Thursday, April 19, 2018


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Yvonne Walus will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Why would a rich girl become a prostitute?
Three years ago Joy refused to sleep with an ex boyfriend. When he committed suicide, her guilt was enormous. To punish herself she opted to serve as a prostitute for three years.

How far would you go to protect your child?
Cora loves her convict husband despite - or because of - his bad boy ways. But now that he's back in her life, she has their daughter to consider. Is a faulty father better than no father at all?

A serial killer…
A serial killer who murders women and displays their bodies dressed in a white sheet with a fencing mask covering the face. Who will be next?

Read an Excerpt:

Zero’s shared office at the police station looked bleaker than usual. Not even nine o’clock and the morning was already too full of coffee and too scant on breakfast. After three hours in bed, Zero had chosen an extra fifteen minutes of snoozing instead of muesli and shower. She was regretting the no-muesli decision.

“So,” Zero said. “I got that list of psycho reasons for wanting to kill prostitutes.”

Kath raised her eyebrows. “Thought you’d get too sucked into the TV to do any work.”

Of course she did.

“Didn’t even switch it on. Used the Internet. According to Dr Google, scenario one is we could be looking at a man who has issues with women as such. He hates women and wants to hurt them, and the prostitute is simply an easy option. We’ll call him Bitter Boy.”


“The second scenario is that he despises prostitutes specifically. The attacks could be his mission to rid the world of women who, in his eyes, are morally unacceptable.”

“The Missionary.” Kath got up, reached for a blue marker and printed the two nicknames on the whiteboard, right below the photos and names of the two victims. Rebecca Mahoney, also known as Raven. Stella Baxter, a.k.a. Sirocco.

Zero wondered if their department would ever get a Smart Board. Unless Smart Boards were so smart they helped the police solve crimes, the official line went, the department would stick to the status quo in technology, thank you very much.

About the Author:
You won't believe this, but when I'm not a novelist I'm actually a Doctor of Mathematics. A business and data analyst. A wife and a mother. Most of all though - I am a writer (in several languages) hoping to change the world one book at a time.

My heritage is inter-continental. I was born and raised in Poland. When I was twelve, my family and I emigrated to South Africa. Your teenage years are usually your formative years, so it’s no surprise I consider South Africa my second homeland. For the past twenty years, I’ve lived in New Zealand, and people ‘back home’ tell me I’ve become a real Kiwi.

Crime fiction is my passion. My childhood hero was, predictably, Hercule Poirot. I've changed my mind several times since, and for a time I was totally into Harlan Coben's super-rich super-able Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood), but my current favourite is Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch… I mean, Sherlock Holmes.

My co-ordinates:

Here’s a link to the promo video for my latest book:

Print version:

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Monday, April 9, 2018


  This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kalen Cap will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teens Lexi and Gil face relic-thieving secret societies.

Plagued by loneliness in her Lake Erie Islands community, vegan Lexi hopes to make like-minded friends in high school. But her dad’s job is jeopardized when relics are stolen from his museum, changing her priorities. And she finds her new teachers’ eerie dislike of her troubling.

His dad in jail, cipher enthusiast and bacon-loving Gil hopes freshman year will provide a clean slate. Soon, he discovers secret codes within a Shakespearean play while paired with Lexi, pulling him into an ancient mystery.

With the official museum burglary investigation stalled, the mismatched teen sleuths join forces to try and crack the case. Lexi’s inquiries and Gil’s codes capture their teachers’ attention. But these teachers have the stolen Tripod of Peace, a powerful relic sought by rival secret societies. Caught in these societies’ crossfire as thieves wield an instrument of astounding power, Gil and Lexi are in danger.

The Ancient Tripod of Peace is the first book in novelist Kalen Cap’s Teen Thief-Catchers Series. If you like stories with artifact treasures, fighting secret societies, and spirited protagonists, you’ll enjoy this novel.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Lexi hadn’t met any vegan guys her age, only girls. “Want to join me and Anita later?”

“Sure. I’ll try it out,” Trevor agreed.

“We only have a day to find our code for this topic,” Gil said. “Let’s focus on the project. I don’t want to start out locked in with something weak.”

The three read the project description again. Lexi felt clueless. She asked the others how to begin.

Gil said the topic related well to his social science fair project the year before on secret codes in writing.

Lexi rolled her eyes. From the way Gil told it, the project was designed for him. Full of yourself maybe?

Trevor said he spent part of a summer in Greece the year before when his father ran workshops there. There, he’d learned about ancient Greek history. Lexi didn’t mind as much when Trevor made it sound like his experiences aligned with the project. Unlike Gil’s, Trevor’s voice soothed her.

Trevor and Gil both stared at her expectantly. She blushed, first believing they were checking her out. But she soon realized they wanted to hear her special connection to the project topic.

“My grandmother usually teaches history here, too. She gave the opening talk at assembly. Oh, and my granddad’s an actor. He used to be a professional and acted in lots of Shakespeare. They can give me pointers,” Lexi said. My grandparents? That’s my “in” on the project? I’m such a loser. She was determined to not be the weakest link in the group.

About the Author:
Kalen Cap is a writer living in Ohio and regularly commutes back and forth between Columbus and Port Clinton residences. Set among the Lake Erie Islands, “TheAncient Tripod of Peace” is his second novel, first of the Teen Thief-Catcher series. His first novel, “Tangled Ties to a Manatee,” was published in 2012.

Author website -
Amazon Author Page -
Author’s facebook page for the new series -
Buy the book at


Tuesday, April 3, 2018


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Howard Weiner will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fraternal twins are raised by an ambivalent aunt who provides an unusual childhood experience. One twin leaves home to join the armed forces and is ultimately assigned to a Special Forces unit conducting clandestine operations in North Korea. The death of one his unit members produces an introduction to an organized crime family specializing in murder for hire. The funeral for the family's son and an interest in their daughter brings new blood and methods to the family business.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Later, she found she couldn’t explain what it was about the passenger who boarded in the midst of the newbies. He was taller than most, but that wasn’t it. His facial features were smooth, rounded with none of the angular bone structures most men had. He wore one of those rugby shirts with the parallel horizontal lines much like the old TV test patterns. His skin was light, very light. Perhaps that was it. Who lived in Las Vegas with milky white skin?

His long sandy hair was tied in the back—a man bun.

The horror that was the boarding process mercifully came to an end. The late hour guaranteed a quick trip to their runway and takeoff. Planes waiting to depart were not stacked up. A long, but quick taxi ride to the take-off area was the only thing between the plane and flight. Quickly, they were airborne, and shortly thereafter, they reached cruising altitude. Drink and snack service began.

The senior flight attendant encouraged economy passengers scattered throughout the plane to move forward. Seating was plentiful, and they wanted to bring this part of the flight service program to an end.

She completed the business class service and turned her attention to staging the extra beverages and ice needed to begin service in the economy section, when one of the other attendants started to complain.

“Didn’t she hear us ask everyone in economy to please move forward?”

“I’m sorry,” she started, “who are you talking about?”

“The tall woman sitting in front of the rear bulkhead.”

“Describe her,” she prompted.

“Tall, milky complexion, soft features, pony-tail, wearing a rugby dress.” She paused, “Can you imagine? Skin like that in the hot desert sun. She must hide under a ton of sun screen and big hats. Poor thing.”

“Did you say a woman?” she asked.

“Yes, a woman.”

The only person who fit that description was a man she saw during boarding.

Wow, she thought. It’s been a long day. Did I mistake a woman for a man?

About the Author:
Howard Weiner is a recent addition to the literary genre of fiction. Writing mysteries, thrillers, crimes—with a touch of romance—an approach described by one reader as “one bubble off.”

Many authors sharing the genre have characters whose fortune is determined by others. They literally have dodged the bullet that otherwise would have killed them. Weiner’s characters make their own fortune—good or bad—and they live with the results.

Weiner’s own experiences are blessed with no small number of noteworthy characters and events. He brings these slightly off-kilter individuals to life, complete with their own stories and dramas. Like the child prodigy in his first novel, "It Is Las Vegas After All", who comes to the starting edge of adulthood and then loses the approval of his doting parents, the sponsorship of one of America’s great institutions of higher education, and gains the enmity of his girlfriend’s father—an international arms dealer—to become a home-grown terrorist operating on U.S. Soil.

A survivor of rich, nuanced bureaucracies in the public and private sector, Weiner writes about characters whose career choices and decisions are morally questionable. A student of personal behavior in complex circumstances, Weiner brings these often cringe-worthy characters to life. Some are amoral, others immoral in a narrow slice of their lives, yet they otherwise look and act like people we all know from work or even childhood. Like one of the female leads in his novel, "Serendipity Opportunity", an out-of-the-box thinker who flunks most of life’s basic relationship tests, yet she is someone you never want pursuing you in the cause of justice. There’s a former foreign security official who uses his protected status as a witness for federal prosecutors to provide cover for his own mayhem and murder in Weiner’s third novel, "Bad Money".

Many of Weiner’s stories are born out of real life events: The mix-up in luggage claim at the airport in, "Bad Money", the chronic high school slacker in "Serendipity Opportunity" whose one stroke of good fortune creates his opportunity to perpetrate a complex series of frauds, or the brilliant student in "It Is Las Vegas After All" who uses his prodigious talents toward an evil end.

As a former federal official, Weiner can neither confirm nor deny having the highest security clearances in classified security programs. Yet, his knowledge of the dark web, criminal organizations, and security organizations takes stories from the popular press to the next level.

Amazon Author Central Web Site:
Author Web Site:
The book will be $0.99 during the tour.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Praying for your Children

Day 1
“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15 [NIV]

The gospel is simple: Jesus died to redeem lost people and he rose from the dead to save them. That message is so simple that even children can understand it. In fact, Jesus tells us that we must become like a child. God is a loving father who wants a relationship with his children. That relationship is possible through Jesus Christ. Think for a minute about a child in your life. It maybe your own child, or it might be a child you see at church or in your neighborhood. That child - and all children - need to know the saving love of Jesus Christ.

Praying the Scripture:
"Lord Jesus, I pray the message of the gospel would be heard and understood by ___________ today. I pray for clarity and understanding of the message and that ___________ come to know you. Thank you, Lord, for your offer of salvation and that everyone who follows you can rest in your forgiveness. I pray this in your precious name. Amen"
Day 2
“You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.” —Psalm 31:20 NLT

I believe it is one of our sacred duties as adults, and especially as parents, to protect the children in our lives. They are weak, vulnerable, and impressionable and God has given us the responsibility of guarding them. Unfortunately, I have witnessed too many instances of when that duty to protect has been neglected or betrayed. The physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual damage that occurs when this happens can be catastrophic. It is no wonder that Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13 NKJV). Let’s recommit ourselves to standing as guardians and protectors of children—and for the times we cannot physically be with them, let us commend them in prayer to the one who is their fortress and defender. Pray for his perfect protection of the children in your life!

Praying the Scripture:
“Father, I pray Psalm 31:20 now for ________. I ask that you would hide him/her in the shelter of your presence. God, please keep every child safe from those who would conspire against them. Help me to do my part in keeping them safe—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Give me the strength to be their guardian, defender, and shepherd—as I imitate you in those roles. I pray this in your son’s holy name. Amen.”

Day 3
“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 4:19 NKJV

There is an abundant storehouse of riches found in Jesus Christ. And yet how often do we live like spiritual paupers because we don’t take advantage of those treasures? As James 4:2 says, we do not have because we do not ask. God is a loving father who supplies our needs and gives us good gifts when we ask for them. Let us pray that he would meet the needs—at every level—of the priceless children in our lives. Let’s also pray that we can play a part in his gracious provision to them—as earthly representatives of their heavenly father.
Praying the Scripture:
“Heavenly father, I pray Philippians 4:19 for ________. I pray that you would supply the need of him/her and for every child [physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual] according to your riches in Jesus. Lord, you own the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10 NKJV) and there is nothing too hard for you (Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV). “Everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened (Luke 11:10 NKJV), so we ask, seek, and knock on behalf of our young ones. Give them the things they need, and use me to be an agent for you. Supply my needs as I supply theirs, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Day 4: Wisdom
“Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasure." Proverbs 2:24 NLT

The Bible says that we should be pursuing wisdom like valuable treasure. How much more do the children in our lives, whose understanding is so limited, need this wisdom?
So many verses in the Proverbs tell us to not only seek wisdom, but to impart it to our children. Where does wisdom begin? With a fear of the Lord—a healthy reverence and awe of God.
As we follow him and receive more wisdom each day, let’s be sure to pass that wisdom onto the children in our lives. Take time to teach them. Show them by example. Be patient with them as they learn. And realize that you are representing
God as you do these things.

Praying the Scripture:
“Lord Jesus, I pray Proverbs 2:2–4

Right now for ________. I pray that he/she would tune
his/her ears to your wisdom. And as I pray for children to have understanding, I pray also for myself, that you would open my eyes to the desperation of so many children in the world who wonder if anyone loves them. 
As you open my eyes to the needs of children, I pray you wouldalso motivate me to act for these children.
Please give us the wisdom we need to make good choices and bring glory to you. In your good name I pray these things. Amen

Day 5
“Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.” —1 Timothy 6:18 NLT
We serve a generous God. Not only has he made a way to save us from our sins, he has given us abundant life here on earth and the promise of eternity with him. Are we deserving of these things? Absolutely not. It's his love that gives us mercy and grace every day. When we are generous, we are imitating our heavenly father. How much more should we instill this virtue in the lives of those children we know and care about. Let’s teach our children to be liberal with their time, their money, their service, and their forgiveness.

Praying the Scripture:
“Lord, I pray 1 Timothy 6:18 for ________ today. I pray he/she would use their money to do good for the benefit of many people. Lord, more than being rich in possessions or wealth, I ask that you would make us rich in good works (Ephesians 2:10). I ask that you would make us generous to those in need, and always ready to share with others. I pray these things for myself as well, Lord, that ________ can mirror my actions, as my heart mirrors yours. Freely we have received; help us to freely give (Matthew 10:8), just as your son so freely gave his life as a ransom for us (Mark 10:45). It’s in his name I pray. Amen.”
Day 6
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. . . Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden . . .” —Hebrews 13:17 NIV

In a world that says, “It’s cool to be a rebel. Do your own thing. Swim upstream. Follow your heart. Fight the establishment. You are the captain of your own ship,” Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15 NIV). Our pride keeps us from submitting to God and to those who are in authority over us. But contrary to our line of reasoning, the truth is that there is freedom in obedience. As we align our will to God’s and allow him to have his way, we find that there is a joy and a peace that is unexplainable. How do we teach this to the children in our lives? By modeling it. As they see us submit to God and to our leaders, they will undoubtedly see the blessing that comes from God’s order of doing things.

Praying the Scripture:
“Dear Jesus, I would like to pray Hebrews 13:17 right now for ________. I pray that he/she would obey leaders, including parents/grandparents/foster parents/stepparents, teachers, coaches, and anyone else you have placed over him/her. Help us to submit to authority so that our work would be a joy and not a burden. Help me to model obedience and to demonstrate my love for you by doing what you want me to do. In your name I pray. Amen.”


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Holy Homes-Marriage and Family Day 1 : Jesus is the King we are His subjects

Holy Homes-Marriage and Family Day 1 : Jesus is the King we are His subjects

The fallen family is centered around Adam and Eve and their disobedience to God’s original design for marriage. As soon as Satan convinced Eve to 2nd guess what God really said the original design for marriage was thwarted. I am I spending my life thinking that what Satan has to offer me is better than what God has to offer me? I am I 2nd guessing Gods word to fit my life and my desires instead of moving my life and desires to fit into Gods plan for me? 
Matthew 10:34-39 states God did not come to spread peace, but to bring a sword! To turn families against each other. I cannot help but think of the original sin and how God said there would be pain in child bearing.  Not just the act of giving birth to my children, but in rearing them. Seeing them make the same mistakes I made and being unable to stop it. The pain-both physical and emotional that comes from raising kids and seeing what they go through daily-their struggles, hardships, their pain and suffering. Watching them turn from God instead of embracing Him or going back and forth in their faith. Struggling with the Word or altering it to fit the lifestyle they want to live. Saying what Satan and the world and my flesh offer is more than what God offers to me. It is the sword that pierces me over and again. In this way I relate to what Jesus says here-He does not bring peace. Those that are not in the Him are against Him. Jesus enemies are my enemies. That includes my children, my spouse, my family-my own household.  It comes to a decision I must make daily. Love my family and those in it, but love Jesus MORE than them and ALWAYS take His side. Do not compromise what the Word says to fit my family and keep the peace-stand up for the truth-even when it hurts and is difficult to do. Even when it might cost me the family I love. Are they worth more to me than what God offers me?
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36     a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[a]
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
In Matthew 19:1-9 The Pharisees are attempting to trick Jesus on the topic of divorce and remarriage-stating its ok to divorce for any reason and why then is it permitted for adultery?  I am not trying to get on the topic of divorce and remarriage-my point with this one is whoever the topic is discussed its always making the appeal to the LAW-not to the original design God intended for marriage. God’s marriage design was to make one flesh-no divorce-for any reason. WHY? I’ll come back to this later…..My point with this is that it shows us our sin and brokenness. Jesus keeps appealing to “the beginning” and His Fathers design for marriage---not the law that was created for our sin and brokenness as an “out”. My thought to think on “ I am I doing what I am designed to do in my marriage or I am I looking at the law?”
19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

In Luke 9: 57-62 Jesus is talking about the cost of following Him. It’s pretty harsh and frankly hard to listen to. This is not my Jesus of peace, love, tenderness, etc that is always betrayed. Let the dead bury their own dead—seriously? Don’t go and say good bye to your family? Are you kidding me? Is this not the family He gave me? That he told me I was 1 with? That He said honor and cherish and not provoke? This is a hard few versus for me to wrap my mind around. Then I have to stop and think about WHO Jesus is. A king has the right to ask his servants to go and do without any back talk, arguing, or excuses. They follow the king with their life in his hands and do not question his authority. That is a worldly king. Little “k”. Jesus is the KING OF KINGS-Its tattooed on His thigh (Revelations) He speaks and it is (creation/Revelations) He is the MY KING- He rules over me. I am His subject. My life is His life. If a ordinary king can ask these things of their subjects and they do it without questions and with respect for his authority and position how much more should Jesus be able to ask these things of me! Its harsh-yes. It’s difficult to hear and read-yes. Its abrasive-yes. Its arrogant even-but He has the right! He is my Savior, my King, my Redeemer, my Maker! How do you not willingly give your life for someone who gave you His already? You created your life to begin with. Who breathed you into existence? Once again I have to ask myself who I am I loyal to? Satan, the flesh, the world and how they all see me or am I loyal to my KING? Who do I really put first in my life? Who is ruling over me every day? I am I choosing Christ even in the sight of rejection of my family? Even if they walk away from me and never want to speak to me, see me and I miss out on their entire life? I am I willing to make that sacrifice? I am I willing to stand firm on what God says in the face of what society is telling me and teaching that is counter to what God says? When I am faced with ostracizing myself from my own flesh and blood? I want desperately to say yes to all of this-because I know it’s the right answer, but if I am being honest with myself it has not been my response when real life hits. It depresses me to know I know what I am supposed to do and say and yet I will chose the easy way to keep the peace, save relationships and stop arguments. I am to be the sword with Christ and instead I am a wet noodle. Gods word is not always easy to hear and obey. But God asks nothing of us that He did not do first. That’s the hard reality.
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
1 John 4: 8 says GOD IS LOVE………I just keep thinking about this in light of what I am reading. I still cannot tie it in, but it keeps coming to my mind as if Christ is trying to remind me of who He is in spite of my struggle with His teaching. This verse just keeps popping into my head over and over again. God is Love.  I love not of this world. A love like I have never known. The very definition of love. Love exists through Him and because of Him. God is Love……. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Luke 14:25-35 HATE-has to be the most powerful word one can say to another human being-I hate you. Emotions bubble up inside me just thinking about this word. This is what Jesus calls us to do for everyone that stands against Him. Before you say that is so easy stop and think of your spouse. Your children. Your parents. Best friend. Your grandparents. You are to HATE them if they stand against Christ. That is powerful. The cost of following Jesus and being His disciple is HUGE. It’s not something to randomly do to appease someone else, or because its trendy, expected of you, or it seems right. There is so much a person sacrifices for following Jesus. Its not to be entered into without really weighing the pros and cons. Can I really do it. Can I really give my life.  My salvation was completely FREE yet it costs EVERYTHING at the same time. My life is totally, 100% in the Hand of Christ. It’s like accepting a free airplane ride. The ride costs me nothing, but I am putting my very life in the hands of the pilot. If we arrive safely-great, but if he nose dives the plane into the Atlantic-well that’s not so great. Same with Jesus. The moment I decided to give my life to Him and be his disciple, my life became His and not mine anymore. I pay a daily price. One that is very costly. Salvation is free, but discipleship is costly. I have to make the decision to not only receive Jesus as my Savior, but also to follow his as my Lord.
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you,30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

When I read scripture like this I just need to remind myself that everything Jesus does is in fulfillment of the Old Testament. Paul calls Jesus the “new Adam” (I Corinthians 15:45). This ties into Genesis and how Adam was made of the earth and goes back to the Earth-totally of this world. Christ however, is from Heaven and will return to Heaven-totally spiritual and life-giving.  The Apostle Paul tells us in his first letter to the church in Corinth, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).

Paul is here pointing out the difference between two kinds of bodies, i.e., the natural and the spiritual. 
Genesis 2:7speaks of the first man, Adam, becoming a living person. Adam was made from the dust of the ground and given the breath of life from God. Every human being since that time shares the same characteristics. However, the last Adam or the “second/new Adam”—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. Just as Adam was the first of the human race, so Christ is the first of those who will be raised from the dead to eternal life. Because Christ rose from the dead, He is “a life-giving spirit” who entered into a new form of existence. He is the source of the spiritual life that will result in believers' resurrection. Christ's new glorified human body now suits His new, glorified, spiritual life—just as Adam's human body was suitable to his natural life. When believers are resurrected, God will give them transformed, eternal bodies suited to eternal life. When we give our lives to Christ we are His disciples and seek after life-giving things not earthly things. We have to die to this world so we can have the eternal world we are promised. Jesus fulfillment of OT prophesies. We see this is the Passover, festivals, bread of presence, when Jesus is presented in the temple and Simeon prophecies that Mary ““This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2: 22-40-remember Matthew 10:34-39---all about the Sword. I love this.
Hebrews 1: All things are held together by the power of His words!
So when I read all the gospels and I think about the picture of Christ that it paints a few words come to my mind: arrogant, truth, authoritative, uncomfortable, dues, hate, difficult. All these things point to the sword that Jesus describes Himself as. Sharp, harsh, unyielding, uncompromising. Then I go and dig into the Epistles and I see the cross and all its promises.
Ephesians 5:22-33-Sumbission of wives to husbands and of husbands to the church-We are called to die to each other. To place the other above and better than ourselves every day, all day. People here the word submit and they think of a person with no opinion, no say, no impact, but that is so far from the truth. We are called to think of our husband as our lord (little l here not LORD) and we are to submit to him. This does not mean we are a punching bag, but  I am to give 100% of myself to my spouse every second of every day. My thoughts should be on how to please him and give him respect. Not on how I can get what I want, or how I can manipulate him, but be equal to him…how can I give 100% of myself to his happiness, joy, success, love, etc. In return he is called to die for me daily. To put 100% of himself into me…loving me, serving me, seeking my happiness, my joy, my success…..There are no winners except Christ. Our marriage should show Christ as the head. We are both submitting to Christ in a different way. My husband is to be the leader of my home. The final say. The one that rears the children with me as his support system, not the other way around.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wifeas he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
Philippians 2: 1-11-Imitating Christ’s Humility Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.”

Colossians 3: 12-21: Instructions for the Christian household 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers,[a] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Ephesians 6: 4-How fathers should treat their children- Fathers,[a] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
1 Timothy 3: 1-12-Deacon and elder qualifications-the focus is not on the individual, but on how he is in his family. How does he treat his wife? How does he treat his children? How does he run his household? Gods focus should be our focus!
Titus 2:1-5-Teaching and sharing our faith with those that are older and younger than us. We are not married and become perfect spouse-we learn over the years and people who are older than us can impart wisdom on how to be better spouse-how to love your partner better in ways that we may never think of or that might take us 20 years. Use the wisdom of those that have come before you and have been successful. There is a point in every marriage when you will want to give up….learn how people survived those moments and loved each other through them.
“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
1 Peter 3: 1-7-Prayers and heard and hindered by how the husband treats his wife. Wives can have a huge impact by being the example, showing love, respect and submission as Christ taught us to.
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
I read these and cannot help but think of the cross and all that encompasses Jesus. He was all about service and humility. Thinking of everyone as greater than Himself. Humbling Himself as the perfect example of submission to follow. The King that gave up His life for me deserves my allegiance and my life given up for Him. My picture of Christ changes dramatically when I read the epistles. I think of humility, denial, sacrifice, love, honor, truth, obedience, difficult, uncomfortable an painful…….but worth every moment for my King. Christ gave us the perfect example of husbandry and wifery (yes, I make up my own words) that could be painted.