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The Wild West Show was once a very popular type of entertainment, and to a large extent defined our view of what the Old West was like.

Fortune smiled on Pawnee Bill and frowned on the 101 Ranch and the Miller Brothers

On a recent trip to Oklahoma, I was struck by how fortune can shine on some and not on others. The question of why someone succeeds and someone does not has always been a mystery. Hard work by itself guarantees nothing — except that you will get tired. You do have more chances to get lucky perhaps if you work hard, but the world holds no promises.

I loved this article. I was a journalist for a very long time. Decades of paying attention to, and then writing about, things that other people wanted -- whether that be subscribers or editors.

So I wrote my novel. Solid first draft anyway. I feel like im done with it though. I wanted to do a first draft to show myself i could do it. Im not real sure i even care if it gets published.

I felt kind of affirmed in this conviction reading your story.


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Our own thoughts can be our biggest enemy Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Take control of the thoughts that cause you to fail or keep you from doing your best.

Sometimes we listen too much to those voices in our heads. After doing that for years or decades, and it becomes a way of seeing the world. This is where low self-esteem comes from, as well as impostor syndrome. It is the birthplace of negative emotions. It could contribute to mental and physical illness as well.

A lot of people suffer from impostor syndrome. It is a feeling that you are not good enough in some way. Why do you think that? Is there any evidence that it is true? What if it is true? …

What side you are on is the more important question

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Are we looking for affirmation for ourselves, or to find the will of God? Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Everyone who believes in God claims God is in their side. Wars have been fought and both sides prayed to the same God for victory, and claimed they would have it because God was with them.

Today there are liberals and republicans who claim God is in their side. There are debates on whether Jesus would have been a conservative or liberal.

The scriptures do say God is with us, and Jesus said “I am with you” when he sent them out to proclaim the gospel.

What if we turn…

Knowing the difference can change how you see the world

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Photo by Mark Boss on Unsplash

When Jesus left the Earth after his resurrection, he said “I am with you,” as he sent them out to proclaim the good news. Gospel means good news, and the good news is that we are forgiven by God and are invited into a relationship on a spiritual level.

The Holy Spirit came soon after that and they were empowered to do even more.

Jesus was with them because he had sent them on a mission. It is arguable that mission continues today. There still seems to be a lot of people who don't understand the good news.

But everyone…

It can be an irritating catchphrase, but there could be some truth in there

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There is freedom in having a spiritual life. Photo by Fernando Brasil on Unsplash

It does get aggravating when people say “you need Jesus,” as the answer to almost any problem there is. It’s even aggravating when you already have Jesus. But … What if? What if you really do need Jesus?

If you are hungry you need food. If you are sick you need medicine or treatment. If you are depressed you might need anti-depressants. Some people claim to have been supernaturally healed of sickness. I don’t know whether they were or not, but it is rare that God actually heals someone.

There is also a spiritual reality, and if you are feeling…

Whether it’s dating or freelance writing, your attitude can change the pain.

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Rejection never feels good at the time. Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

No one likes rejection. It was hard when I was dating and it was hard when I was starting out as a writer. The two things — dating and writing — do have some things in common. In both situations, there are emotions involved. You are putting yourself out there making yourself vulnerable. It is more than just selling a widget that you made.

When you try to sell what you write you are offering someone — an editor — a piece of yourself. No matter the reason they say no, it still is going to feel a bit like…

Were the older translations better? Or what if the new ones don't feel right?

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There’s no need to make the simple complicated. Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

A rant about those that attack modern translations of the Bible.

Every now and then in Christian circles, some people start complaining about “new” translations of the Bible. They usually hold the King James Version to be the bible Moses preached out of or the one that Jesus read.

This of course is not true. Even so, these ideas are attacks and are just as bad as cynics claiming the whole thing was made up in order to control people. Neither attack is true and could cause people to doubt what they read without good reason.

It is important to…

The real meaning of Christmas is in accepting the gift

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The gift does not become yours until you accept it. Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

What if someone sent you a gift? It was paid for and delivered to your porch by a brown truck. You “own” the box now and its contents. You could open it and enjoy your gift. You could also never open the box and ignore it. You would still have the gift, but it would do you no good. You could even throw it out in the yard and reject the gift.

These are our options when we think about the gift from God which we celebrate at Christmas.

Regardless of all the noise out there, the politics, and people…

Look inward to find the sweet spot we need as writers

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Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

You may not be able to flip a switch from dark to light, but you can nudge the grey.

Words flow effortlessly from the mind to the keyboard. Typing is automatic and the writing is like magic. Words and ideas come so fast it’s hard to keep up. A sip of coffee is barely noticed as the next hundred words roll on to the page. The keyboard feels like a finely tuned piano and you are playing songs you don’t know.

That is how writing is supposed to be. It should be fun, exciting, filled with discovery. When it’s like that you love being a writer.

But we writers know that is a fleeting state. It comes on its…

James Jordan

Teller of tales, many of which are actually true. Award-winning journalist, and the William Allen White Award for reporting.

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