Excerpt From “Sharon”

Earlier this week I did an article called
Sharon. It was my first book. Here’s a taste for the so inclined. The book may be found at


In this opening scene, the revivalist preacher, John, meets a young girl he’d noticed earlier in the tent. The verbal fencing between the two belies the direction the book will take. I think you may be surprised.


“Tell me something, preacher-boy. Is this the parking lot of Heaven?”

He turned to see the small form step out from behind a live oak. “Pardon me?”

Sharon stepped forward into the light.
He recognized her instantly, like an old friend, “Oh, yes. You are the lady in the second row.”

“Yes. You did very good tonight. I was really taken away by your homily.”


“Oh, forgive me. Your sermon. You know, your speech.”

He was completely captivated by her. He searched her left hand for a ring, but none was there, and he was amazed that such a lovely creature was not married. Her voice was light, and he could not place the accent. Defiantly not a southern one, but not quite a northern clip either. She had a slight nasal twang to her voice that lent emphasis to what she said, and seemed to make her words “penetrate” the mind.

“I just speak as the spirit moves me.”

“I do that, ” she said as they walked along. “I relax, and the spirit just comes into me. . . is yours like that?”

“Uh, no. It’s more organized, but I do improvise. I have to stay on a subject. You are under time constraints in a revival, you know?”

She stopped walking and looked at him. He stared back. Her eyes were the deepest blue he’d ever seen. Mirrors to her soul. Her hair was brown, and he could smell the most wonderful tea rose smell of her perfume. “I think we’re compatible,” she suddenly said, “Do you think we’re compatible?”

John was blown away! He liked to think he was a grown worldly man, but this lady was a little more forward than he’d run across in church! She watched his eyes, like a cat playing with a mouse, actually leaning forward, and looking first into his right eye, and then his left, and then added, “Spiritually compatible, of course.”

“I don’t know, yet. I’ve only known you for a few moments. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ.”

She leaned back, and smiled. He had fielded the question, and not given a straight answer.
“Yeah,” she answered, nodding her head. “You know I always get something out of people getting together for God. I love the rush of seeing people together, all praying, all loving.”

“Are you a member of one of the local churches?”

“Yes. I go to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, over on Westend,” she pointed her finger in the direction of town.

John thought he should have known. There had to be a flaw somewhere. He fought hard not to let his face show his feelings. He kept smiling and walking, “You’re Catholic?”

“Well. . . yeah, I guess that’s what you’d call me. I prefer to think that I belong to the Universal Church, but the word ‘Catholic’ does just about cover it. Oh, I’m sorry. You’re a Protestant aren’t you? Now we can’t be compatible any more.” She lowered her head slightly and peered at him as if she’d been caught with her hand in a cookie jar.
Baptists fight hard against the word “Protestant”. The Baptists insist that they are among the original group of Christians, and thereby not part of the so-called “Protestant reformation”. The idea of independent churches, according to them, goes all the way back to the time of the apostles.

“Uh, no. I mean, no that’s not true. I’m not a Protestant. No, I mean people are beginning to come together more and more. Look, what I’m trying to say is, what are you doing at a revival. Good little Catholic girls don’t usually go to these things. Is there something missing in your life? Is there an emptiness?”

They had reached his car by now. “No, I’m not empty. I just saw the tent, and I’ve never been to one of these things.” She flared her eyes mockingly, “I was compelled by the spirit to come in, ” she said, waving her hands as if she were casting a spell over him.
He didn’t get the joke, and it showed by his blank stare. “Oh, c’mon, lighten up. Don’t be such a ‘preacher-boy.’ I just wanted to see a real live revival. You don’t look like Elmer Gantry, though. I’m disappointed.”

He relaxed a little. “God save me from that movie. They measure us all by that thing, you know. Are you coming back tomorrow night?”John asked.

“Maybe. Maybe not. I’ve gotta lead a Rosary over at my church tomorrow at eight in the morning, right after Mass. Why don’t you drop in and watch, or maybe. . . even participate.”
By now, he was picking up on her humor. She was smiling, and he knew she was ribbing him.

“Now, you know I can’t be going to a Rosary. Look at all these people, what would they think?”

“Yeah. But you ought to at least drop by. I mean , we are a local church. I won’t convert you, ” she crossed her heart, “honest.”

He wanted to say yes so bad he could taste it, but he had to be reserved. “I’ll see. Maybe it’ll give me some insight.”

“Yeah,” she responded as she nodded her head in mock seriousness, “insight.”

“Do you have a ride?”

“My motorcycle over there,” she pointed to a small, yellow Honda.
He unlocked his car, but he didn’t open the door. Sharon smiled, and turned to walk away. He felt compelled to say good-bye, but all that came out was, “Have you found Jesus?” The line seemed so dry when he said it to her.

She just looked over her shoulder as she got on her bike, and yelled back, “I didn’t know He was lost!”

John watched as the little Honda sputtered away in the darkness.



My friend, Scott Binsack touched on a subject last night during his nightly Facebook live feed that was deeply personal for him. Several years ago he had a near death experience that changed his life, and from which he drew inspiration that has redirected his understanding of what that life is supposed to be. During his show I was having an ongoing discussion via PM with my other friend, Michael Brown who also has run a show on BlogTalk Radio, and Michael took exception to what Scott was trying to articulate. Now, first off, that’s just Michael. I have my style, and he has his, and that is that.
Normally, Scott is very forceful, very direct, and very strong. This subject simply touched him somewhere that he doesn’t expose often. That, combined with his reaching for an explanation made him seem a little out of his element, which is not putting him down at all. I, myself, recently did some reflection on if I should appear on Tommy’s Garage, knowing that my forte is writing, and not wanting to appear as a quacking duck to several million people, but it just so happens that I’ve written a book on this very subject, Sharon, and I’m going to expound the subject Scott was alluding to for you here.
Verily, verily, I say unto Thee, if thou art mystified, thou doesn’t understand the trick. Once upon a time I knew a woman. Back then I was a “Hail Mary” Catholic, and she was a “mystic.” We’d meet at Saint Joseph’s in Killeen, pray the Rosary together, and she’d launch into a rambling dialog about her understanding of the faith. I was spell bound. What I didn’t know was that God was setting the stage to draw me into a deeper understanding of who He really was.
Not long after meeting “Susan” I began to write the book I mentioned. At first it was to be a great epic telling the world about her. That’s not the way it turned out. As I typed the words the character who was originally patterned after Susan, began to take on a life of her own, and she began to speak to me from the pages of the book. I would get up each morning, throw open the French Doors in my bedroom and begin to write. Sometimes a chapter, sometimes a paragraph, sometimes only one line, but there was no “filler” in this book. Everything had weight, and a lot of it I didn’t understand.
The most amazing thing was “Sharon” contradicted almost everything “Susan” had told me. In later years I’ve had priests and theologians more knowledgeable than I tell me that there are seven signs embedded in the book, but for the life of me I can’t find them. The plot of the book is simple, actually. A young, revivalist Baptist Preacher comes upon a nineteen year old girl, Sharon, during the last revival of the season. She shows up riding a little yellow motor scooter, and sits in the second row of the tent. After the first meeting she invites him to a church garden for a series of discourses, in which she introduces him to a vastly different understanding of spirituality than he was talking about on the stage. Her message is selflessness, and the universal omnipotence of God.
By then end of the week’s revival the preacher is profoundly affected by this girl, and his feet on a far different path than when he first arrived. I won’t reveal the entire plot to you, but there are scenes that still rock me to this day. One such scene involves Sharon asking a series of teens, meeting with her in the little garden what love was to them. There is one teen girl who pushes back, and refuses to answer. Sharon skips her, understanding that there is some turmoil within her that makes her so withdrawn. When the little meeting concludes, and the kids are leaving, the girl turns, looks at Sharon and the preacher, and says, “What is love? Love is when you pray the Rosary every day to die instead of your sister, because she has cancer!”
I don’t believe I was “inspired” when I wrote this book. I most certainly didn’t find any golden tablets, and not one single angel appeared to me in any cave. What I found was the lies, manipulation and hypocrisy of organized religion. I became a fallen away Catholic. I believe, in his own way, Scott met Sharon during his three minute near death experience. You have to read the book to find what she is to you. I am going to give you my understanding.
We have a Muslim problem. This is a problem with an organized “religion” if you can even call it that, not a problem with God. Now, this next part is going to be harsh, but you’ll feel better in the morning. Organized religion is just an effort to control the masses. Don’t look for God there because He is not there. All that is there is man. 666, Man, Man, Man! Go to Google and check out numerology. You’ll feel better in the morning. This was the message of Jesus, and the message of Sharon. Mohammed did not see an angel in a cave, and Joseph Smith did not find any golden tablets in the woods. There is a difference between “Prophet” and “profit.” What these two guys found was a clever way to con people out of their gold. And I’m sorry to say that they are just two of a host of con men who have used the same game plan over, and over, and over again.
One billion believers simply cannot all be evil. Most just practice the faith they have been taught since birth, believing people they deem wiser than themselves. Most are just normal people. The loud, the obnoxious, the hateful get on CNN. The Main Stream Media doesn’t make any money, or ratings showing Muslims quietly praying, or Baptists having a pot luck dinner. They make their bones with bombs, bodies and blood.
The Muslim community has got to come to the realization that the volatile section of Radical Islam is so dangerous to the rest of the world that they, the “good” Muslims need to handle it, or we, the rest of humanity will have to handle it for them. Donald Trump’s idea of stemming Muslim immigration is a good one for one reason. It forces the hand of Muslims everywhere to address their problems. God gathers, Satan scatters. Contrary to what ISIS believes, Islam, and Sharia Law will not dominate the world. These are the results of a diseased mind, but all Muslims are not diseased. They just want to work, live and pray, and like everyone else, hope in their final hour they are right!
In conclusion I will quote the book one more time. After the first meeting in the tent, Sharon gets on her little scooter, starts to drive away. The preacher, knowing nothing else to say asks her, “Have you found Jesus?” She looks at him, smacks her gum and replies, “I didn’t know He was lost.” She putters away in the mists.

Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin


Whatever Happened to Mary?

Whatever happened to Mary? If you want to start an intense debate among Christians, just bring up Mary. Her position in the great cosmic story of salvation has been elevated, and minimized accordingly, depending upon which theologian is commenting at the time. As Catholics repeat the “Hail Mary,” Baptists pray that she’ll just go away. Much contemplation, and commentary centers on this little girl.
So who is Mary? According to the Bible, she was the mother of Jesus Christ. She received a visit from an angel, was informed that she would have a child, and that child would be the son of God. Mary was practical. She felt as if she had to educate the angel a bit, i.e. she wasn’t married, and she was still a virgin. Now, this is where the theologians get petty about things.
Theologians are like lawyers. The only time they twist the truth is when their mouths are open. Breaking down the Greek, they interpret the word, “virgin” as everything from absolutely as pure as a five year old Shirley Temple all the way up to someone who only had one husband and hasn’t had a child yet. I, personally think it meant Mary was a good little girl. She made it very clear to the angel, and he basically agreed with her on that point, but told her not to worry about it because God had her back.
Mary was probably around fourteen years old. Before you start throwing tomatoes at me please understand that in this era people lived to up around thirty, or thirty-five, so at fourteen or so, little Mary had most likely lived around half of her life. At any rate, she became with child, which freaked her fiancé completely out. He knew it wasn’t him, and he also knew that the result of such a thing could be stoning. He decides to put her away “privately,” as opposed to the strip to the rock yard. Joseph was a good old boy.
Nothing ever came easy for Mary. Nowadays, women get wheeled into an operating room, given pain killers, and smile for the camera holding the new addition to the family. Mary got about a seventy mile trip on a jack-ass, did her labor in a barn, and the king tried to kill the baby. And you think you’ve had it rough!
The Nativity scene we’ve all come to know is actually a composite of the Gospels, and little tradition thrown in. Was she really in a stable? There was no room at the inn, but consider; if Joseph was returning to his tribal home to register for taxes, wouldn’t you think he’d have had at least a cousin in town somewhere. I mean, it was Bethlehem, not Jerusalem. These people all knew each other. Staying in a stable was not the raging insult that we think. First off let’s look at timing. Although we celebrate Christmas on December 25th, the Bible says that shepherds were “abiding in the fields.” Now, I’m just a Simple Ol’ Body from Austin, but Shepherds don’t “abide” in the dead of winter, they abide closer to the equinox, say, Passover maybe? House full of relatives, lots of people in town, fourteen year old girl about to have a baby, do you think?
So, Mary has her baby, raises Him, and presents Him to the world at Cana. Joseph died early on so it was she who formed Jesus’ personality, it was she who gave him concept, it was she who knelt before the angel, and finally, before the cross. Whatever happened to Mary?

Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin