness, success, peace, joy, recognition…the list could go on for quite a while. The world believes all those things are possible if we just work hard enough. Just put in a little more effort to reach goals. Don’t let anything get in our way.

God’s love is exactly the opposite, and it contains anything and everything we will ever need. We don’t have to work hard to earn it. God said “Here you go,” and sent us Jesus. He died a horrible death on the cross to reconcile us back to our Father.

Stop trying to do everything, and surrender yourself to God.

Our Identity

Our identity isn’t found in our ability to sin. Our identity is found in Christ.

Just because we have the ability to sin, we believe we’re nothing more than worms trying not to do wrong things. We are sons and daughters of the King. We were bought with a price. Let’s walk in righteousness.

Once we truly understand this, everything changes. The enemy fears we will one day figure out what he already knows.

Why do we expect Hollywood to teach us the Bible?

Social media can be very interesting. This has happened to me personally, but I also see it with others as well. Someone can post a Bible verse, or even an amazing nugget of spiritual truth, and maybe get a couple likes, possibly a comment and a share. The same person can upload a picture of a pork sandwich the next day, and people go bonkers. Tons of likes, comments that you have to keep scrolling down to read, and everyone and their brother will share the picture. I just don’t understand why we are so consumed with stuff that honestly doesn’t matter very much in the overall big picture.

Another trend I’ve been noticing recently is Christians getting upset over movies. It’s kind of funny, because my reactions to these “Christian” movies over the last year or two have been completely different from that of my brothers and sisters. Let me give you some examples.

God’s Not Dead. The Christian community went bananas over this movie. It was as if we won some kind of battle against atheists. Why do we so easily forget that our war isn’t against flesh and blood? Ephesians 6:12. I actually did a post on this earlier in the year. You can read it HERE. Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but didn’t like the main theme. I don’t believe we have to prove that God exists. Arguing and fighting with people over our beliefs doesn’t accomplish anything but more animosity. We prove God exists by walking in love and using our life as the unspoken argument.

Son of God. Again, Christians went all out fruity over this movie playing in the theaters. I actually felt as if I had been bamboozled a little bit. If you watched The Bible miniseries on TV, then you had pretty much already seen this movie. It might have been promoted that way, but I don’t know for sure. I was sorely disappointed. However, if putting Son of God on the big screen resulted in people realizing their need for a Savior, then it served its purpose.

Noah. There was such an uproar about this movie when it was released. Everything from it was directed by an atheist to it doesn’t follow the Biblical story. Well, I waited and waited for this to come out, because I wanted to see it. Russell Crowe as Noah? Are you serious? We were about to get Gladiator meets Genesis. Unfortunately, the movie was a big snooze fest for me. I believe I actually fell asleep a couple of times. Aside from a couple places with great special effects, it was horrible. I honestly didn’t care whether it completely aligned with the Biblical version or not, which is quite opposite of what most people were looking for.

Exodus. Facebook posts about this movie are what led me to write this blog today. I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t give my personal opinion on it’s quality. I’m taking my kids to see the new Hobbit movie next week, so Exodus will be a DVD rental. Christians, again, are getting riled up because of what they are seeing on the screen. Or, to put it more accurately, what they are NOT seeing on the screen. I think even Glen Beck said something about it was making Moses out to be a terrorist. I don’t know. I can’t wait to see it, though. It looks amazing.

We are expecting Hollywood to teach the Bible, and I don’t understand why.

I also don’t understand why we only get upset over the “Christian” movies we see emerge. Why don’t we rant and rave on Facebook over the movies saturated with vulgarity, sex, and gory violence? Are we so desensitized to this world, that those movies are just normal? It’s only when something “good” comes out, it strikes a nerve? TV shows are the same. We are up in arms over the inaccuracies of Exodus, but remain glued to the television when The Walking Dead or Sons of Anarchy come on. They are cursing God’s name, but yet that’s okay? C’mon, Church.

If you want a Bible lesson about the flood or Moses, go to church, or better yet, just read your Bible.

My wife and I decided years ago to stop watching rated R movies, with the one exception being Passion of the Christ. I’ve been called legalistic before when I posted about this, but that’s okay. I honestly don’t care if you think it’s legalistic or not. I don’t want to fill my mind with that garbage. I want to chase after righteousness and His kingdom. I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch rated R movies. It’s none of my business. I’m telling you what’s right for me and my family.

Time is short. People are lost. If we are truly born again, we have Christ in us, the hope of glory. We have the hope people need, whether they know what they are searching for or not.

Let’s stop being offended when Hollywood doesn’t get it right, and start loving people every day.

They need what we say we have.